National security

What’s Most Important


Post 1,040


The President of the United States has a lot of responsibilities, including that ” . . . he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed . . .” as required by Article II of the Constitution. The to-do list is long and demanding to the point of being inhuman. There is significant long term impact from nearly everything the President does.

He has to manage:

immigration

the economy

safeguarding our democracy

transportation, like rail and air safety and highway

the health and welfare of the American people

Enough. You get the idea.

But which job of the President is most important? The sine qua non. The one for which all others can be made to take a number and stand in line. As critically important as it is, even in this age of grift, fraud, treason, insurrection and more, it isn’t justice. Even as the cost of groceries is frustratingly high, it isn’t the economy. Our immigration system has been universally pilloried for decades, as Congresses have steadfastly refused to do anything to make it better. That has left us with the chaos we see every day. But even fixing that isn’t the most important duty of the President.

The most critical task of the President of the United States is national security. Protecting us from bad guys who would do us harm must take precedence, because if we are at risk of foreign attack, none of the other issues will matter.

The task is never ending. There is no box to check and then say “next.” On December 8, 1941 it was obvious and easy to identify what must be done. Such clarity is exceedingly rare. National security is most often devilishly complicated.

For example, consider the Ukraine war. In 2004 when Putin’s Russia invaded Ukraine in an effort to destroy that country and to make it part of Russia, it wasn’t obvious that we had a dog in that fight. But it quickly became clear that Putin’s genocidal war crimes adventure has consequences that can impact us.

It’s plain to see that this former KGB tough is trying to reconstitute the Soviet Union. That puts our NATO allies at risk and that means that war would be at our doorstep if Putin succeeds in Ukraine and then starts after our friends. He’s already suggested that annexing the Baltic states might be next. Maybe eastern Poland, too.  Article V of the NATO charter would pull us into the conflict and our national security would be immediately compromised. That electric shock up your spine just now is you recognizing how close we may be to World War III. Prof. Heather Cox Richardson has more on this here.

That’s why national security is job one and why it is devilishly complicated. But let’s look at this situation just a bit more.

It’s well established that Putin kills his critics and political opponents, so it’s little surprise that he murdered Alexei Navalny. On the other hand, Putin had him tried and convicted on trumped up charges and sent him to a gulag in the Siberian Arctic and held there in solitary confinement. There was little Navalny could do to Putin from there. so why bother killing him? Here’s my theory.

Putin is an incrementalist. He pushes the envelope, finds that he can get away with something and then pushes some more. Ukraine is a perfect example.

After annexing the eastern section of Ukraine and the Crimea in 2014 he stopped there, waiting for world reaction. All he got were blabbers blabbing. No one came to the rescue of the Ukrainians to push Putin back, so in 2022 he went after the entire country. That’s incrementalism.

He didn’t get away with that recent invasion yet, but he may be in position to do so. Our spineless Republican Trump suck-ups have followed Trump’s demand to prevent Biden from having a win, so they refuse any further funding for Ukraine. These House cowards are leaving the Ukrainian fighters running out of munitions. They just ceded the bombed out city of Avdiivkak to the Russians, giving them a major win and a retreat for the Ukrainian forces.

That kind of battlefield advance made it time for Putin to push the envelope in a different direction, so he had Navalny murdered. Now Navalny is out of his way permanently.

Steve Schmidt wrote of Navalny:

One day, his name will be known in the same breath as Gandhi, Mandela, Churchill, Lafayette and Lincoln around the world. One day, when Russia is free, Alexei Navalny will be exalted. Today, he is simply dead, murdered for demanding that each individual human has a right to live in freedom.

Anne Applebaum wrote in The Atlantic:

Only minutes after his death was announced, I spoke with Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, the Belarusian opposition leader. “We are worried for our people too,” she told me. If Putin can kill Navalny with impunity, then dictators elsewhere might feel empowered to kill other brave people.

More incrementalism.

Now the world is howling, including freedom loving Russians, but my guess is that the howling will slowly quiet and Putin will have gotten away with his crime. The envelope will have been permanently expanded.

