The Mason Missile, December 29, 2022

Season’s greetings, Americans!

Yes, it’s that wonderful time of the year—where religiously-based haters and zealots while about how THEIR own religion is not the only one in America, that there are hundreds of faith traditions in this country. The whine about the “War on Christmas” has been heard throughout the years.

Religiously-based haters have used THEIR religion as an excuse to discriminate against LGBTQ+ people; one case in point is the recent case before the US Supreme Court, 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis, whereby a web-design company refused to create a wedding website for same-sex couples. (https://www.bostonreview.net/articles/the-new-faith-based-discrimination/?utm_source=Boston+Review+Email+Subscribers&utm_campaign=2fb3d76592-newsletter_12_14_22&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_2cb428c5ad-2fb3d76592-40728217&mc_cid=2fb3d76592&mc_eid=a96ac50b25)

There have also been cases where, in certain states, LGBTQ+ people could be discriminated against in medical care, on a “religious” excuse. (https://www.nbcnews.com/nbc-out/out-health-and-wellness/1-8-lgbtq-people-live-states-doctors-can-refuse-treat-rcna39161) The US Department of Health and Human Services, under “President” Donald whatshisface, issued a “refusal to care” rule, wherein health care providers receiving federal funds may refuse to provide medical care, insurance, or information, due to THEIR religious or moral beliefs—so, if an EMT or doctor could refuse care to a person due to their sexual orientation or their need for an abortion. (https://www.aclu.org/news/religious-liberty/patients-needs-not-personal-beliefs-come-first-in-health-care) (https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2016/04/medical-religious-exemptions-doctors-therapists-mississippi-tennessee/478797/)

All of this is to support one specific religious system, the evangelical Christian worldview which condemns same-sex marriage and affection, women’s reproductive rights, or scientifically-based sex education. The religious-right political movement, supplied with vast amounts of campaign money, remains powerful enough to push such laws through state legislatures, no matter how they affect people in real life. However, the pushback against these laws remains strong; voters in Kansas, a conservative state, voted in a referendum against an amendment that would have denied abortion as a right in that state. (https://www.npr.org/sections/2022-live-primary-election-race-results/2022/08/02/1115317596/kansas-voters-abortion-legal-reject-constitutional-amendment)

Have these anti-abortion, anti-LGBTQ+ activists EVER considered that THEIRS is NOT the ONLY religious tradition, that OTHER religious groups have different ideas about same-sex love and when a fetus becomes a person? Of course not; it’s the act of a dominant religious body kicking against any challenge to their dominance. It’s the same with other areas of society, social, economic, what have you; corporations utilize their hired politicians and press against workers organizing unions, racists terrorizing racial and ethnic minorities daring to campaign for their civil and human rights. And, as part of the campaign against these usurpers, the dominant group cobbles together some noble philosophy or theory to justify their dominance and repression of the insurgent groups; one such is the “objectivism” exposed by Ayn Rand, and the “religious exemption” excuse to justify anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination.

And, of course, these once-dominant groups wish the groups they have oppressed—people of color, women, workers, LGBTQ+s, etc.—would either be quiet and acquiesce, or disappear; and we can pretend this, situation of corporate-theocratic dominance is the best of all possible worlds. The aforementioned groups are showing NO interest in rolling over and playing dead, but are continuing their fights for their rights and very existence.

A now-common phrase has been “stochastic terrorism,” which means “the public demonization of a person or group resulting in a violent act, which is statistically probable but whose statistics cannot be predicted.” (https://www.dictionary.com/e/what-is-stochastic-terrorism/) The phrase is new, but the idea isn’t; the media and public officials have long known how to direct verbal abuse towards their enemies, hoping some deranged person would attack them, since THEY don’t have the guts to do the violence themselves; the Red Scares after the World Wars, after which progressive and reform movements—Socialist Party, the IWW, the CIO, activists for African-American Civil Rights—were slandered, imprisoned, lost their jobs, and were assaulted. We have the same phenomenon with the rightist media and activists slandering election officials doing their jobs accurately; schools and libraries daring to have books discussing Gay and African-American issues; school kids questioning their sexuality and their gender identity; and drag performers acting out a venerable art. I’m always pleased, however, when there is resistance to all this verbal and physical abuse. Trust me, verbal abuse is as bad to a person’s psyches as physical abuse is to their bodies; we can’t have any of this “sticks and stone” thinking, and damn sure no more “turn the other cheek.”

As we enter the New Year—after recovering from our New Year’s Day parties—let us remember what we have accomplished is the far and recent past, recognize the struggles ahead of us, and remember that we can defeat them, as we have done more often than not in the past year.

