Connecting The Dots, Part Three

Posted November 21, 2015 by Betsy Marks Delaney
Categories: ALEC, GOP, Oligarchy, Politics, Racism, Religion, War, World News

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

British Dictionary definitions for fascism




noun (sometimes capital)

  1. any ideology or movement inspired by Italian Fascism, such as German National Socialism; any right-wing nationalist ideology or movement with an authoritarian and hierarchical structure that is fundamentally opposed to democracy and liberalism
  2. any ideology, movement, programme, tendency, etc, that may be characterized as right-wing, chauvinist, authoritarian, etc
  3. prejudice in relation to the subject specified: body fascism

When I wrote this post back in 2012, just before the 2012 election, I was doing everything in my power to get the word out that we couldn’t elect Mitt Romney because he was backed by American Fascists. A whole bunch of people either blew me off or unfriended me as a paranoid Liberal hippy with no proof.

I haven’t stopped writing, and I haven’t changed my opinions, but at least now I know I’m not the only one who’s seeing these things.

Taking Cassandra as a job description has its disadvantages, especially when people prefer to live in ignorance, or choose not to pay attention because they don’t do politics. I get that. I really do.

Except for one thing.

I wouldn’t be here now if my ancestors hadn’t chosen to flee oppressive religious persecution at the turn of the last century. My great grandparents were not born in the US. They were lucky. They all arrived at a time when massive migration of refugees meant cheap labor. They all came through Ellis Island, settled in and around Brooklyn, and eventually added my grandparents to their families.

Americans couldn’t see the conditions that sent the Jews to the US from Germany, Poland, Russia and England. They had to take it on faith that conditions were terrible. Immigrants from Europe felt they had to find a better life in America. They couldn’t say “Look at the TV. Look at the Internet. My life is at risk if I stay here where I am.”

That, right there, is the single most horrendous thing about today’s rhetoric coming from Trump, Rubio, Carson and the rest of the GOP.

You just have to tune in to the news, if you can find it, and see for yourself how bad things truly are where today’s immigrants live. But people will believe what they’re told. They don’t want to admit for even a second that things are as bad now as they were back then. Worse, even, because we could do something about it if we weren’t so busy supporting the American Military Industrial Complex and believing everything our corporate masters tell us to believe.

I say to you now: If you turn away Syrians, Central and South Americans, Somalis, or anyone else who flees a country out of fear of death, you are NO BETTER than the Germans were who actively supported the Nazis in World War II.

You don’t live in a bubble. You are not an island. You live on a planet where you can fly halfway around the world inside of 24 hours. And it’s the only planet you can reach in your lifetime. These aren’t people who live elsewhere. They occupy the same planet you do.

Perhaps it’s time for us to Occupy Earth. To live the values Jesus attempted to teach his followers instead of pretending only his resurrection matters.

Every religion boils down to one overriding law: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Terrorists (regardless of religious background) do not live by this rule. Not Islamist Daesh, not the KKK, and certainly not today’s neofascist members of ALEC.

You can call yourself Christian if you want, or any other religion you choose, but until you actually live by the Law, you are a liar. Stop calling on Jesus if you can’t find it in your heart to welcome in refugees, regardless of their origin.

Stop calling them migrants. They are people just like you. Look at the reason they are leaving their homes. Empathize with them.

Practice what you preach, or be prepared to deal with World War III, the Second Civil War, because that’s what’s coming. I don’t know that we’ll survive this time. “Fascism is rising in America”: The Koch brothers and democracy’s dispiriting demise

Stonekettle Station: The Price of Civilization

Huffington Post Blog: ‘American Fascism’: Accurate or Misleading?

Huffington Post Blog: Time to Stop the GOP Fearmongering

The Guardian: Syrian refugees in America: separating fact from fiction in the debate 

On September 11, 2015…

Posted September 11, 2015 by Betsy Marks Delaney
Categories: Bombs, Politics, War

Tags: , , , , , ,

Next Tuesday will be the 14th anniversary of the piece I wrote below. It used to appear on my web site, but I’ve since redesigned the site and removed the section. Still, the piece should be available somewhere, so I am reproducing it here.

