Sunday, January 24, 2021

Patriotism and Slavery

Important Announcement:   There are some changes taking place in the way this blog operates.  I will continue to post new “editions” periodically (probably weekly) of which this is one, but as new items come up, rather than start a fresh posting every few days, I plan on adding them to the most recent posted version, showing the date the item was added.  They will appear at the bottom of that posting.  Scroll down right now to read the ones added to this particular posting, if any.  (And see recent prior postings as well.)


Patriotism

What is patriotism?  A dictionary definition might be “the love of or devotion to one’s own country.” That might be expanded to include the institutions which are basic to that country.  And further, it might include things that serve to represent that country. 

Following this reasoning, an American patriot clearly loves the United States of America, its Constitution and the American flag.  From elementary school on, Americans “pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands.”  Those words mean a lot, but they may mean different things to different people.  There are differing interpretations as to what the Constitution says.  That’s why we have a Supreme Court to interpret it.  And some disagree that that Court should even be doing that.  But that’s alright!

That Constitution guarantees the right of free expression and this opens the gateway to many different interpretations of what “the Republic for which it stands” actually means.  Are adherents of some of these differing interpretations less patriotic than those who interpret them differently?  Certainly not.

All are entitled to honor the flag, and consequently, the “Republic for which it stands,” even if their ideas of what that Republic is, or should be, differ.  But those of one belief are not entitled to claim to be more patriotic than others believing otherwise, no matter how closely they associate themselves with things that represent the country, such as the American flag.

Wrapping oneself in the flag, or having many of them fluttering in the background, doesn’t make anyone more patriotic than if the flags weren’t there.  And using the flag to hide unpatriotic ideas is wrong.  Traditionally, soapbox orators in New York’s Union Square Park have a flag posted on their platform.  That doesn’t necessarily make what they are saying patriotic, but it does celebrate the Constitution’s First Amendment, allowing them to speak there.

The misguided thugs who invaded the Capitol during the Trump-inspired insurrection on January 6, in an effort to prevent the Electoral College votes from being certified, draped themselves in American flags, to give their unpatriotic acts the appearance of legitimacy.  They were a disgrace to those flags, and “to the Republic for which they stand.”   Some carried the Confederate flag with them, representing sedition and insurrection, further debasing any patriotism on their part.  Yet, they thought themselves to be patriots in some perverted way.

Look around you.  Notice the American flag on the shoulders of many Americans other than government employees identifying them as such.  Notice the flag decals on the helmets of college and professional football players.  Look at the flags, often very large, flying from the sides of pick-up trucks.  What does that have to do with patriotism?  What do they stand for? Sometimes it gives legitimacy to individuals who are not patriotic at all and think the flag represents their ideas exclusively.  In an incident during the recent presidential campaign, vehicles attempting to drive a Biden campaign bus off the road were draped in American flags. They were not driven by patriots.

  *   *   *

Slavery

Slavery was abolished in the British Empire in 1833.  If we had lost the Revolutionary War, and remained a part of Great Britain, slavery would have been abolished here much earlier than it was, and the Civil War, our tragically unsuccessful Reconstruction period and much of our present unrest, might have been avoided.  If we were still part of the British Empire in 1833 when they abolished slavery, I doubt that Americans would have then rebelled against the Crown for the sake of preserving slavery here … although even today rightwing extremists still continue to do all they can to see that many descendants of slaves are deprived of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. 

JL


(Added on 1/25/2021)

A Column You Should Read

In her column of January 19, distributed by Creators Syndicate, Mona Charen concludes by saying that The damage to the nation must be repaired by a chastened Republican Party.” That damage consists of their perpetuating the lies which led to the January 6 Trump insurrection attempt at the Capitol. 

Charen is no flaming liberal.  Her conservative Republican credentials are beyond reproach.  That is why it is important that you read this column, and more importantly, that Republicans do.  

Check out the column by CLICKING HERE.

JL

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Danger from the Enemies of Democracy

Important Announcement:   There are some changes taking place in the way this blog operates.  I will continue to post new “editions” periodically (probably weekly) of which this is one, but as new items come up, rather than start a fresh posting every few days, I plan on adding them to the most recent posted version, showing the date the item was added.  They will appear at the bottom of that posting.  Scroll down right now to read the ones added to this particular posting.  (And see recent prior postings as well.)


