Why do we protect and serve?

I first began to realize just how many in this nation are blatant racists when President Obama became the first African-American President, and everything that has happened since has reinforced the truth that this is very much a nation driven by racial hatred. I will have more to say on that soon, but for today, our friend Brosephus has written a post about Wednesday’s events that I believe is relevant to the topic of how racism has been fueled and how it ultimately led to the events of last Wednesday. Thank you, Brosephus, for this very thoughtful and thought-provoking post.

The Mind of Brosephus

 This was one hell of a week, right? I started this week off on a high, first enjoying the cockpit of a Gulfstream G7 (technically Gulfstream G700), a private jet with a starting price tag of $75 million give or take. That same night, I spent some time chatting with some Air Force guys responsible for shuttling around the presidential motorcade.

Gulfstream G700 cockpit via Gulfstream and not the actual one I got to see

After that night, my wife and I had a date morning where we cast our Georgia Senate run-off votes for eventual winners Senators-elect Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock. Seems like that string of good fortune ran out when we didn’t hit a single number in the Mega Millions lottery drawing.

Like millions of other Americans, I spent Wednesday glued to the news as a gaggle of morons, idiots, conspiracy theorists, and armed terrorists (fuck…

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Snarky Snippets Is Baaaaaaack …

I tried to do something humorous for this morning’s post, for my last several posts have been either rants or introspective critiques and I thought it was time to ‘lighten up’.  However, try as I might, it just didn’t work.  But I had no trouble whatsoever finding my inner snarky self … that is, apparently, the real me!


Censure???

The late Senator John McCain’s wife, Cindy McCain, has been ‘censured’ by the Maricopa County (Arizona) Republican Committee.  Why?  Because of her support for “leftist causes” like gay marriage, larger government and “others that run counter to Republican values.”  And also because she “failed” to support conservative candidates and has “supported globalist policies and candidates,” including Democrats such as President-elect Joe Biden.

Incredible, is it not?  I wasn’t quite sure what, in a case like this where the person being ‘censured’ holds no political office, what it even means to be censured.  Turns out, it means pretty much nothing.  According to Wikipedia …

“Censure is a formal, and public, group condemnation of an individual, often a group member, whose actions run counter to the group’s acceptable standards for individual behavior. … Like a reprimand, a censure does not remove a member from their office so they retain their title, stature, and power to vote.”

In response to the censure, Ms. McCain said on Twitter “I am a proud lifelong Republican and will continue to support candidates who put country over party and stand for the rule of law.”  Like her husband, Ms. McCain is a person of character … much more so than the buffoons who decided to censure her.  This is yet another example of the bigotry that has become the foundation of the Republican Party in the 21st century.


‘Patriot’???

More times than I can count in the past few days, I have heard the domestic terrorists who attacked the Capitol on Wednesday referred to as “patriots”.  Hearing this is like hearing fingernails running across a chalkboard … it sets my teeth on edge.

NOBODY who harms others and attempts to undermine or overthrow their own government can possibly be called a patriot.  Period.  A patriot is somebody who cares enough about their country to defend it against enemies, not someone who blatantly attempts to destroy their country from within!

John McCain was a patriot, President Barack Obama is a patriot, Senator Bobby Kennedy was a patriot, as were Martin Luther King and the late Representative John Lewis.  These thugs …

jerks-1jerks-2jerks-3jerks-4

… are not patriots, they are homegrown, domestic terrorists.  They are racists and homophobes.  They are fools, idiots and buffoons.  They are ignorant rednecks … but they are the furthest thing from a ‘patriot’.

Rather than defend their country, what they did, and what they are still planning to do, is to take away the will of the majority of people in this nation and impose their own brand of anarchy based on bigotry, based on racism and hatred.  No, folks, these are insurgents, they are domestic terrorists, every bit as dangerous as members of al Qaeda, and even less intelligent.  Do not make them heroes … call them what they are … the enemies of the United States.


Idiocy has a price …

In January 2019, Senator Josh Hawley, then 39 years old, took his seat in Congress for the first time as the Senator from Missouri.  It was likely the first and last time.  Hawley wanted to be the maverick, the one who gave voice to Trump’s false claims that the 2020 election was somehow ‘stolen’ from him, was ‘rigged’, and so Hawley made great show of announcing that he would object to the electoral votes last Wednesday when Congress met to formally certify the electoral votes that declared Joe Biden the next president of the United States.

