June 2017
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Stephanie C. Fox


Controversies by QueenBeeEdit

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Blog Posts – Stephanie C. Fox on Law, Politics, Women, and More

Welcome to the blog of QueenBeeEdit!

This blog discusses the issues that are dealt with in my books:

Women’s issues and feminism, politics, ecosystems collapse, human overpopulation, history/herstory, Asperger’s/autism and Aspie voices, banksters and hedge fundsters and their role in economic meltdowns, people in fiction, Hawai‘i, Kuwait and other nations in the Middle East, cats, and travel.

This blog discusses all of the issues that my books deal with and more.

Controversial issues and statements will not be avoided. They are what makes life interesting and worth pondering.

Articles and websites will be shared here, with my thoughts on them.

Enjoy perusing it all.












The GOP Agenda is Hateful, But the Rose Garden is Beautiful

Today is the Summer Solstice.

It’s a time to enjoy the longest day of the year and smell the roses.

It’s a day when one is meant to be happy.

Happy Summer Solstice!

Well…not so happy.

The GOP keeps getting its way with elections and its politicians keep breaking their oaths to uphold the U.S. Constitution, because doing so would achieve results that the GOP doesn’t like. The GOP has simply rigged the system to its advantage, subverting the intent of the Founders of the United States, and thus the U.S. Constitution in the process. That’s what happens when the voting districts are gerrymandered.

Jon Ossoff lost to a candidate who thinks that there is no right to living wage. Karen Handel actually expects the masses to work for less money that is required to make ends meet.

By that estimation, she is like the aristocrats of France in 1789. We know how they fared.

An editorial in Esquire magazine summed it up neatly: Republicans just don’t care. They want their agenda, no matter how much the rest of us hate it, and will vote for their candidates, right or wrong. No ethics. Not only that, but the Liberal agenda is the polar opposite of theirs, and they flat out don’t want it. We have lost any motivation to work with each other, because our agendas don’t match at all.

Do Not Ignore This Persistent Truth About Republicans

Republicans vote Republican, even when a fresh face like Jon Ossoff steals the headlines.


Meanwhile, Donald J. Trump, who ought to become, in the word he inadvertently coined, unpresidented, whines about being investigated for treasonous collusion with Russians, for nepotism and conflicts of interest that continually violate the Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution, calling it a witch hunt. No, Herr #Pumpkingropenfuhrer, that’s what the House Un-American Activities Committee and Senator Joseph McCarthy did, not what is happening to you. You did that to yourself, and you keep on doing it, because you are an attorney’s worst nightmare of a client. You just can’t stop tweeting.

It is ludicrous to call this a witch hunt, and witches want no part of you, nor any association with you in any way, shape, or form.

Wicca is a nature-worshipping, goddess-revering religion and philosophy. The despoiling of the ecosystem for economic gain goes against it.

I constantly read and research about politics, blog, write books, sign petitions, call my politicians, write to my politicians, post on social media, comment on social media, and generally eat, sleep, and breathe the stuff – law, politics, government, women’s reproductive rights and access, human overpopulation, ecosystems collapse, honeybee and other bee colony collapse, banksters, hedge fundsters, corporatists (collectively, Farmers, who treat the rest of humanity as a crop to manipulate as they please or a weed to be erased whenever we demand our individual rights).

News reports are proving all of my research to be correct. The predictions of the demographic mathematician of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Thomas Robert Malthus, have been proven to be correct. This has been delayed due to the efforts of a few determined geniuses, who have enabled humanity to correct itself and thwart the hazards that Nature throws in our way with scientific advances in agronomy and antibiotics. Those advances were temporary. Soil fertility for agriculture has perhaps four more decades left, and microbes have built up immunity to current antibiotics.

It may have taken longer than he originally calculated for humanity to reproduce and despoil the planet’s ecosystem to the brink of catastrophe, but we’ve finally achieved that. After all, humans want more, more, more, and to keep on reproducing and having our own space and property, plus interesting work and fresh fruits and vegetables, without it ever ending. Our finite planet cannot and therefore will not accommodate our desires.

Overpopulated and Underfed: Countries Near a Breaking Point


This all reminds me of the very last page of the coffee-table style book on human overpopulation, complete with photographs, by Stephen Emmott, entitled 10 Billion. It’s not optimistic. It reads: “We urgently need to do – and I mean actually do – something radical to avert a global catastrophe. But I don’t think we will.” There’s a break in the text, and then it simply says: “I think we’re fucked.”

That’s why I wrote my 3-volume, dystopian Nae-Née series on all of this.



I decided to take a break. The Summer Solstice is supposed to be a special day, after all.

It’s supposed to be pleasant.

It’s a day when the ecosystem still seems to work, at least in Connecticut.

So…I left the computer. I don’t have a hand-held, digital device, and I don’t want one.

I was therefore offline, out with my camera – an actual camera – enjoying a park.

It’s not just any park, either. It’s the world-famous Elizabeth Park Conservancy.


This place is in West Hartford, Connecticut, and it is famous for its rose garden.

The rest of this post will be about that break, with beautiful photographs, some shot by my father, and the rest taken by me. Enjoy them.


The rose garden is just part of the attraction of the Elizabeth Park Conservancy.

The place also includes an herb garden and another finely planned garden with a variety of other plants, plus many irises.


The lavender comes in many varieties, and wild bumble bees were all over it.

The iris blossoms were fun to look at – different from the ones that I grow at home.

Happy Summer Solstice!Save




Earth Overshoot Day is Earlier Than Last Year – That’s Normal, and That’s Bad

The Global Footprint Network has released this year’s calculation for Earth Overshoot Day.

On August 2nd, 2017, we will observe – not celebrate – Earth Overshoot Day.

Each year, Earth Overshoot Day is earlier than the previous one. Last year, it was on August 8th. This chart predicts the end of June in 2030.

Our species’ ecological footprint just keeps getting bigger and bigger. It used to be about as large as that of Voltaire’s character, Micromégas, the first science fiction character in the history of literature. Micromégas was an alien who came to visit Earth and see what it was like. He looked at a boatload of Earth’s intellectuals (he had to use a magnifier just to see them). They imagined our species to be of the most important in all of the universe. When he understood this, he laughed. Some things never change!

Overshoot is caused by human overpopulation and ecosystems collapse; too many humans using too many resources, to the point that we are operating at a deficit after Earth Overshoot Day.

This is the website of the Global Footprint Network: http://www.footprintnetwork.org/resources/footprint-calculator/

With it, one can program an anonymous or named (your choice) avatar, and then load data, bit by bit, about your life and resource use.

If you visit that site now, you will see a notice that its footprint calculator is being revised, but here is the starting point of the current one:

The southernmost dot on North America is the one labeled “USA” – the other 2 are Calgary and Ontario, Canada.

I’ve tried every dot on the map, though, just to see what result I get.

Here a list of how high the ecological footprint of humans is by a selection of developed, industrialized nations:

The problem with doing this soon becomes clear: the only way to get a global footprint that doesn’t show myself causing a deficit is to give up electricity, independent transportation, ever ordering a delivery of anything, and perhaps even heat and hot water.

Who is going to willingly do that?!

It gets worse when you ask who is going to voluntarily not reproduce, because the answer is always: far too few to make a difference.

There are 7.5 billion humans on the Earth now. The planet’s carrying capacity for our species was last cited as being 2 billion.

We had that many in 1930.

Since that time, we have inflicted tremendous damage on our planet, and there is no other planet for us to move to.

(Even if we had a reliable starship that could warp us to another Class M planet, we would likely find that it was already occupied by another sentient species, one who would not be willing to share with us, a shipload of ecosystems migrants. And that doesn’t even deal with the fact that our immune systems would not be adapted to cope with the pathogens of this other planet.)

By now, the carrying capacity of the Earth for humans is less than it used to be. It ought to be measured again, just so that we will know what we are dealing with.

This graphic explains why not reproducing helps with our species’ combined ecological footprint:

The whole exercise reminds me of the last page of Stephen Emmott’s book, Ten Billion (Vintage Books, 2013).

It reads simply enough:

“We urgently need to do – and I mean actually do – something radical to avert a global catastrophe. But I don’t think we will.”

Then, after the paragraph break, it concludes:

“I think we’re fucked.”

Because I’m not willing to just resign myself to this fate, and because I like to write and create something that I hope will educate, entertain, and give the world something valuable and interesting to think about, I wrote a dystopian science fiction series on human overpopulation and ecosystems collapse. It is called Nae-Née, named for a birth control nanite whose name translates from this Scottish-French moniker as “Not-Born”.

The series can be view on the Books page of this website, or online at https://www.amazon.com/Stephanie-C.-Fox/e/B007IZ4ZIS/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2?qid=1402562514&sr=8-2 (Book 1 was targeted by a band of internet trolls in November of 2014).

3 novels tell the story: Book 1 introduces the Nae-Née nanite and a birth license policy. Book 2 is the terrifying one. Book 3 deals with the villains.


One problem with daring to discuss and analyze this topic is that one is instantly branded a monster.

I’ll risk it. They’re just books, after all, meant to make people think, and I’m not a politician or policy maker.

