Treason

What’s Most Important


Post 1,040


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

He has to manage:

immigration

the economy

safeguarding our democracy

transportation, like rail and air safety and highway

the health and welfare of the American people

Enough. You get the idea.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Steve Schmidt wrote of Navalny:

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

Anne Applebaum wrote in The Atlantic:

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

More incrementalism.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

    Thanks!

    The Fine Print:

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

    Click me

    JA


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

The Speech You Never Heard


Post 1,020

___________________________________

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We have a great deal of work to do.


 Today is a good day to be the light

_____________________________

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

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

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

    Thanks!

    The Fine Print:

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

    Click me

    JA


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

Tentacles of Flames


Post 1,015

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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.

Astonishing Idiocy


Post 1,002

—————————————

Astonishing National Idiocy*

Twelve score and 6 years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Twelve years later they gave us our glorious Constitution.

Now we are engaged in a great congressional and state legislative war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure.

We cannot dedicate – we cannot consecrate – we cannot hallow – this congress and these state legislatures. The brave men and women, living and dead, who long struggled there have consecrated them far above our poor power to add or detract. Yet their courage and their suffering are now defiled by those today committed to violating their sacred oath to protect and defend the Constitution of this land. Instead, they have tried to end our democratic republic and they continue to undermine the tenets of our free society. They seek to ensure that this nation, so conceived and so dedicated to Liberty, cannot endure.

Now we are faced with the prospect of a key betrayer of our nation becoming Speaker of  the House of Representatives. He stands in candidacy solely because of the cowardice of men and women who know better, but who chuse to compromise themselves and our nation for personal gain.

The world will little note what we say here, but it will never forget what the betrayers are doing here. It is for us the conscious, the loyal, to be dedicated to the unfinished work of the patriots who came before. It falls to we the living patriots to reject the usurpers, the cowards, those who seek to undermine our Constitution and steal the vote from every American. There is no other who will protect our justice, our Liberty and our freedom.

So it is for us to be dedicated to the great task remaining before us – that from the loyalists of old we take increased devotion to that cause which they served and for which they shall not have served in vain – that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Because if it perishes, we will have done this to ourselves. Astonishing idiocy.

Astonishing Middle East Idiocy

Bret Stevens wrote a remarkably clear analysis of the Gordian knot that is the intractable conflict in Israel/Gaza in his Sunday piece, Hamas Bears the Blame for Every Death in This War. Clearly, Hamas is responsible for all the Jewish death and destruction done by their hands, their knives, their beheading swords, their rifles, their rockets, their mortars and their machine guns. Hamas has only one purpose, and it is to kill Jews. They are to blame for those deaths and that destruction. But who is to blame for this war’s Palestinian deaths?

Hamas embeds its command headquarters, its rocket launchers – really all of its war matériel – in civilian sites, like schools, hospitals, apartment buildings and mosques. If Israel is to stop Hamas from killing Jews, it must destroy Hamas’ war making ability, but that means that non-combatant Palestinians will be in harms way of Israel hobbling Hamas.

Some have already been killed or injured in this war and many more will almost certainly be harmed. Hamas likes when that happens, because Hamas and the ivory tower pinheads pontificating far from danger can then blame Israel for horrid war atrocities.

As long as Hamas can make jihad on Jews, every death, regardless of nationality, helps their cause.

This is not new. Every Israeli reaction to war, intifada, jihad and suicide bombers has resulted in condemnation of Israel at the United Nations, on TV from myopic, blathering talking heads and from street protesters. That offers Israel a horrific choice:

Israel can come down hard on its attackers to degrade their ability to harm Israelis, but doing that means unintended harm will come to otherwise non-combatant Palestinians; or,

Israel can stay its substantial military might in order to protect Palestinian non-combatants and in the process leave Israelis vulnerable to the next homicidal attacks by Hamas.

This choice is fundamentally one of deciding the nationality of the next pile of corpses. It’s a hideous, ghastly choice engineered by Hamas.

What, you might ask, is the Astonishing Idiocy about this? It is in the comments from responders to Stevens’ essay, some packed with false equivalents, childish “can’t we all get along?” logic, phony accusations and more. It’s the part of the general public swayed by hyperbolic condemnation of Israel spewed by self-certain delusionals, regardless of what Israel does.

It is verbal violence promoting military violence against Israelis.

So, tell you what: Let’s invite Hamas, Hezbollah, the IDF and civilians from all parts of Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon and Israel to join hands and sing Kumbaya and the Coca-Cola song about inviting the world to sing in perfect harmony. That should solve this problem.

