Posts by: Jack Altschuler

Hunting


P0ST 1077


No, not for game. Not for dinner. Not for sport.

I’m hunting for powerful, consistently muscular, banner-waving, truth telling, lie smashing, propaganda pummeling communication from any Democratic organization, any Democratic candidate or politician or any Democratic operative who is sick of Republican attacks, outrageous accusations and lies.* The game I’m hunting for is Democrats who broadcast powerful, motivating communication, words that light the passion we need to win. Most don’t seem able to find such stuff even with two hands and a flashlight.

I get email solicitations from the Biden campaign and every one of them (as in: all) is only about what they – campaign staffers – need. Not a word about what you and I want, what we believe, fear or hold to be true. One email last week carried six bullet point statements, each about what they need. You and I are nowhere to be found in their appeals except for the DONATE button. As of this writing I’ve received over 1,200 of these miserable solicitations since Biden announced. That’s a lot of crappy communication.

It would be unfair of me to just criticize and complain, so I have offered my observations and I’ve extended a hand, volunteering to help. Cue the crickets.

This pattern has not been limited to the Biden campaign. It’s exactly the same with the DNC – same inept, self-centered and insulting writing, same offers from me to help, same crickets. Did these guys all attend the School For The Communication Impaired? The University of Crappy Correspondence? The College of Who Cares About You?

To be fair, Adam Schiff’s campaign has sent me 137 solicitations. At least they are written with a respect for the intelligence of recipients and a hint of what’s important to we citizens, but his are the exceptions.

Attendant to this lousy Democratic Party communication is the Democrats’ absence of communication. I’m thinking about their near-silence as Republicans claim that there is a “weaponized” Justice Department, that Judge Juan Merchan is “compromised,” that there is a Biden crime family and all the Republican bogus claims of unfairness (poor little victims!) and their vaporous claims of some un-American something-or-other done to them by Democrats. I’m thinking about Trump and his fascist sycophants corrupting the truth in defense of the indefensible (phrase from Steve Schmidt). Where’s the smack down of these guys?

Where is the counter-attack stating the truth, that all of the indictments of Trump were made before Trump announced his candidacy, making Republicans’ claims about Justice Department election interference idiotic? Where the hell is the push-back?

More to the point, where is the counter-attack that challenges Americans with the reality that Republicans are lying to us, that they hate your freedom, that they think you’re stupid and that “others” are vermin poisoning our blood? Where is the expose´ showing that Republicans are cowards and hypocrites who want to be dictators over you? Where is the question, “How do you like being lied to and played for a fool?” I’ve posted such messages here, but of course I don’t have the reach of the DNC.

Why are they keeping mum as Republicans are stealing our freedom, our rights and our Democracy? Where is the outrage at the Republicans’ Big Brother Ministry of Truth** program of lies and attacks on education, safety, health and more? Pretty much all I hear from Democrats is limp-wristed, boring messages generated by atrophied communication muscles. I’m hunting for an indication that Democrats actually want to win.

Jeez, Democrats: GET A SPINE!

Because your lack of vigorous attacks and counter-attacks is allowing Republicans to poison the American people with their anti-America propaganda. If the only ones speaking are Republicans with their lies and hypocrisy, theirs are the only messages the American people will hear. People will believe them because they don’t hear an alternative.

So, I’m hunting for the communicators and the communication that will vanquish the minority thieves of our democracy, the ones who have already stolen your rights and who promise to steal more.

I’m hunting for messages that will win.

The choices are:

  1. We can be a doormat and lose everything, or
  2. We drop the namby-pamby, go at them bare knuckled and save our rights, our freedom and our country.

Pick one.

For the rest of us, it’s time to stop relying on others to do the messaging. It’s time for us to go on the attack.
.

Need a resource? Read Hit ‘Em Where It Hurts by Rachel BItecofer and Aaron Murphy. ***

Motivational Quote of the Week

“I don’t want anybody [dying] on me. We need every vote. I don’t care about you. I just want your vote. I don’t care.”

That outrage should motivate all Democrats, Independents and the leftover Republicans who still have courage. It’s yet another episode of Trump’s “verbal incontinence” (term: Eugene Robinson, June 10, 2024), when he blabbers and accidentally tells the truth.

Where is the fury from Democrats?


* Exception: Follow and support Ryan Bussee’s campaign to be Governor of Montana. He’s fierce and powerful, a fine model for other Democrats.

** See 1984 by George Orwell.

*** Books: See Note #5 below.


Today is a good day to be the light

  • _____________________________
  • Our governance and electoral corruption and dysfunction and our ongoing mass murders are all of a piece, all the same problem with the same solution:
  • Fire the bastards!
  • The days are dwindling for us to take action. Get up! Do something to make things better.

  • Did someone forward this post to you? Welcome! Please subscribe – use the simple form above on the right. And pass this along to three others, encouraging them to subscribe, too. (IT’S A FREEBIE!) It’s going to take ALL OF US to get the job done.

    And add your comments below to help us all to be better informed.

    Thanks!

    The Fine Print:

    1. Writings quoted or linked from my posts reflect a point I want to make, at least in part. That does not mean that I endorse or agree with everything in such writings.
    2. There are lots of smart, well-informed people. Sometimes we agree; sometimes we don’t. Search for others’ views and decide for yourself.
    3. Errors in fact, grammar, spelling and punctuation are all embarrassingly mine. Glad to have your corrections.
    4. Responsibility for the content of these posts is unequivocally, totally, unavoidably mine.
    5. Book links to Amazon are provided for reference only. Please purchase your books through your local mom & pop bookstore. Keep them and your town or neighborhood vibrant.
    6. Clicking on most pics will take you to the source information.

    Click me

    JA


Copyright 2024 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

Liars and Cheaters and Frauds, Oh My! and a Ghastly Contrast


POST 1076


CAUTION – Contains snark, which is known to trigger bouts of doing the right thing, as well as generating an occasional smirk.

In what should be an alien, other planet move, 10 Republicans wrote in a public letter that they would no longer pass legislation, fund the government, or vote to confirm the administration’s appointees because, they said,

“[t]he White House has made a mockery of the rule of law and fundamentally altered our politics in un-American ways. As a Senate Republican conference, [actually, there were only 10 of them, hardly a conference] we are unwilling to aid and abet this White House in its project to tear this country apart.”

Apparently, these kings and queen of mentally deranged projection are going on strike. They are betraying their constituents, their oath of office (which they clearly didn’t take freely and without mental reservation) and the entire nation in this performance of cowardice and servility to the orange convict.

Here are the on-strike, Senate Republican frauds:

Name and State             Re-election year

Mike Lee, UT                   2028 Vows to oppose raising the debt ceiling until there’s a balanced budget amendment. He doesn’t care who we cheat. Quite Trumpian of him.

J.D. Vance, OH                2028  Author of The Trump Suck-Up Elegies

Tommy Tuberville, AL      2026  Carpetbagger Alabama senator who doesn’t even live in Alabama.

