They Walk Among Us

Thomas Edward Caldwell, age 65, from Berryville, Virginia, is a U.S. Navy veteran.  Caldwell, once a lieutenant commander in the Navy, also had a top-secret security clearance and served as a section chief for the FBI after leaving the armed forces in 2009.  After leaving the FBI, Caldwell founded a consulting firm that has done business with the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Coast Guard and the Army Personnel Command.

Thomas Edward Caldwell has now been indicted on federal conspiracy and other charges in connection with the January 6th attack on the U.S. Congress and U.S. Capitol.  As a member of the right-wing group calling themselves the “Oath Keepers”, Caldwell was involved in planning and coordinating the attack on the Capitol.  On social media, in the days leading up to that fateful day, Caldwell reached out to another right-wing group known as the “Three Percenters”, in order to arrange plans to “transport weapons across the Potomac by boat.”

On January 1st, Caldwell wrote on Facebook …

“I swore to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic. I did the former, I have done the latter peacefully but they have morphed into pure evil even blatantly rigging an election and paying off the political caste. We must smite them now and drive them down.”

During the attack on the Capitol, Caldwell received a text message from a cohort saying …

“All members are in the tunnels under capital seal them in. Turn on gas.”

And later that evening, after the National Guard had secured the Capitol, Caldwell sent a Facebook message to another cohort, saying …

“We need to do this at the local level. Lets storm the capitol in Ohio. Tell me when!”

This gave me chills.  Yes, it’s been over a month ago, and yes, we now have a President, with a capital ‘P’, and yes, over 230 of the perpetrators of that monstrous event have been arrested and charged with a variety of crimes.  But some roam free on bond, and … let’s face it folks, the 230+ who have been arrested are a drop in the bucket.  There are more people out there with these warped notions and diabolical intentions.

Dawn Bancroft is 58 years old and lives in Doylestown, Pennsylvania where she owns a gym.  She, too, was part of the attack on the Capitol, and her words are as chilling as Caldwell’s, perhaps more so …

“We were looking for Nancy to shoot her in the friggin’ brain but we didn’t find her.”

They walk among us, my friends.  They are the lady who asked you where she could find pizza crust in the grocery store, the man you saw on the corner waiting to cross the busy street, the guy who gave you a friendly smile while he was waiting to pick up his prescription at the pharmacy yesterday.  They don’t, in everyday life, go about half-naked with horns sticking out of their heads so that we can identify them as certifiable nutjobs.  They look and act normal, for the most part.  How many like Caldwell and Bancroft are there in your city?  I’d bet money there are some, probably living within a few miles of you.

What’s my point, you ask?  My point is that in order to deter such future attacks, we must make an example of these people.  We must find as many as possible, and they must be charged, tried, and convicted, then sentenced to the maximum allowed by law, in order to deter any who might be thinking to do the same.  And those like the former guy who inspired and incited these people, must also be charged and punished, preferably with a very long prison sentence.

The people mentioned above are the ones I have often referred to as the snakes that came slithering out from under the rocks when the former guy was campaigning for the 2016 election and basically told them that it is okay to be a racist, that white people, especially white ‘Christian’ people, are superior and have the right to denigrate and even kill ‘others’.  These snakes slithered out from under their rocks, and now they have no intention of going back, of accepting that this is a very diverse world, that Black people are just as deserving as any others, that Muslims are not terrorists, and that LGBT people have the same rights as anybody else.  That is not the world they want, and not one they will readily accept.

I call on every judge and jury in this nation to hold these people accountable for their actions on that day.  I call on the FBI to diligently root out those who remain free, to find them and prosecute them.  These people do not belong in our society … not now, not ever.

I hear there are ‘events’ planned for March 4th, and I can only hope that federal law enforcement agencies are on high alert and far better prepared and more effective at preventing a repeat of what happened on January 6th.  And given that social media has proven to be the venue through which these terrorists communicated and planned their attack, I would have no problem with Facebook, Twitter, and the rest being shut down for several days prior to March 4th.  Freedom of speech?  Sorry, folks … it’s time for some checks on unlimited 1st Amendment ‘rights’, if people do not also accept the responsibility that accompanies those rights.

39 thoughts on “They Walk Among Us

  1. There are times when a state will ask itself is it time to play by the Big Boys and Girls rules.
    These Pro-White terrorists have had a monopoly of aggression and this was because they had a marionette in The Whitehouse. When you are viewing a nation with as much of an investment in Stability and socially has often been at the overall forefront of Equality (Oh yes. Oh yes. Those who don’t believe me need to look beyond the US borders), then there will come that time, when it will let loose its hounds.
    McCarthy in reverse, the rise of The Fundamentalist Liberal set upon Equality, even if it means depriving one section of their Liberty.
    The Alt Right hide from the truth they were in the minority in both elections, they do so at their peril.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Jill, this just came across my feed:
    South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster on Thursday signed a bill into law that would ban nearly all abortions in the state. Abortion-rights advocates say the legislation is the first major abortion restriction passed out of a statehouse in 2021.

    How is this possible now under the new administration, and not during the former guy’s reign? Puzzling.

