21st Century

Violence


Post 1,034


Violence – Part 1

From David French’s piece Political Christianity Has Claws:

” .  .  .  when you combine theology and ideology but subtract virtue, you’ve created a formula for viciousness and strife. Raise the stakes to an existential or eternal level, remove the restraints of kindness and self-control, and watch the worst of humanity emerge.”

We are possibly facing a worst-of-humanity episode, a Ruby Ridge style catastrophe, fomented by the ideological, falsely theological, angry ones.

They are creating a trucker convoy to descend on points of entry at our southern border, specifically including Eagle Pass, TX, where there has been so much confrontation already. They are calling themselves the Army of God, which should send chills down your spine, because you know what has happened throughout history when people bathe themselves in the religious justification of representing God. They see themselves as holy and they justify all their violations of law, of religion, of morality and of good sense by declaring that they are doing God’s work. That often becomes lethal.

Here’s how one FB post reported this:

“This is a biblical, monumental moment that’s been put together by God,” one convoy organizer said on a recent planning call. “We are besieged on all sides by dark forces of evil,” said another. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God. It is time for the remnant to rise.”

Clearly, these guys aren’t just itching for a fight; they are trying to provoke one with the imagined self-justification of doing so in the name of God. They’re puffed-up truckers, so call it a diesel crusade.

Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) has clashed with the federal government over policing the border. He was shot down by the U.S. Supreme Court but vows to defy its ruling. That has been the spark for far right, hard-headed indignation and likely ignited the, “You can’t tell us what to do – we’ll show you!” trucker convoy. It smacks of the Cliven Bundy confrontation during the Obama administration. And it smacks of a far right test drive and even a flash to ignite a civil war.

President Biden is going to have to deal with these provocateurs. An armed confrontation will have disastrous consequences, yet he can’t let the armed mob rule or wantonly break the law. This is going to be a rule-of-law showdown and a really difficult situation to defuse. It has the potential for national disaster.

Violence – Part 2

The angry guys with guns (you know who they are) regularly eliminate peace makers, people like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Bobby Kennedy, Rabin, Sadat and Gandhi. The thugs consistently live in their rationalized, religious zealotry belief that might-makes-right and that they have the black-and-white, universal ownership of truth and righteousness, like the extremists heading to the border in trucks right now.

Re-read the quote above from David French. With Trump leading his mob of millions and specifically calling for violence, we have let the anger and hatred genie out of the bottle and have truly removed the restraints of kindness and self-control.

On a different scale, read this from Everytown For Gun Safety:

“[the week of January 28] marks a devastating milestone: By early February, more people are killed with guns in the U.S. than during an entire calendar year in ANY OTHER high-income country.”

Please don’t say or tolerate anyone else saying that we are a peaceful country. Violence and murder are woven into the fabric of what it means to be Americans. Reference: our daily mass murders and the Army of God truckers swaggering with their AR-15s – you’ll see that soon.

The behavior we tolerate is the behavior we get (see: Trump, Nixon, Reagan and both Bushes). The longer it takes for us to take a stand, the harder it will be to end the craziness.

Have we become so distracted (see this) or so “nice” that we won’t stand up for ourselves and what we know to be right? There are lawsuits against Trump now, so we’re attempting to enforce accountability, but most Americans are silent and too many think he’s a hapless victim. Only the angry mob is speaking up.

Each of us has full freedom of choice about this. Violence and cruelty in the name of freedom of speech or worse, with the excuse of religion, is never okay. Nevertheless, it happens regularly and it’s happening right now. So, we better exercise our freedom of speech to stand against the haters and the violent ones.*

Reading Assignment

In Professor Heather Cox Richardson’s Letters From an American on January 27 she writes about what became known as the Lyceum Address, delivered in 1838:

“[Abraham Lincoln} called for Americans to exercise ‘general intelligence, sound morality, and in particular, a reverence for the constitution and laws.’

We are in every bit as existential a crisis today as was our nation when Lincoln warned us. I urge you to read her post.

______________________________

* Watch this space next Wednesday, February 7 for The Moronica Awards, which will include directions for what to do about our national craziness.


  • 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.

Now You Know


Post 1,032


Maybe you remember the early days of the Republican War Against America, like during the reign of Saint Ronny I, when he bamboozled the nation with his “trickle-down” voodoo economics scheme to send your money to the 1%. We used to wonder why otherwise sensible people would vote against their own interests. Since Trump came on the scene they have not only voted against their own interests, but they  appear to have abandoned their claimed bedrock values. They follow like sheep. Or lemmings.

There are many reasons for this, some explored in these posts, like striking out at “The Man,” and fear/hatred of others. A part that had eluded me was why evangelicals, people who see themselves as Christians (as in: following Jesus) would flock to an amoral, non-religious violator of pretty much everything they declare they believe in. A recent Sheila Markin post provides clarity.

“In his recent Apple podcast interview with Shumita Basu [Tim Alberta] talks about the two word phrase you hear over and over again from evangelicals today that helps us to understand their shift to the extreme right.

“The two words are ‘under siege.’

“Evangelicals believe they are under siege and ‘the barbarians are at the gates.’ A wicked, godless, hostile culture connected to secular government is coming to get them. This persecution, which they really believe is coming for them, is predicted to intensify. Evangelical pastors are also getting into the act by pushing this “replacement” idea and proclaiming Trump as their savior. Literally. Evangelicals are told they must vote for Trump because he will save them from the barbarians. As Tim Alberta points out, if you feel your culture and faith are about to be obliterated you are more willing to bend your beliefs to accommodate someone as morally bereft as Trump and think of him as your savior. It is remarkable that Trump, a man without religious faith or ethics, a man who is more of an antichrist than a second coming of Christ, has been anointed as the blessed savior of a culture that Trump could not care less about. Trump is simply using the evangelical base as his get out of jail free pass. He needs them to vote for him so he can avoid going to prison.”

Now you know why evangelical extremists do what they do. I’m referring to extremists like:

self-professed uber-Christians

the “Believe as I believe or there’s no God for you” absolutists*

the self-deluded moral high ground grabbers

the Jesus freaks who don’t follow Jesus

the people who want the Ten Commandments posted and recited in schools and courthouses but who don’t believe Trump has to follow them and maybe they don’t have to follow them either

the Fahrenheit 451 mob

the ones who so quickly believe violent lies and embrace racist taunts

the people who wrongly believe this nation was intended by the Founders to be a Christian nation and that non-believers should be expelled from our shores

the ones who so easily sell out themselves and are eager to sell out you and our country, too, all in the name of some imagined purity

These people actually believe they are “under siege” and so, too, is their White privilege. They are frightened and they let the Great Manipulators turn them to hatred.