Yep, ol’ Josh was pretty proud of his sycophancy, pleased to be standing up for the voice of the electoral loser, thought he might even overturn the voice of the people.  And when terrorists gathered outside the Capitol building on Wednesday morning, Josh wasn’t concerned, in fact he waved and smiled, even gave them what I’ve come to think of as the Trumpian equivalent of the Nazi salute …

hawley

And then the shit hit the fan.  Those terrorists Josh thought he was bonding with stormed the Capitol building, disrupted the proceedings, caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage, and left 5 people dead.  And Hawley became an overnight pariah.  Former Republican Senator John Danforth, Hawley’s political mentor and a fellow Yale Law School graduate, stated that supporting Hawley in his Senate bid and his prior state attorney general role was the “worst mistake I ever made in my life”.

David Humphreys, who with his mother and sister donated more than $6 million to Hawley’s campaigns, called for Hawley to be censured, having “revealed himself as a political opportunist willing to subvert the Constitution and the ideals of the nation he swore to uphold.”  Hawley has since faced bipartisan calls for his resignation, to which he has responded that he “will never apologize”.  But in all likelihood, his political career is as dead as the fish we had for dinner last night.

Apparently ol’ Josh had written a book … “The Tyranny of Big Tech” … that was scheduled to be published in June by Simon & Schuster.  That has since been canceled, according to Simon & Schuster …

“We did not come to this decision lightly.  As a publisher it will always be our mission to amplify a variety of voices and viewpoints: At the same time we take seriously our larger public responsibility as citizens, and cannot support Senator Hawley after his role in what became a dangerous threat.”

Fortunately for him, Hawley’s net worth is estimated at $1.1 million, so he won’t have to worry about finding a job as a dishwasher or truck driver anytime soon.

It’s Not Over Yet …

Three days ago, Trump supporters stormed the Capital building in Washington, destroyed public property, and caused the deaths of five people.  They were a mob, they fit every definition of domestic terrorists.  A few were arrested, and dozens more have since been identified and arrested, including the jerk who so proudly posed for a photo with his feet on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s desk.  Many have lost their jobs, as their employers saw their pictures or were informed of their unconscionable acts.  However, Wednesday was not the end, the movement has not been stopped or even slowed by the public condemnation or the relatively few arrests.

Yesterday’s headline …

terrorism

According to the article

Parler, Telegram chat rooms and the platform TheDonald.win were all used to plan and coordinate the Jan. 6 rally that turned into a riot. Posters explicitly stated their intentions to “occupy” the Capitol. QAnon conspiracy theorists and people associated with militia groups had a visible presence in Wednesday’s crowd.

“Round 2 on January 20th. This time no mercy. I don’t even care about keeping Trump in power. I care about war,” an anonymous person posted on the platform TheDonald.win, which is filled with comments posted by people who lauded those who rioted Wednesday as “heroes.”

Law enforcement is scrambling to identify those who broke into the Capitol building, and are worried about the inauguration as another target.

“There is growing concern that violent extremists are emboldened by the breach of the Capitol, which means the clock is ticking on taking down the most influential incites of violence before they act again,” said Frank Figliuzzi, former FBI assistant director and NBC News national security analyst.

The Secret Service, which is supervising security for the inauguration, could not immediately be reached for comment. The Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the Secret Service, referred NBC News to the Secret Service.

According the National Park Service, which handles permits for rallies in D.C., there are seven First Amendment permit applications in process that overlap with the inauguration date, one of which is clearly for Trump supporters.

Over the years, I have often argued that the time has come to put some limitations on the First Amendment right to free speech.  Every ‘right’ comes with an associated responsibility, in this case the responsibility to act peacefully.  Those who would come to Washington to do harm, to kill and destroy, are taking their ‘right’ to free speech several steps too far and must be stopped within the next 11 days, else the eagerly anticipated inauguration day will become a bloodbath and the start of an internal war in this nation.

My first question is, if the organizers of Wednesdays riots were communicating their plans on the aforementioned websites, then the FBI and Department of Homeland Security surely knew of their plans, so why wasn’t there a heavy law enforcement presence surrounding the Capitol, rather than only a handful of Capitol Police, some of whom were actually seen helping the terrorist enter the building?  This is a question that MUST be answered … immediately!  Did Donald Trump somehow interfere or stop law enforcement from interrupting the plans of the terrorists?  Is the leadership in our security forces as corrupt as that at the head of our government?  We need to know, and somehow the plans for Joe Biden’s inauguration must be changed, must be made as secure and as private as possible.

