Integrity

Mom First – Then Ignorance And Lies


POST 1067


Mom

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

__________________________________________

Ignorance And Lies

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That’s how people who claim they enthusiastically support our police rationalized viciously attacking, maiming and killing cops on January 6 and desecrating our Capitol Building.
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For those happily led astray, the mean spirited lies carry no need for verification or even good sense. And by absorbing and believing the untrue, they make themselves ready to believe yet more lies and distortions, oblivious of the destruction they bring upon not just those they hate, but upon themselves as well.

From First Ignorancians:

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

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

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

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

From Second Ignorancians:

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

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

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

Because what goes around really does come around.

Instructional Music Selection

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

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

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

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

You’re Planning To Do What!?!

From Heather Cox Richardson’s post of May 9:

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

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


Today is a good day to be the light

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

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

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

    Thanks!

    The Fine Print:

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

    Click me

    JA


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

May You Not Live In Interesting Times


POST 1066

Read all the way to the bottom for some good stuff.


About Those Interesting Times

Of course, that expression, often claimed to be a Chinese curse (but without verified attribution), didn’t include the word “not” in the original. Decide for yourself if it was intended to hope for something other than bland life circumstances or for stimulating ones; whether it was meant as a tease or perhaps it really was meant as a curse. Regardless, the word “interesting” makes the phrase an analytical thing and distances us from passion and motivation and simply misses the point of humanness.

But if we are to identify with the original phrase we would certainly find things interesting. Our news media has been full of it since 2015 when the Grim Celebrity Phony slid down his golden escalator and announced that Mexican robbers, drug lords and murderers were coming to imperil us. Worse, millions believed him. That could be interesting on many levels, as could over 30,000 lies and thousands of racist dog whistles. Fine, we found it interesting, if not acceptable.

But now we find ourselves faced with a convict with the impulse control of a bratty 6-year-old, having rapidly waning mental faculties and spewing an increasing blathering of gibberish. He’s vying to have the nuclear codes. He’s promising that he will be a dictator and is free to commit murder.

Sure, that’s all intellectual food to digest, but he’s promising to be an existential threat. He might get us all killed. That’s no longer just interesting. It is a life-or-death threat. Sword of Damocles stuff. Pray you won’t have just moments to kiss your ass good-bye, all because that brat had a tantrum.

I have neither need nor desire for such interesting times. I want the chaos and insanity to go away, I want to live in boring times when my existence isn’t threatened. I’ll find my own way to get intellectual stimulation and I wish the same for you. May you not live in interesting times.

But you do and there is no getting around that. In fact, you can change “interesting” to “dangerous” and those are the times we live in.

Many people of influence are working every day to turn this nation into a dictatorship.

They call it “the unitary executive,” unaccountable to Congress or to the courts. Morally slippery Bill Barr is an enthusiastic proponent of this dictatorship.

They bring bizarre cases to the Supreme Court, one of which seriously contemplates whether a president may defy our laws, even to the point of committing murder and then be immune from prosecution. That would be a dictatorship.

The Supreme Court heard a case about electioneering and then bizarrely ruled to allow unlimited money to buy our elections, an issue not even part of the original case. That destroys faith in our judicial system and promotes authoritarian wannabees into dictators.

Presidents ignore laws passed by Congress and then defy those laws with “signing statements.” That’s dictator stuff started by Ronald Reagan.

Many declare that the Founders intended the United States to be a Christian nation, which is both factually untrue (ref: The First Amendment and various Federalist Papers) and which gives rise to dangerous Christian nationalism, which is actually a despotic Brown Shirt thug-ocracy.

They sent riot police to attack and arrest peaceful protesters on college campuses and, most profanely, they say that’s the right thing to do, this in the name of non-discrimination. That’s your kid they’re beating up in a mini dictatorship.

In case you aren’t already, you need to immediately become clear that there are millions who want to take away your rights. This is not an academic thought experiment. They are in action every day, taking the vote away from our citizens, thwarting accountability, cheating our election system, terrorizing immigrants, banning books in a Fahrenheit 451 orgy, siccing riot police on peaceful protesters and so much more. This is not just happening to others. These despots are coming for you.

So, you do live in interesting times. It’s just that these times are going to eat you alive.

Unless we do something about it.

Required Reading

Here’s how the far right (read: fascist pretenders to a despotic throne) see things, this from Heather Cox Richardson.

And here’s how this plot against America is getting funded, thanks to the disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court scheming. Read this from Mother Jones.

For Our Moral Purist Voters

From Frank Bruni, May 3, 2024:

.  .  .  the smart way to bar someone “wholly unfit” from the White House [that’s Chris Christie’s descriptor of Trump] is to vote for that person’s opponent. That’s how elections work. “None of the above” isn’t a principled stand. It’s a moral cop-out — and its own dereliction of duty. [emphasis mine – JA]

The same goes for those who intend to vote for Robert Kennedy, Jr., Jill Stein or any other 3rd party candidate. Likely those intending to vote 3rd party think that they are making a statement of integrity or a principled stand against two unacceptable old guys. What they are really doing is abandoning their responsibility to guard our democracy and to protect and defend our Constitution.

You may not like the options. A vote for whoever you think is least bad may be onerous, yet it may be as good as it can get now. But a vote for anyone but Biden is a vote to attack and kill our democracy.

Print this section of this Disambiguation and bring it with you to the voting booth on November 5 as a reminder.

Something To Make You Proud

Our modern Foreign Service is 100 years old and it is staffed by amazing people doing the heroic as an every day thing.

