First we marched for and with women; then we stormed airports in support of Muslims; soon we will be dismantling a wall, but we may not be seeing the real threat. Trial Balloon for a Coup points to what may be really going on and a NY Times piece provides more evidence of how we fight injustice.
The day after the election, I wrote a blog about being visited by a hawk and an owl, and a conclusion that we as a people need to spend some time listening and thinking. Click here to review that post. After reading the article referenced below, I ask you to do the same thing today. There is not a single event posted in today’s blog, but if you do want to review coming actions and opportunities, click here. But before pondering what to do next, I ask that you read, share, listen, and think. I invite comment to this post below and as always, all comments will be accepted. And I encourage you to share this blog with many, many others, because if this article is correct, our challenge could be far greater than we ever imagined. And while the challenge may be greater than we thought, as the end of this post describes, there is another side of America the one that sees injustice, is astonished, gets angry, and acts. Read on.
Our sense of justice is offended by a government and corporatocracy that:
- Imposes a glass ceiling that has limited women’s earning power.
- Eliminates women’s access to reproductive health care;
- Builds a wall and has the hubris to coerce another country to pay for it;
- Slams the door on refugees fleeing oppression that in most cases we have caused;
- Feels it can expropriate land and violate the rights of indigenous people at will.
And so we have marched, rallied, and stormed airports, and soon we will try to dismantle a wall.
But before we get too focused on these issues, we badly need to examine what is going on behind the scenes. Behind closed doors, Donald Trump is restoring the “democracy” that was established in 1776, a democracy by and for white males, that enjoyed the fruits of slavery, and that over a period of 150 years used largely poor, white enlisted soldiers to plunder an entire indigenous nation. Manifest destiny was the call back then. Today we are making America great again, just like it used to be when white men could plunder at will. Behind the scenes, Donald Trump is pulling the strings to concentrate power in ways that are almost inconceivable.
Last night, I read Trial Balloon for a Coup an article by Yonatan Zunger. It is an 8 minute read if you do not click the numerous links to all the sources he references. His well developed premise: much of what Trump is doing now is testing the waters: How much can I get away with? Can I really ignore the few checks and balances upon which what remains of our democracy depends? — the slim threads of what little democracy has not already been purchased by the corporatocracy and the 1%? And Zunger’s well-documented tale is chilling. First, he writes about the recent Muslim ban:
“CNN has a detailed story (heavily sourced) about the process by which this ban was created and announced. Notable in this is that the DHS’ lawyers objected to the order, specifically its exclusion of green card holders, as illegal, and also pressed for there to be a grace period so that people currently out of the country wouldn’t be stranded — and they were personally overruled by Bannon and Stephen Miller. Also notable is that career DHS staff, up to and including the head of Customs & Border Patrol, were kept entirely out of the loop until the order was signed.”
Why would they intentionally include the green card ban when they knew it was illegal? The answer to this question is found in Zunger’s larger point: What is really going on is that Trump is using the Muslim ban to see how far he can go. Can he ignore entirely the advice of DHS attorneys who opposed the ban and of the courts that are now attempting to block it?
“Note also the most frightening escalation last night [Saturday] was that the DHS made it fairly clear that they did not feel bound to obey any court orders. Customs and Border Patrol, CBP, continued to deny all access to counsel, detain people, and deport them in direct contravention to the court’s order, citing “upper management.” But this article was written on Saturday and what the author could not have seen: Sunday. Nonetheless our challenge is very clear.
“There appears to be a very tight “inner circle,” containing at least Trump, Bannon, Miller, Priebus, Kushner, and possibly Flynn, which is making all of the decisions. Other departments and appointees have been deliberately hobbled, with key orders announced to them only after the fact, staff gutted, and so on.” Zunger concludes with this chilling summary:
“Combining all of these facts, we have a fairly clear picture in play.
- Trump was, indeed, perfectly honest during the campaign; he intends to do everything he said, and more. This should not be reassuring to you.
- The regime’s main organizational goal right now is to transfer all effective power to a tight inner circle, eliminating any possible checks from either the Federal bureaucracy, Congress, or the Courts. Departments are being reorganized or purged to effect this.
- The inner circle is actively probing the means by which they can seize unchallenged power; yesterday’s (Saturday) moves should be read as the first part of that.
- The aims of crushing various groups — Muslims, Latinos, the black and trans communities, academics, the press — are very much primary aims of the regime, and are likely to be acted on with much greater speed than was earlier suspected. The secondary aim of personal enrichment is also very much in play, and clever people will find ways to play these two goals off each other.”
Click here to review the entire article which includes far more evidence about what Trump is up to.
But before you dive under the covers, there is this article from the NY Times. The article describes the other side of America, the side that sees injustice, gets outraged and acts:
First a small group took action. At 10pm Friday a small group of Yale attorneys and law students began exchanging emails about an Iraqi refugee being detained at JFK. They worked all night long to prepare first a legal complaint on behalf of this one and then a class action suit on behalf of all those being detained. Ultimately ACLU attorneys argued the suit
Our core progressive institutions take action. in early January, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law convened a private meeting of about two dozen civil rights groups to strategize about coming voting rights and other civil rights fights, participants said. And last week, the American Constitution Society and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund co-sponsored a similar two-day private conference to discuss coordination of legal challenges. “We are clearly in a moment in which civil rights organizations face unprecedented challenges and will need to mount new and more aggressive strategies,” said Kristen Clarke, the president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee. “You’ve never seen it at this intensity and across all these different issues — freedom of speech, Muslim rights, immigrants’ rights, abortion rights,” said Anthony D. Romero, the executive director of the A.C.L.U. “All the pots have been put on a boil.”
And then the people take action. As reported in the Times article, “In each of the past three years, the ACLU’s website took in about $5 million in donations from its 20,000 members. But just since Election Day, the A.C.L.U. has surged to more than a million members and — as of 5 p.m. Monday — it had taken in $71.3 million from 921,304 online donations; $31.5 million of that came from 456,714 since Friday, when Mr. Trump signed the travel ban. The money will fund many more lawyers at both the federal and state level, he said. The entire article, inspiring as all hell, is offered as a pdf for those without subscriptions, click: liberal-lawyers-wave-of-resistance.
The same lesson as from the Women’s March, from the airport rallies and now from our legal community: a few are astonished and offended by injustice, a few take action inspiring others and then the wave begins. It is about justice, people, and justice will not be denied. Keep the faith, but as importantly every single day put time into this. Share this post and other posts with many, many people. Those Yale students and lawyers were up all night to defend one man and it is our job to put that kind of effort to defend justice.
Paul & Roxanne