Domestic Policy

Emergency: The Assault on Stare Decisis


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You already know about the Supreme Court decision striking down Roe and it’s important to put that decision into context.

Be clear that this decision will result in Daisy, raped at age 13 by her father, having to take that incest-caused pregnancy to term. It means that Maryanne, raped in a laundromat by an unknown thug, will have to carry that baby, too. And 53 year old, diabetic Lucy will have to carry her surprise  pregnancy all the way to the point that it kills her. None of these women or any other woman is in charge of her own body any longer. The Supreme Court has established government mandated pregnancy, putting politicians in control women’s bodies.

Clearly, women no longer have autonomy of themselves or full citizenship.

At least since John Roberts was being vetted by the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2003, he and all subsequent candidates have been questioned about their views regarding Supreme Court precedent. Every candidate has declared their belief in stare decisis – to stand by things decided – which directs that settled law should not be re-litigated. And every candidate has given clear enough indication that they believed that Roe is settled law. But it turns out that their most serious declarations of fidelity to settled Supreme Court decisions just weren’t true.

And the Republican controlled Senate has consistently allowed that dishonesty.

Roe was decided in 1973 by a 7-2 vote and was unsuccessfully challenged many times (see this ACLU Timeline). The Court repeatedly upheld Roe. That’s a lot of settled law, a lot of precedent, but that was of no consequence to the liars now on the court. Roe is gone.

Also this week, the Supreme Court overturned a 109 year old law that prohibits carrying guns in public in the State of New York. It’s yet another example of extremist Justices ignoring precedent – violating stare decisis, which they claimed they adhered to – and moving us backward to a far more dangerous time.

Keep monitoring your shock response, as more decisions come down criminalizing all aspects of abortion. That includes criminal penalties for an Uber driver who brings a woman to a clinic; against friends who lend her money for an abortion; and against supportive husbands and boyfriends. Expect criminal penalties heaped upon women who live in states banning abortion and who travel to a state that allows abortion. Bear in mind that Texas has already empowered vigilantes to spy on neighbors – really, on anyone – and report them to the Texas Gestapo to collect bounties and for the state to levy fines and pile on criminal prosecution.

Expect challenges to Griswold, which will result in the outlawing of birth control. Justice Clarence Thomas, he of the “high-tech lynching,” has already invited such challenges. And don’t be the least bit surprised as this extremist Supreme Court attacks same-sex marriage by overturning Obergefell; or bans inter-racial marriage by overturning Loving; or even bans private consensual sexual activities; encourages more gun violence; and incrementally inserts religion into yet more government arenas.

One exception to that: Loving probably won’t be overturned, because Thomas is in an inter-racial marriage. He wouldn’t want to penalize himself. Penalties are for other people, so expect to hear a proud shout out for stare decisis on that one, as that expected primitive attack on freedom is defeated. Just that one shout out to precedent. It’s personal to Clarence.

Bear in mind that roughly 80% of Americans did not want Roe reversed. This Court is all about minority-enabled bullying of the rest of us, so don’t be surprised at the loss of yet more rights.

The true context and diabolical meaning of the overturning of Roe is the elimination of stare decisis, which opens the floodgates to Republican Party extremist and Supreme Court attack on our freedoms, protections and traditions. Credit for that goes to the decades-long efforts of Republicans to return us to the very worst of American Puritanical, “insecure male” tyranny, accompanied by the continuous drone of self-righteous Bible thumping and the strutting of loud, little men.

The Chicago Protest

Rage was in the air. The fury driven by the theft of rights and a very personal betrayal dominated the Federal Plaza in Chicago on Friday, June 24. It was a day that will be remembered for a very long time, with a permanent distrust of the Supreme Court its lasting legacy. The perfidy of the Republican Party, the cheats who crafted this vehicle for betrayal, will be long remembered as well.

Here are pics of some of the signs from that demonstration. The more foul messages have been excluded, but don’t imagine even for a moment that anger didn’t dominate the event. So did the commitment to vote and to support others in abortion ban states.

This isn’t over.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

————————————

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 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!)

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, so don’t bug me about it.
  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 vibrant.

JA


Copyright 2022 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

Fixing It – and Another Thing


Fixing It

It’s likely going to take a new Supreme Court that isn’t beholden to extremist ideology and bad influencers to fix our corrupt Congress and state legislatures who refuse the will of We The People, because here is what will be required:

  1. Declare that companies and corporations are not people and do not have the rights of citizens.
  2. clarify that money is property, not speech. It is not protected by the First Amendment. #1 & #2 lead to:
  3. Establish that campaign contributions, whether made directly to candidates or to outside advocate organizations, may be made only by flesh and blood human beings. No company or corporation – no non-human entity – may participate directly or indirectly in electoral politics.
  4. Establish a maximum contribution to any candidate and a total aggregate contribution to all candidates that any individual may make in any election. I.e. fix McCutcheon.
  5. Establish term limits for all elective offices, bureaucracy appointments and for all judges. We have term limits for the president and many governors. I  can’t think of a single good reason not to have limits for all elective offices, appointments and judicial appointments – can you?
  6. Establish a long period following elective or appointed office during which elected and appointed officials are prohibited from lobbying activities on behalf of industries and companies they formerly regulated, adjudicated or affected in an way.
  7. Amend the quaint 18th century, fancifully imagined construct of the Senate as a deliberative body of unusually wise men, two per state. That construct gives added power to rural areas and weakens more populous states, making the Senate unrepresentative. Instead, construct the Senate to be proportional to population in order to represent We The People fairly. Wise people will still be welcome. Here’s an illustration of the why of this.
    1. Wyoming, Montana and the Dakotas all together have 3.3 million people. That’s a third the size of just the Chicagoland population. Give those states 2 senators total, not each.
    2. The same for Vermont, the District of Columbia, Rhode Island and Delaware.
    3. Give California and Texas more senators, because they have 39 and 29 million people, respectively.
  8. Make the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico states.
  9. Eliminate the Electoral College and decide presidential elections solely on the basis of the total popular vote, just as for senators and representatives – really, every other elective office.

Clearly, this needs work by people who will see the intricacies and unintended consequences and who can write precise legislation that will both achieve the desired outcomes and will avoid creating what we do not want. These points are some obvious things that come to mind – surely, there are more. And yes, some of this will require amendments to the Constitution.

To get that new Supreme Court will likely require a super-majority of Democrats in both the House and Senate and a president who is a Democrat, because getting this job will be anathema to Republicans and, to be honest, some Democrats. Plus, this may require packing the Court – four new centrist-to-progressive justices who recognize the primacy of We The People.