I urge you to link here and read some of these short recollections from these amazing people who “were there when” and who stood a post every day to say, “This is who We The People are.” Reading these stories will make you proud both of our Foreign Service people and proud to be an American.


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.

Horrible, Horribler, Horriblest


POST 1061


Horrible

Gov. Chris Sununu of New Hampshire had been a Nikki Haley supporter making Never Trump sounds, this in his blowhard-y way, but that doesn’t work now that Haley’s candidacy is over. Now he’s backing Trump. He even says Trump shouldn’t drop out of the campaign even if he’s convicted of felonies. Here’s his exchange with George Stephanopoulos last Sunday, as reported by Heather Cox Richardson:

Just to sum up,” Stephanopoulos said, “You support [Trump] for president even if he’s convicted in [the] classified documents [case]. You support him for president even though you believe he contributed to an insurrection. You support him for president even though you believe he’s lying about the last election. You support him for president even if he’s convicted in the Manhattan case. I just want to say, the answer to that is yes, correct?”

Sununu answered: “Yeah. Me and 51% of America.” *

Aside from its overstatement of Trump’s national support, Sununu’s answer illustrated the triumph of politics over principle. Earlier in the interview, Sununu explained that he could swallow all of Trump’s negatives because he wanted a Republican administration. “This is about politics,” he said.

That exchange was on the eve of jury selection in the first trial of the only ex-president to be charged with felonies. It seems that Trump isn’t the only fraud and Republicans are in a cowards conga line, meekly peeing on Trump’s command. Don’t confuse Sununu’s bluster with strength or integrity. He’s nothing more than a wimpy Trump suck up.

Horribler

From a newsletter from AVOW, a Texas organization working to protect abortion rights:

Here are just a few of the policies Texas extremists are pushing:

Direct district attorneys to investigate and prosecute abortion support funds and their donors for helping people who travel out of state for care.

Censor and shut down websites with information about accessing abortion care — including educational websites like Avow’s NeedAbortion.org.

Expand the abortion bounty law out of state for medication abortion.

It wasn’t enough for them to ban abortion care in Texas — now they want to block free travel and information. [all emphasis original]

You’re reading that correctly. The state of Texas wants to end freedom of speech and the right to travel freely between states. Plus, of course, they want to eliminate everything related to pregnancy except waiting, regardless of the viability of the fetus or whether the mother will survive the ordeal or if she was raped by a thug or is the victim of incest by Uncle BillyBob. They want to eliminate all contraception but abstinence and, it seems, stop all sexual activity unless a government official observes and approves the act. Don’t even think of getting funky.

All that prohibition is very odd, in that Texas used to proclaim itself as having a starched spine over liberty and independence. “Don’t mess with Texas,” they proudly declare. Those folks used to believe in freedom. But now we see that they only want those things for people who agree with those in power, the freaks who want to control others’ lives. Looks like those guys have taken over the job of messing with Texas.

All of that is happening in extremist Gov. Greg Abbott’s Texas, he who proudly declares, “Slice ’em with razor wire and drown ’em in the river” cruelty; he of the defying of a Supreme Court ruling; he of the un-American way.

Horriblest

We wondered why a mean spirited creep snarling, “You’re fired!” was somehow entertainment for so many. And we lived in the frustration of millions accepting obvious fantasy, lies, cruelty, sideshow hucksterism and plain-to-see narcissism, resulting in all that and more being visited upon all of us. As bad as that was, it has become far more dangerous.

Trump’s mental decline is apparent to anyone paying any attention at all. As nonsensical, as vacuously performative as he has always been, things are far worse now and are becoming clinically perilous.

You must read Trump’s Brain Is Not Okay. This is not some updated Trump bashing or progressive leveraging. This is a serious examination by serious mental health professionals of what every one of us can observe any time Trump speaks or acts in public. He is becoming incompetent in ways that unmask his inability to operate on an executive level.

Dementia in various forms isn’t uncommon, but he is campaigning to be the next President of the United States. He has declared he will be a dictator, that he’ll be your “retribution,” that he will order Seal Team Six to assassinate his political opponents, that he will order our armed forces to take hostile action against lawful American citizens. He will babble like a toddler and

He will have the nuclear codes!
.

Don’t imagine that if he is elected that sane adults will be in the room to stop him all the time. Rather, imagine him as a tyrannical child having spontaneous and unpredictable temper tantrums with the world’s most destructive toys at his disposal.

Read: Trump’s Brain Is Not Okay.
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Actually Horriblest-er

In the House of Representatives of the United States, its Republican members brought forth an impeachment resolution and puffed with great thundering bombast and imperiousness over the managing of our southern border, effectively blaming Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas for the ongoing debacle. They presented no evidence of any high crimes or misdemeanors.

On Wednesday the full Senate of the United States took up the matter, with Republicans vying for an opportunity to get a video clip to use in their campaigns for reelection in November. After a few hours of pointless blathering, the impeachment was discarded.

The debacle that is our southern border is the result of exactly one thing: Congress has failed to deal with the problem for decades.

Two months ago the Senate passed a very tough bipartisan bill to deal with the problem, but the House Republicans were told by Donald Trump not to even bring it up for a vote. He prefers to use immigration problems as a campaign talking point. So, the Trump-owned Cowardice Caucus of Republicans sits on its hands as terrified immigrants wait and suffer. Plus at Trump’s insistence the cowards made sure that aid didn’t get to Ukraine, Taiwan or to Israel/Gaza for over 480 days.

Our Congress is doing all that in our name as people are dying.

Finally, Some Good News

The scene is a time worn courtroom in New York City. It is Friday, April 19 and all are tired from the now completed arduous task of jury selection. As the day is ending the defense is challenging yet another decision by the judge.

