Why Do I Still Fight?

4 February 2017, West Point Cadets tour the Permanent Exhibition.

I have been asked why, after all the shit I have been put through on the county level, I continue to participate in the Polk County Democratic Party. Sure there are other places that I can focus my energy, such as the Ankeny Area Democrats, Congressional District 3 Democratic Party or the State Democratic Party. Here is the thing, I am active in all 4.

So, why do I continue even though there have been targeted attacks on my character from the people in power in the Polk Count Democratic Party? Because they are transient, our communities and our party are not. Over time, those in power now will not be in power in the future, but our communities and our party will still be around and still need help fighting for the future of all our neighbors. That is why I continue.

Another question I have been asked, and I have already answered this in another post, is why do I fight for things that don’t necessarily effect me? Just because I am not directly effected by current policies doesn’t mean that it doesn’t effect someone that I know. Plus, when the community as a whole does better, we all do better. If we turn a blind eye as our elected representatives to openly attack our LGBTQ sisters and brothers, our sisters and brothers of color, our sisters and brothers of different religions and women’s reproductive and civil rights, it is only a matter of time until they come after everyone else.

One of my favorite quotes comes from a prominent Protestant pastor who emerged as an outspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler and who spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps, Martin Niemöller. The quote is as follows:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

If we stand idly by and allow our elected officials to go after those that can’t or won’t fight against them, then it is up to the rest of us to fight for them.

This is exactly why I continue on fighting within the Democratic Party even though the chair attacks my integrity and and character. This is OUR party, and I for one am here to stay no matter what some transient chair does or says. To those trying to push me out, keep trying if you want, but I am here to stay. I will continue to be on the front lines fighting for inclusion for all our sisters and brothers in all walks of life.

I Am Not A Single Issue Voter

Calvin and Hobbs Single Issue Voter
I am not a single issue voter. I know a lot of my Republican friends are. And for most, the one issue they vote on relates to their 2nd Amendment rights. If I were a single issue voter, it would be Healthcare, Education or ACTUAL Tax Reform (not the corporate tax giveaway that just passed). I would vote for a single issue that helps ALL Americans, not my desire to own a fucking firearm.
In all reality, Democrats aren’t “coming for your guns.” Democrats want to pass common sense gun legislation to keep guns out of the hands of would-be domestic terrorists so that we can avoid another Columbine or another Sandy Hook or another Vegas or any other of a unfathomable number of other mass shootings that happen every year.
Today, in what used to be the greatest country in the world, we are failing our fellow Americans by being the only industrialized country on the planet to not provide free and inclusive medical care as a right to our citizens.
The US used to be the country to strive to be in regards to education. Today, we rank 14th out of 40 countries in education. It is time to fully fund education in the US and this DOES NOT mean funding private schools. Private schools are called private for a reason, that reason is because they are supposed to be PRIVATELY funded, not publicly.
We are also, as the wealthiest country on the planet, taxing our lower and middle class citizens to the point where they can not afford to live, while giving truck loads of money to the top 1% and corporations that DO NOT need it.
I don’t know about anyone else, but I am sick of our elected officials in Congress representing the interests of their donors instead of those of their constituents all in the name of the all mighty dollar. We must get rid of Private Campaign Funding and overturn the disastrous Citizens United. Our government is meant to be “of the people, by the people and for the people”, not bought and paid for by moneyed interests and corporations through lobbyists.
The only way to take our country back and make sure they work for we the people is to support candidates that align with your beliefs, educate other people about these candidates and make sure EVERYONE gets out and votes in 2018, 2020 and beyond.

Republican Blood Money

Blood Money

According to mass shooting data, under the leadership of Obama (2008 – 2016) there were a total of 37 mass shooting incidents with 308 fatalities and 308 injuries. We are only 9 months into the “leadership” of Trump and there have already been 10 mass shooting incidents with 112 fatalities and 520 injuries.

After each incident, Obama would call for common sense gun legislation. But with the blatant obstruction from Republicans in Congress, no such legislation was ever passed. In the age of Trump with a Republican controlled Congress, the only thing that we get is thoughts and prayer followed by statements that it is not the time to talk about gun regulations.

