Oh, Shiny!


If you spend much time on social media, you’ve almost surely seen the posts.  “Hey!  While you were focused on whether Russia stole the election, Trump is appointing lots of bad judges!”  “Quit talking about Scott Pruitt’s corruption; Trump is using a cell phone that allows almost anyone to listen in!”  “Sheeple!  Who cares whether Trump meets with the Super Bowl Champs!  His racist ambassador is trying to throw the German election to white nationalists!”  And on, and on, and on.  (Oh, and if your concern involves women’s rights, or African American lives, or LGBTQ issues, expect to get double the amount of posts telling you why your issue needs to just go away in the face of “really” important matters.  The liberal blogger bros have got this, little lady, go home and make coffee.)

On any given day, #Putin’sPuppet and his traitorous running dogs commit so many atrocities that it can be impossible to keep up.  (Yesterday, I was chatting with a gay friend and telling him what SCOTUS had done in the wedding cake case and he was telling me about horrible votes in the states that are limiting women’s reproductive justice options. ) And, yeah, I find the constant, “Don’t look over there; look over HERE,” posts annoying.  As I’ve noted,  I can multitask and, besides, I’m a big believer in Byron Ballard’s  Pick Three  philosophy.  I can focus on the three things that really matter to me and hope that my sisters and brothers will focus on the other atrocities.  We are many; they are few.

But there is a sense in which I wish that “our side,” would stop allowing the crazies to set the agenda.

We need to be cats, not dogs.  I have cats and I can promise you that there is nothing (OK, for mine, other than a piece of cheese dropped on the floor), that will interest a cat when that cat does not want to be interested.  Not a mouse toy, not a kitty treat, not the scratching post.  A dog, however, well, we know how dogs are.  They will run enthusiastically after, chase down, dig out from behind a bush, and run right back with the most over-chewed tennis ball ever.  And when you throw it again, they’ll run enthusiastically after it, chase it down, dig it out from behind a bush, and run right back with it.

We keep acting like dogs because we still think that, if we can just show, logically and rationally, with facts, and figures, and charts and graphs, that we are right and they are wrong, well, then, surely, those Trump voters, and Fox News, and David Brooks will see the error of their ways and, suddenly, do right.

No, they will not.

Here’s an example.

Bill Clinton has written a book and, heck, for all I know it could even be interesting.  (It’s not going on this Witch’s bedtable.  I’ve got more than a year’s worth of reading already piled up and more suggestions coming in every day.)  But, Bill’s retired and, if he wants to spend his time writing books, well, no one tells men  to stay home and knit.  However, while he was on his promotional tour yesterday, he got asked about the whole #metoo movement, his affair with Monica Lewinsky, and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

And, we — we liberals — were off, just like that silly slobbering dog.

I’m so old that I remember literally thousands of hours devoted to discussions of whether that affair was consensual (it was), whether Clinton abused his position (he did), whether feminists should side with Clinton or Lewinsky (not mutually exclusive positions), etc., etc., etc.  That affair occurred almost a quarter of a century ago and the only reason the media is bringing it up now is to play their well-practiced bothsiderism:  If we are going to criticize Trump for his sexual harassment, let’s criticize Bill Clinton, too.  Today, the morons on Morning Joe were declaring that Trump was Bill Clinton’s fault; Bill Clinton caused Trump.  And so, even some of the wisest liberal commentators I know jumped in with both feet, seriously considering and debating whether Bill owes Monica an apology, whether the #metoo movement applies to an affair that an adult woman initiated with her boss, whether what Bill did to Monica is equivalent to what Trump did to dozens of women . . . .

Who wins when we do this?

I’m an old lawyer and, in the law, we have a saying:  “Qui bono?”  It means, “Who benefits?”  Who benefits when our side runs off chasing the quarter-century-old bouncing tennis ball?

Here’s a hint:  not our side.

There are lots of other examples.  We don’t need to have long debates about whether someone (Roseanne) calling an African American an ape or a monkey is racist.  The people who do that do it BECAUSE it is racist.  Having long debates with them just bothers us and annoys the pig.  We don’t need to have long debates over whether women should be forced into sexual slavery because some psychopaths can’t get laid.  Devoting attention and serious debate to that issue simply gives the pig a bigger soapbox (a wider Overton Window).  We don’t need to have long debates over whether it’s OK for Xians to discriminate against LGBTQ people.  Spending pixels on that topic simply makes it look as if there’s some serious debate to be had when, in fact, singing pig or not, there isn’t.

Please read up on the Overton Window.

