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We Broke Laws That Disadvantaged Us. We Must Do It Again.

Our nation was founded by those who broke laws that disadvantaged them.

Since then, those of us who continued to be disadvantaged by the new legal system continued that tradition.

We must do that again.

There were dire consequences for doing so, ranging from being jailed and force-fed (women suffragists such as Alice Paul), to being lynched and burned to a crisp (civil rights activists), having one’s home or place of worship burned down (you name the cause!), having one’s bus burned, often while still containing its passengers (again, civil rights activists), getting murdered or assassinated (Medgar Evers and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.), getting one’s skull bashed in by a police night-stick (U.S. Representative from Georgia John R. Lewis), having food poured onto one’s head at lunch counters (civil rights activists such as Anne Moody), and many, many more.

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Scary thought?

Well, Happy Hallowe’en!

That brings me to law, politics, ecosystems collapse, human overpopulation, and the fabulous annual project of political science Professor Matt Warshauer, which you can read more about at https://themindfulprofessor.org/ 

This is what he has created for Hallowe’en 2018:

The exhibit includes quotes by Presidents George Washington, Teddy Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, and Barack Obama.

George Washington panel on political science professor Matt Warshauer’s exhibit for Hallowe’en 2018. Photograph by Stephanie C. Fox

Teddy Roosevelt panel on political science professor Matt Warshauer’s exhibit for Hallowe’en 2018. Photograph by Stephanie C. Fox

John F. Kennedy panel on political science professor Matt Warshauer’s exhibit for Hallowe’en 2018. Photograph by Stephanie C. Fox

Barack H. Obama panel on political science professor Matt Warshauer’s exhibit for Hallowe’en 2018. Photograph by Stephanie C. Fox

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is an annual Hallowe’en tradition in West Hartford, Connecticut to go and see it. This year, the professor has invited the public to write on 4 panels provided to the right of the display.

The panels are labeled alternately “Hope”, “Fear”, “Hope”, “Fear”, in white, black, white, and black. Markers with black and white ink are provided. I left them nib-end down in the wells atop the tombstone to civil rights in the center, so that gravity would keep the ink flow going as long as possible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you can see, members of the public have taken the professor up on his invitation, and continue to do so every day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Among the writings were the initials of U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a peace symbol, an exhortation to eliminate the electoral college, an encouragement to vote, worry about the loss of reproductive rights, and words such as “equality,” “education for all,” “fascism,” “transphobia,” “sexism,” “rape,” and “the GOP is corrupt.”

The professor has addressed the problems were are dealing with in panels to the left of “Gates to Trumpian Perdition”, which is topped by a sign that reads “Democracy Can Die”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over these is a Trump puppet that spews steam from a mechanism behind the wall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With Trump is a vulture skeleton. These panels include quotes from past politicians that offer hope via useful advice, warnings written by prescient dystopian fiction authors, and quotes from monsters from history’s worst, most hateful periods, such as Adolph Hitler.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The scariest panels come last. Dystopian authors warn repeatedly, historians warn that those who don’t study history are condemned to repeat it, and still the monsters reappear with disturbing regularity as history stubbornly does repeat itself. There was Hitler, and now there is Trump.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am one of those dystopian authors who insist upon writing warnings. Some of those warnings are novels that include ideas for averting or remedying catastrophes. The world of Nae-Nee, my 3-novel tale of human overpopulation and ecosystems collapse, offers many ideas aimed at preserving, remediating, protecting, and otherwise saving our planet and its human societies. The books are in both digital and printed formats.

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Richard Blumenthal, a Democratic senator from the state of Connecticut and former Attorney General of that state, has filed suit as a member of Congress against Trump for violations of the Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Profiting financially from one’s position as POTUS compromises one’s ability to serve and to uphold one’s oath of office. Thus far, the case is going well, with a win in federal court. Let’s hope for res judicata on this one, i.e. that it stands as decided. Stay tuned.

Richard Blumenthal: Trump Thumbs Nose At Constitution, Americans

Here is the case:

Richard Blumenthal, et al. v. Donald J. Trump, No. 1:17-cv-01154 (D.D.C. 2017)

Alexander Hamilton, one of the framers of the Constitution was concerned about foreign corruption of the new United States.[10] Towards that end, the Foreign Emoluments Clause can be seen as a measure to prevent corruption and one that has yet to be interpreted by the courts.[11][12] So the question of how to ensure foreign payments to the President or organizations which exist for the benefit of the President are not unconstitutional unauthorized payments from foreign governments has not yet been the basis of case law.

The Ranking Member of the Constitution Subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Richard Blumenthal, the similarly situated Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, John Conyers, Jr., 29 other senators and 165 other representatives[13] allege that this behavior impedes their constitutional right to be advised of such foreign payments and their duty to weigh in on potentially unauthorized emoluments.

It’s great that we have people like Senator Blumenthal in government. But it may not be enough. The federal courts are full of judges who care about the rule of law, but that is no longer so at the top level. The U.S. Supreme Court is now ruined with the addition of an angry, self-entitled , white male bent on getting revenge against liberals for daring to try to stop an attempted rapist and belligerent drunk, i.e. himself, from being seated on our highest court.

We don’t know whether or not we will succeed in restoring Democrats to power in the House and Senate this November.

Vote!

I have already done so via absentee ballot.

We are forced to look to fiction to hear proper speeches by leaders to offer logical, legitimate perspectives. Madam Secretary said it tonight: “Nationalism is a perversion of patriotism.” She also talked about how our nation is not for just one group. It’s for all groups. (It was also fun to see 3 real past Secretaries of State in the season premiere: Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell, and Hillary Rodham Clinton.)

Madam Secretary | ‘E Pluribus Unum’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the beginning of this post, I said that we got the laws that give us civil rights such as the right to vote, the right to equal education that is not separate from other groups, the right to the absence of segregation, the right to control one’s reproductive life, and many others, by breaking laws that put us at a disadvantage.

Yes, we did get some that way. We also got some by using the standard legal and legislative process. Case law and enacted law reflects this.

But…when the law is hijacked by those who use money to pervert it, by calling for nationalism rather than patriotism, by gerrymandering, by not minding when foreign computer hackers tamper with our elections, and by deliberately looking the other way when Nazis crop up, vandalizing, harassing, maiming and killing, and bullying as if we were back in the post-Civil War South full of enraged, self-entitled losers who saw murder as a solution to their having lost the Civil War…clearly, expecting the system to continue working for the greater good is a fantasy.

The Supreme Court Is Headed Back to the 19th Century | The justices again appear poised to pursue a purely theoretical liberty at the expense of the lives of people of color.

John Adams said that, eventually, democracy commits suicide.

We must fight to get it back.

If that means temporarily breaking the rules – and the laws – that take our rights away in order to restore our laws and civil rights, it is time to consider that.

Here is my statement from the second “Hope” panel in Professor Warshauer’s exhibit with some suggestions:

“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!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s all very well to suggest this – to suggest breaking laws to fix them – but there is one other problem: I don’t know how to hack a computer. I don’t know computer experts who could perform on that level. I’m a dystopian author who can warn, suggest, and write eloquently.

But like the rest of the people in this country who care about preserving and protecting our civil rights, and who want them restored, I need some help with that.

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