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Tuesday, January 10, 2017 08:14 PM
(Last updated on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 08:17 PM)
Letter to Trump
 by Fëanor

This is a letter I wrote and mailed to Donald Trump last week. I... probably shouldn't have done it. I certainly hesitated before dropping it in the mailbox. I was probably already on a watchlist somewhere, and I definitely am now. But I figure, as a white man, I should use my privilege, make myself a target, stand in front of the more vulnerable, and yell, "Come get me!" And that's basically what this letter does. Hoo boy.

January 6th, 2017

President-Elect Donald J. Trump
C/O The Trump Organization
725 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10022

Dear Mr. Trump,

Greetings. My name is Jim Genzano. I'm a liberal, a husband, and a father. I also voted for Hillary Clinton for President – as did a majority of my fellow Americans, I'm happy to remind you. I'm writing today what I believe will be the first of many letters, to you and to my other elected representatives.

Although I've paid attention to politics on and off for many years, and have voted in the major elections since I've had that right, I've recently become far more politically active than I've ever been before – calling my representatives, joining online action groups, and donating money to various candidates and causes. Perhaps you can guess the reason: your election to the office of President of the United States.

I was horrified and disgusted by your campaign, and certain you could not win. How could someone so obviously inexperienced and unprepared for the job; so blustering and unprofessional; so xenophobic, misogynistic, homophobic, regressive, and racist – a con-man, a bully, a fascist, and a serial sexual harasser – possibly be chosen to follow the first African-American President, who has been such a beacon of hope and progress?

But, thanks to the racists, the short-sighted, the uneducated, Vladimir Putin, and James Comey, you were elected. And here we are. And I'm not quite over my horror and disappointment yet. But I am determined to fight.

Let's talk about your cabinet picks. Each one has been more horrific than the last.

Rex Tillerson lacks any of the necessary experience to be Secretary of State. He has suspiciously close ties with Vladimir Putin, the man our intelligence agencies tell us was directly involved with hacking the DNC and helping elect you. As CEO of a fossil fuel company, he can hardly be expected to be a champion in the fight against climate change and fossil fuel use, which is a cause that's very important to me, and to all reasonable humans. We will fight to keep him from becoming Secretary of State.

Jeff Sessions is an infamous xenophobe and racist, fighting amnesty and immigration at every turn. He's pro-war and anti-environment. He voted against banning torture of prisoners. Many civil rights organizations, including the NAACP, and more than 1100 law school professors, have protested his nomination. We will fight to keep him from becoming Attorney General.

Tom Price is anti-choice and pro-gun. He believes insurers should not be required to cover pre-existing conditions, or provide access to birth control. He also wants to cut Medicare, and is a member of the fraudulent group the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. He's a terrible choice to head the Department of Health and Human Services. We will fight his appointment.

Betsy DeVos wants to destroy public education. She has already made a disaster of it in Michigan. And you want to put her in charge of it at the federal level. We will fight to keep that from happening.

Ben Carson has no experience in federal government and shouldn't hold any position in it – as he himself has admitted. We will fight his appointment.

Do you plan to install a reactionary Justice on the Supreme Court? We will fight you.

Will you seek to take away women's rights, including the right to choose? We will fight you. We cannot and will not allow the overturn of Row v. Wade.

Your Republican friends have already begun their latest attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Such an act would leave millions of Americans without healthcare, and condemn many to death. There's no question that the American healthcare system needs repair, but dismantling the ACA with no backup plan in place is obviously not the answer. We will fight to protect the ACA.

Your friend Paul Ryan plans to dismantle Medicare, but it should be protected and expanded. We will fight him.

The GOP seeks to defund the United Nations, while you sit on Twitter fomenting war and supporting nuclear proliferation. But the world needs empathy, calm and organized discussion, and peace – not more posturing, antagonism, and weaponry. We will fight for disarmament and peace.

