Terrorism

Taking Sides


Post 1,027

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Golda Meir, 1964

Golda Meir

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

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

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

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

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

But now we are beset by home grown terrorists, liars and cheats, as well as the cowardice of those who know better but knuckle under. They focus only on their own short term welfare, heedless of the harm they are allowing to be done to our people and to our nation. We are plagued by well armed haters acting out their meanness and cruelty, cowards who lash out in physical and verbal violence, whipped up by those who would be our overlords.
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Because of the brilliance and beauty of our Constitution we are being given one more chance to set ourselves back onto the path carved out of a wilderness of dominance from others. It will take our dedication and our blood, sweat and tears to set things right. Should we fail, it will lead to an enduring night of suffering.
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Elie Wiesel, recipient of The 1986 Nobel Peace Prize

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

“In any society, fanatics who hate don’t hate only me – they hate you, too. They hate everybody.”
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Let that sink in. They hate everybody.
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“We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant.”

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

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

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

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

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

Hurry: People are dying.

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

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

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

Start the new year right:

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

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

There is a word to describe this:

COWARDICE!

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

    Thanks!

    The Fine Print:

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

    Click me

    JA


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

What Will You Do?


  • Post 1,014
  • PLEASE read the comments that follow this post.
  • __________________________________

Millions of years and millions of generations have made mammals and humans in particular protective of our young. It is a species preservation imperative and our instinct to preserve and protect has magnified into a tenderness, a softness of heart and an arms-enfolding vigilance for children.

That is why my heart breaks for 4-year-old Abigail Edan, who was held captive by Hamas terrorists. She’s alive only because her father shielded her from Hamas bullets with his body, this following her mother having been gunned down.

And my heart breaks, too, for the Palestinian children who are suffering, orphaned and terrorized. Would that I had a name and picture to make this more personal, but you’ve seen the pictures and videos so you know as well as I of the enormous trauma to these little kids.

To be clear, my heart breaks for all the innocents, whether dead or suffering, whether they are children, adults or old people. It’s just that little kids like Abigail Edan grab at my heart by the fistful due largely, I suppose, to that protection imperative.

In this momentary truce while innocent hostages who were held by Hamas are being exchanged for Palestinian prisoners held in Israel, people of many nations are beseeching Israel to be cautious, to protect civilian Palestinian life. Everyone – including Israel – agrees that’s the right thing to do, but there’s just one answer needed in order for Israel to comply:

How can Israel ensure that Hamas is made thoroughly unable to attack Israelis when the terrorists still hold their arsenals, stand ready to unleash death on Israelis and they have promised to do so “again and again“?

Hamas is dedicated to only two things: Wiping Israel off the map and killing all Jews. They’ve armed themselves to do just that and they don’t care who else suffers or dies in the process. Recall Maya Angelou’s words:

“When someone shows you who they are, believe them.”

So, believe Hamas: They are murderers.

Given the homicidal reality of Hamas, its butchery, its ISIS-copying barbarianism, Israel must protect its citizens. Doing that requires eliminating Hamas’ ability to attack Israel and Israelis. But Hamas is hiding behind cute 4-year-olds who are just as precious and just as heart grabbing as Abigail Edan.

With the constant of worldwide condemnation of Israel, I’ve asked this question in various ways and haven’t heard any workable answer:

If you were making the decisions for Israel, what would you do?
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In an effort to protect Palestinian civilians, Israel has announced when and where it would attack so that civilians could get out of the way. It did so via tens of thousands of leaflets dropped on Gaza and by tens of thousands of cell phone warnings. It has directed Palestinians to go south because attacks would commence in the north. It has done everything short of taking Palestinians by the hand and leading them out of harms way.

At the same time, Hamas has blocked civilians from leaving the northern part of Gaza. Hamas has kept them where they know Israeli munitions will strike because they’re directed at Hamas weapons caches which Hamas embeds with civilians. Arguably, Hamas is the murderer of those thousands of innocents, including those cute 4-year-old Palestinian kids.

Setting aside the insanely one-sided and ignorant international rage-fests against Israel, I’m wondering where the demonstrations are against Hamas for causing the deaths of Palestinians. Hamas is getting them killed as surely as if they themselves were shooting Palestinian children.

If you want to rail against the cruelty happening to Gaza Palestinians, and even if you don’t care about the cruelty still being done to Israelis by Hamas rockets, at least dump the responsibility for the main part of the human carnage in Gaza where it belongs: On Hamas.

