Resist

Finding Optimism


POST 1069

Third in a series (see Ignorance and Lies and The Underlying Disease)


Stand Up
I asked [my friend] what we would do if 150 crazy people — a mix of deranged narcissists, political extremists, weirdos, conspiracy theorists and other assorted friends of theirs — showed up suddenly on the perfect deck [where we sat overlooking the ocean]. I wanted to know if he thought we’d fight with them or leave.
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“Obviously,” I told him, “we would leave.” He agreed. Crazy people make normal people want to leave.

That’s exactly what we must not do if we hope to provide a cure for our terrible national disease and exit the craziness. Leaving would guarantee a ramping up of the crazy, the vitriol and the siege against the design of the Founders. They had lived under the thumb of despotic King George III and they knew the perils and the pain of autocracy. Our leaving would be capitulation to the forces seeking to undermine the very strength of our nation, our democracy.

So, don’t leave. Stand and fight back. Fight forward. Fight in every direction for your freedom, your rights and for everyone and everything you hold dear. That means standing up to the ignorants and the liars, like Ron Johnson, Jim Jordan, J.D. Vance, MTG, and all the rest of the extremist crazies. Stand up for equity and justice. Stand up to the 50-year-long war to disempower you, make rich guys richer and impoverish the rest of us. Stand up.

A Parallel

Today’s shrill voices and the violence, the threats and the chaos, the crazy and the stupid are all around us with propaganda and lies and visions of doom. Those voices aim to scare good people into capitulation. Those who give up – who leave, to use Steve Schmidt’s term – are today’s version of Neville Chamberlain and his capitulation to Hitler and tyranny.

Click me

Having given away the Sudetenland (then part of Czechoslovakia) to Hitler, Chamberlain came back to England from Munich in 1938 claiming, “Peace for our time.” Less than one year later Germany invaded and overran Poland and a year later began bombing London in the Battle of Britain. Here is the message, the learning:

  • Capitulation never works. It never brings peace. Never.
  • It only emboldens the bullies to do yet worse.

On October 29, 1941 things looked overwhelmingly dark for Britain. Prime Minister Winston Churchill visited The Harrow School, which he had attended years before. Here, in part, is what he told the boys that day:

.

” .  .  .  this is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never — in nothing, great or small, large or petty — never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”

Steve Schmidt is right: “Crazy people make normal people want to leave.”

But we aren’t going to do that. We’re going to stay and stand up to protect our democracy and our self-rule. We’re going to stay and stand up to the hatred and thwart the cruelty. We’re going to stay and stand and fight. We must not – we will not – leave.

We will never, never, never, never give in.

Optimism

I received a private reply from very long time friend Frank Levy to a recent Disambiguation, Ignorance and Lies. He’s given his permission to post some of his comment – many thanks to him for that..

My experience living among these American ethno-fascists [he lives in a deeply RED state], seeing their racism, watching them legislate for destructive and terrible policies for anyone that does not look, vote, pray, or love the way they do, watching them commit crimes of violence and hate against those very same people, watching them live out their misogyny and need to subjugate and humiliate women, and experiencing their virulent anti-Semitism leads me to two truths.
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One, these people are who they are and they do what they do because they have been taught by their mommies and daddies to hate all the people their relatives hate (thank you South Pacific), and who [they believe] their religion teaches them to hate (thank you Christian Bible and Quran).
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Two, they are who they are and they do what they do because they fear losing their privilege and power to the very people they despise and hate. And they hate democracy, while at the same time proclaiming themselves true patriots, because they know that they are a minority and that in a fair election they and their ideas are losers.
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So, here is why I think your optimism is misplaced: you can’t undo this kind of hate and fear through conversation and education.
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I believe Frank is right, that conversation and education won’t make a dent in the certainties of the fearful, the haters and the dispensers of cruelty, so I replied,
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Our national salvation doesn’t lie in conversions of the BillyBobs and the vitriol droolers – as you put it, the ethno-fascists. Rather, it lies in activating everyone else.
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We cannot wipe out the hatred and thuggishness in those who feel the imperative to hate and to be thugs. Their identities are wrapped up in that cruel package, making change for them impossible. What we can do is to overpower them at the ballot box and in legislatures, making their institutionalized bigotry and mania for domination of others a powerless thing, perhaps no more than an artifact.
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Maybe the more remote polling places and mail-in ballot drop boxes will be returned to North Carolina, Michigan, Wisconsin and Kentucky. Maybe millions will have their names restored to the voting roles in Georgia, Virginia, Arizona and Texas. Perhaps an overwhelming defeat will make Kari Lake shut up.
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It’s entirely up to us to make that happen. That’s the reason for optimism.

Obstacles to Optimism

Last Thursday a chunk of the MAGA extremism cult (please forgive the redundancy) came to Manhattan to parade themselves as brainless suck ups to Trump. They violated the gag order that

Judge Merchan placed on Trump and, in effect declared that they renounce justice.

Matt Gaetz (R-Young Girls) announced that he’s with the Proud Boy felons, saying, “Standing back and standing by, Mr. President.” Having already created chaos, these cheaters are attacking our justice system for being chaotic and broken. That’s what the extremists do: they break government, then blame Democrats for the ensuing chaos.

Also on Thursday, the news of Justice Sam “The Insurrection Man” Alito and his upside-down distress flag crashed into our Constitution. Is there nothing that is below him and Justice Clarence “Free Vacations Man” Thomas? Oh wait .  .  .  never mind.

The Republican pollution of the Supreme Court by insurrectionist sympathizers has driven disapproval of the Court to well over half of Americans. A few decades ago being a Supreme Court justice was the most highly respected profession. Now it doesn’t even make the top 20. It’s pretty hard to be optimistic about that.

Since impeachment isn’t going to happen and the Court’s newly drafted ethics guidelines have no teeth, perhaps now it’s time for Biden to pack the court with four additional justices, each of whom, refreshingly, has a moral compass. That would give us something to be optimistic 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.

Law And Order: Special Hush Money Unit


POST 1062


Headline of the Month

From Politico of 4/14/2024

“A porn star, a president and a publisher named Pecker:

“The key potential witnesses at Trump’s criminal trial”


The Hoped For End of the Hush Money Trial

It’s the conclusion of jury deliberation in the Donald Trump hush money/criminal fraud/election interference, multiple count felonies case. The courtroom is silent in anxious anticipation, as the jury solemnly returns to Judge Merchan’s tense courtroom. The defendant has awakened from his courtroom nap and is focused on the jury with a sneering stare.

