Weekly Journal – January 4-10, 2020 #25

The Week of Saturday, January 4 through Friday, January 10, 2020 [#25]

The Week’s Most Notable:

The world experienced a serious brink-of-war event, and didn’t like it. If the U.S. and Iran did get into a full-scale war, there is no doubt that more than the Middle East would become involved. It was an ugly, frightening moment. Although the missile strikes were deliberately de-fanged and both sides de-escalated, retribution for the Gen. Soleimani assassination is not over: Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said, “They were slapped last night, but such military actions are not enough.”

Explanations for killing Soleimani proliferate. President Trump now says that the Iranians were going to attack four embassies, not one. No one else, including the White House, had a clue what he was talking about. Lack of evidence has been the norm for all explanations. The Wall Street Journal claimed Trump made the fateful decision in order to help his 2020 campaign. That might not be a misrepresentation.

Short run – Trump looks good? Buried in revolving rationale-lies, the Iranian military stand-down, and the distraction of Iran’s troubles over shooting down the Ukrainian plane, Trump supporters think he has done well.  Most of the U.S. and the world are waiting for the other shoes to drop.

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Stop the Iran War Demonstration

   FLASH EVENT   
 
 
Today (yes, today; this is a flash event under extraordinary circumstances)
 
STOP a WAR (with Iran)  DEMONSTRATION
 
Thursday January 9, 2020   4:30 PM  5th and Park Street
 
Temperatures will be around 27 F, slight wind, possible snow showers. Not bad.
We’ll be there about an hour. This is to make a statement. along with several 
hundred demonstrations nation-wide. There  may be other much larger events
in the near future, depending on what happens. For now, it’s important to show
there is strong opposition.
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Weekly Journal December 28, 2019 – January 3, 2020 #24

The Week of Saturday, December 28 through Friday, January 3, 2019 [#24]

The Week’s Most Notable:

Did anyone wake up the day after New Year’s Day expecting an act of war? The U.S. seems to be developing a taste for high stakes assassinations, but killing Qasem Soleimani, Iran’s top general? Is this a jump toward war with Iran? That’s probably the big question for most people. Right now, it looks like a boots-on-the-ground, death-from-the-air war is unlikely. Iran doesn’t want it; Trump doesn’t need it. He’s got his talking points and control of the narrative. Unless, of course, somebody makes an irreconcilable mistake.

We don’t know the details, but by word from several generals, there is intelligence of unusually significant pending terrorist activity under the aegis of Soleimani. Presumably something more draconian than usual terrorist orchestrations, but that’s what more information may tell us. Or not. The threat may turn out to be mostly hype. (We can’t help but remember Saddam’s stockpiles of WMD.)

This act of war will be spun many ways: In the short run, it distracts from impeachment, the Senate trial controversy, and new revelations. Follow-on incidents will command attention and provide Trump more opportunities for diversion. It is expected and probably intended to affect the election (recall that in 2013 Trump claimed Obama would go to war with Iran to ensure his reelection). If nothing truly upsetting happens, this will be a win for Trump. It already is for his followers. However, over time the ripples tend to spread into many unanticipated consequences – for example, increased Middle East instability, shifting geo-political alliances, weakening the world economy – as well as the predictable death and destruction from a cycle of vengeance.

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IUY Monthly Meeting January 2020

  EVENT  

 
6 Months to the Montana primary.
 
10 Months to the general election.
 
New year, new decade.
 
First Indivisible Upper Yellowstone meeting of 2020: Wednesday January 8, 6:30 PM 
Livingston-Park County Public Library, Teen Room (Main Floor)
 
By now we all know this is definitely not politics as usual, what with an historic impeachment and all. Still, it’s a good bet for a lot of us, our heads and emotions prefer to stick in a moderately disengaged neutral, if not for a while longer, denial and avoidance of politics.This isn’t true of everybody, of course. Some people got revved up in 2018 and never wound down. More power to ’em. Others, probably most of us, go up and down about Trump and what’s happening to our country. It’s hard to sustain outrage over years, enough outrage to motivate action. At best, that kind of motivation comes and goes. Besides, the elections – those ultimate tests of our individual and collective political will – were always “way off, years.” 
 
Not any more.
 
