The Kitchen Table Caucus is sick and tired of mental illness being used as an excuse for mass shooting(s). Implicit in the mental illness argument is the shooter was powerless over his actions; due to his psychological pain he didn't know what he was doing. Mental illness is neither a reasonable nor rational excuse for mass shooting(s). Someone will no doubt write us and say that we've misunderstood: mental illness is the cause not the excuse. The excuse doesn’t make it okay either, any more than it’s okay to beat your children because you were beaten as a child.
The Kitchen Table Caucus calls for the immediate ban of the sale, transfer, manufacture, and importation of military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines. We’re pragmatists, we know the ban will not stop mass shootings, but what it will do is begin to remove these weapons of war from the streets. We are all veteran’s daughters and come from a long-line of responsible gun owners and we are disgusted with elected officials representing the profits of the NRA rather than the safety of our children and friends. We are disgusted with the law that gun manufacturers cannot be sued for the damage inflicted on the innocent with their heavily marketed product.
For those of you who hold true that is it your constitutional right to own guns…
The only reason millions of people are calling for regulations is because gun ownership has been abused daily in the most heinous of ways. Simple logic dictates that your anger should be aimed at the mass shooters, the people who have abused the right of owning a gun, which in turn impacts your right to own a gun, not the people calling for regulations. Logic further dictates that as responsible gun owners you would join hands with those saying enough is enough and actively engage in the creation of a sane gun policy.
In closing, as per the argument, “Guns don’t kill people, people do.” We agree with Eddie Izard. “Guns help.”
Secretary – Kitchen Table Caucus
Live loud, love fierce, and suffer no fools.
We thank Bess Kalb for the following. The link to the original is at the end of the figures.
Senator Marco Rubio - $3,303,355
Senator Cory Gardner - $3,879,064.00
Senator Rob Portman - $3,061,941.00
Senator Bill Cassidy $2,861,047.00
Senator Thom Tillis $4,418,012.00
Congressman Ken Buck $800,544
Senator Joni Ernst 3,124,273
In the 2015-2016 election cycle alone, GOP candidates took $17,385,437 from the NRA. This is NOT counting the $21 million given to President Trump.
art by Nancy Spero - G.L.O.R.Y
Before we begin to today's piece please be advised that over 3/4's of us are veteran's daughters. We hold true that if a young man or woman nobly chooses to die for their country, then they deserve reasons other than profit, greed, and power, to fight for, and leaders of impeccable character. Also, though half of us are pagan, the other half are staunchly Christian, and we're quite sure Jesus and God do not approve of what is being done in their names. So if the above photo offends you, move on. There are plenty of pages and people writing who will agree with you. We are not one of them. The Kitchen Table Caucus is composed of women 60 and older, who have been activists and friends since the early 70's. Though Katherine aims to corral us weekly for our latest opinions, we are not an organized group.
The Kitchen Table Caucus
The Kitchen Table Caucus has been talking a lot about the T.V. coverage of Vietnam. Every night the war was on the news. Every night in our living rooms, we saw dead bodies and dismembered soldiers, and body bags and burials. Every night we witnessed the atrocities and results of war close-up. It was either Nixon or Johnson who said t.v. coverage of the war was what ended the war because it turned the public against the war. A lesson learned by future warmongers and when Bush declared war against Iraq, reporters were embedded. We, the public, saw nothing like what we saw in Vietnam. The war barely registered unless you were military or your children were serving. The only difference was that now returning vets were honored at political and cultural events, and thanked profusely for their service, instead of being spat at and called baby killers.
Trump bombed Syria and was applauded. It was the “morally correct,” thing to do given the fact that Syria had bombed innocent children with chemical bombs. We’ll show you who’s boss! This is what happens when you bomb children! We, of the Kitchen Table Caucus, are all for morally correct. What we oppose with every fiber of our beings is the illusion of morally correct, and its cynical application by those in positions of structural power to further the financial aims of rapacious capitalism. What we oppose with every fiber of our beings is an act of destruction that will have little if any impact on the war in Syria; a conflict that began with peaceful protests against the government and devolved into a proxy war between Russia and Iran and the U.S. and her allies. Part religious, part civil, all sides are being played against the other to serve the financial interests of the larger countries involved. 400,000 people have died in Syria and over half the population have been displaced. The idea that bombing a runway would have any impact on the clusterf**k that is Syria, or stop the chemical bombing of her citizens, is a flat out lie. Which brings us to Afghanistan and the mother of all bombs.
As per the news this morning the mother of all bombs killed 36 Isil fighters. 36 you say? Other than being remarkably skeptical of where the figure came from, and how it was decided upon, the idea that the mother of all bombs only killed 36 people is somewhat confusing. Wouldn’t a bomb that big kill at least 100 people? Maybe 200? Someone no doubt is going to write and tell us that the bomb was purposely targeted away from populated areas. Someone else will write and say, they weren’t aiming for Isil fighters, they were aiming for the tunnels where Isil hangs out. The Kitchen Table Caucus isn’t buying it. We think the main reason the mother of all bombs was dropped was to show Isil the U.S. means business and don’t f**k with us, rationale so beyond stupid it takes our breath away. If terrorists were afraid of our bombs and military might there wouldn’t be terrorism. Someone will no doubt write and say that we just haven’t bombed enough. Check please. Bombing for peace is like f**king for virginity.
