21st Century

Nonsense


POST 1078


Regular readers recognize that I occasionally post an essay from other writers, pieces that are enlightening, important and timely. Today we have such a piece.

Ed Gurowitz is a friend and an RSP – “Royal Smart Person.” Today he offers timely insight into our current iteration of Supreme betrayal. If this isn’t top-of-mind for you, reconsider, because this perfidy is not nonsense. This is a five-alarm fire, a fundamental threat to everything you hold dear.

NonsenseEd Gurowitz
By Ed Gurowitz, Master Coach, Diversity and Inclusion (DEI) Specialist, Strategy Consultant, Executive and Leadership Consultant

Published Jun 13, 2024

Referencing her husband, Mrs. [Sam] Alito says, “He’s like, ‘Oh, please don’t put up a flag.’ I said, ‘I won’t do it because I am deferring to you. But when you are free of this nonsense, I’m putting it up and I’m gonna send them a message every day, maybe every week, I’ll be changing the flags.’ (Quoted in Rolling Stone)

In all the reporting general outrage over Mrs. Alito’s flag comments (including that she wants to put up a “shame” flag to counter the Pride flags she has to endure for a whole month), no one seems to have picked up on one thing: “when you are free of this nonsense . . .

The “nonsense” in question is her husband’s lifetime appointment as a Supreme Court Justice. Get that one of the top nine judicial seats in the United States Government is, according to dear Martha Anne, “nonsense!” Nonsense that is interfering with her right to fly offensive flags, though it’s not interfering that much, given the upside-down flag at their home and the Liberty Tree flag at their beach house. But, like a good little Maxwell Housewife, she is “deferring” to her husband’s nonsense just as another wife might put up with her spouse’s going fishing or building models in the garage.

This really should tell us all we need to know about [Justice Sam] Alito, Mrs. Alito, [Justice] Clarence Thomas, and Mrs. Thomas and their contempt for judicial ethics. Why would ethics matter when it’s all nonsense?

So to all the attorneys hoping to one day have the opportunity to argue before SCOTUS, to the judges who hope to one day have an appointment to the high court, and to others who hope to bring appeals to the court (including [for damages due to exposure to] Agent Orange), don’t bother – it’s all nonsense.

To women who desperately need health care up to and including abortion, fuggedabotit! It’s all nonsense.

To BIPOC groups hoping for justice and righting centuries-old wrongs, quit worrying – it’s all nonsense.

So, I guess, was the coronation of George W. Bush as POTUS when he had clearly lost to Al Gore – makes no difference – it’s all nonsense, just like Brown v. Board of Education and all the landmark cases.

Given it’s all nonsense, I guess we should just kick back and let Alito, Thomas, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barrett, along with Nonsense-in-Chief Roberts rule the land according to their version of Christian Nationalism.

Folks, it’s time to end the nonsense – here’s how: VOTE! Take back the House, keep the Senate, and make it a prime order of business to impeach Alito and Thomas and replace them with Justices for whom the highest court in the land is not nonsense. Then Martha Anne can fly a damn pirate flag for all anyone gives a damn, and Ginny Thomas can prostrate herself at the feet of Trump and worship him as the second coming of Jesus until those in white coats come and take her away.

Many thanks to Ed for allowing me to post his essay.

The Nonsensical 74 Million

The Americans who voted for Trump in 2020 and who continue to send Trump their money and attend his rallies and spew the equivalent of Seig Heil! obeisance to him believe that our extremist Supreme Court is taking us in the God-ordained and Founder-intended right direction. They foam at the mouth for a Constitution-destroying New Reich in America. For them, anything less is nonsense.

The point is that our problem isn’t Trump. He’s just the felonious, slimy circus barker, the self-immolation conductor. The problem is actually the large minority of Americans who like the snake oil that the circus barker is selling and who will self-immolate to get it. They’ve been manipulated for decades by self-promoting cons whose only use for the 74 million is to steal their money and power and rule over them. And it’s been easy, because angry people are putty in the hands of skillful con men.

Trump is an easy target for progressives, with his outrages and ever present, addled-brain ramblings. The true dishonor belongs to his followers who: cheer his calls to violence; who ignore or who completely miss his wanderings in dementia and the horror of such a person having the nuclear codes; and who don’t care if their president is a convicted felon.