Eric Schmitt, MO             2028

Marsha Blackburn, TN     2024  Bless her heart.

Rick Scott, FL                  2024  Net worth: $250 million. He says you should pay an extra $4,500 in taxes so you’ll “have skin in the game.”

Roger Marshall, KS.         2026

Marco Rubio, FL              2028  Doubts global warming, as FL is going underwater and as property insurance costs 4X the national average, if it’s even available to Floridians.

Josh Hawley, MO             2024  The model for double-crossing, traitorous insurrectionist fist pumps

Ron Johnson, WI              2028  Talks on a dead phone to avoid reporters’ questions.

Click the pic for a more readable view

As you can see, for most of these grand-standers there is plenty of time between now and their next election for the public to forget their infantile, performative temper tantrum. Regrets go to the folks in Florida and Missouri who now have no representation in the Senate. And don’t forget that several of these posers were key traitors in the attempt to steal the votes from 80 million Americans in 2020.

From Harlan Coben’s I Will Find You, in the context of making moral choices:

“She could have done the ‘right’ thing that night, but we only do the right thing when it doesn’t cost us.”

“We pay lip service to a vague greater good, but only when it serves our interest.”

That’s harsh, of course, but before you take umbrage, think of those statements in the context of Republican senators and representatives who know better but cave in to Trump and then say and do abhorrent fascist things. Here’s some of what that gets you.

– You get idiots in dark blue suits, white shirts and red ties showing up at the trial of the orange menace in Manhattan and saying patently stupid and flamingly false things attacking America. That’s very fascist of them.

– You get valueless, anti-American, fraudulent congressional hearings about “the Biden crime family,” a non-existent cabal fantasized by Rep, Jim Jordan (R – Alpha Centauri). “Mmm .  .  .  There is much dishonesty in this one.” – Yoda. This, too, is very fascist.

– You get the list of buffoon senators above and more, fully embracing the Republican “mass psychosis,” as Adam Kinzinger calls it. BTW: After reading this post, link through and listen to Kinzinger’s comments.

All of these Republican blabbers, these fascism promoters, these democracy killer authoritarians know what the “right” thing to do is. They all know about the greater good. But doing those “right” things would cost them just a bit of their immediate self-interest. They aren’t willing to pay the price for their integrity, much less do anything for the greater good, so they cave and they burnish their cowardice and hypocrisy skills. Very fascist – even brown shirt – of them.

Liars and cheaters and frauds, oh my!

What a ghastly contrast that is to those whom we honored last week.

D-Day

Lt. Richard L. Altschuler, 62nd & 61st Fighter Squadrons, 56th Fighter Group, 8th Army, USAAF. 69 combat missions. Photo: Boxted England, 1943

My father was in a lot of dogfights as he flew his fighter plane “escorting” our bombers over Europe to push back the Nazi terror in WW II and he flew sorties to provide cover for our ground troops, too. A lot of bad guys shot bullets, canon and anti-aircraft flak at him, but he, like 16 million fellow Americans, soldiered on, doing his duty.

156,000 soldiers and Marines stormed the beaches of Normandy 80 years ago doing their duty. 4,400 died just on D-Day. President Biden was at Normandy last week to honor all of those brave men and he did that in our name.

Click the pic for the original. Many thanks to Sheila Markin for sharing this tweet.

In ghastly contrast, during a November 2018 trip to France to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, President Trump refused to go the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery near Paris to honor the thousands of our troops from both World Wars who are buried there. Dad would have been horrified by Trump’s insult.

Trump said our military dead were “losers” and “suckers.” Those words would have made Dad and all who fought alongside him furious. We all should be furious at Trump’s disrespect for those men and his dishonoring of America.

So, it was gratifying – a reset of honor – when President Biden made the trip to Aisne-Marne American Cemetery last week to salute our fallen.

About 420,000 Americans paid for World War II with their lives. They were driven by their oath, by their love of their country and by their sense of duty.

  •                    “We must make the solemn vow to never let them down.”
  • President Joe Biden, Point du Hoc, Normandy France, June 7, 2024

We honor all our veterans on Veterans Day. When you do that later this year, say thanks to Dad and the over 16 million Americans of the Greatest Generation who did what it took to defeat fascism so that you could live in a democracy and sleep safely in the arms of freedom.

Don’t make us have to fight that fight again.
.

You know what to do. Take Dad’s picture with you as a reminder when you vote on November 5th or bring a picture of one of our military in your direct line. They would rest easy knowing that we are preserving their American values. They’d thank you if they could, knowing that we continue to honor them, what they fought for and what so many died for.

This message isn’t about the past, however brave, honorable and praiseworthy those heroes were. It is about our present and our future. It is about honor and duty to freedom and our absolute rejection of tyranny and authoritarianism. It is a dedication to democracy in our time and for our children and grandchildren and those who will come after them.

That is why we will never, never, never betray our heroes or their sacrifice or the democracy that they fought for.
Quote of the Week

“In their generation, in their hour of trial, the Allied forces of D-Day did their duty. Now the question for us is: In our hour of trial, will we do ours?” [emphasis mine-JA]

– President Joe Biden at Normandy American Cemetery, June 6, 2024

Click the pic for the video.


Today is a good day to be the light

  • _____________________________
  • Our governance and electoral corruption and dysfunction and our ongoing mass murders are all of a piece, all the same problem with the same solution:
  • Fire the bastards!
  • The days are dwindling for us to take action. Get up! Do something to make things better.

  • Did someone forward this post to you? Welcome! Please subscribe – use the simple form above on the right. And pass this along to three others, encouraging them to subscribe, too. (IT’S A FREEBIE!) It’s going to take ALL OF US to get the job done.

    And add your comments below to help us all to be better informed.

    Thanks!

    The Fine Print:

    1. Writings quoted or linked from my posts reflect a point I want to make, at least in part. That does not mean that I endorse or agree with everything in such writings.
    2. There are lots of smart, well-informed people. Sometimes we agree; sometimes we don’t. Search for others’ views and decide for yourself.
    3. Errors in fact, grammar, spelling and punctuation are all embarrassingly mine. Glad to have your corrections.
    4. Responsibility for the content of these posts is unequivocally, totally, unavoidably mine.
    5. Book links to Amazon are provided for reference only. Please purchase your books through your local mom & pop bookstore. Keep them and your town or neighborhood vibrant.
    6. Clicking on most pics will take you to the source information.

    Click me

    JA


Copyright 2024 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

Cherry Picking


POST 1075


Under Attack

There is a cynical and dangerous checklist that is a playbook for the destruction of America. It has been festering for decades in plain sight and has somehow been tolerated, this to our peril. Here’s a piece of Sheila Markin’s post of May 19 detailing some of that checklist.

CAN OUR LEGAL SYSTEM SURVIVE TRUMP and the MAGA MOVEMENT?

