The World Is Counting On You – A Letter to the U.S. Supreme Court

Dear Honorable Justices,

I would hope you are aware that this decision is coming before you, and that the People do not request your action casually. Our country is in crisis – divided, scared, at risk, and about to go over a precipice that could be the undoing of American democracy and the allied countries that depend on us for stability. The majority of Americans voted against Donald Trump. The system failed. Corruption, gerrymandering, foreign and domestic electioneering proved to be more than it could take. Now, we are mere days from the inauguration of a rogue, incompetent President-Elect with highly questionable foreign loyalties and risky behavior.

Since Election Day, many Americans have fought courageously and diligently for justice. We have protested, petitioned, called and written letters to our government leaders, departments and committees, raised money and organized actions to no avail. The American people are being ignored. Those we have elected to represent us lack either the will or fortitude to take action on our behalf. We look to you, now, as our last line of defense. We ask that you issue a Writ of Mandamus to stay the election, pending investigation into Donald Trump and his campaign, then hold a new election which is a globally standard action when an election has been compromised.

I’m not going to waste your time listing all the reasons why an investigation is warranted, as I’m sure you have been following the news. Unlike Trump, the American people do believe our Intelligence Agencies over Vladimir Putin. We know that he is able to release his tax returns. We know he lies constantly. We fear that Congressional leaders are putting party before country and allowing this travesty to continue due to either complicity or opportunism. You are not bound by the machinations of partisan politics. The American people deserve answers, they deserve accountability, and they deserve a fair election. We are looking to you, as are our foreign allies. Please stop this inauguration.


Rachel Murphy Azzara


Tax Resistance Is Our Last Recourse

The American people have protested, called government leaders and offices, signed petitions and written letters en masse. Our outcry has been ignored. American democracy is in crisis. Our reputation, the safety of our citizens, our future, and our global relationships are at risk. The gravity of our situation leaves us no recourse but to consider tax resistance as an act of protest if our own elected officials will do nothing. It is dismaying that our political arena has digressed into playground politics where national decisions are made based on personal gain or fear of personal retribution — not on the will of the represented electorate.

No Taxation Without Representation — if our government irresponsibly installs Trump as POTUS as the result of an illegitimate election, at the behest of a foreign government, and against the will of the American majority, then the people have no choice.

The attempts by government and media to normalize this election only serve to further inflame the majority and add to the cognitive dissonance of Trump supporters, who will eventually come to realize what has happened. We cannot accept the unacceptable. Russian interference, gerrymandering, crosscheck and electioneering are ALL unacceptable. Donald Trump as PEOTUS is unacceptable. He is a liar, corrupt, unqualified, mentally unfit, and, likely, treasonous…not all situations allow for giving someone a ‘chance’. One would not give a CFO a ‘chance’ to perform heart surgery. Why? Because their lack of skill poses a clear danger. The danger presented to Americans (and the world) by allowing Trump to take office is not a partisan issue, the damage to our democracy and our nation affects every one of us.

Tax resistance has been used by war protesters and others throughout history and can take many forms. Examining what others have done, this is the plan I propose:

  1. This would only be for Federal tax– state, local and property would still be paid.
  2. For FY17 submit a new W4 taking exempt status if you can, or declaring as many dependents as necessary to nearly eradicate taxes that are deducted from your paycheck. Keep note of what you normally pay, as you will set that money aside in another account with each paycheck.
  3. If self-employed, also set aside the same amount that you would normally pay in income tax and SE tax.
  4. This money can be kept in your own separate account, or, could be paid into an offshore account specifically designated to be paid to the IRS upon the Federal Government’s compliance, as described in 65 Million Americans Should Threaten Not To Pay Taxes by Mark Weston.
  5. Every quarter that the government does not comply, I suggest taking an appropriate portion of the reserved ‘taxes’ and donating it to social charities. Send those receipts to the IRS on a quarterly form with a letter explaining what you did (e.g. I refuse to give tax dollars to pay for a Mexican border wall and have instead chosen to fund Planned Parenthood). Pay specific attention to organizations that rely on federal dollars for operation.
  6. Make sure to calculate and file your tax forms as you normally would, as the money (minus the payouts described in the above step) will be paid back to the IRS upon proper representation of the will of the American people.