Judge Merchan: “The defendant will rise.”

Trump rises slowly, belligerent and hostile in rebellion against authority.

           Judge Merchan:   “Jury foreman, have you reached a verdict?”

Jury Foreman:     “We have, Your Honor.”

Judge Merchan:   “Regarding 34 counts of falsifying business records to cover up a crime, what is your verdict, guilty or not guilty?”

The jury foreman reaches into a pocket, pulls out a pitch pipe and blows a note. The entire jury turns menacingly toward defendant Trump. They furrow their brows in obvious distaste and snarl in unison,

“YOU’RE FIRED!”


Gang-Greene

You’ve known all along that Marjorie Taylor Greene is cruel and dishonest, vulgar and infantile and constantly inappropriate (ref: any Biden State Of The Union address). Her foaming-at-the-mouth refusal to help Ukraine leaves European nations and the U.S. at risk from the war mongering new iteration of megalomaniac Josef Stalin. That’s why she has earned a special title from Rep. Jared Moskowitz (D-FL), who said, “that Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene . . . should be appointed as Vladimir Putin’s Special Envoy to the United States Congress.”

In one of her most desperately cloying, grabbing, begging, pleading for attention idiocies, Marjorie Taylor Greene threatened to call for Speaker Mike Johnson’s removal from his speakership for his impudence to bring to the floor a bill for support of Ukraine. Putin didn’t want that to happen, preferring the continuing depletion of Ukraine’s war matériel so he can succeed in his invasion. Greene and her extremist conspirators in un-American activities, the Gang-Greene, are brain-free suck-ups to Donald Trump, who is completely captivated by Putin and proudly wears the title Putin has given him: Useful Idiot. That title goes for Greene and her abominable Gang, too.


Boomer Corner

From a recent post by my friend Ed Gurowitz:

It is this thoughtlessness that worries me. I have many German friends and family, and I’ve asked some of them what their parents told them it was like during the rise of Nazism. Even allowing for a people providing exculpatory explanations, what I have heard overwhelmingly is that people just let it happen – whether through apathy, feelings of powerlessness, or secret sympathy, it doesn’t matter. As Edmund Burke famously said, “All that is needed for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”

That is what I’m afraid of – good people doing nothing when the opportunity to vote is there.

Me, too. Which is why I offer the following.

From Wikipedia – Click the pic

We Boomers did some good work in the 60s when it was our asses on the line in a senseless war, our values were being assaulted by a continuation of centuries of cruelty that seemed like it would never stop. It was our time to respond to Abigail Adams, who expected her husband John to come home with a Constitution that guaranteed women the right to vote – he didn’t do that. And it was even time to (gasp!) guarantee non-Whites all the rights of citizenship. Crazy, right?

But those days are gone.  Our job was largely done, so we left the protests and went about our lives. The world moved on, only not always in a good way. Some of what we accomplished was tragically reversed and now we face a very bad threat.

We never thought we’d have to fight this fight again, but right now the forces of destruction are shaking our world, this time with an even greater threat to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The bad guys have been plotting this since we left the protests behind and they are organized and well funded by billionaires, who plan to be our fascist overlords.

You know what that means:

It’s time for us to saddle up again and fight for what is right.
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It’s time for we Boomers to once again make our voices heard in a deafening thunder to say that we’re not going back. We will never back down. We will stop the forces of destruction. We will protect our sacred democracy.

READ THIS: An Urgent Call To All Boomers.
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Then take action. You’ll know what 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.

Civil War


Post 1,052


A blogger friend recently posted, “A few years ago, CNN reported on a survey indicating that over 40% of Americans believed that a civil war was ‘somewhat likely’ in the next ten years.” He mentioned globalization as at least part of the cause. I assume that means that it has caused disruptions leading to angry citizens.

There are a lot of people who believe they remember better times, regardless of whether the “old days” actually were better. Think: false message MAGA hats.

To be fair, there is some truth to their grievances. There has been off-shoring of jobs, “right-sizing” (i.e. massive layoffs) and the rise of the big box stores that decimated whole towns and more. Their frustration is being amped up by those who would accrue power and money to themselves by keeping people enraged.

Today millions hate the “elites,” which I suppose means anyone wealthier or more educated than themselves. One or two generations ago big company CEOs made 35 times what a regular wage earner made. Now it’s 320 times. Corporations often demonstrated a sense of duty to their communities. Now most obligation has shifted to serve only shareholders and C-level officers, who are, by definition, elites. And thanks to creative legal manipulation we have ensured that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer through the magic of legalized bribery (see Citizens United). Roughly $50 trillion has shifted from the bottom 99% to the top 1% over the past 50 years. That carries enough power to infuriate a lot of people.

If there is to be a civil war, it will probably look like guerilla warfare, not cavalry on horseback or infantry in trenches. It will look like attacks on elected officials, churches (Blacks), synagogues (Jews), grannies in supermarkets and children in schools. Anyone who is vulnerable and perhaps blame-able will be a target. We already know what that looks like* and it may well get far worse. The fires are stoked every day to keep the angry people agitated, like Trump declaring at his rallies that if he doesn’t win the election that there will be “a blood bath” and “bedlam.” He specifically enourages his followers to commit violence. Just like January 6.

Bottom Line

We need leadership to grow this nation instead of fracture it. We need a new clarity of purpose, which is now looking like dealing with existential threat. It could be a foreign threat, but at the moment it appears to be more like home grown terrorism encouraged by self-serving extremists.

Coming together for such a challenge is the job of each of us, of course, but most of all it is the job of the leader to bring us together. Anyone listening to and following those seeking to divide us against ourselves** is willingly seeking to destroy America. Don’t fall for the hypocrisy or let those you love fall for it. Then maybe, just maybe, we won’t have a civil war.

Key Reads of the Week

See Note #5 below – then click the pic.

See Note #5 below – then click the pic.

Prof. Timothy Snyder teaches history at Yale and is the author of On Tyranny and other books. If you have not read this brilliant, pamphlet-sized book (rather like The American Crisis by Thomas Paine), do so immediately.

The idea of a strongman leader has become quite popular, having been promoted over and over by Donald Trump to his largely uninformed audience. Having lived in, studied and understood strongman leaders in many countries, Prof. Snyder offers a most helpful post to explain what having such a leader always means and what profound and terrible consequences would descend on Americans should we choose such a path. Read Snyder’s post here.