Also, I’ll be damned if I’ll cave in to pressure from natalists or anyone else and shut up or scurry off into the shadows.

That’s the road to being insignificant and forgettable, and it’s boring.

Also, I love metaphors, because they are fun and inspire thought and some emotion, which makes them memorable.

Words must be memorable to have an impact, and every author chooses them in her own way.

It feels more optimistic to write novels and think about ways to save our ecosystem from such irreversible damage that our species will die.

Nature will do just fine either way, i.e. with or without humans.

I love our planet and the ecosystem I live in, particularly in the spring.

It’s in big trouble, but I can’t fix it on my own, so I’ll just promote my overpopulation series and enjoy the iris blossoms.

They’re beautiful, and they have the most wonderful, sweet scents, like fruit punch.

There’s no point in being gloomy every second of every day, so I hope you enjoy my flowers.



Disgracing the Nation

We had a nice vacation with Trump – the #Pumpkingropenfuhrer – out of the country.

Now he’s back, damn it.

We have a vacuous celebrity of a Thief-in-Chief who leaves you-name-it to his crooked son-in-law to study up on, handle, and otherwise deal with anything and everything that comes up.

Trump is a guy with a limited attention span who hates to study anything in depth.

He rode a golf cart while the other G7 leaders walked in Sicily, showing that he lacks the stamina that he accused Hillary Rodham Clinton of lacking, even though all she had was a brief bout of the flu, and she proved herself capable of marathons of travel and peacemaking trips for 4 years as U.S. Secretary of State. He also got tired while visiting with Benjamin Netanyahu, wandered away from the area where they were meeting, and had to be led back to that spot, cameras flashing and video cameras recording.

He may even be in the early stages of Alzheimer’s.

When sufficiently rested and in lucid moments, Trump enjoyed the pageantry of hobnobbing with the leaders of a nation that bears responsibility for Al-Qaeda, dancing with swords and putting his hands on a glowing orb as if he were Saruman, the evil White Wizard from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, making a crystal ball call to the evil, undead Sauron.


Oh, and don’t forget that shove. Trump blatantly shoved the prime minister of Montenegro out of his way in his undue haste to get to the front of the photo-op. He was so focused on appearances that he overlooked substance…as usual. The European leaders found him disgusting and despicable, with no ability to make a deal.

How could voters have ever thought Trump was competent for this job?! Business and politics are vastly different! I read a history of Venice. That empire was one held by businesspeople who were well aware that business and politics are NOT the same thing, and cannot be handled the same way. No doge ever treated the Venetian empire like a business.

Melania Trump didn’t help matters much. She looked like Marie Antionette reincarnated in her $51,000-Dolce & Gabbana flower jacket.

No FLOTUS should be seen wearing a jacket that cost $51,000. Not with lots of citizens who don’t have enough money to pay for basic necessities, including, but not limited to, health care.

But back to her husband… The leaders of the Nordic nations certainly don’t think Trump is competent. They posed with a soccer ball, clutching it all together in a mockery of Trump and Saudis.

Now Trump is back, facing Russia-gate after having spewed state intelligence secrets to his good buddies…who are not his nation’s friends.

He is back to calling any news report he doesn’t like “fake news”.

We’re back to watching him and his wife consume unreasonably disproportionate amounts of U.S. tax funds on self-indulgence while they plot to cut more and more services from U.S. citizens.

Immigrants who work as harmless crop harvesters are being hunted relentlessly.

A judge in Kona, on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi, hated sending a 43-year-old husband back to Mexico, away from his wife and daughters. The man had been picking coffee, not bothering anyone. But…it’s a fire sale on migrants. Every last one of them must go, regardless of the waste of human and other resources incurred.

Federal Judge Calls Trump Deportation Order of Hawaiian Coffee Farmer ‘Inhumane’


As someone who writes about and is fascinated by human overpopulation, I am nevertheless disgusted by this. Trump has declared open season on ALL hombres, not just the bad ones. Hiding in churches won’t work for immigrants whose status isn’t approved, either.

I’m not in favor of hunting down people who haven’t hurt anyone and who clearly aren’t going to hurt anyone – people whose intentions are to earn a living by taking hot, sweaty, low-wage jobs harvesting crops that U.S. citizens don’t want.

I would love a population policy that bars anyone who can’t afford to pay to raise their own children with food, clothing, education, health care, shelter, safety, plus no physical or psychological threats to the potential child’s well-being, from reproducing.

That’s the stuff of dystopian science fiction, such as my Nae-Née series, not reality, but that series is meant to make people think about all aspects of the issue that it takes on, namely that of human overpopulation, not to shy away from doing so. (I don’t let the Farmers, its villains, off, however.)

The Handmaid’s Tale is the scenario we are more likely to face instead, thanks to Christian Taliban monsters such as Mike Pence who want to force women to have babies. Such ideas remind me of studying history – oh, let’s be specific about this and say studying herstory, because I was focusing on women’s experiences – and learning that most women used to have no option for financial support other than to get married, then take the physical risk of childbirth, with often lethal consequences. Women really were forced to have babies. They could end up dead – no thank you! – or stuck with parenthood – again, no thank you. We don’t all want that, and we shouldn’t have to be cornered into it.

We have an entire ocean separating us from the sort of difficulty that Angela Merkel invited into Europe. Hordes of ecosystems migrants are not going to walk on in to the United States. We make them all wait for years on end, no matter how bad it is in some holding camp, until they have been vetted to the nth degree and then some, before they are allowed to take a plane here, a ride that they must get a loan to pay for. Everything is NOT free in America, despite the song from West Side Story. That’s just fiction.

No one is coming for anyone’s guns.

In fact, crazy people are now going to be allowed to have guns, and registration laws are being relaxed thanks to our Idiot-in-Chief and that traitor, Mitch/Yurtle the Turtle McConnell, who swore not to do his job as long as Obama was our president, his oath of office be damned.

How should we assess a candidate for political office?

Here are some suggestions: research their resumes, their economic background, their beliefs, their character, their temperment. Look to see the ranking of their school and what they studied, plus how serious (or not) of a student they were. Was the candidate born wealthy? If so, has that wealth given the candidate a sense of entitlement and cluelessness about the difficulties of constituents who struggle to make financial ends meet? Any sign of taking payoffs to vote a particular way or to ignore things that ought not be ignored? Do they like to control other people’s lives, or do they care more about protecting their rights? What is their record on women? Any affairs? Any indication of a desire to curtail women’s freedoms of any kind? Can the candidate cope with pressure from journalists to answer tough questions without losing emotional control and physically assaulting them?

Trump and Greg Gianforte both fail on that last count.

Populism is taking over the United States, and it’s the new fascism.

No wonder the United States of America is no longer a nation to feel proud of.

We have become the Untied States of America.

Liberals, with altruistic, inclusive policies, got our way for decades.

Meanwhile, human overpopulation has strained resources.

Democracy suffers whenever there is resource scarcity.

If you have any doubt about that, just look at the Middle East, from whence the hordes of migrants came, thus straining Europe’s resources.

The conservative right has lost any interest in respect for the rule of law because that rule has not served its interests – interests which the majority of those who make up the younger generations disagree with.

We’re entering our own resource war over health care and access to food now as government benefits are scaled back.

Any voter who imagines that this will not affect them – that it will only affect others – is dreaming.

Just wait.

It won’t be long.

We’re already seeing the effects.

We need many, many more cases of voter’s remorse.

It is useless and dangerous to fail to study history and to not see ahead to the threat of disgrace and even disaster posed by a political applicant.

Just wait and watch as more people wake up to that hideous reality.

Whiny, Fascist Tattle-Tale Politician Assails a Citizen’s 1st Amendment Right

The letter that appears in this blog post, along with its post-script – an illegal post-script – ought to be filed under U.S. News, NOT Politics, due to its blatant breach of the oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution. It was sent by U.S. Representative Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-NJ, pleading to Lakeland Bank for donations. In that post-script, he named Ms. Saily Avelenda, an attorney at the bank, complaining that she had engaged in some liberal activism. She has a 1st Amendment right to do that, as her employer had the decency to point out.

Letter from U.S. Representative Rodney Frelinghuysen, Republican of New Jersey for the 11th Congressional District, to the now former employer of Attorney Saily Avelenda. (Photograph courtesy of Saily Avelenda via WNYC)

The letter has been torn into 4 pieces. Perhaps her employer was disgusted by it. I sure hope so.

It ought to be front page news, but it was only online news, in The New York Times.

Activist Resigns After Congressman Writes Letter to Employer


An update provides a bit more information:

The Latest: Activist Resigns After Rep.’s Letter to Employer


This woman’s boss should have been outraged just to have received a message from her politician daring to complain that she spoke up to him. As I understand it, the employer did not chastise her for exercising her 1st Amendment right to freedom of speech, but she didn’t feel at home in her job once she saw that letter. It makes me wonder about her employer just a bit.

Ms. Avelenda is an attorney. As a lawyer, and as someone who loves the U.S. Constitution along with all of the rights it gives us as United States citizens, I am right there with her for feeling the need to engage in political activism. I do it every time I write a book or a blog post, and every time I send a letter to my politicians. Sometimes I visit the politicians, but they’re nice, honorable people who would never try to stop me from exercising my right to free speech.