And Another Thing

Click the pic to watch the entire speech. Every American should see this.

Matthew McConaughey gave a brilliant and impassioned speech to the White House Press Corps on June 7. He made the tragedy in Uvalde clear for anyone listening, leaving no possibility for anyone to miss the reality of the great human suffering this has caused and will continue to cause for a very long time. And he implored Congress to take action to prevent these tragedies from continuing to happen, like common sense gun regulations that will help to keep firearms out of the hands of those who would do us harm.

When he finished speaking and was leaving the lectern, James Rosen from Newsmax, a far right organization, shouted a question: “Were you grandstanding just now, sir?” McConaughey just left the room, but I’ll answer Rosen for him.

“Thank you, sir, for your question. You have just made it clear to all of America, indeed to the world, why we have such difficulty making progress in dealing with our challenges. You have demonstrated that sensationalism, destructive reporting and self-serving cruelty guide your actions and the actions of so many more. These are the over-loud voices with a megaphone but no sense of responsibility – really, no common sense – who vie for attention by widening our national divide. They are a vicious minority doing harm to our people and to our nation and you’ve shown us that you are one of them.

“Shame on you, sir. You could and should know better, but it’s obvious that you refuse to know. Shame on you.”

Be sure to watch Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) shred Republicans’ deadly intransigence on gun safety. His words are clear, compelling, accurate and beautifully impassioned – and they aren’t enough. If we’re to save our kids – like the Uvalde and Parkland and Sandy Hook and Santa Fe and Columbine kids and more – We The People are going to have to make that happen.

Must Read

Read Sheila Markin’s post of June 13. You already know much of the shameful stuff the Rs are doing, but we seem to be living in a post-shame world. More important are her comments about what Dems need to do. Go to a rally or town hall and tell your rep and senators to stop the nice-nice and call things what they are. Tell them that they get points – and votes – for brutal honesty.

————————————

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 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!)

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, so don’t bug me about it.
  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 vibrant.

JA


Copyright 2022 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

DO SOMETHING! – Part 2


Gov. Abbott press conference in Uvalde, TX. Click the pic for the story.

Gov. “Bang-Bang” Abbott of the Shooting Gallery of Texas said he was livid at his press conference following the Uvalde massacre, this because he didn’t get the full, straight story about police actions, if there were any. His cops and his hand picked public safety officials had essentially snow jobbed him, he told us. Of course, we understand anger over not getting a straight story, because most of the time it’s impossible for us to get a straight story from Abbott. That makes lots of people livid.

If he’s livid it may be because this time he got caught as an accessory to the murders of school kids by a really well equipped, Texas authorized shooter. You know, body armor, two AR-15s and lots of ammo, stuff that Abbott wants troubled 18 year olds to have. Of course, Abbott didn’t have what it takes to give us the straight story about that. What we know is that he was livid about looking foolish, mouthing bad information – so very sad for his ego. He gave no indication that he was livid about 19 dead kids and 2 dead teachers. In fact, when he told us he was livid they were still trying to identify those little corpses and eventually had to resort to DNA matching, but he didn’t mention that.

Still, right then and there Abbott promised mental health services for survivors in Uvalde. That’s great, because those people are hurting terribly. It will be generations before the people of that town get over this catastrophe, if, indeed, those folks ever do.

It’s wonderful that Gov. Abbott is promising mental health assistance right there in Texas, which ranks 4th in the nation in prevalence of mental illness, but last in access to care. Plus it’s going to be tougher and extra awful for the suffering people of Uvalde, because Abbott can’t possibly provide the help he bragged about. That’s because he recently chopped the state budget for mental health services by $211 million. It seems we’re back yet again to that business of not being able to get a straight story from Gov. Greg Abbott.

Besides his phantom mental health support, it’s noteworthy that last year Abbott boasted of having signed at least 7 new laws making it easier for Texans to get guns, including one that allows people to carry handguns without a background check, without training and without a permit. Just buy, load and go. More recently he urged Texans to buy more guns because a report said that there were more guns in California than in Texas. Gotta love his competitive spirit. Bang bang.

All of that is in the wake of 23 shoppers killed at a Walmart in El Paso, 10 kids killed in their school in Santa Fe and 26 churchgoers shot dead in Sutherland Springs. Now 19 kids and 2 teachers in Uvalde have been murdered. Read this and this if you want to understand how deeply objectionable this guy is and exactly why people like you and dead gun victims simply don’t matter to him.

I pick on Gov. Abbott for several reasons, chief among which is that he deserves it. I want to be bigger about this, but the truth is that I enjoy verbally beating the snot out of this guy – or any guy – who’s all about promoting himself in the face of the ghastly price paid by others for his bravado. He’s a placeholder for all the “real man” chest thumpers and the “my rights and my freedom” guys who still have not figured out that there are a lot of other people just beyond their noses who also have rights.

Like the right to not get murdered. We’d like for our kids to have the right to stop having to do active shooter drills and for our elderly loved ones to have the right to go shopping without it being a death defying act. We’d like for all the you-and-me regular folks to have the right to go to the entertainment district and not get killed by a monster with weapons in his hands made possible by Gov. Greg Abbott and others just like him. I pick on Gov. Abbott because he is a self-righteous tyrant and promoter of death who deserves a verbal thrashing.

We’ll do well to admit that Gov. Abbott and other officials like him, as well as ordinary citizens described in the above paragraphs, are people who we’ll never persuade, so we’ll have to over-power them. That means that way more of us will have to vote.

To our gun culture enthusiasts:
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I get that having and firing a handgun or hunting rifle or assault rifle is fun. It makes young men and lunatic congressmen and women feel powerful, in charge, important. Gun culture is intoxicating. But here’s the thing: If I care at all about the pleasure you or anyone gets from owning, handling and firing guns, it isn’t even in the same universe as my care for little kids sitting at their desks at schools or grannies shopping or people in church or doctors and nurses at their hospitals.

Your right to own and fire your guns isn’t even remotely as important as our right to life, as described in the Declaration of Independence as an unalienable right. That means that you are not allowed to kill anybody. Your puffed chest Second Amendment right is way behind others’ right to safety.
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Quoting Peggy Hamburg, former FDA commissioner, “If you don’t see the light, you will soon feel the heat.”

Half-size caskets with cartoons for Uvalde kids. Click the pic for the sad story.