Next, you must read Prof. Heather Cox Richardson’s clarification of the 2025 Project. Perhaps you already know that project is the product of the ultra-conservative (i.e anti-democracy) Heritage Foundation and is 1,000 pages of anti-American, dictatorial drivel. They think we should have a pharaoh or fuhrer, Stalinist, Viktor Orbán or Vladimir Putin, the far right’s BFF, to control our country and to control and minimize you. They believe that all power should go to the 1% wealthy minority and that there should be subservience and few rights for everyone else. They believe that all men are created equal except themselves, who are created superior and entitled.***

That’s what a civil war would bring us.

Take the pledge and internalize it deeply. Then click the pic.

Watch for the post this Sunday’s for some ideas of what we must do if things are to get better.

___________________________________________

We are less than 22% through the year and already have over 12,000 dead from guns.

** It isn’t just Trump. Aaron Rogers thinks that 9/11 and the Sandy Hook murders were both staged by actors. He believes dumb and potentially homicidal theories about vaccinations, too. That’s why Rogers is on Robert Kennedy, Jr.’s short list for a running mate for the presidency. So is former pro wrestler Jessie Ventura. They are all dividers. And delusional.

If you want our nation to follow people like them, it’s possible you’ve sustained as many traumatic, brain injury bashings as Rogers.

*** Psst! Do you think you’re “more equal” than others? Most important, do you love to hate? Boy, oh boy do we have a tip.

This may not be the best country for you. Give Russia, Hungary, Sudan and Uganda a look. Those guys know how to suppress and murder “others” – they’re your peeps! Pick one and go there soon. Please.


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.

There Are Two Kinds of People


Post 1,051


Comedians say that there are two kinds of people in the world. There are people who laugh and there are people who make people laugh.

I, too, say that there are two kinds of people in the world. There are people who see nuances, shades of gray as well as of color; and there are people who only see black-and-white.

The black-and-white vision people are most fond of absolutes. Something is either good or bad, black or white, up or down and there is only one way to see things – their way. There is something satisfying in such simplicity. It’s the absence of troublesome “yeah-buts” and a lack of discomfort from uncertainty. Plus, there is the ease of never having to expend the energy to understand others. These people haven’t the rods or cones or whatever it is that allows some to see complexities and other possibilities. For these folks, there is no need for others’ conflicting opinions because those opinions are wrong.

We have many people in positions of authority who are black and white absolutists, unable to see anything but their own certainties. We saw that in the in vitro fertilization decision from the Alabama Supreme Court recently. The judges’ decision was supported by absolutist biblical understandings and beliefs. They included biblical quotes and invoked God multiple times in their written opinion. Apparently, they believe that everyone should believe as they do. That’s the law. Just ask them.

The First Amendment begins, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion .  .  .  ” If that prohibition against establishment of religion is the real deal, then that Alabama Supreme Court just violated it with their religious justification for their decision.

The absolutist judge who wrote that opinion effectively mandates, “You have to follow my religion just as I see it.” He is both wrong and dangerous.

He’s a threat to our Constitution, our democracy, our freedoms and what the Revolution was all about. Whatever his personal feelings about in vitro fertilization or religion, none of that belongs in this legal issue.

This is compounded by a U.S. Supreme Court which likely will affirm that decision when a case is brought to it, because they seem to sing, “Gimme that old time religion.” Today’s Supreme Court seems to have difficulty understanding plain language and has made clear that settled law isn’t settled at all. Pay no attention to their having sworn fidelity to stare decisis (leaving settled law alone) in their confirmation hearings. Nothing to see here. Move along.

Which brings us to my favorite West Wing scene. Watch it here. But before watching it decide if you believe that learning stopped several millennia ago. Because if we are limited to what pre-science, largely ignorant people believed and the fanciful stories and rules they made up about their universe in a hopeful but vain effort to explain what they could not understand, you won’t like that clip. Otherwise, go ahead and enjoy a view of human foolishness.

You Need To

Last weekend the New York Times Opinion Today newsletter ran this headline:

Humanitarian aid should be a bipartisan issue. Congress needs to unlock the needed aid funds. There’s no time to lose.
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It was linked to the author’s guest essay on famine.

We all should stand and applaud that, just as Mike Johnson and his fellow smug Republicans should have stood and applauded at the SOTU after Biden said there should be no violence in politics and that we should make sure every kid can read by the time they’re in the third grade. But, of course, they didn’t applaud or stand and the Republicans are proudly resisting aid to starving people.

Gotta hand it to Republicans for their consistency of doing anything and everything to ensure that no Democrat, especially one residing in the White House, is ever allowed to have even the smallest win. It doesn’t matter to Republicans who gets hurt by their intransigence.*

The Republicans cling to their small-mindedness and their lack of care for anyone other than themselves and their monomaniacal lust for power and money. With each mean spirited, foolishly proud event we learn more about their adherence to the Dark Side and these lemmings march ever closer to the cliff. One can hope.

Which brings me to the words above from the Times. The troublesome part is “Congress needs to.” Does that mean that all in Congress have that need? Because if the Times does mean that, I think they should double check their sources. I think rather that we’ve picked up the “need to” phrasing as a weenie, chickening out of what is really meant: “Millions of Suffering People Need Congress to Unlock the Relief Funds.

It’s much like the very popular phrase following a statement of opinion, “Just sayin’.” It’s a way of trying to avoid responsibility for taking a stand. Both phrases – “they need to” and “just sayin'” – chicken out of standing upright and making a clear declaration.

Here’s the thing: We don’t need any of that chickening out in Congress. Indeed, we need straight talk and sticking to what we know is right. Like ensuring that third graders can read.

So, in keeping with the theme, there are two kinds of people in the world: people who can think beyond themselves, who care about others and whose word means something. They say what they mean and they mean what they say. Then there are people who are weenies.

This is my shot across the bow of the USS Weenie. And no, I’m not just sayin’.

See Note #5 below

Today’s Quote

From Cassidy Hutchinson’s book Enough, page 354:

“I had seen how fragile democracy is, and my conscience recognized our duty as citizens to attend to it for its survival.”