Justice Juan Merchan:

“The defense is targeting my decisions one by one by one. That has to end .  .  . There comes a point where you have to accept my rulings. There’s nothing else to clarify. Nothing else to argue. We are starting this trial Monday morning.”

Like it or not, Orangeman, Justice Merchan is in charge, you are not and there’s nothing you can do about it.

________________________________________
* Nope – sorry, Governor. It isn’t 51%. It’s 42%. Now, what are you going to do when that number plummets because, unlike you, Americans won’t tolerate a crook, a fraud, a traitor, a cheat, a rapist, a liar and a convicted felon in the White House?


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.

Reverberation: “Are You Better Off?”


POST 1060


A Bit More About “Are You Better Off?” From March 27

Have a look at this from Sheila Markin’s post, When Will Republicans Give Up on Trump?

Biden has been delivering on the promises Trump made and failed to deliver on. Remember how Trump promised infrastructure week? It never happened with Trump. It is happening with Biden. Remember how Trump promised to lower prescription drug costs? He didn’t get it done. Biden is getting it done. Remember how Trump said he was for the little guy? No, he wasn’t. [87% of his tax cuts went to the rich.] Bidenomics is working to beat back inflation and create more jobs for American workers. Our country is avoiding the inflation hitting post pandemic Europe. Trump gave America empty promises. Biden has created the strongest and most stable economy in the world despite a divided congress.

She also noted that,

President Donald Trump certainly lived up to his self-proclaimed status as the King of Debt during his term in office. The national debt spiked by $7 trillion during Trump’s tenure (CNN).

Do I remember correctly that Republicans have long proudly called themselves “deficit hawks”? If that’s what they are, how did they let such massive debt pile up on their watch? Oh, wait: They couldn’t pay attention to the skyrocketing national debt because they were bent over in cowardly subservience to Trump.

My answer to Sheila’s question about when Republicans will give up on Trump comes from the reality of when addicts at last enter 12-step programs.

Republicans will give up on Trump when they have hit rock bottom, when it hurts so bad, when all is lost, when hope is gone. Of course, it will be easier once Trump is in prison, but other extremists will attempt to take his place. Republicans will have to have experienced rock bottom if they are to stand up to the Trump wannabees and supplicant crazies. Then we will all be better off. Until then, low expectations are recommended.

Our Not Very Supreme Court

Let your illusions of judicial purity vaporize.

They have decided cases where no actual case existed, like Citizens United, effectively replacing Congress and making up their own laws.

They have made extensive use of the “shadow docket” to issue unsigned, unexplained and opaque one-sentence orders over issues of great importance, having heard no oral arguments and offering no rationale or justification to their very consequential rulings.

They declared that we are beyond our 400-year racial strife. It hasn’t ended, even by imaginary mileposts, yet the Court says that we no longer need the Civil Rights Act. Pay no attention to the millions of non-Whites who were dis-enfranchised instantly upon the Court neutering the Act.

In 2010 they declared that corporations have all the rights and freedoms that you have and that corporations and even foreign big money interests can overpower our elections and effectively steal your power and our elections.

And, of course, they violated stare decisis, which they said they believe in and will follow during their confirmation hearings. They overturned Roe and are looking at hobbling our regulatory agencies that keep us safe. Plus, they have pledged to make birth control illegal.

Don’t forget that they actually took the Trump appeal, which claims he has complete immunity from every crime he has committed. What could they be thinking in considering this rule-of-law abomination of a case?

If you’re hoping that the Court will use this year’s upcoming cases to begin to resturn America onto the path you know it should be on, you are advised yet again to have low expectations.

Clearly, if we are to be better off four years from now, something will have to change.

Co-Conspirators

Sydney Powell, Trump’s lying, scheming, defamation spewing excuse of a lawyer, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges instead of the full panel of felonies with which she was charged, specifically, charges relating to the effort to manufacture evidence of voter fraud. She had to agree to flip on Trump and his co-conspirators to get that deal and will likely testify in both the Georgia RICO case and Jack Smith’s January 6 sedition case. She avoids prison, does a year of probation, pays a $6,000 fine, plus she has to write a letter of apology. Not clear who that will be addressed to. And it’s not at all clear whether her law license will be pulled.

I thrill when bad guys get their just due. While I’m glad she’ll be flipping on the other criminals, I sure would like see her go to prison for a bunch of years for her obvious criminality, to be welcomed there by a spiffy new orange outfit. That woman is seriously bad ju-ju.

All of that goes for felons Kenneth Chesebro and teary-eyed “If I knew then what I know now” Jenna Ellis, too, as well as bail bondsman Scott Hall. Chesebro was the mastermind of the phony electors scheme. Ellis certified the return of all stolen classified documents from Mar-a-Lago, failing to mention the hundreds of super-secret materials Trump kept, some of which he showed to others. Hall was a schemer attempting to access voting machines. All pleaded guilty and I am likewise sorry we won’t see how they look in orange.

So, the Trump co-conspirators’ score: 4 down, 15 to go. Watch for more defectors from Trump, like Mark Meadows, as trial dates close in and the arms of Miss Liberty reach out for the bad guys.

Have a look at Prof. Heather Cox Richardson’s update on Trump’s co-conspirators here.

President Eisenhower, 1953

Regular readers might recall that I consider myself an Eisenhower Republican. Of course, today Ike would be considered a radical lefty, a socialist, a BLM sympathizer and far worse. I steadfastly believe he was clear thinking and did a wonderful job for America.

