The Different Drummer

By Carl J. Petersen

Politics, Family, Music and other Musings.

Trump's Wall Hits the Popular Vote

Donald Trump’s biggest failure may be his inability to recognize that a majority of Americans voted against his presidency.

Read the article on Medium.


George H.W. Bush Led a Different America

You will be our President when you read this note. I wish you well. I wish your family well.

- George Bush to Bill Clinton

January 20, 1993

My birth as an activist occurred during the presidency of George H.W. Bush. As the GOP gained traction in their attempts to overturn Roe vs. Wade, I spent many Saturday mornings protecting access to women’s health care clinics as mobs of anti-abortion protesters tried to shut them down using physical force. Often standing by my side were members of the activist LGBTQ+ community who exposed me to the personal side of their fight, which at that time included an AIDs epidemic that was unchecked.

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Universal Acceptance

“It is our goal to provide every family with an enjoyable and memorable visit to Sesame Place, and we are proud to offer specialized services to guests with autism and other special needs.

- Sesame Place

As parents of two daughters on the autism spectrum, my wife and I have made it a priority to make sure that they are not hidden away from the world. Jeopardizing our own sanity at times, we have worked through their challenges to include them on family adventures. When successful, we have been rewarded with the joy of watching our daughter dancing and singing along at her first Queen concert. On the other side of the spectrum, I’ve also sat outside an auditorium trying to calm down her overly stimulated sister.

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The Real War on Christmas


A City Councilman's Parting Gift

I will be staying on in my position as Councilmember until the end of this year and will remain laser-focused on continuing to represent my district as I have always done.

- LA City Councilman Mitch Englander

Ignoring the responsibilities that he accepted by running for re-election, Mitch Englander announced last month that he would be “vacating [his] Council seat as of December 31, 2018.” While promising that he would stay “laser-focused“ on the needs of his constituents during his remaining time in office, it seems that he has neglected to perform one very important task since drafting his announcement to the community; it seems that a formal letter of resignation has not been submitted to the Los Angeles City Council. Therefore, they have been unable to schedule a special election for the community to select his replacement.

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A House Strategy for Retaking the White House

I’m not done fighting for working families who voted for a president that would stand up for them and instead got a President surrounded by Wall Street millionaires and socialites.

- Richard Ojeda

While the victory in the midterm elections was not as definitive as some had expected, the Democrats did secure a majority in the House of Representatives and with it a much-needed firewall to Trump’s policies. Assuming the Democratic caucus stands firm, additional deficit-exploding tax cuts for the 1% are off the table. Legislative paths towards criminalizing abortion, legalizing discrimination against LGBTQ+ Americans and repealing Obamacare have also been blocked.

For the many who have been endangered by Trump’s bigoted policies, the ability to finally play defense should provide some sense of relief, but it is not enough. Since they did not gain a majority in the Senate, Democrats have no way to block Trump’s judicial appointments. This will certainly result in the judiciary being stocked with judges whose sole qualification is a willingness to engage in judicial activism to push a conservative agenda. We cannot rely on the courts to protect the historic progress that our country has made in the last half-century of civil rights battles or to provide the check on the Executive Branch that our Constitution mandates. Have no doubt, the condition of our country will worsen in the years ahead.

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Are These California Values?

I’m proud to have earned David Brayton’s vote, but this is who we fight for. Every. Single. Day.

- Steve Knight

If this were Nazi Germany, David Brayton would have been wearing a brown shirt. Instead, he sat down to shoot a commercial with Congressman Steve Knight with a shirt emblazoned with the word “infidel.” This only hinted at his hatred of the Muslim religion and other “overt bigotry

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Domestic Terror and Trump's Failure of Leadership

Leadership means Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity and Personal Courage.

- Richard N. Ojeda

If leaders are born out of a crisis, then once again the Trump presidency has been stillborn. Even though bombs were still in circulation and the perpetrator was still on the loose, Tweets from the President of the United States revolved around an unsubstantiated complaint that Twitter was limiting the number of his followers and the fact that the news was covering assassination attempts against his political foes instead of “talking politics”. Even worse, he fed right-wing conspiracy theorists by framing the word “bomb” in quotes, contradicting his FBI Director who directly stated that they were “not hoax devices”. Leaders put the common good above their own. Donald Trump is a narcissist who cannot stand a storyline that does not advance his own interests.

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California Senate Race Exposes Rifts in Democratic Party

I am proud to be a Democrat and I wish Bernie were, too.

- Hillary Clinton

Coming out of the 2016 presidential elections it looked like the Republican party was hopelessly fractured. Trump had steamrolled past primary opponents favored by the establishment turning party orthodoxy on its head. After a failed last-minute attempt to block his ascension at the convention, the party faithful fell into line and prepared themselves for a certain loss; they would regroup in 2020 and take on Clinton for her reelection.

But then Trump beat the odds and won. The Never Trumpers fell away along with long-standing planks in the Republican platform. The party that used to believe in free trade sat by while Trump instituted ill-conceived tariffs and started trade wars. While they once responded to complaints of abuse by police officers with the retort of “blue-lives matter”, no defense was forthcoming for career FBI agents subjected to Trump’s unsubstantiated charges against them. Former deficit hawks who used to insist on “pay for” for any social program gladly voted for a tax bill that primarily benefited corporations and the 1% while ballooning the deficit and increasing income inequality.

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Blatant Lies and the People Who Believe Them

Renate Alumnius

- Brett Kavanaugh

Like a child who had gotten caught with his hands in the cookie jar, SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh looked into the eyes of United States Senators and the American people and said he did not do it. However, no amount of tears or righteous indignation will change the fact that placing “Renate Alumnius” on his yearbook page was not an act of “affection”, he was not old enough to legally drink at the time he allegedly tried to rape Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, or that he regularly attended parties like the one described by Ford.

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