There are two kinds of citizens in this country. There are people who believe in the Constitution, democracy and the rule of law. Then there are people who want to tear everything down and cause us to devolve into a brutal, feudal existence ruled by a despotic tyrant. On November 5 we get to vote on which we will be. Choose wisely.

Hint: You can do more than vote like a real American. You can encourage others to do the same. Click here.

__________________________________________

* Read Thom Hartmann’s post, How Come Everything the Republican Party Stands for Involves Other People Dying? The horrible part is that Hartmann is right.


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.

Elections, Amendments & Tunnels


Post 1,037


A little longer today because there is so much going on .  .  .

Winning Elections

A piece in The Economist in December accidentally provided yet another reminder of what wins elections. We used to believe that honesty and moral character were our guides, but we’ve been disabused of that fanciful notion for many years by poundings upside our heads from brutal reality.

We want to say that sound policy and good solutions leading to sensible goals are what get our votes. Surely the right policies for both our nation and for We The People individually are important to us. So, too, is a leader’s strong backbone to lead our national defense. That’s all nice and good, but that’s not what drives most voters’ choices.

In that Economist piece they report from a recent Harvard Youth Poll:

“Most of those who favoured Mr. Biden – 69% – said they did so more out of opposition to Mr. Trump; by contrast, 65% of those favouring Mr. Trump said they felt loyal to him.”

That’s touchy-feely stuff, not policy driven choice.

The Economist also reports from Joe Mitchell, who operates Run GenZ to recruit young conservative candidates, saying:

“Mr. Biden, he says, has passed more progressive legislation than Mr. Obama but is less admired by progressives because he lacks Mr. Obama’s cachet. By contrast, the indictments of Mr. Trump have restored his celebrity gleam.”

There’s that touchy-feely thing again. Sensible judgment need not apply.

If you listen to the comments from Trump supporters being interviewed, what you will hear consistently is visceral declarations of support charged with passion and certainty. If they are pressed for reasons for their enthusiasm they say that Trump kept his promises, that the economy was so much better when Trump was president, that he has the strength to stand up to other strongman leaders, that immigration was under control and our borders were safe when Trump was president. They say these things with great certainty and as though that’s what’s behind their support for Trump.

But they are wrong. Factually, provably wrong. He didn’t keep his wall promise or infrastructure week promise or pretty much anything else. The economy was worse, he was sucking up to dictators, our immigration system was as bad as it is now and Trump was locking up babies. We were far sicker and hundreds of thousands died. Yet even when presented with these and other incontrovertible facts, Trump enthusiasts remain certain in their beliefs. His moral failings like grabbing women you-know-where and raping them somehow don’t repulse his female followers. His nonstop vomiting of racist filth somehow doesn’t inflame his Black supporters.

They don’t follow and support Trump for his policies or for his moral foundation. Their enthusiasm is more about his showmanship and his tough guy talk. His followers think that the victimhood he whines about makes him like them, that when the bad guys from our justice system come after him, he speaks of that as coming after “us.” It’s a “We are a band of brothers under siege” appeal – and they eat that stuff up. They believe it.

It’s that touchy-feely thing again and millions are led to the ballot box by no more than that and an invitation to give their adulation.

Biden can’t come close to that. He just doesn’t have the stuff to strut. He’s further hobbled by the far left in his own party, people who are never satisfied and always complaining and demanding what he cannot possibly deliver.

Thanks go to JN for passing this along

I’ll make the assumption that nobody who reads these posts is a Trump supporter, so I can reasonably expect that even if you aren’t a Biden supporter, you want to see Trump defeated. Maybe you don’t trust any Republicans, so you don’t want Nikki Haley to win when she’s their nominee once Trump is wearing orange. Fine. What should Biden do to win?

Remember: Winning elections isn’t about policy. Winning may not even be about reality or about any version of truth. Winning elections most definitely is about emotion, passion, beliefs, style, entertainment, heart-thumping pie-in-the-sky promises, excitement and pretty much anything touchy-feely.

And that is a huge challenge that not-so-exciting Joe Biden must meet if he is to win a second term, so:

  1. What should Biden do in order to win?
  2. What must you do to ensure that happens, so that you get what you want and, so very importantly, so that you don’t get what you deeply don’t want?

Here’s a little help for you:

Link to this Sheila Markin post and scroll down to the “USE YOUR WORRY TO ACTIVATE YOURSELF” section. Admit it: you’re worried. You’ll find a list of places to go where you can pitch in, take action, alleviate some of your anxiety and make a difference.

Click to join The Union. Their Action Center will give you all the direction you need for where to go and what to do to make a difference.

Link to Mobilize and register so they can aim you geographically and find ways for you to mobilize and make a difference.

Subscribe to The Grassroots Connector and see how you can make a difference.

Are you seeing the pattern? It’s time for us to make a difference.

Supreme Court

It looks quite likely that the Court will strike down the State of Colorado’s decision to remove Trump from its 2024 ballot. The questions of the justices during oral arguments often focused on distinctions without a difference, like whether a president holding office is an officer of the government. And it gets worse.

Section 3 of the 14th Amendment is a plain language statement that those who have taken an oath to the Constitution – like a president does – and who then participates in an insurrection against our government or who gives aid and comfort to those who rebel in such a way, may not hold office. The framers of this Amendment were exquisitely clear that people like Jefferson Davis must never hold power again. They felt the pain of our Civil War acutely, so they knew how important it was to prevent those who broke faith from holding office.

If the Court decides as it appears it will, the justices will have by-passed the requirement of Article V of the Constitution requiring a 2/3 vote of both Houses of Congress and the affirmation of 3/4 of the states. That is because this Court will have voided Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, something that should require a new amendment.

Think of that: This Court may unilaterally amend our Constitution. That puts every one of us in peril, as it can unilaterally steal our rights and our freedom.

Tunnels

Click me for the story about humanitarian aid that Hamas is keeping from the hostages

The strife in Gaza continues and, like nearly everything in the Middle East, things are complicated and rarely what they seem to be. Bret Stephens posted a most clarifying piece, The Meaning of Gaza’s Tunnels. He wrote,

“Hamas’s tunnels measure between 350 and 450 miles in a territory that’s just 25 miles long. (By comparison, the London Underground is only 249 miles long.”

Here’s another comparison: The entire New York City subway tunnels are only 145 miles in length.

Q. What do you suppose that enormous Gaza excavation is for?

A. To provide command centers, shelter for Hamas fighters and to build and warehouse huge factories to construct rockets and other munitions for the sole purpose of attacking and killing Israelis.