That last was bitter sarcasm aimed at the Astonishing Idiocy of those comfortably willing to sacrifice Israelis on the alter of their ignorance and arrogance.

Once most of the hostilities had subsided and Israel was amassing hundreds of thousands of troops preparing a land invasion of Gaza, I began to think about what that would look like. It would be a blood bath, an atrocity. Hamas murderous militants would be killed and their stores of weapons would be seized or destroyed, but that would come at the cost of the death and suffering of thousands of Palestinian non-combatants and IDF soldiers.

So, I imagined a personality transformation, wherein Benjamin Netanyahu morphed from a self-serving despot wannabe into a statesman. Far fetched, I know, but stay with me.

He would announce that the IDF will stand by and not invade Gaza. It will protect all in need of protection. All that would be required is for Hamas to release all hostages/prisoners regardless of the color of their passport, be they civilian or military. Hamas must surrender its rocket launchers, rockets and other armaments. Certain criminals will be turned over to be tried in fair courts like at Nuremberg.

Right. This is fantasy. But a land invasion and the death and destruction it will cause won’t bring security to Israel. It will bring universal condemnation. And it will ensure that the next intifada is worse than all that came before, possibly looking more like the Yom Kippur war of 1973 when Arab nations joined forces to eliminate Israel.

Thomas Friedman agrees and sees a land invasion as a terrible and self-destructive thing (here and here). So does Marc Lynch of Foreign Affairs (here), as does President Biden and so many others. I fervently hope my confirmation bias vision comes to pass. Anything else will be self-inflicted Idiocy.

Homegrown Astonishing Idiocy

6-year-old Wadea Al Fayoume, a very cute Palestinian-American Muslim boy living in Joliet, IL with his mother, was stabbed 26 times by their landlord. Of course, his mom was stabbed multiple times, too, and was unable to attend the funeral of her little boy.

Apparently, he and his mom were guilty of the terrible crime of being Muslim. At least their attacker seems to have believed that to be a crime.

Words fail me. Tears and boiling blood do not.

Tuesday, October 17 4:00PM CDT

It’s reported that a rocket has exploded on a hospital in northern Gaza, killing hundreds. Various terrorist groups immediately blamed Israel. They didn’t look for facts or even informed opinions. That’s standard Middle East hate bias knee-jerk stuff.

Meanwhile, the Israel Foreign Ministry says it and others have video that proves that the missile was a misfire of a Hamas rocket. Several others fired at the same time made their way into Israel, but one never arrived there. It hit that hospital.

Even if they hear that explanation and see the video, no Palestinian will care about it and no rage will be calmed. They are determined to accuse, blame and be enraged. Without evidence. That rocket was just the best thing for Hamas. Makes me wonder if it really did misfire.

President Biden’s trip to the area has already been undermined by the Egyptians, Jordanians, Palestinians and others slamming doors.

Welcome to the fog of war where truth doesn’t matter, everyone is inflamed and almost nobody is informed.

Would that the only thing with enough importance to warrant comment were the perfidy, the cowardice and the disloyalty to country of congressional Republicans. O’ for those easier times, just 11 days ago.

______________________________

* Paraphrased from The Gettysburg Address by President Abraham Lincoln, delivered almost 160 years ago on November 19, 1863 at Gettysburg, PA.


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.

An Unavoidable Parallel


Post 1,000

—————————————

The Shutdown

We were at the edge of a cliff. It wasn’t just U.S. bankruptcy and the end of the authority for economic bedrock that were at risk. With our failure to honor our debts we would lead the entire economic world over that cliff.

At the 11th hour Speaker of the House McCarthy and President Biden shook hands on a deal to raise the debt ceiling and honor our debts, plus they agreed to pass a budget in a timely manner to avoid even the threat of yet another government shutdown. McCarthy gave his word as leader of the House Republicans, as Speaker of the House and presumably as a man.

Then McCarthy reneged. He broke his word and led our government to the edge of shutdown, with all the international, national and personal harm to Americans that threatened. Sadly, that wasn’t the worst part.

McCarthy broke his word In plain sight, but so did nearly every Republican in the House when it came to funding our government. On the first go around 90 Republicans voted against their own budget plan. Then, with only a few hours left, the continuing resolution was placed on the floor for a vote as a last chance to avoid a shutdown. 21 Republicans voted against it. They voted to shut down your government. They voted to not pay our troops, our air traffic controllers, our security personnel and so many others.