There is a greedy reason why we only get thoughts and prayers from the right, blood money from the NRA spent to buy members of Congress. Below are the top 10 members of the House and Senate and what they were paid to never bring forth common sense gun legislation.

The top ten House recipients are as follows:

  1. French Hill (R-AR) $1,089,477
  2.  Ken Buck (R-CO) $800,544
  3.  David Young (R-IA) $707,662
  4.  Mike Simpson (IND-ID) $385,731
  5.  Greg Gianforte (R-MT) $344,630
  6.  Don Young (R-AL) $245,720
  7. Lloyd Smucker (R-PA) $221,736
  8.  Bruce Poliquin (R-ME) $201,398
  9.  Pete Sessions (R-TX) $158,111
  10.  Barbara Comstock (R-VA) $137,232

The top ten Senate recipients are as follows:

  1. John McCain (R-AZ) $7,740,521
  2. Richard Burr (R-NC) $6,986,620
  3. Roy Blunt (R-MO) $4,551,146
  4. Thom Tillis (R-NC) $4,418,012
  5. Cory Gardner (R-CO) $3,879,064
  6. Marco Rubio (R-FL) $3,303,355
  7. Joni Ernst (R-IA) $3,124,273
  8. Rob Portman (R-OH) $3,061,941
  9. Todd Young (R-IN) $2,896,732
  10. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) $2,861,047

Wayne Robert LaPierre, Jr., the executive vice president of the NRA, is the main opposition of gun control policies. As such, in my humble opinion, LaPierre and all of the Senators and House Representatives he has bought off are guilty of multiple counts of mass murder for the role they have played in blocking any form of common sense gun regulation, all in the name of greed.

There are a few things we can do to fight back against these vile and evil people. We need to educate anyone and everyone about what common sense gun control is and is not. It IS keeping guns out of the hands of known criminals by way of extensive background checks and closing loopholes like the gun show loophole. It is NOT about taking guns away from everyone.

The NRA and Republicans continually bring up how owning guns are a Second Amendment Right. The Second Amendment reads as follows, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” There are some gun owners that are responsible gun owners, but what we are seeing today is not a “well regulated Militia”, it is a bunch of mentally unstable domestic terrorists taking out men, women and children.

When it is not safe to go to a movie in a theater, go to school or go to church, it is past time to talk about this issue. We must do something to change this now before more innocent people are killed.


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In Memoriam: Progressive Activist and Journalist, Scott Galindez

Rest in Peace my friend. It was an honor to have known and worked beside you.

Progressive Voices of Iowa

It is with a heavy heart and great sorrow that we announce the passing of a member of our PVI family. Scott Galindez was a fiery activist, advocate, and journalist who fought with everything he had for what he believed. He was a talented video editor and organizer. He was a fantastic writer and a passionately fought against the very flaws in the for-profit healthcare system that eventually took his life. He was a friend and he will be sorely missed.

In spite of his health issues, Scott worked with all his might to fight for the change he wanted to see in the world. Earlier this year in February, he helped to organize the Des Moines healthcare rally that joined with the nationwide effort to demand the protection of the ACA and its evolution to a national single payer healthcare system.

He was also a talented journalist, publishing in Reader…

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Why Does the Republican Base Vote Against Their Own Self-Interests?


For decades, the Republican base has voted for representatives that do not serve their interests. We are at the tipping point right now on a number of issues. Issues like Climate Change, Healthcare and Income Inequality. These are all issues that are made worse, not better by Republicans in office. I am not saying that Democrats don’t, but Republicans are far more skilled at fucking over the American people.

I am not sure why the Republican base continually votes against their own self-interests. My guess is it has to do with laziness and taking the word of politicians and / or Fox News. We, as concerned Americans, need to take the time and do the research before we blindly vote for our representatives. Look at their history and their voting record. Voting is a Constitutional right in American, but it is also a very important right that effects every citizen, immigrant and visitor in the United States. We should treat it with the respect and importance it deserves.

