I was born in a box some years ago, closed by tape and glue and the small-mindedness of others. As the years passed and the bindings disintegrated, I emerged to shed the final constraints of all that surrounded and cast their shadows over me. I listened, read, watched and learned and listened well some more. In truth, I cannot say that I have learned all the lessons that the past has to offer, but I can say that the box is long gone; my eyes are wide open, my ears still gratefully receptive to the calls to arms, to fight against ignorance, deceit, fraud, hypocrisy, lies, injustice. At some point I will be back in a box, sealed up and delivered to the earth – an earth that has felt the thunder of the downtrodden, has heard the voices of those long silenced, has seen the fires of discontent burn ferociously, although sometimes too slowly. Representative John Lewis was one such thunder, voice, and fire. His “Good Trouble” will continue unabated, by others, until hatred and cruelty are no more. — by Ginger Marin
Once upon a very sad time, there lived a man named Donald J. Trump. He lived in a big white house that he did not own. Yet, he huffed and he puffed and blew the house over but not before trampling through it like a bad tempered, revenge-seeking bull in a pretty little china shop.
He left shards of glass everywhere, soiled the furniture, pissed the hallways, shit the carpets, crayoned the walls, poisoned the plants, clogged the toilets, tore down the curtains, broke the windows, slashed the paintings, laser-beamed the staff and crew. After all that, he set a huge bonfire and burned it to the ground.
As he strolled away from the big white house that was no more, he blamed the previous occupants. He then waltzed through the streets of Laredo and beyond with his camouflaged stormtroopers, creating more chaos wherever he roamed.
Donald J. Trump is no law and all disorder. And Trump’s Storm Troopers will go down in history.
by: Ginger Marin
Ill conceived from the start. On land stolen from the Lakota Sioux, their sacred land, the U.S. government commissioned an anti-Semite, racist, KKK member Gutzon Borglum to deface the natural beauty of the mountain. But it can still be saved.
Instead of the faces of American presidents, this is how we should transform those features:
A Bear: The powerful bear to remind us that America will always persevere through adversity.
An Elk: The stalwart elk to remind us that America must always love and protect the land for without it there is no real America.
We should reclaim this monument as soon as Donald J. Trump is gloriously evicted from office, an office he had no right to occupy, an office he has equally defaced every single day of his presidency.
This Land is Our Land. These images would truly represent Our Land, Our Heritage, Our Ideals. Or at least what should be our ideals. This, of course, doesn’t even begin to address land that was stolen, but perhaps it is one compromise we can make.
by: Ginger Marin
Donald Trump is a Murderer
Donald Trump murders the truth. He murders individuals’ reputations. He murders individuals’ careers. All you have to do is look at the body count following his impeachment trial. He has done these things deliberately and with great malice. As such, Donald J. Trump is a serial killer. Serial killers are known to be sociopaths or psychopaths. They have a very poor sense of right and wrong. They have no ability to empathize. According to L. Michael Tompkins, EdD., a psychologist at the Sacramento County Mental Health Treatment Center, a key difference between a psychopath and a sociopath is whether he has a conscience, the voice inside that lets us know when we’re doing something wrong. A sociopath has a weak conscience and a psychopath has none. “If he lies to you, he won’t feel any moral qualms, though he may pretend to”, said Tompkins. Well, Donald Trump doesn’t even pretend to.
According to Aaron Kipnis, PhD, author of The Midas Complex, a psychopath has less regard for others, “They see others as objects he can use for his own benefit.” Totally Trump! This Murderer-in-Chief is a hotheaded, temper-tantrum throwing malignant narcissist with the mentality of a toddler at the same time as being a cold, calculated killer, highly skilled in having viciously clawed his way from the crib to the top of his corrupt corporate ladder, all the way to the presidency.
Donald Trump is a Pathological Liar
Trump lies about absolutely everything, whether it’s about a fake sunshiny day on his inauguration or in saying Barack Obama committed crimes or alleging that MSNBC host Joe Scarborough is implicated in murder. Donald Trump made 16,241 false or misleading claims in his first three years in office and still counting. That doesn’t even include all the lies before he became president, including when he jetted around the world begging and finagling people and banks for money for his corrupt businesses. That number must be in the millions. He lives to lie and in so doing, pulls along the weak-minded who ignore the lies and simply think it’s okay for Trump, the man who calls himself a stable genius, because somehow they will profit from his dangerous and often incoherent bullshit.