That’s why Iowa voted for Trump. That plus only 110,298 out of 2,083,979 registered voters (5.3%) bothered to show up at the caucuses.

The evangelicals and the other deluded ignorants are very much afraid, so they are reliable voters who will check the boxes next to the names of the BS spouters.

Many millions of Americans are clamoring for autocracy. Some think they’re in the special, favored group and will gain vast power for themselves by stealing it from you. They want to control what people can say and even what they are allowed to think.

They want a strongman leading an autocracy to fix all the ills that they imagine rain down on them like the plagues on Egypt. It’s that “under siege” thing. They imagine under the leadership of a strongman they will be protected from those unwashed, unwelcome “others,” the “vermin” who are “poisoning our blood” and that at last life will be made right. There’s just one thing.

Autocracy doesn’t work that way. However they begin, they always become brutal and oppressive and they create massive suffering.

The Axis powers of WW II are too easy to name as examples. How about the ancient Roman autocracy? How’d that work out for early Christians or for the people of any of the conquered lands or for their own Plebeians and slaves?

How’d that work out in the Spanish Inquisition, which tortured and murdered tens of thousands of people? Or Pol Pot’s Cambodia (over 2 million killed) or the Balkan Wars (over 120,000 Albanians killed) or Milosevic’s Czechoslovakia (200,000 dead in Bosnia, 2 million homeless and 800,000 Albanians ethnically cleansed). How’d that work out in Stalin’s Russia (over 6 million murdered – over 28 million by the communists 1917 – 1987) or for the Uyghurs in China right now or in any of the ethnic cleansing atrocities like Darfur (over 400,000 dead).

The hoped-for nirvana via strongman/autocracy never appeared for people on those murderous trips into autocracy. They never will.

It’s often said by Americans needing validation that the United States is exceptional and it surely is in some respects. But there is no reason we should expect autocracy in the U.S. to be better in any way than it has been anywhere else throughout history. Indeed, we are already exceptionally good at anger, violence, discrimination and at fooling ourselves.

Dan Rather wrote a piece about Trump in his post of January 23, 2024 and how he has changed us.

“He has changed what was until recently considered unacceptable behavior for our leaders. He has normalized bigotry, misogyny, racism, ageism, ableism, sexism.”

“He has changed our relationships with facts. Now there are phony “alternative facts.” .  .  .  Rational discourse is a thing of the past, because how can you argue with someone who, in effect, refuses to accept that two plus two makes four. [sic]”

“He has changed how we show our discontent, unleashing long-held furies and granting permission to behave badly.”

Be clear that Trump didn’t do that change thing by himself. Millions of Americans cheered for his 2 + 2 = 5 nonsense because the anger made them feel powerful or they felt like Crusader champions or like delusional super patriots or even holy.

Go. Read Rather’s post. Bring with you the understanding that Trump and his lies, his brutish cruelty and his hatred has given permission for people who consider themselves to be good Christians to unleash their long-held furies and to behave badly. He does it, so they do it, too.

Regardless of rants by evangelicals or anyone else, Trump wasn’t sent by God.** Watch this from The Lincoln Project.

Now you know.

ACTION STEP:

Send this to 5 people so that they know, too.

Our existential charge is to Stop Hateful Idiocy Today. You work out the acronym.

________________________________

* From a quote by C.S. Lewis, declaring that he wasn’t of that crowd.

** Said by a woman being interviewed by a reporter outside a polling place in New Hampshire on primary election day:

“Trump is a divine intervention from God. I really believe that.”

I wonder how she justifies her belief, knowing that Trump thinks he can grab women by their private parts; that he can rape them, then defame them; and that he can do all that to her.


  • 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.

Common Sense Is So Uncommon


Post 1,030

___________________________________

It’s been decades of a continuous onslaught of outrages, lies and disinformation, but not just from Trump. It’s also from the toadies, the suck-ups, the cowards, the opportunists, the angry, the power larcenists, the religiously impaired and the intentionally ignorant. They grab megaphones and microphones and aim them straight at our faces and at our democracy.

They’ve told us that the world is flat, that Trump is the new Jesus (or the old one who’s returned to run the Trump hotels), that Covid doesn’t exist, that the Holocaust didn’t happen, that the moon landings were faked and that any election that Trump or any republican lost was stolen. They bray googly-eyed that vaccines don’t work and that they cause autism, sickness and death, and, gasp!, that history books that teach actual history are permanently damaging our children.

The list of inanities is very long and should be embarrassing to everyone. Now they’re telling you that the Constitution doesn’t apply to Trump. That may be comforting to people who are “.  .  .  easy prey of a clever con man, or for normal people unfamiliar with their conscious minds, or for those suffering from a dissociative psychiatric disorder.”* There should be some common sense to inoculate them and us from this crazy.

This madness has been going on for a long time, if you include Trump’s birther idiocy, the Tea Party stupid stuff and Ronald Reagan’s trickle down, voodoo economics lunacy that put your money on the express train to the top 1%. All of it is of a piece with Chico Marx’s character in Duck Soup, saying, “Who ya gonna believe, me or your own eyes?

Millions of Americans refuse to believe their own eyes and instead believe the liars with the megaphones and microphones.

One way to switch from the craziness is to actually enforce the requirements of the Constitution.

You remember that “rule of law” thing, right? It’s the thing that says we all have to obey the law or face the consequences of violating it. But we have to get past the conspiracy zombies and truth murderers to make that work, because the crazies see that laws were broken, but believe that Trump is an suffering victim of the Justice Department and that the rule of law shouldn’t apply to him.

Frightening Fact:

These people walk among us.

That madness why there is so much discussion about attempts to enforce Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. Here it is:

Section 3 Disqualification from Holding Office

No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

No advanced academic degree or legal training is required to understand what that says in plain English, even if you have to read it slowly or more than once. An average 7th grader gets it. It says:

Nobody can be a traitor to his/her oath to our country and then hold office.

That ought to be common sense. It was when Section 3 was written.