That devilishly complicated national security task which comes above and before all others becomes not just more difficult, but more likely murderous when our own team is in constant conflict with itself, undermining our efforts and our options. It used to be that our political differences stopped at the water’s edge. We came together as one to protect and defend our country. Now that imperative has been betrayed, over-laid by petty self-interest and the infestation of cowards. Now the MAGA crowd sides with Putin.

We have elections coming up. Many candidates will thump their chests and proclaim what true Americans they are. They will tell you that their opponent is a weenie, soft on immigration, wanting open borders and willing to let our blood be poisoned by “others.” Those alt-right people are enemies of our country because they are spineless cowards, traitors to our Founders and our Constitution and violators of their oath of office, regardless of the holy verbiage they vomit.

Vote for the other candidates. The ones who have demonstrated that they will go to the Congress or their state capitol to fight for America, to honor their oath of office and to demand justice everywhere. Vote for the candidates who believe in this America, not some dreadful replica of the murderous nation led by Vladimir Putin.

That’s what’s most important for us to do.


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

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

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

    Thanks!

    The Fine Print:

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

    Click me

    JA


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

Violence


Post 1,034


Violence – Part 1

From David French’s piece Political Christianity Has Claws:

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

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

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

Here’s how one FB post reported this:

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

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

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

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

Violence – Part 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reading Assignment

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

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

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

______________________________

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


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

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

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

    Thanks!

    The Fine Print:

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

    Click me

    JA


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

O. J. and Today


Post 1,029

___________________________________

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

NOT GUILTY

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

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

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

That’s when I got it.

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

Which brings us to our current national psychosis. **

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

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

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

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

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

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

From Steve Sheffey on January 7, 2024:

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

Speaking of Democracy

Have a look at this Gallup survey chart:

Click me for the full story.

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

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

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

For the Hand Wringers

This from Mother Jones:

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

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

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

__________________________________

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

 ** Definition:

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

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

– Apple dictionary


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

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

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

    Thanks!

    The Fine Print:

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

    Click me

    JA


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

Seven Wonderings


Post 1,028

___________________________________

Wondering #1

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

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

Big surprise

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

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

NOT SO BREAKING NEWS!
.

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

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

Important safety tip

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

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

Steve Sheffey offered this worthy challenge:

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

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

Just wondering.

Wondering #2

From The Tennessean:

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

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

Wondering #3

I’m wondering something else about our military people.

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

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

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

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

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

Just wondering.

Wondering #4

There is something similar going on in our schools.

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

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

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

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

Wonderings #5 & 6

Here’s another couple of wonderings.

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

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

Wondering #7

I’m wondering who we are.

________________________________

* From Haaretz:

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

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

Republican governors in 15 states reject summer food money for kids

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

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

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

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

Just wondering #6


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

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

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

    Thanks!

    The Fine Print:

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

    Click me

    JA

 


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

I’m Sorry


Post 1,021

___________________________________

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s why they’re doing this:

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

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

hasn’t passed an emergency supplemental bill

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

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

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

hasn’t passed a bill for humanitarian aid for Gaza

hasn’t passed the Farm Bill

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

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

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

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

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

LATE ADDITION

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

I’m not sorry about that. At all.

_______________________________

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

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


Today is a good day to be the light

_____________________________

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

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

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

    Thanks!

    The Fine Print:

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

    Click me

    JA


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

The Speech You Never Heard


Post 1,020

___________________________________

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We have a great deal of work to do.


 Today is a good day to be the light

_____________________________

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

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

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

    Thanks!

    The Fine Print:

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

    Click me

    JA


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

Forget About Finding the Why – We Already Know – Part 1


Post 1,011

—————————————

Hamas terrorists brutally wounded and killed thousands of Israelis on October 7. Most of the world was aghast at the massacre – right until the Israelis began doing what every other nation on Earth would do in such a situation: They hit back.