Trump said on Tuesday, May 26, 2020 about Scarborough, “A lot of people suggest that.” — no, only you and your dumb-ass associates. “And hopefully someday people are going to find out.” — yes, hopefully someday those who buy into your bullshit will come to their senses. “Certainly, a very suspicious situation. Very sad. Very sad and very suspicious.” —Oh, Donald, what’s really sad and suspicious is that Congressional Republicans allowed you to get off scot-free during your impeachment and that Attorney General William Barr is an even bigger fanatical supporter of your corrupt administration.
Donald Trump is Guilty of Intentional & Negligent Emotional Distress.
There are so, so many instances. But let’s just concentrate on one more recent. An entire pandemic protocol was in place when he entered office and he effectively dismantled it because OMG it was put in place first by George W. Bush and expanded upon by Barack Obama. And we all know how much Trump hates competence because it obviously makes him look bad. Lives could have been saved. But why bother? Remember when this idiot made fun of a handicapped reporter during his campaign? Then when confronted, he claimed he didn’t. He resorted to being Pathological-Liar-in-Chief, his go-to M.O. Trump doesn’t care whom he hurts or to what degree.
Donald Trump is an Alien
Let’s get one thing straight. Donald Trump has no brains. He has no heart. He has no guts. It is, therefore, safe to say that Donald Trump is not human. This self-proclaimed “stable genius” speaks as if he is from another planet, one where they obviously don’t speak English. Remember when, during his campaign in 2015-2016, he made fun of Hillary Clinton and others reading from teleprompters? He mimicked them by performing robotic side to side movements. Well, now that he’s forced to use one, Trump performs an absolutely superb teleprompter tubby routine. In fact, he’s so robotic, I hear they’re fashioning Trump into a Real Steel boxing bot so he can get his face punched in repeatedly. Now, I grant you, being an alien – I mean a real one from Outer Space – is not something that should automatically get you imprisoned, but when you use the powers of the Presidency to destroy the country and its people, well that should get you put away forever.
For all his crimes against humanity, the environment and the dignity of the office, Trump should be arrested, cuffed and perp-walked out of the White House. He should be charged with murder and related crimes and committed to solitary confinement for the rest of his fat, lazy, sordid life. Joining him in the slammer should be his special clan of mob rats: Jared Kushner, daughter Ivanka, Donald Trump, Jr., Eric Trump and wife Melania, whose whole life force can be summed up by the graffiti lettering on her green fatigue jacket “I REALLY DON’T CARE, DO U?”, worn while visiting an immigrant detention camp for children. Be Best, Melania— you and your cyberbullying fraud of a husband and other rat family members. Be Best as you all jump into your orange jumpsuits. And while pacing in the exercise yard, raise your eyes to the heavens and pray to the sun god during an eclipse. You can let us know if he/she answers when you write your memoirs in Braille from the cold, dank of your prison cells. After all, you’ll be housed in the western-most region of Alaska, you know, where you can see Russia, the motherland, from your single one-inch square window. Oh, I forgot, you’ll all be blind at some point. Oh well, I REALLY DON’T CARE, DO U?
p.s. Lots of people are now saying they won’t don a face mask to protect against the coronavirus because the President won’t. I say, let’s take it a step further. No one pay taxes, break all the laws you want, don’t show up or provide documents if subpoenaed. The emoluments clause and impeachment didn’t stop Trump. The Hatch Act? Kellyanne Conway got away with breaking that law. Let’s all just follow their leads and see how much WE can get away with.
by: Ginger Marin
With much of the world at a standstill, it’s really time to hit the reset button. Globally. Now is the time to fix the broken, stop the environmental destruction, oust the lobbyists whose orchestrated efforts have destroyed our lives on so many levels. Will it happen? Of course not. While people and the economy are fast dying, the special interests are alive and feverishly (no, not from the virus) planning their next attack.
Donald Trump and his minions are continuing to roll back environmental regulations, allowing the fossil fuel industry to continue to plunder and pollute with gleeful abandon and he’s rolling back automobile fuel standards put in place by the Obama administration in 2012. And those are just a few of the things he’s done in the past few months.