Nevertheless, some legal fiction writers today (e.g. Trump’s lawyers and some TV blabbers) are challenging the application of Section 3 to Donald Trump. They’re doing so with fatuous (read: brainless) arguments, like that a president is not an officer of the United States, or that there was no insurrection on January 6, 2021, or that Trump had no part in the insurrection, or that he didn’t give aid and comfort to the insurrectionists.

It’s stupid stuff, we know, but those are some of the arguments Trump’s lawyers have presented to lower courts, some of which endorsed their idiocy, like the Colorado District Court judge who decided the president isn’t an officer of the U.S.

Trump’s lawyers will present that same brain rot to the Supreme Court. The justices will sit with due seriousness listening to the drivel from Trump’s lawyers, giving thoughtful, furrowed-eyebrow consideration to what deserves none of that.

Before that we’ll find out if Clarence Thomas has sufficient integrity to recuse himself from this case that is so obviously connected to his wife, an enthusiastic supporter of the insurrection. Low expectations are recommended.

We will be left to worry whether the extremist justices will once again defy the reality we see with our own eyes and will wantonly ignore common sense.

The six extremist Justices might create some fictitious reason why Section 3 of the 14th Amendment doesn’t apply to the biggest insurrectionist of them all. But we have common sense and we know that it does.

From the abstract of The Sweep and Force of Section Three by William Baude and Michael Stokes Paulsen, published in The University of Pennsylvania Law Review, Vol. 172: **

First, Section Three remains an enforceable part of the Constitution, not limited to the Civil War, and not effectively repealed by nineteenth century amnesty legislation.

Second, Section Three is self-executing, operating as an immediate disqualification from office, without the need for additional action by Congress. It can and should be enforced by every official, state or federal, who judges qualifications.

Third, to the extent of any conflict with prior constitutional rules, Section Three repeals, supersedes, or simply satisfies them. This includes the rules against bills of attainder or ex post facto laws, the Due Process Clause, and even the free speech principles of the First Amendment.

Fourth, Section Three covers a broad range of conduct against the authority of the constitutional order, including many instances of indirect participation or support as “aid or comfort.” It covers a broad range of former offices, including the Presidency. And in particular, it disqualifies former President Donald Trump, and potentially many others, because of their participation in the attempted overthrow of the 2020 presidential election. [edited with paragraph breaks for easier readability]

Once again, there is no need for an advanced academic degree to understand the plain meaning of this explainer. You know what it says. So do the Justices of the Supreme Court. This is common sense stuff.

The scary question for us is whether the Supreme Court Justices have sufficient backbone to refuse pressure from the extremist, power hungry mob and from the Justices’ rich and financially generous friends and influencers. We will learn if common sense is common to them and if it is sufficiently compelling to them to refuse insurrectionists the opportunity for office, as they are so plainly required to do by Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.

  • “This isn’t a crime scene.
  • “It’s a crime in progress.”
  • – Jeff Sharlet

________________________________

* Adapted from Carl Sagan’s The Fine Art of Baloney Detection. This is a great and entertaining essay from a fine wordsmith.

** If you are sufficiently nerdy you can download the full 126-page paper from this link.


  • 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.

O. J. and Today


Post 1,029

___________________________________

The verdict came down from the jury at the O.J. Simpson murder trial.

NOT GUILTY

Not only I but most people I knew were incredulous. With all that evidence against him, how could anyone believe he was innocent of that double murder? Yet millions applauded the verdict.

The many comments aired publicly were often polarized by race, which seemed nonsensical. Blacks saw the same evidence that Whites saw. Then at last one Black fellow spelled it out in terms I could understand. This is pretty close to exactly what he said:

“You White people think Black people are stupid. We know he did it. We know he’s guilty. We just wanted to see a Black guy beat the system this once.” *

That’s when I got it.

After being beaten down by “the system” for centuries, beating that system meant more to them than Simpson getting the justice he quite obviously deserved. Sometimes long held feelings of injustice, disrespect and marginalization are what is most powerful.

Which brings us to our current national psychosis. **

MAGA people know that Trump is crooked, a liar, a criminal, un-American, someone they would hate in different circumstances. But over and over he gives a middle finger to “the man,” to so-called elites, to those powerful people who have blown off so many of We The People for longer than any can remember. He flips off whatever is proper and MAGAs cheer.

When he’s caught lying, he repeats his lie and even exaggerates it. That is intoxicating to those who feel wronged. It’s more powerful than any rational analysis of Trump’s obvious guilt and reprehensible behavior. Flicking off “the man” and behaving the way Mom said to never behave brings ultimate satisfaction, an orgasm of vitriol unleashed.

They are so enamored of the flick-off that they are unmoved by Trump telling Iowans following the mass shooting in Perry, IA on January 4 that, “.  .  . [they] just have to get over it.” To be fair, we have to question whether that was worse or not as bad as his calling our fallen military heroes losers and suckers, which MAGAs ignored. Somehow that wasn’t enough to disqualify Trump in the minds of MAGAs who think of themselves as the true red, white and blue.

Neither were his claims of grabbing women by the pu**y or “fine people on both sides” at the racist Charlottesville hate rally in 2017, or any other Trump outrage. Favoring Vladimir Putin over our own intelligence services should have told even MAGA people that they cannot trust Trump with our foreign affairs or our national defense. But, of course, there was that compelling extended middle finger seduction to help them forget Trump’s appeasement of a despot and to have them actually applaud his sucking up to the Russian murderer.

The MAGAs fancy themselves patriots, which makes it curious that they would be incurious about Trump wanting the “termination of the Constitution” and declaring he’ll be a dictator. It’s so very satisfying to scream over and over, “F**K YOU!” or to wallow in the mire of someone else doing the screaming. That makes it easy to abandon any requirement of our leaders to protect and defend. Besides, it’s so old fashioned to insist that they honor their oath. It’s so swampy.

O.J. was clearly and plainly guilty of murder and Trump is clearly and plainly guilty of an uncountable number of felonies and impeachable offenses. O.J. got away with it. We must not let Trump get away with it.

From Steve Sheffey on January 7, 2024:

No matter what your issues are, no matter which side of the political spectrum you’re on, if democracy is not your litmus test, you need to question your instincts for self-preservation.

Speaking of Democracy

Have a look at this Gallup survey chart:

Click me for the full story.