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        • Facebook is greedy for revenue, Trump was their huge cash cow. Did you know ad revenue declined dramatically ever since Trump leaving office? Mainstream media as well as social media platforms are losing viewer participation by the millions. I guess return to normalcy is bad for big business. 😉

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    • Well, it’s possible because states don’t need Biden’s approval for such a bill. However, since the bill is illegal, it will be challenged in the courts, and may eventually work its way to the Supreme Court, which was likely the full intent of the bill to begin with. It could provide the case that would give the conservative Court the opportunity to overturn Roe v Wade. And for the record, a few states did pass similar legislation under the former guy, and those are still working their way through the court system. Such bills are illegal and certain to be challenged, for when there is conflict between state laws and federal, federal overrides states in cases such as this.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Everything you say makes perfect sense, but why would South Carolina legislators introduce such a bill now, during Biden’s administration? They must know it’s a snowball’s chance in hell of passing. Must be purely for publicity to rally their ignorant constituents.
        With Biden, boring is good! I’m enjoying this period of relative peace and quiet in the news! Free at last, free from Trump at last! ❤

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    • True, and that is a frightening thought! Why can’t humans simply learn to live in peace? Is it that with all the modern conveniences, they don’t have much to do and are bored, so they dream up ways to stir up some excitement? Sigh.

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  3. Hey, Jill, your Thomas Edward Caldwell is apparently not the only Caldwell to be a MAGAt. You know how on the bottom of a post Word Press suggests other posts that might be related? Well, under this post was one about an Andy Caldwell, a right wing radio host and failed political candidate for some post or other. He sounds about as scary as Thomas Edward, but for different reasons. https://wp.me/pbTPJX-9z
    I agree with patriciaruthsusan that you cannot turn this into yet another witch-hunt. After all, we already know there are over 60 million MAGAts out there, supporters of the ones who actually took part in the Jan. 6 failed coup attempt. They can’t all be prosecuted for crimes, even though they probably wish they could have been there in DC. And you cannot throw them all in jail for extended periods of time. You cannot even put ankle-bracelets on all of them, there are just too many. Some kind of unbrainwashing program seems to be called for, but even if you could deprogram and reprogram 60 million people, is that even ethical to try?
    I do not envy the place America is in right now, nor am I holier-than-thou to think this same problem does not already exist in Canada, England, Germany, or anywhere else in the world. There are iDJiTs everywhere. Racism exists everywhere, and I am not talking only about whites versus blacks.
    The best solution I can see is to start educating children in a way that prevents racist and hate ideas right from the start. No more private schools, public schools in England, anywhere. No more religious schools that teach only biblical tenets. No more non-mixed-race classrooms anywhere. It’s pretty much impossible to save those who already believe they are superior to at least someone else, if not everyone else, but we can stop those ideas being spread through future generations. And, in my mind, whatever we humans do, we have to start from the earliest possible starting point. Normalize diversity. That is the best weapon we have against hatred of any kind.
    (And if that means denuclearizing the family, as I have talked about in the past, then make it so. Nuclear families have their pluses, but in reality, they have way more minuses.)

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  4. It’s okay to be somewhat suspicious and I’m sure the present FBI is working in the background as many have been searched out and are receiving punishment, but I’m older than you and vividly remember the infamous McCarthy hearings shown on TV. They were shameless and people saw communists in their soup. The Goldbergs were executed in the electric chair. Yes, they deserved punishment, but “the electric chair”. Many innocent writers and actors couldn’t get work because others in the motion picture business said they suspected they were communists. Finally, McCarthy was called out as the showboater he was, shamed right on TV, and lost his lofty perch. I don’t want to see that happen again either. Take a deep breath, Jill, and leave the searching out and accusing to the FBI and other government agencies. —- Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

    • Not to disagree with you, Suz, but can the FBI be assumed to be better than any McCarthyite?
      This is a very difficult time for me, I do not believe in prison because prisons exist as pure punishment, despite some might say they are there to help reform criminals. No, people who believe in prisons want to punish those who break laws, even stupid, outdated laws. I hope they never get themselves caught breaking a law, stupid or not, outdated or not. But most normal criminals are are victims of the society they grow up in. That doesn’t make them any less guilty, but it does ameliorate the circumstances, and make them at least possible candidates for re-education. Such people do not belong in jail, and I will fight for them to my death.
      But the people Jill is talking about, they are not victims of society in general, but more so victims of their own parents, and victims of their own refusal to face facts. Such people as these cannot be re-educated, they believe what they want to believe. My dilemma is what to do with them. I cannot believe in no prison punishment for some without no prison punishment for all. Prison is cruel and unusual. Nor can we do like Brits of old, and ship them all off to a penal colony now called Australia. Russia ships their criminal class to Siberia, where living conditions are brutish to say the least. The only place Americans have left to ship a criminal class to is Antarctica, which is not an American territory, and is more brutish than Siberia. So what is to be done with the MAGAts? Right now, I don’t know. But I still do not believe pure punishment is effective in preventing crime, and nor do I trust anyone to not have ulterior motives no one else can see or anticipate. Anyone can have a secret agenda. No one can be trusted to not act out of pure intentions.