I want to be clear that I don’t suggest Tax Resistance as a method of protest within regular partisan politics. We are in an extreme and unique situation — an illegitimate election with an outcome that presents a clear and present danger. We have a crisis that must be addressed. An acceptable forms of resolution would be overturning Donald Trump’s win and holding a new vote with the full protections of the Voting Right’s Act in place. We would also demand a bipartisan investigation with a special prosecutor on the relationship between the Trump Campaign and Russia, including an ethics review of the RNC, GOP and FBI Director Comey’s actions regarding this election. 

This is not a comfortable or desirable situation for any American to find themselves in, but we must protect the greatest aspects of our country. Free and fair elections are integral to our identity and function as a nation. We are a government for the people, by the people. This election turned out to be about more than electing a President — it is about being willing to stand up for freedom and democracy, and demand that our will is reflected by the actions our leaders. If our government irresponsibly installs Trump as POTUS as the result of an illegitimate election, at the behest of a foreign government, and against the will of the American majority, then the people have no choice as we have lost representation.

It is my sincere hope that our government equally realizes the seriousness of this matter, and acts accordingly.


I conducted a Twitter based poll to see how citizens feel about this action. Time period for poll is 24 hours with about 7000 impressions and 800 engagements within that time frame:


An Open Letter to Donald Trump, Congress, SCOTUS, and DOJ

Dear Esteemed Leaders and Mr. Trump,

As 2016 draws to a close, the rest of the world looks on at our great country with combined feelings of ridicule, fear, and glee, for those who desire our demise and see opportunity in our chaos. Americans have been called the ‘best and the brightest’, and the good news is that we still are. 74 million Americans voted to reject Donald Trump as President. 66 million of these votes were for Secretary Clinton. Yet, it seems our Electoral College system, which Trump himself called a disaster, failed…but, not without help. 

The GOP spent years cultivating an anti-intellectual constituency and provided a fertile environment for Trump to play his con game. He preyed on the uneducated and the desperate, appealing to the basic instinct to blame, hate and divide, and found an audience well-primed to believe the lies of a demagogue and to be shaped by the propaganda of an adversarial foreign power. This group, the 63 million who voted for Trump, is a minority. Thankfully, the majority of Americans are a thinking people. The public outcry against Trump’s election-countless protests, petitions, millions of letters to electors-is unprecedented, as are many aspects of this election. Do not fool yourself that this is a partisan response against losing an election. Elections have been lost before, even with the rare discrepancy between popular and EC vote, but this phenomenon is quite different. Operating the government in a manner against the express will of a majority this large is a social experiment that will fail, and likely leave our country seriously damaged. This is what we, the thinking majority, America’s ‘best and brightest’, know to be true.

The GOP’s culpability in this train-wreck cannot and will not be ignored. Like the protagonist of a child’s fable, the Republican Party has allowed every wrong decision to be driven by greed and power. This stain will not fade easily, but the longer you place Party over Country, the more we see and the longer we will remember. 

We watched as you allowed an unqualified reality tv celebrity become your standard-bearer. We watched as you waffled back and forth between supporting him, endorsing him and shunning him, only to stand with him in the end, despite unignorable and compelling reasons not to. We watched you compromise morality, ethics, character, common-sense, and the well-being of this country, for the chance to push your own agenda through and secure SCOTUS seats. We watched you engage in witch-hunts aimed at Secretary Clinton, turn a blind-eye to foreign election interference, and ignore FBI Director Comey’s 11th hour electioneering. We watched you take advantage of the loss of the Voting Right’s Act to actively suppress the votes of the poor and people of color and purge millions of votes in cross-check. Now you watch on, as we do, as your President-Elect makes a mockery of our country in his transition process, proving his incompetence every day. I teach my children that it is better to right your wrongs, even if that means admitting fault and taking punishment. Our government leaders still have a window of opportunity to set this right and regain public trust and respect.

Mr. Trump, I imagine you are feeling overwhelmed, as you find yourself in a position for which you are in no way qualified. There is nothing similar between running a business and running a country-especially a superpower. There are literally hundreds of millions of eyes on your every move. Your habitual lying and ineptitude will get caught every time. Perhaps you are not finding the job as satisfying as riling up the adoring rubes at your rallies. You claim you do not need to attend intelligence/security briefings because you’re ‘smart’. Your campaign and transition has told a different story. You exhibit the behavior of a pathaological liar. Your vocabulary and communication skills are like a grade-schooler, you are not well read or educated in pertinent matters, nor do you show a willingness or aptitude toward preparation. Poor communication skills combined with your demonstrated lack of self-control is a dangerous combination for diplomacy and foreign relations. 