You have said that you plan to take away the rights of American citizens based on their race, gender, religion, and sexual orientation. This is unethical, immoral, and un-American. We cannot deport millions of Americans, or tell them their love is illegal, or that they cannot use the bathroom they feel comfortable in. We will fight for an America for all.

Black Lives Matter. Police corruption, militarization, and abuse of power must end. We will fight any attempt to install white supremacy in the American government.

The NRA and gun lobbies do not need to gain even more power than they already have. Gun violence is an epidemic and only reasonable gun control legislation can rein it in. More guns will never lead to fewer shootings. We will not allow this.

Do you plan to give tax cuts to your cadre of billionaires and leave poor Americans footing the bill? This is unacceptable. It's the rich who must begin to pay their fair share. Poverty and income inequality must end. We will fight for that end.

You have expressed skepticism about climate change. But it is a scientific fact, and humans are responsible. We are also responsible for fighting it. We must protect our environment, end fracking, stop the building of pipelines through protected land, bolster environmental regulation, invest in renewable energy, and move away from fossil fuels. You will not be allowed to undo the progress we have made on this front. This is not about money or politics – this is about the future of humanity on this planet.

I thank you for taking the time to read this. And know that I have asked my representatives to fight your agenda every step of the way, and that I will be doing the same in my own small way. I know that you may succeed in much of what you plan to do. But we will not make it easy for you. We will obstruct you every way we can. Assuming you are not impeached and removed from office before your term is over, I suppose we must resign ourselves to four years of you as President. But don't expect to hold the title a single instant longer than that. Given a second chance, I am convinced that the American people will reject you, as they should have in the first place.

And meanwhile, we will fight you; I will fight you. That's my promise.


Jim Genzano
Tagged (?): Politics (Not)
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Thursday, December 22, 2016 01:51 PM
Poems For Trump - Limerick 2
 by Fëanor

An entry in a series of poems about Donald Trump: #PoemsForTrump. Please feel free to join in! Use the hashtag and post your own limericks, haiku, sonnets, whatever, or even just post links to poems that make you think of Trump. Make the best of a bad situation by making/sharing art, and satirizing a terrible human at the same time.

The limerick form seems to work well for these, as they are short and traditionally filthy and mocking. Enjoy!

Says the creeper backstage as he spots her:
"Every year they get hotter and hotter!"
When the girl sees him spying
he just stands there crying,
"I swear I thought you were my daughter!"
Tagged (?): Poems For Trump (Not), Poetry (Not), Politics (Not)
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Wednesday, December 21, 2016 04:22 PM
(Last updated on Friday, December 23, 2016 10:44 AM)
Poems for Trump - The Jackal
 by Fëanor

An entry in a series of poems about Donald Trump: #PoemsForTrump. Please feel free to join in! Use the hashtag and post your own limericks, haiku, sonnets, whatever, or even just post links to poems that make you think of Trump. Make the best of a bad situation by making/sharing art, and satirizing a terrible human at the same time.

I already published this one in the poetry section of my site, but I wanted to post it again here, now that I've decided this should be a series.

Behind the poem: This wasn't in any particular poetic form; I let the form grow around the words, basically. It became a pseudo-sonnet, with a rhyming scheme that's similar to a Shakespearean sonnet, but with more lines. Also, the meter is anapestic tetrameter, and not the traditional iambic pentameter.

The Jackal or, At the Ceremony

At the fun'ral of truth, there were snickers and screams,

but no weeping at all. When the Jackal stood up

and he chewed up some words, they just split at the seams.

And his teeth were so white as he held up his cup —

when he toasted the body and drank his own health —

but his words were just gristle and sinew and flash.

"Have you seen this here suit? Though I say it myself,

it's fantastic, you know? Just the finest of flesh."

Setting cup on the corpse, he continued to speak:

"There's no body, you know. This is nonsense and lies.

I inherit, however." He wiped at a streak,

something red on his tie, while he swatted the flies.

"And a murderer? Me?" Then he laughed with a snort.

