The Different Drummer

By Carl J. Petersen

Politics, Family, Music and other Musings.

Can Pete Buttigieg Reclaim Religion from the Right?

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.

- John 13:34

If there is one man who pushed me on the path towards atheism, it was Randall Terry. As a forerunner to the violent right that we see today, Terry founded the group Operation Rescue to physically deprive women of their rights at health care clinics. As a volunteer escort, I was regularly punched, pushed and shoved by the members of these mobs as they tried to enforce their own form of sharia law. Terry himself was charged with assaulting me outside a health care clinic in Downtown Los Angeles.

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It is Time to Stop Talking About Impeachment

We’re going to impeach the motherf*cker.

- Rep. Rashida Tlaib

Donald Trump stood next to Vladimir Putin and stated that the Russian leader “was extremely strong and powerful in his denial” that his country had interfered in our 2016 election. The former KGB agent said that “it's not Russia” and this was enough for the American President. Trump told the world: "I don't see any reason why it would be."

The Attorney General’s summary of the Mueller Report confirms that Trump’s assessment was incorrect. The Russian Government did, in fact, conduct a “computer hacking operations designed to gather and disseminate information to influence the [2016] election.” If the indictments and convictions that had already resulted from the Special Counsel's investigation were not enough proof, this conclusion also disproves Trump’s assertion that this was a witch hunt. Crimes were, in fact, committed against our country. 

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Employer-Based Health Insurance Works - Until It Doesn't

Health care must be recognized as a right, not a privilege. Every man, woman, and child in our country should be able to access the health care they need regardless of their income. The only long-term solution to America’s health care crisis is a single-payer national health care program.

- Bernie Sanders

I listened to the small talk as people slowly filled in around the conference table and wondered to myself how many other people actually realized what was going on. If the seemingly random makeup of the people in this surprise meeting was not enough of a clue, the stack of large envelopes, the presence of the newly appointed head of the company from our new parent company and the stranger that accompanied him should have been. My streak of 31 years of employment, 14 years with this company, was about to come to an end.

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One (White, Property-Owning, Gender Specific) Man, One Vote

My view is that every vote matters. And the way we can make that happen is that we can have national voting and that means get rid of the Electoral College.

- Elizabeth Warren

The will of the people is clear: Democrats have won the popular vote in six of the past seven presidential elections. Yet, in the country that holds itself up as a shining example of democracy, the voter’s wishes were ignored. In two of those elections, including the last one, Republicans won the Electoral College with a minority of the vote and were given control of the Oval Office.

I would rather have the popular vote because it’s, to me, it’s much easier to win the popular vote.

- Donald Trump

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The Trump Years: Politically Driven Willful Ignorance

I love the poorly educated."

- Donald Trump

In a 2017 poll, 57% of the respondents who said that they voted for Donald Trump “said it was ‘definitely true’ or ‘probably true’ that [President Obama] came from Kenya.” While the rest of the world debates how to deal with climate change, only “70 percent of Americans believe ‘global warming is happening’”. A survey in 2016 suggested, “that one in three supporters of Donald Trump believe vaccines do indeed cause autism.

While much has been made of the fact that Trump has been no more faithful to the truth than he has been to his wives, this ignores the greater threat facing our country. A president’s term in office is limited and Trump will eventually leave the Oval Office. However, the minority of Americans who placed him in that office will remain, ready to close their eyes to reality and support the next charismatic leader who comes along.

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Sometimes It Is All About the Benjamins

What [Ilhan Omar] said is so deep-seated in her heart that her lame apology..was just not appropriate.

- Donald Trump

On August 11, 2017, white-supremacists marched through the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia chanting “Sieg heil” and “Jews will not replace us.” The next day James Alex Fields Jr., “who a former teacher said was fascinated by Nazism and Hitler”, purposefully drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters to the “Unite the Right” rally, killing Heather Heyer in cold blood. Donald Trump responded by saying that there were “fine” people on both sides. There are no “fine” people in a crowd of people chanting Nazi slogans.

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Trump's Wall Hits the Popular Vote

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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

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