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The day is coming when all of this will be self-evident. Greg Abbott will be long gone, as will Ted Cruz and all the knuckle dragging congressional and state legislative candidates firing or handling guns in their campaign ads. Be clear that I respect the guns – they’re dangerous – but I don’t respect those people.

They’re not protectors from a tyrannical government, nor do they protect us from immigrants or from anyone else. What they do is to endanger We The People every day.

These chest thumpers are not the opponent; they are the enemy of American public safety. Some day they must be defeated.

We can hasten the arrival of that day. Indeed, we must hasten the arrival of that day, because over 100 Americans are dying by gunfire every day.

From DO SOMETHING! – Part One:

What creative ideas do you have to get candidates elected who are bold enough to pass meaningful, sensible laws to protect our children and grannies and church goers and concert and movie attendees and .  .  .  wait .  .  .  that’s all of us.

Which candidates will you phone bank for? Will you send out election reminder post cards? How about kicking in a few bucks to a congressional candidate in a swing state? You can even do something to elect state legislature candidates who think my little granddaughter and other school kids shouldn’t have to do active shooter drills. Here’s a link to The States Project. These folks are all about that and you can make a difference that just might keep people from getting killed.

Remember: To Fire the bastards! (see below) we have to replace them with good guys. That’s about promoting the right people and voting. That’s on us.

Key Words: DO SOMETHING!
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Like March For Our Lives – June 11
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Click the button to be directed to the closest march to you.
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Marches Near You!

June 11 – BE THERE!

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Must Reads

How Greg Abbott and Under 4 Percent of Texans Are ruining the State for the Rest of Us

The Epidemic of Mass Shootings is Neither Inevitable Nor Unsolvable

He Did Not Act Alone

Post Script

After little kids and grannies were massacred, after dozens of concert attendees were mowed down, after multiple murders in churches, synagogues and mosques, how can it be that there is any political resistance at all to laws to protect us from these killing machines and from homicidal maniacs?

What has happened to us such that we know what to do and yet steadfastly refuse to do it?

Have no misunderstanding, no fog of ignorance: This is a test. It is a test of who and what we care about, what we value, what is precious to us. The answer to the single test question is not yet another string of hollow platitudes or another chest thumping, self-serving speech. The question is critical. I fear the answer.

————————————

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 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!)

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, so don’t bug me about it.
  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 vibrant.

JA


Copyright 2022 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

DO SOMETHING! – Part 1


I was talking with my long time friend David Ellman the other day. Actually, we were venting our rage over 19 more kids and two more teachers being massacred. We were livid.

We, like most of the American people, are sick of the constant stream of innocent dead people, the hypocritical thoughts and prayers, the stupid non-solutions (only one school door and it’s locked all day, Sen. Cruz? Really?) and the intransigence of the suck up wing of the Republican Party (that’s roughly all of them). More on that coming in DO SOMETHING! – Part 2.

Anyway, Dave had an interesting solution – actually a few solutions – to help cops to intervene to stop murderers. You know: like, DO SOMETHING!

  1. Install small, inexpensive cameras in classrooms and hallways that can be streamed to dispatchers and cops so that the cops know where the bad guys are. That way they’re not breaching a door without knowing which way to shoot to stop the bad guys.
  2. Install peep holes between rooms. This solution has a couple of extra benefits, like being super cheap, plus cops can stop the threat without actually entering the room by shooting through the wall.
  3. Same idea as #2, but with schoolroom false ceilings.

He went on to say,

“I bet there are hundreds of retired men and women in every community who have mechanical skills (basic construction), and who would gladly donate some time to assist in the installation of peep holes, cameras, etc. in local classrooms. All it would take is one knowledgeable (and properly licensed) person to lead a team of workers. Labor would be donated by everyone. I’m sure that teams in every town could be created in days, not years.”

None of Dave’s ideas requires battling the NRA or its bought and paid for politicians. And yes, I agree that there will be privacy issues to contend with over cameras and peep holes, but Dave continued,

“In a country that allows an unhinged 18 year old boy to buy an AR-15 with a thousand bullets, and Donald Trump to have total control over a button that could initiate a nuclear war, I don’t think it’s a stretch that a school principal should be able to turn on a camera in a grade school classroom that has just been taken over by an armed shooter.”

The point is that there can be simple and inexpensive solutions that don’t get stymied by self-serving, disingenuous, mealy-mouth politicians. Of course, such measures won’t stop every attack, but they’ll stop or at least limit some. What if we can come up with additional simple and inexpensive solutions? Do you think that we just might gradually reduce the body counts in America? So do I.

The people of Uvalde and Buffalo have spoken, telling us what to do and they are right: DO SOMETHING! That’s what they told President Biden. That’s what they’re telling us: DO SOMETHING!

I haven’t faith that 10 Republican senators can be found who will vote for whatever compromised-to-near-nothingness bill is negotiated and presented to them. It comes down to us – you and I – to take whatever steps We The People can take right now. Later, as the magenta below makes clear, we’ll Fire the bastards!

Here’s the action summary of this One-Two DO SOMETHING!

One

This is going to take everybody’s hands on the rope to pull this wagon to get it to where we want it to be. You’ve heard Dave’s ideas. What creative ideas do you have? Scroll down and you’ll find the Comments section where you can contribute your ideas to stop or limit our ongoing national death march. My commitment is to compile a list and forward it to all members of Congress.

Two

What creative ideas do you have to get candidates elected who are bold enough to pass meaningful, sensible laws to protect our children and grannies and church goers and concert and movie attendees and .  .  .  wait .  .  .  that’s all of us.

Which candidates will you phone bank for? Will you send out election reminder post cards? How about kicking in a few bucks to a congressional candidate in a swing state? And you can do something to elect state legislature candidates who think my little granddaughter and other school kids shouldn’t have to do active shooter drills. Here’s a link to The States Project – these folks are all about that and you can make a difference that just might keep people from getting killed.

Remember: To Fire the bastards! (see below) we have to replace them with good guys. That’s about promoting the right people and voting. That’s on us.

The Onion provides context. Click the pic and watch the slide show.

All of our noodling over solutions that can do something about our national carnage is way less of a problem than our being perpetually livid – most of the country is livid right now. We’re livid over 19 little kids and 2 teachers, plus shopping grannies and church goers being killed and with 25 being injured, too, all in the space of just 10 days. And during those same 10 days there were 15 other mass shootings in America. Those tallied 11 more dead and 61 more injured and that count doesn’t include Tulsa. See for yourself here.