It’s difficult to say, “It’s time. It’s time to get involved.” We know it’s months to go, and it’s winter. People have to pace themselves if we’re going to have a successful push at the end. You are, or soon will be pressed to invest your time and money – non-infinite resources. However, if you really do understand this election is different, then you know the time will come for a contribution. We’d suggest a good place to start is with, as athletes say, “getting your head in the game.” In a metaphoric way that’s what our Indivisible meetings will be about from here on out. Once a month (for now), they will provide enough time to hear what other people think about issues and to help decide priorities.We can’t promise to cure the blowback of political chaos, or clear your palette of distasteful rhetoric, but we can talk about things to actually do, people to see, places to go and things to think about. All part of finding those energies we’re going to need for what remains of the long haul. We’ve copied the agenda below. Join us.
 
Nelson and Dixie
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IUY – Demonstration to Protect Democracy and Defend the Rule of Law

Indivisibles, More than 40 people turned out on a Wednesday afternoon to regale the passing of more than 2,000 vehicles in 90 minutes of “rush hour” (Livingstonians, et al are a mobile lot). Did we make an impression? Judge for … Continue reading

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IUY-Demonstration Today

Indivisible Upper Yellowstone

EVENT

Monday July 16 was a turning point.

Protect the Rule of Law – Defend Democracy takes on a different complexion in the light of what we witnessed in Helsinki. Whatever your feelings about the President of the United States, in full view of the world and standing next to the Russian uber-oligarch, betraying his country’s institutions – including the Mueller investigation; we are at a point where public demonstration of outrage and protest becomes an exemplary and effective force of public opinion.

Whatever affects you most: The policy of cruelty at the southern border, the coming legal storm of revelation, the unmolested exercise of political and commercial corruption – and so much more – join us.

A Demonstration: Protect the Rule of Law – Defend Democracy

Wednesday July 18, 2018 from 4:30 to 6:00 PM

Park Street West at 5th (the rail crossing)

Bring your signs of protest – and support for the rule of law in our democracy.

 

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IUY: ACTION – Protect the Rule of Law – Defend Democracy

 

Indivisible Upper Yellowstone
Demonstration: 
Protect the Rule of Law – Defend Democracy
Wednesday July 18, 2018 4:30 PM to 6:00 PM
 
Park Street West at 5th (rail crossing road) 
from sidewalk to curb (only), in front of Depot Park
Part of national vigils and demonstrations called by MoveOn.org through its “No One is Above the Law”
Program (the same one that will call for national demonstrations if Mueller or Rosenstein are fired),
A Proactive Demonstration!
The worst hasn’t happened yet, but this demonstration has been called to awaken people about the warning signs
of attacks on the rule of law and the American way of democracy. It’s true that these are “concepts” instead of emotional
slogans but they go to the heart of how and why we are Americans, all of us. This is a demonstration to make
an impression – to fix in the mind of people even passing by car – that what is happening in America, what is
happening to all of us, is as serious as a heart attack.

What will motivate you to join your fellow Americans on the side of the road with your signs and your personal protest?

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IUY: Monthly Meeting July 11

Dear Indivisibles,

The next monthly meeting of Indivisible Upper Yellowstone will be on Wednesday of next week July 11 in the Steveson room of the Park County-Livingston public library at 6:00 PM.
By now it should be obvious that nearly half if not more of the so-called daily news concerning the GOP and Trump is really about events or statements or tweets, which are only superficially engaging and have little long-term consequence. We should be growing accustomed to the manufactured event, the drama that is the result of calculated propaganda

The so-called summit meeting between Pres. Trump and the communist dictator of North Korea Kim Jong-Un is a perfect example of the seemingly important but actually only marginally important event. As you may have heard, our intelligence agencies are already reporting that North Korea is not honoring any sort of reduction in development for nuclear arms. To the contrary, they are apparently continuing to enrich plutonium and prepare facilities for long-range missiles. Obviously we are not, as Pres. Trump tries to maintain, completely free from the threat of nuclear war. In fact, Secretary of State Pompeo has already said that negotiations with North Korea will endure for many months if not years.