They set out to make it so that the terrorists could not attack them again. That’s a lot like the U.S. going after ISIS – you know: the be-headers of journalist Danny Pearl and many others. Most thought clobbering those terrorists was a pretty good idea. The IDF got into full motion on October 8 to do the same sort of thing. That’s when world opinion began to shift.

One of Hamas’ war crimes is that it embeds itself in civilian Palestinian infrastructure. Their doing so means that for Israel to protect itself by going after the terrorists, civilians will die. So, do a thought experiment with me.

Imagine that you’re the Prime Minister of Israel and you’re making decisions from among only terrible choices. What would you do?

Hint: A ceasefire is not an option while Hamas is still armed and prepared to kill your people; indeed, is still killing your people.

What’s your decision, Prime Minister?

Israel chose to protect its people and has been condemned internationally for doing so.

Hamas provides video and claims to have statistics of injured and killed Palestinians, especially of children and babies. They claimed that 4,737 children had been killed by the IDF by November 7. Our human empathy insists that we care. But there is no way to verify Hamas’ spectacular claims. They commonly lie for propaganda purposes and the world oddly and dumbly accepts their claims as true.

So, upon hearing these questionable claims, the world became shockingly outraged over Israelis “killing Palestinian babies” and began calling for a ceasefire. This is a stunningly effective PR campaign by Hamas. And it’s a stunningly effective counter to the Hamas killings of Israeli children and babies that Hamas videoed and posted online on October 7.

There is not now, nor has there ever been, a way to overpower the always instantaneous Arab claims of victimhood. Just a few weeks ago Hamas used its errant missile fired into a Gaza hospital parking lot to blame Israel. The world Pavlovian dog salivated.

You may also recall how expertly Yassir Arafat of the Palestine Liberation Army used this same blaming technique to point a damning finger at Israel for killing innocents. He garnered huge world support for Palestinians and condemnation of Israel. The technique is simple: “Hit and run, leave civilians in the center of the bulls eye and claim victimhood when Israel hits back.” Rope-a-dope. It worked then just as well as it does for Hamas today.

Strangely, other than on October 7 (and only on October 7) there hasn’t been world indignation about Hamas’ terrorism unleashed upon Israelis. There’s no hint of recognition of or sympathy for the thousands of Israelis killed and maimed. There’s no world outrage over Hamas continuing to fire rockets into Israeli cities to injure and kill civilians. World outrage is aimed only at Israel.

Since 2006 Palestinians have at least tolerated and sometimes supported Hamas and the cruelty it does. They allowed Hamas to embed their command centers, their weapons caches and their rocket launchers in the midst of Palestinian civilians, knowing full well that many would die if Israel chased into Gaza after the Hamas terrorists.

At this point, though, I don’t care why Palestinians agreed to risk their lives in that way or why people around the world march in mindless solidarity with terrorists. I’m out of patience with seeking to understand people who only want paroxysms of rage and violence and murder.

I don’t care about the why of the fools and the gaslighted millions who are demanding a ceasefire in Gaza, an action that would allow Hamas to rearm and attack Israelis again, exactly as they have promised to do. And I certainly don’t care about the why of protesters worldwide and their abhorrence of Israel’s actions to protect its citizens but who don’t give a damn about the terrorism done to Jews and Israelis by Hamas.

Their protests make it clear that they don’t care about the mass murders, the bombings and rocket attacks, the parents and children burned alive, the concert attendees gunned down in the desert, the babies beheaded in front of their parents, the hundreds held hostage, including Holocaust survivors. They just rage.

The death and destruction visited upon Israel really doesn’t matter to the world’s ignorant and gaslighted protesters. Here’s the quiet part said out loud:

They don’t care because the threatened and the dead Israelis are just Jews.
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As well, that explains the indifference of so many.

Forget wondering about the why of this. The world already knows. It has always known.

For a gentler form of this message, read this short essay/poem. If you’re feeling quite brave, read it out loud.

Many thanks to SL for providing the link. And many thanks for KL for caring.

Note: To be fair, there are some rallies in support of Israel. Not many, but some.


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.