“It goes up to 11. That’a louder, i’nit?” From This Is Spinal Tap

The Uvalde and Buffalo survivors are right when they say, “DO SOMETHING!” We can’t count on Congress now, so it really is up to us. Crank up your creative ideas machine and set it to 11.

Many thanks to Dave for his ideas and for stimulating this post.

Must Reads

Yolanda Renee King is a 14-year-old granddaughter of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. She has a message for her peers that you need to both read and then distribute to the teens and 20-somethings in your life. She has the spirit of her grandfather and we surely need that spirit right now. Many thanks to JN for pointing out this remarkable piece.

And read Allie Carter’s piece in the Washington Post, At school, we prepare to be shot at. This is how it feels.

Livid: A Question For Our Time

Where were the parents of that Uvalde shooter for the past 18 years?

Or the parents of the Buffalo shooter for the past 19 years?

For that matter, where were the parents of all of our Glock-, AR-15- & AK-47-armed, body-armored teenage mass murderers for all of their years?

WHERE THE HELL WERE THE PARENTS?

Every one of them raised a monster.

From President Biden:

Enough. It’s time for each of us to do our part. It’s time to act. Add your name to urge Congress to take action to end gun violence.

  • Finally, read this if you want to know why 18 – 23 year olds commit mass murders. Then, DO SOMETHING!

————————————

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 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!)

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, so don’t bug me about it.
  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 vibrant.

JA


Copyright 2022 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

Choices


We have choices every election day, of course, which is the whole point. But the next two exercises really will be different in ways we have never faced before, even in 2020 and after, with the ongoing efforts of traitors who are explicitly trying to defeat the will of We The People. The reason the next two elections will be different is because 2020 was a training wheels exercise. These treacherous people are now largely geared up to either win elections or to commit larceny and steal them in plain sight.

For example, Colorado Republican candidate for governor Greg Lopez is promising to eliminate one person, one vote by giving more weight to the votes of rural voters and undervaluing the votes of urban voters. It’s better for Republicans that way, you see. It’s also a strategic nuclear strike on our democracy.

Republican candidates for secretary of state in many Republican controlled states are promising to ignore the popular vote and certify their preferred candidates (read: Republicans) as the winners, even when they have decisively lost their elections.

What about this is not enraging you and scaring you?
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These people are promising the end of the America envisioned and designed by the Founders, the people who set this up for us, all at great peril to their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor. Today’s cheaters dishonor the millions of our ancestors who fought and some who died for the land of the free and the home of the brave. These anti-Americans want to make our country into a banana republic run by cruel, self-serving despots. They want us to emulate and even suck up to authoritarian so-called “strongmen,” as though being a thug is a good thing. But it isn’t.

Nearly half a million Americans died to stop the Nazi murderers, thugs and psychopaths. Now we have Americans waving swastika flags right here in America. And we have candidates for office promising a fascist autocracy.

There is only one thing that can stop this race to oblivion:

You and I must beat the bastards.

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MUST READ of the Week

Thomas Friedman’s post, My Lunch With President Biden isn’t about lunch.

Friedman will explain to you what is at stake far better than I can. Hint: The next elections aren’t between Republicans and Democrats. The choice is between having our democracy where your voice is heard and your vote is counted or an end to everything you value.

You need to read Friedman’s post and pass it along to at least three others. This is a patriotic imperative.

Quotes of the Week

From comedian Hal Sparks:

  1. The universal Republican campaign slogan is, “Government can’t do anything right. Elect me and I’ll prove it.”
  2. There is no Hunter Biden laptop. There is only a 10th generation hard drive from a laptop that might have belonged to Biden, but nobody is sure about that because there is no chain of custody record or even verifiable receipts.

I’ll add that Republicans don’t care about the complete lack of legitimacy of their wanting to smear Joe Biden by smearing his son. They used Benghazi hearings to smear Hillary Clinton, this in the complete lack of evidence of wrongdoing or incompetence.

I’ll say it again: There is no low that is too low for today’s Republicans. That is why this Eisenhower Republican says to do what you have to do, even to the point of holding your nose and then voting for Democrats up and down your ballot to stop these un-American liars and thugs from trashing our country.

Broken News

Nineteen second, third and fourth grade children and two teachers were killed  – gunned down – at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas yesterday. Three more kids are in critical condition as of this writing. The shooter was a messed up 18 year old high school kid who also murdered his grandmother. He was killed in a shoot out with police, but right now I don’t much care about him.

You already know about how our mostly Republican legislators at both the state and federal levels have been bought by corporate money and by threats, especially from the NRA. That’s what prevents anything from happening to stem the flow of blood from gun violence in America. I have a message for them and for the gun crazies in America. This time, though, I’ll address them by addressing Texans, since their home is where this most recent massacre of little kids took place, but the message goes to all of them.

So, what do you say, Tex? Do you still think your own freedom to swagger is what’s most important? Do you still think everyone should have access to firearms, even the angry guy who thinks that he’s the fastest gun in the west, the meanest and toughest camo-boy, the dude who got his man card punched? Because if you do, then we know that neither of those teachers was a relative of yours and none of those little kids who just got shot to death was your kid. And we know that you don’t give a damn about anyone else’s kid, either, you selfish son of a bitch.

Watch and listen to Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) as he asks the question,

WHAT ARE WE DOING?

.

Answer him after hearing what basketball great Steve Kerr has to say. And what President Biden has to say. Then tell me what we’re doing.

It’s always a choice and we’re not choosing well.

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PS Our governance and electoral corruption and our ongoing mass murders are all of a piece, all the same problem.

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The days are dwindling for us to take action. Get up! Do something to make things better.

Did someone forward this 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!)

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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, so don’t bug me about it.
  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 vibrant.

JA


Copyright 2022 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

Actually, We Will Replace Them


Click me to watch & listen to President Biden’s complete presentation.

“Silence is complicity.

“We have to refuse to live in a country where fear and lies are packaged for power and for profit.

“We must all enlist in this great cause of America.

“This is work that requires all of us—presidents and politicians, commentators, citizens. None of us can stay on the sidelines. We have to resolve here in Buffalo that from .  .  .  this tragedy .  .  . will come hope and light and life. It has to. And on our watch, the sacred cause of America will never bow, never break, never bend. And the America we love—the one we love—will endure.”

”President Joe Biden, May 17, 2022, Buffalo, NY

That’s all about countering the purveyors of and the bad actors for White Supremacy, and Replacement Theory in particular. It’s the old, hate filled notion that “others” are coming to replace the deserving ones, the White, European ancestry Christians, especially the males. Those “others” include Blacks, Browns, Muslims, Asians, Native Americans and more, all of this orchestrated by Jews, they proclaim. The haters are motivated by their fear and rage and that leads to violence. These are the people against whom the rest of us must enlist in this “great cause of America.”