Everyone agrees that the fighting and the misery it causes are awful, so what should Israel do now? Should it stop rooting out the torturers, the rapists, the murderers and their weapons caches? Should it hold peace talks with people who not only don’t want peace, but who live only for killing Israelis? Come on, help a little. Tell us your workable solution.

For those who still want to go rabid over the actions of Israel, first be informed. Go there. Live in the terror of that constant siege, waiting for the rockets and the machine guns to be pointed at you and your 4-year-old daughter, knowing that the terrorists intend to gang rape your 12-year-old daughter and that they may burn you and your spouse alive in your own house. We know that those are their intentions because it is what they have already done. Stay in that terror for a year or two and then let’s see if you still think Israel should stop attacking Hamas.

And remember: Your 4-year-old daughter is counting on you to protect her with your arms-enfolding vigilance. What exactly should Israel be doing now? What will you do?


Today is a good day to be the light

_____________________________

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

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

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

    Thanks!

    The Fine Print:

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

    Click me

    JA


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

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


Post 1,011

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

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

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

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

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

What’s your decision, Prime Minister?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Today is a good day to be the light

_____________________________

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

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

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

    Thanks!

    The Fine Print:

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

    Click me

    JA


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

Just Say No To Metastasizing


Post 1,008

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O’ Those Crazy Republicans

1. As Karoun Demirjian outlined in the New York Times, Jim Jordan and his allies deployed a pressure campaign – meaning threats of violence and death – against those Republicans opposed to him. As she puts it, they’re “working to unleash the rage of the party’s base voters against any lawmaker standing in his way.”

Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) said,

“So far I’ve had four death threats. I’ve been evicted from my office in Colorado…because the landlord is mad with my voting record on the Speaker issue. And everybody in the conference is getting this …. Family members have been approached and threatened, all kinds of things are going on ….”

2. From Heather Cox Richardson on October 16:

Last week, Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH) called for shutting down the government in November unless Democrats agree to cutting all spending for processing or releasing into the country any new migrants. He says the demand is “non-negotiable.” But U.S. and international law require the U.S. to process asylum requests, even if a migrant arrives in between legal points of entry.

Former senior Department of Homeland Security lawyer Tom Jawetz told Greg Sargent of the Washington Post that Jordan’s plan “would be both illegal and a practical impossibility.” Administration officials “are legally obligated to process people for asylum on request,” he said. “It’s not a choice.”

But therein lies the heart of today’s Republican Party: its extremist leaders no longer believe that rules apply to them.

3. Ohio has a ballot initiative on the ticket to enshrine women’s healthcare, including the right to abortion, into the state constitution. The Republican Secretary of State of Ohio has rewritten the ballot initiative from the clear, simple language of the original to something confusing, unclear and unattractive to voters. It’s a Nixon-worthy, Roger Stone-worthy dirty trick. Its like the Republican sponsored billboards in largely minority areas that remind people to vote, but they advertise the day after the actual election.

4. 147 Republican members of congress voted to stop the counting of the Electoral College votes. They tried to keep your vote from being counted. That’s against the Constitution They supported Trump’s entirely fraudulent, dishonest, anti-American claim of a stolen election. Most of the traitors are still in congress.

5.  From Haaretz on October 20:

Republicans Compare Jewish Protesters Calling for Gaza Cease-fire to January 6 Insurrectionists
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Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene is among the pro-Trump supporters calling for hundreds of American-Jewish protesters who staged a sit-down in a congressional office on Wednesday to be ‘held in the DC gulag,’ equating their actions with the treatment meted out to those who stormed the Capitol in 2021.

First, of course, there is no “DC gulag.” Second, while I don’t agree with the demonstrators, all they were doing was demonstrating. They didn’t try to kill police. They didn’t vandalize the building. They didn’t try to overturn the Constitution of the United States. They didn’t  .  .  .  oh wait. I’m being logical in opposition to Marjorie Taylor Greene, the logic and reason arsonist. What was I thinking?

That is thugocracy from the likes of Jim Jordan and other far right extremists. Indeed, that’s MAGA style democracy, which is to say, no democracy.

All this and far more are what the Republican Party is today.

“But,” you might say, “traditional Republicans aren’t like that.”