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      • I understand what you’re saying, Rawgod. Prisons of various types–with the exception of white-collar, country club types–are not good places. I don’t think drug addicts belong in them. I also don’t think mentally ill people belong in them. I certainly don’t believe in capital punishment as it’s really unfair. Prisons are especially bad now that Covid19 is spreading like wildfire in them. You hit on the problem, though. Where are you going to put people who don’t get along in an open society and cause danger to the innocent, and even to themselves? I’m afraid that the problems of horrible prisons and getting much better care for the mentally ill are going to be like a weighty problem for us for way too long a time. —- Suzanne

        Liked by 1 person

        • Can we really wait to act on a weighty problem like horrible prisons? I know we are going to wait, but for the sake of the living beings stuck in those prisons, we are abdicating our responsibilities to beings not ourselves.
          I have not been in prisons as such, but I have been in jails, 50 years ago when they were not as bad as they are now, and they were unliveable places even then. My criminal career, read breaker of stupid laws, did not end directly I got out-of jail, but continued on for some years before I chose to give it up, the big difference being that I learned how not to get caught. It was not jail that taught me to go straight, and it did not instill me with the fear of going back, it just made me break the laws more intelligently.
          What made me stop being a criminal was realizing I was potentially hurting others by the things I was doing, and I was learning that hurting others was not the kind of person I want to be.
          I don’t know if this makes any sense, but it speaks to the fact shame and punishment, things applied after deeds are done, are not good teachers. Respect and responsibility are good teachers, and they help prevent the doing of harmful deeds.
          Unfortunately the major religions of the world taught us to demand an eye for an eye and therefore punishment. Puritanical religions, which is what the USA and Canada were very much based on, taught us to shame or be shamed. This is where our societies went wrong. We demand punishment for wrong-doers, first by deciding what the wrongs are, second by withholding our love from the people we feel are harming our society. People, especially those who grew up without love, or with a wrong kind of love, will not be changed by shame and punishment, but they will be changed by love.
          Pychopaths, sociopaths, murderers, rapists, con men, these are people that probably cannot be changed by love, respect, or being shown how to be responsible. But even they need different kinds of help. Punishment just doesn’t cut it.
          That brings us to the Trump cultists, the white supremacists, racists, over-zealous religionists who believe there is only one right way to live–their way–the brainwashed, etc. How do we reach them? We cannot just be judges and executioners, we need to be role-models, I hesitate to say teachers, but implementers of different ways of being, offering less contentious ways of life.
          Oh, I do ramble on so. I apologize. But I feel so strongly we need to change our approach to how we handle non-conformists while being non-conformists ourselves. I an nothing if not a non-conformist.

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        • You make excellent points, Suzanne, especially “where are you going to put people who don’t get along in an open society and cause danger to the innocent …” That’s just it … if there is another solution, I sure don’t know what it is.

          Liked by 1 person

    • I agree that the McCarthy hearings were horrible and tragic (I don’t remember in person, but have studied them in depth). I don’t see this turning into the witch hunt that McCarthyism was, however, for there is a genuine threat here and it is a threat to our very lives, not some elusive concept. We’ve seen the results, now we must figure out how to ensure it doesn’t become the norm. Obviously, I’m not doing the searching, but I will continue to keep this in the forefront of our minds, and demand that the FBI and other law enforcement agencies find these terrorists, and that the courts make sure they are removed from society, that they pay the price for their actions.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think we stand a “much” better chance of an improved Justice Department under President Biden. It was so politicized under Trump it was becoming unrecognizable. The FBI seems to be making real headway in finding guilty parties involved in the January 6th attacks. It may take a while as there are so many crazies around, but I have more hope now. As you know, I’m always right about these things. 😀 — Suzanne

        Liked by 1 person

        • I think so too. His nominee for Attorney General, Merrick Garland, is scheduled for confirmation hearings Monday and Tuesday, and a vote will likely be taken on March 1st. I think he will just as nearly the perfect choice as we could ever hope for, and my fingers are crossed there will be bipartisan approval. And yes, dear friend, I do know you are always right about such things! 😉

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Unfortunately true. They are there and possibly the only way to start identifying them is that they probably won’t be wearing masks. Yes, I accept there will be plenty of non-terrorist non-mask wearers but they’re still people prepared t make others ill because they believe the same loony conspiracy theories as the terrorists, so, they may be associated.I wish you luck in catching as many as possible and jailing them. What they did to the policemen on duty tells you what they may have done if they’d have got any Democrat members of Congress or the previous VP Mike Pence, they certainly threatened it and were in the mood to do it. To jail and throw away the key.
    Cwtch.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re right about that … they won’t allow their ‘rights’ to be trampled by being forced to do something that could save lives, including their own. I don’t know what the answer is, how we teach people to use their brains, to understand that the wild conspiracy theories are all lies. The only way I can think of at the moment is to make a very harsh example of those who were involved in the January 6th attack, but admittedly that could backfire. Sigh. I read today that something like 20 Capitol Police officers have been suspended from duty for their actions that day … doesn’t give us much of a feeling of confidence, does it?
      Cwtch

      Liked by 1 person

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