On the other hand, the fundamentally disgusting events on the southern border with Mexico, the separating of parents from children, is real and unfortunately enduring. It’s clear by now that the Trump zero-tolerance policy was a typical shoot from the hip, play to the base, nobody will give a damn what happens – crisis. The policy was not well thought out, even though some of the infrastructure for detaining children was already under construction. The policy quickly exposed the moral, political and human failure of this administration.. We demonstrated against it – twice. Our second demonstration was one of the most successful we’ve had in Livingston in recent memory. People know this issue is important, because it stands for all the immigrants and immigration policy for the last 250 years of American history.

But suddenly, we now have the issue of dealing of with what to do with ICE. This branch of Homeland Security has quite clearly become a police arm with overtones of race related violence and punitive action. There is a call from some to do away with ICE. Actually, what has been said is not destroy ICE, but replace it with another agency less militarily oriented and less punitive. No matter, Trump and the GOP have already seized upon this idea and use it as a propaganda tool. Should the reform of ICE become another issue added to the border problems, should it be ignored, should it be rejected? These are the kind of questions we will examine in the next meeting of Indivisible Upper Yellowstone.

It’s midsummer, it’s getting hot, and people’s time is frequently diverted. We hope you can take a couple of hours and join us to continue the discussion of what issues are important, which need to be emphasized, and what steps we can take in the next month or two as we get closer and closer to the midterm elections.

Nelson and Dixie

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IUY: Keep Families Together Demonstration

Indivisibles, …pictures from Saturday’s “Keep Families Together” demonstration –

All tolled, with around 175 demonstrators, one of the largest such events in Livingston

in recent memory.

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IUY: Monthly Meeting, June 13

First off a reminder, next Wednesday, June 13 will be our general meeting at 6:30 PM in the Livingston – Park County Public Library in the Steveson room in the lower level.
As we head into summer, it’s a given that people’s minds turn toward outdoor activities and family outings. The Fourth of July is not long off and we all know that hot weather, vacations, with plenty of events and distractions are to come. Other than in presidential election years when party conventions are held in summer, this time of year is not usually associated with politics. This year must be different.
It seems more than a little awkward to employ the apocalyptic language that is often used on the alt right, but sometimes the unvarnished condition needs to be described. If the composition of, at least, the House of Representatives isn’t changed in the November election, then it’s a good bet we will scarcely recognize the United States of America in two years. We are heading into a crucial time when affecting the opinions of our fellow Americans – trying to change the awareness of issues coupled with the necessity to vote becomes a top priority.
Here in Montana, among other offices, we have a Senator and a Representative to elect. These are crucial votes for us, and for the voting in Congress. Montana is a split voting state, as is Park County, and we need to emphasize to people that this year of all years it is vital to make up our minds that the shambolic dismantling of government (state or federal) either by corruption or by design is not what we want. Issues such as public lands, healthcare, education, immigration – and yes, the basic role of government in a modern society, need to be brought to the forefront of people’s thinking instead of the endless diversions provided by political shenanigans in Washington and elsewhere.
It is also quite likely, following the primary elections of June, the seemingly slow motion of the Mueller investigation will prove to be a fading illusion in a storm of indictments and other legal activity. This activity will cause consternation among many and perhaps force a constitutional crisis. It is likely to happen this summer, by the end of September at the latest, as such investigations as Mueller’s usually attempt to finish their business or at least take care of the investigative work before the advent of national elections. During the next several months, who knows what bombshells and blowups will appear? Whatever they are, we need to be ready for them. By that we mean to be prepared to demonstrate, to advertise, to spread word-of-mouth – and in general defend the rule of law.
Indivisible Upper Yellowstone is in the interesting position of being able to emphasize the issues, sometimes very complicated and difficult issues (such as the role of government). As is rightly so, the political parties will be concerned with the election of candidates and of pushing the particular platforms. We have the option of looking at all the issues and deciding which ones need to be emphasized. This is not easy, but it is the role of our general meetings to set the pattern for us. For example, currently – which means this week maybe, the issues involved with separating parents from children at the US border and the fate of the DACA people are infuriating and heartrending. What is our message about these issues? That is the kind of thing we will discuss in the general meeting. We hope you attend, bring your opinions and thoughts, and use this opportunity to be informed and engaged.
Dixie and Nelson
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