Van Life: Exploring the Northwest with two dogs and a cat in a van.

Time for another book, methinks. It’s a work in progress but I really wanted to get it out there. I’m still writing and working on the travel report from this summer in the van but as I’m about to head out again for another three months, I needed to finish up this first. I reckon while I’m on the road I can go back to edit, tweak, add and subtract as needed. For now though, I’m pretty happy with the book.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1540359441

Enjoy and pass it on! Thanks.

I forgot to download the cover but here is the back and front, better than nothing.

van-life-full-cover

 Other books are just as good though:

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Naming Bannon as Chief Strategist in the Trump Administration is a divisive act.


“There must be no sugarcoating the reality that a white nationalist has been named chief strategist for the Trump administration,” the US House minority leader, Nancy Pelosi, said.

With the new regime gearing up to take control in the New Year, social media and foreign journalists are all standing up in arms at the blatant white supremacist being named chief strategist. How can any of my Trump-supporting acquaintances claim that my fears are unfounded? Because each of those questioning my reactions are white men with incomes. They fear not. They don’t understand what is going on in the heads and hearts of the rest of us. Muslim. Jew. Female. Queer. Immigrants. We are all justifiably nervous, how could we not be?

Last week after winning the Electoral College vote, Trump in  his speech called for unity.

“Now it’s time for America to bind the wounds of division,” he told cheering supporters at a Manhattan hotel. “To all Republicans and Democrats and independents across this nation, I say it is time for us to come together as one united people. It’s time. I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans.” He added that “We will seek common ground, not hostility. Partnership, not conflict.”

This week he appoints Stephen Bannon, someone with a reputation as a racist, mysoginist and anti-semite. How does the former president of the far-right Breitbart website whose rhetoric is so blatantly divisive aim to help Trump “bind the wounds of division?” The website that Bannon took over has a following of over 21 million hits per month with titles such as “Birth control makes women unattractive and crazy.”
Ben Shapiro, a conservative white male editor,  calls Bannon a “vindictive nasty figure, infamous for verbally abusing supposed friends and threatening enemies.” Kind of like Trump threatening Clinton during the campaign you mean?  Is that the way to bring people together? Or is a reminder of -dare I say it-  a dictator?

Bannon was also taken to court in 2007 by his second wife for domestic abuse and anti-semitism. In the records, Piccard stated that Bannon didn’t want their daughters to attend a certain school in LA because of the number of Jewish students.

So what are the supporters seeing that they like so much? A working class background, a navy man, a successful media hound. The methods are irrelevant apparently. For some people. For me though as a woman, working class, queer and an immigrant, appointments such as Bannon scares me, just as I was scared after the Homeland Security Act changed the lay of the land for all immigrants. I’ve been deported once. And it’s hell. To be in limbo like that, waiting for the Embassies to correct the paperwork, to allow me back home to New Mexico.

What will I do about it though? There are petitions in the work, emails to be written, and a vocal condemnation. We can’t take the slide into such a divisive government lightly. Or can we? After two years of total control of both House and Senate with Trump as President, who can they blame if all goes downhill fast?

“It’s important for us to let him make his decisions,” Mr. Obama said. “The American people will judge over the course of the next couple of years whether they like what they see.”

I’m not so nice. I’m checking social media, getting updates from the UK media, specifically the Guardian Newspaper online, and fact-checking like never before me. Change.org has a number of petitions worth researching. We have nothing to lose at this point. Stand up and be heard my friends. Stand up, read more, sign and share. Please.

What is fascism and why is it a threat in the US now?

Fascism began in Europe in the 1930s with Mussolini in Italy. Not so long ago, right? After World War II, Italy and Germany were in a terrible state financially, emotionally, there were torn by economic hardships and the constant migration that is part of life in Europe and always has been. Such levels of unemployment and cities destroyed by bombing, there was little to stop the anger building. Mussolini and Hitler both used that bitterness to create an ideology based on the concept of ‘us’ as good, and ‘them’ as evil. All of society’s ills were blamed on ‘them’, the immigrants, and in that case the Jews.

In the United States, during this election campaign in 2016, those same angers, frustrations, unemployment and struggles were blamed upon all immigrants. Trump called specifically upon Muslims, Mexicans, and all immigrants to blame for the economic struggles faced by many.

So what is fascism? And why am I worried about living in this country? When I look back to the history of Europe in the last hundred years, I’m sick to my stomach. Looking at Hitler and now Trump, the similarities are terrifying.

Hitler used racism to rise to power. Trump used racism to rally his supporters and yes, rise to power as the next president.

Hitler proposed and acted on mass deportations. Trump has proposed mass deportations.

Hitler was anti-jew and Trump is anti-muslim. He even claimed at a rally in Ft Lauderdale in August that “ISIS is honoring President Obama. He is the founder of ISIS. He is the founder of ISIS. He’s the founder. He founded ISIS.  And I would say the co-founder would be crooked Hillary Clinton. Co-founder. Crooked Hillary Clinton.”

Hitler blamed jews for all the economic problems. Trump blames immigrants for the problems. His son, Eric, in an interview on Fox, claimed that the wage stagnation is due to Syrian refugees. The concept of building a wall between the US and Mexico has been proposed often by Trump even though undocumented immigration via that border has fallen considerably in the last few years.

Hitler made Jews wear armbands for easy identification. Trump has proposed the same for Muslims, saying  that they need “a special form of identification that noted their religion”. 

The control of the media, of the law courts, of the police, the use of extermination camps for any of those “others” that Hitler blamed, the Gypsies, the Jews, Blacks, Homosexuals, and intellectuals, this all comes under consequences. The consequence of voting into power a man who preached hatred and fear. The German public didn’t see it coming, din’t guess at the level of horror, intimidation, or the extent of the changes that such a personality in power could do.

Who am I to say that Trump will create such atrocities? Look at the similarities in the rise to power. Look at the records of his campaign rhetoric and actions to see the man behind the comb-over.

During the last few months, Trump has called Mexicans rapists amongst other things. “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.” June 2015.

Really? Or how about his claim that President Obama was born in Kenya, or at least claimed he was to get aid for scholarships. Or questioning his religion? And why did he even bring it up? Racism. Stirring up the racists in his rallies, that’s how I see it. Don’t you? Such vague statements were used to get them riled up about a potential Muslim as President!  “He doesn’t have a birth certificate, or if he does, there’s something on that certificate that is very bad for him. Now, somebody told me — and I have no idea if this is bad for him or not, but perhaps it would be — that where it says ‘religion,’ it might have ‘Muslim.’ And if you’re a Muslim, you don’t change your religion, by the way.”– March 30, 2011

Trump proposed banning a whole religion, yes, you guessed it, all Muslims were to be deported and none allowed in despite citizenship or residency status.
 What else? Mocking a disabled reporter who questioned Trump’s stories of witnessing thousands celebrating the fall of the Towers in New York. Trump has even bragged about sexually assaulting a female TV presenter, watching teenage girls dressing for a beauty pageant, not paying his taxes, and then said that Hillary Clinton should be jailed. The control of the courts will be in his hand soon enough and if anything like Hitler, he’ll do what he wants when threatened.
 Are you not worried? I am. I’m terrified by the similarities between Trump and Hitler’s rise to power. I’m disgusted that this behavior is ignored by the masses who voted for him, condoned even. A racist, misogynistic, bullying tax evader, a six-times bankrupt businessman, and an alleged sexual predator and rapist (in court this month for such charges), this man is to be the next US President? Let’s only hope that once inaugurated, Trump becomes a true statesman.
As if it were possible. We’re screwed.