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Archive for the ‘Political’ Category

All my adult life I have observed the quadrennial presidential elections. My chosen candidates did not always win. But I always enjoyed watching the festivities of the inaugurations. Invariably, some news anchor would comment that in this country, for over two hundred years, we have been able to witness the peaceful transfer of power. I remember bring proud of that, being proud of being a citizen of a nation that was founded on the principles of democracy and the peaceful transfer of power since the 18th century. There was no other nation like this on the planet, and there had never before been one.

We can’t say that anymore.

We can’t feel that way anymore.

That notion has been destroyed. And a little bit of our nation has died with it.

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The clip on the left is from Time Magazine, April 25, 2022, page 6.

U. S. Representative Marjorie Taylor Green stated that “The American people are fed up with this over-dramatization of a riot.”

I can’t speak for the American people, other than I am one of them – ex pluribus unum.

Say I took a crow bar, or a sledge hammer, or perhaps even a weapon, and I went down to my local municipal government building – and I am not even talking about the U.S. Capitol or any State Capitol. Then when I got to the locked door, I’d just beat it in. If there were security guards or police, I’d pepper spray them or beat them with the crow bar.

If I did that, chances are that I’d not survive, because I’d be shot down in hail of bullets. If I did survive, I’d rot in jail for the better part of a year until I got my trial, and then I’d lose and – at my age – spend the rest of my life in prison.

Now if I did this same thing along with the 2,000 people who have entered the Capitol on January 6, the whole thing would go away because it’s an overdramatization of a riot?

I am not buying it.

I am in favor of every one of those people that committed violence entering the Capitol that day to do their time.

Those in our government, particularly those elected officials, in the legislative and executive branch who incited this should also be held accountable.

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Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence) is a doctoral student in astronomy. One night, when working with a telescope, she discovers a new comet. Researching the details with her professor, Randall Mindy (Leonardo DiCaprio), they come to the conclusion that the comet is larger than that of the Chicxulub impact event (see details here) that wiped out 75% of all flora and fauna on earth 65 million years ago. The problem is that the new comet is on its way to hit earth head-on in 6 months and 15 days.

The two understand that they have discovered a planet-killing catastrophe, and that mankind only has a little over 6 months to do something about it. They manage an audience at the White House with the help of the president’s chief science advisor, Dr. Oglethorpe (Rob Morgan). But when they arrive, President Orlean (Meryl Streep) is completely indifferent. Her political ambitions don’t allow the distraction of an imminent extinction event. Jason (Jonah Hill), the Chief of Staff who is also her son, even ridicules the astronomers and eventually they are sent away. Nothing will be done.

Thunderstruck, the scientists decide to turn the the media instead. They are invited to the popular morning show The Daily Rip, where they are also received as curious, cute scientists and not taken seriously. They are trying to make the  world just “Look Up” and see what’s coming.

Don’t Look Up is a satire, of course, and it is extremely timely. It portrays a White House full of sycophants, staffed by nepotism, with a President who is completely self-absorbed and clueless. Facing a catastrophic event coming up, nobody wants to bother with it. The negative message it creates in social media is simply inconvenient. The industrial complex quickly figures out how they could possibly get very rich off of this, the danger and risk to the world be damned. Nobody takes the scientists seriously. They become the villains.

And that, my friends, is the state of our world today.

Enjoy a good laugh while you’re watching, and don’t worry that it will make you want to cry because of the insanity of it all.

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Photocredit: Reddit – https://i.redd.it/hwzombczctx71.png

Colin Powell passed away from cancer and complications arising from Covid-19.

Al the former presidents were there, but Trump was missing.

Here is Trump’s official statement:

Wonderful to see Colin Powell, who made big mistakes on Iraq and famously, so-called weapons of mass destruction, be treated in death so beautifully by the Fake News Media. Hope that happens to me someday. He was a classic RINO [Republican in Name Only], if even that, always being the first to attack other Republicans. He made plenty of mistakes, but anyway, may he rest in peace!

Source

Colin Powell was a classy man.

