Saturday, January 7, 2017

Minyan for a Grassroots Movement


Interesting life stage. No, not the current mess outside . . . all that ice covered with snow. No, I mean our mess just beginning in Washington. And the Drumpf isn’t even yet on board.  But his various swamp creatures, Paul Ryan, et al, are already hard at work dismantling what is left of the Great Society legacy of FDR and his followers.
Right out of the box, of course is the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). It will be replaced, I understand, with Trumpcare. What is Trumpcare you might ask? Well, Trumpcare is a promise to provide health care at some future stage, currently undefined to all those 20+ million folks who signed up for Obamacare. They won’t have any health care protection for a while, but hey, they didn’t have any before Obamacare kicked in either.  So, what’s the big deal? You must understand that the Drumpf first has to build his wall that the Mexicans are going to pay for (hahahahahahahahaha).  Oh, and while he is killing Obamacare, he plans to defund the Planned Parenthood clinics, through which a lot of folks get their prenatal care and cancer screenings. Republicans really hate it when all those folks get health care.
But Paul Ryan is a big thinker. He’s after way more than Obamacare. He wants to kill Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid, and thinks he has them in his sights.  It is not yet clear how he plans to disenfranchise the many millions who currently collect from Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Paul Ryan is a big thinker, but he doesn’t seem to be real accomplished at actually doing anything.  On Medicare, and perhaps even Medicaid, we think he wants to give folks vouchers to buy health care from your friendly neighborhood health insurance company—makes me wonder whether Paulie has his stock portfolio chocker-block full of private insurance company stocks.  A voucher. Yeah, that’s what we need . . . a voucher.  No rules of engagement. Just a voucher and a note saying, “Good luck, Paulie”.
Social Security is a bit tougher. I mean, how does he replace automatic payments each month from the government? Maybe, a voucher with a note saying, “we’re giving you discount coupons to WalMart.”
But then on other fronts, the republicans also seem to want to kill public education. And guess what, there too, they want to give folks vouchers to just go buy education for your kids.  A little unclear just why they dislike public education . . . maybe because it’s . . . public. They do seem to hate everything associated with Government, aside from, of course, themselves.  So, bye bye public education.  Oh, and then there’s that relationship between education levels and voters who support democrats.  Can’t have that.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch (Washington, DC) we still await the arrival of the new first family—the Drumpf and his daughter (surrogate first lady). I guess Melania will stay in New York, while Ivanka helps daddy-poo entertain all those important people. I guess Ivanka speaks English, so she’s less likely to embarrass her daddy-poo. Maybe Melania will oversee The Trump Towerland, while Daddy and Ivanka oversee the real action. One of the guys will meanwhile hold down the fort at Maralago, entertaining all of daddy’s Russian lenders, who seem to be manifold. Can’t have all those Russian and Chinese “investors” unhappy, can we?
All that makes me wonder where Vlad the Impaler will house his KGB-US headquarters.  Probably New York, but Maralago would make for relatively easier coming and going by submarine, wouldn’t it? Oh, it’s all going to be so entertaining, until someone shuts it all down, and we all enter the collective global toilet. But, until then, have fun folks.
On the subject of what to do, what to do, a dear friend came up with an idea. Barbara Thiede, a writer for our local newspaper, and a rabbi has come up with an idea she is calling Minyans for a Grassroots Movement. What is a Minyan, you might ask? Well, in the Jewish tradition, a Minyan is a group of at least ten folks who would form a quorum needed to say prayers. So, on this political front, the idea would be to gather a small group to send messages—phone calls, mail, e-mails—to our local, state and National political representatives on specific issues of concern. If any of the ten decide to prepare a message, they will send that message to each member of the Minyan. The members can then decide to write something similar, or cut and paste a supportive message. Then if each member sends that message to friends, the friends can also become supportive members, and so on.
The central idea is to get as many people as possible writing, or calling legislative representatives, whether those reps are of the same or different political persuasion. If your reps, like ours, are to the right of Atilla the Hun, they still need to hear from constituents, otherwise they will imagine they are acting with the complicit support of their voters.  Don’t let them think that.
So, that’s the message for the day.
Write or call your elected representatives. Do it often. Let them know how you feel about what they are doing or thinking of doing. Just do it.
Here is at least a starting list of elected representatives' contact information.

NORTH CAROLINA legislature:
Paul Newton = State Senator

Some House representatives:


US House & Senate:

Thom Tillis
202-224-6342

Richard Burr (US Senate)
202-224-3154

Richard Hudson ( US House, district 8 in NC)
202-225-3715

Robert Pittenger (US House District 9)
202-225-1976

Ta ta . . .
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