A right wing woman with whom we are acquainted, let’s call her Bitsy, told Lenore, when they were thumping cantaloupes for ripeness at Hannaford’s, that the mother of all bombs was dropped to send North Korea a message — We’re not afraid to go to war. Bomb us and we’ll bomb you back even harder.
“But I am afraid of going to war,” Lenore said.
“What’s wrong with you?” Bitsy asked. “We’re America. War will show the world just how powerful we are.”
“No, it won’t,” Lenore said quietly. "This is boys playing king of the mountain, only the stakes are the planet and the young men and women who will be used as weapons and sacrificed for corporate profit. Tell me Bits, are you sending your grandchild?" Bitsy backed away. Lenore is not a chatty person and always packing because a rabid skunk attacked her favorite goat. She promptly got a gun and learned to shoot and now she wins all the shooting contests at the county fair.
That Bitsy backed away made us laugh, but it didn’t stop the awful sinking feeling that starts up every morning when we turn on our computers and read the latest. The world that held us has cracked wide open and as for the people....most want simple answers to complicated questions. Fix it, make it like it once was, and the corporate narrative is only too willing to oblige.
"The bombs were beautiful." "Trump became president." "Morally we had to do something." "Making America great again!"
But you can’t make anything like it once was because it denies what is and what is, is an economic system so rapacious it has destroyed the economy, the environment, and a genuine morality that knows neither religion nor country. People feel powerless and when people feel powerless they don’t feel safe and when they don’t feel safe they will do anything, believe anything, that makes them feel safe and protected. Like the beaten wife who refuses to leave her abuser, it doesn’t matter if that protection runs completely counter to reality. Trump is but a symptom; the body is patriarchy, the right hand is war, the left hand is capitalism, and the feet are firmly planted in religion.
Live loud, love fierce, and suffer no fools.
Secretary – The Kitchen Table Caucus
“Democrats alone lack the votes needed to block any of Trump’s nominees from taking office — and there are no signs of Republican opposition to any of his picks. In fact, Republicans lashed out at Democrats for what they described as partisan, obstructionist moves.”
“It is time to get over the fact that they lost the election,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said. “The president is entitled to have his Cabinet appointments considered. None of this is going to lead to a different outcome.”
The Kitchen Table Caucus just wanted to clarify a few things for you because clearly you’re confused. The democratic's opposition to Trump’s cabinet nominees is not about sour grapes over having lost the election. It’s a wonderful sound byte, but it’s a big lie. And really, obstructionist moves? After what you and the rest of the Republicans did to Obama? Seriously?
We wanted to make sure you understood that the democrats are against Trump’s appointments because the appointees are either inept and/or serving an alt right wing agenda, and/or don't believe in the office or the department they've been tapped to head, and/or a combination of all of the above. When we of the Kitchen Table Caucus say alt right wing agenda, we mean policies dedicated to eviscerating a woman’s reproductive freedom, destroying the environment, and rendering civil rights null and void. That you get away with this under the guise of religious freedom, creating jobs, and protecting the country and her citizens, boggles the mind and is further testament to the education policies you support, and the utter brilliance of your P.R. machine.
We (the Kitchen Table Caucus) are a group of women, 60 years and over. We love our coffee, live hand to mouth, and had no idea we would be spending the last chapter of our lives fighting for truth and justice. Unfortunately Mitchell, there's no doubt that you are blind with greed, addiction to power, and have lost your way. In order to help you find your way, we thought we’d remind you that the purpose of government is to protect the individual rights of its citizens. Surely you remember learning this in history class, along with, "government is necessary to ensure the proper use of force.” We do, and we're not that much younger than you,
Right use of force to protect the individual rights of its citizens. I tell you we got chills imagining what could happen if the power of government was used to benefit her people. It was like the 70's all over, when we were going to save the world, and when the whole point of an education was to help others. That’s when Mary B. intoned, “Promotion of the general welfare of the citizens and securing liberty for all," The constitution Mitchell. Remember the constitution? That piece of parchment that you and yours are completely ignoring? Edna G. likes to think that maybe your brain was wiped, and the brains of all the Republicans were wiped, by reptilian forces and y’all were reprogrammed to use government might to protect oil companies, big business, Wall Street, and the 1%. Stranger things, you know?
We want you to pass the following onto your boss, that poorly brought up republican who thinks speaking with constituents is “a f**king waste of my time,” and the rest of your party locking their doors and turning their phones off in order to avoid the opinions of the people they represent. Intrinsic to democracy is the participation of her people in the direction and operation of its political systems. Some of the elected Democrats (not all because of the weenie factor) are standing firm against the horror show of Trump’s nominees, because the people who elected them have demanded they do just that. Ergo, the people calling and marching and resisting are participating in democracy! What a concept, huh? They are democracy in action! They are everything the founding fathers and mothers fought and died for.
