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Stephanie C. Fox

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Controversies – Because Intrigue Is What Counts

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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.

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Fight Attempts to Weaponize Freedom of Speech

Taking down statues that commemorate the Confederate past has served as the latest excuse for race and hate riots in the Untied States of America.

Heather Heyer, a white liberal woman, was run over by an Amerikkkan Nazi this weekend, and killed.

This is domestic terrorism, not an exercise of any right in the U.S. Constitution, nor of any American value.

Donald Trump, our travesty of a president, took 2 days to condemn what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia, and then did so with reluctance.

He’s not finished being reluctant. Herr #Pumpkingropenfuhrer continues to earn this moniker as he points out that the alt-right, Tiki-torch-carrying mob of Nazis had a permit for their riot…er, rally…while the counter-protesters did not.

It is a despicable, vile, disgusting sight to see straight-armed salutes being made in the present.

Those are supposed to be so last world war, not anything that is accepted in today’s world.

But we have to fight hate all over again.

As Stephen Colbert commented, “those Nazis always do their paperwork.”

So what?! Having a permit to hold what one presents as a rally for freedom of speech yet is actually a race riot does not make it okay.

All that does is document it as a legalized crime in progress.

Perhaps that’s why the police just stood there, monitoring rather than taking any action to stop it.

I hope that those idiots are all identified from photographs and videos with ruthless efficiency on social media, that they get tweeted about and otherwise fully exposed, and fired from whatever access to economic resources they had before the race riot that was perpetrated in Charlottesville.

They are losers who actually believe that they should have the right of first refusal on everything that America has to offer, earned or not, deserved or not, just because they are Caucasian.

Every race, ethnicity, and religion, each gender, each sexual orientation, has hard workers, geniuses, and good people…and lazy ones, dunces, and monsters…and some in between on the scale of motivation and intelligence. Each one also has bystanders who do nothing while bad things happen. Each one has people who help, who fight for what is right, and who get killed doing so, like Heather Heyer.

This is what the Amerikkkan Nazis have to say about her. I won’t click on their site to see more, nor give it any advertising revenue via a “hit” (click).

There is no pretending that this was not a hate crime.

The Nazis aren’t even attempting to pretend.

This guy is a misogynist, and so are his followers/readers.

He is outraged by mixed-race matings, yet for repelling women of his own, he has definitely nailed it:

What’s next, saying that a god or a religion wants the world to be as the alt-right would like it to be?!

Atheism is looking more attractive the more one considers this.

Are we going to forget the shameful parts of our history in efforts to erase them? I think not.

What would I do? Keep the statues, change the plaques that go with them to show what’s shameful about their subjects, and put up corresponding other statues of heroes that are not reminders of shame.

Who could we have statues of? Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Frederick Douglass, to name a few.

We probably already have such statues, but not in places of prominence at major universities.

Charlottesville, Virginia is where the University of Virginia, founded by Thomas Jefferson, is.

Thomas Jefferson was a Founder of this nation, the main author of the Declaration of Independence, and a slaveholder.

James Madison and James Monroe were slaveholders, too.

So was George Washington, but he has the distinction of being the only one of the slaveholder Founders to free his slaves in his will.

Trump asked when this stops.

Really?! It stops when we get a better president, when legalized crimes and hate speech are called what they are, and when populism is recognized for what it is: fascism.

Freedom of speech is not to be weaponized. It is to be guarded with every weapon we have at our disposal, including, but not limited to, sarcasm, comedy, erudition, wit, and determination.

I would like to see every comedian be happy to focus their energies on this rather than on inanity, and fortunately, Stephen Colbert is.

Last night, he interviewed The Mooch – former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci.

It was a fun one to watch. Stephen Colbert kept control of the interview, wasn’t mean, and The Mooch seemed to enjoy being there. It was interesting to see a wealthy, toilet-tongued hedge fundster interact with a fun and on-point comedian, and then come away in a good mood. (That good mood was shown on the local news, after Scaramucci came out of the Ed Sullivan Theater.)