Your reputation for narcissism is your biggest appeal to those around you, both foreign and domestic, who know they can use you as a puppet to push their own agenda. The help you received in your campaign had purpose. Mercer and Bannon used you to raise the visibility and agenda of the alt-Right. Putin wishes to destabilize NATO and weaken the United States, unltimately to regain status and power. Our chaos is what they want. If it was your goal to put together a Cabinet that would systematically dismantle the progress of all our government divisions, then you succeeded. 

Just your Twitter use, alone, demonstrates your incompetence to be POTUS. But, this is the reality. This is a country of real people-with real consequences. While you’re tweet-baiting China, whining about the media, and trying to re-ignite the nuclear arms race with Russia, you may do irrevocable harm to our country, and that’s without making a single grossly uninformed policy decision. The majority of the American people knew this danger before the election, more and more realize it every day. 

If you truly want to help this country, you should step-down, acknowledge the illegitimacy of an election corrupted by foreign and domestic electioneering and gerrymandering. Go back to your businesses with the goal of utilizing American materials, manufacturing and operations. Use what you learned on the campaign trail to become a better American-pay your taxes, don’t engage in bribery, pay your subcontractors, try being honest (note: creative hyperbole=lying).

As for the rest of our government leaders, realize that you may very quickly have to figure out how to override this election catastrophe. This is not going to sort itself out. A POTUS put in place against the will of the American people and by the combined actions of a foreign adversary, gerrymandering and electioneering is not something our country can come back from. The dangers posed to us are too great, the implications are devastating. The American majority has spoken-we are educated, organized and motivated. We are the best and brightest. We are #TheResistance.

Note to 115th Congress:  Make no mistake, we also see that you attempted to make your first Congressional action the gutting of the Office of Congressional Ethics. Obviously, we did not allow that to happen. We are not going to be complacent and you will not be able to remove yourself from accountability. Judging from Mr. Trump’s tweet regarding the timing of this move, it is reasonable to infer that he has signaled his own message to you. If you investigate him (and you must), some of you are likely going down with him. An independent, bipartisan investigation must take place. You were not elected to represent yourselves,  Mr. Trump, oil and gun lobbyists, Russia or the 1%-you serve the American people. Do your job, or step down.

GOP Electors: Is Your Party Worth It?

As members of the @ElectoralCollege, you are the guards that stand between citizens and dangerous leadership. The actions of Trump during his campaign and time as #PEOTUS are such that no reasonable person would be without severe reservation. 65.5M citizens chose #HRC over Trump. That’s a 2% majority-more than the population of 14 states. She is nearing a record level of votes. These are voters who chose her policies on economy, education, mental-health, autism, and so much more. Voters who actively rejected Trump’s policies.

To ignore the will of the US citizens who are in this large of a majority is unprecedented, and it will assuredly damage our country. If you are so willing to put your political party before the people of this country, then, my question is-does your party deserve it?

Trump did not just happen to the #GOP. He was the end result of a path they had been on for a long time. Some expressed outrage, but, in the end they allowed him to be the standard bearer.

The #GOP has stood back and watched the intensifying of racial division. They stood behind Trump as white-supremacists claimed his views reflected their own. They img_0976allow him to crudely disparage, say nothing about his corruption. They turn a blind eye to his ignorance and endless lying. They let him fear-monger about our friends and neighbors. They allow his paranoid rhetoric to go unchallenged.

The party of ‘family values’ stood by this man as he denigrated women and spoke of sexual assault. They ignored more than a dozen women who came forward to say his words were more than locker-room banter, sharing experiences of sexual abuse, assault, even child rape.

Perhaps most shocking, the #GOP allowed interference in our election by an adversarial foreign power-the depth of which we still do not know. Instead of protecting our country, they utilized the leaks of hacked information and knowingly spread misinformation, even allowing Trump to encourage Russia to continue hacking his opponent. They didn’t care because it was to their benefit.

