Why You Can’t Talk Facts and Sense to Trump Supporters

I want to use my own blog today to suggest you read an excellent piece by another WordPress blogger, anonnynonny. “GoodTrouble.” I hope he/she doesn’t mind my sharing their post with attribution. If so, just let me know, and I’ll remove it. The piece is titled THE CASE AGAINST DONALD TRUMP, and is on point.

https://goodtrouble974588398.wordpress.com/2020/08/08/the-case-against-trump/?fbclid=IwAR2Y-3-LIq1q-Dd1km4xbzqiGseuUSwU7dpwMDeimSS4sLye2WtPKbFSsA8

This is an excellent blog piece. It says everything I have been saying and writing about Donald Trump for four years, and of course I’m not alone. I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve made the exact same points, but to Trump supporters nothing gets through to them. Ignorance is their game, and hypocrisy is their shame. I’ve reached the conclusion that Trump supporters generally fall into one of four very different but intertwined groups. In no particular order they are: 1- the wealthy, because he feeds their wealth and buttresses their power; 2- the racists and white supremacists, because he is one of them and feeds their hatred and ambitions; 3- the far right “Christian” extremists (Think evangelicals and southern baptists), because he feeds their twisted bibliocracy and vision of a theocratic America; —Groups 2 and 3 are also immensely tribal.— 4- The group I call the FIGS, the Fearful, Ignorant, and Gullible, who are afraid of change, intellectually limited, and ill-equipped to deal with complex issues. They who the hand-wringers who fear progress itself because it is the virtual definition of big change. They are unable to process and analyze issues for themselves (example: they have little understanding of what the terms capitalism, socialism, and democratic socialism actually mean), and as a group very (Christian) religious. They accept the ‘guidance’ of someone they look up to (their minister, their family leader (usually male), or some other authoritative, charismatic individual to tell them what to think and believe. Donald Trump gives them exactly that kind of person. Once he has his hooks into them, they are his. These four groups are also masterfully, powerfully manipulated by the Republican power structure, which over the past fifty years has evolved into the nasty group, a virtual Hydra, it is today. Today’s Republican party is founded on two foundational principles. 1- Pure Darwinism. Only the strongest shall, or should, survive. 2- Extremely weak federal government, controlled by extremist “Christian” theology centered on white people, pure capitalism in its most extreme version. The most ambitious and successful shall dictate the economy and the country for their own profit and empirically decide what the working classes shall receive for their labor. Refer back to #1 above, and think pure Darwinism enforced by the most ruthlessly ambitious. No, I’m not a Marxist, and this is not any kind of ‘insane socialist’ rant on my part. It’s actually what is considered the latter days stage of unrestricted capitalism. Latter days as in complete collapse of semblance of democracy.

When you are asked, Where were you when America’s lights went out?

If you are a Trump supporter, I fervently hope you will read this post.
I am a retired teacher, 40 years worth. I always promised my students that one thing I would never do is lie to them. and I never did. I’m telling you the same thing. I beg of you, see this creature for what and who he really is.


Every word that comes out of your hero’s mouth about election fraud, and Democrats rigging the election, IS A LIE.
This is not surprising because he lies about everything. 20,000 so far and counting since the 2016 election.

Please read this paragraph. “I spent 38 years as a Republican lawyer going into precincts looking for evidence of fraud. There are, to be sure, isolated cases, but nothing like the widespread fraud that would somehow invalidate an election or cause anyone to doubt the peaceful transfer of power,” Ben Ginsberg, who helped litigate the 2000 election on George W. Bush’s behalf, told CNN’s John King on Thursday. “So what’s different about this is a president of the United States going right at one of the pillars of the democracy without the evidence that you have got to have to make that case.”


I know you probably hate progressives, liberals. But much of your hate is based on lies that you have repeatedly been told by Trump and his allies.
Donald Trump has been lying to you, gaslighting you (look up the term if you don’t know it.), and he does it for one reason and one reason only. His own benefit. Why do you think SO MANY lifelong notable Republicans have left the party and trying to make you see this charlatan and tyrant for what he really is?


Donald Trump is laughing at you and manipulating you. He tells you what he thinks you want to hear in public, and considers you suckers and losers in private. He is depending on you being ignorant, staying uninformed, and not really thinking, just soaking up whatever lies he chooses to tell you.

There is still time for you to see him as he is, to save our republic, our environment, our children and grandchildren, from this truly evil man, this dictator in waiting. Please. Start thinking for yourself. MAKE HIM give you actual evidence. “Believe me,” is not evidence. “Trust me,” is not evidence. “Everyone knows,” is one of the most classic fact-free lies told by snake oil salesmen and dictators for thousands of years.