They are well on their way to transforming the United States of America into a despotic wasteland. You know that’s true because Trump has repeatedly promised to do exactly that. He declares that after he wins he will force this country, this land of the free and home of the brave, this land that’s your land and my land, to become a dictatorship that is his alone; that he will imprison or execute his political enemies; that he will have in our government only loyalists to him, not people loyal to the Constitution; that he will have only nonsense Justices on the Supreme Court who will dance to his nonsensical, despotic loony tunes.

You can dismiss Trump’s cruel, dreadful doom, believing that while he might do those things, that he’s just three Big Macs away from cardiac arrest, so we’ll be rid of him. But he will have laid the foundation for the even worse despot who will follow him, courtesy of the nonsensical 74 million and the nonsensical Supreme Court.

Nonsense Math

On October 1, 2017 a murderer opened fire from a hotel window, shooting into revelers at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival in Las Vegas. He used semi-automatic weapons fitted with bump stocks that effectively turned them into automatic weapons. He killed 58 people and injured over 500 in just 11 minutes. Authorities report that he fired over 1,000 bullets in that time. Let’s do some math.

Assume 600 people were shot over those 11 minutes. That means that someone was shot every 0.9 seconds, or 10 people shot every 11 seconds. 1,000 total shots in 11 minutes equals an average of 2 bullets fired every 3 seconds, which includes time to reload. Apparently, that isn’t swift enough murdering to qualify that firearm as an illegal automatic weapon, according to our Supreme Court.

The assault rifle used at Sandy Hook Elementary School to murder 20 first graders and 6 teachers and staff. Also used at Robb Elementary school to kill 19 kids and 2 teachers. Imagine how many more could have been killed if this war machine had been fitted with a bump stock. The SC says it doesn’t care.

Writing for the “conservative” majority, Justice Clarence “Mega-donor Gifts” Thomas proclaimed that semi-automatic rifles fitted with bump stocks are not fully automatic weapons. This is so, he would have us know, because of some arcane, nonsensical differentiation the Court majority invented for this case. Bump stocks remain legal for private citizens to possess and use.

Effectively, Clarence says, “Boo-hoo, little blubbering victims. We don’t care about you. The next mass murderer is free to fit his semi-automatic killing machine with a bump stock so that it will fire automatically at the rate of 2 bullets every 3 seconds. That way our domestic terrorist mass murderers can kill more people at a very rapid, punched-man-card rate. Bummer for you if you’re in his fully automatic sights.” Horrifyingly, that sounds a lot like legalized Nazi mass murders.

It’s yet another case of Supreme Court homicidal nonsense.

Clearly, we must end this actual Supreme Court nonsense – this contempt for reality, ethics, equality, honor, freedom, justice and even for human life.

What will you do?
.

Check the countdown clock below. Every time I look there is less time to take action to stop the “nonsense.”


“Friends do not let friends vote for con artists.”

  • – Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), 2016
  • 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!


.

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 in these posts 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.
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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.

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.

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.

The Underlying Disease


POST 1068


Second in a series (see Ignorance and Lies).

The Diagnosis

The slavish devotion of so many to worshiping ignorance and lies is baffling and the translation of that into violence is fraught with grave danger. It has been easy to criticize, saying those people are voting against their own interests, which is a high-minded way of pointing fingers and ridiculing. That’s only useful until the reality of the true danger lands with the force of an asteroid.

So I continue to try to understand the appeal of absurd and hateful conspiracy theories, the popularity of a con man with people who used to follow their common sense, and the anger and hatred that infect so many in our nation. At root it is all about trying to understand what seems, on the surface, to be both self-righteous and self-destructive. It is an existential challenge of our time.

It was in this quest that I came upon an interview in The Atlantic of Walter Kirn, my first brush with an outspoken and successful author, thought leader and iconoclast. The title of the piece is The Blindness of Elites: Walter Kirn and the empty politics of defiance, by Thomas Chatterton Williams. Kirn seems to speak for the people in “flyover country” who feel betrayed by, blown off by our “elites.” Note that even our use of the term “flyover country” declares our contempt for those who live there and demonstrates our elitist attitude.

I’ve written about the drivers of this sense of betrayal and have come to believe that there’s something there that, even after so many years of knee-jerk anger, we’ve hardly done more than knee-jerk right back. That’s not helpful to anyone, other than for momentary self-satisfaction. In other words, and to mix metaphors, all we’ve done is to repeatedly kick the hornets nest, never dealing with the the reasons for the swarm of angry hornets. Little wonder that we keep getting stung.