They let him lie and pander to middle America, promising jobs he can’t deliver because technology isn’t going away, and neither is the global economy. They watched as the low-information voter was transformed into the misinformed voter by Russian trolls and alt-Right fake news.

Why would the GOP lower themselves to such a degree? Why would they openly disenfranchise voters through suppression campaigns and vote purges? Why would they put every person in this country in the hands of this imbecile of low-character?

Why would they allow him to obsessively rant about rigged elections, and then attempt to block the citizens who are asking for validation through #recounts and #AuditTheVote?

Why would @SpeakerRyan say he had not seen any evidence of hate crimes in Trump’s name when they were reported all over the country? Why would @jasoninthehouse refuse to investigate Trump’s Russia ties when he wasted millions in endless investigations against #HRC?

Why are they allowing him to bypass intelligence briefings and protocol, allowing his conflicts to go unchecked, placing every citizen in this country at risk?

For power? I must ask, do the ends truly justify the means? Are you willing to sacrifice the trust of citizens, the integrity of our country, and the fate of our children to further empower the #GOP?

This is the reality. We are in crisis. People in this country are scared, angry, alienated-your party let this happen-you have the power to make it right. The people of the US have chosen their path and their leader. Do not sacrifice us to a demagogue or the party that supported him.

Trump Campaign Wagged The Dog, But Will They Get Away With It?

Looking at the big picture, it appears that the Trump campaign knew exactly what they were doing when they allowed Trump to bizarrely cling to the idea that the election would be rigged against him. His pundits and supporters took the bait, speaking out about widespread voter fraud, to the degree that pre-election polling showed a substantial portion of the population had lost faith in the integrity of the election. This effort to pre-delegitimize the election prompted the Left, in turn, to deny the prevalence of voter fraud and, more importantly, to criticize Trump for claiming that he would not accept the results if he did not win. Hillary Clinton, during the debate, pointed to the importance of the peaceful transition of power as the cornerstone of preserving our democracy. Then, on November 8th, the world turned upside down.

Despite pre-election polling that consistently showed a solid win for Hillary Clinton, America watched as swing states turned red, contradicting past voting trends, even exit polls. In the days that followed, not only did Clinton’s popular vote lead grow by a shocking margin, but anomalies in the election results were noted. Across the nation, citizens protested. Movements began to flip the Electoral College, recount the votes, and audit the election. The Clinton campaign and other high level Democrats remained silent. Why? Because the Trump campaign had forced them into a situation where they would have to contradict themselves. Accuse the opposition of that which you are guilty. This is a move straight from the Nazi playbook, and the Trump campaign pulled it off masterfully. Even down to Kellyanne Conway’s claim that there was a silent faction of Trump supporters that would sway the election for him. This statement creates a narrative that can explain the odd results just enough that people didn’t look any closer. This might have worked if it had not been for Wisconsin.

Wisconsin election results showed more votes for Trump than actual ballots. While Wisconsin officials have removed the extra votes and explained it as first, mathematical errors, then technological errors, it boosted efforts to recount the votes. Jill Stein began fundraising and filed for recount in Wisconsin. She hopes to recount in other states. The Clinton campaign has spoken out that they will be involved in the recount process. Had the Trump campaign not manipulated the situation, the Clinton campaign would have likely contested the results themselves. In an election that has been plagued by Russian electioneering and GOP gerrymandering, where people of power have jockeyed to place a man in power that they can puppeteer, there is no question that the election results should be examined and investigated. It is my hope that the state recounts result in a full audit of the election. With both the Right and the Left questioning the legitimacy of our election process, it is imperative that a full audit is conducted to restore faith in the system, regardless of the outcome. That said, it is my belief that the Trump campaign tampered with the vote. In the interest of the simplest answer often being the correct answer, consider this. For all the pre-election and exit polls to be wrong in the swing-states, millions of citizens would have had to actively lie about who they were going to vote for, and, then, who they actually voted for. Why? To what end? Alternatively, specific people could have been activated to either tamper with voting machines, or, more likely, tamper with the machines that count the ballots. I find the latter more plausible. If the Trump campaign truly believes that voter fraud is so widespread, then they should support recounts and audits, but they are speaking out against it. That is very telling, as well.

The American people and our democracy have been damaged this election. It is imperative that we stand up for ourselves. Please call the DOJ (202-353-1555) and request that they #AuditTheVote.