Palestinians have been impoverished for decades by the diversion of resources intended for the benefit of the Gaza people. The resources have been used instead solely to build this subterranean military fortress. Again, its only purpose is to enable Hamas to kill Jews and eliminate Israel.

Read Stephens’ piece, as well as another of his posts linked from the bottom of his current one. I promise you’ll learn important things you don’t yet know. They just might change how you see this awful, ongoing Gaza war.

Late Addition

Take this pledge for democracy and then link through.

Click me


  • 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.

At Last


Post 1,016

—————————————

It took years for our media to stop pointing out the “mistakes” Trump was making in his presentations and to at last state the obvious: He lies and he’s a liar. By the end of Trump’s administration the Washington Post had documented over 30,000 Trump lies. That’s over 20 per day for 4 years. These were not inadvertent errors or little oops moments; they were flat out lies. It took the Post and the rest of the mainstream press years to find the nerve to state that obvious fact. Now we’ve come to another reckoning with reality, this, too, of the forehead slap variety.

It seems that our mainstream media has figured out that Donald Trump and his rabid followers and cowardly tag-a-longs comprise an existential threat to our republic, to democracy, to the Constitution and to our way of life. Journalists have figured out that these unfaithful ones are actually proclaiming their evil intent out loud and promising to deliver destruction.

This promise of a destructive rampage seemed obvious and dangerous to me at least as far back as April 9, 2012, well before the Trump bastardization of our country. Later Trump undercut our intelligence agencies, threatened nuclear war, promised retribution against various opponents and agencies of our own government and far more. Imagine that: it wasn’t enough to demonize Mexicans as rapists and drug smugglers and criminals, as he did during his infamous escalator candidacy announcement in 2015, complete with paid actors pretending to be supporters. Trump has attacked and continues to attack us all directly and repeatedly.

Now he’s promised to take down the Constitution, aggregate all power to himself, kill our generals, imprison political opponents, station our military in our cities to control we citizens, this in violation of the Third Amendment, and more. He’s promising all this in his campaign speeches. If there’s one lesson we should have learned quite well a long time ago it’s that Trump doesn’t do hyperbole. When he promises something outlandish, he means to deliver it, regardless of illegality or harm to others. Now it’s clear that his overriding message is that he plans to tear everything down and build a dictatorship solely for himself; as in: Nothing for you.

No democracy. No shining city on a hill. No last best hope. No lamp beside the golden door. Nothing but serfdom under a mad king, exactly what the colonists rebelled against.

Which brings us to morning in the journalism world.

At last journalists are writing and speaking about the obvious reality of the existential threat promised by Trump.

In the Washington Post Robert Kagan explains that A Trump dictatorship is increasingly inevitable. We should stop pretending. Kagan’s post is a serious buzz kill, because what he lays out has been in plain sight for a long time – we should all have been able to see this coming – and it’s a deadly serious threat to us and our country.

The entire January/February issue of The Atlantic is devoted to the theme: If Trump Wins. It’s a very ugly picture.

The Economist tells us that Donald Trump poses the biggest danger to the world in 2024.

And you can check the New York Times for Donald Trump’s 2024 Campaign, in His Own Menacing Words.

These are just a sampling of current pieces. If you don’t have online access to these publications, go pick up copies at a newsstand. You remember those, right? The big box bookstores have a whole section of periodicals. Go there.

Spoiler alert: The news you’ll find is clear and terrifying.

Like his constant lying, it appears that the secret is out about the doom of Trump looming menacingly on the horizon. Journalists are finally naming names. At last.

You need to be naming these threats, too, especially to low information friends and family members who don’t see what’s coming and which will clobber them if they let it.


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.

Tentacles of Flames


Post 1,015

—————————————

Near the end of the 1977 movie Star Wars – Episode IV, A New Hope we see Luke Skywalker release his photon torpedoes into the tunnel to the reactor of the Death Star. He banks his X-Wing fighter away and we see the Death Star explode behind him, with tentacles of flame from the explosion reaching for his fighter.

That story isn’t new, including those very dangerous tentacles of flame.

We have before us the election of our national lifetime. The evil empire wants to subvert and destroy what we have worked centuries to build. They promise to dissolve the power of Congress and eliminate fair justice. They have constructed a political Death Star (Project 2025) to do their worst to all of us.*

We have only our X-Wing fighters and our indomitable will to stop them and it will take every one of we pilots to strap in and ride into the battle to eliminate their ultimate weapon. We have to enlist everyone if we are to keep this the America we believe in.

Still, even when we win, we will feel the flames at our backs. The emperor and his Storm Troopers won’t go away and all we’ll have is a temporary respite from the battle to defeat their evil.

Yoda

As Yoda (sort of) said:

Remember this you must, young Jedi: When explode the Republican Death Star you do in 2024, cruel Storm Troopers there still will be and a new evil empire they will seek to establish. Guard the republic you must from their treachery. Ever vigilant you must be.
.
Because They’ll Look Like This

It was inevitable. What’s surprising is that it took this long.

Last Thursday there was a peculiar looking envelope in my snailmail box. It was addressed to “Resident” in a scratchy hand looking like a preschool child’s attempt to imitate printing. The stamp was cocked 90 degrees right and there was no return address. Rather than immediately tossing it into the recycle bin unopened, I took a look.

And was greeted by a swastika.

You can see the appeals to hatred in this PDF of the documents. They invite me to join the American Nazi Party and the National Alliance (apparently a bunch of hateful, not-very-Christian White Nationalists). If their calculations are accurate, all of our national and local problems are due to Blacks (“undesirable and dangerous”), Jews (of course) and especially invading Latinos, of whom there is “an unlimited supply.”

I’m not brave enough to go to either website to learn more and possibly have my computer hacked by frightened and frightening thugs living in a constant rush of hate power. I don’t recommend that you do that, either, unless you know what to do to protect yourself from malicious e-stuff and malicious domestic terrorists.

Many of our elected officials and candidates are just like these extremists, either dog whistling haters or out in the open haters, appealing to voters’ fear of change, fear of “the other,” fear of loss of privilege and the love of blaming others for their insecurities and failings. Fundamentally, these self-important power seeking ones scheme for votes using all the White supremacist tropes of hatred.

