Race

A Great America


POST 1074


The Two Greatest Days in Politics in the 2000s
  1. November 4, 2008: Barack Obama won the presidential election. We were with him in Grant Park. It was beyond glorious.
  2. May 30, 2024: Donald Trump was convicted of 34 criminal counts. Accountability is at last sinking its righteous claws into him. It is beyond glorious.
Camelot

Experts estimate that between 100,000 and 150,000 people were crucified by the Romans. Along a lovely 120 mile length of the highway between Rome and Capua, the Romans crucified 6,000 people in a single day. So, it wasn’t just Jesus and the two robbers hanging on crosses nearby. Crucifixion was the blood sport of the Romans for centuries. There is no point in denying this. It was chronicled and it happened just that way.

We could reasonably consider the Romans the inventors of industrialized murder and we know that such brutality became more efficient through the centuries. Those who have a need to refuse reality might not consider that at all. I’m looking at you, White Supremacist, and your boundless fears and cruelty and your joy of hatred. I have no notion that you will ever open your eyes and consider the reality of the brutality of humankind or your part in enabling it today.

See Note #5 below.

As long as we’re doing some considering, let’s consider the final paragraph of the introduction to political theorist and philosopher Hanna Arendt’s superb work, The Origins of Totalitarianism.

“We can no longer afford to take that which was good in the past and simply call it our heritage, to discard the bad and simply think of it as a dead load which by itself will bury in oblivion. The subterranean stream of Western history has finally come to the surface and usurped the dignity of our tradition. This is the reality in which we live. And this is why all efforts to escape from the grimness of the present into nostalgia for a still intact past, or into the anticipated oblivion of a better future, are in vain.”

Arendt wrote those words in the summer of 1950 amid the overwhelming deluge of the hideous truth, the soul shattering reality of the Holocaust, as the world was fighting for even just a foothold on a path to sanity.

Historical note to the hateful and intentionally ignorant

Like the Roman crucifixions, the Holocaust was chronicled, even by its perpetrators. It happened.

But Arendt’s words weren’t just for that day, There are millions in America right now wearing MAGA hats and tee shirts, chanting epithets in the perplexing notion that there was once some longed for American Camelot. They demand that we “Make America Great Again.” Of course, it’s the “Again” part that is a vaporous Camelotian myth and a deeply troubling threat for the rest of us.

It seems that these MAGA folks think there really was a Camelot in America somewhere around the same time when Arendt wrote the paragraph above. O’ those were the days, when Whites, no matter their ignorance or poverty, towered over Blacks, no matter their education or financial station. It was a time when in their hearts, millions of White Americans felt they were like Bull Connor, free to dispense hatred, discrimination and brutality. That’s when America was great, they tell us. And that might have been true, if you were White and the word “great” meant power over others.

But then someone realized that segregation in our schools was inherently unequal and, therefore, unconstitutional, this in the face of the earlier, segregationist Plessy v. Ferguson decision. School integration was the end of American greatness for many, of course, and other laws and norms further distanced that Camelot dream. Backlash has been constant ever since.

Now the calls for White supremacy and Christian nationalism are mainstream. What a time it is for them to proclaim their hatreds and grievances because Camelot for haters and discriminators has largely slipped away, so they’re angry and they nurse their venom glands.

But the thing is that it isn’t Camelot if it isn’t Camelot for everyone. That is the key Constitutional point that MAGAs just don’t get – that they refuse to get. They are entirely about domination. Not too oddly, “others” don’t care to be dominated.

Arendt was and still is right. “We can no longer afford to take that which was good in the past and simply call it our heritage, to discard the bad and simply think of it as a dead load which by itself will bury in oblivion.” There was plenty of good in 1950, but it was in no way guaranteed for all, nor was it the full story. The bad wasn’t and isn’t a dead load and it has not and will not be buried in oblivion, unless we insist on forgetting the past. If we do that we will then repeat the horrors.

Perhaps the most virulent of the White Supremacists really mean it when they call for death to all Jews and, effectively, slavery or expulsion of Blacks, Asians and Hispanics. Maybe the less violent ones just want all of them put on transports and returned to wherever the exporters think they came from. Maybe we should scrub all the non-European names from the records at Ellis and Angel Islands.

Insanity like that is key to the totalitarian’s playbook. In fact, the rounding up like cattle of over 11 million people into concentration camps, then transporting them to who-knows-where is exactly what Trump has said he will do if he’s re-elected. And, like every totalitarian before him, he won’t stop there. The dissolving of freedom and rights won’t end until there are no more freedom and rights to eliminate. Should you have any doubts about that, take a quick look at today’s Russia, Hungary and so many other totalitarian states and even ancient Rome. The expansion of oppression is continuous.

“But Trump won’t do all that,” some say. During the 2016 campaign he vowed to prevent anyone from a Muslim majority country from entering the U.S. and, once elected, he tried to do just that in 3 failed attempts. Finally, a slightly watered down version went into effect. Get over your notion that Trump won’t do the abhorrent things he says he’ll do. He’s proven that he will and he’s sufficiently diabolical to try to do all of them. Ref: The 2025 Project of discrimination, cruelty and subjugation.

Some of the past surely was great. Some was miserable and cruel. What the future will be depends upon our insistence on recognizing the full reality of both the great and the grotesque and deciding to live into the great.

Best Phrase of the Week

Zanny Minton Beddoes, Editor-in-Chief of The Atlantic, wrote about the enormous backlash against the abortion bans triggered by the Dobbs decision. It has put reproductive healthcare out of the reach of one-third of American women. She called this backlash,

a revolt of the reasonable.

Gotta love that.

Fact Check of the Week

On Friday, May 31, Trump delivered his post-conviction comments to a Trump Tower lobby full of his employees and sycophants, this following his becoming a convict the day before. It was a reprise of his 2015 golden escalator announcement.

