February 15th, 2017
Whew, what a long train ride. This was not exactly relaxing, and was an example of the extreme weather of climate change. There were two avalanches in Montana that shut down the rails, one, then tracks closed and reopened, then another, and tracks reopened the day before our train left (panic, looking at flights just in case), and then a mudslide that took out Amtrak service between Portland and Seattle and it’s still out, that affected both Coastal Starlight and Empire Builder, though they did get Empire Builder back in service in time for us to get to Portland. Then the Oroville dam, OMFG, 180,000+ people evacuated (and late yesterday, order just lifted for some). Horses evacuated too, people taking over county fair grounds, how on earth do you evacuate 180,000 people?!?!? And that meant that the Amtrak Coast Starlight couldn’t go through northern California past Redding, and had to go around the evacuation area, so it was to be a bus from 2:30 a.m. in Redding to 6:30 a.m. Sacramento, but that was delayed too as we sat on sometimes napping on a siding in the train until the busses of passengers arrived from the delayed northbound train at 6:30 a.m. We were lucky and got to go on the nearly vacant crew bus down to Sacramento, and from there back on the train to Paso Robles. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. More on that later…
On the train, over dinner, it’s luck of the draw for dining companions. One dinner on the Empire Builder, we were in the mountains where the avalanche was (dark, couldn’t see a thing). They seated us with a guy our age, and then a younger woman came in and joined us. Near the end of the meal (whew, good timing!) she said she’d seen this huge building in Chicago, and snapped a photo, and looked at it later and saw it was TRUMP! She said she was surprised and aghast! Wanted to do some photoshopping. Well, that opened the door, and the guy next to her, a recently retired intelligence service staff, boasted he was a Trump supporter and there was no excuse for all the violence (who’s being violent, 1 million women, NOT!) and he started going off on refugees, particularly Syrian, that the camps are ISIS infiltrated, and then how the courts were all wrong about the EO13769 because tRump’s Executive Order was about “national security” (doubt he’s even read the Executive Order or the Court Orders). The latter, he knows nothing about.
Blatant misstatements like that, despite our captive situation in the booth, AAARGH, I just can’t let slide. I brought up the challenged language of the EO pretty much verbatim, the sections challenged which gives priority on those who are minority religions in those seven predominately Muslim countries, so on its face is discriminatory and unconstitutional.
… to prioritize refugee claims made by individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution, provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual’s country of nationality.
And of course there’s tRump’s repeated anti-Muslim campaign promises, and pledge to end Muslim immigration, which he leaves up on his website (I-N-T-E-N-T anyone?):
And then there’s the court order, held up by the Federal appellate panel that upholds the District Court Order granting the Restraining Order, where it was noted that even though specifically asked, the gov’t had provided no proof of any security basis, nothing, no evidence at all, and WA/MN had provided much evidence that it was religion based. The diner advocated for it to work its way through the legal system, but didn’t even acknowledge that 5 of 5 judges taking this on ruled against it, and this case is the general constitutional challenge, not plaintiff specific, and it IS in the legal system, losing at every turn. He of course did not acknowledge tRump’s vocal public dissing of the judge and the Order, and now the 3 judge appellate panel and their order — HELLO — we’re looking at a constitutional crisis (tRump’s choice to hang a portrait of “Pres. constitutional crisis” Andrew Jackson should be evidence too!).
But our dining companion is not a lawyer, and not a reader or curator of the facts or law of EO13769, just an “intelligence” worker if he’s going to raise it should be conversant of the Executive and Court Orders, who should know the backgrounds of those who have been terrorists in the U.S. (clue: not those 7 countries), and who should be well aware of the white U.S. citizen terrorists in our midst that tRump is removing from scrutiny by focusing only on those 7 countries and Muslims generally. This tRump devotee is one of so many who don’t care about facts. Expect that you will be challenged!
Then Flynn’s ejection happened, and I looked for our “intelligence” retiree yesterday to get his take (SNORT!) as I’ve been seeing rumblings of intelligence community revolt. One would think that as a former member of this “intelligence community” that Flynn’s (and others) Russian involvement would trigger significant concerns about his leader tRump. But as my ex would say, “Goes to show you don’t think.”
The tRump Regime is slowly coming apart, each day there’s something new. Access to ability to challenge these things in the courts takes immense resources that most of us don’t have. But each of us does have the ability to spend a little time every day to make more phone calls (202-456-1414, they answer now, but won’t take a message, forward to staff person, or open Comment line), send more emails, fill out more contact page forms, attend more Town Hall Meetings, and spread the word. Figure out your focus, what issues you know best, and get to it. It is having an impact.
Now, where is it that we apply to be “paid protesters?”