Perhaps 20% of Republicans, every now and then, might be described as “traditional.” But any of them who cave in to MAGA thugocracy or who don’t publicly oppose the slimy and violent tactics and the destruction the thugs are doing are letting their cowardice drive their actions. They’re selling out our country. Which of them will stand up for what is right if doing so costs them something?

It doesn’t matter if they disagree in private with the wrong that they see. Their public silence is tacit support for the Republican path to destruction. Effectively, duty means nothing to them. So, don’t bother to wave the Yeah-But flag, because it’s meaningless. The Republican Party is irredeemable from its criminal march to destroy our democracy.

This is not the first time when power obsessed, virulent autocrats have tried to murder our democracy. They tried it in the 1850s, the 1930s and the 1950s. If you know our history you realize that each time they were traitors to the values we believe in. They actually perverted the words of the Declaration of Independence for their ends. They did the same with the Preamble to the Constitution and even the Federalist Papers. Some waved our red, white and blue next to Nazi swastika flags in the 30s and 40s. They’re doing it again today.

They and their cause are a cancer metastasizing inside our nation. Theirs is a grand larceny of what protects our nation from those intent upon stealing our birthright as a nation and as individuals. They are metastasizing the disease against which our Revolutionaries fought.

So we persevere in the fight for our democracy. We never give in. We join the battle because that is what we must do. We will not allow dishonesty and breach of oath and faith to stain our nation or to go unpunished. We will not allow our democracy to be destroyed.

This is from The Union, the activist arm of The Lincoln Project:

Scared, sad, worried, heartsick, jittery and jaded about our democracy? Put all of that on the shelf right now. Step up and join The Union. The Action Center is a direct line to volunteer actions you can take every day through more than 100 partner organizations dedicated to electing pro-democracy candidates. We’re an activist coalition 65,000+ strong, with members from across the political spectrum. And while we don’t agree on every issue, we’re in complete agreement about the one that counts: Defending American democracy now and strengthening it for generations to come. [emphasis mine]

Update

Hamas continues to rain rockets on Israeli civilians. 31 days after the October 7 massacre there are still over 3,300 injured Israelis, 249 are still being held hostage and 1,400 are still dead.


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’s No Way To Be Subtle About This


Post 1,007

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Millions were horrified by the October 7 massacre in Israel. And millions have reveled in blaming the victims.

The insanity is not just the most recent “kill the Jews” massacre, but also the enthusiasm of Hamas apologists around the world, including at elite U.S. universities where lots of very ignorant smart students (“useful idiots”) parade their ignorance and misplaced values.

Israelis were good guys when they were murdered victims. As soon as they stood up and fought back the terrorists were forgotten and Israelis somehow became the bad guys. Being a target of such blame is a regular feature of life for Jews. Reference: The past 3,500 years.

The blood of murdered Israelis wasn’t yet dry before the wailing for Palestinians as the victims of Israelis began. The true responsibility for their suffering is the cruelty and criminality of Hamas and the inept, even criminal Palestinian leadership for 75 years. That truth has, at best, been touched only tangentially, as the world blames Jews yet again.

Well, screw that.

Here is a list of resources for the world to review as it decides where to point its finger.

Read Daniel Wolf’s post, J’Accuse – An Open Letter to Hamas Apologists.

And if you have the courage for it, read Dana Horn’s Why Jews Cannot Stop Shaking Right Now.

And if you think every mad thing in the Middle East is the fault of Jews and Israel, you owe yourself the benefit of an explanation grounded in fact. Find it here, oddly, from a far right source.

And if you’d like to hear a message of truth from an Israeli who means it when she says, “Never Again!” watch this video.

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I can already hear the yeah-but chorus, so,

There is a stereotype of Jews meekly walking into Nazi gas chambers. That stereotype ignores the uprisings and rebellions done by Jews who would not be willing victims to that evil. Be assured that today not even one single Israeli is thinking anything but “Never Again!” This woman certainly isn’t. They – we – will not be meek victims.

If you think the Israeli offensive is too much, too brutal, that’s understandable – and you need to focus on this: A Hamas leader proudly declared last Thursday that, “There will be second, third, fourth Al Aqsa against Israel.” Indeed, this one isn’t over yet and Hamas continues to rain hundreds of rockets into Israel to kill civilians.

Ghazi Hamad, a Hamas spokesperson said, ‘We are not ashamed to say this with full force. We must teach Israel a lesson and we will do this again and again.'”