Whites in America will soon be in the minority due primarily to a differential in birth rates, plus some (but not much) immigration. So, it might be understandable for White Supremacists to be afraid and to hold their hateful views, because they know how shabbily we treat minorities in this country. It makes sense that they might fear how they will be treated once they are in the minority.

Just imagine if Black police hassled, beat and killed unarmed Whites at the rate of about 1,000 per year, 3 killed per day. It would be terrible for Whites to be removed from a place of power and be replaced by “others” and treated as Whites have treated those “others” for over 400 years. That just wouldn’t be right, right?

So, they’re chanting “Jews will not replace us” and “You will not replace us.” How very testosterony of them. These people, their leaders and their elected officials are who my friend Sheila Markin calls the Rabid, Religious, Right-wing Republicans.

There is nothing at all about today’s Republicans that resembles traditional Republicans. They are fear and anger stoked tribalists after only two things: power and money. And they are pleased to stomp on anyone and anything that stands in their way, including democracy, the rule of law and food shoppers in Buffalo.

So, we’ll replace them. Here’s a feet-on-the-ground example of why we must.

On May 18 the House voted on a bill to provide emergency funds to deal with the infant formula crisis. If you don’t believe there’s a crisis, check with any parent of an infant whose mom isn’t breastfeeding her child or a parent of an infant with medical issues who cannot tolerate any form of milk. Those kids need to eat; otherwise, they go hungry, and that’s very bad for infants.

Note that these babies are the same individuals that Republicans and Replacement Theorists and White Supremacists and Bible thumpers were vehement to protect when they were fetuses. Now that they’re born, these people just don’t seem to care too much about these kids any more.

So, 192 Republicans (and 1 Democrat) voted against the bill to keep these kids fed and alive. So much for their being pro-life.

It isn’t so much that the 192 Republicans hate babies, although that’s possible. It’s that they are slaves to the most hateful, extremist voters – like the ones who spew Replacement Theory and stolen election lies – and these legislators don’t have the spine to be a leader and stand up for what’s right. Welcome to HypocrisyLand.

But wait! There’s more!

The Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2022 was brought to the floor of the House on the same day as Republicans voted to starve babies.  This is an act which is designed to combat domestic terrorism. Every Republican voted against it.

So, have a relaxed shopping experience, fellow citizen, at the mall or at Walmart or at the supermarket, knowing there may be a domestic terrorist waiting for you because 203 Republicans voted to do nothing to ensure your safety.

Republicans will not replace us. We’ll replace them. We must replace them. Our democracy cannot stand unless we replace them.

So, we end this piece where we began: “Silence is complicity.”

The Lies Have Been Here a Long While

Watch George W. Bush momentarily tell the truth here.

From Inae Oh of Mother Jones:

“George W. Bush—whose administration, lie by lie, sold a deeply fraudulent and immoral case for invasion—apparently sees a bit of himself in Vladimir Putin. I wonder why:

“Former President George W. Bush: ‘The decision of one man to launch a wholly unjustified and brutal invasion of Iraq. I mean of Ukraine.’ pic.twitter.com/UMwNMwMnmX

— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) May 19, 2022

“I’m 75,’ Bush quickly offered, prompting laughter from the crowd.

“The gaffe, which came during a speech in Dallas on Wednesday, is sure to launch a bunch of thought pieces this morning. For some, it was cute, another Bush giving Michelle Obama candy moment. Others, like me, will recall his historic bait and switch that killed upwards of 200,000 civilians. Well, wherever you land, here’s your ever-relevant reminder that George W. Bush is still bad; please don’t let his never ending supply of dumb endear you. Now watch this drive.

DO NOT give this guy a pass because he’s a cute old man or because you’ve forgotten most of his horribles, like failing to heed the warnings about 9/11 and ordering torture. This guy lied when he inhaled and he lied when he exhaled and hundreds of thousands died because of him.

Trump and his supplicants roll the same way and 40% of our citizens want to follow him to oblivion.

So, one more time: “Silence is complicity.”

Quote of the Week
    • “The racist, antisemitic Replacement Theory espoused by a right-wing extremist who murdered ten people in Buffalo might as well be the Republican Party platform.”
    • Steve Sheffey

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The days are dwindling for us to take action. Get up! Do something to make things better.

Did someone forward this 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!)

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, so don’t bug me about it.
  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 vibrant.

JA


Copyright 2022 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

Excess Deaths


Excess death is what happens when a virulent killer arrives at civilization’s door. It’s the number of people who have died over and above the number who would have died in the absence of, say, bubonic plague, the Spanish Flu or Covid-19.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently announced that there were 15 million excess deaths worldwide over the first two years of Covid. The Economist has done an exacting study of this issue and concludes the number is 18 million additional dead people.

We just passed the dreadful mark of 1 million Americans dead from Covid in just two years and we know that’s a low number for reasons identified below. For now, let’s put that into perspective by comparing that number to our battlefield war dead.

Here’s a chart from Statista – you can click the chart for details and to read the labels more easily.

For a more thorough comparison, have a look at this WaPo analysis.

Simple addition tells us that our total battlefield war dead from all major conflicts since 1775 is 1,284,702. In all cases the deaths from our wars were horrific and a tragedy and we were shocked by the losses.

It’s crazy that we’re well on our way to surpassing that number solely due to Covid and in just two years. In fact, we could surpass that number this year; certainly by next year. How strange that we continue to mourn our war dead but seem to have accommodated the ongoing massacre of our countrymen from Covid and have relegated their deaths to background noise.

One of the fascinating denials in the early days of our pandemic was the claim that Covid was far less of a threat than the flu, so what’s the big deal? I heard claims that the flu kills “only” 65,000 Americans every year and that Covid’s reach was far less, Eat, drink and be merry.

Turns out it hasn’t been that merry.

The CDC shows us that, depending on the flu variant, between 12,000 and 52,000 Americans die each year from influenza. That’s between 39 and 142 deaths from flu per day.

Here’s a chart of new daily Covid deaths through May 12:

 

As you can see, we’re now at 445 deaths from Covid per day – that’s a rate of 162,425 for the year. That’s more death from Covid than from the flu this year or in any recent year – at least 3 times more. And that math doesn’t take into consideration the escalating number of deaths from Covid expected as this year progresses.