Stephen Colbert said something to Trump that is worth repeating: “The opposite of alt-right is not alt-left. It’s ‘not-Nazis’!”

When Trump asked where does this statue removal business stop, Colbert continued, “Spoken like a guy who’s suspiciously worried that racist guys don’t get statues anymore.” We all know how much Trump loves self-aggrandizing publicity. Trump marquees on buildings around the nation attest to this with glaring obviousness.

Trump is as insecure and publicity-loving as Adolph Hitler.

James Corden, the British comedian who does The Late Late Show, would prefer not to focus on political events. He cannot avoid it, however.

(If you’re reading this, James Corden, I love watching your show, and I love that beautiful, elegant red tie you wear that has a golden honeybee on it. Of course I love that tie – I’m the author of a book entitled The Bear Guarding the Beehive, about honeybee colony collapse disorder, and the law, science, and politics that affect it.)

James Corden now routinely heaves a huge sigh when it is time to review political events in his opening monologue. He complains that he does not want to do this, but that Trump, his crew, and other who spread hate are making him do it. Then he does it. I’m glad he does, and I know he does it because he cares about the direction that the world is going in, and that he has no use for hatefulness.

Trump saying that there is blame on both sides is true. The perpetrators committed a heinous act, and the resistance resisted.

What all this shows is that the world is in a state of flux and increasing chaos.

It’s a resource war.

We have terrorists in the Untied States of America, and we have always had them.

The last thing we should ever do is make them feel at ease with expressing themselves.

Google and GoDaddy have dropped The Daily Stormer from their servers, citing conflicts with their community standards.

Google, GoDaddy Drop Neo-Nazi Group’s Domain Registration

They are under no obligation to host an American Nazi publication. Yes, this is blatant censorship against hate.

Freedom of speech is not guaranteed by privately owned entities.

Fortunately, few such entities are controlled by haters.

Meanwhile, we see Trump asking for the names of people who comprise the resistance against him and his ilk:

US government demands details on all visitors to anti-Trump protest website

This is the latest fascist effort at creating a police surveillance state that hunts down and attacks resistance.

The Untied States of America is not the only place on this planet that is experiencing this.

Just look for places that are experiencing human overpopulation – INCLUDING the Untied States of America.

We know we’re overpopulated when the haters are reproducing themselves and their intellectual sewage with reckless abandon.

Trump is a national disgrace and an international embarrassment.

Trump can’t claim that the reports out of Charlottesville, Virginia and the murder of Heather Heyer are fake news.

Alex Jones and other purveyors of nonsense and conspiracy theories will soon spew out some such nonsense, though – count on it.

Don’t watch or listen. We all have better things to do.

Trump loves to bash CNN and other news agencies, but even he is realizing that it doesn’t sell.

He just deleted a tweet with a train running over a CNN reporter. Too late – too slow! The nation saw it and retweeted his tweet first.

After Charlottesville, Trump retweets — then deletes — image of train running over CNN reporter

This is a disgrace, and it’s going to get worse. How much worse depends on how much emotion and how much intelligence people engage.

We have a divisive disaster in the White House, and as much as he claims not to want the support of the alt-right, he has it.

No wonder President Barack Obama’s staff looked so angry as Trump arrived after the election to talk about the mechanics of being president.

They knew what how he would operate once in office: as monstrously and as unethically as possible.

It’s backlash, as comic Dave Chappelle explained in the Saturday Night Live skit that depicted people watching the election last November. It’s a political swing-back.

I was not surprised that we didn’t get Hillary Rodham Clinton for our president, despite the fact that she won the popular vote. I was just too suspicious of political outcomes. Something was wrong, and although I didn’t know what the problem was (gerrymandering, Cambridge Analytica, etc.), I suspected that  we couldn’t possibly have 12 years of progressive, liberal, inclusive, globalist, feminist, environmentalist politics. Nothing that good could last.