GOP Must Take Action Against Voter Intimidation

Donald Trump has continually attempted to pre-delegitimize the outcome of the 2016 Election. He has claimed the election will be rigged and urged his supporters to sign up as poll-watchers. It is obvious on social media that some of his supporters have taken his incendiary rhetoric to mean that they should act as vigilantes at polling places. As Donald Trump continues to encourage this type of thinking, it is increasingly important that GOP leaders take a stand. For the sake of their constituency, and our democracy, they must make it clear that voter intimidation is a punishable offense and dangerous. They can protect their people and our election process through public service announcements directly aimed at containing the gross irresponsibility of Donald Trump.

Please sign the petition.

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The Inevitable End of the Audacious Orange

Donald Trump managed to ride through the Republican primary and the early stages of the general election on a wave of audacity. He has cloaked his ignorance and ineptitude behind brash, anti-PC rhetoric with which he ignites the underlying fears and disaffections of his supporters. As one might expect from a celebrity business mogul, he is a hustler who is accustomed to controlling the conversation with a steady stream of lies, half-truths and obfuscation. Now, politicians do lie and certainly bend the truth in their favor, but it is tactically more strategic and sparse. After all, they do have a long-term career to think about.  Trump randomly saturates his message with ‘bullshit’ in a manner more acceptable in big business, where, in the end, money will assuage indignation.  The rise and success of Trump as a presidential candidate is due to many factors, many of which I’ve discussed in my blog, but his fall is going to result from the increased scrutiny that naturally occurs in the last weeks of an election.

Transparency has been a hot topic this week in the media, though, when it comes to Hillary Clinton, it has been a hot topic for a long time. In response to wave after wave of conspiracies fueled by the echo chamber of conservative fake-news, the press have excavated her health, financials, political history and charitable works. The irony here is that the end result of this tacit distrust is not only a high-level of transparency, but a record cleared of any criminal corruption or wrong-doing.  Meanwhile, the press has allowed Trump to go on about his business, utilizing his outrageous behavior as a source of  entertainment news and high ratings. They have, openly and admittedly, mollycoddled him and his surrogates through interviews, giving  a pass for his lies, ignorance, and lack of transparency.  But, in the past few days, there has been a change. 

As we move into the final stretch of the election, when more of the public will be paying avid attention, the press is starting to take a more serious approach to Trump.  Articles have been published exposing his vast ties to foreign actors and the massive conflict of interest he would bring into office. The Trump Foundation has been exposed as an operation to bribe elected officials with other people’s money. Interviewers are pushing for real answers, evoking much surprise and stammering from Trump’s ill-prepared surrogates. Trump, himself, best demonstrates the fear he has of serious scrutiny when he suggested that the debates should not be moderated, because they will be ‘hard’ on him. His refusal to release tax returns, divorce records, or real medical records point to an inevitable end to his charade.  He can’t shine people on forever. His site-unseen, buyer-beware approach is not going to fly for America’s highest office. The American public has needed the press to show them the truth about Donald Trump, and I believe they are finally ready to do that.

Reclaiming Patriotism

There has been a trend for some time for conservatives to consider themselves the staunch defenders of patriotism. They shake their heads and fly their flags in response to social change in today’s times just as they did through the cvil rights movements. Fear of progressive change is masked behind the idea that any criticism of current ideas and policy is, in and of itself, an unpatriotic act.  Nevermind that America was founded on the idea of free expression and disaffection with the establishment. In this age of instant communication, the connotation of patriotism within conservative politics has become even more warped.  What was a basic fear of change, has morphed into the more insidious ideologies of nationalism, racism, even mysogony. The 2016 election cycle has brought this distorted view of patriotism into stark relief against the backdrop of Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign.

American FlagA quick dive into social media demonstrates that the majority of Trump supporters are primarily relying on non-mainstream “news” resources and blogs to bolster their ideas.  Many of the sites they post articles from are heavily laden with conspiracy theories and thinly veiled white nationalism.  They operate in a fact-free zone and are no more legitimate that a supermarket tabloid.  Yet, so many gravitate toward these sources. Why? Because these sites are designed to appeal to a conservative’s existing sense of entitlement toward patriotism.  Disinformation sites such as InfoWars and Breitbart provide the content which is then disseminated through pseudo-patriotic channels such as The Federalist Papers, The Powdered Wig Society, and True Pundit, to name a few. A literal deluge of misinformation is spread across social media this way, wrapped up nicely in full patriotic regalia.

