Ukraine, SCOTUS, Anti-Trans Bills in Texas

Ukraine, SCOTUS, Anti-Trans Bills in Texas


Discussing the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the first black woman nominee to the Supreme Court, and the Anti-Trans bills in Texas.

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Melanie: Good afternoon.

It is Sunday, February 27th, 2022,
I'm your moderator Melanie Dione,

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So this week I'm reminded as being
in seventh grade and we had current

events and every week we would
discuss, I would have to watch the

news and give my seventh grade take
on what was going on in the world.

For me in seventh grade.

And I've said this before, because
it had a huge impact on me.

It was the Vincent tiananmen square.

So now I'm thinking, what will
today's seventh graders talk

about in their current events?

Will it be the nomination of judge Ketanji
Brown jackson, the first black woman

to be nominated to the Supreme court?

Will it be governor Abbott's attack on the
families of trans children in Texas, or

will it be Russia's attack on the Ukraine?

So this week we're going to talk
about all of those things, because

there are times where I have just
as much understanding about the ways

of the world as I did when I was 12.

So I'm going to start bringing up
my all girl band and it will be us

talking about how the issues affect
us and our take on those things.

So, first I'm going to
bring up Athena Fulay.

Athena: Good morning, afternoon, good day.

Resist botters.

This is Athena calling
in from Houston, Texas.

How's it going?

Melanie: Long time
listener, first time caller.

Athena: exactly.

I'd like to dedicate a song.

Melanie: Welcome.

Athena: Thank you.

I'll be in the comments as usual folks.

We'll go ahead and drop in your
thoughts, ideas and questions, and I

will bring them to the panel accordingly.

Melanie: And this is definitely one.

We are looking for comments on because
we're all learning, trying to figure

things out and at times just frustrated.

Athena: Yeah, there's, there's a lot
to get our heads around, but as we

continue to talk about these topics, I
think we're going to see certain themes

emerging across all three of them that
I think are very much in line with what

we're trying to do with this podcast.

And just uncover what some of the,
existing tensions and reasons are behind.

This concept of sovereignty
and representation.

And what happens when you let
bullies get away with bullying?

That lack of accountability is basically
playing out at a global stage today.

I look forward to just talking through
some things, sharing some ideas and

finding ways to, uh, address this as
we can through the resist platform.

Melanie: Absolutely.

Thanks Athena and we're always looking
forward to what you bring to the

discussion and we're going to bring
up our international woman of mystery.

Christine Lu.

Hi Christine,

Christine: Always feel a little
pressured when you add that mystery

is like, am I really that mysterious?

I don't know,

but it's good to be here.


You know, when you were talking,
you really made me think it's

like, we are all back to a period.

this week when I remember right being in
grade school and Then the lenses, a mom,

I've been talking to my son all week about
this because he's a teenager and he's

going to class and they're discussing it.

And then we unpack it in car rides home.

And I realized that my son
realized, just last night that I

was alive during the cold war era.

So there you go.

but it, it's a, it's an opportunity
this week to reflect on like

a lot of things going on and.

As I was saying, I really appreciate
the format of the show because when

you are alone, isolated, working from
home consuming, this constant barrage

of news, it's sometimes good to take
a step back and know are other people.

At the point of their understandings
also reacting in the way I'm reacting

or feeling or what kind of information
or perspective am I missing?

So I'm really looking forward to hearing
that today and contributing to that.

Melanie: absolutely.

That's an excellent point in how we
don't have, like, the water cooler was a

very important part of discussions like
these, prior to COVID, now that a lot

more of us are a little more isolated.

That is a difference in how I
know it has made a difference

in how I process all of this.

So it's a really good point.

Thanks Christine.

And last but not least Susan Stutz.

Hi Susan.

Susan: Hello, everyone.

Thank you.

I'm so happy to be here.

I'm happy to learn more about the Ukraine
with everything that's been in the news,

it's really hammered home for me, how
much I don't know about the history

and all that has come before that has
led Russia and Ukraine to this moment.

So I'm really looking forward
to this discussion and learning

about that a little bit.

Melanie: Yeah, I I think I'm the same
and not only that, but looking back at,

the previous administration where all
of those things where we knew they meant

something, but we didn't completely.

Even when we knew it was bad and insidious
van, and I was acutely aware of it,

looking at it, playing out now it feels
even darker than I expected it to be.

And I, I don't think I'm the only person.

Susan: I agree with that 100%.

Melanie: you get the sense that something
is wrong, that's unless you have a crystal

ball, you, you just really don't know.

So let's kick it off.

We are going to talk about judge
Ketanji Brown Jackson, who I keep

wanting to call Ketanji Jackson
brown because my dad was a hippie.

So Jackson brown.

The singer.

Yeah, no, but it's Judge Ketanji
Brown Jackson is the first black

woman nominated to the Supreme court

Athena: It's overdue.

Melanie: overdue, like, so I started
doing a little digging as I am

known to do, and I realized that
women have been getting shortlisted.

For the Supreme court, since the
1930s, since the 1930s, we did not have

anyone who made it past the shortlist.