This is a politician who broke his oath to represent ALL of his constituents – the least of which means not commenting about those who make up the opposition. Once elected, a politician works for them all. Who knows? Some issue might crop up on which they both agree. A constituent might need or want something that he could and should do. A politician has no right nor any business making an enemy out of a constituent who wants her rights safeguarded.

Here he is:

Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-NJ, 11th District -Official Photo, 114th Congress. (Photograph via Wikipedia)


It is the politician’s duty to just take it if he doesn’t like what she has to say, and it is also his duty to both represent her and to vote as she requests on whatever issue. Instead, she is stuck with a traitor, a tattletale, a snitch who has no legal, nor any moral, right to object to her activism. L

What’s next when brats like Frelinghuysen don’t get their own way? Locking people up for speaking out? He has behaved like a spoiled brat who doesn’t want to be bothered with the rights of others, and a fascist who prefers to smack them out of his way like distractions. He should not be in politics.

Perhaps Frelinghuysen is laboring under the delusion that his wealth entitles him to treat people this way.

According to his Wikipedia article, which includes citations on the topic:

At the start of the 112th Congress, Frelinghuysen was ranked the ninth wealthiest member of congress, with an estimated personal wealth between $20 million and $65 million.[61]

Here is the citation on that:

Top 5 Political Heirs


When I describe what my own politicians are like – three of whom are people I’ve been able to meet – I’m not gloating that I have a good situation. I’m saying that my situation ought to be the norm, NOT the exception.

When I write a letter, a book, or a blog post, it feels as though that is the most dramatic of the political actions I can take just because my own politicians are not hostile to me.

It’s both a weird feeling and a good one.

But I chat – online – with people in other states whose politicians are useless to them.

A minority of angry white Christian males who long for the easy days of the 1950s, during which men of their description had life handed to them for doing nothing more than being born white, Christian, male, and with a better shot at working their way through college due to a lucky (for them) combination preferential treatment and a lower overall human population.

Fantasy is not reality.

The past is gone, over and done with.

Not only are logistical conditions different now, but the rest of the now-overpopulated nation will not just roll over and cede our rights simply because a whiny, fascist minority wants all of the best resources for themselves.

That whiny minority is intellectually lazy and unwilling to work for what it wants, so it steals and plagiarizes it.

It has placed its own paradigm in the Oval Office, where fodder for the late-night comedians is churned out like Donnie is running a chocolate factory.

Democracy is crashing all around us.

We have a two-party system in name only now that the nation has been gerrymandered into a political corner.

The Republicans don’t care about the law anymore. They care only about getting what they want.

They couldn’t get it by abiding by the rules laid out in the U.S. Constitution, so they gave up.

They should have quit politics if they didn’t like playing the game anymore.

That would be better than throwing down the game board and swiping the pieces to the floor.

I support my country, but my politicians must prove themselves if they want my support.

Respect is earned after one has had a chance to get know someone, not automatic.

No wonder I loved Mark Twain as soon as I read his quotes, and enjoyed doing tours in his Hartford, Connecticut home for several years.

We have that in common.


The GOP Refuses to Hear the People

Last night, I saw a video online that expresses a symptom of the decline of democracy.

It is disturbing on a level that I think most people will miss at first, because they will get caught up in the emotion of the individuals concerned, so I’m going to describe it, because this other, deeper, underlying aspect of the situation goes to the root cause of it:

Democracy can only function with sufficient resources for all.

Without enough of everything – “everything” being defined as food, clothing, shelter, money, education, transportation, and individual access to control of enough of all of that to maintain independence – democracy is threatened.

Resources are strained right now.

That’s no surprise when the total population of humans is at 7.5 billion.

I’ll say it again:

The Earth’s carrying capacity for humans, when last measured, was set at 2 billion, and we had that many in 1930, before our use and abuse of the Earth’s bank account of ecosystems diminished that capacity.

That capacity, therefore, is less now.

Why am I going on about this yet again?

I’m doing it to put something that I just saw on a video last night into context.

It was so significant that I can’t stop thinking about it and analyzing it.

It was recorded by a mother who carried her toddler daughter with her to her politician’s office. The girl has a preexisting medical condition.

She wanted to talk to him, to introduce him to her daughter, and to tell him what the effect of the vote that he cast for the American Health Care Act in the U.S. House of Representatives will be: debt slavery for the girl’s parents, followed by death for the girl.

He wasn’t in, of course.

He’s in Washington, D.C.

He was one of the creeps who boarded a black bus with black-tinted windows right after that vote to go to the White House and celebrate this betrayal of his constituents with lots of beer.

Caseloads of beer were delivered to the White House for a party for GOP politicians.

Republicans prepared a huge celebration before voting to take away health care from millions

Beer, Braveheart, obscenities, scooters, White House parties, and punching into the end zone.


The media that Trump loves to bash so much and to accuse of promulgating “fake news” has found evidence via outright admissions that politicians did not read the American Health Care Act bill before voting for it.

Congressman admits he didn’t read full health care bill before voting


These GOP congressmen voted for the health care bill — but didn’t read it


Left to Right: Chris Collins, R-New York; Mark Sanford, R-South Carolina; Tom Garrett, R-Virginia.

This is a breach of their oaths to uphold the U.S. Constitution. One ought to know and fully understand just what it is that one is voting for, no matter how tedious and/or boring one finds that task to be.

Granted, the AHCA bill is not law at the moment, but this is just a moment.

Moments can go by faster than we expect.

They can exceed our expectations when our politicians are a travesty rather than public servants.

The video is on this mother’s Facebook page, with comments turned off. That seems wise.

The thread could be flooded with comments and freeze up the use of her account otherwise.

It had over 22,000 views when I looked last night.

Today it has over 1,331,248 views.

It seems to be going viral, and I hope it does.

I thought it worthwhile to notice as much as I could about her.

She is white, female, married to a soldier, and has a blond toddler daughter.

She speaks in complete and well-thought-out, coherent, sentences.

The politician is college educated, white, male, and married to a woman.

If that is how he treats a person that he has at least that much in common with, imagine how he will treat people who differ from him.

He is behaving as a fascist does, repressively shutting down the voice of a constituent, treating her as though the slightest objection to his actions is a threat, and threatening her with arrest and the loss of her child.

The security guard aids and abets this inversion of democracy. He is speaks in an extremely rude, loud, and dismissive tone to her, telling her off just for being there, but she will have none of it. She turns away from him and addresses her phone, recording the encounter while paying no further attention to him. He leaves.

Without wasting any further energy on that guard, she says her piece into the phone camera.

Here is a transcript of the video of this mother, whose name is Julia Marie Forbes Anderson:

Security Guard: “…and was a single parent just like you, you think –”

Forbes Anderson: “So, right now, I’m down here at the…here, we’ve got this guy, that just kicked me out (she turns the phone camera to record the guard going back into the building, then turns it back to her own face to continue), T. Floyd was his name, because apparently, I can’t be in McHenry’s office and voice my opinion.”

She stands there, just outside the office building under an overhang, holding her daughter.

“See, we went in because, last night, McHenry voted to get rid of health care for my child. So, what that means is, if Loretta is sick, we can pay $12,000 a month, out-of-pocket, for her medication, not including any of her hospital visits, or her co-pays, or her deductibles. That’s just the medication. That’s not even the cost of having the medication administered.”

“So I went and told McHenry’s office that I thought that was some bullshit. And, uh, I took him a picture of Loretta. Here she is with me (turns the phone camera to show her wriggling daughter, then turns it back to her face again). And uh – my kid wants yoghurt – let them know that that was the kid that he had voted to let die last night.”

“And they said, ‘Oh, well, that’s very unfortunate, but you can’t raise your voice in here.’ Which, at that point, I was talking at about this level (no louder than the rest of her presentation!). And, uh, she said, ‘If you don’t leave, I’m going to call the police.’ ”

“And I said, ‘Okay, well, instead of calling the police, why don’t you get a hold of my elected official?’ ”

“And she said, ‘Well, he doesn’t take constituents at his Gaston County office.’ But if I wanted to drive to D.C., she’d give me an appointment.”

“So I said, ‘Okay, great, get me an appointment. I’ll drive there.’ ”

“And then she said, ‘No, we’re going to call the sheriff’s office instead.’ ”

“So they called the sheriff’s office, who promptly told me that I was not allowed to be in a public building, and that if I did not leave, he was going to arrest me.”

“I told him I didn’t really find that acceptable.”

“And, um, he told me that I am no longer allowed in the Gaston County public administration building, upon threat of arrest, because I was rude. I’m strapping Meredith into her car seat…”

“Apparently, ‘rude’, to a police officer, is an arrestable offense in Gaston County now, so I’m probably going to go fill out a complaint with the sheriff’s office, cuz he said, I’m going to take your baby, that baby will never be seen again, it will go to foster care, and you will go to jail’ because, apparently, you can take people’s kids now, and send them to jail, for going to complain at their elected representative’s office.”

“But I’m not done! I’m about to go to Richard Burr’s office, which, I think he has a Charlotte office, but if not, my ass is driving to Ashville, because making my child uninsurable for something that’s not her fault is not okay!”