I say reprise because, like the 2015 event, not one accusation, not one statement about others, not one characterization was true. Not one. It was all abhorrent lies.

This is the standard extremist, authoritarian tactic, now used by most Republicans, of sweeping, grotesque accusations without even a hint of evidence or justification. These defamatory statements are not false facts or alternative facts. They are lies. And they come in a torrent, making fact checking almost impossible.

There are two true things to say about the lies and about Trump and his followers.

  1. Lying is almost the same as breathing for Trump and his acolytes.
  2. MAGA supporters believe all of it, unable to think critically about their leader. They will send money.

Today is a good day to be the light

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

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

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

    Thanks!

    The Fine Print:

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

    Click me

    JA


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

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.

Immigration, Healthcare and Disappearing Spine Disease


Post 1,026

___________________________________

The Real Immigration Issue – Said Out Loud

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Healthcare Ripoff

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

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

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

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

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

Well, yeah, we are.

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

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

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

psycho-emetic [SI-ko-e-MET-ik] – noun

1. so stupid that it makes you puke

  • Jax Dictionary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And the hits just keep on comin’.

One Last Thing
  • Definition:

re·ces·sion /rəˈseSH(ə)n/ – noun

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

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

    Which sucks.

    Okay, This is the Real Last Thing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Thanks!

    The Fine Print:

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

    Click me

    JA


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

Frighteningly Curious


How is it that these are true?

Fox News was sued by Dominion Voting Systems and settled the lawsuit for $787,500,000.

Donald Trump was sued by E. Jean Carroll for assault and defamation, lost the suit and has to pay $5 million. Plus, he stands to get skewered for more money in a follow-on defamation lawsuit because he just can’t keep his mouth shut and refrain from attacking people.

Kari Lake, the election denial candidate for governor of Arizona, is being sued for defamation. Even her lawyers were fined in her insane effort to overturn her 2022 election loss.

Fox News and its on-air blabbers are being sued for defamation by Smartmatic Corporation for $2.7 billion.

Fox News and its on-air blabbers, most notably Tucker Carlson and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), are being sued for defamation by January 6 attendee Ray Epps for what will likely be more than $10 million.

Fox was sued by former staffer Abby Grossberg. Per the New York Times, “.  .  .  Fox’s lawyers had pushed her to give a misleading deposition in the Dominion case and [she is] alleging a hostile and discriminatory work environment.” Fox settled for $12 million. Said Grossberg, “I am hopeful, based on our discussions with Fox News today, that this resolution represents a positive step by the Network regarding its treatment of women and minorities in the workplace.” Gotta appreciate her optimism, however unfounded.

Over a thousand January 6 anti-democracy sedition perps have been arrested for felonies and hundreds are doing time in the hoosegow (good word).

James Fields was found guilty of first degree murder for driving his car into a group of people who were counter-protesting the Charlottesville, VA White nationalist rally in 2018. Apparently, he was one of Trump’s “very fine people.”

Kyle Rittenhouse traveled from his home in Illinois to Kenosha, WI carrying his illegal assault rifle in order to kill people. Somehow he wasn’t convicted and now he’s a hero to White supremacists.

All of these miscreants is or has been working to undermine our democracy. They use violence by word and deed to attack and suppress other Americans and, of course, they wave the flag and claim they are the true Americans.

They and those like them are extremists at war against our country. They are autocrat wannabees. They are Constitution defilers. Those like them were the killers at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, at Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo, at the Las Vegas concert massacre, at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde and so many more killings.

I’ve searched and just can’t find egregious behavior like these examples that has been done by people who lean right or are in the political center or on the left. To be fair, a small handful of lefty rioters were prosecuted following the police murder of George Floyd.

But nobody on the left is defaming righties. Nobody on the left is shooting and killing righties. Nobody on the left is intentionally driving their car into a crowd in order to kill righties. Nobody on the left is suborning perjury. Nobody on the left is storming the Capitol Building and committing violence and destruction in a treasonous effort to upend our democracy.

Why is that? How come we don’t see such abuses and assaults on our citizens, our institutions and our country done by right-leaners, centrists or lefties but we do see them done by righties?

When the news hit that Kari Lake was being sued for defamation, Joe Scarborough tweeted, “Gravity is returning.” Maybe so.

We seem to have part of our citizenry that consistently denies reality and, as you can see from the short list above, that has substantial consequences. It is an anti-gravity.

Obeisance to Trump got a bunch of people killed on January 6 and it nearly toppled our 247 year democracy project. It has caused hundreds of people to be murdered by angry haters and it has upset or ruined lives, like those of Ruby Freeman and her daughter Shaye Moss.

Only far righties inflict this kind of cruelty.
.

Be sure to tell us all if I got that wrong.

Perhaps, given the several push-backs, Scarborough will be proven right and gravity will return. But I tell you this with absolute confidence:

Getting us securely gravity-glued to Earth is going to take an ongoing campaign of promoting democracy. It will take democracy flag bearers in all of our elected offices. It will require ALL OF US to TAKE A STAND in the never ending battle for our values of truth, justice and democracy.
.

Last Point on This

From the New York Times report, How Trump’s 2020 Election Lies Have Gripped State Legislatures:

At least 357 sitting Republican legislators in closely contested battleground states have used the power of their office to discredit or try to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election .  .  .

The tally accounts for 44 percent of the Republican legislators in the nine states where the presidential race was most narrowly decided. In each of those states, the election was conducted without any evidence of widespread fraud .  .  .

Really now, have you heard any gravity-free, reality denial stuff like that coming from the right-leaners, centrists or lefties of our politics?

Our extremist righty American craziness is more than frighteningly curious. This is a 5-alarm fire we must fight. So get on the democracy fire engine (click the link and climb aboard) – it’s solidly on the ground – and together we’ll put out this un-American blaze of cruelty and fake patriotism.

