Experts in autocracies have pointed out that it is, unfortunately, easy to slip into normalizing the tyrant, hence it is important to hang on to outrage. These incidents which seem to call for the efforts of the Greek Furies (Erinyes) to come and deal with them will, I hope, help with that. Even though there are many more which I can't include. As a reminder, though no one really knows how many there were supposed to be, the three names we have are Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone. These roughly translate as "unceasing," "grudging," and "vengeful destruction."
With Keith, and Sam, and John Oliver keeping us up on many if not most of the more far-reaching things that are going on, and also the administration of Schmuck à l'Orange deliberately switching gears and moving as fast as possible in order to keep us as confused as possible, I am trying to find things which may have gone unnoticed, but which are still telling.
Perhaps my favorite for the week is the story of the Texas State Senator who was holding a hearing on three anti-abortion bills. A NARAL intern was giving pro-choice testimony and went a couple of seconds over the allotted two minutes, saying
…stop playing with women’s health care as if it’s your own political puppet…
when the Senator brought down his gavel so hard he shattered a glass-topped table.
A few minutes later,
[Senator Charles] Schwertner allowed the president of the anti-abortion Texas Alliance for Life lobby group to extend his testimony, including a quote attributed to Catholic saint and scholar Thomas More, for the same length of time as Hennessy’s, without an interruption. Schwertner is the chair of the Texas Senate Health and Human Services Committee…. Schwertner’s aggressive gaveling appeared to be limited to Hennessy’s testimony. When others' statements went over time, the senator instead warned them by repeatedly thanking them for their testimony.
Obviously channeling Mitch McConnell.
To her credit, the intern, Maggie Hennessy (FINALLY someone with an Irish name who is on the correct side), was not discouraged. Megaera, I hope you can arrange it so that the Senator IS discouraged.
While I was researching in Cosmopolitan (I hear Teen Vogue also has grest political news, better than the New York Times – not that that is such a high bar), I found this:
The plan is for large numbers to join in casting a spell on the Pussygrabber-in-Chief every night of a waning crescent moon "until he's driven from office."
The spell was publicized by Michael M. Hughes, who (whether alone or with assistance I'm not sure) "tweaked" it from multiple spells he saw going around private witchcraft groups. He then published it on the internet, and it quickly spread with events being formed around the country.
Hughes explained that he chose a binding spell because "we're not wishing harm on anyone, we're just trying to stop the harm they're doing. It's not the equivalent of punching a Nazi in the face, it's the equivalent of tying him up and taking his bullhorn away."
The ritual itself is pretty standard magic working, binding Trump from doing harm to others and to himself, rather than asking any forces to do harm to him. There are objects to represent the elements and to represent Trump himself. The tarot card of the Tower represents ambitions built on lies, which are struck down by a lightning flash of truth. For those who believe in witchcraft, it looks to be an effective spell.
If anyone here is a Wiccan or has friends who are, they are most welcome to engage, and, in fact, everyone is welcome, whether Wiccan or not, even complete skeptics. Yes, I know the introductory ritual was last night, but the last I looked, it takes the moon at least a week to wane. It's worth checking the almanac. Alecto, maybe you can give them a hand, help them focus, send them strength.
Of course deportations are a thing this week. I could probably write all week on it and not run out of material. But instead, I'd like to share a couple of stories from people who have not been deported, but are terrified they will be. They are farm workers, continuing to go to work and do their jobs (and incidentally paying their taxes).
The United Farm Workers, who shared the stories, already assigned them false names, but I just have a whim to use "Jane Doe" and "Richard Roe," only in Spanish.
So. Ricardo Corzo lives and works in the area around Fresno, CA. The story he tells happened on February 8 (and things have gotten worse since.)
At an intersection that many farm workers pass while going to work ICE pulled over our van. One of the farm workers in my van was handcuffed and it looked like they were going to take him and some other farm workers in, but then the agents got an emergency call of some type and they were let go. I had read the Know Your Rights card that the UFW gave myself and other workers but in the heat of the moment we were just paralyzed to even remember anything. This is why I appreciate the upcoming know your rights meetings the UFW is holding that will give us the opportunity to role play how to respond and prepare us.
The "know your rights meetings" the UFW is holding include role playing, since, as "Ricardo" points out, in the heat of the moment one gets paralyzed. The web page is requesting donations to support such meetings, but it's not a requirement, and I think it's important for us to know these stories. Even people with empathy don't always have the imagination to predict what bullies will come up with to scare vulnerable people.
Juana Gama lives and works in Ventura County. She feels people are being targeted by the color of their skin.
I have heard about the immigration raids in my community. Everyone is afraid they will be next. I am very thankful that the United Farm Workers organizes “Know Your Rights” information sessions. The information is very helpful, but we are very nervous.
Recently I began to receive mail at my house addressed to a strange name. I write “return to sender” and “does not live here”, but the letters have continued. Soon after I began to hear loud knocks on my front door from police officers asking for the same name on the letters. Since Donald Trump announced his expanded deportation orders, I have been afraid to answer the door when the police have come. They have come often enough that my neighbors have noticed and they are also worried. We are working hard trying to earn a living, feed our families, feed this great nation. It’s not right. We can’t let hate divide us. That’s not our America. I hope you can help us.
I found that chilling. And I was born in the USA and am blonde. The little fact of Law Enforcement being at the wrong place has been proven not to prevent the occupants of a home from getting killed.
Oh, yeah – the picture is of one of the PRIVATE "detention facilities" doing ICE's dirty work of "holding" people (in at least one case, "holding" a young mother with a brain tumor.) Tisiphone, please see what you can do.
The Furies and I will be back.
Cross posted to Care2 at http://www.care2.com/news/member/101612212/4038937