Forbes Anderson starts to cry at this point.

“If Loretta doesn’t have her medication, she will die. And I’m not okay with that. I’m not losing another baby. It’s not happening. Republicans are going to let it happen. Apparently, ‘pro-life’ does not mean my child, that’s alive. It just means babies in uteruses. I’m not willing to let my kid die because I don’t have money. And they are. And that’s not okay. That’s super f**ked up.”

“They are thousands of people like me who are watching their kids get sicker and sicker, and we can’t doing anything about it.”

“And people are actively working against us, to let our kids just be sick because they’re a drain on the system, because Medicare and Medicaid are too expensive, because they can send people to wars, but they can’t fix sick kids at home.”

“My husband volunteered for a deployment so that we could pay for the things that our children need. The fact that he volunteered to go to a war, so that our kids could live, is not how this country should be. That’s not right.”

“I did intend to make a crying face, look live video, but I’m just really not okay right now.”

“But I’m trying to make it okay. So you guys,” she addresses her viewing audience, “the Senate hasn’t voted yet. If you live around where I live, your senators are Tom Tillis and Richard Burr. So call their offices, fax them, e-mail them, use ResistBot, you can f**king text from your phone, and let them know that this is not okay.”

She provides information on the office that threw her out, plus those of her senators:

Rep. Patrick McHenry
(704) 833-0096
128 West Main Avenue
Gastonia, North Carolina 28052
Washington Office: (202) 225-2576

Senator Richard Burr
Washington Office (202) 224-3154
Winston-Salem Office (800) 685-8916

Senator Thom Tillis
Washington Office (202) 224-6342
Charlotte Office (704) 509-9087

She also suggests that people text “RESIST” to 50409 or message ResistBot on Facebook and find out who represents them in Congress, and deliver a message to them in under 2 minutes. No downloads or apps required.

That security guard accused her – as if that were relevant to the insurability status of her daughter – of being a single mother, but she’s married, and to a guy who could find no other way to earn money than to put himself at risk of death.

It is not patriotism when citizens join the military because they cannot afford the necessities of life; it is extortion by an empire in decline.

Jimmy Kimmel can afford to pay for his son’s heart surgery. Good for that family, but the rest of America’s families should not have to choose between debt slavery or death, or suffer a combination of the two in a fight to survive.

I wonder what the International Criminal Court would make of this situation…

Dystopian nonfiction is transpiring in real time. People are being treated, in this overpopulated reality, as excess. Since genocide is illegal, this excess cannot be disposed of quickly and efficiently. Therefore, a rude, dismissive government turns those labels back onto any citizen who dares to point it out, who has the audacity to object to this monstrous attitude and behavior.

It is incredible to me to watch all this, most particularly because it is like seeing Book 2 of my Nae-Née series unfolding in real time. Could the GOP be hoping to cull our population?!


This is fascism. Liberals have been called fascists for insisting upon their 1st Amendment rights. Well, we’re not the fascists.

The fascists are the authoritarian Thieves who are squatting without a mandate in our nation’s political seats.

Just look at the gerrymandered map of North Carolina, and it is clear that those seats were stolen from voters because a purple map – one of fairly distributed voting districts – would not have gotten GOP politicians enough seats to gain a majority.

Democracy is dying all around us.

This incident with Julie Marie Forbes Anderson demonstrates a symptom of that disease.

This is the politician she tried to visit, who deliberately won’t hear her. He just doesn’t care.

Patrick McHenry, Republican from North Carolina and U.S. Representative.

Ms. Forbes Anderson has made a meme for her Facebook page about him.

I’m trying to think of everything, such as any difficulty viewing images on this page, difficulty accessing the full video that she made, and so on, which is why I bothered to type out her words verbatim after listening to it with lots of stops and starts just to get it all.

Here are all of his office telephone numbers:

Washington, D.C.: 202-225-2576
Gastonia, North Carolina: 704-833-0096
Hickory, North Carolina: 828-327-6100
Black Mountain, North Carolina: 828-669-0600
North Carolina Toll Free: 800-477-2576

Don’t expect to be able to talk to anyone, though.

He’s following the dystopian playbook of shutting off all dissent by ignoring it.

This woman dared to complain in her politician’s office about his actions – which shall make her daughter’s medical condition uninsurable. The response was a threat to arrest her, even after an appointment with another office was offered. When she accepted it, the offer was withdrawn and she was again threatened with arrest and having her daughter taken away from her. All to tell the public to go away and put up and shut up.

Members of the U.S. Congress have health care subsidies, so they’re comfortably not living in any fear of medical-care-induce debt slavery.

Here is Jason Chaffetz, shown on Twitter, scooting into the House chamber to vote on the AHCA bill after surgery:

There is a petition making the rounds to remove health care subsidies for members of Congress and their families.

Please help make it go viral:


After all, if they are imagining that they can ruin the lives of their constituents without repercussions, they are sorely mistaken.

We’ll get them back one way or another, sooner or later, and we’ll do it legally, so that they have to put up and shut about it, as they wish to force their constituents to do.


Populism is the Enemy – NOT Population Studies

Well, at last, after weeks on end of watching populism rear its hideous hydra of a head, a voice from the population scientists has been heard.

Bill Nye – the Science Guy – took on the question of reproduction in developed nations.

He said that, considering the fact that our resource use is far tougher on the Earth’s ecosystems than that of people in undeveloped or developing nations, yes, there ought to be limits for us. There ought to be some sort of penalty or disincentive to reproduce for us.

Bill Nye: Should parents having “extra kids” in developed countries be penalized?


Like clockwork, he was promptly vilified on Twitter.

He was called Hitler and other absurd names, and shrieks about individual rights were tweeted.

Here is what I have to say about Bill Nye’s statements:

Bill Nye is absolutely right. Human overpopulation is the driver of climate change and ecosystems collapse. We are crashing the Earth’s ecosystems by selfishly and thoughtlessly reproducing with reckless abandon. The responses of outrage and shrieks about impinging upon human rights sounded like people had been threatened with a population cull, not asked to exercise some thoughtful restraint and long-term planning for their kids’ future on this finite planet.

Calling Bill Nye “Hitler” is a knee-jerk, emotional reaction, one rooted in primal instinct.

Hitler pandered to populism to get what he wanted.

Bill Nye doesn’t do that. Trump and the GOP do that.

Bill Nye expects and requires people to exercise caution and to think.

Most would rather not.

After all, it is far simpler to do what is popular rather than what is right.

Mark Twain pointed that out a long time ago when he said, “It is better to be popular than right.”

Twain was being sarcastic, making an observation about human nature. He wasn’t suggesting that it is better for all of humanity to go with what’s popular when he said that; he was saying that it is easier for the individual to take that lower road. It’s tougher and requires intellectual and emotional self-discipline to take the high road.

That self-discipline is something that few humans demonstrate.

Remember, populism is new fascism.

We all know what fascists are and how that turned out for its acolytes.

White people and Christians are not under siege.

Their way of life is not threatened just because other races and cultures exist and can legally enjoy their own ways without being lynched for it.

This is craziness.

Of course, craziness is what works in a resource war when reason doesn’t.

Reason and logic just don’t get through to people who want it to be the 1950s forever.

Or maybe they want it to be the 1850s forever…

That really is most unreasonable.

Well…I did mention that reason doesn’t get through to hateful creatures in human bodies.

They play victim and threaten Liberals with cries that rapists are coming to attack them.

We’re not going to be under siege by rapist immigrants in the United States.

We have too many for-profit jails filled with detained immigrants for that to even be likely.

We have an ocean in between North America and the Middle East, plus a stringent vetting process that refugees must go through. They are also required to take out loans to pay for their plane tickets to get here. Coming to the United States isn’t an economic windfall. Unlike in Europe, where any male Muslim who wants to escape the hellhole of ecosystems collapse and resource war in Syria can just walk or swim on over, or any African who wants to escape the dearth of economic opportunity due to human overpopulation can do the same thing, not all of them are coming here.

Get a grip, populists.

If anyone is planning to put you under siege, it’s the GOP, the one-percenters of Wall Street, the Koch-heads who buy influence in Congress so that they can have an extra-large share of it, thus outsizing that of the rest of us, and any other corporation that uses the travesty of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 310 (2010) to get what they want and thus pervert democracy.

We humans are the top predator on the planet. We want what we want, and for most of us, that is all that there is to that, right or wrong. We’ll likely kill ourselves off with that attitude.

I for one do not want any part of that, but I see it coming to that during my own lifetime.

Population studies is an objective science that tells people things that, although true, are also things that most of them simply don’t want to hear.

The truth can be unpleasant, after all.

Here is that truth, briefly outlined:

The Earth’s carrying capacity for humans, when last measured, was found to be at 2 billion.

We had that many humans in existence in 1930.

Since that year, our species has done so much damage to the Earth’s ecosystems and depleted so many of its resources that that number needs to be recalculated.

No wonder the Georgia Guidestones, depicted on the cover of Book 2 of my series on human overpopulation and ecosystems collapse, say that there ought to be only half a billion of us.

We are continuing to do irreparable damage to our finite planet.