Know The Enemies of Democracy!

Richardson
As some of you may know, I am a follower of Professor Heather Cox Richardson’s daily (it usually carries the date of the preceding day since it is written the night before it is sent out) “Letter from an American.”   Her posting dated January 16 explains the history of the extreme right movement in the United States.  To read it, which I ask you to doPLEASE CLICK HERE.  If that doesn't work, just paste this on your browser line:

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/WhctKJWJLghxfNKVRpMSZvrqVMWVZbFTWgHNpcMwrFxSPppgvpRqxdFFjHcSLGTpwGxXvgL  

It’s free, although you can sign up for $5 a month to join in the healthy back and forth discussion between subscribers which follows the free “Letter from an American” each day.   As Thomas Jefferson may, or may not, have said or written, “eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”  Clicking on “Letter from an American” helps you to at least keep your eyes open.  We are living in perilous times. 

And while on this subject, in an email to the local Democratic group in our community, its Chairman, Bruce Brodsky, compared the acts of the extreme right with the “Profiles in Courage” about which John Fitzgerald Kennedy wrote, and referred to their position as “Profiles in Cowardice.”

He wrote that …

 “they point fingers, blame others, promote dissent and have no interest in working for the common good.  They define what is good as what is good for themselves.  Times have changed and so has America.”  

 “They tell the lie, make it bigger by repeating it over and over again and while they are at it, they luxuriate in victimhood.  They scream that they are the victims, that their voices alone are being censored, that the liberal left, you know, all those Commie pinko liberal Hollywood types and Jews and blacks and all of the “others” are taking their country away from them, taking their religion away from them, taking their jobs away from them and the liberal media working with the radical left, continues to wrongfully accuse them of acts they are innocent of.   They relish the role of being the victim.  They thrive on being the victim.  They need to be the victim because if they are not victims and what they are saying or doing is not right, how could anyone disagree with them?  The only conceivable answer is victimhood.  They hold up the bible, they wave the flag, the bigger the better, they stand and sing the Star Spangled Banner showing the world that they are the only true Americans.  They love the country and if you don’t love it as much as they do, they are willing to show you their guns and threaten you by their presence.  Times have changed and so has America.”

These words ring with truth. While we earnestly hope that the forty-fifth president will soon be no more than a bitter memory, which is not a certainty, those that supported him, and whose votes he was able to steer to elect legislators favorable to his ideas, will still be around.   

We must monitor them very carefully in days and years to come.  Some are already angry at Trump for not having succeeded in changing America to the undemocratic, bigoted, dictatorship they so desire, a nation where the only things that are good are those which are good for those who share their agenda, an agenda which excluded many from life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  And many of them are willing to fight for that dark agenda.

And if you haven't yet read today's "Letter from an American," please  CLICK HERE.

JL

(Item added 1/18/2021)

Those of you who remember the first Trump impeachment hearings certainly recall the impressive testimony of National Security Council appointee, Fiona Hill, She was honest and pulled no punches, but of course swayed none of the Trumpublicans who voted against that impeachment in the House.  Last week, Ms. Hill explained the "coup" which Trump unsuccessfully attempted on January 6.  To read her Politico article, JUST CLICK HERE.  (I wonder if the eight Senators and 147 House Republicans who assisted in Trump's attempt, either knowingly or not, by voting not to accept the Electoral College results from one or more States will ever admit to their aiding and abetting it.)  

JL


(Item added 1/18/2021)

Today, we honor the late Dr. Martin Luther King.  Here is the text of his Washington, DC, 1963, "I have a dream" speech.

JUST CLICK HERE FOR ITS FULL TEXT


(Item added 1/19/2021)

Trump's Contamination of Law Enforcement


Remember back in 2017 when Donald Trump spoke before a group of police officers, all ranged behind him on the stage. (It was in Suffolk County, New York, I seem to recall.) He frequently spoke to such groups. They weren’t there to protect the President.  Really, they were his audience that day.  When they applauded, it established a link between them.  Could they not applaud?  After all, he’s the President and he had come to speak before them.  

And when Trump said, “please don’t be too nice. Like when you guys put somebody in the car and you’re protecting their head, you know, the way you put their hand over? Like, don’t hit their head and they’ve just killed somebody — don’t hit their head, you can take the hand away, okay,” that sent a message to them … and to law enforcement all over the country. 