Try these short, non-sequential quotes from the essay:

Today [Kirn] regards Trump’s supporters not as the proverbial basket of deplorables but as more or less reasonable citizens with valid concerns. The movement around Trump, Kirn told me, is “an expression of American frustration on the part of people who feel like they got a really raw deal.” [i.e. betrayal]

.  .  .  his resentment against the tastemakers and gatekeepers is so unrelenting because it’s fueled not simply by dislike but also by real affection—a sympathy for Americans in unimportant places, people without power or influence, whose opinions and lifestyles he believes are often dismissed as retrograde or irrelevant.

.  .  .  the government’s attempts to manage the pandemic were a “behavioral-engineering enterprise, no longer having much to do with the truth, no longer having much to do with your right to desire what you wish or not desire what you don’t wish.”

Everyone, he suggested, was in on the game. “This group of legacy media institutions, along with a whole array of academic—what is called ‘civil-society organizations’—and frankly, Homeland Security, clerks of the government, got together and … ganged up to preserve this preferential cartel status for those [elite] groups and start shooting down the rebel ships.” [a reference to Kirn’s “Star Wars” metaphor}

You get the idea.

And even if at times Kirn seems to be contrarian only for the purpose of being a contrarian, he provides an insight into what America looks like and feels like from a non-elite perspective. The danger is that makes for easy pickings for a charlatan huckster promising to be the “retribution” for people who feel aggrieved.

The point is that what seems to be devilishly absurd actually has a sound footing in the realty of millions of Americans. It led to a first Trump presidency and over 74 million votes cast for him in the 2020 election. That’s bad news for democracy, but our collective ignoring of real grievances is leading to the possibility of a second Trump presidency and our continuing threat of dysfunction and violence.

If grievances based in reality are the underlying driver of otherwise sensible Americans electing a megalomaniac sociopath, what else are those grievances causing? Thom Hartmann put his finger on that recently, identifying inequity and inequality as the drivers.

So how does inequality provoke criminality? The research on the topic is pretty exhaustive, albeit poorly publicized, and the simplest explanation is among the most easily understood: humans are wired to rebel against unfairness. Unfairness thus destroys social trust.

Inequality causes crime because it destroys social trust, the core fabric of any society. It essentially makes us crazy. Without social trust, empathy and shared values weaken and culture begins to disintegrate. [emphasis original]

So, inequality provokes our social unrest, often called our “political divide” or “cultural divide” and that drives criminality. It drives our us-them animosity and makes us distrust our neighbors, demonize and attack all the “others” we can identify and in all ways rip apart our social fabric such that people are outright warning against and even promising a civil war.

Bernie Sanders is flamboyant and has crazy hair and a crazy manner, but,

He’s right about the inequity and unfairness baked into our American cake for decades.

For at least 50 years our poor and middle classes have been sending their wealth to the very rich via tax schemes that make golden promises for everyone but only benefit the rich. In 2010 our Supreme Court, rife with billionaire backed justices outright wrote legislation – they made it up themselves. Citizens United has allowed billions of big money bucks to buy our government and enrich already rich people. And that exacerbates our outrage over unfairness.

That is the diagnosis. Wealth inequity. Unfairness. Legalized cheating.

That is the betrayal, the rot. That is the primary source of so much of our social unrest. And that betrayal leads to anger and cruelty. From Mother Jones:

The relentless rot is exactly why huge swaths of the electorate do want [Trump] back. As it’s been said, the cruelty is the point.

The inequity and unfairness is tearing our country apart – that’s our national sickness.

Trump has already told us that if he wins the election he will further enrich the already fabulously wealthy. He will do this at the expense of everyone else and of our future generations.

We better get about moving past our swatting at symptoms – those angry hornets – and deal with the underlying disease. Our present abdication of that is what is driving this existential moment.

Your mandatory assignment: Read Hartmann’s post.


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.

Mom First – Then Ignorance And Lies


POST 1067


Mom

Today is the official day we celebrate mothers. I had one and it’s likely you did, too. So, today, in addition to all the “Happy Mothers Day” wishes, give Mom a special thanks for raising you to think critically and to have integrity. As we’ll see, those can be in short supply.