Apparently, we aren’t too happy with the way our democracy is working. There is little wonder about that, as we are tormented by minority rule. Our laws and our Constitution have been bastardized to serve a minority and especially the very rich, this at the expense of the rest of us. And all the while big mouth, would-be usurpers continuously vomit a barrage of lies and propaganda assaulting our democracy and our values.

Maybe we ought to do something to make ourselves satisfied with our democracy.

For reinforcement of what commitment to democracy looks like, read Steve Schmidt’s essay that includes Gen. Mark Milley’s letter of resignation from his post as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It wasn’t delivered, but it remains a piece of clarity about patriotism. The old fashioned kind.

For the Hand Wringers

This from Mother Jones:

A bunch of places—22 states and 43 cities and counties, to be precise—enacted new minimum wage increases [as of January 1], according to a report from the National Employment Law Project. Six of those states—California, Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Washington—now have a minimum wage that reaches or surpasses $15, which has been the goal of the decade-long “Fight for $15” movement. The increases should disproportionately benefit Black, Hispanic, and female workers, who make up more than half of the workers receiving pay bumps, according to an analysis from the Economic Policy Institute.

Another three states and 22 jurisdictions will also raise their minimum wages this year. Twenty of these increases will be to $15 or more for some or all employers; 15 places will reach or exceed $17, according to NELP data.

So, if you know a cynic who loves to bemoan what they imagine is our falling sky, feel free to pass along this win for We The People. And it’s okay to mention Joe Biden, who knows that our minimum wage hasn’t made sense for decades. He’s been a champion for workers and now wages are beginning to be made right. This is a victory for democracy.

__________________________________

* Many thanks to that anonymous fellow who made those days make more sense.

 ** Definition:

psychosis | sīˈ KŌ səs | noun (plural psychoses | sīˈ sēz |)

a severe mental condition in which thought and emotions are so affected that contact is lost with external reality.

– Apple dictionary


  • 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.

Seven Wonderings


Post 1,028

___________________________________

Wondering #1

Over 116 IDF troops have been killed and many injured in Israel’s efforts to silence Hamas in Gaza, in the West Bank and in fighting to hold back Hezbollah in Lebanon. Of course, these numbers are dwarfed by the number of Palestinian casualties. Still, where are the demonstrations of support for those brave men and women risking and some losing their lives to protect their country and their countrymen from terrorists? Same question regarding the Israelis being injured or killed by Hamas rockets that continue to rain down on Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and on other cities.*

Oh, right – the world has fallen for the Hamas trick of making victims of Palestinians in order to gain world sympathy. That allows Hamas to unleash terrorism on Israelis and effectively excuse it, or at least allows the world to ignore it. So, people demonstrate on college campuses in the U.S. and in European cities against Israel for the crime against humanity of Jews protecting themselves from murderous Hamas terrorists, the very people who set up civilian Palestinians for death.

Big surprise

There aren’t many protests against Hamas and the complicit Palestinians who are the true instigators of the death and destruction in Gaza.

The useful idiot demonstrators are demanding an Israeli ceasefire, as though they think that there would be no self-destructive consequences to Israel of that.

NOT SO BREAKING NEWS!
.

A ceasefire would allow Hamas to rearm, regroup and resume killing Israelis. They’ve promised repeatedly to do exactly that, to attack Israel over and over.

To the street protesters and to the appeasement spewing world leaders: Do you still think a ceasefire is a good idea? What would your answer be if you lived in Tel Aviv and every day you have to dodge incoming rockets?

Important safety tip

You don’t have to be Israeli or Jewish to be killed or gravely wounded by a Hamas rocket.

It’s so easy to manipulate people who want simple solutions to complex problems, people who cannot fathom that there is something other than whatever propaganda and manipulation has been put before their eyes. Hamas is very good at that manipulation.

Steve Sheffey offered this worthy challenge:

A New York Times investigation uncovered new details showing a pattern of rape, mutilation, and extreme brutality against women in the Hamas attacks on Israel. Read this article if you support a ceasefire that would allow Hamas to remain in power, armed and dangerous.

Many people have been duped into believing that Israel is some sort of devil, the bad guy perp, and that Palestinians are hapless good guy victims of Israeli cruelty. That simple binary view sells well. But what if things are not as as simple as you’ve been made to believe?

Just wondering.

Wondering #2

From The Tennessean:

“There are 1,582 Americans still unaccounted for [from the Vietnam War], according to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency.”

I’m wondering if the words on the POW/MIA flag are still true: “You are not forgotten.”

Wondering #3

I’m wondering something else about our military people.

The Wounded Warrior Project provides support for our wounded and disabled veterans. It is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization that is sustained solely by donations. That’s what started my wondering.

We send our military people into harms way. They stand a post for us all over the world, protecting our nation and our national interests. They are volunteers – every one of them – who knew when they put on the uniform that they were putting their lives on the line for the rest of us.

Some of them return to us terribly damaged. These are the people who are served by that private organization. The thing I wonder about is why we send our people into harms way, perhaps to be killed or become wounded and beset with long term disabilities, but then we make them have to rely on private organizations and donations to get the treatment and support they need.

Why isn’t full support a standard that We The People provide as part of our obligation to those who protect us?

I assume the VA is helpful, but apparently what they do isn’t helpful enough. Said another way, we train our military men and women to fight and when they come back to us damaged we give them their first Band Aids and then abandon them. Are our military people no longer of value to us after they’re wounded, so we refuse to fund their rehabilitation?

Just wondering.

Wondering #4

There is something similar going on in our schools.

We always under-fund some of them. That isn’t a problem in affluent areas, where property taxes provide plenty of money for schools, teachers and various support services. But that doesn’t work so well on the other side of the tracks, where property taxes are small. That’s where our “under-performing” schools can be found. How come we abandon those kids to a mediocre education?

Oh, right – the parents on the poor side of town aren’t big donors to political campaigns and they aren’t reliable voters, so we leave kids in lousy buildings with half the number of teachers they need, learning from beat up, 20 year old textbooks. We abandon these kids just like we do our wounded military.

For the moment, never mind the injustice in that. Instead, be selfish. If given the schooling s/he needs, one of those kids on the other side of the tracks might find a cure for the cancer you’re going to get in a few years. Maybe we should provide him/her the same great education that the kids on the affluent side of town are afforded. Doing that would be good for your health.

I’m wondering if that might be a good idea.