The way things work out, much of the work of local law enforcement in this country is in Black and Latino neighborhoods.   Often, people there need the police more than elsewhere to preserve law and order and to protect them.  Often, that’s where the “bad guys” are.  But make no mistake, many officers feel they are following the leadership of the President when they try to operate the way his words suggest they want him to, not being “too nice.”  And that means that many of those who live in such neighborhoods are potentially suspects to start with in the eyes of misguided local law enforcement.  And then bad things happen in places like Minneapolis by overly zealous, Trump-inspired law enforcement.

And this attitude goes for Border Patrol and Drug Enforcement people as well.  They know the President’s feeling toward those with whom they deal and act accordingly.  He’s their boss, ultimately, in their eyes. 

All these officers wear a badge on their chests, but they often, even if they are not Federal officers, wear an American Flag shoulder patch as well.  In the minds of some, this puts them on the same team as the President who was always surrounded by many American flags when he appeared in public.  He’s their commander in chief, just like in the armed forces. 

(And a question for another day is how much of this insurrectionism is present in those armed forces, who supposedly take orders from a commander-in-chief, who turns out to be sympathetic to domestic terrorists?  And this also can involve veterans who maintain this loyalty.)

Sometimes, this feeling extends into the politics of some law enforcement people. Some clearly were overly gentle, too polite, with the white domestic terrorists who invaded the Capitol during the Trump Insurrection on January 6.  Some might have even been part of it, and they should be severely punished.

How do we resolve this problem?  How do we de-politicize law enforcement?  As good citizens, they certainly should have the right to engage in political activities and to vote.  But that should in no way affect the way they do their jobs.

Never. Ever.  


(Items added 1/20/2021)

Take a breath!  By the time you are reading this, Donald Trump will no longer be our president. Our job now is to remove the stain, as Nancy Pelosi called it, that he left on the presidency. Halleluyah! 

                                            *   *   *

For years, Florida has been a place of refuge for law-breakers and those on the path to becoming law-breakers.  Miami and Miami Beach were often the destinations of those who felt safer in the sunny South, particularly those with Mafia or shady business connections.  Well, it's still going on, but those coming here these days are white supremacists who feel comforted by the presence of ex-president Trump here, and many others on the far right who enjoy lying to the many ignorant and gullible residents of Florida ... and the rest of the nation.  Read the article in today's Sun-Sentinel about one of these groups in West Palm Beach by CLICKING HERE.  


(Item added 1/21/2021)

Accountability

On the evening of the Trump-incited insurrection, January 6, and into the wee hours of the next morning, both the House and the Senate voted to certify the Electoral College results of the 2020 presidential election, despite the insurrection’s violent efforts, in which five people died, to stop those votes from taking place. 

Because they chose to believe the unsubstantiated lies circulated by the Trump administration, even in the shadow of the insurrection taking place in the Capitol, eight Senators and 147 House Representatives, all Republicans, voted not to certify the results from at least one State.  They did so to maintain the loyalty of their extremist base, some of whom supported domestic terrorism on that day in person or from afar.  Some legislators even had encouraged the insurrectionists.

Before the new administration can work to bring all Americans together, some sort of accountability for the actions of these Senators and Congresspersons must occur.  Their actions cannot be swept under a rug.  Only then can the nation, under the leadership of President Biden, move ahead. 

JL


(Items added 1/23/2021)

Covid19 Vaccinations

As I see it, although the supply of vaccines is growing, its  method of distribution to the public, right now basically those over age 65, is “all over the place.”  The vaccine supply is often in the wrong places (like hospitals whose staff and patients already have been vaccinated).  No program should require non-patients to visit hospitals for vaccinations.  I don’t think that’s a good idea.

The problem is that setting up appointments at the right places for those in line to be vaccinated is in the hands of various State and local government entities, or even hospitals or pharmacies, not prepared for the enormity of the task. Overwhelmed websites (or phone lines) are frequently changed from what they were “last week,” often crash, and people cannot get appointments to get vaccinated. But those skillful or patient enough to manage to negotiate this maze do get appointments.

Right now, those over 65 in Palm Beach County can try to get an appointment (even if it is in Broward County) by calling 866-201 6313.  The online websites apparently have been abandoned.

Obviously, while administering the vaccine through local government facilities and pharmacies is the way to go, the setting up of vaccination appointments should be a federally managed program, through websites or by telephone.  