Since he came on to the political scene, Trump has attacked every system in America: the press, our FBI, CIA, government institutions, the electoral system, checks and balances, the peaceful transfer of power, and now the judicial system is being tested and attacked. When you understand how autocrats (dictators) get into power, you understand what Trump is up to. The way it works is that you take over a political party (check), create ever greater cynicism in the voting public for institutions that uphold democracy (check), get your state party members to suppress the vote, limit vote by mail and drop boxes, purge voter rolls to get an advantage for your party (check), use propaganda networks like conservative media to create and sustain the alternate universe in which you are the only trustworthy person left (check). Once in power you never leave. The next election will tell us if Americans can see what Trump is up to and reject it. [emphasis mine]

This check list was obvious as far back as the Reagan administration, when they largely defunded higher education, putting millions of students into lifelong debt, at the same time beginning the destruction of our labor unions that are so expensive for our suffering Big Biz and Billionaires.

From Prof. Heather Cox Richardson’s post of May 21:

Trump’s refusal to take the stand [in his hush money trial] encapsulates the MAGA approach to politics. Since the 2020 presidential election, he and his surrogates have made repeated accusations and statements about how the system is rigged against them and alleged there is evidence that proves them right.

Crucially, they make those arguments only in front of television cameras or on podcasts and radio. They refuse to make them under oath in a court of law, where there are penalties for lying.

And on May 22 Richardson wrote,

There is indeed a sense of power and entitlement coming from MAGA Republicans as they impose new limits on their fellow Americans and call those constraints freedom.

Exactly so. That is what minority rule does.

Well, actually, most do know – just not what you think, T-Shirt guy.

Whether it’s a politician, an ordinary citizen or a podcast/talk radio/TV/cable blabber, when they declare that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump, that the justice system is rigged, that non-citizens are voting, that the rights and freedoms of true Americans have been stripped from them by Democrats. leftists, the elite, space lasers or some imaginary cabal, they haven’t even a shred of evidence for their claims. None.

The best they can offer is a wimpy “everybody knows” or a promise of retribution, as they thump their chests. They conveniently fail to mention that they’ve lost all of the lawsuits they filed trying to prove their phony claims. Still, they try to take your freedom and rights.

There are lawsuits in the pipeline now waiting to prosecute the liars and cheaters. Be sure to have a BS cancelling headset so you won’t hear them declare how unfair our justice system is to them, like the sociopaths wailing now over convict Trump’s conviction.

From David Corn’s Our Land of May 21:

.  .  .  Trump spoke in Dallas at the annual convention of the beleaguered National Rifle Association—which in February was found liable in a civil corruption case—and accepted its endorsement. He said many idiotic things. As music tied to the bonkers QAnon movement played, Trump wailed that the United States was a “failing nation” with an economy that’s becoming a “cesspool of ruin.” He called the insurrectionist rioters who attacked the Capitol on January 6 “hostages” who have been “unfairly imprisoned” for merely mounting a “protest.” He pledged to withhold federal funds from any school in the nation with a vaccine or mask mandate. (Make Measles Great Again!) He claimed he was a “better physical specimen” as president than Barack Obama. He referred to himself as “a freakin’ genius.”

Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC). Donald Trump’s “Black Individual”

Yeah, it was the usual megalomaniacal and dishonest crap from Trump. What caught my attention was this comment, which drew applause from the audience.

And honestly, there’s been no president since Abraham Lincoln—and perhaps, in a certain way, including Abraham Lincoln—but there’s been no president since Abraham Lincoln that has done more for the Black individual in this country than President Donald J. Trump. There’s been nobody. Not even close. [emphasis original]

Of course, the most curious thing about all of that is that so many Americans swallow that evidence-free poison. How does that happen?

From Why do so many Americans support a neofascist? | The Coffee Klatch with Robert Reich:

When people feel like the game is rigged against them and they feel like there’s nothing really to lose, and they’re angry and frustrated and anxious, they will be fodder, exploited by a demagogue.

That’s how it’s done. You get ordinary people with “issues” to fall for an orange, comb-over con man, a liar, cheat and philanderer, a supermarket tabloid bombast phony and, as Robert Reich says, a demagogue, one who will steal the rights of those ordinary, chest pounding people to make himself a tyrant dictator.

From Ed Gurowitz’s post of May 20:

Here’s my question: if you knew that by withholding your support for Biden, by supporting the Kennedy headcase or Jill Stein, or Marianne Williamson, or “none of the above,” you were guaranteeing a Trump victory AND emboldening Trump in his authoritarian agenda, would you feel the same?

In the next six months, whether you’re pro-Biden or anti-Trump, or just pro-democracy in America, I’m asking you to get your head out of whatever dark place it is in and stand with and for Biden. He’s not perfect, but right now, like Obi-Wan Kenobi, he’s our only hope.

That’s because we really are under attack. We are being pummeled by cowards posing as tough guys who care about only what is in their own interests and who have wholly abandoned their oath of office and obligation to you and to our country. Almost as bad, they don’t even try to disguise their hypocrisy. They parade it in public like they’re wearing a Joker costume on Halloween, confident that we are too stupid to see these very worst criminals, the ones right in front of us. More on this on Sunday.

America stands with a gun to its head and about a third of our citizens are pulling on that trigger with all their suicidal might.
.

So, heed what Master Yoda teaches us:

“Always the opposite of truth the Trump and his Storm Troopers say. Always the way of the Dark Side they pursue.

“Arm yourself you must against this danger, young Jedi. Use the Vote. Reach out with your finger and feel the force bringing you to your ballot on November 5. If this path you do not follow, the vote will not be with you always.”

Today’s Quotes
  • From Aaron Sorkin’s wonderful movie The American President, but now in the context of MAGA:

“How do you have patience for people who claim they love America, but clearly can’t stand Americans?”

From Simon Rosenberg of The Hopium Chronicles on how we can prevent a Republican destruction of America:

“The magic pill is us.”

Use the vote!


Today is a good day to be the light

  • _____________________________
  • Our governance and electoral corruption and dysfunction and our ongoing mass murders are all of a piece, all the same problem with the same solution:
  • Fire the bastards!
  • The days are dwindling for us to take action. Get up! Do something to make things better.

  • Did someone forward this post to you? Welcome! Please subscribe – use the simple form above on the right. And pass this along to three others, encouraging them to subscribe, too. (IT’S A FREEBIE!) It’s going to take ALL OF US to get the job done.

    And add your comments below to help us all to be better informed.

    Thanks!

    The Fine Print:

    1. Writings quoted or linked from my posts reflect a point I want to make, at least in part. That does not mean that I endorse or agree with everything in such writings.
    2. There are lots of smart, well-informed people. Sometimes we agree; sometimes we don’t. Search for others’ views and decide for yourself.
    3. Errors in fact, grammar, spelling and punctuation are all embarrassingly mine. Glad to have your corrections.
    4. Responsibility for the content of these posts is unequivocally, totally, unavoidably mine.
    5. Book links to Amazon are provided for reference only. Please purchase your books through your local mom & pop bookstore. Keep them and your town or neighborhood vibrant.
    6. Clicking on most pics will take you to the source information.