Random ‘Ritings

From The New York Times Morning Briefing, 7/17/23:

Given the politics of vaccination, the recent victims [of COVID] are also disproportionately Republican and [W]hite.

We suffer around 80 deaths from COVID per day, down from the thousands dying from the disease every day at the peak of the pandemic. The Times reports that the improvement is largely due to:

  1. About 3/4 of U.S. adults have received at least one vaccine shot.
  2. Over 3/4 of Americans have been infected and retain some natural immunity.
  3. Paxlovid treatment is available and can reduce the severity of symptoms.

So, goody for us, especially for our life saving vaccines. Yet we still have baseless conspiracy spewers like Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. infecting us with anti-vaccine propaganda.

And we still have resisters, aided in their resistance by Kennedy and other deniers and by the extremists wailing about phantom infringement of their freedom.

Some of these resistors die because of their belief in those not worthy of their belief. And they die for their stubbornness. Effectively, they are saying, “I’d rather die than admit I’m wrong about science and government.”

That, too, is frighteningly curious.

For You, Ohio
.

Click here to see what Republicans in your state want to do.

Then VOTE NO! on August 8.

Quote of the Week

From Ed Gurowitz’s post of July 17, The Apocalypse is (Nearly) Here:

Maya Angelou famously said, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them.” Kevin McCarthy, Mitch McConnell, and others have shown us who the Republicans are by pandering to any group or organization that can keep them in office. It’s time the American people showed who we are and stop standing for being ignored and misrepresented. [emphasis mine]


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 a lot 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.

Facing the ‘mare-ca In America


We Billy-Bobs are Right and We Know It

Let’s drop the pretending for a minute and honestly say that while George Floyd’s murder was not okay, it really wasn’t a big deal because, hey, he was just a Black guy. Plus, we stand by our police, except the ones at the Capitol Building and you know why. And we heard that Floyd’s past was sketchy, although me and my posse don’t know what that was about.

And those kids snatched from their mothers at the southern border – I mean, boo-hoo. Gimme a break. Those kids would have grown up to be Brown adults and not so cute anymore and they’d probably be on welfare with me payin’ for them. Glad they’re gone. And their crying moms? Too bad. Nobody invited you. Besides, you’re Brown. Just go away.

Let’s get serious about all those homos demanding rights like they’re so important. Hey, you want a website for your homo wedding, go do it yourself. Don’t try to make a God-fearing, straight, White Christian woman do anything for you. And get that damned rainbow flag out of my face.

And Affirmative Action? Everybody knows that’s just a way to discriminate against White guys, to keep us down. You other races can do that bootstrap thing like we did. Otherwise, just shut up and stay in your place.

We don’t go for no Department of Education. That’s gub-mint telling us what our kids should learn and turning over their future to a bunch of elite coastal bozos and sketchy teachers. We got parents rights, you know. It’s right there in the Constitution. I forget where.

Anyway, don’t go shoveling no lib-ral, anti-‘mer-can crap at us or our kids. We’ll home school ’em and make sure they learn the right stuff, not the lies in your history books. You can’t chop our freedom.

You know this is true: the Founders of this country were all White men – every one of ’em – and they set up this country to be run and owned by White men. That’s a fact. Deal with it, socialist.

The Constitution allowed for slavery, which is why we want to keep those Confederate statues and have our military bases and schools in the South named after Confederate generals. They were great heroes, especially Robert E. Lee. It’s why we honor the Confederate battle flag and do everything we can to make sure only White people can vote and have their votes mean something. It’s the right thing to do because we’re patriotic ‘mare-cans.

You bleeding heart lib-rals make me sick. That lib-ral crap is an insult to the spirit and meaning of our country, so you can take your woke and stick it. If you don’t like that, go someplace else. Maybe back to where your people came from. They sure didn’t come from here like we White people did.

Until then, just remember that most of us are doing concealed carry. Best if you stay in your lane. It would be a shame if something were to happen to you, you know?

We’re right and we know it.


Take a Breath

The above is satire, of course. It’s a caricature of the closed-minded and the willfully ignorant, those intolerant of everything that isn’t just like themselves.

Even as things are exaggerated here to make a point, we as a country rarely care enough about Black, Brown or LGBTQ people. New laws and extremist Supreme Court decisions are ensuring that we care even less. Harm to these people makes the news only because it’s spectacular and brings eyeballs to advertisers. We don’t do much to right the wrongs, so the hits just keep on coming.*

I’m sure it’s comforting to some to deny that there is systemic racism in this country. It’s a relief to some that service can be denied to LGBTQ people on the basis of an impromptu claim of religious beliefs designed to be inflicted on others. All that takes are just a few key words, like God, Jesus, Christian, freedom, liberty and ‘mare-ca. But what you know is that it’s just performative, faux patriotism.

Land of the free, home of the brave? Where’s the bravery that makes sure that all of us are free?

All men are created equal? How equal are we now?

I’m just wondering what it is we really stand for. It’s a terrible shame that we as a nation have lost our ability to feel shame. Maybe we can bring it back. That would help.

About Your Rights and Our Democracy

For a must read satire about the state of our nation that should wake up your blood, read Diane Roberts’ commentary, We’re the Mommies for Liberty and the future belongs to us. It’s focused on the outrageous rights violations going on in Florida today. With that model in mind you’ll see what could be coming to all of America if we don’t set things right. It will give you the shakes, because Roberts’ satire feels frighteningly close to reality.