We didn't have anyone who
went from shortlist to bench.

And so Sandra Day, O'Connor in 1981
where we've 40, 41 years after that.

And we are finally finally getting the
first black woman nominee, which is, you

know, Joe Biden taking the first step to
uphold the promise that he made during

his campaign to put a black woman on
the bench in SCOTUS, feelings, thoughts.

I mean, I don't know where, to
an extent, you know, where my

thoughts are, but I would like
to hear from everyone else first.

Um, we can start with you, Christine.

Christine: So, I mean, for me, Feeling
your sentiments also, I think it's,

long overdue and then immediately
I go into and I can't help myself.

I go into, what is the reaction of
everybody else and how difficult

is it for someone so accomplished
in this climate political climate?

How difficult will it be for her to get.

I guess approved and what is
she going to have to go through?

I mean, just the last couple of
confirmations, just the detentions.

It's just where it's sitting for me.

You would think that it would be
something that would be a smooth

process, but I don't, but just based on
what we're seeing, I don't think it is

Melanie: I've been a black woman my whole
life, so I can tell, you know, and that's,

but that's a, I'll let everyone else go.

Christine: Having said that I think
it's nothing she's not prepared for.

So there's that.

Melanie: Absolutely.

Susan Susan.

Susan: you know, when I've been
thinking about her nomination, I

keep recalling an interview that I
want saw with Neil deGrasse Tyson.

When they interviewed him when
he was in college about a solar

flare that was taking place and he
didn't want to do the interview For

whatever reason I don't remember.

But then he thought to himself, if
we want more men of color, women of

color in science, then they need to
see men and women of color in science.

And so I keep thinking about that and
what her nomination and what her position

on the court will mean for young women,
but more importantly, young women of

color, you know, to see themselves.

In that position and
know that it's possible.

And that for me is one of
the most important aspects.

Melanie: Absolutely.

We deal with the twice work twice as
hard to get half as far dynamic here.

So it's very, um, it's weighty, it's
a heady thing to kind of, to take in.


I'm sure you have thoughts.

Athena: I have a lot of thoughts.

I always do.

I have a lot of opinions I should say.

So first and foremost, yes, there's
a whole, see it be it element of this

Biden has committed to making sure that,
or has committed to trying to align

SCOTUS and the judiciary with people
that resemble what America looks like.

So, yes, this is a point of, this is
a campaign promise that he is actually

attempting to fulfill, but at the same
time to what the points of both Susan

and Christine, it's this idea that.

You have to do.

And what you said, you have to do
twice as much to get half as far.

And the fact of the matter
is she's a public defender.

One of only two who will be able to
has been nominated or might be seated.

She's one of two who was born in DC.

I'm just going to continue to plug in
the fact that it's ridiculous that a

Senate that's confirming the SCOTUS
appointee does not have a representative

from the place where she is born.

DC statehood plug there.

And I think overall her nomination
selection process to even the DC court

circuit has been an interesting play
of understanding the DC or federal

politics or the judiciary politics.

At least you have this person who
received bipartisan support because

of a familiar relation to Paul Ryan.

Not, that's not the only reason
why, but that did grease the wheels

a little bit to get her past.

The round to get to the DC circuit.

So it's this idea now that again, Skee
Collins and Graham have the country by

our proverbial "cojones" is because they
may or may not find her suitable for this

role that she has her whole life been in
many ways prepared for, preparing for,

Melanie: Lindsey Graham is
very concerned now about the

Harvard year of SCOTUS pipeline.

Athena: A hundred percent and the irony
of that being Cavanaugh's Yale as well.

So like it, again, we're back to this
idea that some of those restrictions

apply to some people, Harvard,
Yale pipeline didn't seem to matter

when Calvin I was being nominated.

Her 51 year old self 50, wasn't a problem
for Amy Barrett to get nominated to.

So again, it's these hurdles or
these obstacles that are being

put in place, these factors.

Seem to have been looked over for other
people can imagine why, but that is

going to be things that she'll be facing.

So it will be very interesting.

We also have Romney.

We'll see what Romney votes in this too.

So whatever it is, it will
be definitely an interesting

committee to watch, process.

Melanie: Absolutely.

One of the things that has been sitting
with me just in the makeup, especially

after we've been talking a lot about.


And what that looks like in this
country is that we have only had two

or for now we've only had one person
to sit on the bench who has any

experience with defending poor people.

So when you think about what the makeup
is of this country, even just financially,

when you think about how imbalanced
that is and dealing with people are

not in touch with the full breadth of
the judicial system, or at the very

least, the body does not have that full
breadth, that's mind blowing to me.

Then when you get to the fact that the
only one was Thurgood Marshall, who was

the first black man to sit on the bench.

And the second one even though Thurgood
Marshall represented poor black

people, he wasn't a public defender.

She will be the first public defender.

She will be the first public defender
in the history of the Supreme

court and second trial judge.

And we're looking at, when we look at
the cases that they have to look at, it's

so telling about what, who this justice
system is meant to serve, because that's

not even something that people consider.