    Click me

    JA


Copyright 2024 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

A Great America


POST 1074


The Two Greatest Days in Politics in the 2000s
  1. November 4, 2008: Barack Obama won the presidential election. We were with him in Grant Park. It was beyond glorious.
  2. May 30, 2024: Donald Trump was convicted of 34 criminal counts. Accountability is at last sinking its righteous claws into him. It is beyond glorious.
Camelot

Experts estimate that between 100,000 and 150,000 people were crucified by the Romans. Along a lovely 120 mile length of the highway between Rome and Capua, the Romans crucified 6,000 people in a single day. So, it wasn’t just Jesus and the two robbers hanging on crosses nearby. Crucifixion was the blood sport of the Romans for centuries. There is no point in denying this. It was chronicled and it happened just that way.

We could reasonably consider the Romans the inventors of industrialized murder and we know that such brutality became more efficient through the centuries. Those who have a need to refuse reality might not consider that at all. I’m looking at you, White Supremacist, and your boundless fears and cruelty and your joy of hatred. I have no notion that you will ever open your eyes and consider the reality of the brutality of humankind or your part in enabling it today.

See Note #5 below.

As long as we’re doing some considering, let’s consider the final paragraph of the introduction to political theorist and philosopher Hanna Arendt’s superb work, The Origins of Totalitarianism.

“We can no longer afford to take that which was good in the past and simply call it our heritage, to discard the bad and simply think of it as a dead load which by itself will bury in oblivion. The subterranean stream of Western history has finally come to the surface and usurped the dignity of our tradition. This is the reality in which we live. And this is why all efforts to escape from the grimness of the present into nostalgia for a still intact past, or into the anticipated oblivion of a better future, are in vain.”

Arendt wrote those words in the summer of 1950 amid the overwhelming deluge of the hideous truth, the soul shattering reality of the Holocaust, as the world was fighting for even just a foothold on a path to sanity.

Historical note to the hateful and intentionally ignorant

Like the Roman crucifixions, the Holocaust was chronicled, even by its perpetrators. It happened.

But Arendt’s words weren’t just for that day, There are millions in America right now wearing MAGA hats and tee shirts, chanting epithets in the perplexing notion that there was once some longed for American Camelot. They demand that we “Make America Great Again.” Of course, it’s the “Again” part that is a vaporous Camelotian myth and a deeply troubling threat for the rest of us.

It seems that these MAGA folks think there really was a Camelot in America somewhere around the same time when Arendt wrote the paragraph above. O’ those were the days, when Whites, no matter their ignorance or poverty, towered over Blacks, no matter their education or financial station. It was a time when in their hearts, millions of White Americans felt they were like Bull Connor, free to dispense hatred, discrimination and brutality. That’s when America was great, they tell us. And that might have been true, if you were White and the word “great” meant power over others.

But then someone realized that segregation in our schools was inherently unequal and, therefore, unconstitutional, this in the face of the earlier, segregationist Plessy v. Ferguson decision. School integration was the end of American greatness for many, of course, and other laws and norms further distanced that Camelot dream. Backlash has been constant ever since.

Now the calls for White supremacy and Christian nationalism are mainstream. What a time it is for them to proclaim their hatreds and grievances because Camelot for haters and discriminators has largely slipped away, so they’re angry and they nurse their venom glands.

But the thing is that it isn’t Camelot if it isn’t Camelot for everyone. That is the key Constitutional point that MAGAs just don’t get – that they refuse to get. They are entirely about domination. Not too oddly, “others” don’t care to be dominated.

Arendt was and still is right. “We can no longer afford to take that which was good in the past and simply call it our heritage, to discard the bad and simply think of it as a dead load which by itself will bury in oblivion.” There was plenty of good in 1950, but it was in no way guaranteed for all, nor was it the full story. The bad wasn’t and isn’t a dead load and it has not and will not be buried in oblivion, unless we insist on forgetting the past. If we do that we will then repeat the horrors.

Perhaps the most virulent of the White Supremacists really mean it when they call for death to all Jews and, effectively, slavery or expulsion of Blacks, Asians and Hispanics. Maybe the less violent ones just want all of them put on transports and returned to wherever the exporters think they came from. Maybe we should scrub all the non-European names from the records at Ellis and Angel Islands.

Insanity like that is key to the totalitarian’s playbook. In fact, the rounding up like cattle of over 11 million people into concentration camps, then transporting them to who-knows-where is exactly what Trump has said he will do if he’s re-elected. And, like every totalitarian before him, he won’t stop there. The dissolving of freedom and rights won’t end until there are no more freedom and rights to eliminate. Should you have any doubts about that, take a quick look at today’s Russia, Hungary and so many other totalitarian states and even ancient Rome. The expansion of oppression is continuous.

“But Trump won’t do all that,” some say. During the 2016 campaign he vowed to prevent anyone from a Muslim majority country from entering the U.S. and, once elected, he tried to do just that in 3 failed attempts. Finally, a slightly watered down version went into effect. Get over your notion that Trump won’t do the abhorrent things he says he’ll do. He’s proven that he will and he’s sufficiently diabolical to try to do all of them. Ref: The 2025 Project of discrimination, cruelty and subjugation.

Some of the past surely was great. Some was miserable and cruel. What the future will be depends upon our insistence on recognizing the full reality of both the great and the grotesque and deciding to live into the great.

Best Phrase of the Week

Zanny Minton Beddoes, Editor-in-Chief of The Atlantic, wrote about the enormous backlash against the abortion bans triggered by the Dobbs decision. It has put reproductive healthcare out of the reach of one-third of American women. She called this backlash,

a revolt of the reasonable.

Gotta love that.

Fact Check of the Week

On Friday, May 31, Trump delivered his post-conviction comments to a Trump Tower lobby full of his employees and sycophants, this following his becoming a convict the day before. It was a reprise of his 2015 golden escalator announcement.

I say reprise because, like the 2015 event, not one accusation, not one statement about others, not one characterization was true. Not one. It was all abhorrent lies.

This is the standard extremist, authoritarian tactic, now used by most Republicans, of sweeping, grotesque accusations without even a hint of evidence or justification. These defamatory statements are not false facts or alternative facts. They are lies. And they come in a torrent, making fact checking almost impossible.

There are two true things to say about the lies and about Trump and his followers.

  1. Lying is almost the same as breathing for Trump and his acolytes.
  2. MAGA supporters believe all of it, unable to think critically about their leader. They will send money.

Today is a good day to be the light

  • _____________________________
  • Our governance and electoral corruption and dysfunction and our ongoing mass murders are all of a piece, all the same problem with the same solution:
  • Fire the bastards!
  • The days are dwindling for us to take action. Get up! Do something to make things better.

