Human vs Neanderthal

In ordinary times, you would likely never have known the name Adam Kinzinger unless you happen to be from his home state of Illinois.  But, today I think it’s safe to say that at least 85% of the adults in the U.S. know who Adam Kinzinger is.  In case you’re one of the 15% who don’t know, a brief summary …

Adam Kinzinger is a Republican legislator who has served in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2011.  Kinzinger became known for his vocal opposition to Trump’s claims of voter fraud and attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 election. Kinzinger was one of the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump for incitement of insurrection in his second impeachment, and one of only two Republicans to vote to create a select committee to investigate the 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol, to which he was subsequently appointed.  Due to the open hostility from members of his party, Mr. Kinzinger announced last October that he will not run for re-election in November.  In 2006, Kinzinger was named the Wisconsin Red Cross “Hero of the Year” for wrestling a knife-wielding man to the ground and disarming him after the man had cut the throat of a woman on a street in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Adam has a wife, Sofia, and one son, Christian.

A few days ago, Mr. Kinzinger’s wife, Sofia, received this letter …

I found breathing impossible as tears welled in my eyes when I read that … I could feel the evil, the hate emanating from those words.  For the rest of the evening, I felt on the brink of crying, felt that if I let it start, I would never be able to stop.  There are many people — politicians and religious leaders — whom I despise, whose faces I would spit in given half a chance, but never in my wildest thoughts would I even consider threatening violence against them or their families.  This, my friends, is the difference between a human being and a gun-toting neanderthal.

THIS, my friends, is who we are becoming.  The political divisions in this nation are leading to murder, to corruption, to destruction, and to widespread violence that I believe is inevitable in the coming months.  We the People have allowed politicians, have allowed our own greed, have allowed our sense of entitlement to bring us to this place.  We have forgotten our humanity and somewhere along the way have lost our sense of compassion, of empathy, of caring for others.

When we value our guns more than our children, when we pretend to believe the lies our politicians tell us, even though we know better, and when we believe that somehow one person is better than another because of skin colour, religion, gender affiliation, or any other criteria, then we are contributing to the kind of behaviour that cause this maniac to send this letter to Sofia Kinzinger, contributing to the likes of the teen who went into a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, aiming to murder Black people just because their skin was darker than his.

I hope law enforcement officials are able to track down the writer of that letter and that they will have the guts to prosecute and imprison him, for he does not deserve the privilege of walking on the same streets as the rest of us.  However, it’s more likely they won’t find him, if they even look, and that eventually he may carry out his threat.  And worse yet, he is only one of many such creatures who believe that violence is the solution to their problems.

This nation is rapidly losing its humanity, is becoming a violent banana republic overrun by people who care only for their own fortunes and to hell with those of us who cross them in caring for the greater good.  This letter-writer has convinced me that, while I know there ARE good people in this country, there is no longer a collective good, no longer a majority of people working toward a greater good.  R.I.P. former United States.

Filosofa Is Ranting … AGAIN!

More and more, this ‘United’ States of America is becoming a nation that I do not recognize, a nation of people who have thrown common decency and humanity out the window.  The latest thing that tore at my heart was a speech given by an Oklahoma Republican who is running for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives this year.  The ‘man’s’ name is John Bennett, and he is the chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party.  His words at a recent campaign ‘event’:

“We’re in a war with bureaucrats who have forced vaccine mandates on us, mask mandates on us, and you know what — they are pushing this wokeness confusion down our throats.  And by the way, we should try Anthony Fauci and put him in front of a firing squad.”

And the worst part, my friends, is that the crowd cheered and clapped.  Now, I know these people do not represent the majority of those in this nation, but the number of fools who have zero respect for … anyone … seems to be on the rise … exponentially.  This disgusts me, it sickens me, it saddens me, and it infuriates me – all at the same time.

Dr. Anthony Fauci

Dr. Fauci is the nation’s top virologist and has, for more than two years now, attempted to guide this nation through a pandemic of epic proportions, one that has taken more than a million lives in this country alone, and more than six million worldwide.  He had the courage to stand up to the former guy when the former guy was touting dangerous ‘cures’ with no knowledge whatsoever, and making false claims that cost lives — many lives.  Dr. Fauci and his family … HIS FAMILY … have been subjected to death threats by people like those at Mr. Bennett’s rally.