You’re probably right when you say, it doesn’t matter what they do. The Republicans have the majority; you can do pretty much anything you want, and yes, we can slow you down, but that’s about it, unless members of your party wake up and realize that what they are in fact supporting is the overthrow of democracy and the institution of a military cult. This is not sour grapes Mitchell, and you know it; you’re lying to cover up the coup. Those opposing the coup — elected officials and a rainbow coalition of human beings — are growing in number. We are America at her most beautiful. We will not be silent. We will not bend to your will and your ways and the evil you are unleashing on our beloved country. Her-story is recording.
The Kitchen Table Caucus
Katherine Manaan — Secretary
Art - Installation of Memory by Nancy Spero
When I read this morning that Trump has vowed to make Paul Ryan’s economic budget a reality, I did not spit my coffee because I wasn’t surprised, but the horror with which I’ve lived since the election deepened. The GOP is about to impose austerity measures on the United States, and every program that is meant to help human beings will be gutted. The level of income inequality with which we live is about to quadruple. I often wonder what the end game is. Is it a return to the feudal system where we live by the leave and the largesse of the super rich?
One of the things I detest the most about 24 hour news cycle is important stories, stories that thematically still resonate just as strongly today, get lost. In early June of 2012, American Catholic Nuns got on a bus, and traveled the United States speaking out against Paul Ryan’s proposed budget cuts for the poor. As per Sister Simone Campbell, in an excellent NPR interview with Michel Martin:
“If Congressman Ryan hadn’t mentioned his faith, I don’t know if we would come up with this idea, but the fact that he was claiming – it’s an outrageous claim in my view that the Catholic faith, that is all about serving the poor, validates his budget, which does nothing but decimate services to the poor, provides further tax cuts for the wealthy and then he claims that this is going to help balance our budget when it actually makes it worse. That combination of misstatements was an outrage to us and we thought, we need to illustrate the problem because people outside the beltway don’t know. We thought the best way to bring an education to our nation about what’s happening here in Washington is if we went on the road and lifted up their work and the consequences they would face if this Republican House budget goes through.”
Roman Catholic Religious sister, lawyer, and lobbyist, Sister Simone Campbell is the executive director of Network, a Catholic social justice lobby, founded by Catholic sisters in 1971. The organization was singled out by the Vatican and the previous pope in its scathing critique of The Leadership Conference of Women Religious for keeping “silent on the right to life.” Sister Simone, who made it very clear that she and the rest of Network’s managing staff were not even consulted during the Vatican’s inquiry, stated that Network’s focus, in keeping with the mission of the founding sisters, was poverty, immigration, and health care.
“I think we scare them,” she has said of the church’s male hierarchy. “It’s painfully obvious that the leadership of the church is not used to having educated women form thoughtful opinions and engage in dialogue. Our work every day is in the streets, in the neighborhoods, with families, in a classroom, in a hospital with people who are dying or seriously ill. So our work takes us to the people. Their work takes them to protecting the institution. If you protect the institution, that’s going to give you one set of views. If you work with the people in a pastoral setting and you’re with anguish and struggle and joy and hope every day, then the gospel reads differently to us. And, historically, Catholic sisters have always been a thorn in the bishop’s side because we’ve also been on the edge. We’ve always been with folks who are suffering.”
I have real issues with organized religion. I was raised Christian and went to all girl Christian schools from the 5th grade through my second year of college, so I am intimate with the teachings of Christianity. Sister Simone Campbell and Network are a living embodiment of what I think of as the best of Christianity. Like the church leaders of Moral Mondays in North Carolina, they are applying their faith to politics, to lift up and help humanity, rather than control the masses and bend them to their will.
Someone is no doubt going to write me about the church's stance on abortion. Sister Simone's position on abortion: ....."women choose abortion often, or most often, because they don’t have economic options. And I think the shock of our nation is that we claim to be pro—some claim to be pro-life, but they’re really only pro-birth. They don’t do what’s necessary to support women in carrying a baby to term, in providing paid child—paid family leave, in providing maternity leave or, you know, parental leave, providing reasonable-cost child care. I mean, the litany goes on and on. If we were really serious about being pro-life, we wouldn’t look just at birth. From my perspective, I don’t think it’s a good policy to outlaw abortion. I think, rather, let’s focus on economic development for women and economic opportunity. "
Nuance and intelligence have not left the building.
Live loud, love fierce, and suffer no fools, Katherine Manaan (MAWT)
Social injustice is rooted in economics. In order to effectively fight for social justice, you need to understand how capitalism works. What I know about economics and capitalism is a result of life experience and Econ 101A, a class I had to take in college back in the 70’s to fulfill a liberal arts requirement. I always aced the multiple guess exams because like most college students at that time I did a lot of speed, stayed up all night, memorized everything, and then regurgitated it the next day. This fucked up the grading curve upsetting the boys majoring in business who would mutter amongst themselves and glare balefully at me in the dining hall. Not that I cared, I was too busy cramming for the next exam so I could keep my grades up and my mother wouldn’t kill me.
The fact that I remember anything from Econ 101A is not so much a minor miracle as it is the product of a selective and photographic memory. Ideas held vibration for me, if it held suspended in air, it was a clue and I was always looking for clues even though I wasn’t sure of the puzzle or the mystery I was trying to solve. The point was I knew I was in the process of solving something and that process was important, more important than the result. This has been a life long theme and is probably why I live on the lower end of the economic spectrum.