These leaders are today’s and tomorrow’s Imperial Storm Troopers against whom we must maintain constant vigilance, as Yoda instructs. They are the tentacles of flame that constantly reach out to destroy our nation. Even when we crush them in the 2024 election – that will be our New Hopethey will not go away. They will Strike Back with evil new ways to subvert our Constitution, our democracy and your freedom. Whether he’s still wearing a much too long red necktie or an orange jumpsuit, the evil Orange Emperor will still command an army bent on destruction of all you hold dear.

For clarity about the twisted, manipulative destruction schemes of the evil empire, watch Rachel Maddow’s explanation here. Many thanks to MA for the pointer.

Warns Yoda,

“Reaching for our backs, tentacles of flame there will always be, even after our great victory next November. So you will go, young Jedi, to the Earth 1 system, where you will find the protectors of our democracy. Train you they will in the ways of The Vote and you will join the battle against the cruel ones who openly promise to destroy what is sacred to you. Protect and defend our democracy you must, with constant vigilance.

….“The Force will be with you – always.”

__________________________________________

*  From Jon Meacham, Reflections of History, November 1:

Conservatism in America in 2022 is hardly what [Russell] Kirk (The Forgotten Father of American Conservatism), William F. Buckley, Jr., Ronald Reagan or the George Bushes would recognize as their guiding ideology. In its contempt for the rule of law, its lack of decency and its disdain for institutions, the American Conservative Movement as popularly understood is facing what many of its traditional adherents see as a crisis, possibly an existential one.

What very well may be threatened existentially is our democracy and our very way of life. Our so-called conservatives today are the Storm Troopers, the Brown Shirts, smashing and destroying everything as they go. They give no thought to sacred oath, to integrity or to our future generations. They goose step thugishly through our most cherished values and ideals.

That is why, “Protect and defend our democracy you must, with constant vigilance.” Go now, young Jedi.


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.

Precedented


Post 1,009

—————————————

Precedented I

Republican Warren G. Harding was our nation’s 29th President of the United States. His administration was infested with scandal. He died two years into his presidency, thus preventing him from doing even more damage. He was long considered the worst president ever, an impressive achievement, given some of the dopes who have held that job.

But then came Nixon to lower the bar.

Then Dubya.

Then Trump.

Even before they came along with their scandals and criminal behavior there were extremists who promised division, chaos and nothing to solve our national problems and challenges.

In the early 1960s the Republican Party was a groundswell of extremism, proudly led by Sen. Barry Goldwater (R-AZ). He was famous for saying chest-thumping, stupid absolutist things, like,

I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.
.
He ginned up “the base” with such stuff, along with promises of nuclear annihilation. Goldwater and other far righties made fearful advances toward taking over the Republican Party and caused moderates more than a little worry. On July 14, 1963 Governor Nelson Rockefeller (R-NY) gave a speech addressing this very issue. Sections of it are below. I’m confident this will feel uncomfortably current.
.

I am now convinced that, unless the vast majority of Republicans who subscribe to these [extremist] principles are aroused from present inaction – whether this inaction stems from complacency, from fear or from a fantastically short-sighted opportunism – the Republican party is in real danger of subversion by a radical, well financed and  highly disciplined minority.

For it has now become crystal clear that the vociferous and well-drilled extremist elements boring within the party utterly reject these fundamental principles of our heritage. They are, in fact, embarked on a determined and ruthless effort to take over the party, its platform and its candidates on their own terms – terms that are wholly alien to the sound and honest Republican liberalism that has kept the party abreast of human needs in a changing world, wholly alien to the broad middle course that accommodates the mainstream of Republican principle.

This cannot be allowed to happen. The continuing commitment of the Republican party to its historic principles including its fundamental dedication to equality of opportunity for all men cannot and must not be betrayed. No temptation of political gain through cynical expediency can be permitted to becloud our commitment to principle and purpose.

After branding these extremists “the radical right lunatic fringe,” Rockefeller went on to say,

These people have no program for the Republican party or the American people except distrust, disunity and the ultimate destruction of the confidence of the people in themselves. They are purveyors of hate and distrust in a time when as never before, the need of the world is for love and understanding.

They have no concern with and offer no solutions for the problems of chronic unemployment, of education and training, of housing of racial injustice and strife, of all the other problems which must have answers if our democratic ideals are to be translated into living reality.

So much of what has happened over the past 50 years has been labeled “unprecedented,” including anything from the falsely named Tea Party and the Freedom Caucus to nearly everything Donald Trump has done or said over the past 9 years, perhaps foreshadowed by his fraudulent Birther defamation. But in fact, there is precedent for much of what we’ve seen, perhaps excluding Trump’s over 30,000 lies and his blatant attacks on the rule of law and his denial of actual reality.

It’s sad to say, but extremism never fully disappears. It waxes and wanes with new appearances of those who covet power for themselves above all else.

This stuff is precedented, including by the Confederates in the 1800s all the way into the 1900s; Nazis in the 30s and 40s; by Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, both of whom thought they were above the law; and by the dastardly far right today using perversions of our laws to steal the vote from whole swaths of our citizens and to mount a multiple front assault to steal an election from our nation. It’s plain that these attacks on freedom, democracy and our Constitution come along regularly to torture our nation.

Fortunately, our justice system is now applying the proper elbow to the solar plexus of law breaking extremists. The political elbow blows, though, are left to us to deliver to make extremism wane before permanent damage is done.

Precedented II

Likely you remember those pictures for kids about which you’re asked to name what doesn’t belong, like a carrot in a tree. It’s more difficult to identify what’s missing from a picture.

It’s right that we have empathy for Palestinian civilians who have been wounded or killed and for their loved ones who are suffering. They are our fellow human beings in terrible circumstances, largely through no fault of their own. The media coverage of that is front and center. We are fed those images every day, but there’s something missing from that picture.

The only victims of the October 7 massacre to which the world media seems to be paying any attention are the hostages. The focus is largely on what happened next.

There is footage of injured Palestinians, but where is the coverage of the 3,300 injured Israelis? We see awful funeral processions for dead Palestinians, but what about the funerals of the 1,400 Israelis killed and the wailing of their loved ones? We see the destroyed Palestinian homes and apartments, but where are the stories and video of the thousands who had to flee their homes in terror on October 7 and who then came back to devastation? Even as so many Palestinians suffer, there are tens of thousands of Israelis suffering, too. Why the stark empathy disparity?