THIS is not what this country … not what ANY country … should be.  Anybody who can applaud or cheer when a politico wanna-be calls for the execution of an innocent person, is not, in my book, a human.  How can this person, who stood in a public venue calling for the execution of another human being, be allowed to run for … and possibly obtain … a seat in the United States Congress?  Is this the kind of person we want to put in charge of our very lives???  Is this the sort of person we want making the laws under which we live or die?  It is against the law in all 50 states to incite violence, and yet isn’t that exactly what Mr. Bennett did?  Why is he even allowed to walk among us, let alone run for one of the highest offices in the land?

A note to Republican voters:  I understand that, as Republicans are actually a minority in this nation, you ave to work harder to keep the playing field level.  But do not sacrifice your values, your humanity, just to put a candidate of your party into office at ANY level.  People like Mr. Bennett, Mr. DeSantis, Mr. Gaetz, Ms. Greene, Ms. Boebert, Mr. Gosar, Mr. Cawthorn, the former guy, and so many more are beneath our dignity.  Surely you can find qualified candidates who still have human compassion, who are not racists and would actually uphold their oath of office?  If you cannot find such people, then the Republican Party is truly on the skids and you should get out now before it destroys your credibility as a human, before it destroys your self worth, before it destroys US ALL.

Just A Wee Bit Of Snarky

Steve Bannon has been banned from Twitter … I hope for the rest of his days.  What did he do?  He called for the beheading of Dr. Anthony Fauci and the FBI director, Christopher Wray, and the posting of their heads outside the White House as a “warning”.

“Second term kicks off with firing Wray, firing Fauci … no I actually want to go a step farther but the president is a kind-hearted man and a good man. I’d actually like to go back to the old times of Tudor England. I’d put their heads on pikes, right, I’d put them at the two corners of the White House as a warning to federal bureaucrats, you either get with the program or you’re gone.”

I have long said that Steve Bannon is a nasty piece of work … there can no longer be any doubt in anyone’s mind.  Trump & Co have been inciting violence with their constant charges of voter fraud (virtually non-existent) and their claims that ‘democrats are stealing the election’.  Newt Gingrich, former Republican House Speaker, went so far as to say that the people counting the ballots should be ‘locked up’, but at least he didn’t call for their execution.  All of this does nothing but encourage Trump supporters who already seem prone to violence.  Thus far, there have been no reports of incidents involving injury or death, but gun sales are up again, and it’s only a matter of time.

Philadelphia police arrested two men who were allegedly involved in a plot to attack the Pennsylvania Convention Center where ballots were being counted on Thursday night. Police were tipped off, possibly from a concerned family member of one of the men, who had driven 300 miles from Virginia.  But what if the plot had been successful?  People would have died, ballots would have been lost … and all for what?


Paula White – remember who she is?  She is a televangelist and Trump’s “spiritual advisor”, chairperson of his “evangelical advisory board”, and a nutcase by any definition of the word.  I’ve written about Ms. White before, and in fact back in 2017 she won the cherished “Idiot of the Week” award. Since then, she has featured in a few other posts here, mostly ‘Snarky Snippets’, for there is much in Ms. White to snark about.

On Wednesday night, Ms. White led a ‘prayer service’ to ensure Trump’s victory {cough, cough}.  She called for help from ‘angels’ in Africa and South America … no idea why she picked those two continents, both of which are comprised of countries that Trump has referred to as ‘shithole countries’.  But, if there was ever any doubt that this woman is a lunatic … just watch this short clip of her Wednesday night service …

All l can do is shake my head and wonder what this woman has been smoking.


Comedian Stephen Colbert led into his nightly monologue on Thursday night with a serious moment …

Words Of Wisdom …

This morning, I came across an OpEd by New York Times columnist Ross Douthat that I found to be both extremely sensible and also encouraging.  In essence, he urges us to calm down, stop imagining the worst, that Trump will refuse to play by the rules and attempt to remain in office despite his election defeat, and focus instead on what needs to be done to help the Biden presidency succeed.  Easier said than done, but I think he’s right … see what you think.