Wonderings #5 & 6

Here’s another couple of wonderings.

I received an email call for help from Moms Demand Action for their Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Day of Service. The local MDA is soliciting donations of basic hygiene products and assembling them into kits to be “distributed to over 80 schools facing economic challenges in the Chicagoland area.”

I’m Wondering (#5) how it is that we have to hold metaphorical bake sales for these kids to have basic hygiene. And I’m Wondering (#6) why Jeff Bridges has to go on TV and beg for money to feed hungry kids. **

Wondering #7

I’m wondering who we are.

________________________________

* From Haaretz:

Instead of fireworks, air raid sirens inaugurated the new year for a swathe of central Israel. Launched one minute after midnight, the rockets from Gaza were a crude if salient reminder that Israel and Hamas are heading towards three months of war.

** From Annie Gowen of the Washington Post on January 10:

Republican governors in 15 states reject summer food money for kids

Republican governors in 15 states are rejecting a new federally funded program to give food assistance to hungry children during the summer months, denying benefits to 8 million children across the country.

Alabama, Alaska, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont and Wyoming

States in RED also “.  .  .  have not fully extended Medicaid eligibility to low-income individuals.”

Do you suppose making kids go hungry is what people in those 15 states really want?

Just wondering #6


  • 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.

Immigration, Healthcare and Disappearing Spine Disease


Post 1,026

___________________________________

The Real Immigration Issue – Said Out Loud

With a noteworthy and continuing firmness, Congress has steadfastly stood tall for doing nothing to reform of our immigration system. That has left our proud Republican congresspeople free to whine, point fingers of blame, complain and demonize.

In the face of thousands of hopeful immigrants arriving daily, our courageous Speaker of the House, He Who Hates America, sent all representatives home for 3 weeks. The Republicans don’t want our immigration system fixed because they’d rather use our dysfunction to stoke their base against Biden and Democrats, even though it’s a challenge that is actually the responsibility of Congress, so they leave asylum seekers hanging. “The cruelty is the point.”

We do have a real and serious immigration problem, but it isn’t the one that is commonly talked about. Here’s the real immigration issue, said out loud:

Republicans don’t want any Hispanic, Black, Brown,
Asian or Muslim people in our country. *
.

After all, those people are so very inconvenient to straight, Christian nationalist, White Supremacist suburban and rural patriarchal posers.

Let’s be precise: This describes Republican extremists and Republican “moderates” (read: cowards). It certainly describes some others, too, especially the true believers of the wholly made up, hateful, bigoted, racist Replacement Theory.

Republicans still talk about people seeking asylum coming from the south, but nobody is complaining about White, European applicants seeking to immigrate – unless they’re from Ukraine and seeking asylum. They don’t want those people because allowing them in our country would help Ukraine in its fight for survival against Putin and Republicans are in the tank for Putin.

  • Side note: I remember a time when Republicans
  • were in the tank for America.

Our immigration problem isn’t about immigration. It’s about racism and White supremacy and delusional, hateful Christianity. Nothing more.

The Healthcare Ripoff

Read this from STAT, the healthcare newsletter from the Boston Globe:

INSURANCE
American taxpayers pay as much for health care as other countries do for universal coverage

The U.S. government spent more on health care last year than the combined governments of Germany, the U.K., Italy, Spain, Austria, and France did on universal health care coverage, according new CMS data. Their populations add up to a total of 335 million people, compared to the U.S. population of 331 million.

The $1.8 trillion in federal and state health care expenditures in 2022 funded by taxpayers last year — about 41% of the nearly $4.5 trillion in both public and private health care spending — calls to mind an argument made by economists Amy Finkelstein and Liran Einav. “We’re already paying as taxpayers for universal basic automatic coverage, we’re just not getting it,” Finkelstein said at the STAT Summit in October. Read more from STAT’s Annalisa Merelli.

Wait, what? We’re paying full price for universal healthcare – actually, many times what other countries with universal healthcare pay – but “we’re just not getting it”? Are we really allowing ourselves to be ripped off like that?

Well, yeah, we are.

And our politicians, in the pockets of Big Pharma, insurance, big hospitals and more, don’t want to change a thing.

Please open your hymnal to page 2024 as we sing together all the verses of “That Sucks.”

Disappearing Spine Disease, or,
“What Do You Want Me To Say About Slavery?”
Definition

psycho-emetic [SI-ko-e-MET-ik] – noun

1. so stupid that it makes you puke

  • Jax Dictionary

At a town hall in New Hampshire last Wednesday Nikki Haley was asked what the cause of the Civil War was. She went on a tear about states rights, limited government and more and never mentioned slavery!

When she was done windbagging, the questioner pointed out her astonishing exclusion of the obvious historical fact of slavery. This pretender to the throne responded by asking, “What do you want me to say about slavery?

Yes, Nikki Haley really did ask that stupid question. That’s psycho-emetic.

We don’t want to keep her hanging, so to answer her question, what we wanted her to say about slavery is that it was THE cause of the Civil War. We wanted her to say how unfathomably horrible slavery was, how wrong it was and that millions of people still suffer from its consequences 159 years later. But she didn’t say that. Instead, she asked what color the questioner wanted her Republican chameleon outfit to be.

I just wish she had had the courage to say her truth: “I’m not going to say the obvious, that our Civil War was about slavery, the greed that slavery supported and the enormous cruelty it spawned, because if I did that I’d lose MAGA votes.” But she didn’t say that.

What she did do was to instantly disqualify herself for any job that calls for intellectual honesty, moral courage and the ability to speak truth. What she did do was to support the banning and burning of books that mention anything about race, discrimination and our horrifying history of slavery. What she did do was to tell us that she’s such a suck up that she would be unable to confront either foreign or domestic enemies.

No, Nikki, even if you’re from the South, you may not own human beings. That was the cause of the Civil War. It wasn’t about northern aggression. It wasn’t about states rights. It wasn’t about limited government. It was about slavery, you coward!

Poor Nikki Haley is just another carrier of Republican Disappearing Spine Disease. Have low expectations of her, because like the hymn about universal healthcare that we pay for but don’t get, this sucks.

And the hits just keep on comin’.