So, bad as it was, the worst part wasn’t McCarthy breaking his word and violating the deal he struck with the President. The worst was that the Republicans violated the sacred oath they swore – most on their own Bibles – to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

They made themselves liars. They proudly declared their disloyalty. They voted not to pay our sailors who are now headed for the Middle East to rescue our countrymen being held hostage by Hamas. The liars voted to undermine our nation.

Would you make a deal with such people? Their voters did.

Here’s a useful descriptor of Kevin McCarthy from Mother JonesInae Oh:

.  .  .  a man whose entire career is owed to soulless ambitions for power.

That fits the 21 Republican extremists and the hundreds of spineless ones who cower under their desks when they’re called upon to stand up for our country.

Now they’re proposing to replace McCarthy as speaker with the repugnant Jim “Who cares about sexual abuse of student athletes?” Jordan or Steve “David Duke without the baggage” Scalise.

To date I have not heard a consistent excoriation of Republican dis-loyalists that should come from the mouths of Democrats and loyal Republicans alike. The sound of crickets is exactly why I wrote this post.

The Why

As people are suffering, the radical Republicans in Congress are doing nothing but firing up culture wars and starting a fraudulent, lie-filled impeachment inquiry, where even their own witnesses testified that there is not even a hint of anything impeachable about President Biden.

If you want to know why these Republican terrorists attack our government and weaken our country instead of doing things to help Americans, there is only one thing you need to know:

They don’t want to improve government.
They want to tear it down.
.

That sounds a lot like Hamas.

And that alone explains the looming government shut down, the impeachment “inquiry,” the perfidious attacks on the DOJ and FBI and more. These extremists will hobble the House to powerlessness and then point fingers, saying, “See? Government doesn’t work.”

We live with destruction always lapping at our shores and we must decide what we will do to protect this noble experiment in self-rule and the rights and freedoms that accompany it.

From MacBeth by William Shakespeare:

    • Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
    • That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
    • And then is heard no more: it is a tale
    • Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
    • Signifying nothing.

In time, these MAGA traitors, these falsely self-defined patriots, will be unmasked and stopped. They are, in fact, nothing but idiots with guns, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing but a shouted “F”*K YOU!” Just like Hamas.

They have fooled themselves into believing that they stand for honor. That’s their idiot’s tale. In fact, they stand only for domination and destruction. One day they will go, leaving behind mountains of rubble. It will be their shameful mark on our national history, much like the wreckage that the Civil War traitors left and like the debris fields Hamas has left in Israel.

The Unavoidable Parallel

The Hamas leaders and fighters knew that they could not defeat Israel and push all the Israelis into the sea. They knew that any attack would trigger retaliation, likely with far greater intensity than anything Hamas could summon. They knew that their own people – Palestinians – would be killed or injured in the process. So, what do they hope to accomplish?

It’s posited that Hamas hopes that Hizbullah in Lebanon, West Bank militarists, Iran and other Arab states would join in the attacks and together they would destroy Israel. Perhaps. And what else?

In times past they used the suffering of Palestinians from Israeli counter attacks as proof of how Palestinians were victimized by Israel. Oddly, the world largely bought that cartoon explanation, delivering many anti-Israel resolutions before the United Nations. Maybe Hamas’ ferocious intensity this time could deliver such loss and humiliation that Israel would do far worse to Palestinians now, generating even greater international condemnation of Israel. We don’t yet know, but that is monstrously cynical and cruel.

What we do know is that Hamas has said that when Palestinian civilians are killed by Israeli attacks that Hamas will murder hostages. Their only goals are death and destruction. That’s what terrorists do.

What should Israel do? What should the United States do?

Here at home the Republican destroyers are attacking our political and cultural foundations at all levels of government, much like Hamas is doing to Israeli society with their rockets and their invasion. Destruction is what terrorists do. They have no plan for a better future. They just want to tear everything down.

It’s up to us to stop the destruction here at home, to quiet the idiot’s tale full of sound and fury, signifying nothing but destruction.


Today is a good day to be the light

______________________________

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

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

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

    Thanks!

    The Fine Print:

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

    Click me

    JA


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

A Question For Our Trump Voters


Trump Voter, I know you weren’t appalled at hearing Trump say he could grab women between their legs whenever he wanted. You found a way to ignore it or justify it with some lame version of whataboutism. You allowed yourself to be distracted by Hillary’s emails and the claims of criminal wrongdoing that were completely unfounded, this according to then-director of the FBI James Comey. I understand your willfully excusing the inexcusable. It was easier to do that than to stand with moral courage.