When the right can keep us debating over increasingly insane and fascist propositions (well, maybe at least a few women should sleep with a few men they don’t like, and maybe some African Americans should be more polite to the police, and maybe Trump should get a pass because a woman was attracted to Bill Clinton . . . .) they win.

Ask yourself if the madness we’re debating today is closer to their position than to ours?  Why is that, do you think?

We somehow never seem to get them debating whether or not property is theft, whether or not all coal plants should be seized via the Fifth Amendment and shut down, whether 52% of every legislature, every court, and every board of directors should be female, or whether a a guaranteed annual income is each citizen’s right.  We somehow never seem to get them debating whether large swaths of the country should be set aside for 100 years for wildlife, whether everyone in jail for drug offenses should be set free, or whether all corporations should be subject to a 70-year life after which they “die,” — and have their assets distributed to the country — like the “people” the Supreme Court thinks they are.   We somehow never seem to get them debating whether any corporation that has never had a woman CEO should be seized via the Fifth Amendment and its assets converted to abortion clinics.  We somehow never seem to get them debating whether plastic manufacturers should be required to clean all the plastic out of the sea, to remove all plastic bags from every tree, and to fund every fledgling opera singer for the next 500 years.   `

Here are a few issues we can throw out in order to shift the Overton Window our way:  all wealth above $500 million is theft and should be seized to pay for remediation of ecological damage; three-fifths of all male children should have vasectomies and receive one million dollars in order to alleviate climate change and male supremacy;  every woman who agrees not to bear children should receive five million dollars and be known as a Mother of the New Environment; any inhabited square mile that does not contain a library must immediately have its malls, parking lots, and office parks seized and converted to libraries; the water in every high school must be medicated with birth control; nurses and sanitation workers will each receive $5 million pensions; for the next 300 years, every judge, professor, CEO, and Senator must be either a woman, an African American, a Native American, and/or an openly LGBTQ person.  After that, we’ll start adding the white, straight men back in, one at a time.

Please feel free to add other ideas in comments.

Please quit running after every shiny thing.  There are a lot of us and if even one of us does a take-down of their batshit insane ideas, let’s just quote that person.  Meanwhile, please go put your shoulder to the Overton Window.  We’re cats, not dogs.

Ignore the shiny.  They aren’t throwing that shit out there in order to create honest debate.

Picture found here.

19 responses to “Oh, Shiny!

  1. I love your list. 🙂 … everyone, who is physically able, must personally and ethically, grow at least 50% of their own food, the other 50% being sourced locally.

  2. Please don’t advocate birth control in the drinking water. It only sounds like a good idea until you start thinking about the medical implications. If I take estrogen-based birth control I have acute depression, panic attacks, and paranoia; my body can’t handle it. This is not particularly rare.

  3. Reblogged this on aunt polly's rants and commented:
    Great blog.

  4. Love all of your ideas!

    But Not all dogs!! 😂😂😂 Here’s one with a no nonsense attitude to the job at hand.

    My last 2 dogs were border collies and I must say that their concentration on any of their jobs is a sight to behold – shiny objects don’t distract them. They’ve been tremendous teachers and role models for me when my thoughts get scattered or I get distracted – I dispatch my inner border collie to gather them up, bring them back and keep them corralled, although I must say that I have some distance to go before reaching their plateau.

    So, if you must be a dog, be a border collie!

  5. The government should fund a comprehensive building census to determine every single structure in the US and all territories that is appropriate for solar panels, and then fund installing panels on every single structure that meets the solar efficiency criteria. All structures that don’t meet the solar efficiency criteria will receive green roofs.

    Institute an immediate 100% tax on the purchase of any vehicle that is not hybrid or electric. Institute a sizeable annual tax on that vehicle’s continued operation. (Use the money raised towards the solar initiative.)

    Institute an immediate, comprehensive review of all public schools. Immediately bring every single school up to the same standards as the best-ranked, most well-resourced school in the surrounding five school districts – the building itself, staffing levels, teacher pay, computer labs, libraries, after-school programs, elective courses, guidance, career, and mental-health counseling, school nurses, curriculum and books, advanced and IB classes, IEP and special ed support, etc. Fund this by cutting the Pentagon’s budget as necessary.

    Require all institutions of post-secondary education to spend at least 51% of their annual budget on instruction, offer all faculty full time employment (only the employee can choose to be PT – she cannot be forced by contract to be PT), and pay all faculty a living wage (no more adjuncts on SNAP). Require them to spend their endowments to do it – just like we require foundations to annually distribute a certain amount of their funds.

    Immediately institute a required year of national service for every single American citizen. Yes, that even means adults. If you’re mid-career and can’t do it right now, you will spend the first year of your retirement doing national service. Everyone else sets it up when they register for selective service when they turn 18 (and women should be required to register as well).