Here’s a STAT chart of our 1 million Covid deaths through March:

Click the chart for the story of wonderful scientific achievement and horrible systemic failures, some willful. Indeed, read Politico’s assessment of the ongoing, conscientious Republican insanity to promote the death of Americans. Key point: “It was a deliberate effort by members of the House Freedom Caucus, in the House, some U.S. senators, amplified nightly on Fox News.”

Yes, it’s true that vaccinated people can contract Covid and a few can die – see the blue lines at the bottom of the chart. The difference is that most don’t die from it. They just need medical help for a while and then they go home and resume their normal lives.

This chart only reflects the officially reported Covid deaths since vaccines became available. They don’t count the people who died without a diagnosis or who died away from a medical facility that tallies the numbers, two of the reasons that the total Covid death count is almost certainly much higher than 1 million.

This chart also doesn’t count those who died because they couldn’t get help for an unrelated affliction, and if the present trend continues we are going to have lots more excess deaths like that. These people will be, for example, heart attack, stroke, cancer and car crash victims who were unable to access the medical care they needed in time to save them because their medical facility was overrun by Covid patients.

Think: Dad died from a heart attack while waiting in his car in the Emergency Room parking lot. He was there because unvaccinated Uncle Bubba had Covid and was in the bed that dad needed and was taking the time, attention and energy of the doctors and nurses who could have saved Dad.

So, don’t imagine that you’re safe from Covid because you’re vaccinated and boosted and you’re a good little mask wearer. You might one day require medical help that you can’t get because of all the unvaccinated people who are sure that Covid isn’t as bad as the flu, or because they think that vaccines cause all manner of imaginary symptoms or are loaded with Bill Gates’ nanobots or because their freedom is more important than anything, including your life – and who are in hospital beds needed by others.

These are the numbers. Factual, empirical data. Again, the current daily Covid corpse count is 445 and that number is expected to rise. Making that worse is that we don’t know how many more people will die because the unvaccinated are clogging hospitals. I sure don’t want the people I love or me to be among those excess deaths. Just guessing you feel the same.

Video of the Week

If you paid attention during the Democratic primary season of 2020 you learned that Pete Buttigieg is a really smart fellow. He’s clear, articulate and is a no drama presenter. Take a listen to his discussion of the implications of the Supreme Court’s likely smack down of Roe during his visit to the Institute of Politics at the University of Chicago last week. Note especially his metaphor that now might be the last high water mark for rights and freedom in America. Brian Tyler Cohen’s commentary following Buttigieg is well worth the watch, too.

For the full Buttigieg session, click here.

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The days are dwindling for us to take action. Get up! Do something to make things better.

Did someone forward this 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!)

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, so don’t bug me about it.
  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 vibrant.

JA


Copyright 2022 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

Don’t Tell Me


Click me

Stop the Presses!

Before we get to the meat of today’s post, please watch this most timely video. You’ll know what to do after that. Then, come back here for the aforementioned meat.

‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾

Don’t Tell Me

You remember Popeye cartoons, I’m sure. Our hero would be going about his business but then would be attacked by the bully, Bluto. Sometimes Bluto would try to kidnap Popeye’s girlfriend, Olive Oyl. Bluto would beat Popeye to a pulp. Then, at last, Popeye would down a can of spinach and declare, “That’s all I can stands. I can’t stands no more!” and he’d proceed to apply some accountability to Bluto.

Well, I’ve reached my Popeye Point (again), where I can’t stands no more. So, put on your thick skin and protective eye wear, strap in and let’s go. This is for people who ostentatiously claim that they are Christians, as though that explains and excuses whatever they do.

Don’t tell me you’re a Christian if you’re spewing hatred at innocent people or objecting to a hearing for terrified asylum seekers.

Don’t tell me you’re a Christian and pro-life if you approve of the death penalty or you applaud the murder of abortion providers. And you’re not pro-life if you proudly deny food to poor children. Or you ignore high infant and maternal mortality rates, especially for poor women and children. Or you oppose gun safety legislation. I will concede only that you are pro-fetus and really don’t give a damn about kids after the moment of birth, even in the gruesome reality of Sandy Hook and Parkland.

Don’t tell me you’re a Christian if you plot to assassinate politicians or you lie about elections being stolen. And no, you can’t hide behind claiming you were duped. You’re not that dumb. You’re just horribly lazy, willfully gullible and, pathetically, you need to see yourself as a victim.

Don’t tell me you’re a Christian if you raised your arm and yelled “Seig heil!” or if you think there were “fine people on both sides” at Charlottesville. Or if you just turned away as babies were ripped from their mothers’ arms at the Rio Grande.

Don’t tell me that you’re a Christian if you voted for Donald Trump even after hearing him brag that he can “grab women by the p%$$y” and after hearing at least 19 women credibly accuse him of sexual assault. Or after his multiple hateful Muslim bans. Or after hearing his idiotic and murderous solutions to Covid, like injecting bleach or taking hydroxychloroquine, distractions that caused hundreds of thousands of extra deaths.

Don’t tell me you’re a Christian if you’re making up “grooming” and pedophile lies in order to get haters to donate to your campaign. Or if you donated to any of the liars making such claims.

Don’t tell anyone you’re a Christian if you’re spouting the insane conspiracy BS that Democrats drink children’s blood and are pedophiles and sex traffickers and are in charge of a worldwide cabal against White Christians. Instead, just tell people that you’ve had severe brain damage.

There’s more, of course. But your claim of being a Christian is a lie you use as a self-serving ploy, a cheater’s shield and a blinder so that you don’t have to look at yourself and see who and what you really are.

I love the question you consistently refuse to answer:

What would Jesus do?

Whatever the right answers are, you’re doing the opposite.

One more thing: an open-hearted invitation to redemption.

I know this crap has been crammed into your brain, but it doesn’t have to stay there. The invitation is for you to take the bold, daring step to think for yourself. Critically. That means no more sleepwalking through your life. No more goose stepping because some hate spewing moron told you to do that. Think for yourself. All the time.

Until you do that, don’t tell me anything.

To Everyone Else:
.

This isn’t a diatribe against Christianity. It’s a rant against hypocrisy.

Those hypocrites from whom I don’t want to hear are irredeemable, my invitation to their redemption notwithstanding. We should waste none of our time laboring to get them to reform and to support democracy, because they are intentionally blind. We must hope that their children and grandchildren can be saved from repeating the fear and anger and hatred these people spit on our country.

30% of Americans are in that irredeemable category. Our future depends upon our reaching the other 70%.