__________________________________________

Ignorance And Lies

We have an ongoing attack of political falsehoods that is biblical in scale. Like the trillions of locusts on their way to eat plants, terrorize small animals and you, these assaults on truth aim to eat away at our trust and make us afraid of one another.

You may recall that I have explained the causes of political falsity as being of no more than two possible origins:

  1. The person releasing such gas is ignorant. S/he does not know the truth, whether through willful witlessness, laziness or through some mental impairment. Such people are clueless, dangerous and without the sense to keep their mouths shut.
  2. The person spewing false statements is a liar. To qualify for this disappointingly not-so-rare distinction one must know the truth and speak contrary to it.

I recently saw Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH) on CNN spewing a string of idiotic, untrue things that host Kaitlan Collins would not have. She challenged them as false and without merit. Vance did the Trump two-step, doubling down on his false statements. Was he ignorant of the facts and too stupid to shut up, or was he lying? Turns out it doesn’t matter.

The people of Ohio are poorly served by someone peddling such fabrications and all of us are worse off for having it fogged in our faces. Our trust in one another and of our nation gets damaged yet further by each such falsification.

But what did Vance expect to get from vapidly flapping his mouth? A “look at me!” moment? Stature in the Insane Caucus of the Republican Party? Hope that Trump would notice how similar Vance is to himself and think him worthy of being Trump’s VP pick? Good for Vance. What’s in it for us?

Which leads us to the companion question: Why do people believe such trash? What’s in it for ordinary Americans to abandon Mom’s teachings and to integrate political bovine excrement into their beliefs and even to bellow those fictions as though they’re verified truth? What makes them blather gibberish and dance in the ecstasy of self-righteousness, victimhood, anger and the delirium of hatred of others?

The answer is that it’s about feeling. Their abdication of their common sense and their absorption of lies makes them feel good and powerful. They feel seen and understood. They have a sense of belonging to the true and right tribe and are at last hitting back. Plus they’re sticking it to the elites whom they believe have blown them off all their lives. (See my post this Wednesday for more on this.)

That’s how people who claim they enthusiastically support our police rationalized viciously attacking, maiming and killing cops on January 6 and desecrating our Capitol Building.
.

For those happily led astray, the mean spirited lies carry no need for verification or even good sense. And by absorbing and believing the untrue, they make themselves ready to believe yet more lies and distortions, oblivious of the destruction they bring upon not just those they hate, but upon themselves as well.

From First Ignorancians:

7. Verily I say unto thee, thou art putty in the hands of the liars, condemned to the hell of cluelessness and the coming curses. Thy ignorance shall keep ye enslaved and ye shall live with the Scarlet Letter “I” upon thy breast.

There is nothing we can do to save those self-selecting to be enslaved. They will live in the dark oppressive land of Dunno for all their lives and may well pass along their chains of enslavement to their children.

The rest of us must move onward toward that more perfect Union, that shining city on the hill, that promise of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
.

And so we vote for those we hope and believe don’t worship ignorance and lies. We talk with others about reality, like that the Earth is round, not flat; that democracy is best; that minority cruelty and minority rule are awful; that legalized stealing of rights like healthcare and voting is un-American; that insurrection is traitorous and deserving of great punishment; that vigilantes are domestic terrorists and deserve great punishment; and that willful ignorance and lies are inexcusable.

From Second Ignorancians:

18. Tremble ye builders of mountains of mendacity, for the vote is well-nigh upon thee.

19. Followers of liars take notice while ye can. Leave thy willful and hateful ignorance and enter the land of truth, justice and the actual, verifiable, real American way. The truth shall set ye free from a life of Duh! and Huh?

26. Celebrate the faithful who believe in the Constitution and democracy and who have the clarity not to worship a sociopath and con artist. Abandon thy toxic gruel while ye still can, lest karma rise up and smite thee.

Because what goes around really does come around.

Instructional Music Selection

Listen to the words of Revolution 1 from the Beatles‘ White Album. John Lennon has something for us, all these years later.

“If you talk about destruction, don’t you know that you can count me out.”

“If you want money for people with minds that hate, all I can tell you is brother you’ll have to wait.”

“You tell me it’s the institution, well you know, you better free your mind instead.”

You’re Planning To Do What!?!

From Heather Cox Richardson’s post of May 9:

Former House speaker Paul Ryan told Yahoo Finance that he would write in another Republican rather than vote for Trump. “Character is too important to me,” he said.