He went on with yet more extermination talk. Does it still look like the Israelis are the bad guys?

Hamas is telling us as plainly as can be that either Hamas is stopped here and now or there will be another October 7, then another and another. They will never stop killing Israelis and Jews until Israel is erased from the globe and all Jews are dead.

Or until Israel stops them permanently.
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So, to the clueless judgment dispensers of the world, especially the ones demanding that Israel stand down immediately:

If you were leading Israel right now, what would you do?

You’d damned well do whatever it takes to silence Hamas because you must protect your citizens.

You’d be sad for the non-combatant Palestinian losses and mad as hell that Hamas made you do that by putting their command centers underneath hospitals, their rocket launchers next to schools, their weapons caches in apartment buildings and their preventing civilians from escaping to safety.

Various Arab countries are pulling their ambassadors and envoys from Israel, including those of Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan and more. Their actions are in protest of Israel going after the Hamas murderers and the unintended harm to non-combatant Palestinians. If these Arab countries care so much about Palestinians, why has not even one of those countries or any other Arab or Muslim country done anything for Palestinians for over 75 years except to stoke their anger and send them arms to kill Israelis?

Gaza is by far the world’s oldest refugee camp and the entire Arab world is dedicated to keeping it that way. Next door to Gaza in the same desert there is a thriving, modern state. The Palestinians could build such a place for themselves, but instead they suffer in misery. They do so willingly and they accomplish not much more than to harbor resentment. Some transform their resentment into terrorism. It looks like they’d rather have their resentment and their rage and do their terrorism than have a good life for themselves and build something of value for their children.

So, after reading this and reviewing the linked material, somebody please tell me what Israel should do beyond what it is already doing to protect Palestinian civilians during this war started by Palestinian Hamas genocidal terrorists.

EXTRA CREDIT POP QUIZ
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Question #1: Name a country that would not pursue and attack foreign terrorists who had murdered over 1,400 of its citizens injured over 3,300 more and took over 240 hostages.

Answer #1: There are none. Not even one.

Question 2: Name the nations, organizations and self-appointed insightful ones who would criticize any nation for taking actions to protect its citizens and to apply justice.

Answer #2: There are none. Not even one. Except when it’s Israel pursuing terrorists. Then the world bloviates its useful idiot criticisms of Israel.

Question #3: Name all the nations of the world that announce in advance where they will attack and advises civilians where to go for safety.

Answer #3: The U.S. prior to bombing Japan and Germany in WW II. Israel in Gaza. That’s 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.

Decency


Post 1,006

—————————————

There is much craziness parading through our society and our politics today and it causes great harm. Examples happening today:

Do you think Governor DeSantis should be guarding the door to your OB-GYN to keep you out?

Do you think some self-important bully or self-appointed guardian of everything should make decisions about what your children can read?

Surely, your answer to both questions is NO, but we are awash in this power grabbing, rights killing insanity anyway. There is a predicate to this.

For several months in 1954 Sen. Joseph McCarthy and his witch hunt and career destruction committee, commonly called the Army-McCarthy Hearings, inflicted great harm on many quite innocent people wholly undeserving of his cruelty. McCarthy falsely stated that he had a list of names of people working in the State Department who were communists and he presented himself as the hero who would root them out. His fraudulent accusations knew no bounds and were the “alternative facts” of that era, as he attacked blameless people like a hungry hyena.

Finally, on June 9 McCarthy violated an agreement and branded as a communist a young lawyer working in the office of Joseph Welch, Chief Counsel for the United States Army. Welch could contain himself no longer and said,

Little did I dream that you could be so reckless and so cruel as to do an injury to that lad. It is true he is still with Hale and Dorr. It is true that he will continue to be with Hale and Dorr. It is, I regret to say, equally true that I fear he shall always bear a scar needlessly inflicted by you.

Let us not assassinate this lad further, senator You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?

Substitute for Sen. McCarthy our Republicans in congress today. They do and say horrific things. They vilify innocent people and sacrifice our national values to gin up “the base,” the fearful, angry mob of Americans seeking retribution for whatever ills they can conjure.

These legislators today do their cruelty for the very same reason McCarthy did his: to garner power for themselves. They are as heedless of the harm they do to others as was McCarthy. They haven’t a care at all for the harm they do to our country,

Joseph Welch’s compassionate protection of his young associate proved to be the beginning of the end of McCarthy’s reign of terror. McCarthy was censured by the Senate and not long after that died of complications from alcoholism.

