Potpourri v18.0


Silence
This is for those Republicans quietly whining in their closets about right wing extremists: you really should be speaking up.
.
You should have voted for a Democrat to be Speaker of the House instead of voting for spineless Kevin McCarthy. You should have been speaking out against Trump’s outrages and those of the alt-right for years, maybe for decades, because you know the difference between right and wrong. Right?
.
Your closet whining instead of speaking up probably helped you keep”the base” votes,  I suppose, but at what cost to your integrity, your legacy and our republic? What will you tell your grandchildren?
.
From Heather Cox Richardson:
.

That today’s Republican leaders have not condemned any of [Trump’s] attempts to cheat speaks volumes about the party. As Representative Ted Lieu (D-CA) pointed out [on March 22], when “[Michael] Cohen was arrested, indicted, convicted, and went to prison for participating in an illegal hush money payment scheme to Stormy Daniels, not a single Republican leader complaining now said a thing about what happened to Michael Cohen.” So why the rush to defend Trump in the same case?

From Ella Wheeler Wilcox, author, poet and activist, 1850 – 1919:

To sin by silence when we should protest makes cowards out of men.

Democracy

I’m not partisan by nature, but the past 40 years have made me a non-Republican, as that party ran headlong into autocracy mania. Even so-called traditional Republicans have ducked and run from what is actually conservative, leaving Democrats the only ones to vote for if we still want a democracy.

Yoda

I get that keeping our democracy is far too ethereal to be sufficiently motivating to most Americans to get them out to vote. We prefer not to expend the effort to be aware of anything not in our immediate lives. It’s just a human being thing. But here’s the real deal: Keeping our democracy is the only way to preserve what we call our American values. “On that everything depends,” said Yoda.

Accountability

What if we actually believed what so proudly we hail about our virtues, values and beliefs – like accountability?

Last week was the 20th anniversary of George W. Bush’s second faithless war. We lost 4,400 Americans in Iraq. More important, they lost everything. We saw 32,000 of our people wounded. Nobody knows how many of our returning vets committed suicide or are still living on our streets two decades later. And, of course, nobody knows how many hundreds of thousands of Iraqis were killed or how many millions are still refugees.

Bush looked for an excuse to invade Iraq as far back as 1999, two years before he took office. He wanted to be seen as a strong “commander in chief.” That would ensure his 2004 re-election, and, of course, that was what was most important. Pay no attention to the dead bodies in his wake.

All that death and suffering was based on Bush’s quicksand foundation of lies, fear mongering and his reprehensible swagger. Here’s just a tiny sampling.

Lies

Lie #1: Saddam was a really bad guy and had to be removed. Actually, it isn’t a lie to say Saddam was a bad guy. What was a lie was that Bush contended that was enough of a reason to topple him. There are a lot of other bad guy leaders in the world, but, oddly enough, we don’t depose them for being bad guys.

Lie #2: Saddam was in cahoots with al Qaeda, the bad guys who attacked us on 9/11. Actually, the al Qaeda group was fanatically religious and Saddam was entirely secular. They hated one another. Saddam had nothing whatsoever to do with 9/11.

Lie #3: The Iraqis will receive us as liberating heroes and will pay us for the war with their oil. Except those Iraqis who were killed or tortured or forced to become refugees – we’re not heroes to them. And their oil was never ours to take.

Lie #4: Waterboarding isn’t torture and torture is legal. No point in elaborating – you already know.

Fear Mongering

Bush told us that Saddam Hussein is “this close” to having weapons of mass destruction (“WMDs”). Actually, the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission was continuing its search for WMDs in Iraq before our invasion and had found nothing to indicate that Saddam had any such weapons or was working to acquire them.

From Bush’s National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice: “.  .  . we don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.” Seriously, she said that over-the-top, scare everyone into compliance outrage.