  • Did someone forward this post to you? Welcome! Please subscribe – use the simple form above on the right. And pass this along to three others, encouraging them to subscribe, too. (IT’S A FREEBIE!) It’s going to take ALL OF US to get the job done.

    And add your comments below to help us all to be better informed.

    Thanks!

    The Fine Print:

    1. Writings quoted or linked from my posts reflect a point I want to make, at least in part. That does not mean that I endorse or agree with everything in such writings.
    2. There are lots of smart, well-informed people. Sometimes we agree; sometimes we don’t. Search for others’ views and decide for yourself.
    3. Errors in fact, grammar, spelling and punctuation are all embarrassingly mine. Glad to have your corrections.
    4. Responsibility for the content of these posts is unequivocally, totally, unavoidably mine.
    5. Book links to Amazon are provided for reference only. Please purchase your books through your local mom & pop bookstore. Keep them and your town or neighborhood vibrant.
    6. Clicking on most pics will take you to the source information.

    Click me

    JA


Copyright 2024 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

Loser


POST  1074

THE RULE OF LAW LIVES!

Hey Convict:
You Called Our Fallen Soldiers “Suckers” and “Losers.” Who’s the Loser Now, Bone Spurs?

Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser

Hey Felon:
You Called Our Elections That You Lost Fraudulent. Who’s The Convicted Fraud Now, Con Man?

Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser

Hey Criminal:
You Disrespected And Abused Women, Gays, Blacks, Browns, Jews, the Handicapped, Gold Star Families, Election Workers, Prisoners of War, Our Constitution And Much More. Who’s Lost the Respect of The Entire World Now, Scoundrel?

Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser Loser

This courageous New York jury has given permission to 3 juries-to-come to find this defiler of our laws and of our country

GUILTY!


Today is a good day to be the light

  • _____________________________
  • Our governance and electoral corruption and dysfunction and our ongoing mass murders are all of a piece, all the same problem with the same solution:
  • Fire the bastards!
  • The days are dwindling for us to take action. Get up! Do something to make things better.

  • Did someone forward this post to you? Welcome! Please subscribe – use the simple form above on the right. And pass this along to three others, encouraging them to subscribe, too. (IT’S A FREEBIE!) It’s going to take ALL OF US to get the job done.

    And add your comments below to help us all to be better informed.

    Thanks!

    The Fine Print:

    1. Writings quoted or linked from my posts reflect a point I want to make, at least in part. That does not mean that I endorse or agree with everything in such writings.
    2. There are lots of smart, well-informed people. Sometimes we agree; sometimes we don’t. Search for others’ views and decide for yourself.
    3. Errors in fact, grammar, spelling and punctuation are all embarrassingly mine. Glad to have your corrections.
    4. Responsibility for the content of these posts is unequivocally, totally, unavoidably mine.
    5. Book links to Amazon are provided for reference only. Please purchase your books through your local mom & pop bookstore. Keep them and your town or neighborhood vibrant.

    Click me

    JA


Copyright 2024 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

Class Assignment


POST 1073


First

Watch Ken Burns’ 21 minute commencement address at Brandeis University.

Then

Pass this post along to at least 3 people, directing them to Burns’ brilliant and moving message.

Click me


Today is a good day to be the light

  • _____________________________
  • Our governance and electoral corruption and dysfunction and our ongoing mass murders are all of a piece, all the same problem with the same solution:
  • Fire the bastards!
  • The days are dwindling for us to take action. Get up! Do something to make things better.

  • Did someone forward this post to you? Welcome! Please subscribe – use the simple form above on the right. And pass this along to three others, encouraging them to subscribe, too. (IT’S A FREEBIE!) It’s going to take ALL OF US to get the job done.

    And add your comments below to help us all to be better informed.

    Thanks!

    The Fine Print:

    1. Writings quoted or linked from my posts reflect a point I want to make, at least in part. That does not mean that I endorse or agree with everything in such writings.
    2. There are lots of smart, well-informed people. Sometimes we agree; sometimes we don’t. Search for others’ views and decide for yourself.
    3. Errors in fact, grammar, spelling and punctuation are all embarrassingly mine. Glad to have your corrections.
    4. Responsibility for the content of these posts is unequivocally, totally, unavoidably mine.
    5. Book links to Amazon are provided for reference only. Please purchase your books through your local mom & pop bookstore. Keep them and your town or neighborhood vibrant.
    6. Clicking on most pics will take you to the source information.

    Click me

    JA


Copyright 2024 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

Memorial Day


POST 1072


This essay was originally posted on Memorial Day, 2012, with wars raging in Iraq and Afghanistan and is offered today (with some updating) as a reminder of what this holiday is about. You can also have a look at another Memorial Day post here.


Arlington CemetaryOur War Dead

It was originally called Decoration Day (see below), a formal day of remembrance of the fallen Union soldiers of the Civil War. The refreshing of their graves was the order of the day and it was later extended to all Civil War dead.  It became known as Memorial Day in 1967 and was declared to be in honor of the American dead from all of our wars. That federal re-naming packaged all of the various honoring ceremonies for our war dead and all the individual traditions practiced around the country into a neater package, something that apparently was important in 1967. In addition, the date of remembrance was shifted from May 30 to the last Monday in May so that there would be a 3-day weekend and time for mattress sales.

We no longer conscript our young into military service and instead rely upon a voluntary corps of warriors, leaving the rest of us to follow the imperative of former President Bush in time of war, that we go shopping. That’s handy, as shopping is more pleasant than thinking about our young crawling through a jungle or a desert and being shot at.

Then we see a soldier in desert fatigues walking through the airport, wearing his boots, the color of desert sand, his camouflage backpack hung from his shoulders, and we know he’s either on his way to or from trouble and war becomes real to us. It’s already quite real to that GI in his desert fatigues.

Study this picture and you’ll understand. Source unknown

Memorial Day is not for that soldier. It is for those who have died. What is poignant is that the soldier in the airport might be one of those whom we remember next year.

Memorial Day is intended to be a somber event, a Decoration Day for refreshing graves. It is not about parades with circus clowns to entertain us or political clowns to promote themselves. It is about the renewal of our individual and collective memory of those who can no longer march, lest we forget them. And it is to honor those who loved them, to understand their pain, even for just a few sacred moments.

Duty, Honor, Country

Go to your local Memorial Day ceremonies today, be they in person or virtual. Remember and honor our fallen ones and say “Thank you.”

Before you go, watch this short video from Adam Kinzinger. I know you’ll understand his message.

In Closing
.
Decoration Day, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, pub. 1882
.
Sleep, comrades, sleep and rest
On this Field of the Grounded Arms,
Where foes no more molest,
Nor sentry’s shot alarms!
.
Ye have slept on the ground before,
And started to your feet
At the cannon’s sudden roar,
Or the drum’s redoubling beat.
.
But in this camp of Death
No sound your slumber breaks;
Here is no fevered breath,
No wound that bleeds and aches.
.
All is repose and peace,
Untrampled lies the sod;
The shouts of battle cease,
It is the Truce of God!
.
Rest, comrades, rest and sleep!
The thoughts of men shall be
As sentinels to keep
Your rest from danger free.
.
Your silent tents of green
We deck with fragrant flowers
Yours has the suffering been,
The memory shall be ours.
.
The Statistics


Today is a good day to be the light

  • _____________________________
  • Our governance and electoral corruption and dysfunction and our ongoing mass murders are all of a piece, all the same problem with the same solution:
  • Fire the bastards!
  • The days are dwindling for us to take action. Get up! Do something to make things better.