The Federal government’s Medicare and Social Security websites have far greater capacity to do this than do pitiful local efforts.  It should be a program which recognizes and coordinates where the ever-changing inventory of vaccine is and where those seeking appointments are.  We have the technology to put man on the moon and travel in space.  Certainly we can do this as well.

JL

Free Speech for Insurrectionists?

Yesterday, Press Secretary Psaki mentioned 'respect for constitutionally protected free speech and political activities' in approaching the problem of domestic violent extremism. This has to be carefully balanced with how we deal with those who still advocate sedition and insurrection, including some in law enforcement, the military and those with background in those areas, not to mention the ex-president.

JL





Monday, January 11, 2021

The 14th Amendment - Section 3 and a Book Review



Important Announcement:   There are some changes taking place in the way this blog operates.  I will continue to post new “editions” periodically, but as new items come up, rather than start a fresh posting every few days, I plan on adding them to the already posted version, showing the date the item was added.  They will appear at the bottom of the original posting.  Scroll down right now to read them.


 

A Book Review 

Michael Cohen
Over the past few months, I’ve read several books purporting to tell the truth about Donald Trump, giving some ideas as to what makes him tick.  They included Michael Schmidt’s “Donald Trump v. the United States,” John Bolton’s “The Room Where it Happened,” Bob Woodward’s “Rage” and most recently, Michael Cohen’s memoir, “Disloyal.” By far, the last mentioned gives the most insight into our forty-fifth president.


That is because Michael Cohen is a similarly slippery scoundrel himself and if ever the words were true, they fit here. “It takes one to tell one.”

As a Long Island teenager, Cohen worked summers and weekends in a country club where he encountered individuals connected to New York’s mafia families.  He was never part of their structure but he was able to witness the high lives they lived, the way they behaved, the way they got things done, making their own rules, their codes of silence, their organization and their crude feelings of brotherhood and loyalty.  He liked the way they would order something done, often with a nod and no specific instructions but well understood by all present.  Except for the fact that he was a nice Jewish boy who ended up going to a second-rate law school, he always harbored a silent desire to have the respect that a mafia “made man” received.  But he was content to become independently wealthy practicing on the shadier sides of the legal profession.

Until he met Donald Trump.  At last Cohen found a safe way to live a life like the mafiosi did, without the killing of course, but getting the feeling of belonging to an organization which made its own rules, did whatever they wanted and supposedly provided rewards for loyalty to it and most importantly, to its “Boss” or “Capo.”  He wouldn’t be asked to “whack” someone literally but doing so “figuratively” became his stock in trade in the Trump Organization.  It was like being a “soldier” in a mafia family rising through the ranks.  He became the “fixer.” He loved being given, eventually, the big jobs by the “Boss,” deriving great pleasure from it as part of his rewards.  And of course, most of the time, that “Boss” did not have to tell him precisely what to do.  He already knew.

Briefly citing from “Disloyal,” here is how Cohen took his orders from Trump. (page 337):

“Over the years, I had become fluent in the language Trump used to communicate his desires and demands.  He used inferences, nods, silences, euphemisms, signals.  It was similar to how Trump never used email, for the simple reasons that it created a digital fingerprint that would permanently record his words – and thus potentially ensnare him.  Like a crime boss, Trump wanted no evidence that could connect him to any of his deeds, or deeds that he indirectly or directly ordered others to do.  The same applied with conversations.  If the President explicitly said what he wanted, or needed, it could potentially be used against him.  Better to say nothing that could be held against you, but surround yourself with people who can translate your intentions.  Trump’s mind was so permeated with deception and delusion – of others, but also of himself – that I had to be prepared to literally depart from reality and enter a kind of fantasyland when I spoke with the President.”

Eventually, because loyalty was a one-way street with Trump, the President abandoned Michael Cohen, letting him be sentenced to three years in prison for a series of questionable financial transactions, but primarily for his lying about carrying out Trump’s instructions in bribing Stormy Daniels, a porn star who claimed she had had a sexual encounter with Trump, who was never charged with anything.

And that is the genesis of Michael Cohen’s book which conclusively documents the wickedness of the piece of shit who served as our forty-fifth president, a book written by someone greedy enough to want the feeling of power only a high ranking mafioso might enjoy, and was willing to be covered with Trumpian feces in order to accomplish that.