I get that you completely disregard the 91 criminal counts in 4 criminal indictments lodged against this dictator wannabe. You believe the baseless Republican propaganda that the Justice Department and FBI are “weaponized” against poor victim Trump. I get that. That story bolsters the images you carry around and the anger at “the man” that burns inside you.

He calls the investigations and criminal charges the “greatest witch hunt in history,” and he might be right about that. Bear in mind, though, that sometimes we catch witches that way.

Here’s the thing I completely fail to understand.

Trump refused to visit a cemetery near Paris when he was there for a G-7 meeting in 2018. The other leaders managed to go out in the rain to pay their respects and the respects of their nations. Instead, Trump hung out in his fancy hotel and called our military men and women of WW I who are buried in that cemetery “suckers” and “losers.”

From Jeffrey Goldberg, editor of The Atlantic:

On Memorial Day 2017, Trump visited Arlington National Cemetery … He was accompanied on this visit by John Kelly, who was then the secretary of homeland security, and who would, a short time later, be named the White House chief of staff. The two men were set to visit Section 60, the 14-acre area of the cemetery that is the burial ground for those killed in America’s most recent wars.

Kelly’s son Robert is buried in Section 60. A first lieutenant in the Marine Corps, Robert Kelly was killed in 2010 in Afghanistan. He was 29. …

[A]ccording to sources with knowledge of this visit, Trump, while standing by Robert Kelly’s grave, turned directly to his father [John Kelly] and said, “I don’t get it. What was in it for them?”

Do you suppose Trump thinks Lt. Robert Kelly was a sucker and loser, that there was nothing “in it” for him? Please read the linked articles, because Trump’s disrespect, disdain and cruelty toward our fallen is even deeper than that. What do you think Trump would say of the 9,387 of our D-Day military interred in the American Cemetery at Normandy? Do you, Trump voter, agree with Trump that they were suckers and losers?

Given all that, I just don’t understand how you could vote for Trump and pledge to do it again. You do this knowing that he insults the memory of those enormously brave people who died in those awful battles fighting for you, for all of us and even for Trump. They did their duty and, as Lincoln said, gave their last full measure of devotion. They did that so that we would remain a free people and have our Constitutional rights. They did that so that Trump would have the right to his disparagement of them. They made sure you, Trump voter, would have the right to your disrespect, your meanness, your antagonistic attitude toward democracy and your steadfast loyalty to ignorance. They did that so that you’re able to support the very person who so disparages our brave ones, the Greatest Generation and the Dough Boys before them.

I don’t understand how you can do that – how you can vote for one who wipes his dirty boots on the graves of our fallen. And in the reality of that, I don’t understand how you can call yourself a true, patriotic American. So, here’s the question for you, Trump voter:

What happened to you such that you could do that?

———————————–


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.

  • 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.

Idiotica – Part 1


Economy Idiotica

“The biggest picture is that the post-1980 economy failed to deliver the broad-based benefits that Reagan and his allies promised.”

That’s from a piece by David Leonhardt, Explaining Bidenomics. Focusing on the signal and not on the phony Republican noise, look at this chart.

In the 1920s we had our 1%, just as we do today. They got over 20% of U.S. Income and we got the Great Depression. Reagan came along with his brain-free, trickle-down economics lie proposed by an appropriately named propeller hat named Laffer. After the enormous effort of decades to lift people from poverty and strengthen our middle class, instead Reagan made sure that once again the rich got most of the money. We got the Great Recession.

Can we face the fact that when rich people get more money without having created greater value that they like that money and will always do their best to keep it for themselves? There’s no assurance that they will invest it so that anything trickles down to you.

The Republicans still want to steal from the poor and give to the rich. Things won’t be any better for working people, the bottom 95% of us, until the Bidenomics reversal of right-wing grift takes hold and is expanded. That takes time. For now, only wonks are excited by the recitation of improving statistics. That’s a problem.

To the American public that isn’t yet recognizing the benefits of Biden’s economic actions and who still lack confidence in the economy: I get it. But turning this thing around takes years – refer to the chart above. What is needed is for us to stay the course (I hate using Reagan’s phrase, but that one fits). If things are to continue to improve, our job will be to help people see what is hard to see, what they aren’t feeling yet.

“Inflation is down by almost two-thirds since its peak in June 2022, and this has happened without the recession and huge job losses many economists insisted would be necessary. Real wages, especially for non-supervisory workers, are significantly higher than they were before the pandemic,” writes economist Paul Krugman.