His inaugural speech on January 20, 1953 serves as a warning for us today. He said,

“In the light of this equality [of all], we know that the virtues most cherished by free people–love of truth, pride of work, devotion to country–all are treasures equally precious in the lives of the most humble and of the most exalted”

“And it warns that any man who seeks to deny equality among all his brothers betrays the spirit of the free and invites the mockery of the tyrant.”

“The enemies of this faith know no god but force, no devotion but its use. They tutor men in treason. They feed upon the hunger of others. Whatever defies them, they torture, especially the truth.”

Words for our time. Watch Eisenhower’s 13-minute address here, and take action, especially if you want to be better off 4 years from now.


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.

Useful Idiot


POST 1059


From a Salon interview of Dr. John Gartner:

We have becrumb a nation.” “All comp-ply-ments”. “I know Poten.” “He can’t cam-pay.”  “We will expel the wald-mongers.”

There are more examples where Trump couldn’t complete a sentence and strung the fragments together incoherently. It’s worth noting that his demeanor changes dramatically at these moments. At one point, Trump was making nonsense sounds, struggling to form even a single word. At one of his events, he said “We’ll re-ve-du. Ohhhh..” At that moment, Trump took a long-defeated sigh, and looked up at the ceiling blankly, looking confused and de-energized. Finally, Trump is sometimes reduced to simply vocalizing nonsense sounds that are not words at all like an infant. For example, at a recent rally Trump said “Gang, boom. This is me. I hear bing”. Trump is, at times, literally babbling nonsensically.

From an updated version of an article originally published on September 7, 2018 in The Conversation/Reuters:

At least several thousands of mental health professionals who are members of the National Coalition of Concerned Mental Health Experts share the view that the nuclear launch codes should not be in the hands of someone who exhibits such levels of mental instability.

Trump is dangerously messed up, at times detached from reality, narcissistic, paranoid, sociopathic and a few more descriptors that we most certainly must not tolerate in a President of the United States. Let’s connect that to another piece of critical information.

From the Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute:

Treason refers to the betrayal of one’s own country by attempting to overthrow the government through waging war against the state or materially aiding its enemies.

According to the United States Constitution, Article III, Section 3, “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.”

Furthermore, 18 U.S.C § 2381, states that a person guilty of treason against the United States “shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.”

By that definition, along with various of Trump’s other felonies, including inciting an insurrection against our country, his over 35,000 lies, promises to pardon the January 6 traitors and his ever-expanding pile of gibberish, Trump is both demented and a traitor.

It has been plain for at least 7 years that Trump is Putin’s useful idiot, which is why Putin expended so much online effort and invested so much money to get Trump elected. We shouldn’t care a bit whether the idiot is useful to Putin because he’s hoping to get permission to build Trump Tower Moscow or to become an authoritarian tyrant himself or for any other reason. He’s a useful idiot for Putin whether through greed or loss of mental function. As a result, Trump is an idiotic enemy of the United States. And this gets worse.

The 2025 Project is an effort by extremely rich authoritarian wannabees to take complete control of the United States. These guys can see the same thing you see – that Trump is deteriorating before our eyes and they don’t care. Trump is their guy because they will be able to control him for their own purposes. In other words, Trump is a useful idiot for our hateful, anti-America far right extremists, too.

These are the guys who want to take away your rights, your freedom, your ownership of anything and your fundamental right to safety and security. They want to brainwash your children and make everyone scared all the time. So, one more time:

TRUMP IS A USEFUL IDIOT FOR BOTH PUTIN AND FOR OUR OWN FAR RIGHT EXTREMISTS!.

Click the pic. Thanks to JN for it.

I don’t have any idea whether Trump understands that he’s a tool for the 2025 Project despot wannabees, any more than whether he understands that he is Putin’s useful idiot. But your crazy cousin Buddy, wearing his MAGA hat, donates over and over to Trump’s legal defense costs, even as that deprives his family of what they need. He is happily succumbing to his confirmation bias and, in the process, promoting the overlords who will savagely repress him. And poor, severely duped Buddy will wonder what happened.

For Your Use

Here’s Steve Schmidt’s description of MAGA. Feel free to quote him.

” .  .  .  a political movement that breathes victimization, resentment, grievance, contempt and anger as air .  .  .”

And here are my questions about MAGA politicians and their followers:

What does it say about MAGAs that they believe known liars, cheaters, murderers and propagandists like Putin, Orbán, Erdoğan, Trump, Greene, Comer. Johnson and Jordan and refuse the reality that is in front of their eyes? What does it say about them that they refuse funding for arms that Ukrainians desperately need, allowing Putin’s army to continue to bomb apartment buildings and hospitals, killing children and grannies?

Note for our Gaza protesters: You cannot be in integrity while protesting the plight of Gazans and at the same time support the withholding of aid to Ukraine.


Today is a good day to be the light

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

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

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

    Thanks!

    The Fine Print:

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

    Click me

    JA


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

Smart, Educated, Experienced and Skilled


POST 1058


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Today is a good day to be the light

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

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

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

    Thanks!

    The Fine Print:

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

    Click me

    JA


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

Consequences v2.0


POST 1057


A Baltimore Bridge Collapse Question

As you know, on March 26 a mammoth container ship, the Singapore flagged Dali, crashed into a pylon supporting the Francis Scott Key Bridge that spans Baltimore Harbor, the country’s 11th busiest port. The ship is 984 feet long (over 3 football fields in length), weighs over 116,000 tons and was traveling at 9.2 mph, so the force of the collision was enormous and it took out a huge portion of the bridge. Six people died, two were saved and both land and sea transportation in Baltimore are severely hampered. The loss of life would have been much greater had first responders not quickly blocked access to keep others off the bridge. And had this collision happened at 1:30PM instead of 1:30AM, losses would have been far worse because the bridge would have been full of cars and trucks.