This is not unprecedented. This is standard unbalanced world attention orchestrated by Hamas and we’ve seen this time and time again. Hamas, like Yassir Arafat and his Palestine Liberation Army before it, uses the suffering of Palestinians to twist world opinion in their favor. They keep their own people hostage in areas they know Israel must attack in order to stop Hamas, so Palestinians suffer, making Israel look like the bad guys. It’s such an obvious PR scheme and the world falls for it every time.

People are calling for a ceasefire in the name of mercy, but it doesn’t work that way (see this). Were the IDF to simply pack up and go home now they would leave Hamas its weapons, its mob of terrorists and time to rearm. That would hasten the next October 7 style massacre of Israeli civilians. More brutally said, the lopsided empathy of the world, calling for a ceasefire, seems to prefer Israeli corpses over Palestinian corpses. Where is the mercy in that?

This manipulative PR stunt is not unprecedented. It is old and predictable and cruel.

Just For Fun

Here’s are five golden rules for spotting an idiot, this from Arwa Mardawi of The Guardian.

  1. Beware of anyone who describes themselves as a “proud non-reader of books.”
  2. Similarly, avoid anyone who thinks that every book should have been a six-paragraph blog post.
  3. Remember that wealth isn’t directly linked to intelligence.
  4. Dropping “AI” or “ChatGPT” into every second sentence is a major idiot red flag.
  5. Keep a wide berth from people who obsess about their IQs.

Here’s my favorite, linked to #3 above:

Click the pic for the source. Many thanks to JN for the pointer.


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.

Connecting Dots


Post 1,005

—————————————

Congressional Republicans have pseudo-patriotic, brain damaged explanations for not supporting Ukraine. Of course, they’re either making up “alternative facts’ or clutching their boundless ignorance to their chests, the place where courage should reside but obviously does not. The reality is that Ukraine is fighting our fight for us. It is the fight for Western civilization, for our values and for democracy everywhere. Now why would these elected congresspeople oppose fighting for our values and our democracy? The answer to that question is the first dot for making a picture.

There was an active shooter at a middle school in the Milwaukee suburb of Germantown, WI on Monday the 23rd. The only casualty was the shooter, killed by police, who arrived quickly and acted immediately. We sure could have used those folks at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, TX last year.

On Wednesday the 25th there were what the experts call “spree shootings” at a bar and grill and at a bowling alley in the towns of Lewiston and Auburn, ME. The suspect, now dead by his own hand, was a former military firearms instructor. He had been committed to a mental health facility last summer. He is reported to be “hearing voices” and made threats against others, including against the National Guard base in Saco, ME.

He was in possession of a military style rifle designed not for deer hunting or target shooting, but to kill lots of people at a really fast rate. Plus, he was apparently carrying a large supply of ammunition. The shooter killed 18 people, injured 13 others and broke hearts throughout the state and our country.

The alleged shooter legally owned that assault rifle, all that ammunition, a hand gun and whatever other killing implements he carried. Why do you suppose he was able to do that?

One of the senators representing the people of Germantown, WI is Ron Johnson (R-WI). He’s a steadfast opponent of any and all legislation that might have kept a gun out of the hands of both of those alleged shooters. There are many dozens like him in Congress. Now, why would so many of our nation’s senators and representatives oppose safety in that way, especially when the overwhelming majority of We The People want it? The answer has nothing to do with originalist Constitution notions or even bravado and chest thumping about the Second Amendment. The answer to that question is the second dot for making a picture.

It took the majority Republican House 22 days to find a replacement for Kevin “Cut Mine Off’ McCarthy. He gave away nearly everything, so it took only eight flaming radical congresspeople to dump him. Matt Gaetz (“he who partied with under-age girls”) led that attack on McCarthy, pretty much only because after McCarthy gave away everything to become Speaker for less than 10 months, Gaetz wanted what was left of his dignity, this in order to please Trump. That’s the third dot.

The extremists supporting their second nominee for speaker, Gym Jordan (R-Hell), threatened other Republicans and their families with violence if they opposed his nomination. That’s thugocracy. Those threats deeply divided the Republican caucus and resulted in a complete standstill in the House during a worsening crisis in Ukraine and the Hamas terrorist attack on Israel.

Without the Republican paralysis of Congress they would have been able to take action. But the flamers blocked that and all other congressional action for over 3 weeks. Some are promising to ensure that the government is made to shut down just before Thanksgiving. Now, why would they do any of that? Consider that the fourth dot.

Now they’ve elected Mike Johnson (R-LA) as the new Speaker of the House. He’s the guy who led the effort in the House to overturn the 2020 presidential election. He’s an election denier. A Big Lie guy. A Trump toady. A fanatic. A legislative insurrectionist. Yes, every Republican voted for him.*

“To sin by silence when we should protest makes cowards of men.” – Ella Wheeler Wilcox (Many thanks to MG)

He’s a God-invoking hypocrite who is guilty of attempted destruction of our democracy and our Constitution. Perhaps you remember the Constitution as that thing to which Johnson swore his solemn oath, hand on the bible he thumps, to protect and defend our Constitution from all enemies, both foreign and domestic. Then he enthusiastically led Republican representatives to violate it in legislative insurrection. Consider Mike Johnson guilty of dereliction of duty, a breaker of his word, unfit to serve and the fifth dot.

We could go on, but all the dots inevitably become a picture of destruction, of American terrorist attacks on our nation. These people are robotic acolytes of Trump and Steve Bannon. Doing what is best for America is not their motivation. What they want is to “tear it all down.” They want to demolish our government, our institutions, our rule of law, our notions of equality, our Declaration of Independence and Constitutional guarantees that no person, no race, no nationality, no religion is above others. Our 234 years of laws make clear that White Christian men have no claim of dominion and power over the rest of us. But that’s no obstacle to these extremists. Doubt that?

Those better-than-the-rest-of-us straight (they claim), White Christian (they claim) men – no women – would be pleased to enslave you if you are not one of them. We know that, because that was the very essence of the South before the Civil War and that is what the present day domination seekers promise. They want to dominate you. They want to own you.

The Republican picture is one of destruction, domestic terrorism, hatred, fear mongering and subjugation of the great masses of us by a privileged class that believes they are above us.

That’s what people voting Republican are voting for.
.

When the dots are connected they reveal a democracy and freedom apocalypse, a picture that you and I will deeply dislike.