The world is in trouble with human overpopulation, which is driving ecosystems collapse and economic collapse every which way we look.

Resources are strained, which is leading to evil attitudes and behavior. Haters claim entitlement to resources and respond with bullying glee when theft of a democracy has any success. We’ve seen the outcome of that behavior before, though. It may take a while to get there, but it won’t be pretty for them when it does.

Just keep resisting them.

Tonight, I’m watching Lin-Manuel Miranda guest star on James Corden’s show.

I loved reading Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton, I love the soundtrack of the rap musical Hamilton, and I loved learning about this wonderful Founder and taking in well-researched refutations of every effort to malign him. Alexander Hamilton did not own any slaves. He set up the U.S. Department of the Treasury, which we need to in order to function as a nation. He was the primary author of The Federalist Papers, which served as the original repeal and replace document, advocating that the Articles of Confederation be replaced with the U.S. Constitution.

Statue of Alexander Hamilton at the U.S. Treasury building in Washington, D.C.

As he lay dying, Alexander Hamilton said, “If they break this union, they will break my heart.”

Alexander Hamilton – Portrait by John Trumbull

He had no use for populism, only research, writing, logic, and what was good for the long-term health of the nation.

He definitely loved this nation.

I love that guy.

While I’m at it, I shall say that I love Mark Twain, too. He too loved this nation, and never hesitated to criticize haters or governmental idiocy.

So fight attempts to weaponize freedom of speech in any way you can. It’s worth it to live free from fear.

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It’s Earth Overshoot Day! And It’s Earlier Than Last Year, as Usual

Time to check the world population clock again.

Let’s see what it says…

http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/

We’re at 7,522,504,008 humans now.

Earth Overshoot Day comes earlier each year.

Earth Overshoot Day marks the point in the calendar at which our species as a whole has officially used up all of the resources – food, water, and other materials – that our planet can offer in a year. It is the day on which we are thus operating at a deficit, using next year’s allotment.

The problem is that we have been doing this for decades, so that marker is a slightly calmly fiction when one considers that we are already heavily into a deficit before the year even starts.

Last year, 2016, Earth Overshoot Day was on August 8th. This year, it’s on August 2nd.

August 1st was Child-Free Day, for those of us who choose not to reproduce at all. It’s almost funny that Earth Overshoot Day came right after it.

Our numbers continue to increase as if soil nutrients and agronomic advances are eternal.

We don’t have more Earths, and we’re not going to have more Earths.

The Earth we have can support less than 2 billion humans, and we are demanding that it support 7.6 billion and rising. It won’t work. We are near the point of a resource war every which way we look. We last had 2 billion humans in 1930. Since then, our species has inflicted much damage to our planet’s ecosystems, thus decreasing its carrying capacity for us resource guzzlers, and causing the 6th mass extinction in the history of the Earth.

Welcome to the Age of the Anthropocene.

Producing fewer humans won’t solve the problem, but it is most of the solution. The rest of it is to use fewer resources. A human uses far more of those in a developed nation than in another one, thus its ecological footprint or carbon footprint or whatever you want to focus on for a footprint will be far more significant in the United States, Switzerland, or Japan than in India, Sudan, or Congo.

Any comment about a population policy continues to be met with moral outrage, just as child-free people are met with the same attitude by those who have chosen to reproduce.

This is something that most people don’t want to hear.

Most people prefer to vilify anyone who lives child-free as selfish. That we may be, but our decision is not impacting their lives beyond our disinterest in the perpetuation of their DNA.

There are other ways to live a fulfilling, memorable life, but they don’t believe it.

Nothing lasts forever, though.

Even lines of DNA eventually end. Someday, everyone’s last descendant will not reproduce, for whatever reason, be it choice, infertility, early death, or something else. The cycle of birth, life, death and repeat should not be about projecting one’s wishes onto future generations of individuals, who won’t care about the wishes of those who bring them into existence…but it usually is. The offspring never has a choice in being brought into existence. Why should we worry about disappointing others by not reproducing?! We have no obligation to do that.