I had Joan Esposito’s radio program* on for the first few minutes of her program the day after the disaster and she asked an intriguing question. First, some background on what happened.

The ship impacted the pylon around 1:30AM. By 2:00AM Maryland Governor Wes Moore had been alerted, briefed on what had happened and had declared a state of emergency. By 3:30AM Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg had called the governor pledging whatever support was needed.

From C-Span:

“NTSB investigators, who are leading the investigation, arrived at the bridge scene at 6:00 a.m. on Tuesday [just 4-1/2 hours after the collision]. Twenty-four NTSB staffers were on site, including several specializing in nautical operations, human performance and engineering.” – NTSB chairwoman Jennifer Homendy

All of that is a really fast whole-of-government response.

A little later that morning President Biden said, “This is going to take some time. The people of Baltimore can count on us, though, to stick with them, at every step of the way, ’til the port is reopened and the bridge is rebuilt,” and he vowed to send federal funds. Later that day Secretary Buttigieg was on site in Baltimore and reiterated President Biden’s commitment.

For now we can ignore the instantaneous Republican demonizing, finger pointing and vows to help only if they can get other unrelated things they want. So much for whether Republicans give a damn for the people of Baltimore, the people of Maryland or some guy in Alabama who won’t be able to get his new pickup truck because the ship carrying it was supposed to dock in Baltimore but now is stuck at sea.

Now on to Joan Esposito’s question.

Imagine that this exact event had instead happened four years ago on March 26, 2020. How would President Trump’s team have responded? Try this.

Trump didn’t trust Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao. After all, she’s married to Mitch McConnell, who by then had greatly distanced himself from Trump. Plus she’s Asian. He didn’t invest her with any significant power to take action, so she wouldn’t have responded to the governor at 3:30AM like Pete Buttigieg did. She would have been reduced to going to Trump for a “Oh leader, may I?” conversation much later in the morning because Trump always watched TV looking for coverage of himself until nearly noon every day.

Trump certainly would not have wanted Chao to get attention when there was an opportunity to snare it for himself. He likely would have called a press conference in the White House to declare how we were going to build the greatest bridge – greater than anyone has ever seen. After grandstanding for as long as he could, he would have left the podium. He wouldn’t conference with then-governor Larry Hogan, a Black man, and he would have promptly forgotten the people of Baltimore. After all, what would be in it for Trump to bother with them? They wouldn’t vote for him, so there was no upside for him. Besides, it wasn’t infrastructure week. It never was.

Esposito asked, “When did Trump ever do the right thing? When did he ever, despite all of his false words, do anything to help any part of the country that was in need?” You know the answers.

The main point of the answer to Esposito’s original question is that elections matter – there are consequences to them. Competence matters. Clarity and dedication to our nation and to our people matter. The present administration is packed with extremely competent people in whom the President vests great power, so they are wonderfully effective and quick to respond. It would devastate our nation to go back to the all-about-Trump unreality show.

Mifepristone

Dear ethically challenged Supreme Court justices,

There are just a few things for you to keep in mind in this case, now that you’ve heard oral arguments on the attempt to ban this FDA approved drug.

  1. The doctors and scientists of the Food and Drug Administration are qualified to determine if a medication is both safe to use and effective. They are slow in their approvals because they are very deliberate in their work. Justices who are neither doctors nor scientists are not qualified to make such determinations. Second guessing the FDA from a position of ignorance is foolish at best and dangerous at worst. As Ruth Marcus put it, “[Alito’s] job is to interpret the Constitution. Would he rather run the FDA?” Supreme Court, you should drop this case and never again enter the realm of judging executive branch agency actions.
  2. The plaintiffs in this case have experienced no harm from Mifepristone. They have no standing to be bringing this case. Supreme Court, you should drop this case and never again accept a case where the plaintiff has no standing.
  3. The district court judge decided to ban this drug based on, 1) nonsense written in random, non-medical blogs by people ignorant about the drug and the field of medicine, and, 2) discredited studies that were withdrawn because they were false. Supreme Court, you should drop this case and never again accept a case that is based on zero evidence and the religious beliefs of a district court judge.

The points above were well known in advance of the Court agreeing to hear this case. The really important question now is why the Court would agree to hear this obvious loser of a complaint. I’m hoping it wasn’t to further advance the desire of 6 members of the Court to move us to become a terrifying 15th century theocracy. Think: both Dobbs and the comments of Thomas and Alito wanting to ban all birth control other than abstinence and the rhythm method. Like in the 1400s. And you know how well those work.

There remain significant consequences of Trump having won in 2016. His having seated three extremist Supreme Court justices is a crucial one. We continue to suffer from that and his other punitive actions, like $7 trillion in additional debt. On November 5, think about consequences.

One More Consequence

If you were a real enthusiastic Trump sucker and bought into his Trump Media merger scam, this past Friday was a nasty day.

Lets say you dug into your retirement money and bought $100,000 of stock at the offering price of  $79.38. Two days ago the stock was trading at $40.59, making your investment now worth $51,134. Congratulations: You lost $49,000 in just 12 days. You’re now just like Trump: a loser. And you’ve been conned – grifted – again. There are consequences to refusing to learn.

__________________________________________

* Click on the link and select the March 27 recording. Listen to the first 11 minutes.


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.

Potpourri v21.0


Post 1,038


As we sigh romantically and fondly for those we love on this Valentine’s Day, we embrace their hearts. May that be true for you.

Who’s Next?

