Hammer Time Thoughts

Technologist, Architect, Video Gamer, These are my musings.

Fascism on the Ballot

2023-05-24 6 min read Politics Fascism Sterling Hammer

Now that Ron DeSantis has officially filed paperwork to run for president over the past several days I put together a list of things he and his fellow Republicans have done in Florida. Unlike Donald Trump in 2016, we have an exact blueprint of what he intends to do on a national scale. He has said his plan plan is to “Make America Florida” let’s be honest about what he really represents. Fascism. Merriam Webster defines fascism as:

a political philosophy, movement, or regime (such as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition

And a bit more color from Encyclopedia Britannica

Fascist propagandists also attacked cultural liberalism, claiming that it encouraged moral relativism, godless materialism, and selfish individualism and thereby undermined traditional morality. Anti-Semitic fascists associated liberalism with Jews in particular—indeed, one precursor of Nazism, the political theorist Theodor Fritsch, claimed that to succumb to a liberal idea was to succumb to the Jew within oneself.

Lets not forget that Nazis targeted many groups even prior to The Holocaust in Germany including black people, disabled people, political opponents and of course gay and transgendered people. As I’ll illustrate, it’s not too hard to draw some frightening comparisons.

It’s gone so far that just this past week the NAACP issued travel advisory for Florida, saying the state “has become hostile to Black Americans” and the League of United Latin American Citizens and LGBTQ advocacy group Equality Florida have done the same.

With some of that background in mind here’s a list of things going on in Florida with relevant bills that have been proposed, already gone into effect, or have been signed and will go into effect soon. I’ve come with receipts, offering relevant sources and direct links to bills where possible.

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Religious Freedom, as a Weapon

2022-05-13 5 min read Politics Religion Sterling Hammer

With the continuous rise of Christian Nationalism and our religious freedom actively under attack in this country, I wanted to take some time to talk freedom of religion and why I believe it is one of the most important rights enshrined in the United States Constitution. And why people from all religions and none should take it seriously.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

The founders considered it so important that it was in the Bill of Rights and part of the First Amendment.

Benjamin Franklin when editing the draft of the Declaration of Independence changed the original wording from “We hold these truths to be sacred and undeniable” to “We hold these truths to be self-evident” It could be argued with that one phrase Franklin placed United States on a secular foundation. Is there anything more empowering than having self-evident truths? Our very freedom is founded on that proposition.

Phrases like “Under God” and “In God We Trust” were added to the pledge of allegiance and currency in the 1950s. Over 150 years after the nation’s founding, and largely to emphasize the distinction between the atheistic Soviet Union and the United States.

There are several major Religious Freedom cases before the Supreme Court this session. Obviously, the future of Roe v. Wade which could result in abortion being banned across the country which appears more likely with the leaked draft opinion. And Kennedy v. Bremerton School District where a public high school football coach lost his job after repeatedly praying on the 50-yard line. Students felt pressured to pray with him due to his position of authority.

Christians in particular have taken the line “or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” and are using it to weaponize Religious Freedom into Religious Privilege. They see equality, the expansion of LGBTQ+ rights, consequences for using your position of power to push prayer, and of course a woman having the freedom to decide her own course in life as an infringement on their freedom to exercise religion. And because they do not believe in these things, they want to erase these very freedoms from existence.

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Republicans Gift to Democrats

2022-02-28 10 min read Politics Sterling Hammer

As President Biden prepares to deliver his first State of the Union address tonight and Republicans begin to investigate parents of transgender children for child abuse, I figured it would be a good time to ask - what exactly is Republican’s plan for America should they take back control in 2022 or 2024? So lets dig in to their recently announced plans.

Last week Senator Rick Scott released the Republicans 11 Point Plan to “Rescue” America. This document is a gift to Democrats for the mid term elections, and it’s quite frankly a laundry list of culture war wedge issues that are hugely popular with the far right echo chamber of Fox News and the Republican Party. It’s a manifesto of classic Republican ideas mixed in with some Christian and White Nationalism. Importantly given this recent poll - people seem to think Republicans are better for the economy. So what do they plan to do?

In an attempt to keep this on the shorter side I will not be covering every point, and there’s some off the wall stuff in it I won’t touch on. You can read the actual document here (mirrored here), as well as some additional coverage here.

To be quite frank this is an 11 point plan of fascism, bigotry, racism, transphobia, isolationism, xenophobia, and the list goes on. Let’s go into some of the finer points…

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The United States Lacks Perspective

2022-02-27 2 min read Opinion Sterling Hammer

This will come as no surprise to many people around the world, but the United States - and the west in general, lacks perspective. I said this when Afghans held on to the side of C-17’s leaving Kabul, hoping for a better life only to fall to certain death late last year. And I will not sugar coat what I am about to say.

As we sit here in this country bitching about gas prices to fill up our SUVs or the price of hamburgers, and raging out about the supposed “loss of freedom” being asked to protect our fellow citizens from a deadly disease, or complaining we were blocked access to a movie theater or restaurant because we’ve made the choice to not protect our fellow citizens…

Ukraine Kids Salute APC

An authoritarian invades a sovereign nation, a democracy - claiming it’s his. Ordinary citizens take up arms, brewery’s are converted to create Molotov cocktails. People look outside their homes and see Russian tanks going by, children separated from their parents who must now take up arms. Hiding in subways, to remain safe from the bombs above.

The Karen Convoy is in route to Washington DC to “protest” restrictions that are largely falling off, and certain Republicans line up to support Putin.

I say this with all due respect, wake the fuck up America. Our petty squabbles and culture wars mean nothing - they’re intended to divide. Don’t be divided.

I stand with Ukraine. I stand with Democracy.

Speaking Out

2022-02-17 3 min read Politics Sterling Hammer

I’ve followed politics most of my adult life, and I actually enjoy the inner workings of the US government and how it functions. I used to stay fairly quiet about it and my views on issues. I was an informed observer. But over the past six years that’s changed drastically for me. I wanted to write a post and explore why that is and my reasoning behind it.

In my view of todays politics, it is not about liberal vs conservative, democrat vs republican, or left vs right.

It is about right vs wrong, it is about truth and lies, it is about decency and outright filth.

For the most part, I am not speaking out on Republicans anymore. I am speaking out on people who got behind the cult of personality, and believe literally everything he says. I am speaking out on the the absolutely authoritarian tendencies of todays Republican Party. I am speaking out against a party who considers a violent insurrection, and beating first responders with thin blue line flags to be “legitimate political discourse

Donald Trump brought out the absolute worst in people. He’s divided this nation more than it’s been in generations and on top of that, we’re dealing with multiple realities today. I am speaking out on the lies and blatant misinformation whether it be people STILL claiming Trump won in 2020 or that critical race theory is even something taught in public school.

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