Another take on democracy and the pummeling of our rights comes from an essay by Anthony Swofford, author of Jarhead, his best-selling 2003 memoir about being a Marine in the first Gulf War, later made into a movie starring Jake Gyllenhaal. His essay in Daily Beast is about book banning, which the vocal extremists in Ottawa County, Michigan did to his book. He ends his post this way:

Make no mistake, they are banning books, but really they are restricting access to ideas. And when one small group of people ban[s] a larger group of people access to ideas, we are in for a closing of the American mind. What begins with banning books ends with a firescape of constitutional rights ablaze. But the fire is already here on your block. [emphasis mine]
 

That stunning image is the threat that faces us, which is why you and I are going to do something about that, like get elected to office people who believe in democracy and who will stop the ones torching the Constitution.

Quotes of the Week

From David Corn of Mother Jones:

So when the pundits scratch their heads about DeSantis’ attempt to out-flank Trump on the right, they miss the point. He is trying to out-hate Trump. That tells you a lot about the guy and what he thinks of Republican voters.

You could say much the same for Republican politicians who tacitly condone extremism by refusing to speak up.

Thinking more about the not-extreme Republicans who have refused to speak out against the vile lies for these terrible years of political venom, read this, paraphrased from Harlen Coben’s 2023 novel I Will Find You:

Morality is subjective. They could have done the right thing, but they only do the right thing when it doesn’t cost them.

Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger excepted, of course.

Just Sayin’

Monday, July 3 was Earth’s hottest day in the last 125,000 years. Tuesday was hotter.

It’s possible the climate science nerds have been right all along about looming climate catastrophe, even as know-nothing elected officials have denied both the science and what’s right in front of their own noses. Maybe it’s time we elect officials who can see past their noses.

______________________________

* Watch Jon Stewart’s explainer here.


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 a lot 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.

Rights and The Fourth of July


Idiotic Theories and Your Rights

Collect the entire set of Rights Elimination Bobbleheads

Trump’s infamous attorney general, Bill Barr, is an enthusiastic proponent of the radical “unitary executive theory.” He promoted it in his 19-page suck-up application to be Trump’s suck-up AG.

Jeffrey Clark, the mental lightweight DOJ supporter of Trump’s attempt to make himself Permanent Emperor of the United States, is also a unitary executive theory bobblehead.

The New York Times wrote:

Like other conservatives, Mr. Clark adheres to the so-called unitary executive theory, which holds that the president of the United States has the power to directly control the entire federal bureaucracy and Congress cannot fracture that control by giving some officials independent decision-making authority.

That idiotic theory is related to the “independent state legislature doctrine,” which would effectively eliminate elections, allowing radical state legislatures to select office holders instead of We The People doing that. Both notions are efforts to crush democracy – i.e. your rights.

Imagine if extremist state legislatures or Trump were awarded dictatorial powers. That would be the end of this as a nation of laws. Instead, this would be a nation at the whim of tyrants with fever dreams of grandiosity. Good thing the Supreme Court just smacked down some of that extremist garbage. More on that next week (and see the Comment about this below).

You know that dictatorial power is what Trump wants. So does Ron DeSantis. That alone should motivate you to make sure that nobody who isn’t an enthusiastic promoter of rights and democracy ever gets his/her hands on any public power. Those extremist – not conservative – schemes are exactly how the far right crazies intend to take away your rights and end your democracy. They want to end majority rule in America.

You’ve played by majority rule since you were on the grade school playground. I’m betting you can’t think of a single reason to do things differently, but the bad guys in the minority can. Their reason is that they want everything – all the money and all the power – for themselves. And they most certainly don’t want any non-Christian, non-White “others” to have power or rights, Constitution and Bill of Rights be damned. Plus, they don’t care a bit about you.

Good thing you know what to do about those guys who want to steal your rights.

Clarity About Rights

For the moment, consider abortion as a placeholder for all rights. First, you must read Prof. Heather Cox Richardson’s explainer, which follows her opening section about the recent Russian drama.

While nobody likes abortion and most agree with a ban following 24 weeks of gestation (meaning fetal viability), a huge majority of Americans believe abortion is sometimes necessary and should be a right. And we Americans love our rights. You remember that “Land of the Free” business, don’t you? That means rights.

And that’s true, even as some believe that you should not have all the same rights as they have, like voting rights. Some Supreme Court justices think you shouldn’t have a right to birth control. Some autocrat wannabes want to impose their might and their religious beliefs on you to further limit your rights. Are you feeling good about that?

No, you’re not. You don’t want anyone putting their knee on the neck of your rights, George Floyd murder style.

So, wave the flag on the 4th of July for your rights, for everyone’s rights, for majority rule, all of which means democracy. Yeah, that’s a good thing to wave the flag for. Here’s how to do that.

Grit For Rights

Mallory McMorrow

I’ve been an enthusiastic fan of Michigan state Senator Mallory McMorrow since her take down in April 2022 of a hatred spewing Michigan state legislator. See why here.

And because you care about murderers killing children, watch her commentary following the Uvalde massacre. Her message is a good one, too, for the anniversary of the Highland Park massacre. And the Little Rock nightclub massacre. And the massacre of Dallas police officers. And the Aurora, CO movie theater massacre. And the Grand Rapids, MI massacre.

Right, you don’t quite remember all of those. That’s because there is a mass murder every day, so only the ones that are spectacular in some way stand out.

Like little kids shredded so badly by assault weapon bullets in Uvalde that DNA samples were needed to identify them. That massacre happened while cops had an unscheduled rest period in the school hallway for an hour while listening to the murderer’s gunfire.

But every one of those people who were shot, regardless of whether we remember the events, had a right to live. I know you remember that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness thing. That’s about rights. And the right to life was taken away from every one of those murdered people.

Then our leaders stood, with drooping heads, pathetically mumbling something about some damned thoughts and prayers and that this isn’t the time, or some such cowardly drivel. And they DID NOTHING to prevent the next mass killings, so those happened and they keep happening.