We continue to lose roughly 200 American sweethearts to Covid every day. Of course, that number lacks the shock value of refrigerator trucks used as emergency morgues during the peak of the pandemic. And, of course, we’ve been distracted by our ongoing outrages, so we’ve moved on from paying attention to the horror of over 1.1 million dead from the disease. But now there is different statistic for the daily 200.

Over 90% of daily Covid deaths are of unvaccinated people.

That’s right: Most vaccinated people are protected from lethal complications of the disease.

Our enthusiastic vaccine conspiracy lovers continue to make fantastical and lethal claims*, like that the vaccines don’t work**, that they’ll infect users with Covid, that the vaccines will make people sterile or that giving them to children will both cause autism and keep the Tooth Fairy away. Let’s just face the fact that some people need to see a boogeyman behind every tree. Meanwhile, convincing granny not to get vaccinated is accessory to suicide.

The Lady Doth Protest Too Much, Methinks

Surely, you must have noticed long ago that the loudest Bible thumpers, those who declare ownership of the moral high ground, the stiff necked definers and owners of family values, the wrath-spewing judges of those who succumb to the devil’s call are often the most flagrant violators of their own puritanical absolutism. Gov. Kristi Noem (R-SD) and her flame, Corey Lewandowski, did and perhaps still do that

Kenzie Bryant lays this out (phrasing interntional) in her Vanity Fair piece,

Governor Kristi Noem, “God-Fearing” Family Woman, and Corey Lewandowski, Trump Creep, Reportedly Had “Yearslong” Affair.
.

She offers this subtitle,

It’s always the ones who insist that marriage is “a special, God-given union between one man and one woman” that forget how to count.
.

And forget they apparently did, that 1 + 1 = 2, not 4. But, oh what fun they’ve had over their years of mutual adultery. She rides her horse to rallies, proclaims her Christian values and then snuggles with Lewandowski, heedless of their hypocrisy.

But there is a price for hypocrisy. Just ask Jim and Tammy Faye. and Newt Gingrich.

The Border

Republicans bray like donkeys that Joe Biden has created open borders and eliminated national security. He’s the guy, they say, who won’t protect this country, refusing to put together laws to stop all those you-know-who-they-are from doing you-know-what to our blood.

But wait just a second. Article I, Section 1 of the Constitution (immediately after the Preamble you had to memorize in high school) is:

“All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.”

That’s a job description. Congress is charged with and has “All legislative Powers,” meaning only Congress can make laws. All laws. Nobody else can make laws.

Article II of the Constitution outlines the office, duties and responsibilities of the President of the United States. Section 3 of that Article ends this way:

” .  .  .  he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed .  .  .”

Nowhere in Article II is there any suggestion that the President has “legislative Powers.” The President is powerless to create legislation – Laws. His only job regarding Laws is to “faithfully execute” them.

That begs the question of why anyone would berate Joe Biden for not creating the laws for an improved immigration system that everyone agrees we need. It is neither his job nor in his power to do that.

You know: Like it says in the Constitution.

So, as you hear Trump and Republican legislators and news shills on the far right criticize Biden for failing to make laws to improve our border security and our immigration system, you’ll know what that criticism really is.

Hint: It pertains to the end of the digestive system of male bovines.

Gaza

Here’s the headline from The Times of Israel, February 7, 2024:

” .  .  .  IDF uncovers largest Hamas rocket factory to date”
.

Link through, read the short article, look at the photos and read their captions. That’s why Israel cannot stop being aggressive. Note: Hamas is still firing rockets into Israeli civilian populations. Keep that in mind as you read the post.

Here’s another thought on that deeply troubled area.

Innocents

Everybody knows that Palestinian Hamas fighters are the bad guys. They wantonly killed over 1,200 Israelis, they raped females from babies to grandmas and took hostages and set it up for Palestinians to be “collateral damage,” as Israel does what it needs to do to stop and punish the killers. There is just one thing about the innocent Palestinian civilians.

I need someone to tell me all the things those innocents did to stop Hamas from constructing those tunnels, building weapons factories underneath hospitals, mosques, apartments, schools and houses. What did they do to stop the building and firing of rockets designed to kill Israeli civilians? How did the innocents fight the killers to stop them from using Palestinians as human shields, disposable victims? All of that leads to a question of who the real innocents are.

I know it isn’t pretty to spell it out in that way, but I’m not sure of the innocence of the “innocents.”

To The 36%, 20% and 42%

This is for the 36% of women who favor Donald Trump in 2024.

That is a man who wants to reduce women to nothing more than sexual objects, play toys to grab you-know-where. You’re a bauble to him, a pretty thing on his arm or in a department store dressing room. Unless you’re not his “type,” as he claims about E. Jean Carroll, in which case you’re dismissed, discarded. Then you mean nothing, you’re of no value, like his ex-wives.

So, in saying you’ll vote for him, what are you thinking?

Now to Blacks and Hispanics.

Five recent polls show that 20 percent of Black voters and 42 percent of Hispanic voters favor Trump now. To them I say:

He hates you. He disrespects you. He shows his disdain for you in a constant stream of racist statements, so here’s that same question:

In saying you’ll vote for him, what are you thinking?

———————————-

* From STAT, Feb 7, 2024:

“Here’s an update on the vaccine misinformation stories found by NewsGuard, a group of journalists and information specialists who have tracked false narratives spreading online since 2018. Today, in Covid’s fifth year, they report there are more than 300 vaccine-related false narratives circulating on social media and in online search results, emanating from 4,387 news sites and other sources.”