He is a lying, cheating, fraud in the same mold as was Hitler. and he is destroying our democracy, our economy, our very environment, while telling you one lie after another to the contrary.

He is using you. And he has but one goal, to be America’s first dictator. Please, start fact checking him (elsewhere but Fox News). You owe it to yourself, and you owe it to your country and your fellow citizens to free yourself from his lies and his cult of himself.
Please. Stop reacting to his lies just as he expects you to, and start reading, watching, and listening to the real facts.

Please, and again, please. Don’t let him mesmerize you any more. Don’t be a clone of his personality and a robotic follower of his charisma. Please be the independent critical thinker I’m sure you consider yourself to be. Ask yourself, does this vile person really reflect who you are?

For the sake of all of us, for the sake of the planet, and our children and their children, you have a responsibility to do that.

And you might want to start by reading this.

https://www.nationalsecurityleaders4biden.com/

No More Room For Nice Guys

If you have read this blog before, you will notice I have changed the name from Reflective Thoughts to The Wallace element. The URL remains the same.I made the change because reflective implies calmness. I am not calm. I don’t think I will be calm for a long time.

I am mad as hell. Let me repeat that I am mad as hell. We just lost a beloved, marvelous and iconic Supreme Court Justice in Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a woman who was a giant on the Court. And only a couple of hours after that sad event, may she rest in peace after all of the amazing work she’s done, America’s own Nazi-esque president, Donald Trump, who doesn’t deserve to carry water for Ruth Bader Ginsburg, was announcing that he will nominate a new Supreme Court justice within a week

Of course Mitch McConnell and Lindsay Graham were saying that we absolutely should fill her seat now, right now.

You may remember that when Justice Scalia died in February 2016, which was nine months before the election of 2016, Mitch McConnell announced proudly, and crowed about, his announcement, “Mr. President, you will not fill this vacancy.”

McConnell justified his misuse of his position by saying that it wasn’t proper to fill a vacancy in an election year, because the PEOPLE should have a voice. Well listen to what the old reprobate has to say now. Things are all different now because HIS man in the White House, Herr Trump, promises to nominate a very far right justice to replace Justice Ginsburg.

The delusional and fanatic hard right has already stolen two Supreme Court seats.

The first was given to Neil Gorsuch, and the second went to Brett Kavanaugh, a man with severe questions about his qualifications and his moral qualities making him unqualified and unfit for the post. Now they want to steal a third one.

But wait just wait a second here. Time out! This is an election year! According to the distinctly less than honorable McConnell himself, and Lindsey Graham, we are not supposed to select or appoint a new Supreme Court justice during an election year, because the PEOPLE have a right to have a say.

But surprise surprise, they tell us. The situation is all different now. Why? Lindsey Graham likes to say that “You were so mean to Brett Kavanaugh about his drinking and debt and questionable income and sexual assault history, that we think we should have the right to go ahead and place a new justice on the court. Since Democrats were mean to Brett Kavanaugh, so Republicans should get a gimme, a freebie. Mitch McConnell is at least a little bit more honest. He simply says right to your face that it’s different now because his man is in the White House.

I saw something posted on Facebook the other day that made an impression. This individual said, ” You liberals don’t get it. I didn’t want that seat vacated by Justice Scalia in 2016 to be filled because Barack Obama was a progressive and I’m hard core far right. But now we have a far right president who will nominate a far right individual I approve of to fill that seat, so I’m all for it.

He went on to say, and this is the important part, “What you liberals don’t understand is that it’s all about power. And we want that power. It’s just that simple.” Hi might as well have added that this is the reason the far right calls liberals snowflakes, because they on the right know the game and are ready to be ruthless, while those on the left don’t and aren’t.

You know what, he was right. `He was absolutely 100% correct. It’s about power. Whoever has the power wins, and the other poor sucker, that other dumb loser, plays by plays by the winner’s rules, however they wish to make them up.