"Don't believe what you read... It's all mine now, by law,

you have given it freely. I'll prove it in court.

It is hate that makes right" — and he held up a claw —

"and it's might that makes cash. Only losers can die.

You all asked me to feed you, so turn up the lights.

On your right, on your left, have a look with your eyes —

they are fat, they are foreign; unlikely to fight."

And they licked at their lips and they said, "What a treat!"

And they all drew their blades and they started to eat.
Tagged (?): Poems For Trump (Not), Poetry (Not), Politics (Not)
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Monday, December 19, 2016 08:45 PM
(Last updated on Wednesday, December 21, 2016 04:16 PM)
A Limerick
 by Fëanor

An entry in a series of poems about Donald Trump: #PoemsForTrump. Please feel free to join in! Use the hashtag and post your own limericks, haiku, sonnets, whatever, or even just post links to poems that make you think of Trump. Make the best of a bad situation by making/sharing art, and satirizing a terrible human at the same time.

There once was a man from New York
who sold barrels and barrels of pork.
It was all second rate,
but he said, "This is great!"
So they made him the lord of the jerks.
Tagged (?): Poems For Trump (Not), Poetry (Not), Politics (Not)
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Monday, December 12, 2016 11:33 AM
Making the Rounds Again
 by Fëanor

I called my reps again today, and below is what I said this time. I'm trying to keep it short and sweet, for the benefit of myself, and that of the poor interns that I talk to.

Hi, I'm Jim Genzano. I'm a constituent of Mr. _________ and I'm calling to ask him to support the call from members of the Electoral College that the Electors be fully briefed by U.S. Intelligence Officials on Russian influence on the election, before they cast their votes on December 19th. Thank you.
Tagged (?): Politics (Not)
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Tuesday, December 6, 2016 04:16 PM
Still Calling
 by Fëanor

I called my representatives again this afternoon with a new wishlist! Thought I'd share it with y'all. (I considered also adding a bit about encouraging Electors to refuse to vote for Trump, but decided not to.)

Hi, I'm Jim Genzano. I'm a constituent and I'm calling to ask _____ to continue to block President-elect Trump and his agenda in every way s/he can. Specifically, I'm hoping s/he will:
  1. Support calls to investigate irregularities in the presidential election.

  2. Support efforts to recount votes in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Nevada.

  3. Support calls to investigate Trump's financials and conflicts of interest.

  4. Block all Trump's cabinet appointments in any way possible, especially Steve Bannon.

  5. (Senators only) Filibuster the waiver that retired Gen. James Mattis would need in order to serve as secretary of defense.

  6. Support calls to impeach Donald Trump.
Tagged (?): Politics (Not)
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Monday, November 21, 2016 10:45 AM
Call and Call Again
 by Fëanor

I just called my representatives back and gave them a list of specific things I'd like them to do. Here it is, if you're interested:

  • Demand that President-elect Trump denounce the hate crimes being performed around the country in his name.

  • Oppose any attempt to create a registry of Muslim citizens.

  • Demand an investigation into Russian interference in the election.

  • Support the call for a bipartisan review of Trump's financials and apparent conflicts of interest.

  • Oppose the appointment of Steve Bannon as chief strategist and senior counselor.

  • Oppose the appointment of Senator Jeff Sessions as Attorney General.

  • Oppose the appointment of General Mike Flynn as national security adviser.

  • Oppose the appointment of Representative Mike Pompeo as CIA director.
Tagged (?): Politics (Not)
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Thursday, November 17, 2016 09:45 AM
(Last updated on Thursday, November 17, 2016 12:33 PM)
Fighting Back
 by Fëanor

I've been trying to work out how best I can fight back against Trump, and according to what I'm reading, actually picking up the phone and calling your Representatives is the best way to be heard. My Representatives here in New Jersey are all Democrats and most of them have already spoken out and taken stands against Trump, so I'm not sure how much me calling them really means, but I want to feel like I'm doing something, so that's what I'm doing.