If our own security forces have been compromised, as I believe may be the case, then who can we turn to for help?  I’ve lived on this earth for 69, almost 70 years now, and I’ve learned that fear is immobilizing, better to be angry than afraid.  And I am angry, but today I am also afraid.  I am afraid that in less than two weeks, this nation may be shattered like the windows of the Capitol were on Wednesday.  I’m afraid that our government is no longer functional, can no longer maintain a nation of law and order.  In fact, it would seem that many within our government are a part of the movement that seeks to overthrow it.

There are many who must share the blame for what happened Wednesday and what may yet happen in the coming two weeks, but the time for blame and punishment will come later.  Right now, it is time to work to ensure the safety of the incoming administration, of our lawmakers, and of the people of this nation.

For some time now, I have hoped that this nation could be reconciled, that the Great Divide between right and left could somehow begin to heal, but today I see no common ground to work with.  In my book, those who would destroy this nation with their racist, bigoted views are not of the same species as the rest of us and I think this nation may well be beyond repair.

Wiser Words Than Mine

I find myself tonight in a strange place, a place where I can find no words.  I have much I would like to say, but I cannot get the words to move from my brain to my fingers.  My head and heart are still reeling from the dark chasm into which I was forced to look on Wednesday, and when I try to write my thoughts, no words will come.

Fortunately, not everyone has been struck silent in the wake of Wednesday’s terrible tragedy, and New York Times columnist David Brooks has written my post for me tonight, far better than I could have done even were I at my best.


This Is When the Fever Breaks

Wednesday was a moral exposure, and a turning point.

david-brooks-thumbLarge-v2By David Brooks

Opinion Columnist

Awe and reverence. I remember the first time I entered the U.S. Capitol. I was 14 or so. I came down from Pennsylvania by train, and I was overwhelmed by the glory of the place. This was where Lincoln and Henry Clay had worked. This was where the 13th Amendment was passed, the Land Grant College Act, the New Deal, the Civil Rights Act. It was such a beautiful building, I was stunned.

I got inside, found the tunnels and explored the complex. I figured if I walked really fast, people would think I belonged there, so I trucked along as fast as my little legs would carry me — heart racing and imagination aflame.

It’s decades later. I live a few blocks from the building now and have been inside thousands of times. The awe and reverence have never diminished an iota.

The people who work there have their human frailties, but at moments of great crisis, like 9/11 or Wednesday’s mob rampage, most of them show a devotion to our common enterprise that makes me cry with admiration.

Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio once took me on the Senate floor and showed me how generations of senators had carved their names in the drawers of the desks — ancient hands with their penknives scratching away in the wood, a centuries-long parade of lives dedicated in their imperfect ways to our country.

That is why the Capitol, not the White House, is the altar of our democracy, the sacred gathering spot of those who served, strove and died building this nation.

One day in 2013 a freshman senator named Ted Cruz shut down the government. He was months into his first term, a time when his eyes should have been wide with wonder and his heart full of humility. Instead, he co-opted the Senate, with no realistic prospect of serving any cause, but simply for the purpose of making Ted Cruz famous. He gave a 21-hour filibuster speech on the Senate floor that riveted right-wing media for a news cycle.

I was in the Senate Dining Room shortly afterward when he walked in. The emotional temperature plummeted. Everybody, of both parties, despised Cruz for putting himself above the Senate, for his own arrogance and narcissism.

But it worked. Cruz became a prominent G.O.P. figure, a fund-raising machine. The model of being a Republican lawmaker changed. It was no longer somebody who passes legislation; it was someone who pulls a publicity stunt that owns the libs. Millions of Americans felt scorned by a cultural and media elite. They were willing to follow anybody who could make himself despised by the people they felt despised them.

Donald Trump came in the wake of that. And then, this week, Josh Hawley. As of Wednesday morning, Hawley was the model of what a Republican senator was going to look like in the post-Trump era. He cannily understood what the party faithful wanted. Publicity stunts. Owning the libs.

But there are dark specters running through our nation — beasts with shaggy manes and feral teeth. They have the stench of Know-Nothingism, the hot blood of the lynchers, and they ride the winds of nihilistic fury.

Read the history books. They have always been lurking in the shadows of our nation’s greatness. Hawley didn’t just own the libs, he gave permission to dark forces he is too childish, privileged and self-absorbed to understand. Hawley sold his soul to all that is ugly for the sake of his own personal celebrity.

Human beings exist at moral dimensions both too lofty and more savage than the contemporary American mind normally considers. The mob that invaded that building Wednesday exposed the abyss. This week wasn’t just an atrocity, it was a glimpse into an atavistic nativism that always threatens to grip the American soul. And it wasn’t just the mob that exposed this. The rampage reminded us that if Black people had done this, the hallways would be red with their blood.