We are in a moment not unlike that of those dreadful, predatory 1954 hearings, now with fraudulent claims about elections, slippery insinuations and false accusations that groundlessly demonize our fellow citizens. We suffer the division and malice of the extremists and the barely masked calls to violence. How will we get out of this?

Who today will issue the message calling for decency that will shock our nation to its senses? Who has the moral standing and the moral sense that Joseph Welch had on that June day in 1954? Who will deliver the message we all know we so critically, even desperately need to hear? Who will challenge those with self-serving hatred and greed, the extremists with their disdain for the values our patriots fought and died to protect? We dearly need a Joseph Welch right now.

Indeed, at long last, have we a sense of decency?

Quote of Mid-Week

“The difficulty lies, not in the new ideas, but in escaping from old ones” (updated/corrected 11/1/23, 12:20PM with great thanks to Mardy Grothe)

                  – John Maynard Keynes, English Economist 1883-1946

We need a great many of our fellow citizens to abandon old, destructive ideas.

The Good Question Department

From pal MZ:

How come they are counting the dead bodies in Gaza but not in Ukraine? Russia is bombing Ukraine every day.


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.

Intractable


Post 1,003

—————————————

I need your great idea. Israelis and Palestinians need it more and the world is demanding it.

An example of that demand is in an October 18 op-ed from Charles M. Blow in the New York Times, An Evolving Moral High Ground in the Israel-Gaza War. Blow says of the Hamas attack that killed over 1,400 Israelis, butchered babies, took hostages and more that it, “.  .  . was horrid, barbaric and inexcusable. Israel has a right to defend itself and pursue the perpetrators.”

Then he says “.  .  . evacuation orders [to Palestinians] are imposed, electricity and basic supplies are cut off — is also horrid and not a justifiable response to the terrorist attacks.” Many are expressing similar views, including in massive street demonstrations around the world. They are especially calling for Israel to stop all attacks in Gaza. Understandable. Got it. Just one thing.

Hamas isn’t done trying to kill Israelis. In fact it has continued to fire rockets into Israel. If Israel stops attacking Hamas, they’ll do yet more killing of Israelis. If Israel backs off all military pressure, it will be jump starting the next large scale wave of Hamas terrorists killing Israelis.

On October 19, speaking from the Oval Office, President Biden said,

“[H]istory has taught us that when terrorists don’t pay a price for their terror, when dictators don’t pay a price for their aggression, they cause more chaos and death and more destruction. They keep going, and the cost and the threats to America and to the world keep rising.”

Substitute “Israel” for “America” in his words and you have the problem Israel faces right now.

We all understand the humanitarian imperative to avoid harming non-combatant Palestinians. But the “just one thing” part is the answer to the question of what Israel should do. We can ask it another way: After a cease fire, what comes next to accomplish these goals:

  1. Minimal harm to civilians.
  2. Safe and secure borders.
  3. An end to Hamas – because if they exist at all they will continue to kill Israelis, which would negate points 1 and 2

Did I get that right? What am I missing?

Hamas has two purposes for existing: to eliminate the state of Israel and to kill Jews. It’s in their charter. It’s hard to find a solution to end the violence when one party is absolutely dedicated to the elimination of its adversary as a state and the killing of all of its people. They leave no room for negotiation, much less any path to peace.

It looks to me that if Israel continues attacking Hamas sites in Gaza that the collateral damage will be dead and wounded Palestinians. If they back off, the dead and wounded will be Israelis. Either way, the world will blame Israel and Jews for civilian deaths. I’m at the tipping point to “I don’t care what the world thinks or who it blames.” But that’s just me.

Blow says that “Israel has a right to defend itself and pursue the perpetrators.” How should they do that in a way that protects non-combatants? Once we get past the Kumbaya recommendations, the practical requirement – the imperative – for protection remains. What should Israel do to defend itself and to pursue the perps?

Please don’t offer an “Everyone deserves to live in safety and freedom” solution, because that isn’t a solution, as Hamas won’t abide by it. And bombardment back to the stone age is unacceptable on its face, even though that has been the solution of choice for thousands of years. In the present day it’s called “ethnic cleansing” or whatever is Putin’s phony justification for what he’s doing to the people of Ukraine.