I spoke to a human at Donald Norcross' office, and left a message for Cory Booker. Interestingly enough, Robert Menendez's line was busy, and his mailbox was full! So I'll have to try him again later. (ETA: I did call back, and this time I got through to a staffer and gave him my spiel.) I'm not sure if it's worthwhile to call my more local Representatives, like the state senator and state assembly members, as I'm not sure how much they can really do, but maybe I will give it a shot.

If you're interested, below is a generic version of the script I'm using; I alter it slightly for each person to make it more specific to them and what they've done so far. Also, if you need to figure out who your representatives are (I did!), you can use this tool or this site.

Hi, I'm [Your Name], a constituent of [Representative's Name]. I'm calling to ask [Representative's Name] to use all means at his disposal to fight back against President-elect Trump and his policies of hate. In particular, I'm hoping [Representative's Name] will speak out strongly against President-elect Donald Trump's naming of Steve Bannon as chief White House strategist and senior counselor. Mr. Bannon built and runs a powerful platform for promoting racism, misogyny, anti-Semitism, and xenophobia. The election of Trump and appointment of Bannon made the KKK and other white nationalist groups rejoice. For me personally, Trump's election and his actions so far have been terrifying. I fear for the safety of my friends and loved ones, and for the future of our country and our world. We cannot sit idly by and allow white supremacists to take over our government. We cannot allow Mr. Trump to take away womens' right to choose; to take away the rights of citizens based on their sexual orientation, race, or religion; to dismantle the Affordable Care Act or Medicare; and we cannot allow Mr. Trump to obstruct the fight against climate change, which is essential to the survival of humanity. All Americans of good conscience must join in opposing Mr. Trump, and I hope [Representative's Name] will be part of that fight. Thank you.
Tagged (?): Politics (Not)
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Friday, October 28, 2016 03:06 PM
Please Please Please Vote Hillary. Please.
 by Fëanor

Really, the title of the post kind of says it all. But I've got this blog here, and this election is important to me, so I feel like I ought to state my case in a little more detail before the big day is here. I'll try to make it quick.

I'm pretty radically liberal, so there's almost no chance I'd have ever supported a Republican nominee for President, regardless of who that was. That being said, I don't think I've ever been confronted with a presidential candidate of any party more frightening than Donald Trump. As poppy and I have said to each other many times over the last year or so, although we certainly didn't want a President Mitt Romney, we weren't actually terrified of the possibility. He didn't seem clinically insane, completely unreasonable, dangerously unqualified, or at all likely to cause World War III. Then there's Donald Trump.

I'm sure you've heard or read about the various horrific things Donald Trump has said during his campaign; he's got a fresh zinger in the news nearly every day. He is unapologetically racist, anti-immigrant, and misogynist. He is supported by various racist groups. When he said "no one respects women more than me" at the final debate, the audience actually laughed at him and had to be quieted by the moderator. He has little or no qualifications for the job. He is a petulant, belligerent egoist; a repugnant bully.

Poppy and I are actually frightened at the prospect of what this man would do if he were given the powers of the President of the United States. Just watch him for a while, read about him, listen to him speak. Do you really want this man sitting in the Oval Office? Do you really want him to be your representative to the world? Because that's what will happen if we don't all vote for Hillary Clinton.

Some people say both candidates are awful, and complain about having to choose the lesser of two evils, but for me, the differences between the candidates have never been more stark, and the choice has never been more clear. We can choose to follow up the first African-American President in history with an unqualified racist misogynist who denies the reality of climate change, or we can choose to follow him up with the first woman President in history, who is more than qualified for the job and who, thanks to Bernie Sanders pushing her in that direction, is supporting some surprisingly liberal policies.

Years from now, when it's all over, would you rather be able to say, "I helped put the first woman in the Oval Office," or, "I helped put that guy from that reality show who made fun of disabled people in the Oval Office?"

