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Happy Hallowe’en: Political Posterboards, Death Threats, and Videography

Happy Hallowe’en!

Professor Matt Warshauer, who teaches political science at Central Connecticut State University, and who puts up a political Hallowe’en display every year, invited me to come back this evening while a videographer conducted some interviews in front of it. These are some images of the display, taken in daylight a couple of weeks ago:

Tonight, in the dark, I got a little experience doing nighttime photography. I cranked the ISO settings on my camera to the maximum and used the flash. It worked out well.

Here is the tombstone that Professor Warshauer put next to the display, showing his website: https://themindfulprofessor.org/

 

This is Grace O’Donnell, producer/director of O’DonnellDunn productions inc. See: http://odonnelldunn.com/

She specializes in politics, religion, and rock & roll.

In short, she is just the sort of person I enjoy meeting.

As is the professor. Here he is:

Professor Matt Warshauer, who teaches political science at Central Connecticut State University, stands in front of his Hallowe’en display in West Hartford, Connecticut. Photograph by Stephanie C. Fox

I took a look at the spot where I had written something a couple of weeks ago, which was on one of the “Hope” posterboards. Those and the “Fear” ones were nearly full of writing by members of the public.

I had written:

Hack the G.O.P. – fix what they broke.

Then wipe the path of its codes. Block gerrymandering!

Be stealthy to be effective.

Break rules and maybe some laws to restore civil rights.

Remember: That is how we got those rights!

When I wrote that, I was thinking about women suffragists.

The laws then on the books worked against them.

Following the law was never going to get them the right to vote.

So…they broke the law.

We need to get back to thinking that way, because the wealthy banksters, hedge fundsters, and corporatists of America have rigged the system against the majority with money.

These are the individuals that I call “Farmers” with a capital “F” because they view and treat the rest of us as a crop to be manipulated or a weed to be erased, depending on whether we are cooperating with them or demanding our civil rights.

They insist that everyone but themselves must follow “proper channels” in order to get what they want, while using money to buy lobbyists – the most expensive and most unethical, prostituted ones they can find – to direct the politicians that they have bought with campaign donations to do their bidding.

They paid a lot of money for Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 310 (2010 to enable them to do just that.

Now they can donate as much money as they want to whichever politicians they want through their corporations.

What they want that ability for is to choke off rights that we now have that they don’t like, such as the right to abortion on demand. They want women to be forced to birth unwanted babies and then be stuck raising them and paying to raise them while calling women who get stuck with said babies “whores” and “welfare queens” – and then to cut off that money.

We should feel rage about this and fight back.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The world and all that makes life enjoyable, i.e. a comfortable home, meaningful work that pays a living wage, and civil rights, are not just for one group.

White male rage over seeing all other groups – women, other races, religions other than Christian, atheists, people of all sexual identities, and so on – is a hate crime.

It is not a “right” that is being infringed upon by the mere existence of these others.

White males with rages issues are terrorists and must be viewed and treated as such.

The professor who hosted this videography event is a white male WITHOUT rage issues. He is unselfish, reasonable, and thinks clearly.

There are plenty of men like him in the world.

Those are the ones who deserve to be paid attention to, NOT the minority of angry terrorist losers who attack others online and in person.

Civility has gone too far.

At Democrats are finally starting to disagree with the “go high when they go low” advice that is obvious nonsense and a recipe for more trampling on our civil rights.

Michelle Obama Wanted Democrats to ‘Go High.’ Now They Aren’t So Sure.

I get very angry about all this, and as long as I can remain polite and eloquent in my writing, I can do something useful and effective about our political problems.

People make and post memes online. Some are intelligent and insightful. Others are profane and hateful. Still others manage to express anger in acceptable ways.

That one was my attempt at expressing myself.

It’s a lot better than my initial thoughts upon seeing an article on Facebook about the Alabama Supreme Court wanting to kill Roe v. Wade.

But back to the video event:

The first thing that the professor did was to interview a man whose granddaughter saw Roots, based on the book by Alex Haley.

The next day at school, she drew a picture of Donald Trump whipping Haley’s ancestor, Kunta Kinte, while demanding that he accept a new name.

The man brought the drawing, which is now a few years old, to the interview. It was done during the 2015-2016 U.S. Presidential Election.

Donald J. Trump is a divisive, nasty bully who wants to destroy freedom of speech and the rest of the U.S. Constitution.

He aligns himself with Nazis, alt-right terrorists, Christian terrorists, any government that has its leaders patronize his hotels, and the anti-intellectual masses who feel sidelined by a lack of access to resources.

Never mind why they feel shut out of resources – they are angry, and lashing out at anyone who has access other than those who are actually shutting them out, i.e. the Kochs, the Uihleins, the Mercers, the DeVoses, the Princes, and any other “Farmer” with a capital “F” who seeks to hoard resources for themselves and only themselves.

I posed with the professor in front of his exhibit:

The professor told me that he got a death threat online about his exhibit, which was also addressed to the university president.
She forwarded that threat to the state police.
The state police traced it to a guy in Wisconsin – and we’re in Connecticut.
The guy was freaked out when the police got him on the phone. He whimpered that he was drunk when he posted that comment and that he wasn’t interested in actually hurting anyone.
People are out of control, and I blame Trump, Pence, McConnell, the Kochs, the DeVoses, the Uihlein’s, the Mercers, the Princes, and the alt-right Nazis of America.
At least Bill Maher is out there.
And Stephen Colbert.

After I was interviewed by Ms. O’Donnell, I signed a release form and started to leave.

But then, one of my politicians showed up, so I stayed a couple of minutes longer.

I like this politician. Her name is Beth Bye, and she is the state senator for West Hartford and the part of Bloomfield that I live in.

She is a Democrat, and I remember meeting her in someone’s home when she was first running. She is a former kindergarten teacher who is willing to educate herself about any issue that she votes on in the course of her political duties, and if that means making field trips to learn in person about whatever topic it is, she will do that, and talk about it to groups to share what she has learned.

Senator Bye came to write on the posterboard, and paused to pose for some photographs before doing so.

 

While I was chatting with her, I took advantage of the moment to ask her about our state’s apiary inspector, because a couple of years ago, he was almost removed from the budget.

Mark H. Creighton runs his own set of Langstroth beehives at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station in Hamden, and he invited me to see his operations there.

That was my third camera-toting bee field trip for the book that I wrote about honeybee colony collapse disorder:

Price: Check on Amazon
Price: $20.61
Was: $25.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I blogged about that at the time, after having a Letter to the Editor published in The Hartford Courant.

Here is the blog post: Our Bee Inspector is the Lorax of Honeybees – Save His Funding!

I told her that I had given the governor a copy of my book, The Bear Guarding the Beehive, with a post-it note on the page with 2 photographs showing Mark Creighton, the state apiary inspector at work, and a letter to the governor asking to save his funding. I also knew about the petition from the Connecticut Beekeepers Association and mentioned that.

Senator Bye told me that a combination of Democrats and Republicans had demanded that the apiary inspector be put back on the budget, and so it was.

That was encouraging to hear: a purple group – both red and blue – had understood the importance of keeping the bees healthy. Bees enable our food supply to continue.

I really miss the days of blue and purple in American politics. Red has thrown reason, logic, civility, and democracy to the wind.

If a fight and some stealth is what it takes to restore blue, purple, reason, logic, and civility to political life in America, so be it.

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