One of the biggest mistakes the Democratic Party has made ever since 2016, is, again, simple. It’s civility. It is the kid gloves syndrome, the old fashioned and obsolete philosophy that we must follow certain protocols, that there are certain considerations and traditions and practices that are just the proper way to do things and always have been. Thus, the Democratic Congress remained polite and civil ever since McConnell’s outright theft of a Supreme Court seat. and have continued to do so since Donald Trump stole a crooked election. Oh sure, they have made some noise now and then As my grandfather would say, they’ve flapped their gums. But they have remained determined to take the high road, to do things the “right way.” They have almost exclusively played nice with Donald Trump, a man who is as corrupt as they come; A man who is a bigot, and a racist, a man who has been accused of sexual assault by over 20 women, a man who has been investigated almost constantly by law enforcement, a man who asked for and willingly accepted the help of a foreign nation, a man who makes fun of the disabled and doles out nasty nicknames for anyone who disagrees with him, a man who encourages white supremacists and Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan and promotes violence on their part, a man who uses the federal police in much the same fashion as Hitler used the Gestapo.

The result has been that for the last four years, actually five years if you count 2016, and you should,when for eight months, Mitch McConnell, who now insists it’s proper to install a new justice of his and Trump’s choosing less than two months before a new election, refused to even hold hearings for Merrick Garland; for the last five years the Republican Party has functioned essentially as a mob.

This mob has exactly one goal, and they make no bones about it: to gain complete power and stage coup of the American Republic, for the radical white supremacist and religious extremist minority of American citizens to rule over the majority.

What this mob wants is for far right religious extremism, which can only be compared to the Taliban and ISIS, to tell all of America what they must do and cannot do. What this mob wants is to enforce the bigotry of racism, the bigotry of sexism, the bigotry of persecution or even murder of anyone who is not of their preferred sexual orientation or the right skin color. What this mob wants is a drastic far right violent white nationalist control of America. I can’t say it any simpler than that. They have broken every rule every long-standing protocol of Constitutional procedure, that exists. Donald Trump himself has defied Congress time after time; he has taken the unprecedented step of telling White House employees to ignore and defy subpoenas. He has defied the Supreme Court itself. Mitch McConnell has railroaded an impeachment process that was a farce, refusing to even allow witnesses. He has functioned as a virtual dictator, a one man goverenment, and will continue to do so if he is allowed. This mob recognizes no right or wrong, only an unquenchable quest for absolute power. That is exactly like Nazism..

They cannot be allowed to succeed, or the American Democratic Republic is lost. It is reported that in 1787, as Benjamin Franklin was leaving Independence Hall on the final day of the Constitutional Convention, a woman asked, “What have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” to which Doctor Franklin responded, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

In the year 2020, a thoroughly corrupt, far right Republican mob the likes of which we have not seen since the Civil War, is on the cusp of taking that democratic Republic from us. We cannot, you cannot, the Democratic Congress cannot let that happen. It’s long past time for the Democrats in Congress to play hardball. If Trump is reelected and/or Republicans maintain their Senate majority, we are already lost. But if Democrats succeed in taking the Presidency and the Senate, they must be prepared to play this terribly serious game exactly as Republicans have taught them. The goal is to win, and the goal is to exercise the power. They must begin by restructuring the Supreme Court.

63 Days

It IS happening here, just as it happened in Germany when a supposedly intelligent and thoughtful populace sold their souls to Adolf Hitler.We have 63 days.

 

Note: This post is a day late. I wrote it on September 1, 2020

63 Days…September 1, 1939, Hitler started WWII by invading Poland. This was six years after Hitler took power, becoming Chancellor of Germany in 1933.

We have a Nazi in the White House:…openly promoting white supremacy and theological government, and ruthless authoritarian rule……openly urging his supporters to act as Hitler’s brown-shirts, promoting their violence……openly promoting a rigged election guaranteeing his reelection, while shamelessly lying and accusing his opposition of exactly what he is doing…… openly defying the Constitution, the Congress, and the Supreme Court……openly destroying the American economy for all but the wealthy and the favored……openly destroying the environment for the benefit of the wealthy and those who pander to him……openly turning away from our allies of generations to join the ranks of Putin and other dictators……openly killing thousands upon thousands of Americans through incompetence and plain sociopathic cruelty……openly psychotic.

If this American monster gets a second term, those who vote for him and empower him will be among the first to say, in the aftermath, in the remnants, “But I didn’t know.” These people must never be allowed that excuse. They know exactly what they are doing.

America is facing its greatest crisis since the Civil War. The hate of racism and white supremacy, the dementia of blind nationalism, the greed of the wealthiest, and the minority who embrace twisted religious cultism, have come together in an assault on the Constitution and every good and positive and progressive quality that America is supposed to stand for. Nazis parade, armed and threatening, in our streets. White nationalists create mayhem and commit murder in the midst of peaceful protests. These low-life nation destroyers have the support of the very man who is supposed to speak for all of us, but aligns himself with only the most egregious few.