One Last Thing
  • Definition:

re·ces·sion /rəˈseSH(ə)n/ – noun

  • 1. a period of temporary economic decline during which trade and industrial activity are reduced, generally identified by a fall in GDP in two successive quarters.
    – Oxford English Dictionary

    For our math challenged, “two successive quarters” means 6 months in a row.
    .
    Republicans continue to say that a recession is less than a heartbeat away or that we are in a recession right now. Here are the facts (as in: observable reality):
    .
    1. We have had nothing but growth in GDP, month after month, quarter after quarter for a really long time. The rate of growth slowed during the Trump-ignored pandemic in 2020.
    2. The S & P 500 returned 26% last year and the DJIA is at an all time high. Doesn’t sound very recession-y to me.
    3. Because there are business cycles, saying that a recession is coming is like saying that the sky will be dark. Sooner or later you’ll be right. Meanwhile, there is no recession.
    4. We keep making more jobs month-after-month, wages are higher for everyone who depends on a paycheck, insulin is just $35 a month instead of hundreds, they’re almost ready to replace the I-75 bridge over the Ohio River, and, and, and .  .  .
    5. If you’re one of the moaners saying that your economic situation is good, but that our national economy sucks, get over your slavish following of phony righty propaganda. They’re just feeding you mind crap, hoping for political advantage.

    Which sucks.

    Okay, This is the Real Last Thing

    For a wonderful list of places/causes/ways to take action and make a difference to protect our unfathomably precious democracy – that task you’re going to focus on and contribute yourself to this year – check in with Mobilize.us. Consider this an addition to the list on this post.

  • ________________________________________
  • *  Trump in Waterloo, IA on December 19:

“They’re poisoning the blood of our country. All over the world they are pouring into our country. They come from Africa, they come from Asia, they come from South America.”

He called it a “border catastrophe.” He said, “They’re poisoning the blood of our country.”

  • That’s it plain and simple: Racist, xenophobic fear and hatred is what immigration reform – and Trump and MAGA – are all about.

  • 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.

Oh No – Reality!


Post 1,023

___________________________________

Republicans have been trying to kill Social Seciurity only since it began in 1935. Just a few years ago Paul Ryan (D-WI) tried to replace Social Security with a voucher system that he insisted wasn’t a voucher system. But it was and his sneakily misnamed scheme didn’t fly.

Since that Ryan skirmish over reality, Republicans have reverted to periodic bouts of phony statistics, victim whining and magical thinking. But they’re just politicians doing what today’s Republicans do. What about the way the rest of We The People feel about the Social Security system and what to do about it?

First, start with the plain fact that everyone loves Social Security. That is true at least for old people and also for others who know old people and for people who hope to one day become an old person. So, if there is any truth to the claims that Social Security will one day run out of money (and the math suggests that it will on some hotly disputed date), then we are left to figure out what to do about that.

Should we:

Raise the retirement age?

Limit benefits to some generations?

Limit benefits to all generations?

Eliminate cost of living adjustments (COLA)?

Let Granny starve or freeze to death?

Put old people in retirement city collectives, which would be cheaper than individual dwellings (we won’t call them “concentration camps”). After all, we do public housing so very well.

Offer them a bonus to die so we can eliminate the cost of their upkeep and then harvest their organs?

Eliminate the cap on contributions so that rich people and corporations pay their proportionate share of taxes on all payroll, not just some?

Raise the Social security tax rate on everyone?

Make the tax rate progressive instead of a flat tax?

The Gallup organization did a recent study of how we Americans want to see this issue solved. Here’s the chart of their surprising findings:

That’s right: By a 2 to 1 margin We The People would rather raise taxes on ourselves than cut benefits. And I’ll bet you can guess who’s in the 31% in favor setting Granny adrift. Here’s the full story.

Don’t expect any Republican to show this chart as support for his/her speech on the floor of the House or Senate – not when they can instead go histrionic over their fantasy of a deep state. They’ll be arguing yet again against what We The People want, like the way they vote against gun safety laws and abortion.

BTW – and I shouldn’t have to tell you this –  If you don’t want to worry about what the Grinches want to do to your retirement benefits or to Granny’s, elect people who will protect your benefits.

That’s right: If you want Social Security to be there for you, you have to do something about it. That’s the reality.

Boomers Strike Back

All true. All Boomers can do those things.

Truth be told, not only can I write in cursive, but sometimes later on I can read what I wrote. And I can use it to prevent Trump from reading my secret messages – kind of like our WW II Navajo Code Talkers – both because of my semi-undecipherable cursive and because he can’t read anything but a teleprompter (not well) and Mein Kampf (too well).

That’s reality, too.

Worst Person of the Month Award

So many worthy candidates but just one award .  .  .

Ken Paxton, the Republican Attorney General of Texas, has made it his holy mission, his crusade, his bible-thumping idiocy to be the fundamentalist decider in all things in the lives of all Texans.

He’s fighting the federal greenhouse gas rule, as though global warming will somehow skip around Texas and too bad for the rest of us.

He’s snooping into records from a Seattle hospital regarding gender affirming care for Texas kids. You read that right: in Seattle.

He loves the Texas concertina wire fences that slice up people coming to this country from the south. They’ve already killed some asylum seekers. Why aren’t there murder charges against the perps? Oh, right – it’s Texas.

All of that and more is contrary to the will of the majority of Texans, but that’s okay, because Paxton can bible-thump away at anyone who disagrees with him.

One last thing: his impeachment trial on corruption charges is getting close to a verdict.

  • Query: How come so many moral zealots are found
  • to be hypocrites and morality violators?

The worst part of the Paxton story involves Kate Cox, a pregnant Texas woman carrying a fetus that has severe medical problems that make survival outside the womb nearly impossible. Plus, continuing her pregnancy to term with this fetus might cause Cox to lose the ability to have another child and might even prove to be lethal to her.

She went to court in order to obtain an exception from the draconian Texas abortion law. Her case was based on the threat to Cox’s life. She won in the circuit court, allowing her to have an abortion. That’s when Ken the Merciless showed up and appealed to the Texas Supreme Court to block the whole thing. Paxton’s halo glowed like the sun, as he ensured that both Ms. Cox and her baby would likely die. Ms. Cox was running out of time to take action, so she left Texas to get the medical care she desperately needed elsewhere.

That’s why the Worst Person of the Month Award is hereby slimed upon Ken Paxton, the self-appointed dictator of Texas morality, This well-earned derision is for driving Kate Cox out of Texas without even a moment’s thought to her welfare. He’s quite like the medicine man with a bone in his nose, driving witches out of the village to die in the jungle.