We are a flawed and humiliated nation, but when well led, we can be more self-sacrificial than we have any right to expect. I despised the sight of the Confederate flags being paraded through Capitol halls, but I loved everything Mitt Romney said and did on Wednesday. Romney showed what moral leadership looks like, and how just a few voices can shift a herd.

Leadership matters. Character matters. The thousands of people who work in the Capitol complex were chased from their chambers or barricaded in their offices by the furies that are ravaging this nation. The shock of this atrocity is bound to have a sobering effect.

I’m among those who think this is an inflection point, a step back from madness. We’re a divided nation, but we don’t need to be a nation engulfed in lies, lawlessness and demagogic incitement.

We look to you, our 535 representatives, to simply do the people’s business, to cut deals so people can stock their pantries and school their kids, and so that a 14-year-old, or a 59-year-old, can enter your building with eyes of wonder, awe and devotion.

CHAOS!!! TERRORISM!!! INSURRECTION!!!

By now, you all know of the chaos that has reigned all afternoon in the Capitol, halting the electoral certification process and causing turmoil throughout the nation.  Our friend Keith often reminds me that name-calling gets us nowhere, wins no arguments.  While I both respect and agree with him, today my fury, my rage, have taken over and I shamelessly call Donald Trump and every single person who voted for him in November stupid jackasses.

chaos-6The hordes, incited by none other than the Idiot-in-Chief, have vandalized the Capitol building, broken windows, shot at least one person, injured multiple police officers, and say they are planning to “occupy the Capitol through the night”.  Were it my decision, I’d instruct police to arrest every last one of them, and then go find Trump and arrest him, too.  Yes, my friends, I am angry … I am furious.

Meanwhile, Trump remains, as of this writing, largely silent, for this was his plan all along.  One of his aides, noting the frustration of his staff at his negligence, said …

“If we could throw him [Trump] to the angry mob, we’d throw him to the angry mob now.”

Trump has been urged by many to publicly order the mob to disperse … instead, he told them “We love you”WHAT THE SAM HELL????

chaos-2Every one of the people protesting in Washington today should be in jail.  Don’t ever again ask me not to say that people who voted for Trump are stupid, because they ARE.  They are stupid, they are evil, they are terrorists every bit as much as was Osama bin Laden!

I have a few questions about today, starting with WHERE THE HELL were the police?  The masses that descended on DC today were no surprise … we’ve heard Trump ‘inviting’ them, egging them on, for weeks now!  Even I was smart enough to know these terrorist bozos would show up with their guns, so where were the cops???  Second question is … what would have happened if this had been a Black Lives Matter protest rather than a pro-Trump protest?  Think long and hard about that one, my friends, and then try to convince me that this isn’t a racist, bigoted nation.

chaos-4President-elect Joe Biden, who WILL be inaugurated as President in two weeks, was more controlled than I am in his statement a bit ago …

“At this hour, our democracy’s under unprecedented assault. Unlike anything we’ve seen in modern times. An assault on the citadel of liberty, the Capitol itself. An assault on the people’s representatives and the Capitol Hill police, sworn to protect them. And the public servants who work at the heart of our Republic… Let me be very clear. The scenes of chaos at the Capitol do not reflect a true America. Do not represent who we are. What we’re seeing are a small number of extremists dedicated to lawlessness. This is not dissent. It’s disorder. It’s chaos. It borders on sedition. And it must end now.

Threatening the safety of elected officials, it’s no protest. It’s insurrection. The world’s watching. Like so many other Americans, I am shocked and saddened that our nation, so long the beacon of light and hope for democracy, has come to such a dark moment.”

This is how a president speaks, my friends.  This is the president I am looking forward to having in just under two weeks.  But meanwhile … the FBI, Homeland Security and every law enforcement agency must work day and night to ensure that the chaos, the tragedy of today is not repeated on January 20th as Joe Biden takes office!  If needs be, if possible, we need to invite NATO security forces to protect not only Biden, but every member of Congress and the Supreme Court, for Trump and his band of idiots have proven there is no low to which they won’t sink.

Eve of Destruction

Everything that is happening in the U.S. today — the pandemic, highest death toll ever, Trump attempting to silence our voices, dirty cops being let off the hook, racism, civil rights protections for women, minorities, LGBT people under the 1964 Civil Rights Act being removed as Trump attempts to ‘burn it all down’ before he is forced out — it all makes me feel that this song is the right one for the day … perhaps more so today than ever before.