The greediest and wealthiest among us support this criminality and the destruction of our environment in order to increase their wealth, while half, or more, of working Americans cannot afford a house or even a decent apartment rental. While those working Americans go bankrupt trying to pay outrageous medical and pharmaceutical bills. Millions of Americans face the destruction of the Social Security and Medicare they depend on for their very lives.

All of these users and abusers are being encouraged, and led, by a man of such small mind, such evil intent and lack of any kind of morality, that he could qualify as the anti-Christ. This demon nourishes and empowers the demonic instincts, the pettiness, selfishness, blind hatred and violent criminal impulses of the smallest minds among us. The greater America, the sane and thoughtful American majority, must stand up at the ballot box and stop this segment—yes, they are deplorable with a capital D— and the psychotic gangster who both seduces and feeds off of them. Otherwise our democracy, and every decent quality our flag stands for, including our very freedom, will be ground into dust and blood before this is over.

It IS happening here, just as it happened in Germany when a supposedly intelligent and thoughtful populace sold their souls to Adolf Hitler. We have 63 days.

 

Does that word mean what you think it means?

Facebook post 06122020

There is a word, a pretty important word, that I think needs clarification. Even Donald Trump uses it, as a slam against the left, because it’s an accusation that the left regularly uses against the right. The word is bigotry, and both sides are correct in accusing the other side. But it’s deceptive. You see, when you look up bigotry, the simple definition of it as provided by Merriam-Webster is “obstinate or intolerant devotion to one’s own opinions and prejudices.”

So when you’re accusing somebody of being a bigot, you need to delve a little deeper and specify what kind of bigotry you’re talking about. What are the opinions and prejudices that you are accusing them of? Let’s do that.

The bigotry of the right is devotion to authoritarianism, racism, sexism, hatred of homosexuals, bisexuals, transsexuals, and in short in a kind of sexual they don’t personally approve of. The bigotry of the right is support of white supremacy, and intolerance of anyone who does not believe religiously as they do.

The bigotry of the left, conversely, is rejection of all of the above. Or to put it another way, the bigotry of the right is based upon hatred and intolerance because of who you are, while that of the left is based on how the right behaves, and its refusal to acknowledge the basic universal and constitutional principle that all men, and women, are created equal.

The bigotry of the left insists on separation of church and state, and this is in line with the founding fathers. The bigotry on the right, meanwhile, insists on combining church and state, and is adamant that that their personal religion be the church of choice.

The bigotry of the left calls for the love of all people, while the bigotry of the right calls for the love only of those of whom they approve.

The bigots on the left believe that every citizen working a full-time job is entitled to a living wage, one that allows them to plan for retirement, affordable health care, and affordable higher education. The bigots on the right believe the exact opposite, as proven not by their words and protestations, but by their actions.

You see how this works, then. The question we’re dealing with, is not bigotry per se, but the principles and beliefs upon which each side’s bigotry is founded.

I hope I have provided some clarity. As for myself, I happily admit to being bigoted. And I will take the bigotry of the left over that of the right every second of every minute of every day.

Short Story- THE HUNT

This is a story I wrote awhile back, before Donald Trump and his Interior Department head, Ryan Zinke, filled Wildlife Protection Board with animal murderers, the only possible description of people who kill animals for enjoyment and trophies.

The Hunt

It was a small clearing in a not very large valley in a medium-sized forest. A trifling stream ran through it on one side, not quite in the middle. The setting sun calmed some of the sounds of the forest, awakened others. The residents began to settle in for the night. A bird trilled from the branch of an oak, saying goodnight perhaps. Another answered. The waters of the modest stream flowed quietly, gently bubbling around a large rock here and there without disturbing the fish that swam lazily just beneath the surface. The peaceful clearing in the forest preserve could have inspired a Disney film.

Hunting was illegal, forbidden within this place. The life here had no need to fear man. But there were always humans who did not concern themselves with such things as laws and rules, those who considered hunting a God given right and the laws an “…unfair infringement” on their fondness of hunting and killing.

At this twilight, the hunters blended into their surroundings on the small hill, watching. They wore camouflage fatigues, moved slowly and quietly, all but impossible to see or hear in the deepening twilight. The taller one lay nearly motionless, watching the small clearing a hundred meters away. The shorter one crouched easily, a meter to his right.

The night vision scopes on their rifles didn’t quite turn the deepening darkness into daylight, but brightened the sleeping forest enough for the two to see easily. The newest generation of scopes showed the scene in color instead of monochromatic shades of green and black.