“Congratulations, Ken! You’re the Worst Person of the Month, a first class hypocrite and a world class jerk.”

Come to think of it, he’s just like his boss, Republican Governor Greg Abbott.

Tell you what, crepes: You come after me and leave that poor woman alone. She has enough to handle without having to fend off your cruelty and overcompensation for your inadequacies.

Sadly, that’s reality, too.


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.

I’m Sorry


Post 1,021

___________________________________

I’m sorry that Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA) hates America.

At least he hates the Capitol Police and the DC cops who saved his miserable ass on January 6, 2021. He wants to protect not the cops, but the mob that attacked, injured and killed cops. And he clearly wants to protect the traitors who sacked the Capitol Building, carried a traitorous Confederate battle flag through it and pissed and defecated in the halls.

He still challenges the 2020 decision of We The People and tried to have us all stripped of our votes and our voices. He’s promoting a presidential candidate who has called for the “termination” of our Constitution, who says he’ll be a dictator if elected and who encourages Americans to commit violence against fellow Americans. No, I don’t think Mike Johnson loves America at all. I think he hates America.

I’m sorry, too, that his principles shift like a weather vane as the winds change.

He repeatedly wailed crocodile tears over the awful, unfair, partisan impeachment of Donald Trump. You likely recall that in one impeachment Trump was caught trying to extort Ukrainian President Zelenskyy, this for a Trump political advantage over Joe Biden in 2020. In the other impeachment he was caught leading an insurrection, a traitorous act. In both cases the evidence was and still is in plain sight. Nevertheless, Johnson’s croc tears.

The impeachments were largely decided on party line votes only because Republicans hadn’t the courage of the Republicans who told Richard Nixon that they would vote to impeach and convict him for his crimes because he was, in fact, a crook. Just like Trump.

So, Mike Johnson shed his aforementioned crocodile tears over and over for the unfairness of one-party impeachments, never mentioning the cowardice of his party and its denial of the obvious high crimes and misdemeanors of their orange fuhrer.

Then the wind shifted to Republican control of the House and a Democrat in the White House.

As Speaker Johnson has seen his party spend over 11 months digging for evidence of any Joe Biden high crime or misdemeanor, this in order to impeach him for something – anything – jaywalking – whatever. Literally, the only thing they’ve come up with is to invent the label “Biden crime family.” They have unearthed no facts to support that or their other dishonest accusations. Meanwhile, they have nothing – as in: NO THING! – that so much as hints of anything untoward done by the President.

To be clear, the Republicans have launched an entirely baseless political proctoscopic examination of anything that might possibly appear to be attached to Biden, but probably isn’t. And Mike Johnson, he of the “awful, unfair, partisan impeachment” crocodile tears for Trump, has waved his magic wand and “Abracadabra, WHOOSH!” Partisan impeachment is okay now! Who woulda guessed it? And Johnson isn’t shedding crocodile tears over this awful, unfair one-party thing now.

It’s that weather vane thing. I’m wondering if Johnson is good buds with Lindsay Graham.

Here’s why they’re doing this:

  1. The Democrats impeached Trump. Now that they have control of the House, they want to eliminate that election advantage for Biden. They want Biden tarred and kicked in the Constitution, however much fraud and hypocrisy that might require.
  2. The Republicans held eleven (11!) different hearings on Benghazi in 2016 looking for wrongdoing by Hillary Clinton. They found nothing, NO THING! But they kept digging anyway, wasting millions of dollars and thousands of brain-free political hours, when instead they might have actually done something to benefit the country.* What they accomplished was to keep a false appearance of Clinton wrongdoing in the public eye until the 2016 election in order to disadvantage Clinton. They are trying to do the same thing to Joe Biden with their “impeachment inquiry” ahead of the 2024 election.

Meanwhile, I’m sorry that the Republican controlled House:

hasn’t passed an emergency supplemental bill

hasn’t passed a regular Appropriations bill – that’s going to crash and burn again in just a few weeks

hasn’t passed a funding bill for aid to Ukraine or Israel **

hasn’t passed a bill to enhance border security (although they’ve whined a lot and pointed fingers at Biden)

hasn’t passed a bill for humanitarian aid for Gaza

hasn’t passed the Farm Bill

With Mike Johnson’s partisan hand on the gavel they haven’t even been able to name a post office.

To be fair, last Thursday they managed to pass an $886 billion military spending bill. There’s much to scrutinize there, including that some of our lavishly paid military contractors design, build and deliver weapons that the Pentagon doesn’t want.

Meanwhile, I’m wondering if Biden can legally redirect some of that defense overspend to support Ukraine, as they fight to protect western democracy, and to support Israel, as they fight to stay in existence.

Ah, what was I thinking? If Biden were to ignore this mean-spirited, do-nothing Republican House and instead do what needs to be done for our country and for our allies, Mike Johnson wouldn’t stand for that. Biden would be impeached for protecting our national security without employing extortion or retribution.

I’m sorry, but I really don’t think Mike Johnson loves America.

LATE ADDITION

Yesterday the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that Donald Trump could not be on the Colorado primary ballot nor be elected President from that state – something like that. The word “disqualified” is prominent in the court’s ruling. Details are still being sorted out. The expectation is that the case will be appealed to the US Supreme Court. Meanwhile, Trump just lost again.

I’m not sorry about that. At all.

_______________________________

* Fun fact: The last Benghazi hearing closed on December 12, 2016, oddly, just a short time after the November election. Just a coincidence, I’m sure.

** As the House went on vacation for 3 weeks, Speaker Mike Johnson tweeted his explanation for sitting on their hands regarding aid to Ukraine. He tweeted, “we must secure our own border before we secure another country’s.“ Apparently, he thinks our having done nothing to improve our immigration system for decades means that we must remedy that before we help to stop Russia from killing, raping and kidnapping Ukrainians. Apparently, he doesn’t just hate America. He hates Ukraine, too.


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.

The Speech You Never Heard


Post 1,020

___________________________________

On the morning of November 22, 1963 everything changed. President John F. Kennedy was in Dallas, TX to deliver a speech at the Trade Mart that afternoon and, as is quite obvious, that speech was never delivered.

