2016 election

I, Virginia Bergman, pledge not to vote for a male presidential candidate in 2016 just because he's male.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Donald Trump: "The refugees are going back, we can't have them"

Via Young Conservatives
 I pay attention to coincidences that occur from time to time in my daily life. Lately, they've been rather startling. Here's what I mean: I'd been reading David Guterman's novel, Snow Falling on Cedars,  just as the controversy over Syrian refugees entering our country erupted. As you may recall, Guterman's tale reveals the bigotry and cruelty involved in the treatment of U.S. citizens of Japanese descent following the attack on Pearl Harbor.

So I was thinking of the plight of immigrants who seek a new home in the U.S. when I kept my appointment the other day with a cardiologist whom I'd not met previously. I waited only a few minutes in the examining room before he knocked on the door and at my invitation came in. Based on his last name, I was not surprised that he appeared to be Asian. I noted the moment of hesitation in his demeanor before I welcomed him with a smile. His shoulders relaxed as he smiled in return and extended his hand to me.

He got down to business immediately and addressed the state of my health with kindness and unmistakable expertise.

From a very early age, I've been interested in those whose backgrounds were different from mine and soon, my cardiologist and I were engaged in conversation in which he shared his impressive credentials and experience in his field. I mentioned that I was reading Snow Falling on Cedars and asked if he had experienced discrimination in pursuing his practice as a physician in the U.S. He recalled only one instance; on that occasion, his patient uttered these words: "I don't want you for my doctor; I want an American."

The anecdote had a happy ending; the patient later offered an apology in which he admitted, "I had no right to say that to you." My doctor then assured me that he loved his current work setting where he enjoys respect, acceptance, and friendship with his colleagues.

Unlike the patient mentioned above, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump will likely never apologize for his defamation of all Syrian refugees in the aftermath of the Paris killings. At a rally recently, Trump demanded a database registering all Syrian refugees, and he added, "“I want surveillance of certain mosques, O.K.?”

 As others before me have pointed out, the rejection and mistreatment of those who are different from us is rooted primarily in fear. However, Donald Trump is a different case - he's fueling fear and loathing in his campaign speeches for purely self-serving reasons - he wants the votes of his blind followers. We can only hope those who are cheering Trump on today will open their eyes in time to see their idol for what he is, a cruel, bigoted man saying whatever it takes to exploit them for his own purposes.

Think about it - the president of our country is beholden to all of our people, not just those who are like him or her: can you even imagine what a divisive, hate-filled Trump presidency would be like?

Thursday, November 19, 2015

"All creatures great and small" - including wolves!

Mary Lundeberg: Wolves &emdash; Tender Wolf

Photo of wolf by Mary Lundeberg.

Maybe it's the influence of my good friend Mary Lundeberg, a wildlife photographer, who passionately defends her subjects against the ravages of uncaring human beings, but here at Katalusis I jump at the chance to support an endangered species. This morning I'm posting a message from Jamie Rappaport Clark on behalf of endangered wolves in several states, which I'm sad to say, include my own state of Minnesota:

Help Us Fight

Without the protections of the Endangered Species Act, hundreds of wolves, including mothers and pups, will die.
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Dear Virginia,
Without firing a shot, two U.S. Senators may be about to trigger the death of hundreds of wolves.
Sens. Ron Johnson (R-WI) and John Barrasso (R-WY) have introduced a bill that would forcibly delist gray wolves in Wyoming, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Without the protections of the Endangered Species Act, hundreds of wolves, including mothers and pups, will die.
We’re fighting tooth and nail to stop these horrific attacks, and we need your help.
Because the situation is so serious, our Board of Directors and National Council have offered to match your gift dollar-for-dollar, up to a total of $75,000, until Monday, November 23rd!
By introducing this bill just before final negotiations take place over the 2016 federal budget, Senators Barrasso and Johnson are hoping to encourage the inclusion of delisting language into a must-pass budget bill.
If that happens, how long do you think it will take for more wolves to be killed?
To add insult to injury, the bill would also prevent federal courts from ever restoring Endangered Species Act protections for these wolves, no matter how bad the situation gets!
With federal protections gone, most of Wyoming will immediately be re-designated a "predator zone," literally a free-fire zone where anyone could kill any wolf at any time and for any reason.
With your help, Defenders will mobilize our grassroots community to oppose this blatant abuse of Congressional power, reach out to the media to spread the word and continue to fight on Capitol Hill against this deadly bill.
Thanks to you, we’ve been leading the charge for wolf recovery since wolves were first reintroduced into the Lower 48, more than 20 years ago. With your support, we’ve gone to court and won repeatedly to make sure wolves get the legal protections they deserve. We’re pioneering new, non-lethal strategies for wolves to coexist with people and livestock. With you at our side, we’ll weather this current crisis and look forward to a day when wolf recovery is truly complete!
For the wolves,
Jaime Rappaport Clark
Jamie Rappaport Clark
President, Defenders of Wildlife

Defenders of Wildlife leads the pack when it comes to protecting wild animals and plants in their natural communities

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Not so fond memories from the Bush era

From the NY Times: George H. W. Bush fishing with George W. and Jeb,in 1998. 
  Credit George Bush Presidential Library, via Reuters.
I don't often link to a column by Maureen Dowd - her acid tongue usually attacks responsible political leaders as often as it does those like the two sons of H.W. Bush; you know who I mean: George W. and Jeb. So it is that I'm linking this  morning to Modo's entertaining NY Times piece, Poppy Bush finally gives Junior a spanking. Go ahead and read it; there are some worthy insights into the Bush era, especially the war-crazy neocon influence:

WESTEROS — I VISITED HBO’s “Game of Thrones” set in Belfast last week, and after watching Daenerys Targaryen in firelight for a couple hours, I learned how to say “I have to go to the bathroom” in Dothraki.

I’ll never be fluent in that martial language. But I am fluent in mangled Bush-speak.
So I must pull myself away from the Iron Throne and return to the Iron Ass, trading one serpentine family tangle for another. I am here, my puzzled readers, to help interpret the latest Oedipal somersaults of our royally messed up Republican royal family.

Like many uptight, upper-class families, the Bushes seem oddly unable to directly confront tensions and resentments and talk to each other candidly. With other families, the unsaid and circuitous end up rupturing relationships. In the case of the Bushes, it ended up rupturing the globe.

Like Queen Cersei, old King George knows that revenge is a dish that doesn’t lose its flavor when served cold. After more than a decade of publicly keeping his lips zipped, Poppy Bush took his full measure of payback in Jon Meacham’s new biography, “Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush.”

While W. used to say that what he liked about Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld was their brass appendages, Poppy offered a dimmer anatomical appraisal, calling each an “iron-ass.”

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Friday, November 6, 2015

"Animal Traffickers, Beware!"

Hi Katalusis readers, you may have noticed that I frequently post about politics, especially Hillary's 2016 campaign, and now and then I veer off into the subject of wildlife and our planet's endangered species. Today's post actually combines two of my most important passions, politics and wildlife - it's a newsflash from Save Animals Facing Extinction about a political victory in the state of Washington on behalf of endangered species (By the way, Hillary loves animals!):


'Washington voters pass wildlife trafficking initiative' - The Olympian 'Wildlife-trafficking measure gets Washington state voters' OK' - The Seattle Times 'Washington State Votes Overwhelmingly To Shut Down Ivory Trade' - KPLU 88.5'
'Animal traffickers, beware' - The Bainbridge Review 'Washington votes in a landslide to protect endangered species' - Seattle PI

'One of the most popular WA initiatives ever: I-1401 carrying all 39 counties. 71-29%' - Secretary of State

'Washington state's Initiative Measure 1401, which was resoundingly passed by a greater than 2-to-1 margin Tuesday night, criminalizes 'selling, purchasing, trading, or distributing certain animal species threatened with extinction,' raising the bar beyond where laws already on the books in New York, New Jersey and California have previously gone to protect big game.' -CNN

We can’t thank you enough for your support Virginia. We could only pass I-1401 with supporters like YOU.