If character is so important to Ryan, somebody please explain to Mr. Social Security Vouchers (that he claimed weren’t vouchers) that a vote for anybody but Biden is essentially a vote for Trump, especially in a close election. Third party votes are un-American and are evidence of poor character.


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.

Misplaced Referendum


POST 1064


First, A Solution to Campus Protest Violence

It’s simply intolerable that what we’re seeing on college campuses now looks just like the conflicts we faced in the 1960s. We should have learned something in all this time, like that when we send in people who only know force that violence is what we get. I think we can do better.

The Scene

Monday, April 29, 2024, 8:30PM

We know that the terrorists who started this war by murdering, dismembering, raping and terrorizing so many Israelis and taking hundreds of hostages are hiding within the civilian population in Gaza. They’ve left Israel nothing but bad choices for protecting itself and for punishing the bad guys.

As a consequence, we’re all seeing the unspeakable horror of innocents being injured and killed in Gaza. Grannies, children, babies – it’s gut wrenching and our students, empathic, idealistic and impassioned as they rightly are, are powerfully moved to act on their outrage and do something they hope will make things better.

In the midst of this disorienting angst on campus are Jewish students who are torn over the anguish and at the same time are the recipients of slurs, physical attacks and calls for them to die.

And those are just some of the complications.

Tensions are high and university presidents and state governors are calling in riot police and National Guardsmen carrying riot gear. That, of course, is what Mayor Daley did in Chicago in 1968. That didn’t work out too well then and there is no reason we should expect it to work better now.

A Solution

Instead of riot police advancing in an intimidating phalanx zeroed in on unarmed kids, how about they ditch the shields and the clubs and instead hand out bottles of water to the kids on all sides of this conflict. They could bring in porta-potties and recycle bins for empty water bottles.

How about setting out long tables and chairs and inviting kids to sit and talk with one another? In other words, how about the cops, instead of being Officer Thug, show up as Officer Friendly?

What if they were to invite these impassioned kids to talk with one another instead of yell at one another? What if these kids actually heard one another (you know: like listening) and learned that the person across the table isn’t the devil they imagined? What if university administration personnel (I’m looking at you, university presidents) took to the quads and listened to the kids instead of issuing orders and threats? What if the administration folks, the cops and the Guardsmen – even governors – were to model being constructive and respectful adults?

Crazy, right?

Many thanks to son Scott Altschuler for thinking through this with me.

UPDATE: Tuesday, April 30, 2024, 8:45PM

Negotiations broke down long ago at Columbia University. Protesters now occupy Hamilton Hall. It isn’t known how many are in there or whether these are students or outside agitators or just chaos loving, order hating anarchists.  It isn’t known if they want the university to divest its holdings from Israel or if they deeply care about the plight of Gazans or if they just want attention.

Police in riot gear are entering the building. It is certain that nothing good is going to happen for the protesters tonight.

This situation screams into the void,”We failed. Again.”

Now, About That Referendum

The Chicago Bears are angling for a new stadium. Soldier Field was remade for them just 22 years ago at a cost of $400 million and now, gosh, that stadium is so yesterday that they have to have new digs. They bought the old Arlington Race Track property, but apparently cannot work out a deal for someone else to pay for a glitzy new home for da Bears.

Mayor Johnson of Chicago is drooling over keeping the Bears in the city and having them in a showplace home in a showplace location. He’s promoting a referendum that will fund the project, leaving a financial burden for the city of roughly $4.7 billion. That will secure the land and build a state-of-the-art football stadium in a high profile location, perhaps on the lakefront. Cities across the nation have done that sort of thing, but wait just a second.

First, full disclosure: I’ve been against cities subsidizing privately owned sports businesses since that lunacy dramatically expanded in the 1970s. Note that the Green Bay Packers are an exception to the stadium building racket because the city owns the team. Besides, Lambeau Field is a much beloved venue.

I founded and ran my Illinois business for 25 years and no municipality ever tried to entice me to locate within its boundaries by offering a new manufacturing plant and first class offices. Like the Bears, I would have brought revenue to such a place. While my company’s contributions would have been minuscule compared to what the Bears could bring, the revenue point is important because tax revenue from sports teams and from all the ancillary services, like restaurants, hotels, taxis, entertainment venues and more is a primary argument for a municipality to pay for these overly extravagant facilities that benefit private companies. The other major argument for cities underwriting assets for private businesses is the prestige attendant to a professional sports team attached to the city.