Trump was responsible for dismantling our country’s pandemic preparedness department (also put in place under Obama). In California, under its previous Governor Jerry Brown, the state’s massive stockpile of medical equipment and supplies was never maintained and was eventually decimated. The shortsightedness of these idiots in power is astonishing, which is precisely why America has never maintained its infrastructure.
A pandemic is ravaging us. Millions have no health insurance. Trump has refused to reopen the health insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act so people can try to buy insurance during this time. Of course the Affordable Care Act was an Obama accomplishment and Trump has vowed to destroy everything Obama did, whether it worked or not, was good for the country or not, saved peoples lives or not. If ever there was a time for universal health care, it is now. Now … when millions need to be tested and countless others will need acute care in the ICU of hospitals that currently have unregulated billing systems and you could end up being charged many thousands of dollars that could cause you to go bankrupt.
So much is wrong with our social systems in this country, a country that prizes corporate interests over people. We have no safety nets or certainly inadequate ones. The proof is all around you. Nearly four million people have applied for unemployment insurance this past month. How much higher will that number go? What then?
Now is the time to hit the reset button. Cancel all debt for those earning under $100,000 a year. Maybe small business debt has to be higher, I don’t know. Let the economists figure that one out. Institute universal health care. Make education affordable. Give people a living wage. Income equality now. Tax fairness now. Get the homeless off the street. Give people who most need it a stimulus that actually means something. A one-time $1,200 payment isn’t going to cut it. Grow a backbone and the political will to do what needs to be done. Make people whole again. Make our environment whole again. Heal the planet before this pandemic increases in intensity much as our fires and floods have.
It’s great that states are saying landlords should stop evicting people for the time being. But how do you pay back rent/mortgage when you’ve earned nothing for weeks/months at a time? Hit the pause and reset. Do it now. But more important is to fix the things in our society that are broken. The list is miles long. Get rid of the special interest lobbyists in federal and state governments.
Shortsightedness is death. Now is the time. Hit the reset button. We know what to do. Hard work, yeah. Necessary work, definitely. But now is the time.
by: Ginger Marin
Last week, the Los Angeles Times reported a horrible tragedy that took place at Thailand’s Khao Yai National Park. At least 11 elephants died after plunging over the Haew Narok Waterfall in a vain attempt to save a calf. The very short report said the death toll had risen since earlier in the week when officials first found six of the elephants that had died trying to prevent the three month old from drowning.
Elephants are herd animals with strong social bonds in tight families. They will rally around to protect each other, especially the young. I’ve certainly seen enough wildlife shows to verify this action.
Last week, I also read an article that discussed the concept of “pointing” in apes. The idea was that animals could be considered more sentient if they understood that pointing meant a direction or that it was a directive and could perform the act themselves. It discussed a theory that went back several decades. I read with amazement as I thought, are they kidding? A monkey once told me exactly how to deliver the peanut he wanted by pointing to his prehensile tail. I was offering up the nut as he ran atop a grid above me at some kind of monkey zoo in Florida I visited many years ago. I couldn’t reach his hand so he pointed directly to his tail that swung down through the grid. Finally, this stupid human got what he was telling me. I put the peanut at the tip of his tail and he grabbed it and brought it up to his hand and ate the nut. Back then, I really was amazed. I had a successful communication with a monkey. That was in the early-mid 1970s!
Scientists, ethicists and the courts today are still debating whether or not animals should have rights. They debate their emotions, their needs and all sorts of things that are so self evident, you want to throw up your hands and punch them all in the face.
THE NONHUMAN RIGHTS PROJECTS (NhRP)
It starts with the premise that animals are sentient beings. They think. They feel. They are not simply property for us to do with as we please. There must be consideration. There must be empathy . There must be rights afforded to them.
Not someday. But today.
That’s where The Nonhuman Rights Project comes in. They advertise themselves as the only civil rights organization in the United States dedicated solely to securing rights for nonhuman animals through litigation, legislation, and education. Their main objection is defined thus: “To change the common law status of great apes, elephants, dolphins, and whales from mere “things,” which lack the capacity to possess any legal right, to “legal persons,” who possess such fundamental rights as bodily liberty and bodily integrity.” Their work is to be applauded.