National Defense


Guest Essay

Regular reader, sometimes commenter and boyhood pal Frank Levy has supplied some guest essays for this column. He has a keen insight, so I asked his permission to share one of his recent FaceBook posts with you.

Give some thought to what he describes, as we stumble forward in our self-imposed Through the Looking Glass national reality. You can apply the principle message to a lot more than U.S. Space Command.


Why Would the United States Move USSPACECOM to Alabama?

I have to admit I am enjoying watching Alabama’s Republican elite, Tommy Tuberville, Tommy Battle, Katie Brit, Rep. Dale Strong, Rep Mike Rogers and others twist themselves into apoplectic knots to express their outrage over the decision to keep USSPACECOM in Colorado and not move it to Huntsville, AL.

For me, the decision makes complete sense. Common sense and concerns over national security dictate that USSPACECOM NOT be moved to Alabama. After all, why would US Military leadership and the White House move an extremely important military facility to a state where the White Republican power structure and the MAGA crowd that elects them over and over again don’t believe in anything that America believes in, like

  • – The Voting Rights Act
  • – The Civil Rights Act
  • – marriage equality
  • – Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
  • – Affirmative Action
  • – a woman’s right to a safe and legal abortion
  • – science education that does not include creationism
  • – The Constitution of the United States of America (except the Second Amendment) [They believe in that absolutely]
  • – the rule of law
  • – that Biden won the 2020 election

Add to that list the fact that the Republican super-majority in the Alabama legislature chose to defy SCOTUS with its newest Congressional redistricting plan because it simply didn’t like the decision and because Kevin McCarthy wants to keep his MAGA majority in Congress.

Why would the United States of America build a huge, expensive military facility, spend billions of dollars to post military personnel there and improve the economy of a state that officially celebrates Confederate Memorial Day and the birthdays of [traitors] Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis, the leaders of the Confederate States that attacked the United States to preserve its power to enslave Black people for profit?

Why would the United States build what it believes to be a facility necessary to its national security in a state that once seceded from the Union, attacked it and might just do it again?

I get why Alabama’s Republican leaders and the MAGA crew that elected them would be angry at not getting USSPACECOM. It is all about the money.

As an American citizen and resident of Alabama I would have been furious if President Biden, Secretary of Defense Austin and Gen. James Dickinson, Head of USSPACECOM, had moved USSPACECOM to Alabama. In my not at all humble opinion, [the decision to keep it in Colorado] was the only decision that could be made. [all brackets mine – JA]

———————————

Commenting of Levy’s post, smart person and also boyhood pal Kirk Landers wrote:

I believe the space command should be based in a state where the majority of people believe the earth is round and revolves around the sun. It’s also best if most people don’t believe that [the advance of] all knowledge stopped with the writing of the Christian bible.

I had to weigh in with:

There should not be a reward for anti-American behavior like MAGA and Confederate treachery and that alone should keep USSPACECOM out of Alabama. I don’t know anything about the national defense aspects of the geography choice of the agency, but Lander’s comments pretty well outline the requirement for a science based organization to be located where people believe in science.

Taking this one step further, read this from Steve Schmidt, August 18:

It is important to understand the desecration and chaos Trump and his mob have wrought with their attack against America. They have normalized conspiracy. They have made the truth and lie equal in a public square contaminated by the toxic sewage of division, propaganda and misinformation. They have assaulted the essence of America through a conspiracy to seize [the] power that was bestowed by the American people on Joe Biden. The treachery is historic, unprecedented and ongoing. The days ahead will test America’s spirit, resolve and democracy.

That test for us is to turn the voices of “division, propaganda and misinformation” and even treachery into voices of patriotism. If those voices are instead determined to destroy, then our test will be to stand stronger for the principles we claim to hold dear and to overwhelm the voices of destruction. Our typical national yawn of apathy toward elections will have to be replaced by a renewed dedication to democracy.

Here’s another angle on this.

Last Thursday Schmidt’s post put fresh perspective to something you may have thought about but perhaps without a full perspective.