Eve of Destruction
Barry McGuire

The eastern world, it is explodin’,
Violence flarin’, bullets loadin’,
You’re old enough to kill but not for votin’,
You don’t believe in war, but what’s that gun you’re totin’,
And even the Jordan river has bodies floatin’,
But you tell me over and over and over again my friend,
Ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.

Don’t you understand, what I’m trying to say?
And can’t you feel the fears I’m feeling today?
If the button is pushed, there’s no running away,
There’ll be no one to save with the world in a grave,
Take a look around you, boy, it’s bound to scare you, boy,
And you tell me over and over and over again my friend,
Ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.

Yeah, my blood’s so mad, feels like coagulatin’,
I’m sittin’ here, just contemplatin’,
I can’t twist the truth, it knows no regulation,
Handful of Senators don’t pass legislation,
And marches alone can’t bring integration,
When human respect is disintegratin’,
This whole crazy world is just too frustratin’,
And you tell me over and over and over again my friend,
Ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.

Think of all the hate there is in Red China!
Then take a look around to Selma, Alabama!
Ah, you may leave here, for four days in space,
But when your return, it’s the same old place,
The poundin’ of the drums, the pride and disgrace,
You can bury your dead, but don’t leave a trace,
Hate your next door neighbor, but don’t forget to say grace,
And you tell me over and over and over and over again my friend,
You don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.
No, no, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.

Songwriters: P. F. Sloan, 1965
Eve of Destruction lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Another One Walks Free …

SheskeyTake a long hard look at this picture.  What do you see?  Looks like a nice clean-cut kid, barely out of high school, right?  You’d be wrong … dead wrong.  This is the face of evil, this is a ‘man’ who does not deserve to walk among us!  His name is Rusten Sheskey and he is the police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin, who attempted to murder Jacob Blake, a Black man, last August.

On August 23, 2020, Jacob S. Blake, a 29-year-old black man, was shot by police officer Rusten Sheskey in Kenosha, Wisconsin.  Sheskey shot Blake … in the back … not once, not twice, not even three, but seven times!  This young punk who calls himself an officer of the law was so intimidated by Mr. Blake only because he was a Black man, that he literally unloaded his entire magazine into poor Mr. Blake’s body in order to protect himself … from what???

Video shows Blake walking to the driver-side door of an SUV as officers follow him with guns drawn, shouting. As Blake opens the door and leans into the SUV, Sheskey grabs his shirt from behind and opens fire.  While the Kenosha police union and Sheskey’s attorney, Brendan Matthews, claim that Mr. Blake had a knife, state investigators determined only that officers saw a knife on the floor of Mr. Blake’s SUV.  Three of Blake’s sons were in the backseat at the time.  Can you imagine the trauma that will haunt those children for the rest of their lives?

At age 29, Mr. Blake, the father of three, is left paralyzed from the waist down, and if Mr. Sheskey’s marksmanship had been more accurate, those three children would now be fatherless.  All because a white man thought himself better than a Black man.

jacob-blakeSheskey, 31, has been the subject of five internal investigations since he joined the Kenosha department in 2013, including three reprimands for crashing his squad car three times over three years.

But wait … last evening as I was writing an email, the headlines began popping across my ‘breaking news’ screen …

  • Jacob Blake Shooting: No Charges Against Officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin
  • Officer who shot Jacob Blake will not face charges, district attorney says
  • No charges against Wisconsin officer who shot Jacob Blake

No.  Charges.  For attempted murder. Because Jacob Blake has Black skin and the killer has white … it’s that damn simple, my friends.  If Sheskey had shot an unarmed white man seven times in the back, he would be in a prison cell today!

And so, yesterday,  Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley said that he …

“… would have to disprove the clear expression of these officers that they had to fire a weapon to defend themselves.  I do not believe the state … would be able to prove that the privilege of self-defense is not available.”

SELF-DEFENSE???  He shot the man in the f*cking backseven damn times!!!  No way in hell is that self-defense.  Gravely is also white … I wonder if a Black District Attorney might have seen it differently?

Y’know … I really want to believe in the integrity of our police, really want to be able to trust the very people whose salary I pay to protect the people living in this nation, but … sadly, I don’t.  With every one of these incidents, murders and attempted murders of Black people by police, I have less and less confidence in the law enforcement people in this country.  Defund the police?  No, that isn’t the answer and we all know it.  There are bad people out there who would murder others over not much more than a cigarette, so we need laws and people to enforce the laws.  But dammit … we do not need racist, cowardly pigs populating our police departments!  We need officers of compassion, decency, and integrity.  Rusten Sheskey is NOT one of those.