“Got something.” the tall one whispered. into his throat mic. “Three o’clock. one buck, one doe. Wait one, got a third one, fawn following the mom. ”

“Copy,” the shorter one replied. “I have them too.”

The hunters watched as the three deer paused just inside the clearing, stood very still and looked around, the buck in the lead. Through his scope the hunters lying prone watched them listen and sniff the air. The adults exchanged a look. Then, satisfied there was no threat, the family moved forward, toward the stream. The two adults kept the fawn between them. Smart, thought the tall hunter. But the animals’ caution would prove defenseless against the killing technology the hunters possessed.

“Our two friends are stirring,” the shorter hunter whispered. ”

The tall one lifted the barrel of his rifle minutely to reacquire the area on the opposite hill. His scope showed him the other two hunters clearly. He and his partner had watched them arrive, prepare their position, and settle in to watch. The small, peaceful, supposedly safe clearing had since been under the observation of all four predators. The others also wore camouflage, and made little movement. They were practiced, experienced. Now they were carefully, quietly changing their positions slightly, excited at the arrival of the prey but disciplined.

“They’re anxious,” the tall one whispered. “They’re going to take their shots when Bambi and his folks are drinking.”

“We’ll beat them to it. Early bird gets the worms.”

The family of deer moved to the stream, unaware of the human killers on either side of them. Though the deer were accustomed to the safety within this forest, the male might have sensed something. He paused again, raised his head to listen and sniff the air. Whatever had made him cautious was insufficient to create flight. He bent to drink from the cool, flowing water. The female and fawn followed suit.

Now all three of the animals were drinking. The muted music of the stream and the act of drinking kept them unaware of the minor movements of the hunters. The four predators took a breath and let it out slowly, adjusting their rifles to settle the crosshairs of their powerful scopes on their targets. The buck and doe would die first, then the fawn.

The male and female deer looked up suddenly at the sound of two sharp coughs on the hillside above them. They examined the forest, listening intently. For a long moment they stood like that, then looked at each other, before turning back to the stream. The fawn had raised his head only briefly.

Just as the deer examined their surroundings, so did the hunters. They kept their scopes centered on their targets longer than the deer had taken to examine the slopes. They knew they didn’t have to look at the bodies on the far hillside that long. Both shots had been clean, precision shots through the exposed foreheads. But the Guardians were professionals. They left nothing to chance. They watched through their scopes for a full sixty seconds before turning to look at each other for the first time in over an hour. The taller one sat up carefully so as not to spook the deer. His shorter partner sat beside him.

“You’d think they would learn,” the man said quietly. The woman shook her head.

“I doubt it. I don’t think we’ll ever run out of people who get their thrills from killing animals that can’t fight back. Makes them feel like they’re some kind of big stuff, important somehow. That’s why we have the program. Fines and jail time do no good. Someone always thinks they won’t get caught.”

The man nodded.

“Well, nobody can say they weren’t warned. Signs all over the place. Media announcements. No hunting, no warnings, deadly force, the whole nine yards.”

The two of them sat quietly with their thoughts for several moments. The family of deer turned and left the clearing the same way they had entered. The hunters watched them go.

” Did those shots sound a little on the loud side to you?” the man asked.

“Yeah, they did,” the woman said. We need to ask for a couple of the newer silencers.”

“Good idea,” the man said. He picked up his radio to report the kills..

# # #

 

How Much Trouble?

I recently saw an opinion piece musing whether Americans know how much trouble they’re in. Read on. This is how much. I read this morning that Nancy Pelosi, who is reluctant to impeach, appears all-in on issuing contempt citations to Trump’s people who do not comply with subpoenas. Sounds good, right?  Yay. Go, Nancy. Rah rah rah.

But wait a minute. I managed to control my enthusiasm and stop doing cartwheels long enough to look up just how that whole contempt of Congress thing works. I needed to read this article about contempt of Congress in Wikipedia twice to be sure I understood it.