Trump is a leader in this effort to squeeze every last drop of fossil fuel from it as quickly as possible, consequences be damned. The GOP is enthusiastically behind him on this.

He just announced his intent that many of our National Parks and Monuments shall be delisted.

Here are the national monuments being reviewed under Trump’s order

We have a selfish lunatic in the White House who won’t study, has a limited attention span, and cares only how exciting of a show he can make out of his every move.

Every year, we find ourselves in overshoot earlier and earlier. In 2015, Earth Overshoot Day was August 13th. Last year, 2016, it was on August 8th. It will be sooner this year.

The ecological footprint of developed nations is a measure of how fast we are using the Earth’s resources and the impact that that use has on the planet’s ecosystems. It is an indicator of how long we can continue to overspend the Earth’s finite bank account before it runs empty.

Developed nations may have fewer humans living in them, but our lifestyle means that we use a grossly disproportionate amount of resources as compared with developed nations.

I do much more than outline the truth in my Nae-Née series. I provide a set of 3 dystopian novels to hash out the science of human overpopulation and ecosystems collapse, the ethics (or lack thereof) involved, the resource war that comes from human overpopulation, the effects on the Earth of resource depletion, and the consequences to us all, and the emotions of all concerned.


These books can be found on Amazon at my Author Page:


I admit to being one of the few humans who has a different reaction to population studies.

I want a population policy.

I am someone who loves animals and is outraged when I hear that a pet cat has been taken to a kill shelter because a baby has been born. The baby might be allergic. The cat might not interact well with the baby. The parents might not want to do the work required to take care of the cat. (Interchange your animal species of choice with the word “cat” in this scenario.)

We do not need more humans on this planet.

If you have ever sat in heavy traffic with no motor vehicle crash being cleaned up, barely moving for an outrageous amount of time, you have experienced human overpopulation.

Think of colleges and universities that are inundated each year with applications from students with stellar grades and multiple extra-curricular activities, a strong sense of direction and admirable ambition, and yet are wait-listed or turned down due to a lack of space.

It hasn’t always been like that. There used to be room enough for all qualified applicants.

Jobs are being eliminated not due to a rejection of fossil fuels but due to the depletion of them.

Jobs are also being taken over by bots, both mechanical and cyber.

Yet humans – “most” people – cry that it is their “right” to reproduce as much as they wish.

What about the offspring that they reproduce?! They have no say in their own existence.

Religions insist that suicide is a sin. The offspring must accept the misery ahead, without objection, clinical depression and/or lack of opportunity be damned.

That’s one reason why I’m an atheist.

Another is the phoniness of the idea of religion and religiousness.

Another is the huge drain on one’s time and finances that religiousness causes.

I would rather direct my shares of such things elsewhere, and to vary them from time to time.

I don’t want kids, I prefer cats.

I want enough sleep.

I want to do, and SHALL do, whatever it is my ambition in life to do.

Thus far, I have made decent progress on my “bucket” list. I’m a believer in not treating that bucket like something to do in a big hurry, almost at the last minute of one’s life, just after a doctor hands one a terminal diagnosis.

Do it all now, bit by bit, so that you won’t have regrets.

Any dope can have sex and reproduce.

Doing so is not an achievement.

If you manage to both reproduce and raise a functioning, educated, productive, happy human being to adulthood who is able to go on to have a successful, pleasant life, great.

But don’t imagine that that success was entirely or even mostly because you made it happen.

A lot depends not only on the sort of offspring you get, but also a combination of random chances of health, talent, financial resources that both you and that offspring can access, and more – much more.

There ought to be more to life than having kids.

There ought to be a lot more to it.

Simply carrying out the “American Dream” – a fantasy that has fallen by the wayside as North America has become completely settled by humans and resources have been strained to the point that the wealthiest one percent of Americans now possess the majority of property, money, and access to more – is no longer possible for most.

We cannot all have a house, a car for each spouse, a pet, 2.5 or more kids, college educations for each kid, vacations each year, health insurance (yes, we’ll need the Affordable Care Act for everyone to even hope to access health care), and clean water, and fresh fruits and vegetables, throughout our lives.

Trump and the GOP are doing what they can to make that situation permanent…and worse.

Trump Tax Plan Would Shift Trillions From U.S. Coffers to the Richest

Trump is what I call a “Farmer” with a capital “F” – of the corporatist variety.

There are 2 more: bankster and hedge fundster.

Farmers treat the rest of the human species as a crop to be manipulated as they see fit and a weed to be erased as we irritate them, a thing that we do by demanding recognition and respect for our individual rights to exist, to earn a living, to live without debt slavery, to have access to interesting work and educations, to clean water, and fresh fruits and vegetables, and so on.

I wrote about the banksters in The Book of Thieves.


In the Nae-Née series, I wrote about them all. They are the villains of Nae-Née.

It is they who carry out a population cull rather than a population policy.

For someone who researches this data to the point of daily monotony, it is maddening to be brushed off repeatedly by people who have to actually see the damage done by voting it into office before they believe what I tell them is coming. They can’t see the writing on the proverbial wall and understand that a vote for “change” and “making America great” will skew our citizens’ share of resources to an even great extreme than it already is. We’re talking about seeing France in 1789 in our mirror when we look at our domestic economic situation.

Just look at our #Pumpkingropenfuhrer as the resource-greedy Farmer that he is (Okay…I admit it. I was so pleased to find these images that I HAD to share them!).

When I read that article about the tax plans, I thought, “What a shock. This is exactly what I expected.  But no…I’m just biased as hell, don’t take anything I say seriously, regardless of all of the research I have done and continue to do…”

So look at the population scientists and think of that.

The movie Inferno came out last year, based loosely on Dan Brown novel of the same name.

Some significant changes – SPOILER ALERT – were made to the villain’s agenda:

Whereas in the novel, the billionaire Zobrist’s virus plague was to make two-thirds of the entire world’s human population randomly infertile but not sick, in the movie, half of us were to die horribly after suffering from a painful and disfiguring plague.

I liked the plague in the book better. It spread infertility without actually hurting people.

It also got deployed into the ecosystem.

The one in the movie didn’t.

Either way, Ron Howard didn’t alter the billionaire’s TED talk:

INFERNO – “Zobrist’s Manifesto” Vlog


The argument that Zobrist makes is valid: we are in ecological overshoot.

7.5 billion humans on the Earth is more than it can provide with the necessities of life, let alone the luxuries of it.

Therefore, the Earth simply won’t do that.

A population scientist isn’t a villain simply for pointing that out.

An objective fact is just that: a fact.

It is the action that one takes with facts that makes one either ethical or unethical.

A population policy aimed at preventing or alleviating suffering is not unethical.

A population cull aimed at the same purpose is grossly unethical.

It’s why we have the International Criminal Court (I.C.C.) in The Hague, in the Netherlands.

Recently, at the Monsanto Tribunal, the judges of that Court convened for a special analysis of the damage done to the environment by the insecticides that that corporation manufactures with relentless greed and determination.

I discussed the problems – both legal and ecological – faced by honeybees and other bees (there are many species of bees in the wild that pollinate flowers and crops) in my book, The Bear Guarding the Beehive. A fictitious corporation called Beargenics, which manufactures insecticides, is featured both in the cover art and in the book.


It was eminently satisfying to see the judges of an international court deal with those issues in real time.

International Monsanto Tribunal Calls for Human Rights Over Corporate Rights

The judges concluded that Monsanto has done irreparable harm to the world’s bee population and ecosystems, and lamented that ecocide is not one of the crimes listed in the Rome Statute.

The Rome Statute of 1998 is the body of laws that governs the actions of the I.C.C.

The Farmers are waging a covert resource war on the rest of us right now.

The Distractifier-in-Chief, the #Pumpkingropenfuhrer himself, is the Farmer-in-Chief.

Populists who chose what was easiest and what was emotionally gratifying at the moment enabled his rise to power.

Now he and the Koch-funded and other Farmer-funded GOP, which have no mandate but only a buy-in to power, are Farming us.

Wake up, people.

A World Resource War and much misery loom on the horizon.

If you can bring yourself to read about it, do so. George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four has already largely come true.

Or watch dystopian renditions of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale.

But do something to face reality.

There are plenty of metaphorical representations of it to choose from if reading straightforward history is too vivid for you. It can be tough to read about Hitler, Mussolini, Lenin, Stalin, John Birch, Joseph McCarthy and his attorney Roy Cohn (who also represented Donald J. Trump after McCarthy), and to see a pattern repeating today.

Read history. It repeats itself.

Read dystopian fiction. It becomes reality.






Eating Cake While Dropping Bombs…

Trump loves to put on a show. Dinner and a show. Dessert and a show.

Herr #Pumpkingropenfuehrer isn’t happy unless he’s showing off.

Now that he holds the codes to every war toy the U.S. military possesses, he’s playing with them, and doing it while entertaining foreign leaders.

He bragged that his latest guest, China’s president, Xi Jinping, was treated to what Trump considered “the most beautiful chocolate cake you’ve ever seen” and an announcement that he was bombing Syria as they ate. Lovely…our travesty of a leader thinks this is cool. It is anything but.

“The most beautiful chocolate cake you’ve ever seen,” Trump calls it. It’s just Chocolate Cake à la Mar-a-Lago, imperfectly sliced.