Quotes Of The Week

From Sheila Markin in The Markin Report of October 27, “The Coup Caucus Won:”

The extremists don’t want government to work. If government doesn’t work then Biden can be blamed and democracy can be seen as a failed form of government. The goal of GOP extremists is to trash the system and crash our government .  .  .  For them, chaos IS the goal.

In a webinar on Friday Rep. Sean Casten (D-IL-6) answered my question about what the magic pill is to get the right people into Congress who will pass legislation that delivers what We The People want, like democracy. He made some insightful comments and ended by focusing on hope. It’s not in robust supply in these politically dark times. Here’s his final comment:

“The magic pill is us.”

That rather smacks of then-candidate Barack Obama declaring what was so plainly true:

“We are the people we’ve been waiting for.”

They are both right. It’s up to us.

_____________________________________

* From Steve Schmidt’s The Warning on October 26:

Perhaps the best way to understand this point [of difference in Speakers] is by appreciating how cynicism can fuel fanaticism. Kevin [McCarthy} believed in nothing but power, while [Mike] Johnson sees power as a means to impose his fanaticism.


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.

Boxing and The Danger We Face


Don’t Ask the MAGA Crazies to Come To Their Senses.

Chaos and Destruction ARE Their Senses.

.

“These are the times that try men’s [and women’s] souls.” – Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776. Click, read, think, act.

The Republican Party has published its 1,000 page plan called “Project 2025.” It is a plan to completely dismantle the American government in just six months. They intend to destroy our democratic republic and establish a dictatorship with a Republican despot as absolute ruler. They promise to end your rights and freedom. They promise to destroy everything you hold dear about our country.

All they need to be able to betray us in these ways is to win the presidency, to have a compliant Supreme Court and to have a cowardly congress. That doesn’t sound too hard, does it?

And now, what better way to light the fuse to blow up our country than to shut down the government? Over 20 Republican flamers voted down their own budget plan. They did that to show what tough guys they are, to have their infantile temper tantrum, to puff up their egos, to show the Speaker who’s boss AND TO TEAR DOWN OUR DEMOCRACY, instead of honoring their oath of office to protect and defend it. They are solely about themselves, chaos and destruction.

WHERE IS THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY’S OUTRAGE AND COUNTER-ATTACK AGAINST THESE TREASONOUS, POISONOUS PEOPLE AND THEIR ANTI-AMERICAN SCHEME?

Do the geniuses at the DNC think this monster will go away if they just close their eyes and think pretty thoughts? Maybe that’s what John Kerry thought when the Swift Boaters attacked him in 2004 with their cowardly lies. He didn’t want to dignify their filth with a reply, he told us, which is a lovely patrician idea. But his lack of pushing back only emboldened them and they poisoned enough of the American voting public that by the time Kerry at last spoke up, it was too late.

We know what has happened to the courage and patriotism of the Republicans. Those were devoured by their cowardice and hypocrisy. But where did the courage and patriotic passion of Democrats go? The bell for the 15th round has rung. There is only one boxer in the ring and his name is Fascism.

DEMOCRATS: WHERE THE HELL ARE YOU?

We don’t have the luxury of patrician patience to wait for the chaos and the evil of these traitors to disappear.

Polite debate never works with bullies. The only way to stop a bully is to punch him/her in the nose.
.

The cult followers make themselves functional morons because they refuse to learn and they goose step along, happy to tear down our democracy and use violence – even inciting murder – to please their cult leader. We need to see immediate and sustained blows to the traitors to knock them out of power and to make sure they never get their hands on it again.

John Kerry refused to take such action for too long and he lost the presidency. We stand to lose our entire country if we remain quiet and passive.

“These are the times that try men’s and women’s souls.”
.

We are on trial right now.

It’s time for a bare knuckle fight for our democracy, a fight for what you know is right. The ring stands before us. Who will enter it to fight the good fight, the patriotic fight, the fight for America?

DNC: GET IN THE RING!

DEMOCRATIC CONGRESSIONAL AND STATE LEGISLATORS: GET IN THE RING!

AMERICANS WHO LOVE AND BELIEVE IN AMERICA: GET IN THE RING!

From Steve Schmidt’s The Warning on September 26:

The American people face a great test, a great reckoning. The practice of citizenship can be avoided no longer. We stand at an hour where every inch of progress that has accumulated over 250 years of time, that has lifted the human being from a condition of servitude and economic misery to prosperity and freedom, stands to be erased .  .  .

.  .  .  The American people look at Washington D.C. and they see one of the most corrupt congresses in history. They see the most corrupt Supreme Court in history, They see a fascist movement on the march. [emphasis mine]

The practice of citizenship can be avoided no longer because you yourself see the corruption and the fascist march and you know in your bones that something must be done to stop this or terrible things will happen. Here’s an example of why this is important to you.

One of the things authoritarians do is to ignore the wants and needs of the people. They do that because they can. They focus simply and exclusively on what serves themselves. The Founders rebelled against just such an authoritarian.

You know quite well that 80 – 90% of Americans want stronger gun safety laws and regulations. We want Medicare for all, lower cost access to higher education and action to stop and then reverse global warming. We want our hungry children to be fed and we want racial and immigration justice. We want the insane haters to shut up and for the stupid to stop. Plus, as a placeholder for all government functions, we want a budget to be passed without the lunacy and without threats of harm to our people and the undermining of our national defense.

We want these things and consistently we do not have our way. That’s because of a terrorist minority and the cowardice of so many who refuse to stand up to the bullies.

If the fascists get their way, you will never get what you want. The minority will rule for their own benefit, not yours, and your voice will be stilled forever. Look at any authoritarian regime in history and you’ll see that it is always this way. It will be that way here, too  .  .  .  unless we fight and win and keep our democracy.

So, it’s simple:

GET IN THE RING!
GET IN THE FIGHT!
PROTECT AND DEFEND OUR CONSTITUTION AND OUR DEMOCRACY!
.

Oh, and DNC:

GET IN THE RING AND LEAD THE FIGHT FOR OUR COUNTRY,
– or –
BE OBSOLETE AND INSIGNIFICANT.
.

You pick.

One more time:

Polite debate never works with bullies. The only way to stop a bully is to punch him/her in the nose.
.

If you’re unsure about that, check with both Neville Chamberlain and Mallory McMorrow for a shocking comparison.

Most Important
Here’s how you can get into the ring and land some punches – CLICK ME.

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.

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    JA


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

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