Climate Change

Four of the five states that will be most impacted by Climate Change are Republican strongholds. Mississippi is already showing the effects of Climate Change with coastal flooding, drought, wildfire and extreme heat. In Missouri, the next 40 years will see significant increases in heat, drought, wildfires and inland flooding. Texas is a Republican stronghold that is expected to have the greatest threat from drought and wildfires by 2050, as well as extreme heat and coastal flooding. Arkansas ranks third in a report for future inland flooding risk, it also has a high risk of wildfires, drought and extreme heat. Nevada, the only non-Republican stronghold, even though it was one up until 2008 (Obama’s first run), is also at a high risk of wildfires, drought and extreme heat.


Healthcare has many aspects to it that affect different states at a different level. I will start with states that will be affected most in regards to pre-existing conditions if Trumpcare passes. According to a 2016 study by the non-partisan Kaiser Family Foundation, the top 5 states with the highest percentage of pre-existing conditions are West Virginia at 36% (392,000 non-elderly adults), Mississippi at 34% (595,000 non-elderly adults), Alabama 33% (942,000 non-elderly adults), Kentucky 33% (881,000 non-elderly adults) and Arkansas 32% (556,000 non-elderly adults). Notice that all 5 of these states are Republican states.

Another aspect of the effects healthcare poses is in the form of the tax credits that will be lost if Trumpcare passes. According to Business Insider, the five most affected state in regard to loss of tax credits are Alaska (-$10,243), Oklahoma (-$4,642), North Carolina (-$5360), Alabama (-$4,293) and Wyoming (-$4,183). Again, notice that all 5 of these states are also Republican states.

While pre-existing conditions and tax credit losses are important factors, to me the true atrocity of Trumpcare has to do with how it disproportionally affects the elderly, the poor and minorities.

Income Inequality

Every state in the nation is affected by income inequality. Since the 1970s, the gap has widened between the top 1% and the bottom 99%, but the biggest increases in income inequality started with President Ronald Reagan and his Trickledown Economics. Every Republican president since has pushed this theory that has been completely and totally proven to not work.

The basic theory of Trickledown Economics says that if the rich corporations have more money, the wealth will “trickledown” to the workers and the poor. In reality, the richer the corporations get, the bigger the container that holds there wealth gets and wealth never trickles down to the workers and the poor. Right now, the top 1% owns more wealth than the bottom 90%.

Here are the top 5 states in regard to income inequality:

Florida has the fifth largest level of income inequality with the average income of the top 1% to bottom 99% ratio being 34.7 ($1.27 to $36,169 earned per year). To be part of the 1% in Florida, a person must earn at least $385,410 per year. To be part of the top 0.01%, a person must earn $9.5 million per year.

Nevada has the fourth largest level of income inequality with the average income of the top 1% to the bottom 99% ratio being 38.3 ($1.39 million to $36,169 earned per year). To be part of the 1% in Nevada, a person must earn at least $311,977 per year. To be part of the top 0.01%, a person must earn $10.9 million per year.

Wyoming has the third largest level of income inequality with the average income of the top 1% to the bottom 99% ratio being 40.6 ($2.1 million to $52,196 earned per year). To be part of the 1% in Wyoming, a person must earn at least $368,468 per year. To be part of the top 0.01%, a person must earn $16.3 million per year.

Connecticut has the second largest level of income inequality with the average income of the top 1% to the bottom 99% ratio being 42.6 ($2.4 million to $56,445 earned per year). To be part of the 1% in Connecticut, a person must earn at least $659,979 per year. To be part of the top 0.01%, a person must earn $18.7 million per year.

Finally, New York has the largest level of income inequality with the average income of the top 1% to the bottom 99% ratio being 45.4 ($2 million to $44,163 earned per year). To be part of the 1% in New York, a person must earn at least $517,557 per year. To be part of the top 0.01%, a person must earn $15.8 million per year. Income inequality is worse in Manhattan (New York County). The ratio there is 115.6, making it the fourth largest county level of income inequality. The county with the largest income inequality is Trenton, Wyoming with a ratio of 233.


These are only 3 of the large issues facing America. With the way that just these 3 issues affect the Republican base and how it is mostly Congressional Republicans that are pushing the legislation that perpetuates these atrocities, why does the Republican base keep voting against their self-interests? Maybe we need a support group for them or, at the very least, an intervention.