“Boomers” refers to our fleet of nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines. The absolute nature of their purpose is difficult to comprehend fully. The sailors aboard these vessels are stunningly smart, dedicated, well trained, prepared and young. We invest our collective future in their hands, extending even beyond time that is foreseeable.

Click here and read Schmidt’s piece. Watch the embedded videos, then sit back in your chair and think about what he’s shown you.

The graphic in the notes section following all of my posts (see below) is correct:

It seems pretty clear that all of the previous “Most Important Elections of Our Lifetime” pale in comparison to what’s at stake next November.

My hope for every next election is that it is the last one for which we’ll need that reminder in order to protect all aspects of national security.


  • 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.

A Critical Recommendation


There’s no more whispering or hinting. No more sneaky attacks. No more need to interpret Steve Bannon’s insane “Tear it all down,” rants. It’s all out in the open now.

In an enormously chilling piece in the New York Times, Trump and Allies Forge Plans to Increase Presidential Power in 2025, subtitled “The former president and his backers aim to strengthen the power of the White House and limit the independence of federal agencies” your worst fears for our country are laid bare.

It’s the Heritage Foundation in full Nazi dress uniform declaring that they own the true interpretation of our Constitution and it doesn’t involve any of that messy, inconvenient checks and balances bother. There’s neither need for nor room for democracy. They want nothing to impede a megalomaniac.

Their treachery would create a unitary president with monarchic power. Dictatorship. All power in the hands of one pathological ruler.

Go read the report by Jonathan Swan, Charlie Savage and Maggie Haberman. They make clear that what these “extreme unitary executive people” want to do is truly horrifying, anti-American and terminally toxic to rights and freedom. What’s even more upsetting is how many millions of Americans seem to want that.

From an earlier Disambiguation:

It is truly frightening that millions of people are demanding authoritarianism in America. They want an end to our self-rule, our long and noble experiment in democracy. Christopher Ingraham spells out the truth that has been so difficult to define in his Washington Post article, “New Research Explores Authoritarian Mind-set of Trump’s Core Supporters.”

Key takeaway: In the face of this brain-free populist authoritarian self-destruction, we practice apathy at our individual and collective peril.

Apathy and disinterest simply won’t do for those of us who think democracy – that thing you learned about in civics class – is a pretty good thing. Fortunately, there are actions we can take to help us keep it.

If we were all to vote, our popular will would be enough to douse the flames of authoritarianism. Good on you for voting, but it turns out we don’t all vote. That means that you and I have to do a bit more. We have to fight a better fight if we’re to keep our democracy and the things we hold dear.

IMPORTANT NOTE

DO NOT be swayed by claims made by the totalitarians with their chest-thumping calls of patriotism, patriarchy, Christianity, traditional society or any of the other manipulations that autocrat wannabes use. This is simply, clearly and maniacally a grab for all the money and position and power.

They will use any words and any manipulation to get away with their treason, but it will remain treason to all you hold dear. It’s their boundless greed. Their grab for total control. And once your democracy is gone, it will be gone forever. It will be the end of life as you know it.

Don’t believe it? Does that seem hyperbolic to you? Go ask the people of Hungary or Turkey about that. They used to have democracies. Check with survivors of the Third Reich and the Soviet Union. It took wars where tens of millions of people died to end those dictatorships and now the Putin dictatorship has revived the cruelty of the Soviet Union.

This threat is existential to you.

These people don’t give a damn about you or anything that’s important to you. Whether your key issue is guns and gun safety, abortion rights, healthcare, immigration, education, jobs, wealth inequity – THEY DON’T CARE! They want to take the power from you and me and use it for themselves. Here’s what that means to us:

We must get democracy supporters and promoters into all offices and dump the anti-democracy thugs.
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It’s the only way for us, our children and our grandchildren to remain free.

This is no thought experiment, nor something that is so far away that we can’t see it. We can already feel it, taste it, smell it and touch it. This threat is here right now. The un-American thugs have declared their intent to destroy our country.

Still not convinced? Review the Project 2025 website, but keep your teddy bear close, because it’s going to really scare you. It’s nothing short of lipstick on a rights, freedom and democracy killing pig.