Back then, I predicted there would be terrible consequences to our actions if we didn’t choose wisely, and I was right. We are, whether we admit it or not, in a state of continual panic and fear, thanks to the actions of our own government.

We send our bombs and people to other shores in the hopes that somehow, these actions will make the world a safer place. We fight against ISIL, we turn away refugees, we track our own actions in libraries, on the Internet, over the phone, as we drive. Cameras are everywhere.

We are constantly reminded to be vigilant, wary, concerned when people who don’t look like us interact with us. And we are armed to the teeth, in the fear that something will happen on our own turf, that will be as bad as we’ve made it for people elsewhere.

We asked for this.

It is our fault.

We elected officials who put the Patriot Act in place, and proclaim that our flag is better than any other flag, and yet we can’t feed our people. We drive on roads that are damaged by years of neglect, and celebrate those who take lives because our country has pointed fingers and said we must do unto others BEFORE they do unto us.

It is right and proper to remember the lives lost when the towers fell. It is right to remember those who served and helped the survivors. And it is proper to mourn those changes in our society.

But to me, the phrase “Never Forget” means so much more than four airplanes and their hijackers, and those in the buildings and surrounding areas who went to work or got on the planes with the expectation that they would return home again at the end of the day or the end of the trip.

“Never Forget” also means we should remember that our country was and should still be a refuge for people who had no other place to go, who sought peace from prosecution. It should be a home for all, a haven for anyone seeking a better life. And it should be a place where we all have the opportunity to enjoy the fruits of our labors, in peace and prosperity.

Citizens United, the Patriot Act, No Child Left Behind, Right to Work: These are all symbols of oppression, put in place by the Grand Old Party. These Republican oppressors, waving the flag and carrying the Christian Bible, many of whom cater to neo-Fascist organizations disguised as conservative think tanks, want us to maintain a constant state of war because THEY profit from it. And as long as we remain too distracted by fear, they can get away with murder.

Somalia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Syria, Iraq…it doesn’t matter where they were born. They all want the same things our parents and grandparents want: Somewhere safe to raise a family and to make a place in this world for themselves. We do every immigrant, every refugee a disservice every time we return these people to the hell from which they came.

The very definition of Refugee comes from an organization built on the ashes of World War II:

The 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees has adopted the following term “refugee” to apply to any person who (in Article 1.A.2):[1]

“owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it.”[1]


And these same so-called Patriots would love nothing better than to see the US pull out of the United Nations because they disagree with the policies and protections set forth there. They want us to go to war with Iran. These hypocrites could have stopped North Korea before the acquisition of nuclear weapons, but they didn’t care enough, because there isn’t enough profit in dismantling North Korea’s arsenal.

With Iran, it’s different. They are protecting their oil interests and are throwing our country away for the sake of their own greed. They have hoodwinked hard-working Americans into thinking they give a rat’s ass about their base. Even with proof of the contempt these billionaires hold for their base, they STILL manage to hold onto their positions in Congress and will do whatever they can to win the Presidency in 2016.

You have a choice. You can choose to remember this day, fourteen years ago, as a rallying cry against people who want to destroy our country and look across the ocean to other continents as the source, or you can remember who put these people in business in the first place and hold THEM accountable in the coming election. 2016 is everything.

Iran-Contra Affair:

The Shah of Iran:

Iran-Iraq War:

Saddam Hussein:

The Syrian Civil War:

September 11, 2001

Written by Betsy R. Delaney
Saturday, September 15, 2001

On a day that started with excitement about my own little world, the world was witness to an unbelievable tragedy.

It started so simply for me: A phone call from a mother to tell a father about his daughter’s new teeth, and to have a morning chat with him about trivialities.