Anyone willing to admit to that deserves to be believed. 

(Included in the appendices to Michael Cohen’s book, “Disloyal,” are copies of many legal documents mentioned in it.  There are also copies of what appear to be photocopies of many of the pages from the Steele Dossier, with very few deletions.)

JL


                                                                *   *   *   *   *

How to Deal with Law Breakers in Congress


Senator Hawley encouraging Capitol terrorists

Here is the text of Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution.  I would hope that the presiding officer of the United States Senate, Vice President Harris, once she has taken her new position, will read it aloud in the Senate chamber, after which the expulsion of Senators Cruz and Hawley will be voted upon, two-thirds of the Senate’s votes being needed to cancel any such expulsion. 

No Person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.”

(Actually, this also applies to the President and many Republican House members as well, but the particularly blatant cases against Cruz and Hawley stand out like sore thumbs.)  


      
JL            



(Added 1/12/21)
Here is the text of a letter to the Palm Beach Post which I sent earlier this week: 


It is not enough for Republicans to be appalled by the violence which took place in our Capitol building last Wednesday.  Despite this, some are still heard questioning the legitimacy of the presidential election and taking pride in what they consider some positive aspects of the Trump administration.  Saying “enough is enough” as Lindsey Graham has done is not enough. What these people must get through their heads, and I include Florida’s two Senators, its governor and most of its Representatives in the House, is that they were the ‘enablers’ who made it possible for Donald Trump’s madness to besmirch American democracy and all for which it stands.  No matter how deeply they are appalled by Wednesday’s violence, they must share in the responsibility for it.  Their “enabling,” in exchange for the support of the far right, made it possible. Shame on them.  

JL    

(Added 1/14/21)
Trump Looking For a Job

Donald Trump, whom I now understand is looking for a job as a sports reporter, submitted this sample of his work to several papers.

“It’s time for the truth to come out!  Let me extend my congratulations to the Ohio State Buckeyes for winning the College Football Playoffs, trouncing a hapless University of Alabama team by a huuuge score on Monday evening in Miami!

I know that the fake news media reported, and the supposedly live TV coverage broadcast, a game which Alabama falsely appeared to have won … but some people who actually were there and who saw the game know what really happened on the field.   It was an Ohio State romp!  Believe me, the Buckeyes won, but the public will never know that because of the fake media, which spread the phony story of the made-up Alabama victory using clever computer generated graphics to steal the victory from the true winner, Ohio State .  Alabama wasn’t even close.  Even the failing New York Times was in on the hoax, going overboard in their lying by reporting that Alabama had won by the score of 52 to 24.  Never happened!

Compounding this was the awarding of the game’s MVP title to Ohio State’s Heisman Trophy winner, DaVonte Smith. Those who watched the game on TV saw Smith in an Alabama uniform, but that wasn’t really what took place.  All those passes he caught were actually Ohio State touchdowns!  They probably  just ‘photoshopped’ the color of his jersey.  Sad.”   

JL        


(Added 1/15/21)
What's With the Covid19 Vaccine?

Yes, as far as Covid19 vaccinations go, Palm Beach County is a frigging disaster.  The miniscule number of doses received by the county have gone to nursing homes and the general population in a disorganized, scattershot, haphazard manner, some to hospitals, some to firehouses, some to churches, some to individual communities.  Here are some stories about how folks in Palm Beach County get vaccinated.

There are over 100,000 residents over age 65 waiting for appointments for which they signed up via the County’s frequently inoperative website.  At the present rate that vaccines are received by the County, it appears it will take many months to get these people vaccinated here.  So they look elsewhere.  Nevertheless, some residents who signed up early in the game are now getting appointments in Palm Beach County as the limited number of doses slowly increases.  If you are not already signed up, it can be done (name, date of birth, phone number, and mention where you live (Boynton, Delray, Boca, etc.) at 

chd50feedback@flhealth.gov.

I personally know of people who have traveled as far north as Sebastian, at their doctor’s instruction, for vaccination.  Others have gone as far south as Homestead.  These are two to three-hour drives.  Many have taken advantage of the relatively ample supply of vaccine in nearby Broward County to register for vaccination at the many locations there if they can manage to catch their website when it is operative.  People I know who have gone this route tell me that anyone in line at some of the locations there can get vaccinated, appointment or not, once they complete the paperwork.  (I have an appointment there next week.)