How the House enforces a contempt citation, From Wikipedia:

“Following a contempt citation, the presiding officer of the chamber is instructed to refer the matter to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia;[15] according to the law it is the “duty” of the U.S. Attorney to refer the matter to a grand jury for action. However, while the law places the duty on the U.S. Attorney to impanel a grand jury for action, some proponents of the unitary executive theory argue that the Congress cannot properly compel the U.S. Attorney to take this action against the Executive Branch, asserting that the U.S. Attorney is a member of the Executive Branch who ultimately reports only to the President and that compelling the U.S. Attorney amounts to compelling the President[citation needed]. They argue that to allow Congress to force the President to take action against a subordinate following his directives would be a violation of the separation of powers and infringe on the power of the Executive branch. The legal basis for this position, they contend, can be found in Federalist 49, in which James Madison wrote “The several departments being perfectly co-ordinate by the terms of their common commission, none of them, it is evident, can pretend to an exclusive or superior right of settling the boundaries between their respective powers.” This approach to government is commonly known as “departmentalism” or “coordinate construction”.[citation needed]
Others argue that Article II of the Constitution requires the President to execute the law, such law being what the lawmaker (e.g. Congress, in the case of statutory contempt) says it is (per Article I). The Executive Branch cannot either define the meaning of the law (such powers of legislation being reserved to Congress) or interpret the law (such powers being reserved to the several Federal Courts). They argue that any attempt by the Executive to define or interpret the law would be a violation of the separation of powers; the Executive may only—and is obligated to—execute the law consistent with its definition and interpretation; and if the law specifies a duty on one of the President’s subordinates, then the President must “take care” to see that the duty specified in the law is executed. To avoid or neglect the performance of this duty would not be faithful execution of the law, and would thus be a violation of the separation of powers, which the Congress and the Courts have several options to remedy.
The criminal offense of “contempt of Congress” sets the penalty at not less than one month nor more than twelve months in jail and a fine of not more than $100,000.[16]”

So the bottom line is that if Congress holds any of these people in contempt, they must instruct the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia to convene a Grand Jury.
*Guess who the U.S. Attorney works for? Righhht.
*Guess who is ultimately responsible for making the U.S. Attorney do this? Righhht again.
So the House tells the U.S. Attorney to convene a Grand Jury. But that individual works for Donald Trump. The task of making it happen, or not happen, ultimately rests with Donald Trump.

The further we are dragged down this road into full fledged fascism—and extreme lunatic theocracy—the more I realize that the founding fathers, in twisting themselves into pretzels trying to ensure that no branch of the government trilogy ‘had an unfair advantage’ over the other two, created instead an almost perfect recipe for a person exactly like Donald Trump, with the Senate in his pocket, to become a dictator while the House dithers and scrambles about mice in a maze without an exit.

In order to get the money to build their houses, the three little pigs had to float a loan from the wolf.

How much trouble are we in? As many of us have long been saying, one whole hell of a lot.

# # #

House Majority Leader threatening to hold all Trump allies who defy subpoenas in contempt of Congress: ‘This is a huge cover-up’

 

Thank you Nancy Pelosi — NOT

Like it or not, the simple fact is that Donald Trump is proving Congress to be as impotent as a eunuch. You’ve probably already read, or heard, that now he has ordered Hope Hicks not to turn over documents to Congressional investigators, even though, as one legal expert said, he has no authority to do so since she no longer works for him.
     So far—and this is only a sampling—Trump has refused to show his tax returns, refused to conform to the emoluments clause, made every possible attempt to obstruct the Mueller investigation, lied to Congress (and the people) time after time after time, refused to obey subpoenas and told everyone in the administration to do the same thing, kidnapped thousands of children, favored foreign dictators over the American people, etc.
     The Senate, of course, is controlled by the Republican party, which has sold any genuine morality it ever possessed in order to genuflect for Trump. But what about the House of Representatives, now under Democrat control?
     It turns out that Nancy Pelosi is the fly in Sam Houston’s buttermilk.  After standing up to Trump about funding for his wall, she has become indecisive and—something we would never see from her—frightful. She is afraid to impeach. Whereas Mitch McConnell runs the Senate like a son of Heinrich Himmler, Pelosi wrings her hands and tries to say meaningful things while not allowing the House to take any concrete action about Trump’s multitudinous dictatorial acts. Day by day she behaves less like the leader of the very body which is supposed to provide oversight on the Executive, and more, much more, like Margaret Mitchell’s Melodie Hamilton.
     I and many others have said before, here and everywhere we can raise our voices, that Donald Trump is leading the United States straight down the road to a full fledged fascistic dictatorship, ala Adolf Hitler. The Republican party is riding his coattails in hopes of achieving what is, in effect, a coup. Look at McConnell’s iron fisted patently immoral manipulation of the entire legislative process in the name of stacking every federal court possible, not just with Republicans, but with conservatives so far to the right, both politically and religiously, that they qualify as cultists.
     Seventy-five percent of America fidgets. We scream and wring our hands while Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic House cower behind procedure and fear of making a misstep.  We the people are left bemoan the loss of liberties and basic rights, one by one, group by group: LGBTQ Americans because they “are different;” progressives and the ‘educated elite,’ because they are the dreaded “socialists,” Christians who don’t believe the same demented way as evangelicals; anyone who would threaten the greedy power mongers.
     But short of armed revolution, that seventy-five percent is helpless, dependent on the separation of powers which the forefathers built into the Constitution but didn’t build well enough. Seventy-five percent of America is steadily slipping under the jackboots of Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell, and the rabid minority made up of religious and social cultists and corporate controlled rapscallion Republicans no longer possessing any moral compass.
     The 25% is winning, and turning America into a fascist regime shaped by theocratic lunatics and greedy oligarchs, one of whom defiles the highest seat in government just as Hitler once did in Germany. The election of 2020 is too far away and too tenuous. If the collapse of our Republic isn’t already complete by then, it surely will be a certainty if Trump cheats his way into re-election.
     And why shouldn’t he? The system of checks and balances intended to prevent what we are seeing has so far proven completely ineffective. He lies, and defies anyone to do anything about it. He breaks the law, and dares anyone to stop him. He kidnaps children and says “So what.” And he gets away with it. Every. Time. Because half of the legislature is in on the takeover, and the other half is afraid.
     The Republic is falling, and it is as much the fault of the cowardly defenders as of the aggressors. If we are waiting for the Nancy Pelosi led Democratic House to save us, we might as well start shopping for white flags.