Want libertarianism? Start with your reproductive decisions and don’t have kids, and therefore don’t force them to live without sufficient access to fresh fruits and vegetables, clean air and water, high-quality education without debt slavery, health care without debt slavery, and interesting and meaningful work that earns enough money to have a happy, productive life. No unwanted nor any unplanned humans should be brought into existence. That already puts them at the back of the line for all of those crucial things.

Why worry about continuing that cycle? Get a vasectomy, get your tubes tied, and relax. There are plenty of things to worry about without an unwanted pregnancy.

Governments ought to keep abortion on demand not only legal but conveniently accessible, and give out birth control like candy.

Religious groups should be banned from maintaining pregnancy counseling centers whose purpose is to keep a pregnant woman talking and showing her fetus images and videos until it is too late for her to get an abortion, always ignoring her pleas for directions to an abortion clinic or doctor.

Religious entities should be barred from buying control of hospitals and doctors’ groups for the purpose of barring them from offering abortions.

There should be no restriction on discussion of abortion for entities around the world receiving money from governments – ANY governments.

Let’s face it: many people on this planet have no fun to look forward to, therefore, they WILL have sex. Let’s remove reproduction from the list of consequences of having sex – everywhere.

This blog isn’t meant to cheer people up with lies or platitudes.

If you want that, go watch a movie. Reality is merciless. Most people will only look at politics and argue about that. So…

The news of the slow-motion car crash of democracy in the United States continues.

It’s been a non-stop stream of insanity, inanity, and outright lunacy.

I thought nothing would improve, not one iota, until an encouraging headline cropped up:

The Mooch is OUT!

Life will now cease to imitate a mobster movie with the exit of wealthy and toilet-tongued hedge fundster Anthony Scaramucci.

Anthony Scaramucci removed as White House communications director

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/07/31/anthony-scaramucci-removed-as-white-house-communications-director/?utm_term=.71872f3690d5

What a relief. Our list of national embarrassments was just too damned long. It still is, but every deletion from it feels really good. He can no longer mouth off to news organizations’ driveway correspondents at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. And his wife dumped him on the day that she gave birth to their son…so he won’t be making any more with her.

P.S. Every report on his antics inspired the thought, “Such a pretty face; such a filthy mouth.” Good riddance.

Our comedians are sorely disappointed at the loss of such great material as The Mooch encouraged.

‘Goodbye, Mooch’: Late-night comedians bid farewell to Anthony Scaramucci

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/08/01/goodbye-mooch-late-night-hosts-bid-farewell-to-anthony-scaramucci/?utm_term=.9a34588186af&wpisrc=nl_most&wpmm=1

But our government should present a more dignified front. It should not provide such easy fodder for jokes. This goes beyond anything that we have seen before, and that is nothing to applaud.

Life will not, however, cease to imitate a movie about an elderly guy with Alzheimer’s disease, or a political parody.

This is the reality show that keeps on writing its own script.

So is human overpopulation – but too few people tune in to that channel, because they find it too apocalyptic to accept. Instead, most prefer to write the concept of a human overpopulation as a myth, and a population policy off as social engineering, an attempt at implementing a police surveillance society.

A World With Ten Billion People Does Not Turn Out Well

http://below2c.org/2017/07/world-ten-billion-people-not-turn-well/

I’m one of the people who wants no part of a resource war, nor the misery that that entails.

I didn’t reproduce, I didn’t wage wars of aggression, and I’m not willing to foot those bills.

I refuse to do so.

Here is a tally of the bills: resource war, famine, cannibalism, plague, mass deaths.

Oh, some may say, but it is God’s/Allah’s/Whatever Entity’s will that we reproduce and suffer.

Religiousness is poison to logic and humanity.

I still prefer atheism, most particularly for putting science and reason ahead of all else. It tends to cut down on sociopathy.