And when you see that it's only a
consideration are the only people

that we get that from or black people
that is a huge indictment on what

justice in this country look like.

Athena: I was just gonna say, I also
appreciate the spectrum and breadth

of experience that she brings.

I don't know how many other SCOTUS judges
have had family in law enforcement or

family in the military or family who've
been in prison because of charges.

And so I think having all of that
experience shapes her jurisprudence.

So I think it's a different way of
looking at things and I think that's very

much needed and she clerked for Briar.

I think, I believe that was the case.

So she's.

She's risen up the ranks
and has honed her craft.

And I think we all know that we
feel she's qualified and it's just

really a matter of like what the
process will do to her by the end.

Melanie: Yeah.

And that's one of those things
that we can't ignore as women.

I can't ignore as a black woman.

I know those there, there's just a
different light that's cast on you.

The conversation that, we can be
having of all of the first that

she's bringing to the table.

Once you get past the infuriation
of this, the number of firsts.

You look at how accomplished he is.

And then the conversation comes
to, well, you know, her husband's

twin brother is married to Paul
Ryan's whatever, it's absurd.

So you already see the tiny little
nitpicking things and just a

glimpse of what can be expected
at the confirmation hearing.

This is, uh, this is without people who
are actively digging to discredit her.

this is just kind of the beginning
of what we are to expect.

And just the type of light that women
and specifically black women undergo

when there's a dare for visibility,
there's a dare for ambition.

It's one of those, you know, my, the
old Southern in me is going to hold

her up in prayer and then also be very.

Logical because I don't think there's a,
I don't see a value in, stanning judges

and politicians and, you know, these
are people, but I also know that she

is, again, she is a person and should be
dealt with, with a consideration of her

humanity that I have yet to see leveled
out on a consistent basis for black women.

it's, a lot of feelings, a lot of
feelings that come up with this.

Susan: and I imagined that the,
there'll be less of, or more of that

theater during these confirmation
hearings, really taking a hammer to.

with all of the various connections
she has to, people like us, not

just the, 1% of the country.

so I, that theater is going to
be amazing because we haven't

had it before, not to this.

Melanie: And to her credit, she's already
gone through confirmation hearings

before, so she's not a rookie there.

And I think that was definitely
one of the things that, that pushed

her over as into being the nominee.

it's like Christine said before, it's
not anything that it's not necessarily

anything that she won't be able to handle.

It's just kind of a damn shame that
she'll have to handle it, you know?

Christine: Like it
hasn't even started yet.

And we all know that we
all know what's coming.

It's so predictable.

Melanie: absolutely.

our we're going to shift onto our next
topic with the gift that keeps on giving

when, Ron DeSantis doesn't give us any,
his, any of his nonsense, Greg Abbott

is always there to answer the call.

Susan: you can count on them.

Athena: Tyron's going to tyrant.

Melanie: oh my goodness.

It's like they're in a race.

And so this week, there was the hateful
anti-trans directive that was, released

when, or that was written and affirmed
by, the attorney general, whose name

Susan: Paxton,

Melanie: Thank you.

I was, my brain kept saying peacock and
I apparently did not write it down, but,

where do you even start when people are
attacking the family supported families?

I'm at a loss as to what to
do with that, but I'm sorry.

Let me back up before we go into this
conversation because, we had a petition

Susan: we do have a petition.

The title of it is confirmed judge
Jackson, and it is an open petition to

the entire Senate, For her to make it
through the confirmation process and

encourage your representatives those
that end up being on the confirmation,

committee, but that she gets approved
and she makes it through because

I think she has a lot to offer.

The court, and the call sign for
that petition is P as in Peter, O

as in octopus, C as in cat, F as in
Frank, T as in Tom, P as in Peter.

And you can sign on to that and
you can, Encourage your friends

and family to sign onto it.

But if that petition, doesn't say what
you want to say on the subject of,

judge Jackson's nomination, you can
send your own letter and you can turn

that letter into a petition that you
can then send out into the world and ask

friends and family to sign onto as well.

Melanie: Thanks Susan.

So I'm sorry.

Back to Texas.

Athena: Yeah, I can, um, I can talk
a little bit about the Texas bill.

I can't in, in any sort of like official
capacity, but I have thoughts on this.

I started earlier discussing how, what
happens when, bullies go unchecked

or how boundaries are being tested?

I think.

Abbott started this stuff.

This has been going along a long time,
but in July when they put forth this,

anti-trans bill for sports and not
allowing people who identify as trans

to compete in sports, because they're
there to quote unquote, protect the

girls and the interest of the girls.

I think that in many ways I feel.

Came out of nowhere, but this idea too,
that once that passed and then it went

into law in January and again, sort
of unchallenged, not paid attention

to a lot, going on the next step in
that is exactly what we're seeing now.

Now it's this concept that they're
going to come after parents of

people who are identifying as trans,
because that is something that

he thinks he can get away with.

And in all likelihood, we'll
get away with it in the states.