I keep hearing rumors that wealthy people from New York City are able to fly into Miami or Fort Lauderdale, get their vaccination and fly back up north, with an appointment to come back in three or four weeks.  Personally, I know of none.

Back in Palm Beach County, the VA hospital is now offering vaccinations to veterans signed up to receive health care there.  But some County residents indeed have gotten their shots.  One I know received his at the Kings Point residential community where a token supply was received there each day last week.  It was available to non-residents waiting in line once those who lived there received the vaccine.  It took standing in line for two or three hours on three successive days before that day’s supply ran out, before he and his wife received the vaccine.  Another friend received a call from their PB Country ‘concierge’ physician to come to his office where ‘concierge’ patients could get the vaccine.  And of course, much of what little vaccine was initially made available to the County went to well-heeled Palm Beach Island, rather than the less organized larger communities.  Some residents there, big dollar donors to private senior communities which including nursing facilities, were vaccinated along with the nursing home residents.

And the senior community where I live is still trying to get Walgreens, once their nursing home work is finished, to set up vaccinations here, as they do annually for ‘flu’ shots.  Meanwhile, the State seems to be working with the Publix Supermarket chain to arrange for vaccines to be given at some of their locations, but none in Palm Beach County. 

My personal recommendation is to find out where the Governor is speaking that day about the vaccine, drive there, and get in line for a vaccine dose which certainly will be available at that location for a photoshoot.
JL        

(Added 1/16/2021)
Reading for the Weekend:  

Check out historian Timothy Snyder’s essay, “American Abyss,” published in last Sunday’s New York Times Magazine.  Learn the difference between Republican ‘gamers’ and ‘breakers’ and a hell of a lot more about the January Coup.   Visit  https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/09/magazine/trump-coup.html  

Or just
    
JL                         

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Some Thoughts on Wednesday's Rioting

Why weren't the insurrectionists immediately arrested? Why won't every single one of them be prosecuted? Is the nation going to be held with knives at its throat for the next four years, out of fear of arousing more violence from the extreme right? 

Everyone who can be identified as participating in Trump's insurrection or inciting it, the Capitol police who turned their back on what was happening, perhaps even some Senators and Representatives, along with the President, must face justice. OTHERWISE THEY WILL HAVE WON. 

If they want "combat" as Rudy puts it, let them have it. We have the intelligence as to “who, what, when and where” from video, internet and telephone monitoring, and now, the new DOJ must act on it with weapons that are not for show, but loaded and ready to fire.  “Lock and load one round - ball ammunition,” is a firing range command.  Today, we are not on the firing range.  We are in combat.   We should be locking and loading for real if necessary, not cowering out of fear of what Trump’s supporters might do.

And the complicity of the Capitol Police cannot be ignored.  Trump has made law enforcement people throughout the country believe he is one with them, a ‘law and order’ president.  That is why they treated the insurrectionists with kid gloves.  And law enforcement agencies throughout the nation must be examined to see how deeply the Trumpian cancer has involved them. 

It is clear that Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, along with the President, should be prosecuted.  If I lived in Texas or Missouri, I would be active in recall movements today for both Senators.  Inciting a deadly riot and violating the Capitol building are crimes. And does Lindsey Graham, after almost four years of being an enabler, get off the hook by saying "enough is enough."?   And similar last-minute conversions from other Trump enablers should not be taken seriously. 

I watched Fox last night.  These people are diseased.  I heard Congressman Matt Gaetz say the only reason the Democrats were considering impeachment was to hold their Party together, which he claimed is about to fall apart. He looked to Jim Jordan as a savior.  At a minimum, these people should be disowned by the national and local Republican Parties.  Let those that don’t end up in prisons run as "Insurrectionists."  

If this doesn’t happen, if prosecution of Senators Hawley and Cruz, and the insurrection leaders in the House, and of course, the President, the inciters of the criminal rioting, does not proceed, THEY WILL HAVE WON. There must not be compromise with them.  Repeated compromises with Southern slave-holding States did not prevent the Civil War from eventually occurring.  To prevent another one, insurrection must be nipped in the bud, and that means arrest and prosecution without fear of any reaction by Trump’s seditious base.  

As with cancer, the time for real "healing" can only start once the malignacy is removed.   