I remember that as a child, my parents always cautioned that if I were ever anywhere and needed help, I should seek the nearest police officer, that the police officer was my friend.  Today, I would not tell a child that.  Granted, I know that there are good cops, but until we start holding the bad ones accountable, all police will be painted with a broad brush.  WHY do prosecutors find it so hard to charge a police officer?  Because of uber-powerful police unions who will lie, cheat, and steal to ensure that officers who break the law are protected.

Police are rarely charged in on-duty shootings. Since 2015, more than half of the murder or manslaughter cases brought against officers nationwide have ended in acquittals or deadlocked juries. Police officers invoke self-defense in shooting cases and they typically have been deemed justified in using deadly force if they reasonably believe that a suspect has the ability to cause death or great bodily harm, or if the suspect could put the officer or someone else in imminent danger.  That term … reasonable … is highly subjective.  Even if it later turns out there was no real threat, a self-defense claim could still be viable if a person actually believed … or claimed to have believed … he or she was in danger and any “reasonable” person in the same situation would have believed the same thing.

Not surprisingly, Kenosha’s city leaders are scared, and have imposed a curfew for the next eight days, as well as calling in the National Guard.  Yes, assholes, you let a cop get by with ruining a man’s life and damn near killing him … you better believe We the People are going to be mad!

In many Western nations, your average police officer is not armed with a gun.  Here in the U.S., fools have taken the 2nd Amendment to the nth degree and thus there are more guns floating around in the populace than there are citizens in this nation, so naturally the police must be armed.  Call them to account for their actions … don’t just give them a pass because they wear a badge!  DAMMIT … I’ve had enough of renegade cops killing people … Black people … with impunity!  Is it any wonder that I so distrust police that I will leave a store if an armed cop is in that store?


‘Good People Doing Good Things’ will return next Wednesday … I didn’t lack for good people, I only have so much anger over a variety of injustices that I could not switch mental gears this morning.  Thank you for your patience.

A Jolly Monday Hiatus And A Felony

jollyJolly Monday is on temporary hiatus due to a severe lack of … jolly.  Hopefully, Jolly Monday will return soon.  Jolly, Joyful and I offer our humblest apologies, but some days you just can’t be jolly, no matter how hard you try. 


Most of the day, my mind has been preoccupied pondering Donald Trump’s felonious telephone call to Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s Secretary of State.  This call was more damning than any of the Watergate tapes, was a blatant attempt to overthrow the results of a fair and honest election.  By all accounts … let me repeat that … BY ALL ACCOUNTS, there was no voter fraud in the November 3rd election.  Audits have been done, legal challenges … 61 of them at last count … have been reviewed and discredited, even by the U.S. Supreme Court.  Signature audits have been done; recounts have been done.  Every election official has certified that there was no widespread voter fraud that would have changed the outcome of the election.  Donald F. Trump LOST.  Joseph R. Biden WON. Plain and simple.  In every contest, every election, there can only be one winner.  Joe Biden is the winner of the 2020 presidential election.  PERIOD.

The telephone call, in and of itself constitutes an impeachable offense, and were it not just 16 days before the end of his term, I am fairly certain that impeachment proceedings would have already begun. The call is also felonious.  It is against the law to bribe or blackmail a public official, which is precisely what Trump attempted to do.  Tonight, as I write this, he sleeps in luxury in the Executive Residence of the White House, but he should be sleeping on a cot in a jail cell. 

I call on every Republican legislator to condemn Mr. Trump’s actions.  Instead, they are intent upon making a statement by refusing to certify the electoral votes on Wednesday.  They, too, have sold their consciences upriver.  For the record … the electoral vote will be certified and at noon on January 20th, Joe Biden will become the President of the United States.  That is not even in doubt, but what will happen to this nation over the next 16 days is a matter of grave concern. 

I read a few hours ago that Trump either has or is planning to file suit against Brad Raffensperger for releasing the audio transcript of the phone conversation.  Raffensperger was not only well within his rights to release that audio, but in one sense, it was his duty to do so.  WE THE PEOPLE … the people who entrust our lives to the head of government, and the people who pay his more-than-generous salary … have a right to know what our hired help is doing!  We have every right in the world to know that our elected official is a conman, a crook, a lowlife scum of the earth! 