What I was taught: Capitalism is an economic system based on private ownership; the means of production, distribution, and exchange of wealth is controlled by private individuals and corporations. Since this has never made any sense to me I decided to do what I always do when I don’t understand something; I draw it, do a lot of research, and then I attempt to translate the language of the ‘thing,’ into look-Spot-see-Jane-run simplicity. As most of the women I know, young, middle-aged and old, don’t have a clue how capitalism works and has worked over the years, they’re curious but too embarrassed to ask questions for fear of appearing dumb, I decided to share my drawing and discoveries. It works quite well as a blueprint and should answer any questions you might have; questions, given the state of things, it’s probably a good idea to be asking.
First I drew a stick figure and wrote owner, then I drew a square and wrote factory, then I drew a bunch of little stick figures inside the factory and wrote workers. Someone has to loan the owner money to buy the stuff for the workers to use to make a product; that would be a bank or investors. I drew two more squares and labeled them accordingly. Both bank and investors expect a return on their money, meaning they expect to make more money than the money they’ve invested, this is called profit. The owner of the company also expects to make a profit. The workers just expect to make a living wage
The workers get to work making (manufacturing) let’s say, mascara. (Just so you know a company that makes something is called a manufacturer.) To make the mascara the workers use ingredients bought and paid for by the owner of the company with the monies from the bank and/or investors. I drew another square and wrote ‘ingredient company,’ and drew little workers inside. The ingredient company actually competes with other ingredient companies who also want to sell their ingredients to the mascara company. More squares, more workers. It’s a level playing field, meaning everybody has the opportunity to compete for the job and to set a competitive price for the job. The owner of the mascara company chooses the company that offers him the best service, quality, and price, and promises to employ his wife’s errant nephew. The losing companies go off in search of another mascara company that might need their ingredients.
The mascara workers are paid wages, also know as income, for their efforts, also known as work or a job, and their efforts begat many, many tubes of mascara. Now the product, the mascara, has to be sold to a store, which will actually sell it to the consumer; namely you and me. This is the job of the company sales force; it also has to be packaged and shipped to the store that buys it. Three more squares filled with stick workers. To determine the cost of the mascara to the retailer, that would be the store or company that is actually going to sell the mascara to the customer, namely you and me, the cost of the ingredients, the workers salaries, the cost of packaging, the cost of shipping, and factory operating costs, must be added together. Then that figure is doubled or doubled and a half, or tripled, so the owners, banks, and investors can cover the costs of manufacturing the mascara and make a profit. This figure is called the wholesale price. Then the retailers, the store where you’re going to buy the mascara, will double, or double and a half, or triple the wholesale price and come up with yet another figure, the one you’re going to pay for the mascara, which will cover their costs and make them a profit. Like the manufacturers retailers also have bank loans and investors who expect to a return on their money, to make a profit. I’m sensing a pattern here. The workers just expect to make a living wage.
The people who buy the product from the retailer are the workers. In order for capitalism to work the workers have to use their wages, also called income, to buy. There can be no profit for any manufacturer, retailer, bank, owner, or investor period unless the workers are using their income to buy. This is why credit cards came into being so workers could pay for the products they were buying with money they didn’t actually have but would have further down the road. Credit cards meant more purchases; more purchases, more profit. Credit isn’t free, it has interest, meaning you pay the credit card company real money to use their fake money. Because of interest you are actually paying more money for a product than its actual price. This is how the credit card company makes a profit. Credit card companies and banks are in cahoots with each other because banks extend credit to credit card companies and the credit card companies pay them interest for the favor. Banks are institutions where workers deposit their wages in checking accounts; the banks then use that money to lend and invest and make more profit. That banks change workers for the privilege of using their money makes no sense at all and is one of the myriad reasons I don’t like banks.
Now, since the owners and retailer’s profit depends on the purchasing of product by the worker, it’s very important that the product render itself obsolete after a period of time so that it can be replaced by a new and better product(s). This is why it’s important not to build anything that actually lasts because you will either destroy or slow down your profits. This is called planned obsolescence. Planned obsolescence is behind the advertising concept that newer is better. New coke comes to mind. If you’re under fifty-five and don’t remember new coke you should look it up.
Looking at the blueprint it is patently obvious that capitalism is a profit driven system and that every square’s survival is dependent on the survival of the other square. One person’s income, one person’s work, really is dependent on the existence of the other, which is actually kind of cool and pragmatic proof of the spiritual axiom that we are all interconnected. The other thing that is patently obvious is the ability to compete is the key to success. Enter the Economic Expert who looks an awful lot like Snidely Whiplash. He takes one look at my blueprint and says, we can make way more money if we knock out three quarters of these squares and then put the rest in one big square. But then the people won’t have any work Mr. Economic Expert, I say in my best Nell voice. How will they pay the rent? How will they eat? How will they feed and clothe their families?