How it will end is anyone’s guess. There are so many variables, so many possibilities, so vast a sense of loss, anger and shock about the events of the 11th of September, that it is impossible to predict how the landscape of the world will look even a month from now.

On September 10th, this was not the case.

On September 11th, at 8am EDT, this was not the case.

Right up to the point where the first commercial airplane impacted the first World Trade Center building, this was not the case.

We Americans have been comfortable in our ability to simply flit from place to place. There have been vague feelings of concern for the increasingly deadly military actions of other countries, but at such an incomprehensible distance that they were simply not of personal concern to most of us. We have been able to focus on things that now seem trivial and small in comparison.

Seeing the World Trade Center district in the aftermath of this most amazingly evil of atrocities, it’s hard not to think of Beirut, of Bosnia, or even of London 50 years ago.

But not Manhattan.

Not New York.

Not here.

We are now faced with a task which I am not sure is possible to accomplish, at a cost I don’t know if we are prepared to pay.

Until now, the realities of the last World War belonged to the old folks. Those who preceded the “Baby Boomer” generation who are fading fast from age or disease. There are not many people left who can remember what this world was like during the last World War. Not so many who remember Korea, for that matter.

The newer wars, Vietnam and Desert Storm, were different. With all the odds against us, we could never have won in Vietnam. Desert Storm taught us that the next World War must be different. In the wake of the responses to this ongoing tragedy, by all accounts, this war could be different from anything we have ever seen, and could ever imagine, even in the most cynical eye of Science Fiction authors. And yet, it could resemble these actions in so many awful ways. It could even resemble the Crusades, if we are not careful.

There are those who do not understand why we have not already leveled Kabul. There are those who believe that to be a Muslim means that you are automatically a terrorist. There are those who feel that this act is justified because our country condones and backs the actions of the Israelis, and that to be Jewish means that you automatically support Israel’s actions against the Palestinians.

These people are all guilty of oversimplification.

To be sure, those responsible have it coming. I don’t dispute that one bit.

But we have bombed Iraq almost continually since Desert Storm began, and yet Saddam Hussein remains in power.

We bombed Afghanistan after the last action linked directly to Osama bin Laden, and yet he continues to be the source of great pain and suffering.

The President of the United States said, “This conflict was begun on the timing and terms of others. It will end in a way and at an hour of our choosing.” I fear that he may be wrong.

If we move without first being absolutely sure of our targets, we will disrupt the alliances we seem to have forged against the perpetrators of this horrible act. It does us no good to anger the people who have united with us, simply to slake the thirst of those who want blood now. Striking out blindly at targets that are not accurate, and doing no harm to the ones who deserve it most, makes us look foolish and incompetent. This we cannot afford to do.

And while I say that I do not want to explain to my daughter why her father did not come home, I do not want the deeds of September 11th to go unpunished. I cannot in good conscience tell my husband that he must stay here. If he is called, as I am certain he will be, I must support him in any way I can.

But I say now, I will only feel good about making that sacrifice if the result is certain, appropriate and final.

So, I ask the President, the Congress, and the world to be sure that their actions are the right ones. Be careful about what you are doing, because what you could unleash may be much worse than what has already been done, as incomprehensible as that might be right now.

And, when you have decided, move swiftly, so that we can be sure that we do not miss the targets, and so our loved ones can come home.

Your obedient,

Betsy R. Delaney

The law we’ve all been waiting for…but wait! There’s more!!!

Posted August 11, 2015 by Betsy Marks Delaney
Categories: 2nd Amendment, ALEC, GOP, Gun Control, Mental Health, Politics, Racism

Tags: , , ,

Last night I had an extended conversation on Facebook (which I do quite often, because these posts don’t tend to happen anywhere near as much as they should).

The conversation started with this article:

Raw Story: Vermont woman uses high-powered rifle to kill social services worker after losing custody of her daughter

I led with the phrase “Because guns fix everything, and there are no consequences, right?”