I think, and this ties into our next
conversation about Putin, but it's this

idea that there's a vigilance that I
feel we lose when we have the comfort

of thinking that there's somebody in the
white house who is a little bit more in

line with what our preferences may be.

And in fact, it's that danger
of that comfort or that leniency

or that, whatever it is that.

A lot of the really long lasting
permanent damage takes roots and

actually is able to get traction.

So in terms of what's happening in
Texas, it's this idea that my only

hope, and this is going to be a
very odd instance where the theme

is going to sound mildly optimistic.

My only hope is this idea that,
um, kids, these days, the kids are.

The students trans issues, which probably
would not have been on the forefront

of the minds of these young voters
in the state of Texas are now paying

attention and are now trying to educate
themselves and figure out what's going on.

And my hope is that this will eventually
backfire because these, this divisive

type of language is increasingly.

I have to hope, I think, increasingly
going to be the downfall of the Republican

party and facists all over the world

Melanie: one of the things I appreciate.

Thank you.

Is how there have been a low local
district and county attorneys that

have already immediately come out and
told them where they could stick it.

and educators as well are looking
at how they can be supportive.

you know, there are collections of
educators that are looking at how

they can be supportive to students,
because you're literally talking

about criminalizing families for.

Seeking what specs best for their kids.

And this is the same group who
will say sideways things like, oh,

I'm in trouble for thought crimes.

Well, you are literally being
making a crime out of loving and

supporting your kid and taking care
of them in the way that you see fit.

The same thing, the same arguments
that they're having against things like

critical race theory and stuff like that.

It does not apply when you're
dealing with trans children.

I can decide what's right for my kids.

And I can also decide what's
right for your kids, because

I know better than you do.

Susan: And I think that that's an
excellent point, Mel, because, Abbott is

establishing this pattern with, enacting
rules and legislation that brings the

general public in as the enforcers, the
same thing with the abortion bill that

he, that they signed in, looking to
the public, looking to your neighbor.

To, report you, you know, the articles
that I was reading, there was a, a mom

and she was in several of the articles
and she said that she looked at her

Facebook and her, all of her notifications
on her phone, the morning after it

came out and people were saying to her,
I've already reported your family to

whatever Texas his version is of the
department of children and families.

And, that has to be, and she
said, they'd already had to move.

Because where they live before,
it was not safe for her child.

And that just, that has to
just be horrific to have to

look that in the eye every day.

And, with regard to department of
children and family services, that's

an organization here in Florida that
I bump into a lot in my professional

life and they already have so much.

On their plate, the case loads that these
people have, and to add this on top of it,

that you have to go and police a family
for the medical decisions that they're

making for their child so that their child
can be who their child feels they are.

And that is just appalling.

It's appalling.

Melanie: When I think about the
arguments against transition care,

when we start talking about kids and
especially when we start talking.

Hormone blockers and things like
that, which for the record has

not been limited to trans kids.

I want to be very clear, like there are
kids who go through a precocious puberty

and in those instances they do offer
hormone blockers at no point in time.

I have yet to hear this grant
public outcry against that.

And that is just a basic
acceptable treatment.

So this is not about care
for hormone blockers, or I

care about transitional care.

This is an actual attack
on trans children.

And so when you look at, before the
issues that we were dealing with.

And we w let's be very honest,
still deal with, because just

because there is more support now,
that doesn't mean it's adequate.

That doesn't mean that these children
are getting adequate support.

So let's be very clear.

But when we look at what we were
dealing with before, when these kids

had no options and the type of mental
health care that was needed, that they

didn't receive, or rather than health
healthcare, that would support them, it

was conversion care, things like that.

We talked about, we had the show a
couple of months back about congregate

care and how one of those, that's
also something that queer and trans

children would often, you know,
find themselves and themselves in.

So when we look at that, I have
to ask what benefit people think

this brings to, to target children.

We're literally talking about targeting
children, because whatever you think about

their parents and whatever, whatever.


You think their parents should
suffer these children ultimately

going to have to go somewhere.

What happens to them next?

what is the end game here?

And there is no real end game.

It's one of those cases where
the cruelty is this the point.

whether you agree that you're being
cruel or not, this is the point

Athena: It's cruelty.

It's controlled.

it's back to controlling bodies.

It's back to this obsession we have
with policing bodies in this country.

Susan: And the idea that, Rubbing
up against the fact that gender is

a construct in the first place, but
it's a lie that people believe, you

know, that there's only two genders
and there's no room for anything else.

And it just supports that,
that false narrative.

Christine: It's also, I mean, it's a
good segue for the overall conversation.

It's also about power.

And the loss of power and the attempt
to retain power like Susan, what

you were saying, as you were talking
about that, this is straight out of an

authoritarian playbook to enlist the
help of the quote unquote, public to

police and enforced something that,
is actually the whole goal is designed

to retain power and centralized power.

That's exactly what we're
seeing and kids as a result.

And when we put our feelings into that,
cause we have so many feelings about

that, but we've got to look at it from
their perspective, it's collateral damage.

They don't care.

It's about power, which is
actually very disturbing.

Melanie: Absolutely.