The reason for providing those McMorrow links is for you to see what standing strong for what you know is right looks like. Our country needs lots more of this power from you and from me and from all of us. It’s time for moderation in our messaging to end. No more Mr. Nice Guy.

    • Mr. Nice Guy – n. a verbal construction connoting powerlessness; devoid of strength; lacking backbone; avoiding necessary confrontation.
    • – Disambiguation Dictionary, 2023

So, risk having the tough, necessary conversations. Your model for that is in those McMorrow links.

Tell it strong. Tell it from your heart and from your gut. Tell it for your children and your grandchildren who are terrified that they’re next. Tell it for all the people who can no longer tell it for themselves.

And tell your Democratic candidates to reach down, grab their power and wake up their woke. Nice guy milquetoasts are of no use to us at all. This is our time to stand strong.

Wave the flag for that on Tuesday.

Late Friday Extra: Jim Crow Rights

Many rotten tomatoes go to the Supreme Court for its recent decisions on: 1. an entirely hypothetical scenario of a website developer refusing service for a gay couple’s wedding website (they had not asked for one); 2. striking down Affirmative Action in higher education admissions, and; 3. striking down student loan forgiveness. Jim Crow discrimination and segregation have officially been brought back and expanded. Here is a pair of snapshots of facilities with updated signage to accommodate the Court’s decisions.

Click me. I’m suitable for framing.

It’s a new day, but it sure looks a lot like the old days.


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 a lot 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.

Scheming


Here’s Some Of What Decades of Far Right Scheming Have Brought You

Voter suppression through:

extreme gerrymandering;

voting rights suppression;

throwing out voter registrations for obscure reasons – especially in poor and minority areas;

eliminating voting places;

restricting ballot drop box access;

School vouchers for private and parochial schools that starve public schools of money and violate the freedom of religion guarantee of the First Amendment;

Attacking and eliminating healthcare rights;

Cheating on Supreme Court confirmation hearings to get a polarized Court;

Cultivating a power base by appealing to racism and hatred – no more need for dog whistles;

Book banning and book burning;

Stoking fear of the “other;”

Promoting supply side “voodoo” economics for over 40 years, which has served only to make the wealthy wealthier and more powerful and make all others poorer and less powerful;

Packing the Supreme Court to engineer the Citizens United decision into a grotesque monster that allows enormous sums of money from hugely wealthy individuals and corporations to control our elections. This was accomplished by expanding the original case into something not in contest – in effect, making up a new case to ensure power for the wealthy;

Denial of truth and embrace of cruel fictions that stick a spoke into the wheels of progress in Congress and state houses, then complaining that government can’t do anything. Example: spouting lies about the safety and efficacy of the coronavirus vaccines and demonizing public health officials, while well over a million people died and our healthcare infrastructure (hospitals) failed, leaving millions without healthcare at all – and at the same time complaining that the government grossly mishandled the pandemic;

A Trump appointed Texas judge overruling the FDA to eliminate Mifepristone, this on a foundation of boundless ignorance and vacuous reasoning. That compliments what appears to be his whitewashing of his extremist views that he hid during his lifetime appointment judgeship confirmation process;

Challenging election results on the basis of absolutely no facts or evidence – but the false claims have accomplished the undermining of citizen confidence in our elections;

Stoking fear and hatred of LGBTQ citizens and inciting violence;

Ignoring the overwhelming public will on issues like gun safety, abortion, healthcare and more. Here is an example in a chart from the April 11 STAT report, based on a Kaiser Family Foundation study.

These are shocking numbers and the story is actually worse than it appears. Read the full Kaiser Family Foundation report. This is what happens when a minority is in control and they ignore what the rest of us want. It’s deadly.

The extremists have been at this for decades, applying billions of dollars and enormous political pressure and their scheming has paid off in their minority control and their fantastic self-enrichment. Decide for yourself if this stuff works for you. If it doesn’t, then perhaps we should be scheming to set things right.

DNC: I don’t hear a thing from you except solicitations for my money. Is that your best shot?


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 a lot 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.

    JA

 


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

New AP Class in Florida; Ukraine; The Key Word


Caution: The first section of this post contains infectious snark. It is contraindicated for those not yet vaccinated against the current virulent right wing strains of BS-2022 and BS-2023. Note that constitutional virologists are predicting an exceptionally deadly strain next year. Subscribe here (⇒⇓) to stay up to date on this threat.


Gov. DeSantis proudly displays his signature on his “Don’t Say Gay” bill on March 28, 2022, while proudly using unknowing children as props.

There has been a nagging sense of incompleteness since Florida Governor Ro DeSantis courageously ended AP African-American studies classes in Florida’s public high schools. His high minded and heroically placed stake in the ground is a good first step, but it’s clear that something is missing. What Florida high schools need to finish the noose is a class in AP White Supremacy.

This will be a two semester senior level course designed to send students into the world on the far right path and with the tools, the knowledge and the attitude for successful superiority.

Topics included in the syllabus for this course are:

Racial superiority, specifically including the identification of differences in intellectual potential and work ethic

The truth about BLM, the NAACP and other organizations that seek to take money from hard working Whites and distribute it to lazy, shiftless “others”

The truth about the War of Northern Aggression

The proper “place” of non-Whites

Northern lies about poor treatment of the Negro in the south

Clarity about gender identity: “hetero is the way to go.” This issue is included in this program because Gov. DeSantis let us know that gender issues permeate AP African-American studies classes to indoctrinate impressionable students. This is the one arena in Florida public education where the existence of LGBTQ issues may be briefly discussed without indictment of teachers on a 3rd degree felony violation. Otherwise, such discussion would be a violation of the “Don’t Say Gay” law. No texts will be used in this module, lest they filter to other students who are incapable of learning of such things without experiencing trauma or, worse, conversion.