It didn’t take long to get the usual response.

“I wish they would focus on that, this was not a sane person. If it’s a mental hospital, or prison, she goes forever.”

In the following responses we saw laid bare the actual problem with this statement, and with the NRA’s [oops! I mean] Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn’s newly proposed gun control bill

It’s quite simple, really: If you have to be insane to shoot someone, then why are the prisons filled with insane people?

Mental illness isn’t a crime, is it? Well, yes, it is, apparently, or the prisons would be empty and there would be mental institutions everywhere.

There aren’t, are there? Why is that?

Well, the answer’s kinda complicated, see. It starts with the shutdown in the 1980s of mental facilities and President Reagan’s dismantling of a lot of the structure supporting those facilities.

Salon: Ronald Reagan’s shameful legacy: Violence, the homeless, mental illness

But that’s not a complete answer, is it? No, because people fire guns for a whole bunch of reasons, including (but not limited to) in no particular order:

  • suicide
  • anger
  • revenge
  • racial profiling
  • accident
  • crime
  • fear
  • greed

You get the idea.

If you look at the prison system today, violent offenders make up only a portion of the population. And a majority of folks who are responsible for gun-related deaths aren’t remotely mentally ill. So where does the NRA come off with claiming this will fix the problem? It’s not a cure. It’s a Band-Aid, designed to draw attention away from the actual problem and place the blame on a population that is far more likely to do nothing at all, or to self-inflict.

Statistically speaking (if you can even call it that), the vast number of certifiably mentally ill shooters who see trial are white. Why is that? Because if it isn’t a murder/suicide, they are far more likely to survive encounters with police if they are white than if they’re not. No, race isn’t a guarantee of protection, but do you suppose the case in Aurora would have seen trial if Holmes had been black? I rather think not, especially in light of Ferguson, Cleveland, Baltimore and the rest.

We have a gun problem in this country and the NRA is pointing at a portion of the population who are under-served, blaming THEM because then we won’t actually address the problem. CDC Mental Healt FastStats show some of the picture, but not all of it.

Prisons are not remotely designed to handle the mentally ill. Rather, imprisonment is a contributing factor to mental illness.

So what’s the deal, NRA? And what makes you think you can just pass the buck?

Yeah, money.

Just remember, when you pay your dues to the NRA, what you’re supporting. And when you vote for an NRA-backed member of congress, don’t have any mental illness in your background, or you may find you’re on that list.

The law of unintended consequences works all the time.

The view from here…

Posted April 26, 2015 by Betsy Marks Delaney
Categories: Ethics, Racism

Tags: , ,


Staten Island.



San Antonio.


Some timeline, isn’t it?

Baltimore’s police leadership is SO out of touch that Gene Ryan, President of Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 3, had the gall to suggest the call for jail time for the officers involved in Gray’s shooting was tantamount to a lynch mob. He later walked the comment back (sort of) in a news conference with police union attorney Mike Davey, saying  “Maybe I need to reword that.” His thoughtless comments illustrate just how out of touch our police force really is.

And we know the news isn’t good. The protests turned violent again. It’s horrible how those protesters have NO RESPECT for anything, isn’t it?

That’s what a lot of people are saying, in all these cities across America. At least, that’s what a lot of folks who aren’t black are saying. Because, you know, violence isn’t necessary. Voices get heard when protests are peaceful, and change happens when we’re quiet and polite and respectful, and we don’t run.

Only that isn’t true today, any more than it was true in 1968 or in the 1950s or, in fact, any time prior to that, including 1938, when the last man was lynched in Maryland.

So, how often do these things actually happen? In August, 2014, Mother Jones published an article written by Jaeah Lee entitled Exactly How Often Do Police Shoot Unarmed Black Men?

As the race begins…

Posted April 14, 2015 by Betsy Marks Delaney
Categories: GOP, Politics, Tea Party

Tags: , , , ,

Well, folks, here we go.