That’s why you’re going to JOIN THE UNION, where they will show you how to make the difference you need to make.

Critical Recommendations

The Union is an organization dedicated to our Unionthe U.S.A. It’s an offshoot of The Lincoln Project. Its efforts are focused on exactly one issue: to protect and defend and to strengthen our democracy. They support organizations doing the hard work of protecting our rights and freedoms and advocating for the things you believe in. That’s a good thing. So CLICK HERE and join The Union. I’m a volunteer and I think you should be, too, because:

  1. This is to protect and expand what you believe in.
  2. What you believe in will go away unless you do something to prevent that from happening.

Heavy handed? Sure, but nowhere near as heavy handed as Donald Trump Der Fuhrer. Or any Republican despot wannabe.

More To Do
Paraphrased from Sheila Markin’s post of July 20, here is what you and I need to do:
.
  1. Actively tell everyone you know that Biden is the right guy for the job and stop wringing hands about his age.
  2. Canvas, text, make calls and donate to get Democrats elected, because Republicans are trying to murder our democracy – unless you can find a Republican who is overtly promoting democracy. It’s unlikely you’ll be able to find one.
  3. Explain why all Republicans are too scary to elect even if their name is not Donald Trump. They are all part of the movement to dismantle democracy and, at best, they’ve stood silent as the outrages have continued. The threat to our democracy is much bigger than Donald Trump.
  4. Volunteer to be an election worker so that there is a counter to the MAGA GOP election deniers who are going to volunteer to oversee elections and intimidate voters.
  5. Share this post to help people understand the threat.
Strongly Recommended Reading

1. Professor Heather Cox Richardson’s Letters from an American, July 17. She’ll give you context for the extremist power play for 2025.

2. Writing for The Hill, Alexander Bolton explained that GOP Senators Rattled by Radical Conservative Populism. They might be rattled, but these cowards still refuse to speak out against the crazy and the un-American. That may be the biggest obstacle to preventing autocracy/fascism from taking over our country.


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.

“They Don’t Give A Damn About The Rest Of The Unit” – That’s Us


Regular reader Diana Dobrovolny Hefter put together a piece of clarity you must see. She was motivated to speak out due to congressional insanity designed to kill your rights and your freedom. She had help making her point from Rep. Sean Casten (D-IL-6) to communicate what the sneaky, Republican National Defense Authorization Act really is.
.

Read Diana’s guest essay for the full story.


The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which funds the annual budget and appropriations of the Department of Defense, regularly passes Congress on a bipartisan basis. Since 1961 it has been considered must-pass legislation, as it provides the funding for our national security. For all that there is grumbling on both sides over one thing or another in the measure, it is generally kept outside partisanship.
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On July 14 House Republicans did what they criticize: they added pork and demands unrelated to a defense budget. They added their entire agenda: no books; no abortion; no training; no LGBTQ+ rights; etc. Every point DeSantis defends has been added in. Every Republican voted for it – vote totals: 219-210.
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That has never before been done to the Military Budget.
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The Right can NEVER again criticize any add-on to bills, pork or otherwise. This issue is a hostage maneuver and they took it. Time will tell if it lives through the Senate and then next steps. But they have been clear – they’ll do whatever it takes.
.

Representative Sean Casten (D-IL) summed up the vote on Twitter.

“The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is the bill that funds all of our military operations. It is typically bipartisan and is about as serious as Congress gets. What weapons of war we fund, which allies we share them with, how we recruit. National security is a BFD.

“We can have our political debates about any number of issues but it is generally understood that when Americans are willing to sacrifice their lives to defend us, it’s time to check the crazies at the door. But today, the crazies won.

“They won first because [McCarthy] put the crazies in positions of power. But second because none of the “moderate” Republicans had the courage to stay the hell out of KrazyTown .  .  .

“Is every member of the [House Republican Conference] a homophobic, racist, science denying lunatic? No. But the lesson of today is that the ones who aren’t are massive cowards completely unfit for any position of leadership.