Athena: We're dealing with power, we're
dealing the sustaining status quo.

I think there's always going to get
dogless element to these certain topics.

Threatening our understanding
of gender is going to ignite a

particular segment of the population.

and I agree this, these,
these themes are related.

It's this idea that you have.

Oligarchical society in Russia
that is reclaiming Ukraine and some

type of on days where the Soviet
union was a Imperial powerhouse.

It's trying to reclaim that time
to establish a things better

back when things were much clear
and black and white for folks.

And we're not really living
in that world anymore.

these vestiges of power or people trying
to remain in that power, assert that

power and control is, is a struggle that
we're continuing to face in a private

conversation with somebody I recently
said like a lot of these issues are.

Toxic masculinity or white
supremacy at a global scale.

This idea, if we're not holding these
people accounted for accountable for what

they do, what we're going to continue
to somehow say, well, boys will be boys.

Or like, this is just how politics work.

It's not, we're not going to,
we're not going to be able to

really address the systemic issues
that are cropping this up in

Melanie: Yeah.

Athena: in every, sphere.

Melanie: And when we start dealing with,
um, and I remember my thought when we

start dealing with power structures and
how people get in a position to oppress

you, you have to have a certain amount
of support from the oppressed class.

So you have to have, so when you put
these things in place, for example, you

snitch on your neighbor who, you know,
that knew had an abortion this week.

Next week, you snitched on your neighbor,
who has a trans child who they're

supporting and seeking care for next week.

What do they get to this switch on
with snitch on the week after how

much closer do they have to get to
your rights before you care about it?

And before you see the danger and what
times than not people don't really

realize it until it's at the door.

And that's, part of where we are now.

And in terms of.

Seeing the train coming, we can move
on to, the topic that Athena started

leading us into with Russia invading
the Ukraine and how I think that's

been something that has been on all
of our minds, partially because we all

remember the I'd like you to do me a
favor conversation during the first

impeachment of, of the last president.

So I just like to kick this off and
really just kind of hot potato it

to somebody else to kind of give
your initial thoughts on what your

observations are, what your thoughts
are with your, what your feelings are

about this current conflict in Ukraine.

Susan: I'll start by saying it's not
something that I'm well-versed in.

I don't necessarily
understand how we got here.

but it's frightening, nonetheless.

You know, and when you start throwing
around nuclear, when, when that word

becomes part of the conversation too, and
to what end, because, whoever pushes the

button first, that's not the end of it.

Somebody else pushes
the button in response.

And so, you know, like in the
back of my mind, nuclear weaponry,

although so many countries have.

I've never thought that it would actually
be used because the consequences, it,

you know, it's not limited, it's not
a missile that hits a particular area.

It's a missile that
annihilates a population.

And so that is incredibly frightening
to me to think about that.

Melanie: I think it's one of those things
where Americans, we can be so focused on

our own domestic problems and the American
exceptional exceptionalism can almost lead

you to believe that we're the only nation
in the world, which is a problem when it's

time to discuss other things or understand
other concepts, that are going on

internationally, that we have a hand in.

Christine, I'm going to pick on you
because I would love to hear your

take because we talked a little
bit off channel about this, and

I would really love to hear your
take on or your, your observations

Christine: Thank you.

So definitely not a Ukraine or Russia
expert, but you know, background

in international relations.

last two decades focused on U
S China relations and seeing

some similarities in that.

Whether it is China or Russia or
another authoritarian country, you

are looking at an actually Mel.

It's so interesting that
you mentioned that point.

You're looking at countries that look
at us, not paying attention to them.

It's the complacency that we have
because of, you know, our ability

to be so insular by choice.

that allows, these regimes
to get away with what we see.

And so for those of us who follow that,
it's kind of like the international

relations world is always on the
fringes of domestic politics.

There is a lot.

Important things understandably that we
all have to focus on at home, but just

know that they're counting on that, right?

We are so predictable and our
ability to live in a free society

is also their ability to manipulate.

Us and the situation, especially with
technology these days and the freedom

of information, we have also leaves us
open to a lot of disinformation, which is

exactly a big reason of how we got here.

Um, so that comes to mind.

and I look at things from the
lens of, you know, I know it

sounds very cliche, but it, this.

Authoritarianism versus democracy,
free societies versus absolute control.

And this is what we're dealing with.

from that perspective, you're looking at.

A guy who is straight out
of cold war, Soviet era.

He was a KGB guy, right.

Who saw the, disempowerment of his
old world order, That he was part of.

And this is kind of like, if you
want to put it in very simple

terms, this is his revenge.

He's been plotting and he's been planning.

this is not by accident.

It's been a long time coming.

It's it's catching us by surprise as
Americans because of what I just said,

we are, focused on our own issues,
but no it's been in his playbook.

And what concerns me,
on so many levels is.

And this is actually the important part.

And if you want to have the optimism
that Athena mentioned, even in our

last, uh, conversation, it is so
important for us to at least like,

okay, we haven't been paying attention.

It's so important for all of
us to be paying attention now.