Do you want to keep on the way we're going, moving with the current of history, embracing hope, inclusion, and empathy? Or do you want to turn around and march backwards into the arms of hate and fear and bigotry? Because that second thing is what Trump is talking about when says he wants to "make America great again." That may all sound a bit melodramatic, but I really feel that's the choice that's facing us with this election.

And if you're anti-Trump, but you don't want to vote for Hillary... Okay, I understand that. Clinton wasn't my first choice. I voted for Bernie in the primary. But the sad fact is, any vote that doesn't go to Hillary might as well be a vote for Trump. And I just don't think we can afford a President Trump.

The polls and forecasts are definitely pointing toward a victory for Hillary Clinton. But polls and forecasts don't mean anything in the long run. It's the actual votes that count. So please. Please, please, please. For my sake, for your sake, for the sake of our families, for the sake of our country, for the sake of our world, please vote for Hillary Clinton for President of the United States.

Thank you!
Tagged (?): Politics (Not)
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Friday, July 8, 2016 08:47 AM
(Last updated on Friday, July 8, 2016 09:05 AM)
Black Lives Matter
 by Fëanor

I've written the below and plan to send it to my local representatives. Feel free to copy and share if you'd like.

I am sick and tired of reading about the executions of black people in America by the people entrusted with their protection and defense. These are not random incidents. They are not tragic coincidences. This is a pattern of violence. This is a symptom of a systemic problem in our society that has existed since the beginning of our nation, and that problem is white supremacy. White supremacy must be dismantled. Our society must change.

I am writing to ask you to please support legislation and policies that will start the necessary process of dismantling white supremacy. As a first step, we must end police violence. Campaign Zero has a great summary of what we can do:


I've used this site to find some current legislation that I will ask you to support. But I ask you also to put forward more legislation in support of these things:

1. End broken windows policing
  • Decriminalize activities that do not threaten public safety

  • End profiling

  • Provide better resources for the mentally ill

2. Establish effective civilian oversight structures
  • Remove barriers to reporting police misconduct

3. Limit the use of force by police
  • Establish standards and reporting of police use of deadly force

  • Revise and strengthen local police department use of force policies

  • End traffic-related police killings

  • Monitor how police use force and proactively hold officers accountable for excessive force

4. Independent investigations and prosecutions
  • Lower the standard of proof for Department of Justice civil rights investigations of police officers

  • Use federal funds to encourage independent investigations and prosecutions

  • Establish a permanent Special Prosecutor's Office at the State level for cases of police violence

  • Require independent investigations of all cases where police kill or seriously injure civilians

5. Community representation
  • Diversity: Increase the number of police officers who reflect the communities they serve

  • Use community feedback to inform police department policies and practices

6. Film the police
  • Require that police wear and use body cameras

  • Protect the rights of citizens to film the police

7. Training
  • Invest in rigorous and sustained training around implicit bias, crisis intervention, mediation, conflict resolution, etc.

8. End for-profit policing
  • End police department quotas for tickets and arrest

  • Limit fines and fees for low-income people

  • Prevent police from taking the money or property of innocent people

9. Demilitarization
  • End the Federal Government's 1033 Program Providing Military Weaponry to Local Police Departments

  • Establish Local Restrictions to Prevent Police Departments from Purchasing or Using Military Weaponry

10. Fair police contracts
  • Keep officers' disciplinary history accessible to police departments and the public

  • Ensure officers do not get paid after they kill or seriously injure a civilian

A specific message for New Jersey Assemblyman Louis D Greenwald and Assemblywoman Pamela R. Lampitt:

New Jersey Assembly Bill A 2114 requires that police obtain a warrant to seize cell phone data. Please vote for this bill.

A specific message for New Jersey legislator James Beach:

New Jersey Senate Bill S 1105 prohibits law enforcement agencies from considering the number of arrests made and citations issued when evaluating a police officer's professional performance. Please vote for this bill.
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