As if all of this weren’t bad enough, Trump is encouraging violence on Wednesday, the day the electoral votes will be certified by Congress.  He has invited the ‘Proud Boys’ and other white supremacist groups to attend a rally that he himself plans to attend.  He tweets …

“The BIG Protest Rally in Washington, D.C. will take place at 11.00 A.M. on January 6th… StopTheSteal!” Trump tweeted Friday of the rally he’s promised “will be wild.”

Though Trump hasn’t yet provided details on the specific location, the National Park Service has so far received three permit applications to protest the election results on Wednesday, with more than 15,000 attendees expected, USA Today reported.  On Thursday, D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department said there will be multiple street closures across the city on Tuesday and Wednesday for “public safety,” with potential intermittent closures in the downtown area.  A former top aide to Vice President Mike Pence said she was “very concerned” that there would be violence in Washington, DC, on January 6 “because the president himself is encouraging it.”  If lives are lost, as I suspect may be the case, those lives fall squarely on the shoulders of Donald Trump and there should be lawsuits demanding his imprisonment on the charges of wanton endangerment. 

My friends, in our lifetime the worst we had was Richard Nixon, but compared to Donald Trump, Nixon was only a minor miscreant.  Donald Trump has lied repeatedly to the people of this nation, and in the case of the pandemic, at great cost to We the People in terms of the lives of our loved ones.  Donald Trump has broken the law more than once, but with the protection afforded by Attorney General William Barr, has escaped consequences.  And now, he is lying, cheating, and stealing to stay in power.  I want you to ask yourselves one simple question:  WHY?

For four years, he has not done the job with which he was tasked or has done it so poorly as to cause severe damage to the U.S. and it’s reputation.  He’s spent more time on the golf course or shoving food into his obese body than he has spent working.  So why does he care so much about keeping a job he hasn’t even done?  Power?  Sure.  Avoidance of criminal charges?  Avoidance of massive debt?  Absolutely.  But I think there is more.  I think he harbours illusions of turning the office of the president into a king’s parlour where he rules autocratically and to hell with We the People. 

I end where I began, with an urgent plea … nay, not a plea but a directive … to every Republican lawmaker to hold this madman accountable, to put your own interests aside for a few days and remember that your oath is to the Constitution of the United States, and therefore to We the People.  The oath you took was not to Donald Trump, and if you did swear an oath of fealty to him, then you belong in a jail cell next to his, Ted Cruz!

An astounding 81 million of us voted against Donald Trump.  Yes, my friends, we voted against Donald Trump, for Joe Biden, while a good man and one who I believe will be a good president, would not likely have beaten a more credible Republican candidate, say a George W. Bush or a Ronald Reagan.  We the People made our voices heard on November 3rd.  We said that we do not want a racist, egotistical conman in the Oval Office.  Republicans in Congress must respect our wishes, or lose their seats.  That is the bottom line. 


My apologies for comments that have gone unanswered.  I appreciate each and every comment, have read them all, but have simply been unable to respond today.  Please forgive me.

The Sedition Continues

Never in my wildest imaginings could I have thought how terribly inhumane, corrupt, and unconscionable an entire half of the United States, including the entirety of the Republican Party, could become. I am sickened and disgusted by every single Republican in Congress today, and also by the 74 million people who apparently would prefer to chant “Heil Trump” than to have a real president. Jeff tells of some of the absolute inanity the “GOP” is attempting to take away the right to vote and have our vote tallied. He, like myself, is sick and damn tired of all the shenanigans. Thanks, Jeff, for this heartfelt post … I share your every thought on this.

On The Fence Voters

So another 11 senators signed on to the ridiculous challenge of what used to be a mere formality counting of certified state elector ballots on January 5, joining seditious and treason-like Senator Josh Hawley from Missouri.

Of course, this buffoonery follows on the heels of the idiotic Supreme Court challenge signed by 126 Republican House members that were utterly and swiftly dismissed a few weeks ago. You can now increase that list of treacherous scoundrels to 140, as that’s how many who are now saying they’ll also challenge the certification process.

Oh, and we might as well mention imbecilic Rep. Louis Gohmert’s lawsuit against Mike Pence, trying to force him into accepting other illegitimate elector’s ballots from rogue radicals in some of the swing states like Pennsylvania and Arizona. That one didn’t go anywhere either.