** Let’s consider what “works” means.

The vaccine developers and manufacturers were clear from the start that the vaccines weren’t designed to and do not prevent anyone from catching Covid. They are designed to prevent serious symptoms and consequences, like needing a respirator tube to be shoved down your throat to prevent suffocation from the disease. I.e., they’re only designed to prevent terrible consequences, like dying.

So, when some conspiracy minded person tells you that he knows that the vaccines don’t work because Uncle Fred was vaccinated but he got Covid anyway, gently remind him, “Nuh-uh.”


  • 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.

Keeping Score


Post 1,031

___________________________________

Keeping Score of Republican Voters

In a recent ABC News/Ipsos poll we learned that 45% of Republican-aligned adults responded that Trump “Best represents [my] values.” That’s more than double such identification with the next nearest Republican candidate.

Click me to make it easier to read this chart.

They’re talking values here. Not policies, not patriotism, not democracy, not America. Values.

AND THEY IDENTIFY WITH TRUMP!

Something has gone terribly wrong when nearly half of Republicans think Trump even has values (other than for himself) and they think he best represents their own values.

MAGAs, thoughtless sheep that they are, are followers without consciousness or conscience, excusers of verbal and physical violence. Those are values. So is hatred. And they most identify with Trump.

I have a question for all of them:

What is it that makes you need to hate people so much?

Okay, another question:

What happened to the values Mom & Dad taught you and that you learned in Sunday School or at the 4-H, or in the Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts or even in kindergarten? What in the world made you sell yourself out?

Hint: Watch for answers in my post on Wednesday, January 24.

These people and their hatred have moved the needle not to the right, but to the wrong. All those self-righteous Evangelicals, for example, certain of their holiness, believe they’re doing God’s work and they’re are encouraged by their extremist political overlords and their pastors. That they support and promote vileness that is entirely anti-Christian makes no difference to them. They are bonded in a brotherhood of other-ing everyone not exactly like them. That is the America they insist upon. Those are quite odd values for bible thumping Americans to hold. But they do hold them, just the way Trump spouts them.

I don’t know how to create the counter to that, to stop the march to oblivion. Worse, it appears that Democrats don’t know either.

However imperfect, the America we used to have (or at least were working toward) is, in reality, the America we believed in not so long ago. Now those notions are at best quaint to many and at worst they are the enemy of the angry millions.

So, Republican voters’ score: D-
.
Keeping Score On The Supreme Court

We suffer under six extremist justices because in order to get through the Senate vetting process they lied or misled about their beliefs:

including their intent to honor stare decisis (leave prior Court decisions alone)

including Roe v. Wade being settled law

including opposition to legislating from the bench – nevertheless, they made up cases so they could make new, extreme partisan law

That’s how they got on the Court: dishonesty. There’s lots more, but we’ll save that for another day.

Don’t expect Clarence Thomas, whose wife was a key supporter of the insurrection, to do the right thing and recuse himself from cases concerning January 6. He’s just not into doing the right thing.

Trump lawyer Alina Habba, speaking on Fox News (begin at 6:00) about the Supreme Court case regarding Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, said the most un-American thing. She said,

“I think it should be a slam dunk in the Supreme Court. I have faith in them. You know, people like Cavanaugh, who the president fought for, who the president went through hell to get into place, he’ll step up. Those people [the other Trump appointed justices] will step up .  .  .  “

She finished, saying that their stepping up will be because of the law and fairness. But everyone can see that her intent was to declare that they owe Trump, so they’ll pull his butt out of the fire.

She might be right.

So, Supreme Court score: D-

Trump attorneys’ score: F

Keeping Score Of Begs

It isn’t surprising that no Republicans hit me up for campaign solicitations. I think I got hit on once by Trump and possibly many times, as I’m sure I tagged that first email as spam, so I don’t see those exercises in victimhood, retribution and grift.

Meanwhile, many Democrats have found me. I mean many. Here are a noteworthy few.

Elizabeth Warren contacted me once and Gavin Newsome a few times.

Independent Krysten Sinema has written to me with her hand out six times. Good luck with that, Krysten.

Adam Schiff gets the award for the most interesting, thoughtful and well written begs. He’s knocked on my door 79 times.

AOC writes the most friendly, caring and grass roots informative solicitations. She’s hit me up 183 times.

The winner is Joe Biden and all those who write solicitations for him. They have reached out to touch my wallet over 594 times since he announced last April. That’s an average of two per day. Even if the rate of his solicitations doesn’t increase, given the number of days until the election, I’m looking at about 558 more hits just from Biden. I’ll help him, but woe be unto my Delete key.

Stand by for the final count in my post of November 10, 2024.

So, political donation begging score: Don’t get me started.
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Keeping Score on Speakers of the House

On February 23, 2023 I sent a request to the then-Speaker of the House, Kevin McCarthy. He had given 41,000 hours of video recordings of the January 6 riot and insurrection to Tucker Carlson – and only to Tucker Carlson. Carlson then cherry picked the recordings and put together an impressively dishonest and misleading piece of propaganda, suggesting that the insurrectionists were ordinary peaceful tourists. That’s why I asked McCarthy to send the videos to me, too. Oddly, I never heard from McCarthy, despite repeated requests.

The new speaker is a bible-thumping extremist, so I don’t expect him to do the right thing, either. In fact, he posted footage of the insurrection on his website and blanked out faces to protect the villainous perps. Odd, since we’ve seen the videos of these perps many times and many have already been convicted of their crimes, so their faces are known.

Consequently, this is your final update about those videos. They aren’t going to show up in my Inbox unredacted, so you’ll just have to live with what your own eyes have toldl you – no gaslighting. What a concept!