Yet More Don’t Tell Me

Thanks to FL for pointing this out.

I also don’t want to hear smug assertions of apolitical justice from the five radical Supreme Court justices who lied, dissembled and snow jobbed their way through their Senate confirmation hearings so that they can now eliminate Constitutional rights.

I’m talking about the justices who directly said that Roe and Casey were settled law. And I’m talking about the ones who dumped a blizzard of words to lead us to believe that if challenges to those cases came to the Court that they would defeat those challenges. Instead, they all voted to kill Roe, according to Alito’s leaked draft opinion. These are the justices who brought their Roman Catholic and fundamentalist Christian beliefs to the bench and are now imposing them on all Americans.

Check me on this:
.

I thought that judges and justices were supposed to rule on cases based on secular Constitutional and legal precedents. Did I get that wrong?

Perhaps the liars should be impeached.

But maybe we should save up for the impeachments, as this extremist, not-at-all conservative Supreme Court majority opens the door to stripping yet more rights from Americans, like voting rights (already in progress), same-sex marriage rights, birth control rights and all manner of privacy rights. Give some thought to what will happen when this court pushes more decisions down to radical, minority controlled state legislatures, which will then imperil even more Americans. Who will save Texans from Texas then?

The real problem is the injury these justices do to the Court, (see this Twitter feed, too) to our country and to the American people with their self-righteous Puritanism.

A Special Message For American Women from the RNC Inquisition
.

“We’re sure the Supreme Court Justices will be sorry for all of you who will die or have your lives ruined because of their ruling on Roe. Clearly, these five or six justices and we here in the RNC Inquisition believe deeply that’s just God’s way. He (not She) works in mysterious ways, you know.

“So, bummer for you, honey. Things will go better if you just subsume yourself into the patriarchy of today’s Republican Party and we’ll control you. Just keep your mouth shut and be a good little breeder.”

Must Reads

John Pavlovitz writes fine, insightful essays, but this one is brilliant. It’s a clarion call to all of us. It truly is the time for us to stand shoulder-to-shoulder and hold up the sky. Read his piece and you’ll understand.

And do not miss Maureen Dowd’s proper contextualizing of the Republican Puritan insanity in today’s op-ed, Marilyn Monroe v. Samuel Alito,

Jokes of the Week

Q. Why did the Republican cross the aisle?

A. Don’t be silly – they never do that.

Q. How many Republicans does it take to get to the truth?

A. Nobody knows.

Q. What will women do when they have an unwanted pregnancy?

A. They’ll pray for divine intervention for a miscarriage and hope they aren’t indicted for murder.

Ear Worm of the Week

We took in a Rogers & Hammerstein concert last week and lots of show tunes have been dancing in my ears since then. One is Oklahoma! Unfortunately, a lyric from that song has become polluted by our politics in this way:

“We know we belong to the land,

“And the land we belong to is grand,

as long as you’re a straight, White Christian man.

————————————

The days are dwindling for us to take action. Get up! Do something to make things better.

Did someone forward this 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!)

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, so don’t bug me about it.
  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 vibrant.

JA


Copyright 2022 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

Restoring the Dream


    • You got trouble, my friend. Right here in River City.
    • Oh, we got trouble with a capital “T” and it rhymes with “D” and it stands for Democracy.

With apologies to Meredith Willson, creator of the wonderful music and lyrics for the wildly successful musical The Music Man, paraphrasing his words became irresistible after seeing Rob Reiner’s tweet from April 20.

He’s right, of course, as today’s Republicans work every day to replace democracy with authoritarianism led by Donald Trump or a Trump imitator. But there’s a problem with Reiner’s tweet: It doesn’t sell.

For many, a threat to democracy is too esoteric, too theoretical to solidly grasp it, much less to be motivated by such a claim. Worse, millions of Americans believe that democracy has already been taken from them, stolen by elitists in the 2020 election, stolen by people who don’t understand or care about regular Americans. That makes Reiner’s tweet sound like a lie to them. Perhaps they hear his tweet and then believe that left-of-center types think regular Americans are stupid enough to believe his vaporous claim.

I was on a Zoom call last week with a couple dozen like-minded people who were bemoaning the continuing threat to our democracy by extremists and self-serving liars. The context was about how to win in our next elections. The problem is that the argument about the far right’s threat to democracy, however impassioned anyone may feel about it, is only motivating to those who already agree and there aren’t enough of them to win an election.

The real battle is not to win over the far right extremists. The battle is for the independents, the middle-ists,* the regular Americans just going about their lives and who don’t like getting bashed by crazy claims from those who would inflame them. To win these folks over will take something more tangible to them than a claim about an idea.

From the Captain Obvious System Operating Handbook:

Appeal truthfully to the middle-ists on the basis of what’s important to them.

Now, there’s an idea that just might be good for both middle-ists and our country. Pair that with some Rock ‘n Roll philosophy from The Rolling Stones’ Ruby Tuesday:

    • “There’s no time to lose,” I heard her say.
    • Catch your dreams before they slip away.
    • Dying all the time,
    • Lose your dreams and you will lose your mind.
    • Ain’t life unkind?

Okay, what about the American Dream? We figured it was ours, and it was. But some of us, perhaps millions of us, feel like it’s already gone or is being stolen from us and the robbery is happening in plain sight. The millions are angry, just as any of us would be if something dear to us were being taken away. Perhaps life doesn’t have to be that unkind.

What if we were to do something about restoring the American Dream, that sense of limitless possibilities (watch this space on Wednesday)? That might help. But the view of our possibilities is dramatically clouded by the anger and hatred that has been unleashed from the American subconscious by self-promoting thugs. This isn’t going to be easy. Nevertheless, it is necessary, because the alternative is unthinkable.

We have to catch that dream before it really does slip away and we all lose our minds.

Must Reads For Restoring the American Dream

First, Hillary Clinton wrote a wonderful piece about Madeleine Albright shortly after Albright died. Two notes about that.

  1. We have a national obsession to bash Clinton or defend her. Whatever your opinion of her, set that aside and learn about Albright.
  2. Albright lived under authoritarianism until she was 11 years old, so she knew the difference between that and freedom and democracy. She valued democracy likely far greater than those of us for whom democracy has been a given. Read and learn, grasshopper.

Second, Emmanuel Macron won the presidency of France over fascist, Putin loving, bigoted, authoritarian wannabee Marine Le Pen, daughter of fascist, Putin loving, bigoted, authoritarian wannabee Jean-Marie Le Pen. NATO and those who love freedom and democracy can breathe a sigh of relief over that.