There Will Be No Trump Coup

A final pre-election case for understanding the president as a noisy weakling, not a budding autocrat.

ross-douthat-thumbLargeBy Ross Douthat

Opinion Columnist

Oct. 10, 2020

Three weeks from now, we will reach an end to speculation about what Donald Trump will do if he faces political defeat, whether he will leave power like a normal president or attempt some wild resistance. Reality will intrude, substantially if not definitively, into the argument over whether the president is a corrupt incompetent who postures as a strongman on Twitter or a threat to the Republic to whom words like “authoritarian” and even “autocrat” can be reasonably applied.

I’ve been on the first side of that argument since early in his presidency, and since we’re nearing either an ending or some poll-defying reset, let me make the case just one more time.

Across the last four years, the Trump administration has indeed displayed hallmarks of authoritarianism. It features egregious internal sycophancy and hacks in high positions, abusive presidential rhetoric and mendacity on an unusual scale. The president’s attempts to delegitimize the 2020 vote aren’t novel; they’re an extension of the way he’s talked since his birther days, paranoid and demagogic.

These are all very bad things, and good reasons to favor his defeat. But it’s also important to recognize all the elements of authoritarianism he lacks. He lacks popularity and political skill, unlike most of the global strongmen who are supposed to be his peers. He lacks power over the media: Outside of Fox’s prime time, he faces an unremittingly hostile press whose major outlets have thrived throughout his presidency. He is plainly despised by his own military leadership, and notwithstanding his courtship of Mark Zuckerberg, Silicon Valley is more likely to censor him than to support him in a constitutional crisis.

His own Supreme Court appointees have already ruled against him; his attempts to turn his voter-fraud hype into litigation have been repeatedly defeated in the courts; he has been constantly at war with his own C.I.A. and F.B.I. And there is no mass movement behind him: The threat of far-right violence is certainly real, but America’s streets belong to the anti-Trump left.

So if you judge an authoritarian by institutional influence, Trump falls absurdly short. And the same goes for judging his power grabs. Yes, he has successfully violated post-Watergate norms in the service of self-protection and his pocketbook. But pre-Watergate presidents were not autocrats, and in terms of seizing power over policy he has been less imperial than either George W. Bush or Barack Obama.

There is still no Trumpian equivalent of Bush’s antiterror and enhanced-interrogation innovations or Obama’s immigration gambit and unconstitutional Libyan war. Trump’s worst human-rights violation, the separation of migrants from their children, was withdrawn under public outcry. His biggest defiance of Congress involved some money for a still-unfinished border wall. And when the coronavirus handed him a once-in-a-century excuse to seize new powers, he retreated to a cranky libertarianism instead.

All this context means that one can oppose Trump, even hate him, and still feel very confident that he will leave office if he is defeated, and that any attempt to cling to power illegitimately will be a theater of the absurd.

Yes, Trump could theoretically retain power if the final outcome is genuinely too close to call.

But the same would be true of any president if their re-election came down to a few hundred votes, and Trump is less equipped than a normal Republican to steer through a Florida-in-2000 controversy — and less likely, given his excesses, to have jurists like John Roberts on his side at the end.

Meanwhile, the scenarios that have been spun out in reputable publications — where Trump induces Republican state legislatures to overrule the clear outcome in their states or militia violence intimidates the Supreme Court into vacating a Biden victory — bear no relationship to the Trump presidency we’ve actually experienced. Our weak, ranting, infected-by-Covid chief executive is not plotting a coup, because a term like “plotting” implies capabilities that he conspicuously lacks.

OK, the reader might say, but since you concede that the Orange Man is, in fact, bad, what’s the harm of a little paranoia, a little extra vigilance?

There are many answers, but I’ll just offer one: With American liberalism poised to retake presidential power, it needs clarity about its own position. Liberalism lost in 2016 out of a mix of accident and hubris, and many liberals have spent the last four years persuading themselves that their position might soon be as beleaguered as the opposition under Putin, or German liberals late in Weimar.

But in reality liberalism under Trump has become a more dominant force in our society, with a zealous progressive vanguard and a monopoly in the commanding heights of culture. Its return to power in Washington won’t be the salvation of American pluralism; it will be the unification of cultural and political power under a single banner.

Wielding that power in a way that doesn’t just seed another backlash requires both vision and restraint. And seeing its current enemy clearly, as a feckless tribune for the discontented rather than an autocratic menace, is essential to the wisdom that a Biden presidency needs.