It’s been a while in coming, but now that we’re finally loading the starting gate, it’s time to start paying attention to the horses in this race.

Trust me: This one’s going to be winner-take- all, unless something really bad happens in the next year and a half. This is a prediction and it’s not going to come as any sort of surprise if you’ve paid any attention at all to the things I’ve posted since I launched this blog.

There are two sites (and their articles) that I think you need to read and bookmark. First up: from the Tampa Bay Times (

If you think a statement is too good to be true (or too likely), check it here. This non-partisan site will debunk the statement to the best of its ability. Start here before visiting for anything that’s on the political spectrum, and that includes what the press has to say on the subject.

And second:

This specific article, from Daily Kos: What Happens if the Tea Party Patriots ever Do “Take Their Country Back”? ( This study is as complete a damning of every GOP candidate as you’ll find.

Don’t know what the John Birch Society is? Here: Wikipedia: John Birch Society

Can’t stand Daily Kos? Here: The New John Birch Society

You can do the research yourself, by following the links in the Wikipedia article. There’s a ton of footnotes and links to external sites from the main Wikipedia page. You need to understand about reading between the lines.

Understand: If you support the Tea Party, you are supporting the next US Civil War, because that is what the GOP wants. And if they don’t get their way in 2016 because we elected Hillary Clinton, they’ll try again in 2020. And in 2024.

Mark my words: If the GOP takes the White House in 2016, there will be no returning to Democracy. None. Not in your lifetime or your children’s. Every bleak concept introduced in The Handmaid’s Tale, in 1984, in The Prince for that matter, that will be our reality.

If you think for one moment that we can’t have a world like we had during World War II, if you think it can’t happen here, you’re wrong. A Second American Civil War isn’t just science fiction fantasy.

Start your reading now. You have roughly nine months.

Je suis Charlie…

Posted January 8, 2015 by Betsy Marks Delaney
Categories: 1st Amendment, Bombs, GOP, Politics, Religion, Violence

Tags: , , , , , ,

Hi. It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Yes, yes, I know. Busy, distracted. My, how time flies.

Truth is that I’ve been tied up in knots between a new job I started in August and keeping my head above water with classes in the fall. And, truthfully, it was feeling just a bit like I was shouting into the wilderness in here. So? I withdrew to FB and kept most of my ranting there.

Since then, we’ve had a sweep of the House and Senate, and now the GOP is unleashing every bit of stored up agenda against the American People for the sake of American Business and I’m counting the days until the Presidential Election to see if they take the third branch as well, or if we finally wake up in this country and do something about our so-called leaders.

It’s funny, though. Here I sit, cozy in a house full of books and movies, connected at whim to the Internet where I can write whatever I like, so long as I’m not telling lies, and nobody will come to my place and shoot me for writing these things.


Isn’t that what every journalist believes? Isn’t that the truth we all understand – that we are entitled to say what we want and to speak the truth, so long as we aren’t hurting anyone else?


Tell that to the ten journalists and two cops who died in Paris yesterday. Or to the journalists in the past year who’ve been beheaded. Or to those who were shot in South America. Or, in fact, anywhere else in the world, just for speaking out. Ever.

There are no links to other sources in this post. There’s no reason to link elsewhere. You want facts? You can Google them yourself and find what Google wants you to find, and present it as truth. Wikipedia? Ditto. I know. I do it all the time. And (truthfully) I’m righteously sanctimonious when I do it, too. Because I’m right and you’re wrong. Or I’m right and you’re merely uninformed.

I think it’s completely ironic that in the Islamic State’s desire to silence its critics, it has chosen the one industry that will say what it pleases, dig in its heels and cry out for more truth, even in the face of guns, bombs or knives.

In taking on journalism, they have created a hydra all their own. We ARE all Charlie.