From the beginning corporations were big fat greedy bullies, hence the name ‘fat cat.’ The late 1800’s and early 1900’s come to mind. I actually remember this from high school because it was one of those things that held vibration, that held suspended. What the corporations, also called monopolies or ‘trusts,’ decided to do was take over and control various industries. Let’s use the mascara factory as an example of how this works. For a corporation to take over and control an industry first they have to buy up all the factories of a particular product, in this case mascara. Once they own all the mascara factories they can set the price they want to pay for the ingredients because they’re the only ones buying the ingredients. So much for competition and a level playing field. The only mascara ingredient company that can survive is the one that accepts the ridiculously price set by the corporation so all the rest of the ingredient companies go out of business. Since the price set for mascara ingredients will be quite low, in order to keep costs down and make more profit, the ingredient company has to lay off workers just to break even. Eventually the ingredient company will either be forced into bankruptcy or have to sell the business. The mascara corporation then buys the ingredient business for next to nothing. Now they’re the only manufacturer of mascara and they own the only business and the source, which provides the ingredients. They literally pay themselves for what they buy from themselves and in so doing invest in themselves and make even more profit. Now you know why corporations were called monopolies because they monopolized every aspect of a business. Again, when you monopolize every aspect of a business, you can set the price.
Working conditions for factory workers during the 1800’s and early 1900’s were so horrible they trump the sweatshops it’s so politically correct to rail against today. The 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire comes to mind where the workers, all women, couldn’t escape when fire broke out because the managers had locked the doors to the stairwell and exits to keep the workers from leaving early. The factory was on the eleventh floor; the women either burned or jumped to their death. Upton Sinclair’s book, ‘The Jungle,’ held page after page of the horrors of Chicago’s stockyards. He wrote that dead rats were routinely shoveled into sausage grinding machines, inspectors looked the other way when diseased cows were slaughtered for steak, and filth and guts were swept off the floor and sold as potted ham. The American people were as horrified by corporate factory conditions as they were by the fact that merging corporations becoming monopolies were quite literally eradicating millions of jobs and small businesses. (Think of the squares and the workers in the squares, think of the economic expert wiping ¾’s of them out.) Small businesses were the backbone of American life; nothing was more representative of the American entrepreneurial spirit than small business, that’s why all of Europe was immigrating here. As for the factory conditions, it was everything America was NOT about. “Give us your tired your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free.” Muckrakers, like Upton Sinclair, raised the indignant hue and righteous cry and the Progressive movement and unions were born.
The government stepped forward and wrote new regulatory legislature that established regulations that broke up the monopolies and the first health hygiene standards for industry. The unions guaranteed safe working conditions and a living wage for the worker. In other words the government put regulations into place to protect workers, consumers, and small business; laws that guaranteed a level playing field, meaning the ability to compete, and that we weren’t buying potted ham that was actually shit from the slaughterhouse floor mixed with a touch of entrails. Unions would be the tool for enforcing the regulations. Just so you know muckrakers were the Progressive movement’s Woodward and Bernstein. If you are under fifty and don’t know who Woodward and Bernstein are, I suggest you look them up, that, and definitely “give us your tired, your poor.”
Corporations have been steadily, systematically, and successfully working to destroy unions and undo the regulations that broke up monopolies since they were passed. People who support this way of thinking are called, Republicans. They are also called the 1%. Not that there aren’t poor people and blue color workers who are Republicans, there are, that’s the surefire success that comes with slashing funds for education. In June, 2010, the Republican owned Supreme Court Supreme Court ruled that a corporation is a person and can give as much money as they want, to their chosen candidate. Thus the candidate is beholden to the corporation for backing his campaign—the candidate is in the corporation’s pocket. Keeping in mind that we live in a capitalist society and the point of investing money is profit, corporations backing certain candidates are going to expect a return on their investment. So if you’re wondering why humane social policy, women’s reproductive freedom, and environmental and agricultural laws are being eviscerated and right wing religion is making a remarkably influential reappearance, simply follow the money.
Big government has been spun to stand for whiners, welfare cheats, illegal immigrants, bleeding heart liberals, and tree huggers; small government has been spun to stand for the America of old, when an honest days work brought an honest days pay. The reality is in the American of old an honest days work did not get you an honest day’s pay until the government stepped in and established regulations to curb the profit driven greed of the fat cats, that would be the founders and creators of corporations/monopolies, and the unions stepped in to guarantee the American worker a living wage and safe working conditions.
There is no good reason for the people to be serving, to be on their knees, to the economy. The economy is man-made; it can be unmade and re-done to serve the people. At this point in time an economy based on sustainability, rather than fossil fuels, is the obvious beginning. The narrative though, continues to be controlled by fossil fuels, and the thrust of that narrative is that we the people can either have a healthy environment or jobs. That is the argument you see on T.V., among the talking heads, and it's called colluding. As long as the people don't know how capitalism works, the lies will win.
Live loud, love fierce, and suffer no fools.
Katherine Manaan MAWT
As a Bernie supporter, I was quite clear that if Bernie didn't win the nomination I would vote for Clinton. After I saw the first version of the DNC platform, I said there was no way I would vote for Clinton, if the platform remained as written. I don't think I've ever gotten so many emails and comments. Bernie supporters loved me — "I can't vote for her either!" — and Clinton supporters reviled me — "You are handing the election to Trump and pissing on all the women who fought and died for our right to vote!" The sane and rational discourse my the MAWT fb page was famous for took a nose dive.