In this form of conservative patriotism, the American ideologies of freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and equal rights are disparaged, while the right to bear arms is of singular importance.  The vision of America as a safe harbor for immigrants where freedom and opportunity is available to all is obscured by the fearful rhetoric of white nationalism.  Those who exercise the right to protest peacefully are villified as ungrateful haters.  None of this is true patriotism.

True patriotism is preserving the integrity of American ideals. True patriotism is respecting our differences and working together to find solutions for our ever-changing circumstances.  True patriotism is standing up and fighting for social justice for all Americans.  True patriotism is progressive by nature-it is always looking forward to a better future for everyone.

The Battle Is On-For Integrity

People have been warning about the “dumbing down” of America for a long time.  In the confluence of the 2016 election and social media, it is glaringly apparent that this warning was not in vain.  Internet trolls pepper the comments sections of the web with hateful, fact-free vitriol, betting that they will cultivate support among the many who operate with short-attention spans and an apathy toward research or critical thought. Oversimplified and uninformed memes are posted and reposted, hitting their mark of the vulnerable mind as they spread in perpetuity.  Consider that in the digital era, we are absolutely inundated with information, yet many Americans lack the skills to apply critical analysis to that information–particularly those who are not colledge educated.  While there is no way to truly control for the veridicality of information, there is an onus on the ones who are tasked with public trust to act with integrity.  Unfortunately, over the course of this election cycle, many have not, for various reasons.  There is a line in the sand.  It is up to our politicians, commentators, journalists, interviewers and anchors–all those who hold our public trust–to cross over that line and choose to speak honestly and truthfully to the American people.

The Republican Party is in a particular quandary.  Donald Trump is their nominee, and they are responsible for creating the environment that resulted in his popularity.  Even so, there have been many Republicans who have openly not-endorsed Trump and called him out as unqualified and dangerous for our country.  They hope that separating themselves from him will still allow them to win down-ballot.  It is for that same reason that the other Republican politicians are continuing to endorse Trump.  Instead of pointing out to their constituency that Trump does not represent Republican principles, they weakly agree with him and hope his popularity will translate to votes for them. The reputation of the Republican Party will no doubt remain damaged from Trump’s perversion of their standards, but as individuals, each one of them needs to choose whether they will maintain dignity and act with integrity, or go down in the history books as supporting a demagogue with ideas that they know won’t work.

Another battle for integrity is waging among members of the press.  This is of particular importance, as they wield great power in shaping public opinion.  Some news outlets are, of course, openly biased toward the Left or the Right.  That is not what I’m talking about.  My concern is with the members of the”mainstream media.”  In an effort to appear fair and balanced, many have succumbed to false-equivalency. Some have admitted to “lowering the bar” for Donald Trump due to his lack of experience.  In other words, they pretend that he is on the same level as Hillary Clinton, when they know that he is not.  They know he is incompetent, but they go easy on him in the interest of ratings and readership.  They know that the public finds Trump’s daily scandals entertaining, so they stay focused on him.  One has to ask themselves who this benefits.  Certainly not the American people, who are depending on them for guidance.  Whether it is their express intent, or not, their reporting is so focused on Trump’s gaffes and the contortions of his surrogates that they fail to investigate and report on him with the same rigors they apply to Hillary Clinton. Perhaps, they assumed that the public would be intelligent enough to see through it. Sadly, this is not the case for many people.  By mollycoddling Trump, they have created an environment where it is okay to openly speak of white-supremacy and bigotry, to lie constantly, to revel in conspiracy theories, to change positions daily, and to present half-baked policies.  By mollycoddling Trump, they have created a grossly unfair playing field where a candidate is dissected and raked over the coals because she has such vast political experience, ignoring Trump’s corrupted past because it was outside politics.  Once again, who does that benefit? Not the American people.  

As we move into the final two months of the election, decisions are going to have to be made about how to handle Donald Trump.  It’s not a joke and it’s not entertainment.  Individuals who hold the public trust need to proceed with integrity and recognize their social responsibility to that public.  Because whether you are press, politician or pundit, history will remember how you influenced this election.