He made a huge mistake under G.W. Bush when he propagated what he knew was a lie to the United Nations and the world. Yes, that was the mistake his legacy will, unfortunately, always be tarnished by.

But Trump’s statement shows what kind of man he is: One I would not want in my backyard BBQ party. He would not be worthy of sitting in the front row at this funeral.

 

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What is a Patriot?

Patriot

– a person who vigorously supports their country and is prepared to defend it against enemies or detractors.

On July 4th we see more American flags than usual, of course, and I have noticed that lately I have not reacted to seeing the flag with thoughts of patriotism, as one would expect. That’s because the flag is now often used by Trump supporters, calling themselves patriots, while flying huge flags on the backs of their trucks, at rallies or at stands where they sell Trump paraphernalia.

I am tired of reading about people, even in courts, calling themselves patriots for participating in the insurrection of January 6, 2021. I have displayed the definition of “patriot” at the top of this post.

We have a constitution, and a constitutional process. If we don’t agree with the interpretation of a law, or if we don’t agree with the outcome of an election, we can appeal to the judiciary. We can sue the various states, counties, or candidates, and if there was actual wrong-doing, we will win based on the evidence and that’s how we solve disputes in this country patriotically.

We don’t get to become vigilantes and physically and verbally attack journalists, political opponents, elected members of government or anyone else that does not agree with us. That is not patriotism, that’s assault. Its stands diametrically opposed to what is patriotism. It’s anti-patriotism.

When Clinton lost the election in 2016, and people complained, Trump supporters used to say “You lost the election, get over it and move on!” Move on the country did.

Trump lost the election in 2020 by a larger margin than Clinton lost it. It’s time to get over it and move on.

If there was wrongdoing, fraud, or anything else unconstitutional in the 2020 election, we can have recourse through the judiciary. That is the patriotic way to handle this.

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Politics is Boring Again

I find it a relief to wake up in the morning without the urge to check the news for any bad shit that went down since the last time I checked. We had a weather disaster in Texas, and I followed the news. I donated some money to relief efforts for suffering Texans. President Biden declared an emergency for Texas and other southern states which freed up federal funding. The affected states were all states that didn’t vote for him in the electoral college. But Biden just did his job as president. He didn’t trash the states, he didn’t blame their governors or politicians, he didn’t hold up funding until they made statements to praise or support him. He didn’t tell Texas to fix their energy grid or they wouldn’t receive funds. He didn’t second-guess their efforts or motives.

He just did what the job requires. He didn’t use it to attract attention to himself. He just went back to work on the next thing.

Politics is boring again, and I sleep better because of it.

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When you read some of the responses below this tweet by AOC soliciting donations for Texas, there are some cynical and outright insulting comments by – of all people – Texans who are discrediting her motives and her efforts, including telling her to keep her money in her own district in New York.

She has, to date, raised more than $4 million for Texas and that’s getting a lot of attention.

I for one do not care about her motives. Her name is a brand, and she is using it for the benefit of suffering Americans. I personally donated $50 of my money to the effort. Without her call and publicity, there is no way this Southern Californian suburbanite (me) would have ever thought of making an effort to send cash to Texas. But I did, and I did it because of AOC’s call.

Somebody in Texas benefited from my modest contribution – and it would not have happened otherwise.

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…Who Ever Will?

Does a president have to go on Fifth Avenue in New York and shoot a random stranger to get impeached and convicted?

 

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[Picture Credit: Wikipedia]

Lauren Boebert is the recently elected congresswoman for Colorado’s 3rd congressional district.

She is 34 years old, has four children, and with her husband owns the Shooters Grill in Rifle, Colorado.

The picture to the left shows her at work. She recommends her employees to openly carry arms.

She didn’t graduate from high school, because she had her first child during that time, but later got her GED. She is in favor of eliminating the United States Department of Education.

During the riots at the Capitol in January 6, she was live-tweeting the location of the Speaker of the House to her followers.