Once again, in the United States of America, we have a group of Republican lawmakers…

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Pardon Me??? — Part I

Meet Stephanie Mohr …

Mohr

In the middle of the night on Sept. 21, 1995, a local Prince George’s County police burglary stakeout unit found two homeless men on the empty roof of a business, eating food they had found in the trash in Takoma Park, Md. Ordered down from the roof, Ricardo Mendez and his friend willingly climbed down. Lit by a police helicopter above and facing a brick wall, the two men were surrounded by police officers, some with guns drawn, and Mohr holding her German shepherd on a leash. Both men obeyed commands and stood facing the wall with their hands up.

It should have been over. It wasn’t.

A police sergeant later testified that he was approached by Mohr’s supervising officer who said, “Hey Sarge, we got a new dog. Mind if it gets a bite?” The sergeant gave consent, and Mohr set her dog to attack Mendez, an undocumented immigrant whose only crime was seeking a safe place to eat and sleep. Mohr testified that she was doing her job as trained, and the victim needed “only 10 stitches.”

Think about that: only 10 stitches. Mohr disregarded her training to give her dog a taste of flesh and blood.

This was no accident or split-second mistake. It was a willful and deliberate act of police brutality. It was also not Mohr’s first — and there was a pattern to the violence. Evidence at trial showed that Mohr had previously released her dog on a Black teenager sleeping in a hammock in his own backyard. She had threatened the relatives of a fugitive that she would let her dog attack their “black ass” if they did not tell her where he was. There were other incidents that the jury did not even learn about, including one in which Mohr put her dog into a trash dumpster to attack a man who had fled from police.

At trial, in addition to the police sergeant at the scene who pleaded guilty and went to jail for his role, numerous police officer witnesses testified about the incident. The jury convicted Mohr and the presiding judge gave her a significant prison sentence. A unanimous panel of judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, one of the most conservative appellate courts in the country, affirmed her conviction. Mohr was released after serving a 10-year sentence.

On December 23rd, Donald Trump pardoned Ms. Mohr.  This is but one of many unconscionable pardons issued by Trump last month, and not by far the most horrendous.  Throughout his tenure, Trump has issued pardons for those charged, and in most cases convicted, of crimes from something as simple as drug possession all the way up to and including premeditated murder.

Throughout history, presidents have used their pardon pen to pardon the unpardonable, but none have abused it in the ways that Donald Trump has.  It is time to take away the presidential pardon pen.  Why should one man be able to undo sentences handed down by judges and juries?  Why should it be possible for one person, with the stroke of a pen, to release killers back into our ranks?  And why should the person elected by the people of this nation not be held to account by those people?

Trump’s very first pardon, in August 2017, was the notorious Joe Arpaio, former sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, who had a history of racism and human rights violations, failure to comply with federal laws, and basically thumbing his nose at humanity.  On July 31, 2017, Arpaio was found guilty of criminal contempt of court.  Less than a month later, on August 25th, Trump pardoned him. The pardon covers Arpaio’s conviction and “any other offenses that might arise or be charged.”  Trump announced his decision on Twitter, declaring that Arpaio is an “American patriot” who had “kept Arizona safe.”  Safe for whom?  Certainly not for the Latino population, many of whom Arpaio had jailed simply for the crime of existing.

On December 22 – 23, Trump issued some 41 pardons by my count.  The ones you’ve heard the most about, George Papadopoulos, Paul Manafort, Duncan Hunter and his wife Margaret, while shameful, are far from the worst of the lot.  The worst was Trump’s pardon of four men convicted of killing innocent civilians, including children.  The pardoning of four Blackwater guards – Dustin Heard, Evan Liberty, Nicholas Slatten and Paul Slough – may well have been a violation of international law, and is most definitely, as United Nations experts have said, “an affront to justice”.

Dustin Heard, Evan Liberty, Paul Slough, Nicholas Slatten

FILE – This combination made from file photo shows Blackwater guards, from left, Dustin Heard, Evan Liberty, Nicholas Slatten and Paul Slough. On Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020, President Donald Trump pardoned 15 people, including Heard, Liberty, Slatten and Slough, the four former government contractors convicted in a 2007 massacre in Baghdad that left more a dozen Iraqi civilians dead and caused an international uproar over the use of private security guards in a war zone. (AP Photo/File)

In the next day or two, I plan to delve a bit deeper into Trump’s pardons, particularly those, like the Blackwater guards, whose crimes truly are ‘unpardonable’.  Why did Trump pardon the ones he did?  What was in it for him?  As we all know by now, Trump does nothing without expecting something in return.  Can any of these pardons be reversed once Trump leaves office?  And lastly, is it time to take away the presidential pardon pen?  I believe that, like the Electoral College, it may well be a law that has outlived its usefulness and is now the subject of much abuse.

Stay tuned …