Abortion, Don Trump, & Me vs. the Right

   I need to clarify something.  I frequently tell right-wingers that they cannot escape responsibility for supporting Donald Trump by saying they voted for him for this reason or that reason, but don’t agree with every awful thing he does. This brings me to abortion, and my views on it.
   Abortion, and to a lesser degree birth control, are two very key reasons a lot of religious conservatives voted against Hillary Clinton and not actually ‘for’ Donald Trump, they say. I tell them “When you vote for a person, you vote to accept all that they are, and all that they represent. You have responsibility for their actions whether you want to accept it or not.” I stand by that. So I feel the need to be clear about my stance on abortion vis-à-vis my vote for progressive candidates..
  I believe that a woman’s body is her own, but that she has certain responsibilities in how she uses it in regard to her amazing facility to create life. I believe the same about men. Clearly, it’s much more complicated for women, because men cannot conceive. They do, however, provide half of the conception formula.  Sadly, a man who doesn’t care about his responsibility can walk away from the consequences of his actions.
   It’s a much heavier responsibility for women because they can’t just walk away. I understand that. Here are my core beliefs.
   1.  I do not believe in abortion for convenience. Abortion is
not acceptable to me as an alternative to exercising responsibility. Don’t tell me you forgot, you were just so overwhelmed by passion you (male & female both) couldn’t control yourself. If you have that little self-control, perhaps you shouldn’t live around other people.
   1a  I understand there is now, or soon will be, an effective ‘morning after’ pill for such situations. By all means, use it.
   2.  I believe in birth control, birth control, birth control. Don’t even try to preach to me against abortion and birth control at the same time. Sexual attraction is one of the most intense connections between people. If you deny both abortion and birth control, you are irresponsible and naïve. And don’t get me started, here, about how important birth control is world-wide, as humans continue to multiply and multiply. Guppies beware.
   3.  I believe in abortion in instances of rape, incest, and when the mother’s live is in danger. In these cases, the final decision MUST rest with the woman.
   3a  I confess I have no clear thoughts of how to proceed re cases in which the child is going to be born severely deformed and/or disabled. I can say this. This decision, again, must be made by the woman, and I hope with much loving, compassionate counseling.
   4.  I believe in Planned Parenthood. Every statistic shows that abortion, and deaths from abortion, are much lower thanks to Planned Parenthood.
   5.  Keep religion out of it. If you can’t make a good moral, responsible, constructive decision on your own, without looking at what some local community “prophet” claimed was “God’s law” two thousand years ago, I’m not sure I trust you to go for pizza. I believe in God (Goddess, Creator, the Force, however we refer to it). But I do not ascribe to neatly packaged ‘religions’ that love, above all, to proclaim that ‘their’ view of God is the only one. I think we are supposed to learn, to be responsible toward each other, the other life with which we share this incredible planet, and the planet itself, without passing the buck to page 71, or chapter 28, or verse 8 in paragraph 16 of section 49, etc. If we can’t practice decent morality and responsible and stewardship and kindness because it is in our heart, we are already lost.
   Summary:  Abortion for convenience, no, I don’t like that.
   Birth control, and Planned Parenthood, yes and yes and yes and yes again. Abortion when the mother’s life is in danger, or the child may be born severely disabled, has to be totally up to the woman. Competent, compassionate (as opposed to brow beating and bullying and religious book thumping) is vital.
   If you disagree, fine. That is your prerogative. But if you think your feeling on this particular issue justifies your support of a criminal, corrupt, authoritarian, anti-Constitution fascist Hitler wanna-be, of neo-Nazism, anti-immigration white supremacy racists, of a sick “nationalism” that spawned both World Wars, of treating women as second class citizens and virtual serfs,  of total disregard for the very air we breathe and water we drink and animal life with which we share this place, I probably wasted my time here, starting with “I need to clarify…”
   I think I can justify my feelings about abortion in the framework of how I vote, and still hold you responsible for your support of a man who is all of the above.