    Immediate green card or citizenship (their choice) for every undocumented person with no criminal history.

    Immediate release of all non-violent drug offenders and immediate purging of their records.

    Immediate restoration of voting rights to any convicted felon who has served his or her time upon their release.

    Require all citizens to vote, as Australia does (ensured the same way they do – pay a reasonable penalty fee if you don’t). Every single precinct allows no-excuse absentee/vote by mail and every district offers multiple early voting locations that are open 12 hours a day seven days a week for the two weeks prior to election day. All election days, including primaries, are state or national holidays (as appropriate). We provide free rides to the polls and free child care at all polling places.

    All types of birth control and abortion are free to all women with no co-pays. Birth control pills and Plan B are over-the-counter medications. Any office that has at least one MD can prescribe medical abortion drugs. Men are required to get a permission form signed by their most frequent sexual partner in order to get a prescription for ED medication.

  6. Also!

    Immediately disband ICE. Send the agents to racial bias training.

    The Pentagon is required to account for every piece of military-grade equipment it sold or gave to any non-military organization (like local police departments), repossess it immediately, and ensure that it is properly dismantled/disposed of (no re-selling to some other group that shouldn’t have it either).

    Teachers and all first responders – including police – are required to live in the communities they serve. The government provides a housing allowance where necessary to allow them to afford this.

    Each American household is permitted to own up to two guns – no more than one short-barrel (like a handgun) and one long-barrel (like a rifle). All guns that fire more than one bullet per trigger pull are to be immediately confiscated. All magazines that hold more than ten bullets are to be immediately confiscated. In order to own a gun, a person must be over 21 with no criminal conviction history of any kind (not even a misdemeanor). They must pass a written and practical test and a mental health screening that also tests for propensity for intimate partner violence. Then they can get a license, which must be renewed with a written and practical test and mental health screening every year. Guns may only be purchased from licensed dealers, and you must show your license and proof of insurance in order to buy one. Guns may not be gifted – only the person purchasing them may use them. All guns are required to have biometric trigger locks – that is, they can only be fired by the person to whom they are registered. All guns must be stored unloaded in gun safes – they’re free with purchase! – and the ammo must be kept in a separate safe – also free with purchase! Ammunition may only be purchased from a licensed dealer, and purchase quantities are tracked and strictly limited. You may use your gun for hunting, but any recreational use must take place on the ranges at a licensed gun club.

  7. And!

    Everyone who wants to run for public office of any sort (school board, sheriff, appointed positions) must be able to pass the citizenship test. EVERYONE.

    Everyone running for office at the state level or above must release their three most recent years’ tax returns and be able to pass a Secret-level security clearance background check.

    Everyone running for office at the national level (that means you Congress) must release their five most recent years’ tax returns and be able to pass a Top Secret-level security clearance background check.

    Everyone running for President must release their ten most recent years’ tax returns, must be able to pass a TS-SCI-level security clearance background check, and must have a full physical and mental health screening by qualified physicians, the results of which will be made public. This is not meant to disqualify people (after all, FDR was in a wheelchair and Lincoln definitely suffered from severe depression and potentially bi-polar disorder, and they were both terrific presidents) – it’s just that we need to know what we’re getting, and if a majority of the electorate, say, decides that voting for a proven narcissistic, sociopathic megalomaniac isn’t the best course of action, so be it.

    All private, for-profit prisons and post-secondary educational institutions will be immediately closed. Health care being a human right, it will be provided to everyone at no out-of-pocket cost (excepting elective procedures).

    The Constitution shall be amended immediately with the Equal Rights Amendment (the 28th) and with an equivalent amendment protecting the rights of LGBTQ Americans (the 29th).

  8. Finally (maybe)

    Immediate reparations for African-Americans and Native Americans.

  9. Repeal the Second Amendment.

    Stop acting like harmless lambs: When RWNJ’s threaten us (Nugent, Mitchell, down to the average “all those mass shooters and terrorists are liberals!” liars), tell them: “Yeah, we both know that’s bullshit. You aren’t afraid. You guys own the vast majority of the violence. But that can change, and if you start a war, you’ll be the first dead in the street with a dog pissing on your eyeballs.”

    Do not ever, EVER, use the RW’s words. It’s not “pro-life”; WE are pro-life. They are forced-birth or anti-human. Pro-family. Patriotism. American. Freedom. TAKE THOSE WORDS BACK. And give them Traitor, bigot, anti-family and whatever else.

  10. What a great bunch of ideas! 🙂

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