David Leonhardt’s piece about that election provides clues to what is going on in the United States. For example, why do far right, angry, hateful extremist politicians get so many votes from ordinary citizens? I encourage you to read Leonhardt’s essay and substitute USA for France as you read and you’ll get a better understanding of how and why our nation is divided and perhaps a clue as to how to deal with that.

Hint: It’s a hard, uphill pull to convince people to let go of our protective “fear of the other,” of our need to blame and our enormous capacity for rationalizing of the irrational. That struggle is connected to restoring the American Dream.

Bonus Section: Gotta Fix This
.

Click me for the story

Read that carefully: ” .  .  .  prosecutors may have used false testimony;”  “.  .  .  prosecutors suppressed other evidence that would have been favorable to her.” Oh, and they browbeat her into a false confession – it’s on videotape.

I’m no lawyer or Constitutional expert, nor am I conversant in all the details of this case, but I’m pretty sure that prosecutors cheating is not okay. Nevertheless, it happens. Note that the chief prosecutor in Ms.Lucio’s case is now in prison for bribery and other things no prosecutor should be doing.

There are hundreds of innocent people who have been falsely imprisoned, some nearly executed, but who were exonerated through the work of The Innocence Project. We’ll likely never see the end of cheating prosecutors or inept pubic defenders, but Ms. Lucio’s case and the cases of others are why we need to end capital punishment, even in Texas.

Gotta fix this.

Updated Children’s Book

With the disclosures of recorded telephone calls of House Republican leadership shortly after the January 6 insurrection, we were rewarded by learning of the concern they held for the welfare of others in Congress. Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Spineless) was specifically concerned that the ongoing vilification of other legislators by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Pedophilia) could ignite additional violence. McCarthy said that kind of thing would have to stop and that he’d have words with Gaetz. Isn’t it wonderful that McCarthy had concern for the well being of others, for doing the right thing and for stopping Gaetz and others from putting other members of Congress at risk?

Sadly, his moment of morality didn’t last long. It appears he never took any such action and that he later lied about having said that he would. That’s just so surprising.

Meanwhile, Republicans in the states are moving to burn books and Gaetz is still running wild. Do you think the Republicans will ban this book, too?

Gaetz is under investigation for having sex with an underage girl and for sex trafficking. Many thanks to JN for the cartoon.

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* There’s nothing wrong with the word “centrists.” There’s just something pleasing today about “middle-ists,” regardless of the fact that until this post it wasn’t a word. I like it. Might use it again.

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The days are dwindling for us to take action. Get up! Do something to make things better.

Did someone forward this 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!)

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, so don’t bug me about it.
  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 vibrant.

JA


Copyright 2022 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

Freedom and At Long Last


Freedom

Passover is nearly here. It offers many messages and one of the most important is the message of freedom.  It is the story of a people living without freedom for hundreds of years and they knew that bitterness. It is exactly that bitterness that the Ukrainian people are now fighting to prevent from overwhelming them.

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Freedom loving people all over the world stand with Ukraine and its people. Now is a good time to help, because these days are desperate for the Ukrainian people.

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A Platform, At Long Last

It’s true. Really.

The Republicans at long last actually have a platform!

Pretty much.

Mitch McConnell has publicly declared that Republicans will not have a platform for the 2022 and 2024 elections, just like in 2018 and 2020 when they refused to take a stand on anything. No policies, no positions, no programs, no nuthin’. But opportunist, Medicare defrauder and presidential hopeful Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) has made his Look-At-Me! mark with his 11-Point Plan To Rescue America.

This crook (details below) is actually declaring he’s for something other than brain-free opposition to the opposition. And what a plan he’s proposing! Here’s a link to his self-serving, gag-on-the-flag explanation. I encourage you to link through to the details of his “points.” CNN had a look and made some comments of their own in their piece, Rick Scott’s ‘Plan to Rescue America’ will do anything but that. Here are some of Scott’s key points:

The Rick Scott 11-Point Plan To Rescue America
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  1. First, we’ll raise $1 trillion in new taxes, almost entirely on the backs of the poorest Americans. And o’ joy! There won’t be any financial impact on Scott’s hedge fund buddies. We’ll tax the poor to ensure that “every American has skin in the game.” Yes, he said that.
  2. Next, we’ll end Social Security.
  3. And Medicare.
  4. And the Affordable Care Act.
  5. And Medicaid,
  6. We’ll end every social welfare/safety net program within five years. He calls it “sunsetting.” What that really means is a knife across the throat of all the programs that help people, so call it “murdering.”
  7. Trump stole $15 billion from the Defense Department and built only 80 miles of his wall in places where there wasn’t already a barrier. Rick Scott will finish the remaining 1,500+ miles of that wall and name it after Trump (“Felon’s Fortification”?). And no, Mexico won’t pay for it. You will.

I know you think I’m making this up, but I’m not. This is the Republican dream that they’ve dreamed for decades. It’s been their hearts’ fondest desire to kill FDR’s New Deal, the collection of programs that led this country and all Americans out of the Great Depression. Rick Scott wants to lead Republicans in stopping all the things that help people.

Did I mention fraud? Before he ran for office, Scott’s healthcare company committed the biggest Medicare fraud in U.S. history and had to pay an $840 million fine. Here’s the complete fact check.

So, let’s see, first Rick Scott defrauds you and me and the U.S. government – he’s the Big Kahuna of Medicare cheats. Now he wants to cheat some more by taking from working and poor people who are barely getting by and then he wants to eliminate all the the things that help them. What would you call that?

Now, at long last, we have a clear declaration of what Republicans will do if they get their hands on the reins of power again.

You good with that?

Must Read

“Democrats need to get back to a fundamental message: When in power, they make government work for ordinary people and defend American values (democracy, opportunity, fairness, playing by the rules). They solve real problems. When Republicans are in power, they create division, conflict and chaos. They are not on your side. That’s it. A simple dichotomy.”                                                                                 Jennifer Rubin, The Washington Post

Gotta add something.

It’s time – long past time, really – to take an axe to Republican lies and cruelties. Call these guys out ruthlessly with the truth.

I know, I know – Democrats like to play nice and they don’t like to be mean.

GET OVER IT!

Because we can already smell the defeat that’s on the way.

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The days are dwindling for us to take action. Get up! Do something to make things better.

Did someone forward this 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!)

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, so don’t bug me about it.
  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 vibrant.

JA


Copyright 2022 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.

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