In my rebuttal I wrote that the idea that a 63 year old woman with virtually no structural power, held more sway over the way people voted, than the DNC, was ludicrous. "That's it, blame it the DNC for your irresponsible choices," somebody wrote. Oh for heaven's sakes, I wasn't blaming the DNC, but I was holding the DNC responsible for the sleigh of hand. Theoretically, when Clinton made the unprecedented move of allowing Sanders five representatives on the platform committee, it was to unify the party. Theoretically, when Clinton made the unprecedented move of allowing Sanders five representatives on the platform committee, support for progressive issues would be included in the platform. Yet, Clinton's and Wasserman-Schultz's representatives rejected every single recommendation by the Sanders people, including. but not limited to, anything that had to do with climate change. When Cornell West said, "Morally, I can't vote for this," I was with him.
Clearly, I was not the only one who had issues with the first platform. After it was made public, headlines on lefty news pages screamed, "Progressives Thrown Under the Bus!"and the DNC received 90,000 petitions demanding the inclusion of climate change. In the next remarkably contentious committee meeting, the Sander's people fought tooth and nail to get progressive issues into the platform. They didn't win much, but what they did win is notable; namely amendments that supported pricing greenhouse gases, prioritized renewable energy, and limited fracking. Prioritizing renewable energy is a first in America, so this is huge, and humanity is forever in Josh Fox's and Bill McKibben's debt.
The platform was immediately and proudly spun as the most progressive in history. Fast forward to the convention and I am watching Hillary's acceptance speech. "WE wrote the platform together," she said, "now let's get it done!" The crowd went wild, clapping and cheering and carrying on. "But, but, but," my brain sputtered, this wasn't a "we" thing. The only reason anything progressive was even in the platform was because of how hard the Sander's people fought. Hillary was taking all the credit for all the work the Sander's people did, when her representatives fought every one of their recommendations. The Clinton campaign stole ideas from the Sanders campaign throughout the entire primary season but this was so blatant my brain snapped.
Still, knowing everything I knew, I cried like a baby watching the convention, because I was so deeply moved. I cried as I witnessed the fervent hopes and dreams in the eyes of everyday people. I cried that there was finally a woman candidate for president in my lifetime. I cried when Michelle spoke, I cried when Chelsea introduced her mother. And afterwards as I got ready for bed I remember thinking, "Wow, if I didn't know anything about politics or the machinations of the political machine I'd be a believer." I'd been shamelessly manipulated and I knew it, but shameless manipulation is the point of conventions — rah, rah America! And after watching both conventions it was pretty damn clear that one America is white, and the other is a melting pot of every color and both the Republicans and Democrats are using the people to their benefit so the 1% can continue to do what it has always done. Make a lot of noise over here by setting the people against each other, so you can do what you want over there.
Bernie's unwavering focus on economics and the dire need for economic change had the 1% shaking in its shoes, which is why the the DNC rigged the election for Hillary, and liberal elite came out for Clinton as early as they did. I respect Bernie and I'm pretty fucking tired of people saying oh he folded, he gave into his overlords. Bullshit. Bernie knew exactly what he was doing. He stayed in the race as long as he did to to get progressive issues into the platform. That would be the platform that Hillary said we wrote together. That would be the platform that prioritized alternative energy. I think he was absolutely right to endorse Clinton, because there is no question that a Trump presidency would be the worse thing that could happen to this country. I thought Bernie's endorsement of Clinton at the convention was pure genius. Everything he said she stood for was something he stood for. He set her up brilliantly. Politics is a game of quid pro quo; Clinton not only owes Sanders, she owes Warren, big time.
I don't think Hillary is the anti-christ, and I never have. If you take the time to do the research, you will see that she has one of the better progressive track records in recent history. Yes, she's a politician, no worse than some and worse than others, playing the political game like all politicians do. Someone said to me, you're voting for her because she's the lesser of two evils. Maybe yes, maybe no, but I'd rather deal with the devil I know, and work for progressive control of the Senate and the House, than some crazy man incapable of rational dialogue or thought, who gets his kicks stalking a middle-aged-woman around the stage and spewing abuse. He reminds me a great deal of my ex-husband when we were going through our divorce some 30 years ago.
My ex-husband was more interested in destroying me than hammering out the details of the divorce that would keep our four-year-old son free and clear of as much hurt as possible. I got so caught up in protecting and defending myself against his lies and innuendo, I missed the facts; namely, I had certain legal rights that all the character assassination and horrific behavior in the world couldn't change. Hillary never lost her grasp of the facts, of the details, of the issues being discussed during the debate, in spite of the terrifying stalker behind her, huffing and puffing nasty asides and interruptions. She did not engage his abuse; rather she kept the focus on the debate and the issues, and my respect for her knew no bounds; as much as when she went to bat for Richard Holbrooke.