Education on how to purchase, handle and fire semi-automatic weapons

The title of the books in the box is “Black History.” Click the pic

The beauty and pride of the Confederate battle flag and of pickup trucks, especially when used together. Students will be taught how to run lefty campaign buses off the road and also how to overwhelm streets in cities both large and small. Tactics for shutting down lefty rallies will be included in this module.

Training on the appropriateness of violence to enforce White supremacy, including subtleties like how to make anonymous death threats to those who would undermine White position and power

Hands-on training in disruption of school board meetings and socialist lefty protests, plus training in state capitol capture while wearing camo, face masks and carrying semi-automatic assault rifles with high capacity magazines. Role play will be a critical part of this module, so students should arrive in appropriate clothing and be prepared to yell for long periods of time. Foul language will be encouraged.

Students will be trained to register for concealed carry and will be advised to bring their guns to class in case some bad guy with a gun shows up.

This is a lot to cover in just two semesters, yet it is crucial that these Florida students be prepared to move to what’s next, whether it’s an occupation or further schooling or pursuing elective or appointed office. It is imperative that they make the White choices.

Gov. DeSantis, we await your signature.

End of snark

——————————–
Ukraine

We are a primary supplier of weapons and ammunition to aid Ukraine in prosecuting their defense against Vladimir Putin’s reign of terror to re-establish the Soviet empire. Indeed, some of his pals are publicly calling for Russia to annex Poland and the Baltic States after Ukraine is conquered.

President Biden has been careful to avoid tweaking Russia into WW III, a wise caution. However, that avoidance has repeatedly left Ukraine with insufficient armament and training to do what must be done, this because of delays in deliveries. It appears that’s about to happen again.

We recently committed to deliver M1A2 Abrams tanks to Ukraine. These are the most advanced and capable tanks in the world and quite obviously would be of great benefit to the Ukraine fighters. There’s just one problem.

These tanks, ammunition and spares won’t arrive in Ukraine for months, perhaps not until the end of the year. Ukraine doesn’t have months. At best they have weeks.

The Russians are amassing troops and weapons in the east of the country and possibly in Belarus to the north, clearly preparing for major offenses. They may wait until late spring when the ground has dried. Either way, if Ukraine isn’t ready with overwhelming force, they will be overwhelmed.

Putin is using formerly imprisoned conscripts and providing nearly no training to them. He’s prepared to throw a nearly limitless number of bodies at the Ukrainians who can’t possibly win a war of attrition, especially an attrition of bodies.

That leaves us with the obvious: Ukraine must be prepared to counter Putin’s forces by using technical capabilities, firepower and logistical superiority. Translation: M1A2 Abrams tanks, massive supplies of ammunition for artillery and automatic weapons, missile and drone shoot-down rockets and the rest. And a gaggle of F-16s would be enormously helpful to stop rocket attacks on Ukrainian cities and infrastructure. The children and grannies left in their cities would appreciate that.

Now would be a really good time to make all of that happen. Otherwise just a few weeks from now could see the entirety of Ukraine both leveled and an annexed part of Russia.

Key Word – Government Acronyms

First, there was a Chinese surveillance B (Balloon) at 60,000 feet. It posed no BITN (Bump-In-The-Night) threat because not a lot of folks are hanging out at that altitude, but it was a spy vehicle. So, after deciding that it was too big to drop on Great Falls, Montana, the RSPs (Royal Smart People) let it drift to just offshore SC (South Carolina). That’s when our President’s orders were acted upon by an F-22 pilot with a Sidewinder missile. They bravely caused the B (Balloon) and its P (Payload) to make a BS (Big Splash).

BPP (Balloon Payload Pieces) are incrementally being vacuumed from the floor of the ocean by our heroic NOBSS (Naval Ocean Bottom Suck Squad) personnel The EGs (Electronic Geniuses) are mapping out what can be learned from the pieces as they arrive in their Ls (Labs).

NOTE: As of this writing, no telltale SFs (Smiley Faces) have been found on any part of the balloon.

Three more Fs (Floaties) were found between 20,000-30,000 feet. That’s where civilian aircraft fly every day, so the Fs posed a BITN threat. That’s why our President called upon a group of F-22 pilots to slam their Sidewinder missiles into each of the Fs. They made the floaties AFDAGB (All Fall Down And Go Boom).

We didn’t know what those floaties were or why they were at the locations where they were discovered. We didn’t even know if they were balloons. They were much smaller than the Chinese spy balloon, and there was so much ignorance that they were designated UFOs (Unidentified Flying Objects).

Our keen and razor sharp press corps and our highly educated and insightful public sped into action immediately to ask key questions, like, “Are these alien space ships?” and “We must have tracked them, so what part of our galaxy did they come from?” and, “What are the aliens like?” and, “Has ET (Extra-Terrestrial) been consulted?”

The thing is that the answers to these questions and more can be found in the first word of the designation for the Fs (Floaties): “Unidentified.” I mean no offense when I say that the very word means that we have not identified them. As in: “I don’t know.” It doesn’t mean AB (Alien Being).

Not being able to identify them immediately does not mean that they came from across the vastness of OS (Outer Space). It doesn’t mean that God sent them as a W (Warning), either. It means – I think I already said this – that we don’t know.

As of the time of this writing our GP (Government People) have not released any information about the three UNIDENTIFIED Fs (Floaties), except that the RSPs (Royal Smart People) believe these are not CSVs (Chinese Spy Vehicles). What they do know for sure is that they are UNIDENTIFIED.

That’s your key word for today, boys and girls: Unidentified. It means, “I don’t know.” It does not mean SBFAP (Strange Being From Another Planet).

For further information on this topic, please consult your OB (Ouija Board).