  • Did someone forward this post to you? Welcome! Please subscribe – use the simple form above on the right. And pass this along to three others, encouraging them to subscribe, too. (IT’S A FREEBIE!) It’s going to take ALL OF US to get the job done.

    And add your comments below to help us all to be better informed.

    Thanks!

    The Fine Print:

    1. Writings quoted or linked from my posts reflect a point I want to make, at least in part. That does not mean that I endorse or agree with everything in such writings.
    2. There are lots of smart, well-informed people. Sometimes we agree; sometimes we don’t. Search for others’ views and decide for yourself.
    3. Errors in fact, grammar, spelling and punctuation are all embarrassingly mine. Glad to have your corrections.
    4. Responsibility for the content of these posts is unequivocally, totally, unavoidably mine.
    5. Book links to Amazon are provided for reference only. Please purchase your books through your local mom & pop bookstore. Keep them and your town or neighborhood vibrant.
    6. Clicking on most pics will take you to the source information.

    Click me

    JA


Copyright 2024 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

It’s Complicated


POST 1071


It’s All So Complicated

Three religions each claim sole right to own the same little chunk of dirt.* Worse, there are few things as dangerous as a religious zealot, so conflict and violence are baked in. The 3-headed religious zealotry monster is actually a subset of the human need to feel right and powerful and dominant and a holy defender of the faith. It’s chest thumping self-certainty stuff along with the joy of belonging to the self-congratulatory tribe. We’re so right and they’re so wrong! Cheers for our team!

In addition, there’s a proud and vibrant hatred of Jews that goes back somewhere between 3,500 and 6,000 years. It’s the world’s oldest bigotry and hatred. Jews are just so blame-able, absurdly, for everything. Always. So, really, who cares about the atrocities committed by Hamas on Israelis on October 7? Those victims were just Jews.

Palestinians are suffering and dying and are getting no relief from anywhere, including from their Arab and Muslim brothers, but that’s always been true. They are the world’s longest standing refugees and their Arab brothers make sure they stay that way. Various fiefdoms need them to be victims for various reasons, chief among those being that they need Israel to be seen as the victimizing devil.

Anyone with even a scintilla of empathy sees the agony of Gazans and is beset by anguish for their suffering. It seems to be both random and inevitable and screams for redress.

This is the milieu of Israel and Gaza now and our 18 – 22 year old college students have plenty to say about all that. Unfortunately, they missed the part about this situation being hideously complicated, so they demand immediate and simple solutions to this very complex problem. Worse, they’ve been fed a grossly imbalanced diet of news, so they are semi-ignorant, even in their heartfelt certainty.

That brings us to today’s .  .  .

Must Reads

That’s “must” as in “required” if you want to understand at least some what is happening and what’s driving it.

First, read my friend David Houle’s essay explaining the gross hypocrisy driving college campus demonstrations and general public opinion, Blame Mainstream Media for the Demonstrations on College Campuses. You know what death and destruction in Gaza looks like because it’s shown to you every day, regardless of where you get your news. Your empathy is pulled there as though our mainstream media is supposed to be a propaganda tool for Hamas. How come you’ve never been shown the videos that Hamas terrorists posted online of their savagery, killing, maiming and raping Israelis?

I confess that I had failed to see the grotesque hypocrisy of our media, showing the results of Israeli attacks but refusing to show the Hamas atrocities. And that lopsidedness is driving public opinion and encouraging hatred.

American students have feted their passions in this insanity with their ignorance and uniformed certainties. They have taken to the quads of their elite universities. They brought their tents and they carry signs supporting Palestine and Palestinians. They proudly chant “From the river to the sea,” as though they are Hamas in Gaza calling for the murder of all Jews on Earth and they spew various anti-Semitic slogans. They act just as though the problems were simple and that they actually understood them. Too bad they’re clueless about Hamas infiltrating and igniting their own protests in the U.S. and that these students and agitators are self-identifying with this terrorist group, these murderers.

Art Friedson is a periodic guest writer to this series. Read his take about what’s going on. Be prepared for an even-handed, sensible post that challenges your cherished certainties. And follow his links.

These essays will not give you yet more simple answers to this complex problem. They don’t reply to those demanding an immediate ceasefire. The truth is that there was a formal ceasefire in effect on October 6, 2023, the day before the Hamas pogrom, its invasion and savagery. Since “ceasefire” doesn’t seem to mean the same thing to Hamas as it does to the rest of the world, there’s far less sense to a ceasefire now than there might seem to be.

These posts don’t deal with the certainty that failing to crush Hamas now means that two years from now there will be another Hamas atrocity visited upon Israelis. Then another barbarity will come two years after that. Then another attack two years later. Hamas will hide behind civilians and con the world into demonizing Israel, using the leverage of dead Palestinian bodies. And all the while there will be ongoing rocket attacks on Israeli cities. It takes no clairvoyance to see this future because it will be a repeat of the past and of today.

These posts don’t fully address the annoying fact that there cannot be peace because that would make Hamas obsolete and they can’t have that. Hamas needs war. They don’t touch on the fact that Gazans cannot be made safe, secure and prosperous because so many need Gazans to be victims. Plus, Hamas needs civilians, grannies and children to hide behind.

See what I mean about “complicated”? And this accounting barely scratches the surface of the complications in a place that has vexed smart people searching for peace for a very long time.

Inglorious Bastards

After being Donald Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley distanced herself from him to the point that she ran against him in the 2024 Republican primary. She said the same thing Hillary said in 2016, that he was unfit for office. Haley said Trump was “a disaster,” “too chaotic,” “too unhinged,” “too prone to temper tantrums” and “too old.” Plus, she said she felt “no need to kiss the ring.” Then last Wednesday she caved to her ambition and metaphorically kissed the ring of the grifter. She says she will vote for him.

She is in fine company with Sen. Lindsay Graham, who, following the insurrection, declared, “All I can say is count me out. Enough is enough.” Then two weeks later he made a pilgrimage to Mar-a-Lago to grovel and kiss the ring. Now he says he’ll vote for Trump.

Following the insurrection, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declared, “There is no question – none – that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day [January 6]. No question about it.” Click the link and listen to his full comments damning Trump – then weaseling out. He voted to acquit Trump in the second impeachment. Now he says he’ll vote for Trump this year.

Welcome, Nikki Haley, to this community of cowardice and blatant hypocrisy.