He continues, “Poll after poll shows Americans rating economic conditions as very bad” Oddly, “.  .  .  while most Americans feel that they’re doing OK, they believe that the economy is doing badly, where “the economy” presumably means other people.” How do you suppose that’s happened?

There is plenty to chew on here, but one thing is certain: Republicans continue to poison Americans with their stories of American dystopia and carnage, including about the economy. This disconnect between how Americans see the nation’s welfare versus their own experience is yet another example of what a constant torrent of lies can do.

Covid Idiotica

Americans continue to die from Covid. That doesn’t shock anymore, because such news is so yesterday, so back seat to whatever is today’s outrage. But it isn’t going to stay in the back seat.

With the new variants floating just outside our nostrils and people indifferent or even hostile to vaccines, our communal resistance to dire consequences from the disease is pitiful. We could just wait around to see if we become infected and then die, but that would be dumb.

The right wing conspiracy machine is making sure that we continue to be a bifurcated nation. 95% of those dying from Covid are anti-vaxxers. They aren’t stupid people. They are suicidally and homicidally angry and stubborn. The rest of us have rolled up our shirtsleeves, gladly accepted the jab and are unlikely to have serious consequences should we test positive.

Go-Go DeSantis

But not so much in Florida. Democracy hating Governor Ron DeSantis, he of the white go-go boots in a post-hurricane photo op, has buddied up with his brain-free state surgeon general Joseph Ladapo to urge Florida residents under the age of 65 to refuse the new vaccine. That’s the one that will keep people who contract the new variant of the disease from dying. Apparently, DeSantis and Lapado want to ensure that Florida continues to be a major promoter for members of the casket making industry. I wonder if they’re donors.

Republican Idiotica

This brings us to the choices before the American people.

You’re either for supporting Ukraine for as long as it takes, or you’re for Putin, Hungary’s Orbán, Turkey’s Erdoğan and Xi and not for America.

You’re either for the rule of law or you’re for autocracy, fascism and lawlessness.

You’re either for championing NATO as key to our national defense or you’re for Putin and Xi and not for America.

You either believe in democracy and America or you believe in a cult leader who is working to bring it all crashing down.

Republican children in geometry class. Click the pic for an easier to read view.

You’re either for all people’s rights or you’re for bigotry and hatred.

You’re either for full citizenship for women, people of color, LGBTQ+ people – all of us – or you’re for subjugation and hatred.

You’re either for facts, science, truth and reality or you’re for manipulation and boundless fraud. You might even be in favor of ignorance.

You either have a moral compass or you don’t.

You either believe in freedom of belief or you’re a religious bigot.

You either challenge the un-American, anti-constitutional craziness that’s all around or, at best, you’ve resigned yourself and our nation to insignificance.

You either stand up for what’s right or you’re a hypocrite and a coward.

You either love freedom or you think it’s okay to dominate others.

You either care about our national defense or you’re a performative patriot only out for yourself and you don’t care about putting our military people and our nation at risk.

You’re either a patriotic American or you’re just a liar and traitor wearing red, white and blue.

Sadly, what was once the Grand Old Party is now populated by people who choose what comes after the “or” in the choices above. They are

The Republican Idiotica
.

It cannot be that every election finds democracy at the edge of a cliff tipping toward oblivion. Our task for as long as we live is to push it back from that edge, regardless of how many times that’s required, until the voices of hatred of democracy are at last silenced.

__________________________________

Watch for Idiotica – Part 2 this Sunday.


Today is a good day to be the light

______________________________

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

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

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

    Thanks!

    The Fine Print:

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

    Click me

    JA


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

A Critical Recommendation


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

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

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

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

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

From an earlier Disambiguation:

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

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

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

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

IMPORTANT NOTE

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

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

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

This threat is existential to you.

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

We must get democracy supporters and promoters into all offices and dump the anti-democracy thugs.
.

It’s the only way for us, our children and our grandchildren to remain free.

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

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

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

Critical Recommendations

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

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

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

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

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

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


Today is a good day to be the light.

______________________________

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

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

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

    Thanks!

    The Fine Print:

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

    Click me

    JA

 


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

Complacency


Caution: Offensive and Crude Language

There is an old series of hateful tropes passed along as jokes designed to embolden and inflame the already hateful and to attract new, impressionable recruits. They attack people they see as unworthy and make them an object of scorn. The oldest hatred – thousands of years of it – continues to target Jews.