So, Speakers of the House: F
.
Keeping Score of Republican Legislators
    • “The GOP is more interested in nursing grievances and stoking anger than actually solving problems. That’s exactly what Donald Trump has trained them to do.”
  • Eugene Robinson
So, GOP legislators: F

  • 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.

Taking Sides


Post 1,027

___________________________________

Golda Meir, 1964

Golda Meir

As Israeli Prime Minister during the Yom Kippur war and so many other murderous events aimed at killing all Jews and wiping Israel from the globe, Meir said:

“When peace comes we will perhaps in time be able to forgive the Arabs for killing our sons, but it will be harder for us to forgive them for having forced us to kill their sons. Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.”

Golda Meir, A Land of Our Own: An Oral Autobiography

True and sad words, these. There has been progress, of course, but the Iranians, Qataris and Syrians continue to pour money and tools of murder into the hands of angry, violent men who are all too eager to kill and to force others to kill them, and causing the deaths of non-combatants by the thousands.
.
There Is a Corollary To This In America Today
.
It is the verbal and physical violence of right wing extremists who puff themselves up with claims of patriotism, yet are working every day to demolish our Constitution, to end our democracy and to inflict “retribution” (read: murder) on those they see as, not opponents, but enemies.
.
Peace will come when these extremists
love the Constitution and our democracy
more than they hate the rest of us.
.

The top line reads “During the arrests around the capitol attack, police seized .  .  .” From Every Town for Gun Safety – click me

We are facing an existential threat, a constitutional crisis in the form of extremists who are working every day to tear down what we have painstakingly built for our rights and our freedoms over the past 248 years. We taught the world that people can be free, that self-government can work, that it isn’t necessary to make war both within and without. We aren’t perfect at that, which is why we are tasked by our Founders to continually work to create a more perfect union.

But now we are beset by home grown terrorists, liars and cheats, as well as the cowardice of those who know better but knuckle under. They focus only on their own short term welfare, heedless of the harm they are allowing to be done to our people and to our nation. We are plagued by well armed haters acting out their meanness and cruelty, cowards who lash out in physical and verbal violence, whipped up by those who would be our overlords.
.
Because of the brilliance and beauty of our Constitution we are being given one more chance to set ourselves back onto the path carved out of a wilderness of dominance from others. It will take our dedication and our blood, sweat and tears to set things right. Should we fail, it will lead to an enduring night of suffering.
.

Elie Wiesel, recipient of The 1986 Nobel Peace Prize

Elie Wiesel survived Holocaust death camps, then spent the rest of his life in the role of teacher, hoping to help craft a better world and forcing us to remember, lest we forget. Here’s a little of what he had to say about hatred and suffering:

“In any society, fanatics who hate don’t hate only me – they hate you, too. They hate everybody.”
.
Let that sink in. They hate everybody.
.

“We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant.”

Are you seeing it? We must take sides, whether you or I are being persecuted or if it’s someone else. The side we must take is against the tormentors and in aid to the tormented. We must stand for and with those who need our help. And if that isn’t compelling in and of itself, driven solely by our empathy, it will become compelling when we realize that we are next to be tormented.
.
We Must Take Sides

The next 10 months are all the time we have to stand and be counted, to take sides. Every one of us knows the difference between right and wrong, good and evil. Silence favors the wrong and the evil. Therefore, choose right and good. Stand for it and speak for it. Our silence will not do.

It means to talk to your friends and family members. Yes, I know it can be awkward to risk getting crosswise with close ones. And I also know it will be far worse than awkward if we allow our home grown haters and traitors to steal our democracy from us.

It means that we must take the action that our pathetic Congress won’t take.

They use the lives of Ukrainians as pawns for their own political advantage, leaving millions to suffer and die. That isn’t just cruel; it’s self-defeating, because the Ukrainians are fighting to preserve the same freedom that benefits us, too. Link through to Safe Skies and read what Professor Timothy Snyder has to say about how you can help to keep Russian-fired Iranian drones from killing Ukrainian civilians. We shouldn’t have to do this individually, but that’s what our spineless congressional Republicans have left us.

Hurry: People are dying.

Terrible things happen when we fail to take sides. You don’t have to be a Holocaust survivor or a history professor to know that’s true. You just have to see how we’ve normalized violent behavior and have refused to do anything to stop it. We’ve accepted lies and outrageous propaganda and allowed the theft of our majority rule. We’ve even allowed our children’s education to be taken from them and for hatred inspired terrorists to kill our children.

Elie Wiesel knew this lesson far too well and suffered terribly from its reality. His righteous call to us to take sides is to make sure such things don’t happen while we can still do something about it.

We – you and I – have to take a stand. Refusing to do so is effectively the same as standing for the wrong side. It’s tacitly helping the oppressor.

Start the new year right:

Take Sides! *
.
The Side to Take Isn’t Republican

Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis each took questions at their town halls in Iowa last Wednesday. Each was asked why they don’t go after Trump. Each of them responded by attacking the press. Neither even mentioned Trump.

There is a word to describe this:

COWARDICE!

.

Perhaps you can think of additional descriptors. They apply to all who fail to speak up, to take a side and make a stand.

____________________________________

* From the New York Times, January 6, 2024, This Election Year Is Unlike Any Other:

Re-electing Mr. Trump would present serious dangers to our Republic and to the world. This is a time not to sit out but instead to re-engage. We appeal to Americans to set aside their political differences, grievances and party affiliations and to contemplate — as families, as parishes, as councils and clubs and as individuals — the real magnitude of the choice they will make in November.

Click the link and read the opinion piece. The danger we face isn’t just about Trump. It’s time to TAKE SIDES.


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

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

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

    Thanks!

    The Fine Print:

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

    Click me

    JA


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

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