Usually, I devote a blog post to railing against the fact that the Farmers – banksters, hedge fundsters, and corporatists – have been allowed to not only buy our politicians but stand in for the executive branch of our government. I’ll do that just enough here to comment that having the Farmers as our leaders is a dishonor to our nation, a travesty, and a mistake that may just get many of us killed. It has already gotten some of us killed, and for no good reason.

We currently have a disparity of wealth between the wealthiest one percent of Americans and the rest of American citizens that is comparable to the disparity of wealth between the French aristocracy and royalty and the French populace in 1789. No good came of that. Think about that.

But back to the cakes.

Cake is a great symbol of wealth, clueless indifference to the suffering of others, and selfishness.

Marie Antoinette, I must add, NEVER said “Let them eat cake.” That was an early example of fake news, designed to sell newspapers in Paris.

It worked, too.

What la reine de France actually was guilty of doing was grossly overspending on frivolities, thus running through resources with nothing useful to show for doing so. Death seems like a bit too harsh a punishment for that. A vast reduction of access to resources would do instead if she were being dealt with today.

Melania Trump seems woefully unaware of all this. She posed for Vanity Fair magazine twirling jewels as if they were a gourmet pasta dinner.

Melania Trump’s Vanity Fair cover shot, twirling jewels like pasta…it’s like Marie Antoinette all over again.

Again, back to cakes.

I agree with the observation of Saturday Night Live‘s Michael Che, who said, “You don’t know what cakes I’ve seen!” Just for fun, I decided to look through the inventory of photographs I’ve taken over the years of chocolate cakes that I have made, using a variety of recipes.

Although beauty is a highly subjective attribute, I consider my creations to be more attractive than Chocolate Cake à la Mar-a-Lago.

I am a gourmet cook and baker. It’s a hobby for someone who appreciates natural ingredients, food art, and delectable things to eat.

It’s also less expensive than restaurants and bakeries, which don’t always offer the variety than a home baker can access if she likes to do the work.

There were plenty of chocolate cakes from birthdays in my photograph collection, plus a few from other occasions…or even no particular occasions.

My grandmother loves chocolate, and she’s not alone in the family on that count.

Liberty Bar Chocolate Cake with Edible Pansies and Sweet Peas. This cake was for my grandmother’s 100th birthday party.

I inherited a love of chocolate from my grandmother, apparently, though this recipe is from the other side of my family.

Chocolate Orange Cake – a Fox family recipe, and favorite. This is what I like to make for my own birthday.

Sometimes it has been fun to bake just to test a recipe and my own baking skill.

Old Fashioned Chocolate Layer Cake. It’s sliced perfectly, too.

And it’s always important to use that skill to spoil people on their birthdays. My mother – my grandmother’s daughter – loves chocolate too.

Chocolate Red Raspberry Cake. This was for my mother’s birthday. I forget what year it was.

This was one of the most fun cakes I ever made, because it was for my law school class on toxic torts. A tort with no “e” is a civil wrong. A torte with an “e” is a decadent chocoholic dessert. 😀 This one is a Chocolate Almond Torte with Blackberry Liqueur in the Almond Paste, then covered with Chocolate Ganache, and then decorated with red frosting and a radiation symbol. A couple of years later, I reprised it with a biohazard symbol at a Williams Sonoma staff potluck party. We had them when we counted the inventory twice a year. It was a big hit…each time.

Toxic Torte for a law school class called Toxic Torts. It was a Chocolate Almond Blackberry Torte.

Well, you decide which cake is more beautiful.

We might as well enjoy life as long as we can, because our buffoon of a Thief-in-Chief may end it for us sooner rather than later.




Gerrymandering is Legal. It Has Ratf**ked Our Democracy. That Must Be Changed.

Redistricting. Gerrymandering. Ratf**king.

All of these words deal with the same topic, but increase the intensity of the action.

And they decrease the level of ethical behavior expected.

None is to be expected of the last, and not enough of the second one.

All this and more is discussed in David Daley’s book, released in mid-2016:

Ratf**cked: How Chris Jankowski Turned the Electoral Map Bright Red Until 2020

It’s legal, it’s breathtaking, and much of it happened in plain sight. The Democratic majority was ratfucked.

David Daley. RATF**KED: THE TRUE STORY BEHIND THE SECRET PLAN TO STEAL AMERICA’S DEMOCRACY. New York: Liverlight Publishing Corporation, 2016.

The man whose name became the partisan redistricting verb – gerrymander – Elbridge Gerry, was a Massachusetts politician who lived from 1744 to 1814.

Elbridge Gerry, American politician who lived from 1744-1814. His name became synonymous with politically motivated drawing of district lines.

A few facts about him seem only fair to highlight, beyond his connection to redistricting:

Gerry attended the Continental Congress, but refused to sign the new U.S. Constitution because it lacked the Bill of Rights, which he later participated in drafting. He was an anti-Federalist. He served as Massachusetts’ governor for one term. He was James Madison’s vice president.

About the redistricting and his historic moniker of an association with it:

During his term as Governor of Massachusetts, the state’s legislature was mostly from his own political party. It created new district lines aimed at enhancing their own party’s control over state and national offices. Governor Gerry had not been pleased with this, but he signed it into law nonetheless. The effect of these redrawn district lines went to such an extent that one district so strongly resembled a winged salamander that it was called a “gerry-mander”.

The word gerrymander was used for the first time in the Boston Gazette newspaper on March 26, 1812. It depicted a salamander-esque creature in the shape of voting districts. (Wikipedia)

Voting districts are required to be compact, contiguous, and contain voting populations of equal size to one another.

Unfortunately, because humans want things their own way, they have figured out a way to add greed to the mix.

It is thus possible to engineer political dominance into the maps.

It has always been possible to do this. All that was required was data, pen, and paper.

However, today things can be done with a few keystrokes and a click of a mouse.

Gerrymandering can be done in an instant.

Every 10 years, a census is taken: 1980, 1990, 2000, 2010, and so on.

Thereafter, voting districts are redrawn.

It isn’t as simple as it merely being possible to do the deed; deeds require money.

Whichever side has the most money wins now.

Citizens United v. FEC, 588 U.S. 210 (2010) has unleashed unlimited dark money to fund this effort by removing limits on the amount of money that any one donor may contribute to any political campaign or effort.

Justice Kennedy wrote the Judgment of the Court.

Justices Scalia, Roberts, Alito, and Thomas joined him.

Justices Stevens, Ginsberg, Sotomayor, and Breyer dissented.

There is something very undemocratic and very plutocratic about this.

A plutocracy is a government by the wealthy. It has no underlying philosophy beyond greed and control of resources for the wealthy few.

This is why I call the wealthy, the greedy, the unethical of our society “Farmers” with a capital “F”: because they view everyone else as either a resource to be manipulated for their own ends, or as a weed to be erased if and when we become troublesome.

Here we are in the early 21st century with the Untied States of America being ruled – not governed – of, by, and for the interests of the wealthy.

It is time to become troublesome.

No one’s thumb should be on the scale of power, skewing the balance off-kilter…nor that dramatically and blatantly so.

But the GOP’s thumb is doing just that, and it is very important to fully understand how it does that. The why is the quick and easy part.

Every greedy and unethical plot has a plotter, or a group of plotters.

In this case, it had a Plotter-in-Chief: J. Christopher Jankoski of the Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC).

J. Christopher Jankowski – GOP Gerrymanderer

This guy cares nothing for democracy and everything for cheating and gaming to get what he wants. He is ardently and desperately in love with his methods. The horrifying thing is that they work. When I watch or read stories about overcoming a problem, I find that the villains have the most to teach, and if they run their mouths, it is wise to listen and take detailed mental notes. This one was behind the plan called REDMAP, for Redistricting Majority Project.

Chris Jankowski’s plan was this:

Pay more campaign money to state election campaigns than previously. State election campaigns are less glamorous than national ones, but it is at the state level that districts are drawn. Therefore, to secure GOP control of as many seats in the House and Senate of the U.S. Congress as possible, and to secure control of as many Electoral College votes as possible, a party must win as many STATE seats as possible prior to the 10-year census cycle. The idea is to be seated in time to prevail when redrawing voting district lines.

Chris Jankowski (assisted by Karl Rove, advisor to former president George W. Bush) succeeded at this plan by not only persuading donors to go along with this plan, but also by running dishonest campaigns, pouring the bulk of the money into the last few weeks of each one to pay for flyers full of misstatements and lies about Democratic candidates. There was no time to fully explain the truth to misled voters, and they lost their seats.

The pieces were thus in place for a ratfucking.

David Daley is the editor-in-chief of Salon magazine. He traveled the nation to gather the material for Ratf**ked, studying Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Michigan, Ohio, Florida, Wisconsin, Iowa, Arizona, and a few others, though they didn’t get whole chapters, and a software program called Maptitude.

Maptitude is the redistricting software put out to the tune of $5,000 to $10,000 that Caliper Corporation of Newton, Massachusetts (see http://www.caliper.com/).