Covert CIA operative Valerie Plame was outed by Dick Cheney because her husband, Amb. Joseph Wilson, unmasked Bush’s and Coliin Powell’s lies about yellow cake and aluminum tubes. That didn’t even momentarily pause the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld march to war. And our almost entirely lapdog Fourth Estate, our press, forgot that it was supposed to be a check on government.

Our Congress bought the lies and fear mongering and voted an Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF), which Bush was all too eager to use. Congress is only now moving to end that authorization.

Swagger

Bush swaggered across the aircraft carrier flight deck wearing a flight suit, flight helmet under his arm, following his being nothing more than a passenger for the aircraft carrier landing. He stood in front of his false and embarrassing MISSION ACCOMPLISHED banner, even as our troops were being blown up by roadside bombs, IEDs and more. The war dragged on for years after that. I guess that mission wasn’t quite accomplished after all.

There weren’t any WMDs. There never were. There never were going to be. The WMDs existed only in the fraud perpetrated on millions of duped people so that Bush could be commander-in-chief in wartime and get re-elected. Plus, Cheney could acquire no bid contracts for Halliburton, but that’s another story. The key story is the death, the wounding and disfigurement and the miserable displacement of millions, all for a fraud.

Two decades later not a single Bush administration liar has been held accountable. Dick Cheney sneers on, without a heart, both figuratively and literally. Bush paints bad portraits of veterans, dogs and world leaders and sells them for ridiculous prices. Condoleeza Rice is the director of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. Cushy for all, except for an America without accountability.

Here’s the truth about what happened. And watch Rob Reiner’s movie Shock and Awe.

Healthcare Capitalism

Let’s give credit where it’s due: Trump’s childishly named “Operation Warp Speed” worked. We gave vaccine producers the up front money to create new vaccines to protect us from the new, not well understood SARS‑CoV‑2 coronavirus that was killing people at a devastating pace. Indeed, we gave Moderna $12 billion for research and development of their vaccine. That has earned the company over $40 billion over just the past two years. In other words, we paid for the risky up front costs and Moderna has reaped the benefits. Now Moderna has a surprise for us.

Said Senate Health Committee chairman Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT),

“Here is the thank you the taxpayers of this country received from Moderna for that huge investment: They are thanking the taxpayers of America by proposing to quadruple the price.”

The part I loved best is that Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), former CEO of a private investment firm, said that Moderna is an example of capitalism at its best.

Moderna has just one successful product, the mRNA coronavirus vaccine, the R & D for which We the People paid. Our government funding of Moderna to produce that vaccine was not a fine example of capitalism.

It was pure socialism!
.

Remember: that vaccine socialism was powered by chief socialist, Republican Donald Trump. O’, those evil socialist Republicans!

Debt Ceiling Update

That’s Congress as Dastardly Whiplash, who tied the U.S to the tracks. Click the pic

“Good” Republicans dither while others (the suicidal crazies) continue to threaten to default on and extinguish the full faith and credit of the United States of America. They’ve tied the country to the tracks and we can hear the locomotive coming. It’s just a few months off and the crazies continue to behave as though future spending negotiations have something to do with paying the bills for what Congress itself already bought. Read this explainer to understand that our debts must not only be paid, but that they must not even be questioned. Better yet: send the link to your representative in Congress.

“If we don’t change direction soon, we’ll end up where we’re going”

     – Irwin Corey (American Stand-up Comic 1914-2017)

Many thanks to friend and futurist David Houle for the reminder.

A Question From The Future

“Hey Mom and Dad – is it really true that a while back people could be denied health insurance and healthcare just because they had a pre-existing condition? No way, right?”


Today is a good day to be the light.

______________________________

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


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

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

    Thanks!

    The Fine Print:

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

    JA


Copyright 2023 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.


What do you think?

Your name and e-mail address are required, but your e-mail will not be disclosed.

Keep the conversation going by both adding your comments and by passing this along to three friends.
That´s how things get better.