Fun Fact of the Week

Activist priest Frank Pavone said in 2022, “I can tell you that within the pro-life religious circles of pastors that I interact with, across denominational lines the awareness over recent years has greatly increased about how unbiblical contraception is.” His words are resurfacing now, as far right extremists, having now made abortion illegal in so many places, fix their sights on eliminating contraception.

Okay, Father Frank, I concede that the Bible carries no mention of contraception, so your claim that it is “unbiblical” is technically accurate. The Bible also carries no mention of penicillin, airplanes, the Chicago Cubs, the United Nations, the Taj Mahal or radio. Just guessing you think we should do away with all that, too, because all of it is “unbiblical.”

Now .  .  .

.  .  .  go. Read the Must Reads linked above.

___________________________________________________

* Israel is roughly the same size as Massachusetts.


Today is a good day to be the light

  • _____________________________
  • Our governance and electoral corruption and dysfunction and our ongoing mass murders are all of a piece, all the same problem with the same solution:
  • Fire the bastards!
  • The days are dwindling for us to take action. Get up! Do something to make things better.

  • Did someone forward this post to you? Welcome! Please subscribe – use the simple form above on the right. And pass this along to three others, encouraging them to subscribe, too. (IT’S A FREEBIE!) It’s going to take ALL OF US to get the job done.

    And add your comments below to help us all to be better informed.

    Thanks!

    The Fine Print:

    1. Writings quoted or linked from my posts reflect a point I want to make, at least in part. That does not mean that I endorse or agree with everything in such writings.
    2. There are lots of smart, well-informed people. Sometimes we agree; sometimes we don’t. Search for others’ views and decide for yourself.
    3. Errors in fact, grammar, spelling and punctuation are all embarrassingly mine. Glad to have your corrections.
    4. Responsibility for the content of these posts is unequivocally, totally, unavoidably mine.
    5. Book links to Amazon are provided for reference only. Please purchase your books through your local mom & pop bookstore. Keep them and your town or neighborhood vibrant.
    6. Clicking on most pics will take you to the source information.

    Click me

    JA


Copyright 2024 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

Duty


POST 1070


First: The Prediction – Drum Roll, Please

The tarnished gold con artist drama is all but over. Donald J. Trump’s pick for Vice President will be his son, Donald J. Trump, Jr. The rest of the bootlickers can pack it up and slink back to their standard positions of general sucking up. Nothing more will be needed from them.

Duty

January 6 was an awful day in American History. We each know where we were, likely staring at a TV screen, our mouths agape in horror. I was yelling over and over, “Where the hell is the National Guard?” Of course, at the time I didn’t know that Trump had prevented them from intervening to stop the murderous, treasonous attack on our country.

See Note #5 below.

See Note #5 below.

For some people the event was far more personal, including members of Congress, staff, workers at the Capitol Building and the Vice President of the United States. However, it was most personal for the Capitol Police and the DC Metro cops who battled to defend that symbol of our nation and all the people inside it. Their injuries led to deaths and every one of these officers carries scars, some physical, but all have mental and emotional scars.

Officer Michael Fanone wrote a book. It’s excellent. So did Officer Harry Dunn. He’s running for Congress now. Kick in a few bucks because we need his honorable voice in Congress.

Another January 6 defender of America is Daniel Hodges. The attacks on him were gruesome, including some thug trying to gouge out his eye. You need to hear Hodges himself, so,

Here’s a link to his March 21 opinion piece in The Hill.

Here’s a link to Tom Dreisbach’s interview of Hodges for NPR.

Fanone, Dunn, Hodges and all their brothers and sisters in blue are national heroes, at least to those who think insurrection is a very bad thing and that honoring one’s oath of office means something inviolable. They fought an overwhelming mob of angry, violent, treasonous Americans that day. They did their duty and more for all of us. Now, in this election year, it’s our turn to show up for duty.

Biggest Election Fear

First, Trump will either convicted and jailed in New York or he will plead to a misdemeanor and will lose so much support that he cannot win the election.

Next, the Republicans will scramble for a candidate and settle on Nikki Haley, who continues to grab about 20% of the votes in primaries even though she dropped out of the race in March.

Haley is younger, vital, smart, carries none of Trump’s negatives and attracts millions of voters eager for a fresh face. She will easily beat Biden.

Even worse, excitement for Haley will infect down ballot races and Republicans will also control Congress and the majority of state houses. Yet more of our civil rights, our freedom and our healthcare will hemorrhage away.

Biggest fear. Well, actually it’s the stand-by fear. You know the worst one.

So, Who Will Save Us?

How is it that the Surgeon General of Florida is a vaccine denier/refuser? There’s a measles outbreak there now and this DeSantis suck-up fool both opposes vaccines and won’t even recommend that unvaccinated children stay home from school in order to avoid being measels-infected by sick kids and teachers. How did we come to this?

Or to the willfully ignorant book bans? Or to have a presidential candidate who thinks that as president he can order Seal Team Six to murder his opponents and he actually has a serious chance of winning the election? You know the list of outrages. How come so many people think this stuff is good and patriotic?

As you can see from the Supreme Court acquiescing to Trump’s delays – even aiding and abetting them – we cannot count on the courts to save us. There is nobody coming over the hill to protect us from ourselves. We are the only defense of democracy that exists.

Imploring people to vote is spot on for saving what we think of as our freedom, our rights, democracy and a few other things we take for granted. That’s important, because if the MAGAs gain full control, nothing will be granted. The barbarians are at the gates threatening to crash through and take everything you care about.

If we are to be saved, we’re going to have to save ourselves. It’s our at-bat. Time for us to stand a post. It’s our time. Like it was for our Capitol Police and DC cops on January 6.

This is our duty.
.
Biggest Hush M0ney Trial Fear

The evidence against Trump is enormous. It’s unlikely his semi-inept lawyers will be able to pull a rabbit out of a hat for him.

I’m picturing a conversation with Trump and his attorneys as they are about to prepare their closing argument. The attorneys are telling him that it’s hopeless, that he’s going to prison. There is no chance that the jury will hang or acquit.

“Mr. Trump, you have only one chance to stay out of prison. You agree to plead guilty to misdemeanor fraud, accept a punishment of a fine and a year of probation and you’ll never set foot in a prison. Refuse that and you’ll be wearing orange by Thursday.”

Trump has to stay out of state prison so that he can win the election and then kill the two federal cases against him (the Mar-A-Lago documents case and the January 6 case). Plus, if Trump is in office, the Georgia RICO case gets pushed back four years.

So, Trump will cop a plea and we’ll never see his fat ass in an orange jumpsuit. That is my biggest fear about this fraud case and this fraudulent sleaze ball. Pray I’m wrong.


Today is a good day to be the light

  • _____________________________
  • Our governance and electoral corruption and dysfunction and our ongoing mass murders are all of a piece, all the same problem with the same solution:
  • Fire the bastards!
  • The days are dwindling for us to take action. Get up! Do something to make things better.