There are a lot of very smart people who have worked to find an answer to this so-far intractable problem. We need your great idea, something that can work for everyone.


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.

Much To Say


Post 1,001

—————————————

Save a Life

I don’t have combat fatigues or desert boots. I don’t have an assault rifle or mortar shells, nor even a hobby style drone. I’m a pilot but I cannot fly a military fighter or helicopter. I’m good with a Band-Aid, but I’m no corpsman, much less a doctor. Plus, I passed my “best if used by” date for war a long time ago. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t help.

Regular readers know that my focus is usually on the insanity that passes for our national politics. I write, hoping to disambiguate and make a difference. That is something I can do.

And I can do something for the young people who are guilty of having gone to a music festival in the desert. I can do something for those who survived in their “safe rooms” as Hamas terrorists set fire to their houses. I can do something for the families murdered near the Gaza border. I can do something for those now homeless in Ashkelon because of Hamas rockets.

I can write to you.

American Friends of Magen David Adom is about saving lives. Every penny of every contribution goes toward saving lives. It’s their tagline: “Saving lives. It’s in our blood.”

My temple sponsored a new ambulance for them. That’s the kind of “every penny” for saving lives that I mean. They don’t discriminate – they help all they can.

Writing about and giving to save lives is something I can do.

Reading and giving to save lives is something you can do.

Click here or on the logo of Magen David Adom. Poke around their website to see what they’re about. Then click on the DONATE button and enter an amount that pinches a bit.

Go ahead. Save a life today. It’s in your blood.

And pass this along to your friends and family, your Facebook groupies, your congregants (any congregants – this is ecumenical, universal saving of life), your neighbors, your Sunday afternoon football bros. Every one of us was taught to help others, so here’s the opportunity in real time to do that. So, be a hero – lead the way.

Hurry: lives hang in the balance.

Victims

I watched part of Andrea Mitchell’s program on MSNBC on Thursday and listened to her telephone interview with a 22 year old woman in Gaza named Salma Shurrab. Shurrab described living without running water or electricity, with no hope of securing more food and in the midst of rubble. She said that there is no safe place and that hospitals are running out of supplies. She called Hamas “the Palestinian Resistance.” She called the IDF “the Aggression.”

Surely, she knows that Israeli actions are in response to the violence unleashed on Israelis since October 7 by Hamas terrorists (my word, not hers). We don’t know if she has details about beheaded Israeli children or Israelis burned alive or grandparents and Holocaust survivors dragged away as hostages. She must have some information about the death and destruction done by Hamas fighters, yet she points her finger at Israel. That made me wonder.

When her brother and his friends were thumping their chests, brandishing their AK-47s and yelling “Death to Israel! Death to Jews!” what did she do? Did she tell them that they were not allowed to lob missiles from their house in Gaza City to kill Israeli civilians?

For the past 20 years Palestinian mothers and fathers could have been teaching their children not to be terrorists, not to be bomb makers or suicide bombers, not to be murderers. They didn’t do that and you know what their grown sons have done. You know who has paid the price so far. You know who is going to pay a far greater price soon.

The failure of those parents made certain that the coming invasion and loss of Palestinian life was inevitable. Their failure has put the life of that woman talking to Andrea Mitchell at risk. Their failure has ensured that another generation of Hamas terrorists will arise to do nothing but kill and, in the end, get thousands more Palestinian civilians killed.

President Biden said,

“.  .  .  [Hamas’] stated purpose is the annihilation of the State of Israel and the murder of Jewish people .  .  .  Hamas offers nothing but terror and bloodshed with no regard to who pays the price.”

Many billions of dollars of aid from Qatar, Iran, Turkey and elsewhere have poured into Gaza over the years. That money could have gone to building hospitals, schools, tech startups, infrastructure and more. Instead it went into building rockets and buying armaments so that most Gazans live in militarized subsistence and their children are angry, quick to blame and eager to kill.

While most Palestinians aren’t militants carrying AK-47s or firing rockets targeted at Israeli civilians, they are not innocent victims because they allowed bomb factories to be placed in their mosques, command posts under hospitals, rocket launchers in kindergartens and all the rest of the war preparation that was done using Palestinian civilians as human shields.

Civilian death is what happens when hatred and blame come home. The Palestinians allowed their sons to grow up to be terrorists. So, with sincere concern for Salma Shurrab, there is no Palestinian civilian innocence.