Stay safe, stay strong, and stay together! Slava Ukraini! America will be free! Happy New Year!

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Resolutions for the New Year 2023

Again, I continue my practice of writing down my resolutions for the New Year, along with on Passover, Rosh Ha-Shona, and my birthday. It’s good to do this, to regain focus on how to move your life forward. Here goes:

I will continue to conduct myself with self-love, self-esteem, and self-respect, paying attention to my positive aspects and my achievements, asserting myself and drawing boundaries when I need to.

I will continue to practice the art and business of writing, doing writing practice, writing and sending out material, attending writers’ events, and attending workshops and conferences.

I will continue to be loyal to Jewish religion, culture, heritage, etc.

I will continue to practice such spiritual practices as mediation, yoga, Torah study, etc.

I will continue such avenues of education as libraries, classes, seminars, independent bookstores, etc.

Happy New Year!

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The John Mason Talk-Walk, December 23, 2022

https://thejohnmasontalkwalk.buzzsprout.com/1937652/11924923

I speak about the address of Volodymyr Zelenskyy to Congress, and the slide towards fascism and authoritarianism in this country.

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The Mason Moment, December 19, 2022

I speak about the Holiday Season, and of the need to resist the neo-fascists of today.

My Novel, “Soldier Of The Cross.”

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The John Mason Talk-Walk, December 16, 2022

https://thejohnmasontalkwalk.buzzsprout.com/1937652/11885666

I speak of the events of the previous year, and my hopes for the upcoming year.

Happy New Year GIF

My Novel, “Soldier Of The Cross.”

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The Mason Moment, December 12, 2022

I speak about the resent Philadelphia CLUW awards event; trump’s dinner with Kanye West and Nick Fuentes; and Krysten Sinema calling herself an “independent.”

My Novel, “Soldier Of The Cross.”

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Terror Goes Global

Recently, German police conducted arrests of over two dozen suspects in a plot by far-right terrorists to overthrow the government. (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-63885028) They were part of the extremist “Reichbürger” movement, a movement that contends that the current German government isn’t the real one, and the last true German government was the Reich formed in 1871 under Bismarck. (https://www.dw.com/en/how-dangerous-are-germanys-reichsb%C3%BCrger/a-64020300) One of the ringleaders was Heinrich XIII Reuss, a scion of then aristocratic family. (https://www.dw.com/en/heinrich-xiii-germanys-far-right-prince-who-planned-a-coup/a-64031542) The plot included former and acting members of the military and the security services.

Here I see parallels to the situation in the United States, showing that extremist ideas are going worldwide; the Reichsbürger are compatible to the “sovereign citizens” movement, whose adherents decide which laws to obey, or not; who believe the government founded under the Constitution of 1787 was replaced by “admiralty law,” and that each person born in this country has a shell company in their name; and they tend towards filing frivolous lawsuits over anything from taxes to parking tickets, claiming that they don’t have to pay either one. (https://www.splcenter.org/20110430/intelligence-report-special-edition-sovereign-citizens) (https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/ideology/sovereign-citizens-movement)

Also, the Reichbürgers have also adopted the far-right conspiracies throughout our own far-right, such as Q-Anon and anti-vaxxing during the pandemic, showing how extremist ideologies blend together. (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-63885028) This is a worldwide issue, and as citizens who value our democracy, we must recognize the danger right-wing terrorists, at home and abroad, pose and get ready to resist it.

My Novel, “Soldier Of The Cross.”

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The Mason Moment, December 5, 2022

I speak of the need to support railroad workers, and of trump’s demand to suspend the Constitution.

My Novel, “Soldier Of The Cross.”

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The John Mason Talk-Walk, December 2, 2022

https://www.buzzsprout.com/1937652/11803244

I speak of the need to show solidarity with the railroad workers.

My Novel, “Soldier Of The Cross.”

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Support The Railroad Workers

I respect President Biden very much, since he has restored the Presidency to a level of dignity it lost due to Donald whatshisface; and he has moved well on several fronts, notably dealing with COVID-19 when the previous guy was in denial.

That being said, I remain a STRONG union man. Employees in the railroad industry are seeking a fair contract, which would include paid sick time. There is the danger that the President, who calls himself the most “pro-union” of Presidents, would unilaterally force the unions to accept the proposal, which falls short of their needs.

It’s essential the railroad workers attain a fair contract, since sick-leave is important for workers and their families. I urge everyone to contact their member of Congress and tell them to support the rail workers, because their cause is just.

strike resist GIF by Center for Story-based Strategy

My Novel, “Soldier Of The Cross.”

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