JL

                                                                 *   *   *   *

As some of you may know, I occasionally comment on Professor Heather Cox Richardson's daily newsletter, "A Letter from an American."  Here is what I posted there this morning (Jan. 10).

There are no precedents in American history for our descent into third world nation status. Even the Civil War did not leave us so crippled. We have become what Trump maliciously accused some African nations of being. With the bigotry, ignorance and hatred of millions of American voters and elected officials still fueling support for our insurrectionist President, a solution will be hard to come by. Even Alan Dershowitz claims that the soon-to-be ex-president's First Amendment rights must be protected. What for? So he can go into movie theatres and shout "Fire"?

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Vaccination Appointments, Undemocratic Founding Fathers, the Deplorables and the Chief Telemarketer


A Vaccination Question

What Floriduh county has seven commissioners (each earning about $100,000 a year to serve the public) none of whom had a clue that the phone number given to the tens of thousands trying to make appointments for a Covid19 vaccination would max out after 150 calls?  None of these overpaid hacks should be re-elected when the time comes.

 

Vox Populi, Vox Dei ?

The Founding Fathers did not trust the public.  That’s why they left the election of Senators to State legislatures and put the choice of a president in the hands of a not particularly democratic ‘electoral college.’  And the right to vote, aside from the exclusion of women and slaves, was originally riddled with property requirements on the State levels.  Did they fear that believing “the voice of the people would be the voice of God” (Vox Populi, Vox Dei) might someday result in that ‘voice’ being the voice of the Devil instead?  They had the French Revolution as a bad example of what horrors democracy can cause just across the Atlantic.

Maybe.  But these limitations on the right to vote slowly disappeared over the years as democracy was broadened in the United States. Americans, at least up to now, felt that the people could be trusted.  Well, in view of the ‘devils’ the people voted into both Houses of Congress and put in the White House in 2016 as well, it turns out that the Founding Fathers may have been right after all.


The Plight of the Sore Loser

I can understand how the losing candidate in an election can complain about election fraud as an excuse for losing, but there has to be evidence of such fraud.  It is not enough to claim that it exists with no evidence to prove it and demanding seemingly unending searches for such evidence does not make its existence more likely.  

And declaring that the election was “stolen” by virtue of such unproven fraud, without evidence to back it up, may be a crime in itself.  You just can't call someone a thief unless you have something to prove it.

If I call the police claiming that a neighbor stole something from me but without any evidence that they did, they will come and visit him or her and ask about it, but without evidence, that will be the end of it.  If I repeatedly call them with the same unproven complaint, I may be subject to arrest myself and also to a civil lawsuit by my neighbor, who might feel his reputation has been sullied by unwarranted charges that he or she is a thief, and when you say someone stole something, that is what you are doing.

How do you make Republicans understand this?


The Incurably Ignorant and Gullible

The ongoing Congressional strategy of many Republicans, refusing to accept the presidential election results, is based on lies, dreams and fictions, and is something they act out with impunity. The non-existent evidence they talk about, if presented before a judge, would result in lawyers being disbarred but they can get away with lies in Congress where they are not under oath. That’s why they lose in court but win in the minds and hearts of the gullible and ignorant.  

Last week, the New York Times’ David Brooks pointed out that attempting to educate such people with the truth doesn’t work. Rather, it only causes them to dig in their heels strengthening their belief in the lies upon which their alternate reality is based.  Is there a “democratic” solution?  This is why Hillary Clinton called them "deplorables."

 

Our Telemarketing President

"Fellas, I need 11,000
votes. Give me a break"

Last year, our President, on a phone call, tried  to blackmail Ukraine’s president into digging up dirt on the Bidens before the November election in exchange for releasing money for defensive arms for that country to use against Russia.  He failed and was impeached in the process, his butt being saved by the GOP’s Senate majority.  He has just tried, again via a phone call, to similarly blackmail Georgia’s Secretary of State into fiddling with that States presidential vote results, long rechecked and certified.  His phone call threatened some vague sort of retribution if he didn’t comply.  

Trump gets away with this kind of scurrilous behavior, acceptable in mafia circles and in less savory business environments, because when he is caught with his pants down, shyster mouthpieces like former Attorney General Barr come to his rescue.  Since the day Barr whitewashed the Mueller Report, Trump has been unleashed.  Both Trump and Barr belong in jail.  It won’t happen, but they do.

Barr












JL