Now, incrementally, the world is cautioning Israel to avoid harm to Palestinian civilians, but that advice is way too late. Advice and support that could have actually made a difference to preserve Palestinian life has been missing for decades.

As the body count ramps up, talking heads, in their self-righteous indignation, will call the Israelis terrorists, butchers and murderers. What you’ll hear is how Palestinians, injured or killed, were innocent victims of the oppressor, Israel. If history is a teacher, you won’t hear about Palestinian responsibility and they’ll have no useful ideas; just finger pointing. They’re no more than useful idiots for Hamas.

Palestinian civilian death is tragic, but is guaranteed by the promises of Hamas to kill any and every Palestinian who so much as speaks of peace with Israel or Jews. Hamas exists for only one thing: killing Jews and killing anyone who doesn’t want to kill Jews. Doubt that? Read their charter, especially Article 7. Easier: read this.

What Will Happen

This post was written on Saturday, October 14. The IDF had bombed most of Gaza and instructed Palestinians in the north to go south, telegraphing where the IDF land invasion would begin in the search for hostages and Hamas fighters. The Israeli forces will not stop; they will not use half-way measures. Here’s why.

From the Jerusalem Post, May 23, 2021:

There’s a story that US President Joe Biden has told many times over the years about his first trip to Israel.
.
As a freshman senator in 1973, Biden was granted a meeting with prime minister Golda Meir, who together with Yitzhak Rabin briefed Biden on the many threats Israel faced, showing him a series of maps.
.
“I guess she could see the sense of apprehension on my face,” Biden said in a 2010 retelling of the story. “She said, ‘Senator, don’t look so worried… We Israelis have a secret weapon.’ And I thought she only had said this to me, no one else in the whole world .  .  . And I thought she was going to tell me about a new secret weapon.”
.
So what is Israel’s secret weapon, Biden asked eagerly.
“We have nowhere else to go,” replied Golda.
.
That was true in 1948, in 1967, in 1973 and in all the conflicts with Hamas and Hezbollah. It is still true today. That is why Hamas cannot and will not win this or any war against Israel.
.
At the same time, Israel, now propelled by humiliation, outrage, the real need to protect its citizens and, indeed, Jews everywhere, is falling into the Hamas trap – more on that here.
.
Mass civilian deaths from an Israeli ground invasion of Gaza will paint a black scar on Israel and has already interrupted peace negotiations with Saudi Arabia. The price for Hamas to achieve that interruption is already over 3,000 dead and there likely will be thousands more Palestinian deaths, but Hamas doesn’t care a bit about that. They have a boatload of bastardized Quranic phrases to justify slaughter. Again, read their charter.
.
Both Hamas and Israel could have peace. But for that to happen, both sides would have to want peace. At least one side doesn’t want it, any more than Yassir Arafat wanted peace when it was within easy reach in 2000 at Camp David.
.

If you have a workable solution to this mess, contact the nearest Israeli embassy immediately. But, please, be real. If those were your babies who were beheaded, your children who were hacked to death in the desert, your parents who were burned alive or shot dead fleeing their burning home or taken hostage, how would you counsel Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz?

In WWII we Americans firebombed Dresden, Tokyo and more cities. We dropped atomic bombs on two cities that were not military targets. We were after eliminating the enemies who sought to kill us. Can you conjure a reason there should be different rules for Israel facing the homicidal insanity of Hamas?

The maniacal Hamas murderers can’t be jawboned into becoming flower children. They live solely to kill. It’s in their charter.


Today is a good day to be the light

______________________________

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

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

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

    Thanks!

    The Fine Print:

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

    Click me

    JA


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

The 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.

Rationalizing Anything


I’ve done a little research in order to understand standard issue alt-right rationalizing behavior. Here’s a sampling from right wing politicians, pundits and the little folk on the far right (non-traditional Republicans – the ones whose sound bites make the news). See if this comports with your experience of your crazy Uncle Bob and now of the Mark Meadows texts just being made public.

They make sweeping accusations and assertions in the complete absence of evidence to support such claims. Usually done serially and at high speed in order to overwhelm challengers and not have to answer questions.

Asking for evidence to support their accusations and assertions elicits some version of, “Everybody knows” or a restatement of the accusation, but with amped up volume. The simple declaration of their claims is all they need for conviction and a subsequent hanging in the town square.