And it's so important for all
of us to catch up where we feel

we can and understand that,
other countries are looking at.

And how they react in the future to
their own conflicts and their own issues.

And I'm speaking from a very
personal perspective for those

of you who follow me on Twitter.

And, you know, I don't hide the fact
that I am Taiwanese and that in the

past a year, it's not by accident
that you have heard so much more

about Taiwan than you have in the past
decade, because we seem to be attacked.

To every other major conflict that
comes up in the context of, wow,

what is China going to do now?

China and I, if I, if I had a dollar
for every time, I saw a tweet that says,

look, what's happening in Afghanistan.

Taiwan's next?

Look, what's happening in Ukraine,
Taiwan next, but to understand where

that's coming from is this awareness.

That this is we're back to a
situation in the world where who's

going to, whose sphere of influence
is going to win at the end.


Melanie: puts us spotlight on how
fragile things really are right now.

One of the things that I do want to
mention, because since the attack there

have been sanctions placed on Russia.

And I just want to talk a bit, I
just want to kind of lay out a bit on

what those sanctions are from the us.

So there are blocks on technology
that are going to limit their ability

to an advance in military and air in
the military and aerospace sector.

They're also going to be sanctions
on banks and on billionaires that

they believe to be corrupted.

People who have close ties to the kremlin.

13 major state companies are cut
off from raising money in the us.

And then there's also because
there's been support from Bellaruse.

We know that look at Shanko
has been, supportive of Russia.

So there are two dozen Belarus and
individuals and companies that have

also been, sanctioned by the U S and
that is not even getting into the

sanctions that they've experienced.

They're experiencing from places like
Japan, Germany, the fact that they're

beginning to be restricted from airspace,
and the potential swift option of,

having, Russian banks removed from
that from swift the international like

money exchange type thing that I'm not
smart enough to completely understand.

And I'm just learning about this week.

but I mean, that's, that's
the thing, that's part of how.

I'm a, kid who was born
and raised in America.

I have an American education and there
is a certain limitation that I have to

learn about things as I go into adulthood.

and it is important to look up.

It's the information about
Russia hacking the grid in 2018,

that's still on the internet.

You should probably read about that.

The information about, Trump
attempting to extort almost Ukraine.

You should read about that.

Like, these are the things even you
can't, we can't make up the past, but we

can learn now so that we understand how
America fits in the international scene.

The other thing that I, I want to mention
that it has just stricken me a bit is,

well, there actually two things that
have really stricken me three things.


The first thing was, a, comment.

And it was something that I actually saw.

I shared from, from Twitter where,
uh, one of the Russian soldiers

were like, they looked just like us.

We don't know who to shoot at which when
you think about how the implication of

that and realize it's because they're
not fighting black or brown people,

they don't know who to shoot at.

It's just mind blowing to me

Christine: Kind of telling
on yourself, right?

Melanie: you are saying the
quiet part incredibly loud there.

the second thing was, I don't
think Americans know how

war works and specifically.

They don't know how it works when America
invades countries, because they're like,

oh, it's these, there's this romanticized
view of what's going on in, Ukraine.

And there was, the photo of the
newlywed couple who got married

early and they got their guns.

There's the video of the Ukrainian
president who is, pointing out how

his heads of state are with him.

They're out there and they're fighting.

This is what happens
in other countries too.

This is what war looks like
when it's on your soil.

And there's this, detachment
that Americans have from that.

Because number one, we don't have to.

Look at that.

And number two, the more frightening
thing is if that were a thing

that were to happen in America.

I don't trust Joe Biden and
Mitch McConnell to pick up guns.

Like that's not, that's not something
that we can relate to because in this

country, the first people who are
fighting for freedom are the people who

are poor people who are disadvantaged.

This has been a lot for me to digest
and Athena, I don't know if I've

gotten comments on this at all yet.

Athena: I have a lot of
thoughts about the situation.

I am a student of European
history, full disclosure, so I

always come to it from a lens.

How did we get here?

And this is centuries in the making.

I think Ukraine, its people,
its culture, its civilization.

Outdates what we consider of
modern Russia, so to speak.

And they, those precarious border
countries have always been the.

Front lines of the east versus
west discussion Russia and the

bricks, the Brazil, Russia, India,
China sphere of economic power

versus the west, which is you NATO.

And our quote unquote Western way of life.

Ukraine has aligned with that.

But the United States is United States.

I would say the west has been rattling.


For decades.

This is a direct result of a rise of
a variety of different sanctions and

poor political plays in my opinion.

But I think to the extent that what
was discussed earlier, we have such

a limited understanding as a country.

I mean, not that there are absolute
experts and people who know the

situation much more than anyone.

Th, if you're talking about the court
of public opinion, or you're talking

about just general American understanding
of wars, we are so shortsighted to

what you discussed like 2018, 2014,
Trump's impeachment in trying to leak,

held hostage, Ukrainian resources
to defend themselves and protect

themselves with the hope that on the
other end of the line, Trump was going

to be able to convince the president,
their leadership there to give us

information about his political opponent.

Like that was an impeachable offense.