______________________________

  • 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 a lot 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, so don’t bug me about it.
    2. There are lots of smart, well-informed people. Sometimes we agree; sometimes we don’t. Search for others’ views and decide for yourself.
    3. Errors in fact, grammar, spelling and punctuation are all embarrassingly mine. Glad to have your corrections.
    4. Responsibility for the content of these posts is unequivocally, totally, unavoidably mine.
    5. Book links to Amazon are provided for reference only. Please purchase your books through your local mom & pop bookstore. Keep them and your town or neighborhood vibrant.

    JA


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

The Through-Line


Last Sunday’s post dealt with the goal of extremist Republicans: destruction. They want to destroy democracy and replace it with autocracy – fascism. They want to destroy the Constitution and replace it with some tool of absolute power only for themselves. They want to destroy facts and truth and replace them with propaganda and self-serving fictions – “alternative facts” – which, as you know, are lies wearing an enemy uniform.

And they don’t care who gets hurt. That was perfectly captured by Trump’s soon-to-be-indicted lawyer, John Eastman, who, at the rally of insurrection on January 6, 2021, proudly declared, “We’re kicking ass and taking names!” I guess that works happily for the kickers, but not so much for the kick-ees. The bad news is that you are intended by the extremists to be one of the kick-ees.

This post is my promised through-line offering to help to explain this behavior, why the self-righteous extremists would want destruction.

I believe this is driven by a primitive, tribal fear of “others.” It is intentionally exclusionary of those not of “our clan.” It is a defense against anything different, anything that might upset what is familiar and feels safe. It is existential tribal warfare.

We pick up a major thread of this to use as example: our 400-year habit of persecuting Blacks. They are different, as White supremacists will have you know. We have bounced around hating many “others” over the centuries, too, including indigenous people (happily misnamed “Indians”), Asians, Irish, Italians, Jews, Catholics and more – really any group that isn’t Anglo-Saxon Protestant and even some who are. The problem now is that Whites are losing their place as our majority racial group and – gasp! – some of those other people have already secured some rights for themselves. Even women! If this is a zero sum game as so many believe, what’s a frightened White supremacist to do?

My stab at understanding this is aided by the pages of Andy Borowitz’s Profiles in Ignorance (see Fine Print #5 below):

“In 2020, Stuart Stevens, who worked on both of George W. Bush’s presidential campaigns, published It Was All a Lie: How the Republican Party Became Donald Trump. Stevens points out what few Republicans have acknowledged: the views that people find abhorrent in Trump make him not the antithesis of Reagan but his rightful successor. “What happens if you spend decades focused on appealing to whites and treating nonwhite voters with, at best, benign neglect?” Stevens asks.

“You get good at doing what it takes to appeal to white voters. That is the truth that led to what is famously called “the southern strategy.” That is the path that leads you to becoming what the Republican Party now proudly embraces: a white grievance party .  .  . Today, in the age of Donald Trump, the most openly racist president since Andrew Johnson or his hero Andrew Jackson (to the extent a know-nothing narcissist is capable of having a hero), many Republicans who find Trump repulsive or at least consider him abrasive and uncouth hark back to Reagan as the standard compared with whom Trump is woefully inadequate .  .  .

But in the area of race, there is a direct line from the more genteel prejudice of Ronald Reagan to the white nationalism of Donald Trump.”

“As for Reagan’s ‘civility and personal grace,’ as Peter Wehner put it, which Reagan, exactly, was he describing? The one who used racist dog whistles like ‘states’ rights’ and ‘welfare queen’? The one who said, of student protesters, ‘If it takes a bloodbath, let’s get it over with’? The one who wished that California’s hungry would contract botulism? The one who permitted his press secretary to turn AIDS into a joke? The one who called African leaders cannibals and monkeys? The Party of Reagan seems pretty recognizable to me [now].”

The through-line also picks up grievances against government. “Government is the problem,” declared Reagan at all campaign stops and at his first inaugural. It moves that line through Trump’s efforts to undermine all government, leading the way to today’s Republican Rabid Rabies Caucus. They amplify America’s original sin in order to appeal to White voters. They pick at the scabs of both real and imagined grievances, giving people something to use to justify their tribal fear-turned-to-anger-turned-to-hatred.

It didn’t start with Reagan. He was hundreds of years too late to have begun that. What he did do is to pick up the ball that Richard Nixon had carried (his “Southern Strategy”) and run way downfield with it. That was “Saint Ronny,” as the myopic, “O’ for the good old days” folks call him, but there was nothing saintly about him.

Pogo was right

Be clear that this post looks mostly at the issue of race being used to polarize our citizens. The important part is that this and more were used to lead to a violent attempt to end our democracy, commit murders and subjugate our people. Worse, some of our elected officials participated in this attempted coup to destroy our country. Here’s a list of the 147 Congressional dishonorables who violated their oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution. They instead chose to surrender their honor and integrity to a would-be tyrant in order to serve their petty selfishness. And they’re still doing that.

History is full of examples of self-serving dishonorables who stoke fear and hatred in order to seize power for themselves. Our challenge today is that many of our dishonorables are still in positions of power and influence. They stoke amygdala stimulated fear and hatred of “others” – that primitive tribal thing – and seek to crush E Pluribus Unum.

That is the through-line.

I’m not sure that John Lewis was right when he declared powerfully, “We’re better than this.”

But we could be.

Finally, this Great Trampling of Rights is well underway by these tribal terrorists. That’s what all the destruction is about. If a right is to endure, there must be a mechanism to ensure it against these assaults. So, here’s a question for us and for our rights:

What is a right without a remedy?

It seems to me that the remedy is up to us.

  • __________________________
  • 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 a lot 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, so don’t bug me about it.
    2. There are lots of smart, well-informed people. Sometimes we agree; sometimes we don’t. Search for others’ views and decide for yourself.
    3. Errors in fact, grammar, spelling and punctuation are all embarrassingly mine. Glad to have your corrections.
    4. Responsibility for the content of these posts is unequivocally, totally, unavoidably mine.
    5. Book links to Amazon are provided for reference only. Please purchase your books through your local mom & pop bookstore. Keep them and your town or neighborhood vibrant.