Describing how Maptitude (http://www.caliper.com/maptovu.html) works, Daley says:

“These lines look complex, and the thinking behind them is. However, the data and technology make ratfucking almost as easy as one-click ordering on Amazon. It has made rewiring our democracy as simple as outbidding a rival on eBay, with the additional similarity that the side with the most money wins the prize.”

Pennsylvania has compressed its Democrats into its cities, with a few representatives representing the bulk of the state’s human population. Meanwhile, the rest of its territory, which is mostly rural, is divided up among Republicans. The end result is that it sent 13 Republicans to the U.S. Congress to the Democrats’ 5, also reflecting the state’s Electoral College makeup.

It did this in 2010 by redistricting – gerrymandering with such ferocity and greed that the term “ratfucking” really is the most apt one to use to describe what was done.

This was possible because enough Republicans had won seats in the state legislature to push the ratfucking agenda through.

The results are visually startling, and even outright comic, except that laughter isn’t the forthcoming reaction. The 7th voting district of Pennsylvania has a blocky shape that is easily recognizable as Donald Duck kicking Goofy. Maptitude was not trying to create Disney-character-shaped districts, but it did.

Pennsylvania’s District 7 – Donald Duck kicking Goofy shape – Drawn in 2010.

It is now possible to drive north, starting in the 13th district, cross the 7th for a mile, and come out into the 6th. All this is aimed at keeping the liberal Democratic voters compressed into the 7th District, including the city of Philadelphia and its upscale suburbs.

That district has become so infamous in its patently obvious gerrymandering that it is an internet meme:

North Carolina has done the same thing to its university towns – the Democrats are thus hemmed into small areas, while the Republicans have the bulk of the state, and the most members to send to Congress. With 535 seats in it, that adds up.

Another interesting aspect of ratfucking in that state comes to light in Daley’s book: African-American voters are compressed into an area in the northeastern part of the state that resembles a snowball thrown at a windshield, one that has splattered onto it and started to fall.

This was quite deliberate, of course. For decades, as Democratic incumbents – white ones – held most of the seats in North Carolina, both the GOP and African-Americans were underrepresented. Then along came Chris Jankowski. A deal was struck: with redrawn districts, and campaign money strategically spent, there would soon by a majority of GOP representatives with a minority of Democrats, many of whom were newly elected African-Americans, but…not with enough clout to make a difference in policy. Ratfucked again! Black faces, but not in control of anything. Oh, yay…

In the space of a decade, people move around, though. They get jobs elsewhere, buy houses, get different apartments, and so on. Hence, the reason for redrawing voting lines. The Democrats and the GOP are strongly motivated to position themselves to control those lines in 2020. Whoever has the most money has the best chance of success.

What’s in the future of gerrymandering?

A genetic algorithm – one that notes your every click, like, save, purchase, search, you name it.

Oh, yay…the computer might as well be a telepath, directed by an unethical, greedy cheat.

Oh wait…it already is.

In fact, it just was.

As I have written more than once about this, Cambridge Analytica did that last year. I have done more than one blog post on that.

It is thus so easy to redistrict – due to software and algorithms – that the human urge to gerrymander is a foregone conclusion, and by either side.

Thus, our politicians are able to pick their voters.

It should be the other way around.

We have a lot of work to do to restore that balance.





Meet Julia, the Muppet with Autism. Trump and the GOP Want to Defund Her.

Meet Julia, the Muppet with autism, who has just joined the cast of Sesame Street – she’s the redhead with the toy bunny. Neurotypical kids will learn how to interact with kids on the autism spectrum, and be taught to accept us.

Julia, the Muppet with autism, holding her toy bunny, debuts on PBS. (Photograph by Zach Hyman of Sesame Workshop)

Julia, a Muppet With Autism, Joins the Cast of ‘Sesame Street’

Julia was on 60 Minutes last night, with Leslie Stahl doing the report.

The new Muppet promises to show her viewing audiences what kids with autism are like, complete with minimal eye contact, staring without blinking at whatever holds their attention while demonstrating intense focus on it, quirks, stimming, and more.

At least, that’s the idea. Meanwhile, the #Pumpkingropenfuehrer and the GOP want to defund PBS and NPR. It hurt his infamously weak ego.

Since the 1980s, ‘Sesame Street’ has featured a few greedy, grouchy characters who have had names like Ronald Grump and Donald Grump. Here’s a look at the three of them. (Monica Akhtar/The Washington Post)

Trump wants to defund PBS. ‘Sesame Street’ brutally parodied him for decades.

Considering the fact that Trump has shown himself to be a bully, I don’t pity him for hurt feelings over this.

Trump doesn’t seem to understand that for every disability, that disability comes with an ability of some sort that others lack. It could be a point of view. It could be a talent. With people on the autism spectrum, it is often a talent. It is also often a steady, obsessive determination to hone both talent and fascination with a particular topic into a marketable skill that benefits society in some specific way – of our unique choosing. Taking away funding that benefits us is therefore wasteful.

If anyone has forgotten how Trump sees people who are different, this will remind them:

Maybe Steve Bannon is in on that, though. Bannon wants to destroy the present world order. See prior posts to this blog, Twitter, the not-fake news, and more for that. Here are some tweets by an anonymous and furious White House staffer with the inside track on him, the rest of the motley crew, and the #Pumpkingropenfuehrer.

Leslie Stahl also did a story for 60 Minutes on Temple Grandin several years ago, and this pair of brainstem scans is from that one.

The brainstem of Temple Grandin, the famous autism scientist with a Ph.D. in animal husbandry, is on the left. A neurotypical (NT) one is on the right. NTs represent “most people”. (Keep in mind that the human species is not made up of Aspie and neurotypicals – there are more brainstem types in existence!)

The only thing that Leslie Stahl did that infuriated me was to say that the branches off of Grandin’s brainstem went in “wrong” directions, rather than many. It’s a super-powered brainstem, with the tradeoff being that the branches for social interaction are not plugged into the same spot as for NTs. Ours go into data storage, and Stahl is pointing at the branches I am referring to.

For every super-power, just to remind us that we are human and that no one is born “better” than anyone else, there is a price tag. Social interactions have always been the chore for me, not learning things. But I don’t mind. I love being different, and don’t wish to “fit in”. I’ve always loved standing out, turned it into an asset, and studied and worked to make that a positive thing.

Temple Grandin’s unique brain

My father and I are Aspies and we got a kick out of this 60 Minutes story. He said to my mother, as she came back into the room, “We just saw our brains on TV.”

60 Minutes not only did a news segment on Temple Grandin, it also posted an article online.

Temple Grandin: Understanding autism

Something else about Temple Grandin, other than her brainstem, other than that she is on the autism spectrum, a thing that delights me, and ought to delight others, is that she insists upon emphasizing that she is not someone with autism who has managed to do interesting work. No. Instead, she is someone who has a great career who happens to be on the autism spectrum.

It’s not all about the autism. We are people who do whatever it is that we do who happen to be autistic or Aspies.

I like kids with Asperger’s and on the autism spectrum. They think a lot, and I like that. They don’t bully people. They tend to love cats. (I do.)

Grandin said absolutely nothing until she was 4 years old. I think I know why, because as an Aspie, I refused to speak any words with a “cute” little-kid-esque lisp. Everything had to be enunciated clearly with “Television English” – the kind that is taught at the Connecticut School of Broadcasting and is a mixture of educated New England and North Midwestern American accents – the first time I said any word.

PBS taught me how to speak and enunciate clearly with perfect grammar and Television English. It was ideal for an Aspergirl like me. The GOP would take all this away, defunding it. Damn them. I often joke that Morgan Freeman taught me to read, but I’m half-serious, because he does deserve some of the credit. The rest goes to my parents and to some solitary self-discipline. Oh, and a love of reading and finding things out.

I was determined to share what I am and how I think, and in the most positive way possible, so I wrote a short story that walks the reader through the markers of Asperger’s in girls, entitled Elephant’s Kitchen – An Aspergirl’s Study in Difference.

Several years later, following a fascinating with human overpopulation and ecosystems collapse, I decided to write that story from the point of view of an Asperwoman named Avril, highlighting the way we think, our quirks, our fondness for pockets in all dresses, skirts, pants, shorts (no putting keys in a handbag that can then be locked by mistake in a house or motor vehicle!), and so on.

That story, called Nae-Née, began as one novel with a population policy, rising sea levels, and a tour of the Earth’s problems. It later became a series of 3 novels, and I added an Aspie character in each one. By chance, they each turned out to be female. Avril’s husband is an Aspie too, but I wanted to show how prevalent the condition is. (If you click on these images, you’ll find that each one is hyperlinked.)

Aspies have contributed some great things throughout history, including novels (Jane Austen, Mark Twain, Virginia Woolf), paintings (Vincent van Gogh – he died of an accidental gunshot wound, NOT a suicide – see this 60 Minutes story, The life and death of Vincent van Gogh), advances in the STEM disciplines (Isaac Newton showed many of the markers of autism), legal systems (the U.S. Constitution by James Madison and the Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson), and more.

I should add that I have absolutely no compunction about posthumously spotting autism and Asperger’s in famous geniuses. Psychology and MRI scans came after the lifetimes of most humans who have ever existed, after all.