Of course (as the conventional statement of denial goes), we can all just cram ourselves into a space the size of Texas and live in stacks of high-rises – 11 billion of us – with no privacy, space, access to the natural, non-urban world, and there will be enough for all.

But there won’t be enough, and our antibiotics are failing. We used to have more than one strain of those, but the last one is rapidly losing its ability to resist evolving pathogens.

Cram humans too closely together, and they get cranky, then angry, then combative, then homicidal – even in a developed area that supposedly has enough food, water, and other resources, such as New York City.

But don’t take my word for it.

Go out and see it for yourself.

Get stuck in a traffic jam, with or without a motor vehicle crash being cleaned up, and you’ll experience this. (By the way, a traffic jam without a crash is a classic example of human overpopulation.)

Go somewhere in the developed parts of the world during rush hour to see it.

Try to get from one place to another in a city in Southeast Asia such as Decca, Bangladesh or Bangkok, Thailand. You’ll spend a few hours trying to progress behind a few blocks.

I wish I were making this stuff up, but I’m not.

When I did make stuff up, it was to include all of these points in a dystopian series on human overpopulation and ecosystems collapse. Disclaimer: including every facet of the topic does not constitute an endorsement of the actions taken in the series.

   

Unhappy Earth Overshoot Day to you!

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Say NO to Orwellian, Fascist Demand for Voter Data

A hollow, meaningless Independence Day is upon us.

Many of our rights are being attacked – rights that I, for one, am not willing to part with.

The right to voter privacy is one of them.

Trump, in his endless quest to stroke his own weak ego, wants our voter data.

He hopes that, if acquired, this data will reveal that most voters picked him.

Mike Pence and Kris Kobach are assisting him in an attempt to gather it.

This demand should never have been made.

No state should agree to comply with it, but many are doing just that, oaths to uphold the entire U.S. Constitution be damned.

This is an Orwellian demand, and a fascist one.

It is intrusive surveillance – there is the Orwellian element – and fascist in wanting to police us.

What, after all, would be Trump’s response to voters who demonstrate a history of not wanting him, his policies, or anything else to do with him?

What would he want to do next? Nothing that respects liberty or independence, that’s for sure.

This demand for voter data is no secret. It’s all over what he persists in calling “fake” news.

Trump says states are ‘trying to hide’ things from his voter fraud commission. Here’s what they actually say.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/07/01/trump-says-states-are-trying-to-hide-things-from-his-voter-fraud-commission-heres-what-they-actually-say/?utm_term=.17e224883e21

This article from The Washington Post includes a graphic that shows how states are responding to this demand:

Take a good look and see what your state intends to do – or not do.

This is the sentence in the article that interests me:

“A number of states said they would only provide limited, publicly available information, as required by state law.”

What, in particular, does each state law require?

I decided to check the law for my own state, Connecticut.

The Connecticut General Statutes underwent some changes that became effective as of July 1, 2013. Under CGA 143 §9-19k, we are to have an online registration system. It to be shared with another state or with the federal government ONLY for the purpose of preventing any voter from holding multiple registrations. It is not to be shared to reveal how any voter voted in any election:

Sec. 11. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2013) (a) The Secretary of the State may enter into an agreement to share information or data with any other state in order to maintain the state-wide centralized voter registration system established pursuant to section 9-50b of the general statutes. If an agency of this state, another state or the federal government provides the Secretary with information or data to be used to maintain such system, the Secretary shall not use such information or data for any purpose except to maintain such system and shall ensure that such information or data is held confidential if such information or data, while in the possession of such other agency or state or federal government, as applicable, was required to be held confidential, except as provided for in subsection (b) of this section.
(b) The Secretary of the State may provide such information or data to a nonpartisan third-party vendor for the purpose of maintaining the state-wide centralized voter registration system established pursuant to section 9-50b of the general statutes, provided such vendor’s activities are performed under the supervision of the Secretary and such vendor has entered into an agreement to protect the confidentiality of such information or data.

https://www.cga.ct.gov/2012/ACT/PA/2012PA-00056-R00HB-05024-PA.htm

I found a couple of other articles online that discussed this situation: one by the Associated Press, which stated that Connecticut’s Secretary of State will comply with the law of this state, and another by Fox News Politics (I am – happily – not related to that entity in any way.) This other story stated that Connecticut would not comply with the demand to release voter data. Actually, I rather enjoyed that headline.

