When it is routine to hold hostage a domestic flight to check the papers of ordinary citizens, when you have made it legal to seize the assets of those who speak out or gather in groups of more than two for fear we might contradict you or plan some protest, and shut the press down for printing truth, because you can’t bear to be wrong or challenged—
When you make us make art furtively as though it were wrong and dangerous (O it is, yes!)—
When you and your cronies have stolen our wages through bad schedules and punch-clock shenanigans and right to work for less laws, stripped us of what little we make through exorbitant taxes that subsidize your businesses, given the bosses permission to use our time and our bodies as they like without regard for our humanity or safety, no matter how many of us are maimed or killed, dumped us out of the skimpy, fraying safety net without arms, legs, or lungs, poisoned the air and water then sold it back to us, bottled, like the whole country is a company town, neglected unto ruin the bridges we cross to work each day and dug up the parks we cherish when we’re not, disappeared the buses and trains we ride so we have to all buy your cars or walk to your jobs, enslaved us with debt for an advanced education you require to work in the goddam mailroom, made us so poor we have to wager our lives in your wars to even begin to get ahead, then send our children to countries we’ve no business being in and abandon them when they come home without limbs or minds or sleep, pawn off the excess equipment to police and give them the power they should never have to decide who lives and who dies for expressing themselves or just walking down the street, enforcing harsh laws that send more of us (mostly Black and brown) than in any other nation to jails where we still work like slaves—
When you have reduced us from a free(ish) nation of free(ish) people pursuing happiness to utterly oppressed masses, when you are huddled in your compounds with your paid servants and paid security, unsure of their loyalty, behind razor wire and laser beams, as much prisoners as those in your jails—
This ends two ways: in misery for all of us or death for you and rebirth for us.
Stop now, while you still can. We are already sharpening our tools.
Claim you are the Party of Family Values, and ban abortion but rob the funds for prenatal care, school lunches, food stamps, teacher salaries, college financial aid. Get ‘em born and forget ‘em, or better, keep ‘em poor so they become the ultimate resource: more fodder for your army.
Then dedicate your platform to soldiers going to war for your greed, but keep your own children from the front, and turn a blind eye to the maimed, the homeless, those your wars wounded invisibly, who can no longer sleep for fear that followed them home. If they survived your war, let them kill themselves.
Say you are believers in the American Dream then deny it to anyone who does not look like you or comes fleeing some country you can’t find on a map. Or rob those already here who thought they had achieved it when you revolve back to your pillaging corporate job.
Mouth the words freedom of religion and conscience but show no mercy no justice, no love.
You are the worst kind of liars, warping words into unintelligible contradictions, deceiving with fear, and harming those who trusted you while you prosper.
We have been robbed of even the slightest sense that the government belongs to all the people, of belief that it just might be working to make our lives better. Worse, we have been robbed of a fundamental right— to pursue happiness:
To wake up and read the paper without dread of what new perfidy we might find there. To go to work without wondering if what we do is of value or if we should be in the streets carrying signs, instead. To not wonder if we should get a gun and learn to use it. To not question whether the art we make is frivolous or not political enough. To lie in bed and read novels, go see a movie, make love, binge watch something other than “The West Wing,” “Homeland,” or worse, “24.” To send our students abroad and welcome others here. To not have to examine every fucking thing our government does to protect ourselves and those we love.
This is his goal: to suck us dry of joy, of security, of life, leaving us as hollow as Liberty’s crown after 9/11.
What matters to us are all the things you fear: whatever might mock you, whatever you don’t understand, whatever is not explicitly about money or your penis, whatever shames your behavior, whatever contradicts you, whatever denies you what you want whether others want it or not:
Women having the right to say “fuck off” to you and your grabby hands and laws. Artists making art you don’t understand. The free practice of a religion you don’t subscribe to or no religion at all. Welcoming arms at the borders for those fleeing in fear or just wanting another chance. Wilderness uncolonized by golf courses and hotels. The free exchange of ideas. The preeminence of facts. Drugs that don’t bankrupt or maim us. An education that doesn’t leave us enslaved to banks or corporations for the rest of our lives, and teaches us to question everything, especially authority, especially your authority. Air and water that don’t poison us. A climate that won’t kill us. A future for those not born yet.
–President’s Day, 2017, Harlem, NY
Posting for the following meme:
From Linda Kennedy via Marcia Morgan.
I would like to start a little ripple of resistance today. Tomorrow is February 20th, and Mr. Trump will have been in office for one month.
“People shouldn’t be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.” –Alan Moore, “V for Vendetta,” after Thomas Jefferson
Run, all you cowards from the People at the town halls you thought would be friendly, adulatory chats and instead turned into satirical sketches starring you and directed by Midwestern elementary school teachers and mothers of children who already know how to discipline bullies and get what their kids need from the State.
Run from the People you duped into thinking some commie was coming for their prescriptions and killing their grannies, and that the doctors and services provided, the ones that saved them from bankruptcy and death by gouging, were somehow something different that you now want to take back.
Run from the People who’ve worked all their lives only to see thieving bankers walk away with their savings and homes with your blessing and conniving, while you threaten to also give them the money saved from workers’ paychecks for forty years as though that belonged to you and not the People.
Run, you bastards, like your ass is on fire. If you fear the People’s harsh words telling you to do your job or it’s your last term, just wait. We are no longer a nation of farmers with sharp tools in our barns, but the last president, despite your lies, never came for the People’s guns.
“God, what's next? Liquor with the guns in school?” –Kathrine Schwartman
Whatever it is, we probably won’t see it coming — most of us. Like we didn’t see his slither into power — most of us. Like we didn’t see the closing of borders — most of us. Like we didn’t see the end of taking care of the poor and the sick — most of us. Like we didn’t see the marsh of greed expanding, drowning us all — most of us.
Nothing is beyond them, if there is power in it for a few of them and none of us.
Already it seems like years not a mere two weeks. But the blitzkrieg has not stopped (I use that term intentionally) and already we are heartsore and footsore and weary of the threats to everyone we love, everything decent people desire: a culture that reflects not just the few but all of us in our infinite variety and commonality.
With it, the list of crimes and failings grows, too, the ammunition against the Bigot-in-Chief: the undissolved business ties, the swindles, the disconnect from reality, threats to allies and foes equally, dragging us into his paranoid world where he is the only good guy and the world stands against him.
The Perfidy Report is back. This blog originated in the early days of the W administration, when Dick Cheney et al. opened Guantanamo Bay and began to use torture and disappearance as a method of "security." It operated up until the time that Obama was elected and was then, optimistically, deleted.
I'm bringing it back now because there needs to be both a record of the awful things the new T-Rump (also known as the Orange Cheeto, although I feel this maligns a perfectly fine snack food, and the Bigot in Chief or Liar in Chief, or Trumpacabra) administration is trying to normalize, and a place for my own resistance that is not on Facebook. I'm starting with the following running tally, and this will be pinned to the top of the blog and added to every damn day he cocks something up, because that's what it's going to be like: new perfidy every damn day.
In addition, I'm using this as another place to post one of my own activist responses, which is the writing of political poetry. It's shaping up to be a collection called Days of Perfidy, so this is a perfect place for it. No doubt there will be other response to the outrageousness here too. Feel free to share, but I've turned off comments, because I'm not interested in the comments of trolls. If you want to interact, find me on Facebook. It's pretty easy. I'm the only Lee Kottner on it.