But that’s stinkin’ thinkin’. I think it’s a severe case of mis-ordered priorities and a desperation for puff-up immediate gratification. I think the city should do something else.

Float that referendum for $4.7 billion, for sure, Mayor Johnson. But use that money to make Chicago the envy of the world for childhood education. Fix the broken schools, build more as needed, bring in an army of the best teachers (that means paying them well), feed the kids meals that will keep them healthy and mentally sharp, prepared to learn. Bring in the most effective technology and have books – all of the books – on the shelves of libraries. Educate our kids to thrive in and lead tomorrow’s world.

If we were to do that, people will come from everywhere to prepare their kids for success. Doubt that? What do you think caused the suburbs to grow and prosper as they have?

World leading education will cause families to begin to thrive, neighborhoods would experience a renaissance and kids would graduate and build their lives and their businesses where they started, producing a virtuous cycle of improvement. And the city would experience ever-increasing revenue from the urban renewal and financial growth.

Image that: An entire major city devoted to our kids and to tomorrow.

The payoff will take time – certainly longer than it would take to build a new stadium and the hot dog stands outside it – but it will grow and bless us with new technologies, medical breakthroughs, lower crime, mentally healthy kids with entrepreneurial spirit and a strong work ethic. It will reverberate for a hundred years and beyond.

Still need the prestige of a professional sports team, Mayor Johnson? Go wave a pennant.


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.

Law And Order: Special Hush Money Unit


POST 1062


Headline of the Month

From Politico of 4/14/2024

“A porn star, a president and a publisher named Pecker:

“The key potential witnesses at Trump’s criminal trial”


The Hoped For End of the Hush Money Trial

It’s the conclusion of jury deliberation in the Donald Trump hush money/criminal fraud/election interference, multiple count felonies case. The courtroom is silent in anxious anticipation, as the jury solemnly returns to Judge Merchan’s tense courtroom. The defendant has awakened from his courtroom nap and is focused on the jury with a sneering stare.

Judge Merchan: “The defendant will rise.”

Trump rises slowly, belligerent and hostile in rebellion against authority.

           Judge Merchan:   “Jury foreman, have you reached a verdict?”

Jury Foreman:     “We have, Your Honor.”

Judge Merchan:   “Regarding 34 counts of falsifying business records to cover up a crime, what is your verdict, guilty or not guilty?”

The jury foreman reaches into a pocket, pulls out a pitch pipe and blows a note. The entire jury turns menacingly toward defendant Trump. They furrow their brows in obvious distaste and snarl in unison,

“YOU’RE FIRED!”


Gang-Greene

You’ve known all along that Marjorie Taylor Greene is cruel and dishonest, vulgar and infantile and constantly inappropriate (ref: any Biden State Of The Union address). Her foaming-at-the-mouth refusal to help Ukraine leaves European nations and the U.S. at risk from the war mongering new iteration of megalomaniac Josef Stalin. That’s why she has earned a special title from Rep. Jared Moskowitz (D-FL), who said, “that Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene . . . should be appointed as Vladimir Putin’s Special Envoy to the United States Congress.”

In one of her most desperately cloying, grabbing, begging, pleading for attention idiocies, Marjorie Taylor Greene threatened to call for Speaker Mike Johnson’s removal from his speakership for his impudence to bring to the floor a bill for support of Ukraine. Putin didn’t want that to happen, preferring the continuing depletion of Ukraine’s war matériel so he can succeed in his invasion. Greene and her extremist conspirators in un-American activities, the Gang-Greene, are brain-free suck-ups to Donald Trump, who is completely captivated by Putin and proudly wears the title Putin has given him: Useful Idiot. That title goes for Greene and her abominable Gang, too.


Boomer Corner

From a recent post by my friend Ed Gurowitz:

It is this thoughtlessness that worries me. I have many German friends and family, and I’ve asked some of them what their parents told them it was like during the rise of Nazism. Even allowing for a people providing exculpatory explanations, what I have heard overwhelmingly is that people just let it happen – whether through apathy, feelings of powerlessness, or secret sympathy, it doesn’t matter. As Edmund Burke famously said, “All that is needed for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”

That is what I’m afraid of – good people doing nothing when the opportunity to vote is there.

Me, too. Which is why I offer the following.