Thank you for helping us spread the word about our cause.

Thank you for helping protect 1O endangered animals from extinction.

Thank you for passing the MODEL for the nation to end wildlife trafficking.

THANK YOU for being a supporter of Save Animals Facing Extinction.

YOU helped to make a difference in the lives of these animals -- and we can’t say thank you enough.

Thanks again,


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Black lives matter to Hillary Clinton

Family photo
Throughout her long career in public service, Hillary Clinton has stood for social justice for all people. She continued to live out those values on Monday when she met with the mothers of Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, Michael Brown and Tamir Rice, young blacks who have recently lost their lives through acts of violence.

Alana Horowitz Satlin, assignment editor at the Huffington Post has the story:

Hillary Clinton held a private meeting in Chicago on Monday with the families of prominent victims of recent gun violence.

Hillary tweeted: Hillary Clinton @HillaryClinton
Grateful to spend time today with mothers who have lost a child to violence and turned their grief into a national call to action. -H

The mothers of Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, Michael Brown and Tamir Rice were all present at the meeting with the former secretary of state.

The women discussed racial inequality, criminal justice reform, and gun control. Clinton's first pro-gun control ad debuts on Tuesday. 

"She is a mother and she is a woman and I felt she understood where we were coming from," said Samaria Rice told CNN. "It doesn't matter what color we are, I felt that she really understand where we are coming from."

Rice's son, Tamir, was the 12-year-old Ohio boy fatally shot by police last year for wielding what later turned out to be a BB gun. Brown, 18, was shot and killed by police officer Darren Wilson last year in Ferguson, Missouri, after a scuffle. In 2012, Martin, 17, was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, a Florida neighbor of his father's fiancee, for appearing "suspicious." Davis, also 17, was shot and killed after an argument over loud music with Florida resident Michael David Dunn. 

Dunn was the only shooter of the four who was convicted of a crime.

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Saturday, October 31, 2015

Hillary's surging poll numbers!

A busy day ahead, but I had to take time out to post this great news!  The Hill's Jesse Byrnes has the story:

Cameron Lancaster (via the Hill)
Hillary Clinton has hit 50 percent support for the Democratic presidential nomination for the first time since April, around the time she launched her campaign, according to a new national poll. 
Clinton's support among Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters has ticked up 9 points since mid-September, based on the latest NBC News/Survey Monkey online poll
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Clinton's primary rival in the Democratic race, now stands at 30 percent support in the poll, relatively unchanged over the past six weeks.
Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley and Harvard Professor Lawrence Lessig took 1 percent apiece in the online poll released Friday.
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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

A well-deserved standing ovation for Hillary Clinton

Hi Katalusis friends, I'm a little late in calling your attention to the Hill's piece about Hillary Clinton's "hero's welcome" at the DNC Women's Leadership Forum the day after the Benghazi hearing last Thursday, Oct. 23. But I'm sure you'll share the joy I experienced at the thought of women in the audience giving the soon to be first woman president a standing ovation - and some of them stood throughout her speech!

 Hillary Clinton was greeted like a returning war hero at a Democratic National Committee (DNC) forum the morning after a long day of Republican interrogation at a hearing of the House Select Committee on Benghazi. 

“As some of you may know, I had a pretty long day yesterday,” Clinton told a whistling, cheering audience of several hundred Democratic women who were on their feet to greet her arrival at the DNC's Women’s Leadership Forum on Friday morning.
“I wanted to rise above partisanship and reach for statesmanship, and that is what I tried to do,” Clinton said of her 11-hour Benghazi performance. 

Clinton received the most ecstatic reception of all the Democratic candidates who addressed the DNC’s Women’s Leadership Forum, with some audience members staying on their feet throughout her speech. 

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