All of these things lead up to where we're
at now and what was spoken about earlier.

The only one I feel who has a
really good grasp of the long

game here is Bladimir Fudan.

He is playing on our weaknesses and
waiting it out and completely taking

advantage of these infrastructure
weaknesses in our own systems.

And the lot has been said
about like where we can go now.

And I think.

Nobody wants to the nuclear option.


The former other former Soviet union
countries are like, what is going on?

Are we next?

There's a destabilization
that's happening, which is

exactly what Putin wants.

And because of our, and this is where I
think I don't attribute a lot of this,

to this idea of like oil and resources
for that is exactly how you capture it.

The tension of the United States by
saying, okay, it looks like our oil prices

are going to go up and this is not going
to directly affect everyone's lives.

And all the more reason that we need
to see this intersectionality of how.

Removing our dependence on fossil
fuels is critical to our own domestic

security and stability worldwide.

So just kind of throwing that idea out
there too, but also this idea that we

are now, I feel like we're playing a game
of chess and like, Biden's learning to

play connect four at the moment we are
surrounded and completely, we have no

very few cards to play at this point.

And Putin waited for a very good
time in order to do all of this.

And the rest of the world is looking
at us to figure out a way out of this.

And nobody really has
the answers right now.

And I can't help, but think how directly
tied this is to the Russian invasion

of Crimea and how he got away with it.

No accountability.

The next time they come back, it's just
going to be even stronger and more robust.

Now, again, there's I
just mentioned a lot.

The last thing I will say, because I
really, this is stream of thought here.

The last thing I'll say on this is this
idea that there were like four other

airstrikes that took place last week.

So Russia and Ukraine obviously
is a major one and there's the

political theater what's happening.

Whereas east meets west and the
gateway to Europe, like that's coming,

knocking on Europe's store very
closely makes a lot of people a little.

We're we're too was not that long ago.

A lot of rightful people are
concerned that this could blow

up into something much larger,
but Israel attack the Maskwacis.

we had some issues, Saudi Arabia,
attacked Yemen, and the United

States did air strikes in Somalia.

So again, it's not like either, or I think
we absolutely can be outraged about all of

it, but I do want us to understand that,
like what I want us to think about what

I invite us to, what about this Ukraine?

Russia thing is really like capturing
the attention of the media to the extent.

And why.

And just unpacking that I think will
go a long way to helping us understand

what some of the failings are either
with our leadership or our media, or

your society as a whole.

Melanie: And those things I feel
as though they were hand in hand.

when you say political game game, before
the sanctions were placed, the U S bought

$350 million of resources from Russia.

there's a kind of push and pull
because we're still playing this.

There's still going to be this game.


What is most beneficial to me before
I, do whatever, what is, ? How

is this going to work for me?

How do I, play this game and give
the appearance of doing something.

And it's like the old adage give a man
a rope and he thinks he's a cowboy.

And that's what we're
looking at right now.

I wanted to talk a bit too about like
the disinformation that we have to

do, that we're looking at and kind
of close us out a little bit before.

W, or rather before we close out,
there was an issue in with Nigerian

students who were in Ukraine attempting
to, seek refuge in Poland and they

were being delayed and denied.

And, ultimately that has been corrected.

And in the embassy, in, in Nigeria
has contacted the embassy in Ukraine.

And so now everyone is being let in.

But even with that, where there's
still it's mind blowing that they're

still, we're still able to find a
time for anti-blackness in anything.

But outside of that one, when
we look at how the I was looking

at how on the internet, that was
that actual scenario was being.

Twisted in all kinds of ways and
ultimately being placed on the weight of

the Ukrainian government who is trying
to defend itself and not really the

discussion, not really covering, okay.

This Ukraine doesn't have
control over Poland completely.

And just the way little things like this
distract from the actual conversation.

We talk about this as, this is what our
fourth, fifth week in a row, where we talk

about how talking about the thing that
isn't the thing distracts us from actually

getting to the core of the real issue.

Christine: But that's also part of it.

That's the awareness that, that is, it's
not to say that these issues don't exist.

It's to say that in addition
to these issues, we've got.

We've got a government that understands
how to exploit our division.

And so it's just adding onto it, right?

So it's not dismissing
that those issues exist.

It's just this elevated awareness
that they also know and know how

to leverage that to their favor.

Melanie: A lot of these things will have
a kernel of truth to them, or have half

truths that exists in another context.

And we live in this kind of microwave
popcorn information society, where we

look it up, you get in and we're not
always doing the deep dive to see what

we shouldn't be taking at face value.

And that's just something when
you're dealing with foreign policy.

It's going to take more
than reading a tweet.

I will just encourage everyone find
not only, new sites and magazines

that you trust books still exist.

And I guarantee you,
they are still awesome.

So you should probably start reading
them before they start burning them.

Cause that's where this country is headed.

No, I can't.

I can't.

but that's gonna wrap it for
us, but before we wrap it,

we still have two petitions.

First Susan, can you give us a run
through of the Ukraine petition?

