50 Days

In 50 days the members of the 2022 to 2024 congress will be determined.

As a result of Trump’s efforts with the 2020 census to undercount minority and immigrant communities, Republican states have greatly increased their gerrymandering efforts, and the Trump tainted Supreme Court bench has allowed those efforts to remain in place for this midterm election cycle, even while declaring many of them unconstitutional.

This means the House is likely to flip back to a Republican majority led by Kevin McCarthy as speaker, if the Republicans don’t go completely nuts and give it to someone like Marjorie Taylor Green or Matt Gaetz.

The Senate is a different story.

Democrats currently hold a tie breaking majority, on paper. But that majority is greatly hindered by Senators Manchin and Sinema. Both of whom will remain in place until after the 2024 elections.

This means they actually need to win at least 2 seats to hold a real, effective majority.

Meanwhile, the Republicans only need to gain a single seat to reinstate Mitch McConnell as Senate Majority Leader. I guarantee that one of his first steps as leader will be to eliminate the ability for Democrats to filibuster any bill he wants to pass.

If Republicans, due to that gerrymandering that will likely secure the House for them, also gain a supermajority then they will be able to override any veto Biden attempts

There are also more than 35 gubernatorial seats up for election this cycle, along with an equally staggering number of Lt. Governorship, states’ Attorneys General, and Secretaries of State, and school board seats.  The importance of these offices cannot be overstated with the recent Supreme Court rulings on “States’ Rights” to religious oppression, election gerrymandering, denial of womens’ rights, and limiting/restricting health care access.

Do not let any of the hype about a “Blue Wave,” or “Roevember,” or insurrection backlash creating an enhanced turnout lull you into a sense of overconfident complacency.

Make a plan now.

Make sure you are registered. Make sure you cast and submit your ballot properly, whether in person or absentee. Make sure to help at least one other person do the same.

The Republicans have made it clear that the future of our democracy, all of our rights, all of our health, all of our education, many of our marriages, and quite a few of our lives are actually on the ballot this year.

Act accordingly.

You have 50 days.

Why Bother?

People have, over the years, said to me “Why bother wasting your time on social media arguing about politics? It isn’t like you can make a difference anyway,”

I suggest they look into the many ways, both good and bad, that social media has had an ever increasing influence on the outcome of each election cycle since its invention.

People have, over the years, said to me “Why bother engaging with the trolls just trying to bait you? You know you’re not going to change their minds?”

I point out that It isn’t about changing that one person’s mind. Every person that hears or reads what we have to say in response to those trolls is influenced by that interaction.

They have the benefit of recognizing the absurdity of the logical fallacy arguments and willfully ignorant stances being put forth by those trolls and a reasoned and thorough rebuttal of them along with correct information.

That influence is more easily attained because they haven’t been subjected to any of the emotional triggers of having any of it directed specifically at them.

If even one is swayed toward a more grounded reality from which to build their own opinions, it has been a worthwhile engagement.

Even on a site that only reaches thousands of people a day, tens of thousands per week, hundreds of thousands per month, just a one percent success rate is a greater circle of influence than most of us can attain offline.

People have, over the years, said to me “Why bother voting, it isn’t like it matters anyway?”

I suggest they look at all the gerrymandering and voter suppression efforts being put into place over the years, especially these last few years, to prevent their vote from being cast or properly counted. If your vote doesn’t matter, why is so much money and effort being spent to block it?

There are many ways to make a difference. There are many ways to protest. There are many ways to stump for a candidate. There are many ways to widen the reach of your influence.

By casting your ballot you’ve done more than anyone doing nothing. By influencing just one other person, you’ve done more than anyone doing nothing.

You are shifting the #Culturalinertia.

If the people you influence are also doing their part, you’ve begun to increase your influence exponentially.

Anyone trying to tell you that you cannot, or that it isn’t worth trying, is actually attempting to silence your voice and limit your reach. Call them on it, make them explain why.

“Never give up. Never Surrender.”
~Galaxy Quest

Space, The Final Frontier

Space has been in the news quite a bit recently as the world’s richest men vie for control of the future of space travel.

Jeff Bezos already wants to open an office park offering wealthy executives the most expensive business commute in history and an exclusive place to shop for things that have to be shipped up from Earth on the same transports. His ultimate goal is for this “Orbital Reef” business park to replace the International Space Station (ISS).

Elon Musk wants to avoid paying taxes that would be used by the current Presidential administration to improve life here on Earth, especially in the United States, because he wants to use that money instead to “get humanity to Mars and preserve the light of consciousness.”

Major nations that used to control the world’s access to space are already outsourcing their space travel and satellite repair and maintenance needs to the companies run by these men. Just this month Russia announced it will be contracting SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft to transport Russian cosmonauts between Earth and the current ISS until their participation on the station comes to an end. Meanwhile, the companies run by Bezos and Musk are embroiled in legal battle over providing contract services to the United States’ NASA.

Private companies like Verizon are already lining up to pay these companies to place their own communication satellites into orbit, a service that used to be handled by NASA.

All this has been happening, while China has reportedly launched a new satellite that analysts say can be used as a weapon capable of grabbing and crushing they do not control.

Throughout these developments, we have heard remarkably little from former President Trump’s overhyped U.S. Space Force.

Various news sources have been busy reporting on multiple different aspects of all of this, but there remain a few aspects and connections to other news that they all seem to be trying hard to avoid exploring.

The details hidden in those gaps; though, are innately obvious to those who have followed science fiction stories, novels, and movies over the years.

To us, it is not at all surprising that there has been a strong resurgence of dangerous fascist right-wing Nationalism as we are on the verge of both true space travel capabilities and the beginning of true multinational climate disasters.

As contention for dwindling non-renewable resources escalate, control of the territories that still have reserves of such resources will be guaranteed global superiority, if they can successfully defend them.

Later, when the resources have been depleted the only option for survival will be escape.

At that point the nation or corporation that control access to space travel and the ability to create food and water in space will also control the policy, priorities, and governance of any future the human race may have beyond Earth.

Nations and borders on any individual planet are rendered meaningless when commerce and survival become dependent upon space travel, even more so when it extends beyond orbital spaceships to interplanetary or interstellar travel.

While the culmination of this is not likely to come about in my lifetime, it is entirely possible that these issues will reach their critical peaks within the lifetime of my own children.