From Wikipedia – Click the pic

We Boomers did some good work in the 60s when it was our asses on the line in a senseless war, our values were being assaulted by a continuation of centuries of cruelty that seemed like it would never stop. It was our time to respond to Abigail Adams, who expected her husband John to come home with a Constitution that guaranteed women the right to vote – he didn’t do that. And it was even time to (gasp!) guarantee non-Whites all the rights of citizenship. Crazy, right?

But those days are gone.  Our job was largely done, so we left the protests and went about our lives. The world moved on, only not always in a good way. Some of what we accomplished was tragically reversed and now we face a very bad threat.

We never thought we’d have to fight this fight again, but right now the forces of destruction are shaking our world, this time with an even greater threat to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The bad guys have been plotting this since we left the protests behind and they are organized and well funded by billionaires, who plan to be our fascist overlords.

You know what that means:

It’s time for us to saddle up again and fight for what is right.
.

It’s time for we Boomers to once again make our voices heard in a deafening thunder to say that we’re not going back. We will never back down. We will stop the forces of destruction. We will protect our sacred democracy.

READ THIS: An Urgent Call To All Boomers.
.

Then take action. You’ll know what to do.


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.

Smart, Educated, Experienced and Skilled


POST 1058


Sheila Markin posted a fine explainer and updater of what has happened to Trump’s lawyers. Her piece caused a sociological question to bubble up to top of mind.

I’ve wondered many times about all those attorneys, every one smart, highly educated, experienced and with considerable skill at their craft. The wonder, of course, is why they allowed themselves to be lured to crash onto the rocks by the siren song of the Orange Siren.

Of course, Trump deserves legal representation, as any dirt ball con man would. He deserves the presumption of innocence, too, even in the face of overwhelming evidence of his guilt. But,

Why would these smart, educated, experienced and skilled people aid and abet Trump in breaking the law?

Why would they associate themselves with Trump’s defamatory statements and invitations to violence?

Why would they file idiotic motions, like an absurd claim of absolute and permanent presidential immunity and why would they in good conscience attempt an inversion of the Presidential Records Act?

Why would they risk their law licenses aiding or defending illegal actions, lying to authorities and saying the most obviously idiotic things?

Why would they do such abhorrent things, knowing that the stink of Trump will be all over them and it won’t wash off for the rest of their professional lives?

Indeed, why would they do anything for Trump, knowing that there is a better than even chance that they won’t get paid for their work?

These Trump lawyers paid a huge price in dollars, work effort, time, hopes and dreams to get JD appended to their names. Then they betrayed their integrity and threw it all away – but for what?.

In her courtroom statement regarding her Georgia RICO plea deal, Trump attorney Jenna Ellis declared with great contrition, “If I knew then what I know now . . .”
.
Really? She didn’t know that Trump would do with her what he does with everyone, including all of his former lawyers? She didn’t know that loyalty with Trump is a one-way street leading only to Trump and that at the first sign of an advantage for himself he would discard her like a used motor oil rag? She hadn’t a clue that she was joining a team that was conspiring to violate the law and the Constitution, working to overthrow the will of the people? It never occurred to her that the infamous Green Bay sweep was nothing less than a traitorous conspiracy, a coup plot?
.
I have the same questions for all the rest of the lawyers who schemed to replace electors chosen by the people with phony “alternate electors”; lawyers who cajoled Mike Pence to violate his duty and the Constitution; who demanded pointless vote recounts and filed over 60 evidence-free lawsuits. Eastman, Giuliani, Chesebro, Powell, Habba, Navarro and more – there just doesn’t exist a remote possibility that they didn’t know in advance what they were getting into and, once there, that they didn’t realize that they were violating the law. So please, Jenna Ellis and anyone else with an, “Oh golly, I really didn’t know” claim, just shut up.
.
I think I’m right – that this legion is of lawyers who are are smart, educated, experienced and skilled. And I believe that they are also boundlessly foolish at best and perhaps far worse. That will be confirmed when we find more of them censured, some imprisoned and later, some selling insurance because they’re no longer allowed to practice law.
.

Meanwhile, I suspect that I’m not the only one wondering why these smart, educated, experienced and skilled people would do what they’ve done. And I wonder why some of them are continuing to promote and defend Trump’s dishonesty, when the obvious truth is almost blinding. So please, if you have some insight, even just a flicker of light to shine in this dark cave of the undermining of everything we claim to value and believe in, please share it in the Comments section below to help all of us understand.


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.

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