Link to Wikipedia

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We need more troops at our own Capitol, the head of our own government, to protect the inauguration of our new administration from domestic terrorists. Four years ago domestic terrorist attacks were rare. Now pretty much every member of Congress in our “homeland” fears for their lives, both in Washington and at home.

Is America great again yet?

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Today, without explanation, Chad Wolf, the acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, resigned. I leave it to you to speculate why he might have done that.

Two points strike me as ironic. First, that the Chad Wolf was only the “acting” secretary, like so many others in the Trump administration. All the “best and brightest” jumped ship early when they smelled all the rats, and only sycophants took those jobs, often people who were not qualified and would not have made it through formal confirmation. That’s why I have been saying that we haven’t really had a government in the last few years. Today was the 642nd straight day of no confirmed Secretary of Homeland Security. This is by far the longest Cabinet vacancy ever in the history of the country. This is doubly ominous, considering that during those 642 days, the White House and the Senate were controlled by the Republican Party.

The second point is that the Department of Homeland Security is supposed to keep the homeland safe, right? What is more homeland than the U.S. Capitol?

After the attacks of 9/11, almost 20 years ago, we formed the Department of Homeland Security. It is now the third largest agency in the U.S. government, after Defense and Veterans Affairs. It has 240,000 employees.

In 2018, 777 million passengers were carried on U.S. airlines. In 2019, it was 925 million. So between 2001 and 2021, we carried about 15 billion passengers in U.S. airlines. And every one of those took off their shoes, because there was one shoe bomber that attempted to light his shoe with a match on an airplane. Because of that, 15 billion people took off their shoes at airport security stations over 20 years, due to the direction and regulation of the Department of Homeland Security.

However, we have one U.S. Capitol, where all our political assets get together and conduct the business of the people. If you have read the 1994 Tom Clancy book Debt of Honor, you will remember that Jack Ryan becomes President of the United States after an embittered Japan Airlines Pilot flies his Boeing 747 directly into the U.S. Capitol during a joint session of Congress, wiping out the entire government at once. I always suspected that the Osama bin Laden had read that book and got some of his ideas about 9/11 from it. After all, 9/11 happened 7 years after Debt of Honor was published. Also, you may have recently watched the more recent Netflix series Designated Survivor which starts on the same premise, an attack on the U.S. Capitol.

So there you have it: We created the Department of Homeland Security to keep the homeland safe, and while Trump is in office, the department is apparently hollowed out, has no confirmed leader, and is apparently AWOL during the only actual, physical, predictable, planned and publicized attack on the Capitol.

This must get investigated relentlessly, and people need to go to prison.

Perhaps, just perhaps, we should disband this behemoth agency that apparently does not accomplish much and start all over with appropriate counter terrorism initiatives. Obviously, we don’t need to worry about too many bin Ladens these days. We need to worry about bartenders in Nashville, unemployed welder/pipefitters in Seattle, ex-Air Force Lieutenant Colonels from Texas, and 34-year-old fathers of five children in Florida as the most series domestic terrorists.

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This morning in the San Diego Union-Tribune there is a front-page article titled Roots of Extremism Securely Planted in San Diego, which talks about some of the people involved in the Capitol Riots of January 6, 2021, including Ashli Babbitt, the Ocean Beach woman who was shot dead. Here is an excerpt from page 4:

Many of the same themes emerged in a civil defense movement that arose following the riot in La Mesa on May 30. Vigilante groups such as Defend East County (DEC) have characterized themselves as pro-police, pro-law and order and anti-Black Lives Matter. Some members have posted racist comments and advocated for violence on the group’s social media accounts.

While a small contingent from DEC – made up mostly of White men – has patrolled numerous peaceful racial justice protests from afar, its members have also intimidated and threatened protesters, including teenagers, and incited violence at events that were otherwise calm.

DEC’s founder, Justin Haskins, was among those who traveled to Washington for the vote certification.

According to Haskins’ statement, he did not enter the Capitol and was conflicted about what was going on. Then he said:

It’s our constitutional duty to overthrow a tyrannical government. At what point do you stop waving your dumbass flags and yelling your stupid chants and start taking this country back just like the patriots of 1776 did?