Trump is a mouthpiece for the enraged; those who see the world as black and white, don't understand what happened to the "American Way," and are quick to blame the "other," for what's wrong. Trump can't beat Clinton with rational, intelligent discourse, he doesn't have the mind for it or the temperament, so all he has left are the tools of the bully — stalking, character assassination, and snide asides. Sound bytes for the terrified, intent on terrorizing others to make themselves feel safe. Trump is accusing a sole woman of being responsible for every ill that plagues this country and the world. He and his followers and a goodly number of Sanders followers are blaming Hillary for the downward spiral that American has been locked into as global corporations have taken control over every aspect of our lives. In other words they are accusing her and holding her responsible for man's downfall from paradise. As if the rules God set up had nothing to do with it.
Live loud, love fierce, and suffer no fools. Katherine Manaan MAWT
I originally posted this piece April 27th 2013. It was my response to facebook after they banned me for posting the above photo. As of yesterday Cheryl Sandberg said..."Facebook will learn from a mistake it made by deleting a historic Vietnam war photo of a naked girl fleeing a napalm attack after the photograph was removed from several accounts on Friday, including that of the Norwegian prime minister, Erna Solberg, on the grounds that it violated Facebook’s restrictions on nudity. It was reinstated after Solberg accused Facebook of censorship and of editing history."
"Phan Thị Kim Phúc, O.Ont (born 1963) is a Vietnamese-Canadian best known as the child depicted in the Pulitzer Prize–winning photograph taken during the Vietnam War on June 8, 1972. The iconic photo taken in Trang Bang by AP photographer Nick Ut shows her at about nine years of age running naked on a road after being severely burned on her back by a South Vietnamese napalm attack." From wikipedia
“Kim Phuc Phan Thi aka Phan Thi Kim Phuc was designated UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador in 1994. Ever since, she has dedicated her life to promoting peace, and to this end she founded the Kim Foundation International. This foundation helps children who are victims of war by providing medical and psychological support in order that they overcome their traumatic experiences.”
During the Viet Nam War this Pulitzer winning photograph, that does not meet fb community standards, was published by every major newspaper and reputable magazine in the United States. I posted the shot alongside another photo of who the woman Kim Phuc Phan Thi is today. A mother, unashamed of her napalm scars, who has transformed her experience into helping other children who are victims of war.
That rape culture pages continue to meet fb’s community standards, and a Pulitzer Prize winning photo, an after photo, and an accompanying story of hope and courage does not, is an intellectual and moral embarrassment and indicative of the intrinsic misogyny of facebook and the utter vacuousness of the people you hire.
Please be advised I am not letting this go.
Good luck with the pipeline and drilling the arctic.
Sincerely, Katherine Manaan - Middle Aged Woman Talking
c.c. Sheryl Sandberg - Please Lean In
Posted 27th April 2013
As the battle continues to rage between Anti-Jerk and Pro-Jerk factions, three Male Masturbation clinics closed today, victims of the latest legislation that is slowly but surely eroding the legal right for men to masturbate.
Anti-Jerks hold true that life begins at erection and masturbation is nothing short of murder. Pro-Jerks don’t think it’s any of the government’s (or anybody else’s) business what they do with their penis. Male masturbation is still not against the law but, because of the remarkably well- organized Anti-Jerks for Jesus, and the fundraising prowess of Tim Tebow, state legislatures are slowly but surely eroding the right.
As per the latest ruling, men have to undergo a ball cup and cough by two different doctors to determine if they’re healthy enough for ejaculation. The wait for results can take up to two weeks. Florida has new legislation on the books that requires not just the ball cup and cough but an anal probe. As Florida goes so goes Ohio, Georgia, Alabama, and Texas.
Earlier this year the Supreme Court did away with buffer zones around masturbation clinics. The Supreme Court’s latest ruling has absolved men in the 1% from all anti-masturbation legislation
"Where is the outrage?” Bill Beilfan, President of Pro-Jerk America, asks in his latest change.org video. Beilfan will be debating David Karolu, President of Anti-Jerks For Jesus this Sunday on Fox News.
Live loud, love fierce, and suffer no fools. Katherine Manaan MAWT
1st posted 7/15/14
Art by AnthonyRB1
Since the beginning I have been a Bernie supporter; since the beginning I have said I will vote for Hillary if he doesn’t get the nomination. I was so genuinely appalled by the democratic platform I came out and said I can't support Clinton. I knew I was going to lose a lot of readers and I did. I was thoroughly excoriated, my life and physical being threatened, and repeatedly told that if Trump won I was responsible. That a 63 year old woman with virtually no structural power, has more impact on how people vote than the DNC, is ludicrous. What is being said is my position carries more weight than the Democratic elite crafting a platform that is 98% in support of the corporacracy and 2% supportive ($15 minimum wage and a re-enactment of Glass-Steagall) of the people. I seriously doubt Glass-Steagall will have any teeth at all and the $15 minimum wage is not tied to cost of living increases.
The point is this: if Clinton lost my vote because of the platform, then she is going to loose a lot of votes, because I am not terminally unique. I am one of the last holdouts. If she wants my vote than the platform is going to have to change. If she wants my vote I need to see climate change seriously addressed; especially fracking.