Every Blogger. Every Twitter user. Every FB and LJ and WordPress and Pinterest user. Every last one of us who puts a finger to a keyboard – we are all capable of crying out TRUTH. In a radical version of a religion that supposedly values martyrdom, what on earth were they thinking when they took on journalism and free speech? Did they somehow think they would silence the voices simply by killing the cartoonists?

I haven’t been posting because life overwhelmed me for a bit. I may not post again for a while because next week classes start all over again, and I’ll be busy. But that hasn’t stopped me from thinking and observing, even as I have to turn the input devices off so I can concentrate on my work.

Tune in and pay attention. That’s all I’ve ever asked. Look around at what they’re saying to you.

Is it truth? How do you know?

And when you figure it out, say something about it. BE Charlie.

Keeping it to yourself doesn’t help anyone else.

See you soon.


Posted December 6, 2014 by Betsy Marks Delaney
Categories: Civil Liberties, Ethics, Racism, Violence

Tags: , , , , , , ,

I’m going to explore this a little more fully when I have some time to go find references, which I don’t have time to do this morning, but you better pay attention to this because it may explain some things about the posts I’m making here and why I’m so very, very appalled not just at what’s happening to people across the country but why I can’t believe what some of the people I’ve known for decades are saying.

I attended the School Without Walls (SWW) from 1977 to 1981. The school, part of a movement that came about in 1968, was very different from traditional high schools. Some of the people reading this note attended the school with me, and I’m shocked to hear what some of them are saying. Shocked because they clearly did NOT understand why SWW existed in the first place, and I’m frustrated because they’re not listening now.

Teachers, students and parents from Monroe High School founded SWW because they needed a place to learn, in an environment that was exploding after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. That core group came from a mix of backgrounds and the student population was diverse, too. It was an intense four-year journey for me, that launched a career of writing, even if I haven’t been paid for much of it.

I’m not going to pretend or idealize the experience I had while I was there, but I can count at least 40 people on my Facebook Flist who attended or graduated from SWW. So here’s the thing. Check it out:

And you thought Rochester wasn’t part of that?

You want to know where SWW derived? Look up the Free School Movement.

I’m not saying folks aren’t paying attention. I’m saying they’re not applying an empathy filter. Put your own kids in the place where Michael Brown was, and imagine what this would be like for you. If you can’t put yourself in that place, examine WHY you can’t do that. Is it because you don’t get it, or because you simply can’t imagine your kid being shot just for being big and belligerent? Not your kid’s style? So what? USE YOUR IMAGINATION! Put yourself or your son or daughter or their friends in that place.

The core problem with today’s world, with all the arguments about money, guns, race, equality, sexuality? They are happening because people (some of them on my own Flist) canNOT imagine what this is like and because they don’t get it, they think it’s okay, what’s going on with the cops today.

I’m telling you, that’s wrong.

If you still want to know what’s wrong with this country, maybe it’s because you can’t imagine what it’s like to be Michael Brown or Eric Garner or Tamir Rice or their siblings or their parents or their friends. And you can’t imagine that cops could possibly be corrupt or that the system does fail.

And to those of you who find yourselves wondering how this could possibly be happening, I say it’s time you woke UP!

You’re being set up. Educate yourself.

The court case I got called for over the summer? It had eerie overtones and I’m glad I wasn’t on the jury because I don’t think in hindsight that I could be impartial. Here’s how it shook out:–cop-johnnie-riley-to-be-sentenced-for-shooting-handcuffed-suspect/18915647/

Now the thing is, would he have gotten jail time if the cop had been white? Would he even have been indicted? We will never, never know.

No, not all cops, not all lawyers, not all courts, but if there’s even one that’s practicing the law as if some people aren’t worth the same as others, that cop or lawyer needs to GO!

And if we don’t try these people in a court of law, we will never know what happened.

Where’s the justice in that?

Race is fiction. Racism is very, very real.

#blacklivesmatter #justiceisbroken

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