  • Did someone forward this post to you? Welcome! Please subscribe – use the simple form above on the right. And pass this along to three others, encouraging them to subscribe, too. (IT’S A FREEBIE!) It’s going to take ALL OF US to get the job done.

    And add your comments below to help us all to be better informed.

    Thanks!

    The Fine Print:

    1. Writings quoted or linked from my posts reflect a point I want to make, at least in part. That does not mean that I endorse or agree with everything in such writings.
    2. There are lots of smart, well-informed people. Sometimes we agree; sometimes we don’t. Search for others’ views and decide for yourself.
    3. Errors in fact, grammar, spelling and punctuation are all embarrassingly mine. Glad to have your corrections.
    4. Responsibility for the content of these posts is unequivocally, totally, unavoidably mine.
    5. Book links to Amazon are provided for reference only. Please purchase your books through your local mom & pop bookstore. Keep them and your town or neighborhood vibrant.
    6. Clicking on most pics will take you to the source information.

    Click me

    JA


Copyright 2024 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

Finding Optimism


POST 1069

Third in a series (see Ignorance and Lies and The Underlying Disease)


Stand Up
I asked [my friend] what we would do if 150 crazy people — a mix of deranged narcissists, political extremists, weirdos, conspiracy theorists and other assorted friends of theirs — showed up suddenly on the perfect deck [where we sat overlooking the ocean]. I wanted to know if he thought we’d fight with them or leave.
.

“Obviously,” I told him, “we would leave.” He agreed. Crazy people make normal people want to leave.

That’s exactly what we must not do if we hope to provide a cure for our terrible national disease and exit the craziness. Leaving would guarantee a ramping up of the crazy, the vitriol and the siege against the design of the Founders. They had lived under the thumb of despotic King George III and they knew the perils and the pain of autocracy. Our leaving would be capitulation to the forces seeking to undermine the very strength of our nation, our democracy.

So, don’t leave. Stand and fight back. Fight forward. Fight in every direction for your freedom, your rights and for everyone and everything you hold dear. That means standing up to the ignorants and the liars, like Ron Johnson, Jim Jordan, J.D. Vance, MTG, and all the rest of the extremist crazies. Stand up for equity and justice. Stand up to the 50-year-long war to disempower you, make rich guys richer and impoverish the rest of us. Stand up.

A Parallel

Today’s shrill voices and the violence, the threats and the chaos, the crazy and the stupid are all around us with propaganda and lies and visions of doom. Those voices aim to scare good people into capitulation. Those who give up – who leave, to use Steve Schmidt’s term – are today’s version of Neville Chamberlain and his capitulation to Hitler and tyranny.

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Having given away the Sudetenland (then part of Czechoslovakia) to Hitler, Chamberlain came back to England from Munich in 1938 claiming, “Peace for our time.” Less than one year later Germany invaded and overran Poland and a year later began bombing London in the Battle of Britain. Here is the message, the learning:

  • Capitulation never works. It never brings peace. Never.
  • It only emboldens the bullies to do yet worse.

On October 29, 1941 things looked overwhelmingly dark for Britain. Prime Minister Winston Churchill visited The Harrow School, which he had attended years before. Here, in part, is what he told the boys that day:

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” .  .  .  this is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never — in nothing, great or small, large or petty — never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”

Steve Schmidt is right: “Crazy people make normal people want to leave.”

But we aren’t going to do that. We’re going to stay and stand up to protect our democracy and our self-rule. We’re going to stay and stand up to the hatred and thwart the cruelty. We’re going to stay and stand and fight. We must not – we will not – leave.

We will never, never, never, never give in.

Optimism

I received a private reply from very long time friend Frank Levy to a recent Disambiguation, Ignorance and Lies. He’s given his permission to post some of his comment – many thanks to him for that..

My experience living among these American ethno-fascists [he lives in a deeply RED state], seeing their racism, watching them legislate for destructive and terrible policies for anyone that does not look, vote, pray, or love the way they do, watching them commit crimes of violence and hate against those very same people, watching them live out their misogyny and need to subjugate and humiliate women, and experiencing their virulent anti-Semitism leads me to two truths.
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One, these people are who they are and they do what they do because they have been taught by their mommies and daddies to hate all the people their relatives hate (thank you South Pacific), and who [they believe] their religion teaches them to hate (thank you Christian Bible and Quran).
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Two, they are who they are and they do what they do because they fear losing their privilege and power to the very people they despise and hate. And they hate democracy, while at the same time proclaiming themselves true patriots, because they know that they are a minority and that in a fair election they and their ideas are losers.
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So, here is why I think your optimism is misplaced: you can’t undo this kind of hate and fear through conversation and education.
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I believe Frank is right, that conversation and education won’t make a dent in the certainties of the fearful, the haters and the dispensers of cruelty, so I replied,
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Our national salvation doesn’t lie in conversions of the BillyBobs and the vitriol droolers – as you put it, the ethno-fascists. Rather, it lies in activating everyone else.
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We cannot wipe out the hatred and thuggishness in those who feel the imperative to hate and to be thugs. Their identities are wrapped up in that cruel package, making change for them impossible. What we can do is to overpower them at the ballot box and in legislatures, making their institutionalized bigotry and mania for domination of others a powerless thing, perhaps no more than an artifact.
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Maybe the more remote polling places and mail-in ballot drop boxes will be returned to North Carolina, Michigan, Wisconsin and Kentucky. Maybe millions will have their names restored to the voting roles in Georgia, Virginia, Arizona and Texas. Perhaps an overwhelming defeat will make Kari Lake shut up.
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It’s entirely up to us to make that happen. That’s the reason for optimism.

Obstacles to Optimism

Last Thursday a chunk of the MAGA extremism cult (please forgive the redundancy) came to Manhattan to parade themselves as brainless suck ups to Trump. They violated the gag order that

Judge Merchan placed on Trump and, in effect declared that they renounce justice.

Matt Gaetz (R-Young Girls) announced that he’s with the Proud Boy felons, saying, “Standing back and standing by, Mr. President.” Having already created chaos, these cheaters are attacking our justice system for being chaotic and broken. That’s what the extremists do: they break government, then blame Democrats for the ensuing chaos.

Also on Thursday, the news of Justice Sam “The Insurrection Man” Alito and his upside-down distress flag crashed into our Constitution. Is there nothing that is below him and Justice Clarence “Free Vacations Man” Thomas? Oh wait .  .  .  never mind.

The Republican pollution of the Supreme Court by insurrectionist sympathizers has driven disapproval of the Court to well over half of Americans. A few decades ago being a Supreme Court justice was the most highly respected profession. Now it doesn’t even make the top 20. It’s pretty hard to be optimistic about that.

Since impeachment isn’t going to happen and the Court’s newly drafted ethics guidelines have no teeth, perhaps now it’s time for Biden to pack the court with four additional justices, each of whom, refreshingly, has a moral compass. That would give us something to be optimistic about.


Today is a good day to be the light

  • _____________________________
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