And then can you go back and,
mentioned the petition for about, I

guess the Texas anti-trans directive.

Susan: sure.


So we have three separate
petitions on the issue of.

The Ukraine.

And so the first one is
entitled more sanctions against

Russia for invading Ukraine.

And it's really simple.

And just imploring our president, our
government to just do what it can to

relieve that situation by sanctions,
whatever means it finds that are viable.

And so the call sign for this one is P as
in Peter, F as in Frank, G isn't good R as

in Robert efforts and Frank J as in jelly.

And so if you send that call
sign to, Resist bot at 5 0 4 0 9.

You can send that petition to the
president and then invite as always

your friends and family to sign onto it.

The next one that we have is
called swift action in Ukraine.

And the call sign for that is P as
in Peter, E F as in Frank X, as in

xylophone, Z as in zebra, Q as in cute.

No, not Q as in and cute Q as in
quiet and H as in holiday and send

that call sign and you can sign
on to swift action in Ukraine.

And again, it's imploring Congress
to take the steps that it can

take that and explore the options
that it has as its disposal.

And then the third one.

We have, and about this is seize
the assets of Russian oligarchs now.

And so that is happening.

It's happening a lot.

It's happening in corners where you
don't necessarily think about the

owner of the Chelsea football team.

He has stepped down and
handed over the, club to.

The trust that, exists for it.

So, you know, that's happening all over
the place and the call sign one for

the seize assets of Russian oligarchs.

Now is P as in Peter, a as in apple,
G as in good, K as in kitchen, V

as in victory, V as in victory.

And again, if any of these petitions,
don't say what you want to say,

please write your own, send it to your
legislators, the president Congress, and.

Lobby your friends and family to.

Sign onto it as well.

And then the last then that we have
going back to what's going on in Texas,

and this petition is called protect
Texas youth denounce Abbott's directive.

And it is two state governors.

And you can send it to whomever your
state representatives, Congress,

the president to, you know, what's
happening in Texas is deployed.

And the fact that the government there
is stepping into the medical room with

the family and their children is just
it's deplorable the call sign for that

one is P as in Peter, D as in David, C as
in cat, B as in boy, I V as in victory.

And again, send these off and invite
your friends and families to sign on.

Melanie: Awesome.

Thank you so much, Susan.

And while we have you here, you
want to give us your parting shot.

Where can we find you?

Susan: We all know the
election season is kicking off.

So we're working locally with our DEC on,
get out the vote efforts across the state.

22 and 24 are going to be
hugely important, especially

here in the state of Florida.

So if you're not registered to vote,
vote, if you're not registered to vote

by mail, vote by mail, get that done.

And I just wanted to make
a little observation.

, you know, as we speak about judge Brown's
nomination, today's the 100th anniversary

of the Supreme court opinion that upheld.

The women's right to vote.

And so that was 100 years ago today.

And it just seems you know, in a country
that has been in existence for hundreds

of years, for women to have only been
voting for 100, but without that judge

brown would not be where she is now.

And so I'm just really thankful
that the Supreme court upheld that

amendment to the constitution.

Melanie: thanks, Susan.

Thanks so much.

And we've got Christine.

You want to give us your party and shop?

Christine: Yep.

Just a do not outsource your
critical thinking to the media.

Do your own research.

So thank you.

Melanie: Thank you.

And last but not least Athena,

Athena: Hi, everybody just call
into attention that all leaders

should be questioned and voted
in practice so register to vote.

You know, who is speaking for you is
actually speaking for your interest in

that I'd just like to, for the sake of
balance, explain that there were two

representatives for the democratic party
this week who put on the table, the

deportation of Russian international
students from the United States.

There's a lot of political
theater going on right now.

So I encourage everybody to continue
to stay vigilant food, what you

can from like good citable sources.

And we'll see you next time.

Stay tuned.



Melanie: Athena.

And that is our show.

Thank you so much for
joining us this week.

If you want to learn more, if you want
to volunteer, if you want to donate,

you can go to resist dot bot, if you
would like to create your own petition

text resist to 5 0 4 0 9, and our
handy-dandy bot will walk you through.

Rosie is waiting for you.

For donations we have new donors this
week, so just want to give a shout out

to George in Santa Clara, California,
who is his focus is on climate change.

Thank you to Patrick from Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania, Nathaniel from

Brooklyn, New York is and supportive
of free and independent Ukraine and

Michael from Centennial, Colorado,
more support for Ukraine, stricter

sanctions against Putin and Russia.

We will be back next week.

One o'clock Eastern
with another discussion.

I am, I think, I feel like last
week I said what the discussion

was, but the world is what it is.

So it's how does the saying go?

We make plans and God laughs.

But we, I do know that we'll be
here next week with another round

table discussion with the all
girl, me and the all girl band.

if you want to subscribe to our
podcast again, go to resist bot that

live so you can find us the, the
podcast will be up tomorrow morning.

If you have comments that you want to add
on, remember the hashtag live botters.

And since I clearly need another
cup of coffee, I will say goodbye

to you and see you next week.

Thanks guys.

Stay safe.

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