8 Points: Free Market Capitalism

Donald Trump has doubled down on his statement that American wages are too high. Here are 8 points about free market capitalism that I think you need to understand.
 
This view of Donald Trump’s actually represents the corporate view and Republican philosophy of economy. Some points, as briefly as I can phrase them.
The job of a teacher is to inform, explain, and clarify. That’s what I’m doing here. I have to believe that there are vast numbers of Americans who voted for Trump, who have for years voted for Republicans, who, if they understand how all of this really works, would cross the street,
instead of continuing to elect the very people who hold them down and
think no more of them than the cost of the office coffee maker.
 
1. Trickle down economics are INTENDED to benefit the wealthy, the
     largest investors because they “create jobs.” Any benefit to the
     average worker is purely incidental.
2. The amount that trickles down is left to the discretion of these
     wealthy, large investors.
3.  One of the most fundamental business philosophies since, well,
     since there has been business, is that LABOR is a COST, to be
     controlled and held to the lowest level possible in order to maximize
     profit. In fact, it’s generally regarded as one of the MOST controllable
     costs.
4.  As competition from other countries rose during the 1990’s and the
    21st century, these large, wealthy investors and the companies they
    control saw that their only way to compete with countries whose labor
    forces made much less than American workers, WITHOUT
     LOWERING THEIR PROFIT, was to pay American  workers less as
    well. If they could pay a dollar an hour, they’d happily do so.
5. Republican philosophy has ALWAYS been based on points 1-4. It has
    also ALWAYS been based on pay your own way without assistance,
    and the government should have no part in helping you. Theirs is a
    fully Darwinian philosophy. Only those who can keep up, on their own
    without assistance, DESERVE to continue. Those who can’t,
    regardless of whatever may prevent them from doing so—loss of their
    income due to technology or shifting markets, health emergencies,
    business downsizing, etc., are not the problem or responsibility of the
    society or the government. If they starve, they starve. If they die of
    illness because they can’t afford treatment, they die.
6. It all boils down to one thing and one thing only: Provide profits. It’s
    ALL about feeding the profits. It has ALWAYS BEEN about feeding
    the profits of the wealthiest. If you don’t believe me, you have not
    been paying attention.
7. Donald Trump’s belief that wages are too high is an expression of
    common corporate—and REPUBLICAN— belief that American
    workers at the employee level have no right to any wage other than
    what businesses wish to pay them.
8. It is the full expectation of the corporate, and Republican mind, that
    the employee class should be satisfied and happy with whatever they
    are given, and no matter how small the wage or how high the costs
    living, provide for their family and education and retirement.
 
It’s worth noting that this philosophy has always been the #1 feature of free market capitalism. It is also the #1 NEGATIVE feature . Why did the Republicans, starting with Reagan, start embark on a campaign to destroy unions? Because unions benefit the common worker, and in doing so, reduce profits. Minimum wages, livable wages, health care benefits (which are necessary because of the “pay as little as possible” rule of business), pensions…all of these things lower profit. In a free
market capitalist society, there is NO bigger sin.
 
 
Final note: This isn’t Marxist stuff. This isn’t dreaded Socialistic ravings. It is, simply and factually, a description of how free markets and capitalism work. This is also why it is the responsibility and necessity of a democratic, capitalistic, free market government like ours, to step in and ensure that the working class, which makes up the VAST majority of American citizens, and not victimized by the richest (the 2%) as they expand their own wealth. This isn’t Socialism. This is Socially
Responsible Government.