Clinton is being given carte blanche because of the very real fear of a Trump presidency. I am accused of being an extortionist because I strongly believe there should be a moratorium on fracking, because I think we should try and stop the TPP, and because I believe in single-payer health care for all. I am accused of being an extortionist for believing that expanding social security should be included in the platform. As I have been repeatedly informed today the political process is a process of negotiation, but as per quite the vast majority of comments on the thread, unless I accept things as they are, vote for things the way they are, it will hand the presidency to Trump. So I am to shut the fuck up and accept my very limited choices. Choices that aren’t perfect but hey you can’t always get what you want. No shit Sherlock but we can do a helluva lot better than this and I am tired of colluding with crumbs from the table. The Liberal Elite has no intention of changing economic policy but we will be tossed some social justice and we're supposed to ooh and awww and isn't this great. I've been fighting for social justice since the 70's, and the more economics has taken over, the less social justice we have. Citizens United was the final nail in the coffin.
I seriously doubt Bill McKibben and Josh Fox are going to quit fighting for the climate and I'm pretty sure they will get something about climate change into the Democratic platform when the Committee meets in Orlando. Clinton will instruct her surrogates to make the much needed concessions to win back the votes she has lost with the first platform. As for the rage, vitriol, and death threats I have received today, you would be better served aiming it at those in power writing policies that are destroying humanity. You would be better served taking that energy and working at the state level to elect progressive candidates.
Live loud, love fierce, and suffer no fools. Katherine Manaan MAWT
I look to unity. Always have. I am 63 years old and make a living as a healer. I am a pagan high priestess, an activist, and I have committed my life to raising consciousness and building bridges between opposing factions and people. Yesterday, I spent several hours trying to come up with ways to bridge the divide between Sanders and Clinton supporters. Surely, there had to be something we could all agree upon. I’ve made no secret of the fact that I am Sanders supporter, I’ve made no secret of the fact that if Sanders didn’t win the nomination, I would vote for Clinton because to not vote for Clinton was a vote for a Trump and the idea of a Trump presidency scared me to death. All that changed for me last night.
Given the fact that the Sanders campaign has forced Hillary to the left, and that she desperately needs the progressive vote in order to win the election, Clinton made the unprecedented move of allowing Sanders to appoint five people to the democratic platform committee. Even though I knew giving Bernie five choices would leave Clinton with six choices, and the dreadful Debbie Wasserman Schultz with four, in my mind, I honestly thought that progressive issues would be decently represented in the democratic platform. How else did Clinton intend to win the election? How else did Clinton intend to get the progressive vote she so desperately needed? My friend Rosanne looked at me with a gimlet eye, as if to say, “After 40 years of political activism and you’re still this naive?”
Proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that big pharma, fossil fuel, and defense contractors control the Democratic Party and that Hillary is their anointed one, Clinton and Wasserman’s representatives voted down a moratorium on fracking, a carbon tax, single payer health care, and stopping the Palestinian occupation. Proposals to defeat the TPP were also voted down even though Clinton has repeatedly come out against the trade agreement, (an agreement she helped to craft) during her campaign. Then again the TPP is Obama’s baby, he’s been pushing the TPP since he’s been in office, and this is obviously some kind of concession to him so that she has his continued support.
What did make it into the platform is what I call peripherally progressive and does virtually nothing to impact the ever growing economic divide in this country, social injustice, and climate change: A $15 minimum wage —not tied to cost of living increases, abolishing the death penalty, and the passage of a modern day Glass Steagall-Act to break up the big banks. Just so you know the passage of the TPP will render the new Glass-Steagall null and void. Furthermore given Hillary’s ties to Wall Street, I seriously doubt the new act will have any teeth whatsoever. As for the $15 minimum wage, it's better than a poke in the head with a sharp stick, but it certainly won't impact the very real lack of economic parity and gainful employment in the United States.
I was so upset about what did not get into the platform I was up pacing for most of the night worrying for grandchildren not yet born, for children being born, for the planet, for the tribe of humanity. Someone once told me my achilles heel was the fact that I cared. I will continue to care because if I don't then Big Brother and Big Sister win and that is unacceptable to me. I think it took tremendous courage for Cornel West, one of Sander's five choices, to abstain from the final vote on the completed platform. The words of his statement that resonated the most with me: “I have to abstain. I have no other moral option.”
That is exactly how I feel. At this moment, I have to abstain from voting for Hillary Clinton. I have no other moral option. I cannot support measures that are spun as reasonable compromise that are no compromise at all. I cannot support a platform written for the benefit of the corporation that virtually ignores every issue that is destroying my beloved country and humanity. I am a unifier but there is nothing here to unify. The price, colluding with our own oppression by accepting crumbs from the table, is too high.
Sanders and his followers have been repeatedly spun as sore losers and delusional, because they will not roll over and play dead, like Gore did after the election was stolen from him in Florida. Though in his latest interview Sanders said he would vote for Clinton in order to beat Trump, he has point blank refused to endorse her. He is taking his political revolution to the convention and he has the power, the delegates, and the backing of millions of people to do it. This is in Hillary’s court now; if she wants to win she is going to have to do a lot more than pay lip service to the progressive movement. She is going to have to take a stand and commit to real policy change.
Live loud, love fierce, and suffer no fools. Katherine Manaan MAWT
Lefty, feminist, progressive, pro-choice, pro-humanity, pro-environment, anti-corporation, resister.....