Here are the headlines and links to the full articles:

Connecticut to Share Information With Voter Fraud Commission

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/connecticut/articles/2017-06-30/connecticut-to-share-information-with-voter-fraud-commission

Really? What information will that be, the discerning reader might ask? Is it the information that Trump, Pence, and Kobach seek, or just other data that won’t reveal what they’re after? A careful perusal of the statutes and the article suggests that it won’t. Insert pleased grin here.

Dem state officials refusing to cooperate with Trump voter fraud probe

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/06/30/dem-state-officials-refusing-to-cooperate-with-trump-voter-fraud-probe.html

Here is the paragraph from the Fox News Politics article about Connecticut:

Connecticut Secretary of the State Denise Merrill said in a statement that her office would provide such information “in the spirit of transparency.” But, suggesting some of the requested data would not be sharable under state law, she said she would ensure “the privacy of voters is honored by withholding protected data.” Merrill also voiced concern that state officials “have not been told precisely what the Commission is looking for.”

The writer clearly wishes that all data sought will be willingly turned over to the Orwellian fascists who seek it, because he continues:

Virginia and California were more brazen in their response. 

The upshot of all of this is that with the combined total of refusals to comply with this brazen (that’s where the adjective actually belongs!) demand, it won’t be possible for Trump, Pence, Kobach, and their team to assemble the big picture that they seek to create.

Take that and tweet something your attorneys will regret, Herr #Pumpkingropenfuhrer.

After looking at all this, I decided to write a letter to Connecticut’s Secretary of State, Denise Merrill.

What I wanted to do was to state my position on the matter.

This is the website for that office: http://www.ct.gov/sots/site/default.asp

When I called the office, all I got was a machine that wasted my time on hold for a while, making me think I would actually get to speak to a human being to leave my message, playing an announcement to that effect 3 times before bumping me to voice mail. I left a message telling Ms. Merrill that she has my consent to release nothing, plus a complaint at not getting a human being on the phone.

This is my letter to Ms. Merrill:


Stephanie C. Fox, J.D.

QueenBeeEdit

Website: www.queenbeeedit.com

July 3, 2017

 

Ms. Denise Merrill

Connecticut Secretary of State

Office of the Secretary of the State

State of Connecticut

30 Trinity Street

Hartford, Connecticut 06106

Telephone: (860) 509-6200

E-Mail: denise.merrill@ct.gov

Website: http://www.ct.gov/sots/site/default.asp

 

Re: Voter Data Request Should Be Denied.

Dear Secretary Merrill:

The purpose of this letter is to tell you that I want NONE of my voting history data shared with Donald Trump, nor with his Orwellian and fascist voter data collection commission. None of this is anyone else’s business, and as such, any request or demand for it is an assault on our democracy.

After a review of various articles on the matter, plus a look at the Connecticut General Statutes, I am relieved to see that you have refused to share it. Maintaining an online voter registration system and database to ensure that no one votes more than once in any one election is reasonable.

A post about this matter, appearing on my website’s blog, shall include this letter.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Stephanie C. Fox, J.D.


UPDATE! On Friday, July 7, 2017, this was sent to me at 8:06 p.m. to me from Connecticut Secretary of State Denise Merrill:

New Image.TIF
Denise W. Merrill
Secretary of the State

Thank you so much for contacting me about the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity and its request of information from my office, specifically the state’s voter registration list. As I have said before, I am skeptical about the Commission’s purpose, especially since it is led by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who has been cited by the courts for disenfranchising eligible voters.