“There is space—and demand—for reasonable differences of opinion in our democracy. This isn’t about whether we agree. It’s about whether we can trust that—differences aside—we trust that we’ve got each other’s back if we ever find ourselves in a foxhole together.

“That’s usually a metaphor, conflating the horrors of war with the much lower-stakes lives that most of us are fortunate enough to lead. But today, the entire [House Republican Conference] told us—both literally and metaphorically—that they don’t give a damn about the rest of the unit. [emphasis mine]

Be clear that “the rest of the unit” is you and me and all of we-the-majority.

Diana wrote separately:

When the far right held [Speaker] McCarthy to “firm commitments” in order to be elected Speaker of the House, one demand was increased transparency for future earmark spending – as in: ONE BILL, ONE TOPIC.
.
Republicans just broke their own rule. Showed they are out for themselves, not our country.  In less than 6 months their own Republican House actions show they cannot be trusted.
.

Reference: https://open.substack.com/pub/heathercoxrichardson/p/july-14-2023?r=z96xn&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=email

I think that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), the long suffering, often filibustered, not exactly titan of communication might need a smidgen of assistance in responding to Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) when the House poo-poo NDAA bill arrives in his office. Here is a proposed memo to help him.
.
Kevin, thanks for sending along the NDAA the House passed on a party line vote. Of course you know that means that both extremist, hair-on-fire Republicans and so-called “moderate” Republicans all voted to violate their own rule about packing a bill with pork. It also means that every Democrat gave the finger to this insane bill. More on that another time.
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You know that both here in the Senate and in the hearts of the American people we’re all for a vigorous national defense and national security, including enthusiastic support for our military people.
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What we’re not in favor of, Kevin, is the partisan, extremist pile of poo-poo you loaded onto this bill. Not only does that stinky stuff not belong in a bill focused on our national defense, the majority of Americans oppose everything contained in your unconscionable amendments to the bill. Everything.
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And so, my friend Kevin, ask not what your crazy caucus members can do for you, because they really don’t give a damn about you or our country. Ask what you can do in hopes of finding even a chip from your long lost backbone.
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I’m sending this krazykrap bill back to you, Kevin, returning it in the same envelope in which it arrived. I’m both surprised and impressed by your creativity in crafting an envelope from toilet paper cores and duct tape. That’s so very appropriate for this bill.
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Face it: there just isn’t a way to disguise this sneaky move that you promised wouldn’t happen under your leadership, or your attempt to attack key things Americans want.
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Get rid of what you know doesn’t belong in the NDAA, Kevin. Use that big eraser on the handle end of your gavel and eliminate the sideways poo-poo from this legislation. Get a clean bill passed and send it to me. I’ll have my homies look it over carefully for any vestigial poo-poo and maybe it will make its way to the floor of the Senate for a vote, but only if you’ve performed a radical krap-ectomy.
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And Kevin, if you send me more crap like the sewerage you forwarded, I’ll package it with a brick and snail mail it to you at your house in Bakersfield, COD.
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By the way, Kevin, the President recognizes that you knuckled under to the worst of the extremists in your party, this in order to become Speaker. He understands the terrible bind you are in to pass a sane NDAA in the face of extreme pressure from your crazies. He sends his warm wishes to you for a fine stewing in your own juice.
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It is with collegial affection that I await your revised, clean NDAA.
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Chuck
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Bragging Rights Made Easy

Last Sunday I encouraged you to help stop the hand wringing about President Biden’s age and instead to talk about all the great benefits he’s brought to Americans. There was a link to a White House page with lots of good stuff listed there.

To make it even easier for you to wave the President’s flag of accomplishments, here’s a PDF for you to print. Affix it to the door of your refrigerator so you have the facts ready when you need them.

Many thanks to JN for forwarding this construct.

Finally, Everything Ends

From The Onion:

THE WORLD WIDE WEB—The existence of shared communal truths was dealt a critical blow at approximately 10:07 a.m. Monday, sources reported, when the last factual piece of information was deleted from the internet.


Today is a good day to be the light.

______________________________

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