The point of discussing all this is that those of us who are alive now and who are working to make a success of ourselves and to leave something of value behind for the benefit of future humans when we see how autism works at its best need to see it. We need to look at this. It inspires us and gives us hope. This increases the likelihood of achieving our goals.

But if the GOP and our idiot Thief-in-Chief who hates the job he should never have applied for have anything to say about it, Julia and her new friends won’t be on television long enough to do kids both on and off of the autism spectrum enough good.


The Raving Mad Tomato of InfoWars Explodes…Again

Alex Jones of InfoWars, that raving mad Texan with a radio show who shrieks nonsense, is Donald J. Trump’s favorite news source (or one of them, anyway).

No chance that the #Pumpkingropenfuehrer will call this Exploding Tomato of Idiocy and Vitriol fake news! The Thief-in-Chief swallows everything that Jones says, hook, line, and sinker.


Saturday Night Live, a.k.a. SNL, did a skit last weekend a la Alec Baldwin – again – as Trump.

After that, the #RavingMadTomato, a.k.a. Alex Jones, exploded with rage about it.

Trump’s Alex Jones Loses His Sh*t Over an SNL Skit

In it, the Earth was under attack by aliens from outer space, and Trump could not focus on the problem let alone begin to cope with it. He inspired no confidence in fiction, just as in reality.

We are seeing him take credit for the effects of his predecessor’s presidency as if they were the effects of his own. He hasn’t been in office long enough to have any effects!

But I digress…

Trump has called Alec Baldwin’s depiction of himself “unwatchable” and stopped watching.

Alex Jones, however, watched.

Next, this gravel-voiced twit proceeded to bash the show and anyone who doesn’t think that Trump is wonderful in the most unbalanced manner possible. The term “hate speech” seems a bit mild as applied to what is shown in this video clip.

I shall reproduce Jones’ words here, in writing.

Something of the vitriol and spittle will be lost in this iteration, but that’s fine.

The point is to see that, at least in writing, these are the ravings of a lunatic who ought to be relieved of his studio, have his radio show go off the air, and be taken away by white-coated hospital orderlies, not to be seen nor heard from again.

Here is the full text of the video:

“…and live from New York, it’s Saturday night!” The skit concludes.

With that, Alex Jones starts in on it:

Look at all those beta males.

Alec Baldwin thinks he’s a tough guy.

(Really? Jones is a telepath now? He actually knows what others are thinking?! I doubt it.)

 I challenge him, a million dollars to the charity he wants, to get in the ring with me, bare-knuckle.

I will! I’ll do it right now! I’ll get in the ring with you, and I will break your jaw!

I will knock your teeth out, I will break your nose, and I will break your neck.

You coward! You think you’re a tough guy, messing with little camera-men people!

You want to sit there and defame me and the president?!

Get in a ring with me. I will break your jaw in seconds (fist-pump)!

I will smash your nose into a bloody pulp (fist-swing)!

And I will WRACK your teeth out (another fist-swing)!

My fists are going to be bleedin’ with your teeth-marks all over ‘em (bares his own teeth as his brandishes his fist).

You fffrickin’ bully, you COWARD!

I HATE YOU!!!!!!

My listeners hate you! And you remember that, scumbag, forever!

The camera pans out and above him.

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha…We’re gonna defeat this anti-human scum!

We’re gonna wreck their world!

Alex Jones is threatening people with physical violence for exercising freedom of speech, a 1st Amendment right…and broadcasting actionable evidence of that.

Idiot. I hope he gets SUED for the million dollars he’s offering in this video.

It seemed worthwhile to look up the definition of the term “hate speech” on Wikipedia, so I did that. Here, minus the references, is what I found for both the term itself and its legal application in the United States:

Hate speech laws

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) states that “any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law”. The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) prohibits all incitement of racism. On 3 May 2011, Michael O’Flaherty with the United Nations Human Rights Committee published Draft General Comment No. 34 on the ICCPR, which among other comments expressed concern that many forms of “hate speech” do not meet the level of seriousness set out in Article 20. This paragraph does not appear in the final document. Concerning the debate over how freedom of speech applies to the Internet, conferences concerning such sites have been sponsored by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Enforcement of hate speech laws

Hate law regulations can be divided into two types: those which are designed for public order and those which are designed to protect human dignity. Those designed to protect public order seem to be somewhat ineffective because they are rarely enforced. For example, in Northern Ireland, as of 1992 only one person was prosecuted for violating the regulation in twenty one years. Those meant to protect human dignity, however, like those in Canada, Denmark, France, Germany and the Netherlands seem to be frequently enforced.

Hate speech laws by country

United States

Constitutional framework

The 1789 Constitution of the United States of America dealt only with the three heads of power—legislative, executive, and judicial—and sketched the basic outlines of federalism in the last four articles. The protection of civil rights was not written into the original Constitution but was added two years later with the Bill of Rights, implemented as several amendments to the Constitution. The First Amendment, ratified December 15, 1791, states:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Although this section was considered only to apply to the federal congress (i.e. the legislative branch), the 14th Amendment, ratified on July 9, 1868, clarifies that this prohibition applies to laws of the states as well.

Supreme Court case law

Some limits on expression were contemplated by the framers and have been read into the Constitution by the Supreme Court. In 1942, Justice Frank Murphy summarized the case law: “There are certain well-defined and limited classes of speech, the prevention and punishment of which have never been thought to raise a Constitutional problem. These include the lewd and obscene, the profane, the libelous and the insulting or ‘fighting’ words – those which by their very utterances inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace.”

Traditionally, however, if the speech did not fall within one of the above categorical exceptions, it was protected speech. In 1969, the Supreme Court protected a Ku Klux Klan member’s speech and created the “imminent danger” test to determine on what grounds speech can be limited. The court ruled in Brandenburg v. Ohio that; “The constitutional guarantees of free speech and free press do not permit a state to forbid or proscribe advocacy of the use of force, or of law violation except where such advocacy is directed to inciting imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.”

This test has been modified very little from its inception in 1969 and the formulation is still good law in the United States. Only speech that poses an imminent danger of unlawful action, where the speaker has the intention to incite such action and there is the likelihood that this will be the consequence of his or her speech, may be restricted and punished by that law.

In R.A.V. v. City of St. Paul, (1992), the issue of banning hate speech arose again when a gang of white people burned a cross in the front yard of a black family. The local ordinance in St. Paul, Minnesota, criminalized such expressions considered racist and the teenager was charged thereunder. Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the Supreme Court, held that the prohibition against hate speech was unconstitutional as it contravened the First Amendment. The Supreme Court struck down the ordinance. Scalia explicated the fighting words exception as follows: “The reason why fighting words are categorically excluded from the protection of the First Amendment is not that their content communicates any particular idea, but that their content embodies a particularly intolerable (and socially unnecessary) mode of expressing whatever idea the speaker wishes to convey”. Because the hate speech ordinance was not concerned with the mode of expression, but with the content of expression, it was a violation of the freedom of speech. Thus, the Supreme Court embraced the idea that speech in general is permissible unless it will lead to imminent violence. The opinion noted “This conduct, if proved, might well have violated various Minnesota laws against arson, criminal damage to property”, among a number of others, none of which was charged, including threats to any person, not to only protected classes.

In 2011, the Supreme Court issued their ruling on Snyder v. Phelps, which concerned the right of the Westboro Baptist Church to protest with signs found offensive by many Americans. The issue presented was whether the 1st Amendment protected the expressions written on the signs. In an 8–1 decision the court sided with Phelps, the head of Westboro Baptist Church, thereby confirming their historically strong protection of freedom of speech, so long as it doesn’t promote imminent violence. The Court explained, “speech deals with matters of public concern when it can ‘be fairly considered as relating to any matter of political, social, or other concern to the community’ or when it ‘is a subject of general interest and of value and concern to the public.”

Societal implementation

In the 1980s and 1990s, more than 350 public universities adopted “speech codes” regulating discriminatory speech by faculty and students. These codes have not fared well in the courts, where they are frequently overturned as violations of the First Amendment. Debate over restriction of “hate speech” in public universities has resurfaced with the adoption of anti-harassment codes covering discriminatory speech.

NTIA report

In 1992, Congress directed the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to examine the role of telecommunications, including broadcast radio and television, cable television, public access television, and computer bulletin boards, in advocating or encouraging violent acts and the commission of hate crimes against designated persons and groups. The NTIA study investigated speech that fostered a climate of hatred and prejudice in which hate crimes may occur. The study failed to link telecommunication to hate crimes, but did find that “individuals have used telecommunications to disseminate messages of hate and bigotry to a wide audience.” Its recommendation was that the best way to fight hate speech was through additional speech promoting tolerance, as opposed to government regulation.


If you want to see more, visit the page and read whatever else interests you.

It’s been entertaining to see the comments on Facebook about this video.

There are lots of suggestions that #RavingMadTomato ought to be locked up in a mental hospital.

Others have pointed out that Alec Baldwin ought to have his attorney inform the police and file a formal complaint that this lunatic is threatening him with assault and battery.

Any radio show host who demonstrates such a blatant lack of comprehension and acceptance of the terms of the U.S. Constitution shouldn’t be on the air.

We are a nation of laws, not thugs.