    JA


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

“This Is An Issue For All Of Us.”


First Thing

Congratulations to Sen. Rafael Warnock (D-GA), Georgia activists and the voting public on his election win for a full 6-year term. Well done! All it took to accomplish that was 4 elections for that seat over the course of 2 years. That’s a mind numbing amount of campaigning (and massive activism) while, by the way, doing his job in the Senate. This is a moment of joy.

And it has been interrupted by Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (now I-AZ). Yes, she bailed from Democrats as soon as there was a substantive impact on them in doing so.

She’s spent the past two years flicking off Dems, blocking key legislation they championed and being the voice of unreason. Her behavior makes me desperate to explain what goes on inside such a person, but it would just be a guess that she didn’t get enough of daddy’s love and attention.

Aw, don’t get me started.

“This Is An Issue For All Of Us.

Because we’ve seen this before. This is how it started 70 years ago. So I don’t want it to feel normal.”

Those are the words of Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff, who was comparing anti-Semitism in America today to anti-Semitism in Nazi Germany in the 1930s and -40s.

It started there with Hitler’s election in 1933 shortly after the very suspicious Reichstag fire. He was appointed chancellor after garnering just 33% of the vote and he immediately began violence against communists, trade unionists and, of course, Jews. He blamed them for essentially all the ills the German people were suffering and many that didn’t even exist. He needed an enemy on whom to focus his nation’s anger, a scapegoat, and he found an easy target rooted in nearly two millennia of bigotry.

That sounds suspiciously like our time, as Trump vilified Mexicans, Muslims, and Blacks, but with ear splitting dog whistles, he targeted Jews. Surely, you remember his “good people on both sides” comment about the Neo-nazi rally in Charlottesville, where they chanted, “Jews will not replace us.” His recent attacks  blew another dog whistle, saying “Jewish people who live in the United States don’t love Israel enough,” while suggesting that they have compromised American loyalties.  Whatever his self-serving blabbery, clearly Trump needs scapegoats on whom to focus citizen anger – that of our grievance-stoked citizens. That’s the source of his power.

He claims that he couldn’t be anti-Semitic because his daughter converted to Judaism, which leaves us aghast at the hollowness of his denial. It’s just another example of the standard weaseling, “Some of my best friends are Jews” and his base, the grievance-stoked haters, metaphorically goose step behind him. Now, of course, he’s even more blatant in his discrimination, as he palls around with anti-Semites and Holocaust denial creeps at his Mar-a Lago Wolf’s Lair.  But that’s just Trump.

Except it isn’t.

His behavior gives tacit permission and even guidance to his millions of followers to hate Jews.

America has always had a virulent strain of anti-Semitism. It was so strong that President Roosevelt wouldn’t allow German Jews safe harbor in our parochial, self-protective country. Making room for Jews would have lost Roosevelt public support for what was coming. So, instead of providing asylum, he left those people on ships to be returned to Europe where they were murdered.

Anti-Semitism is a key force behind White supremacists and Christian Nationalists. And it is a trigger for murders – hate crimes.

On a personal note, it is the reason I was repeatedly attacked and got into fights during grade school and high school. Like Johnny Cash’s A Boy Named Sue, I had to get tough or die, so I learned to fight well. But of course, the victims at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh and those at the Chabad of Poway Synagogue in Poway, CA didn’t have a chance to fight. They were gunned down by murderers inflamed with hatred fed to them from an intentionally  polluted stream.

I was in high school during the Second  Vatican Council when Jews were officially cleared by the Pope of having murdered Jesus. I was acquitted of having personally committed the crime, but I felt no relief, as nothing in my life changed. The bad boys apparently didn’t get the message about my exoneration. I suspect that they still haven’t heard and, dangerously, that they’ve taught their children to hate. Some of them or their grandchildren could be mass murderers now.

Sadly, the words of Douglas Emhoff notwithstanding, this is normal in America. What was always smoldering is now a blazing fire in the open. It is trumpeted every day in social media, with all the old tropes and many new ones flung from that sewer. Republican elected officials and pundits, fearful of the reaction of “the base” – our grievance-stoked citizens – don’t dare to speak out against it and many encourage the bile.* All of that is triggering murder.

Humans have always been tribal and quick to reject “others.” We’re no different in this country. What we do exceedingly well – better than any other country – is to weaponize hatred and trot it out at the slightest provocation.

That’s especially dangerous in a country that has enough guns in private hands for 1.25 guns per person. That figure includes infants, children, terminally ill patients and the institutionalized, none of whom have guns. Separating them out, as well as those who have no firearms by choice, leaves a lot more guns per person for those who do have them in this national shooting gallery of a country.

All of which doesn’t make any of us safer. Those of us with a racial, ethnic or religious bulls eye on our back know that well. That’s our normal, Mr. Emhoff, and it is, indeed, an issue for all of us.

————————————–

* “The sooner we stop pretending that this is a “both sides” problem, the sooner we can start taking the fight against antisemitism seriously. Antisemitism exists on the left, but while the Democratic Party condemns and marginalizes antisemitism in its ranks, the GOP condones and supports it.”

  • ————————————

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 a lot 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, so don’t bug me about it.
  2. There are lots of smart, well-informed people. Sometimes we agree; sometimes we don’t. Search for others’ views and decide for yourself.
  3. Errors in fact, grammar, spelling and punctuation are all embarrassingly mine. Glad to have your corrections.
  4. Responsibility for the content of these posts is unequivocally, totally, unavoidably mine.
  5. Book links to Amazon are provided for reference only. Please purchase your books through your local mom & pop bookstore. Keep them and your town or neighborhood vibrant.

JA


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

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