Right now, among other cases, they are battling it out with New York’s Bronx Zoo that wants to keep a lone elephant in captivity. NhRP would like to see the elephant named “Happy”, of all implausible things, released to a sanctuary. Keeping any kind of herd animal alone in captivity is abuse in and of itself. The Bronx Zoo defends its action by using a Bronx County Supreme Court ruling from 2014 which asserted that to be a legal person with even a single legal right you have to be able to bear duties and responsibilities.
Patently absurd. A human baby cannot bear duties and responsibilities and yet it very clearly is a legal person under our laws. A person deemed legally insane cannot bear duties and responsibilities; nor can any number of other incapacitated individuals. And yet no one has suggested they can be easily deprived of any rights whatsoever.
Why are certain venues adamant in opposing legal rights for animals? Greed. They operate for profit and they are willing to torture a single animal for the pleasure of their continued profits. The Bronx Zoo’s lone elephant “Happy”, who against all common sense standards, is relegated to a solitary existence and is most likely being driven insane. Yet, the Bronx Zoo resists all efforts by NhRP to get Happy transferred to a sanctuary. Would Happy’s absence from the Zoo really create a terrible hardship to them? NO. But of course it might set a precedent against their never-ending profit scheme to keep elephants or any other species in captivity. Not just the Bronx Zoo, of course, but many more that operate just like it. A sanctuary, on the other hand, would afford animals the right to form their own families and bonds and allow them space to interact with their own kind and breed with whom they choose.
We humans have done great injustices to other species for so long, it’s high time for us to do the right thing. The Nonhuman Rights Projects is their salvation. It has taken basic animal rights a step farther. Now if only the courts will do the right thing and secure animal rights on the level they deserve.
by: Ginger Marin
To read more about NhRP’s client Happy the elephant and to see a timeline of events, go to https://www.nonhumanrights.org/client-happy/ What is particularly sad is that the timeline shows that Happy will probably be dead by the time U.S. courts defend common sense principles.
An interesting discussion on the subject can be found here https://www.dissentmagazine.org/article/can-elephants-be-persons
Arctic is an engrossing and intense survival tale about a man, stranded in the Arctic after a plane crash, making the difficult decision to leave the relative safety of his campsite to take a grueling trek to a far-off rescue station.
It’s superbly acted by Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen, who masters the screen with his every gesture and emotion from the time we first see him going about his daily survival routines to gently caring for a young woman severely injured in a helicopter crash while attempting to rescue him.
Once Mikkelsen’s character H. Overgård makes his decision to leave his plane, he must haul the woman and crucial supplies, brave a polar bear attack and survive the brutal cold and storms while exhausted and injured. I can’t remember the last time I felt so invested in a film, an actor and the story’s outcome.
It was filmed in Iceland by first-time feature film director Joe Penna who started on Youtube in 2006 making videos as the channel MysteryGuitarMan. Cinematographer Tómas Örn Tómasson gets a special shout out.
Director: Michael Gracey
Writers: Jenny Bicks and Bill Condon
Music: John Debney, Joseph Trapanese; Lyricists: Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
Stars: Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, Zac Efron, Zendaya, Keala Settle, Sam Humphrey
The Greatest Showman is inspired by the story of how America’s P.T. Barnum rose in social ranks to create the Greatest Show on Earth – his circus of human oddities and curiosities – with the love and support of wife Charity (Michelle Williams) and daughters Caroline and Helen (Austyn Johnson and Cameron Seely, respectively).
You’ll be treated to excellent acting by all, dialogue transitioned seamlessly into snappy and emotionally laden songs, and wild and joyful choreography, including a well-executed aerial dance with Zendaya and Zac Efron.
There is nothing not to like in this masterful musical. The lyricists are Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, who also wrote for “La La Land”, a film I absolutely detested (an incompetent film musical on all levels). Their showstopper song this time around is “This Is Me” which was nominated for an Academy Award.
Overall, the decision of the filmmakers and music composers to update the film’s setting from the mid 19th century with the use of pop/hip hop style music to tell this story was one that sends this film over the top. Bravo to them all.