Here’s an example of hate humor that illustrates this. But prepare yourself, because this is truly awful stuff.

Q. What do you call 6 million dead Jews?

A. A good start.

Yes, hatred is as crude and cruel and savage as that. And for those feeling oppressed, marginalized and disrespected, that kind of hate humor is quite appealing. It gives the aggrieved someone to blame – a boogeyman – for their lot in life. It leads to brainlessly shouting “Seig Heil!” and moronically chanting, “Jews will not replace us!” with a bunch of other juiced up skinheads in Charlottesville.

Heather Heyer – pic from her Facebook account

That led to a malicious bigot ramming his car into a protest rally, killing Heather Heyer and injuring 28 others and it led to 11 dead at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. There are material consequences to hate jokes and hate tropes.

The would-be fascists use violence to get their way. They are increasingly bold and some of them get elected to positions of power. That happens for just two reasons:

  1. Angry people are motivated and they turn out to vote for hateful, angry candidates.
  2. Complacent people, those just going about their lives and not paying attention, don’t vote.

That gives the haters the reins of power. And that leads to authoritarians tearing down our democracy, our safety and our way of life. The loss of safety for those hated by the bullies is obvious, but history is full of examples that show that eventually there is loss of safety and freedom for everyone. And all of this leads to radicalized terrorists killing innocent people.

Here’s Heather Heyer’s final Facebook post:

If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.

Are you outraged?

Hunter S. Thompson observed during the enormously illegal Nixon years that we were, “America acting on its worst impulses.” The same is true for all of the so-called populist tantrums, from the Civil War, to George Wallace standing in the doorway of the University of Alabama to stop Blacks from entering, to the traitorous January 6 insurrection, to today’s Republican reality deniers and voter suppressors.

Were Thompson still alive and chronicling our stumbles (some of them forward), he surely would have used his same words for America today. He would have blistering criticism of the reality denial that is rampant in America and the constant claims of victimhood – “America acting on its worst impulses.”

Joan Didion said, “We tell ourselves stories in order to live.” The haters have their stories that they believe justify their hatred. The fascist lovers have their stories that they believe justify killing democracy and establishing despotic rule. The victimhood lovers always have their fantasies.

And we who believe that America should live up to its promise have our story, too.
.

Our collective safety hinges on the establishment of that story as our true story. The elements required for that include a shared reality, the rule of law and what Thomas Jefferson called “an enlightened citizenry.” You already know what lack of an enlightened citizenry does to our country.

Most of us believe in science and learning, knowledge and wisdom, cause and effect. More to the point, too many reject all of that.

Millions more of us are needed for the science, learning, knowledge and wisdom story. Specifically needed are the 33% of eligible voters who didn’t vote in 2020 and the 47.8% who didn’t show up in 2022.

Without them we are doomed to be repeatedly attacked by the haters and our democracy will always balance precariously on the edge of a cliff – until that balance is lost. Our country, our story, needs all of us right now.

There’s good news and there’s bad news about this.

The good news is that even in the face of this decades-long assault on reality and our democracy by authoritarian wannabes, our country will continue to stand.

The bad news is that if we don’t do something to stop these assaults, this may not be a country you want to live in. The hate jokes and the hate tropes will metastasize and your freedom will be gone.

It seems quite clear – and history teaches us – that under the yoke of despotism We The People would be powerless and cruelly subjugated. Maybe we should ensure that such a thing never happens in America.

Again, Heather Heyer said,

If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.

So again, are you outraged?

A Bit of Sunshine

Take a look at the updated Gallup tracking poll of how Americans see themselves on social issues. Could it be that Independents and Democrats combined have the muscle to stop the crazies and their war on Social Security, Medicare and trying to jam Christian nationalism and authoritarianism down the throats of all Americans? Do the math for 2023. Add the percents of moderates and liberals. There are more of us than there are haters and despotism lovers.

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Required Reading For Every American

Every day we are assaulted by the Republican snake venom of outlandish, idiotic lies, distortions and pretend patriotism, like,

Biden crime family

Weaponized DOJ

Senate candidate Todd Akin’s claim, “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

Anything said by – you know: the usual suspects.

Actual, factual truth is the antidote to Republican snake venom. That’s why you’re going to read Prof. Heather Cox Richardson’s “Letters From An American” of June 15.

Then you’re going to share it because you are paying attention and you are outraged and you aren’t complacent. To make that easy to do, just forward this post.


  • 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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    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.
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    JA


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

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