Back then we were ever vigilant against our sworn enemies, communism and the Soviet Union. In contrast, today only half of our Congress opposes Russia and many openly support murderous Vladimir Putin. Our wonderful Civil Rights and Voting Rights bills were still in the dream stage in 1963 and now they’re being incrementally dismantled. Back then social media was just the AM radio playing top 40s hits and 5 minutes of news per hour.

In some ways, the world of 1963 was quite like today, as we struggled to balance competing needs and overly aggressive people could be found behind many podiums spouting self-serving nonsense.

Kennedy’s intended comments on that dreadful day are still available and he has some valuable words for us yet today. You can find the complete speech here. Meanwhile, here is a sampling.

In a world of complex and continuing problems, in a world full of frustrations and irritations, America’s leadership must be guided by the lights of learning and reason or else those who confuse rhetoric with reality and the plausible with the possible will gain the popular ascendancy with their seemingly swift and simple solutions to every world problem.

There will always be dissident voices heard in the land, expressing opposition without alternatives, finding fault but never favor, perceiving gloom on every side and seeking influence without responsibility. Those voices are inevitable.

But today other voices are heard in the land – voices preaching doctrines wholly unrelated to reality, wholly unsuited to [today] . . .

We cannot expect that everyone, to use the phrase of a decade ago, will “talk sense to the American people.” But we can hope that fewer people will listen to nonsense. And the notion that this nation is headed for defeat through deficit, or that strength is but a matter of slogans, is nothing but just plain nonsense . . .

Our security and strength, in the last analysis, directly depend on the security and strength of others, and that is why our military and economic assistance plays such a key role in enabling those who live on the periphery of the Communist world to maintain their independence of choice . . .

But, in today’s world, freedom can be lost without a shot being fired, by ballots as well as bullets. The success of our leadership is dependent upon respect for our mission in the world as well as our missiles – on a clearer recognition of the virtues of freedom as well as the evils of tyranny . . .

Finally, it should be clear by now that a nation can be no stronger abroad than she is at home. Only an America which practices what it preaches about equal rights and social justice will be respected by those whose choice affects our future. Only an America which has fully educated its citizens is fully capable of tackling the complex problems and perceiving the hidden dangers of the world in which we live. And only an America which is growing and prospering economically can sustain the worldwide defenses of freedom, while demonstrating to all concerned the opportunities of our system and society. [all emphasis mine]

Consider Kennedy’s intended words, as you contemplate the ongoing mania of some who call themselves Americans but who, it is plain, want to destroy us, to “tear it all down.” Think of these democracy destroyers’ abhorrent resistance to support an ally in its hour of need, as it struggles against a resurgent Russia modeled after the Soviet Union and fights the fight for freedom for all of us. Consider our struggle to maintain equanimity amidst those who are, “expressing opposition without alternatives, finding fault but never favor, perceiving gloom on every side and seeking influence without responsibility,” as well as the “voices preaching doctrines wholly unrelated to reality.”

It seems to me that Kennedy’s intended call to strength on that November day in Dallas was to be a call we must answer even today. We must be strong against the perfidy of those who plainly no longer believe in the America you believe in. For reasons that defy reason, they want our nation to emulate the cruel autocracies that have always led to war and suffering, the crushing of the human spirit and the loss of freedom for everyone.

I cannot help but wonder about the intellectual and moral principles of our time. So many seem to have embraced anti-intellectualism, denial of reality and have championed lying as though it is a virtue. This very vocal type is not a new species, as they have always been with us, but they are especially loud today.

This is not now nor was it ever a Boy Scout merit badge existence for all, but this is today a denial of such things with far greater passion and popularity than we have seen in a very long time, perhaps since the Civil War. That was not a war of northern aggression, nor was it a victim’s lost cause. It was a tremendous battle to determine if we would follow and even become our better angels, as Lincoln called them. It was an exclamation of our bold claim that we hold as self-evident that all men are created equal, as well as all the rest of our original intellectual and moral principles. It was a test of whether we mean what we say. We ultimately ratified those higher principles with blood.

Yet here we are 159 years later, still beset by liars, cheaters and selfish men and women who would burn books, lest we learn truth, who willingly defy their sacred oath and who take joy in ripping at the fabric of our society and of our nation. Millions listen to that corruption and they incrementally ratchet down our intellectual and moral principles.

We have a great deal of work 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.

EXTRA! EXTRA! – v2.0


Post 1,017

—————————————

Yesterday there was a mass shooting at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas (UNLV). It is reported that a lone gunman shot and killed 3 people and wounded 1. The police and FBI killed the perp are working to find accomplices (if any), where the weapon(s) used were obtained, whether they were purchased legally and, most important, the shooter’s motives.

There are two pieces of recurring news that accompany this shooting.

  1. Children of school age have lived with a looming sense of danger all their lives. They are accustomed to active shooter drills to the point that the mass shooting at a school yesterday produces just another shoulder shrug by them, although some wonder if they’re next. They don’t want to talk about it and they go on with their lives with yet another wound to their mental health and to their hearts. Nobody knows what the long term effect of such ongoing trauma will be.
  2. Congress will likely offer nothing at all. The members were called out by the Parkland kids for their “thoughts and prayers” hypocrisy a few years ago, so what can they say? A few well meaning legislators will stand and call for reform and exactly nothing will change to create better safety for our citizens. The good news is that neither anyone in Congress nor anyone in any state legislature will have to find his or her spine. None will have to stand up to the gun lobby or understand the Second Amendment for what it actually says, instead of believing the perverse story told by the gun lobby.

Be clear that it takes courage to face reality and stand up for what’s right. Sadly, that commodity – courage – is in very short supply in the ranks of our lawmakers.

Doing the Math
  1. This was the 631st mass shooting this year on the 340th day of the year. The math says that we’ve averaged 1.85 mass shootings per day since the first of the year.
  2. There were 2,408 people killed in the infamous attack on Pearl Harbor 82 years ago today. In 2023 we lose that number of our people to mass shootings every 16.6 days.* In 1941 we went to war over those deaths. Today we do nothing.

So, no big deal about this shooting at UNLV.

————————————————

* For the purists, there have been 40,086 gun deaths since the first of the year. That includes homicides, suicides, accidents and mass shootings. Our world leading average is 118 gun deaths per day. Every day.

We’re number 1 in this shame game and we intend to stay number 1. You can’t stop us because, hey, we got guns.


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.

1 2 3 56  Scroll to top