I have a lot of problems with some of the statements here.

First, I don’t know a single person in this country who is not “pro-police.” What’s the big deal about being pro-police?

Second, I don’t know a single person in this country who is not “pro-law and order.” Our current president has called himself the law and order president and I just happen to think that he has been governing opposite to that ideal, as opposite as you can get. How then can you be pro-law and order and at the same time support Trump?

Third, how can you be pro-law and order and anti-Black Lives Matter? BLM is about bringing change to a system to reduce the killings of unarmed, innocent Black men by police. I would lump that under law and order.

Fourth, Haskins compares himself to the patriots of 1776. No, Mr. Haskins, you are no Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. The situation in 1776 was entirely different from what is going on right now, and the comparison is as dumbass as the Trump flag-waving and as stupid as his chants.

Then, Haskins says it’s his duty to overthrow a tyrannical government? Huh, the government has been Trump for the last four years. This current situation of chaos and mayhem is the result of four years of governing by a man who proclaims to be the law and order president. We are currently living in Trump’s America that is great again.

Yes, many people wanted to overthrow it. I did too. And we did it by the means given to us by the Constitution, by voting. And we voted using voting systems and processes in 50 different states based on the local laws, as dictated in the Constitution. And we did it in an electoral environment where the Trump administration had four years to make sure that elections can be secure and legal. And we did it while being monitored and watched by our law enforcement agencies, under Trump, as stated by Trump’s CISA Director Christopher Krebs. Our 2020 elections were the most secure in modern history. And we did it so well that 70 different law suits by the Trump campaign after the election resulted in zero cases won.

In the United States of America, we “overthrow” our government by the will of the people – by voting. We voted.

I urge Haskins to go out and mobilize his constituents, convince us with cogent arguments, and we’ll vote for his candidates in 2022. If he needs guidance on how this is done, he can always call a woman in Georgia by the name of Stacey Abrams. She knows a thing or two about how to mobilize voters.

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Trump Coup Attempt

I am reading ridiculous claims from Trump supporters that there was no difference between what happened in the BLM protests in many cities and particularly in Portland last fall, and this riot at the Capitol.

I think this is very wrong and very disturbing.

Look at the picture below. There are masked guys in camouflage, one carrying zip cuffs. These are the devices used to temporarily handcuff people. Who do you think they were planning on cuffing? They are on the Senate floor in this picture, but there are more pictures with them in other areas.

[click for picture credit – Reddit

Here are the ballot boxes that were on the Senate floor just before the break-in.

[click for picture credit – Fox 11]

If a Senate aide hadn’t had the presence of mind to take away these boxes and secure them, they would have remained on the Senate floor. What do you think the mob would have done with these boxes?

They would have been vandalized, destroyed or stolen. In any event, they would be gone.

The zip cuffs could have been used to tie up the Senators.

The electoral votes would be gone, and thus, all evidence of the election would be lost. It would have been chaos. Trump would have declared martial law. He would have decided that he would have to stay in office until “this was all resolved orderly” and it would have taken month or years to work it out.

The coup would have been successful.

Mission accomplished. The 2020 election would have been the last election in the history of the United States, and its results would have been wiped out.

Somebody give this Senate aide a medal!

 

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Rioters in the U.S. Capitol tore off the sign of the Speaker of the House and posed with it.

This does not seem like a brilliant move for their careers. Do these four people get charged with felonies and do prison time? I sure hope so.

I wonder what foreign enemies of our country are thinking? If these bozos were able to walk into the U.S. Capitol and ransack the office of the Speaker, without any security stopping them, do you think that this might give the spies in China, Russia, Iran and North Korea some interesting ideas?

Did computer networks get compromised? Did USB drives get inserted into laptops? Did bugging devices get installed behind receptacles or heating registers?

The bozos were in the hallways posing with loot.

The real terrorists had the run of the Capitol for hours as long as they wore red hats and face paint.

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