I will not be providing any information about Connecticut residents to the Commission at this time.  Instead, I have responded to the Commission with a series of questions related to transparency of their work, the process for public comment, and how voters’ personal information will be protected.  I also asked the Commission to inform me how they intend to use states’ voter registration lists. 

In Connecticut and every other state, the list of who is a registered voter is publicly available information and there are many good reasons for that policy.  But in this day and age, many people are uncomfortable with how that information may be amplified by the internet or might make us vulnerable to certain kinds of malicious activities.  It is possible that our state’s Freedom of Information laws will ultimately compel me to share the voter list with Commission.  However, under no circumstances would your social security number or driver’s license number ever be shared. 

Our democracy works best when more people participate, that’s why my goal has always been to make it as easy as possible for an eligible voter to register and cast their ballot.  Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me.  I hope you will continue to do so in the future.

Sincerely,

Denise W. Merrill
Secretary of the State Office


At least our state isn’t cooperating with this exercise in betrayal of democracy.

Nonetheless, we are watching our democracy commit suicide.

A treasonous interloper who ought to be, in his own word, unpresidented, benefitted by election fraud that was committed both from within and without, and he can’t emotionally move on from any of it. Because of that, it is entirely possible that nothing matters, and nothing may be done to stop it. The law is being ignored by those who have benefitted from this treason, committed by many individuals, and by this attack on our democracy and election system, because doing so continues to benefit them.

The moment the law is respected again – IF that were to happen – a lot of them would be prosecuted. But the chances of respect for the law are grim.

Our democracy is being eroded in increments, so that we can see quite a lot of it crumble, with many details shown.

It’s like watching a car crash in slow motion, and we get to see each shard of glass smash and fly, and each bit of flesh, bone, and blood pulverized as the vehicle impacts the immovable yet avoidable object ahead.

Unhappy Independence Day to all.

One could also say Happy 4th of July at family gatherings, just to avoid political discussions, and ignore the meaning behind the holiday.

I don’t want to do that, though.

We ought to be thinking of how most of the signers of the Declaration of Independence lost their property, livelihoods, and lives during the Revolution.

But no…we must think of how democracy is committing suicide, as predicted by John Adams.

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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.

http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/news/a55768/why-ossoff-lost/

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

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/06/15/sunday-review/overpopulated-and-underfed-countries-near-a-breaking-point.html

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.

   

https://www.amazon.com/Stephanie-C.-Fox/e/B007IZ4ZIS/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2?qid=1402562514&sr=8-2

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.

http://elizabethparkct.org/

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

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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.

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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’

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/federal-judge-calls-trump-deportation-order-hawaiian-coffee-farmer-inhumane-n766376

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

https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2017/05/15/us/ap-us-gop-congressman-activist.html

An update provides a bit more information:

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

https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2017/05/15/us/ap-us-gop-congressman-activist-the-latest.html

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)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rodney_Frelinghuysen

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

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/top-political-heirs/story?id=15047194#3

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.

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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.

https://thinkprogress.org/republicans-celebration-trumpcare-vote-3ba9170af2?gi=a1d0a65924bd

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

http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/04/politics/chris-collins-gop-health-care-bill-cnntv/

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

http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/05/politics/mark-sanford-chris-collins-bill-health-care/

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?!

https://www.amazon.com/Vaccine-Nae-Nee-Wasnt-Enough-Nae-N%C3%A9e-ebook/dp/B013DISX2W/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

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.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patrick_McHenry

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:

https://www.change.org/p/remove-health-care-subsidies-for-members-of-congress-and-their-families/

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.

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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?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5z9s_bimnw

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:

https://www.amazon.com/Stephanie-C.-Fox/e/B007IZ4ZIS/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2?qid=1402562514&sr=8-2

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.

https://www.amazon.com/Book-Thieves-Stephanie-C-Fox-ebook/dp/B007EELO9Q/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqbVRqFl_K8

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.

https://www.amazon.com/Bear-Guarding-Beehive-Stephanie-Fox-ebook/dp/B00NN513YG/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

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.

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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.

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