They project alt-right wrongdoing onto others. Whatever the far right is doing, they accuse the “socialist Democrats” of it, once again without any evidence. It’s always someone else who is the bad guy. Expect a world class performance every time.

Stand back, because they volcanically erupt focus-transferring what-about-isms. This is a bit like “throwing their voice” – ventriloquism – but they’re actually trying to throw reality.

Dismissing all news or evidence that counters their story is a requirement for membership in this club. For example, news stories they don’t like are eviscerated by calling them lies (“lame-stream media”) to make them go away. That seems to prove to themselves the truth and accuracy of their own counter-factual beliefs and reestablishes their power position.
.
They claim there is outrageous wrong being done to totally pure, patriotic righty extremists, like the horrible abuse being done to January 6 insurrectionists – oops, legitimate, peaceful protesters – by our illegitimate federal government.
.
They are adept at performance politics of any description done to “own the libs.” There’s really nothing quite as satisfying as demonizing others, especially if they are so weenie that they won’t march a Confederate battle flag through the Capitol Building or claim that an election was stolen.
.

All in all, it’s what you could call “aggressive ignorance” that seals off brain functioning from learning. Plus, there’s the anger attendant to these folks. Very dangerous.

Those things and more are what make it hard to have any conversation with a MAGA conspiracy theorist, alt-right extremist or pretty much anyone who self-identifies as a Republican. The question for the rest of us is, “How can we deal with people who rationalize and fervently believe their Through The Looking Glass alternate reality in order to prevent them from destroying our democracy?”

Ideas? Bueller? Bueller?

Here’s another example of rationalizing.

Prof. Heather Cox Richardson’s Letters From An American are always interesting and most often educational. After all, she is a teacher.

Her post of December 2 concerned the issue of treason and detailed John Brown’s attempt to launch a slave rebellion in 1859. He was captured and hanged, the first American to be executed for treason.

This behavior geek moment concerns the State of Virginia, which conducted the hanging.

Richardson wrote,

“The execution of John Brown for treason set a precedent.

“And in just over a year, Virginians themselves would take up arms against the federal government.”

Hmmm .  .  .

Humans are such a reliable source of entertainment, as we display our boundless ability to rationalize.

Indeed, here’s a 2024 pre-campaign tweet from Ron DeSantis’ wife, Casey:

Thanks go to Jim Nathan for this.

Nobody has a clue why she figures she’s speaking for millions of people. Really, that’s some impressive turf grabbing. Plus, the freedom to which she refers apparently only applies to those who are White, Christian, straight and probably male. How do they rationalize that? Click the tweet and read the comments.

And be sure to watch the black-and-white electioneering ad below the tweet. It mentions God 10 times in just 96 seconds, thus setting a new land speed record for attempted manipulation of the ignorant. Implied is, “A vote for ‘I love you, Ron’ is a vote for God.” That’s beyond rationalizing. It’s delusional and truly gag-able.

Worse is the rationalizing away of the cruelty DeSantis has inflicted on those who aren’t exactly like him and his bible thumping wife. Contrary to Casey DeSantis’ claim, “I love you Ron” actively and enthusiastically works to take away people’s freedom, like his “Don’t say gay” bill. That’s the opposite of “fighting for freedom” and is world class rationalizing.

I know nothing more about Casey DeSantis, but Ron DeSantis can be counted upon to rationalize all manner of extremist notions to penalize others in order to appeal to his extremist base and promote himself.

To Republican voters: Caveat emptor. What you see is what you get.

Sooner or later DeSantis will have you and your freedom in his sights. He’ll have a fabulous, rationalized justification for attacking you, but you won’t like it. Didn’t we learn this lesson when Trump failed to become “presidential?” Perhaps not.

Avoiding Rationalizing – Here’s How

Maureen Dowd’s column of December 3 is an appeal to support those combating child killing cancer and more. She details her friend, College Football Hall of Fame coach Lloyd Carr (University of Michigan) and the tragic story of his grandson. In her piece she offers a couple of Carr’s football mantras that apply to fighting cancer and, really, anything needing to be championed:

“You can’t do everything but you can do something.”

“Blame no one, expect nothing, do something.”

I strongly recommend that you write Carr’s directives in big, bold letters and post them where you see them every day.

  • ————————————

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
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