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How Do You Cover Up the Perfect Conspiracy?

How Do You Cover Up the Perfect Conspiracy?

There has been a lot going on in American politics since the search of Mar-a-largo to recover some confidential documents. A lot of finger pointing.

Almost half of the country believes it is a “witch hunt” and the FBI is a cover up for the deep state.

I decided to quickly solve this problem and offer a solution.

Trust me — here is the inside story!

The deep state is real and I have the proof. 

(The real deep state is never capitalized. That’s how you know it’s the real deep state.)

The deep state is real, as is evident from the demise of the stick shift.

Ask yourself: In a world driven by Classified and Top Secret Information, isn’t it amazing that nobody has objected to the disappearance of the stick shift?

It is that big of a cover-up!

Hasn’t the entire insurance industry for years been obsessed with “uninsured motorists”?

Why wouldn’t they be? Think of the years of lost profits.

So, why no reporting on the fact that the insurance industry has silently teamed up with personal injury lawyers in order to support driverless cars?

It was hidden but obvious. Follow the money!

It benefits the insurance companies and the lawyers!

If only cars — and no longer the drivers — can be sued, lawyers need only to sue Tesla and other car manufacturers making driverless cars and then, even better, the manufacturers will have to buy the liability insurance — not the drivers — so uninsured motorists are no longer a problem.

You know how they did this?

They eliminated the stick shift.

It gets better. Imagine if they got a favorable interpretation of the Constitution?

If you are an “originalist” member of the Supreme Court there is no evidence that there were any cars with stick shifts around at the ratification of the Construction. In fact, there is ample evidence that there were only horses.

This Supreme Court could put the icing on the cake, because an originalist Court could rest its case on the fact that horses back then never were operational by stick shift.

Thank God for the wisdom of the founders.

The thing is, the deep state can get you off track intentionally. They often hide things in plain view. Like our former president admits everything to avoid a cover up.

For example, remember that signer of the Declaration of Independence with a huge signature? John Hancock? Why the big signature? What was his line of work? Could it have been he just started an insurance company that would solve the age old problem of uninsured motorists and ambulance chasers?

See?

I told you. The deep state is all about getting you off track.

Think about it. The deep state is too smart to be really concerned about insurance companies or personal injury lawyers!

You guessed it?

It is all about Elon Musk controlling Twitter and a past president who can’t buy his voice back and didn’t buy Twitter stock early?

… Go a little deeper. It is about communication in fighting.

Why did Musk go into space on a space ship that did not have a stick shift?

It was a secret message.

This is actually very subtle, even for the deep state. Is it in fact a message from the anti-deep state, which is the deep state acting as the anti-deep state being the deep state that is really the actual hidden deep state?

So maybe Elon was sending an undetectable message that ”all is ready. Release our guy from the past!”

What do you think that raid at Mar-a-Largo was all about?

To attack the FBI and American law enforcement in a “new law-and-order campaign” of the deep state?

Nobody messes with the deep state! They got their man — and the first steps to a new law-and-order campaign for a new nation!

Okay, I promised to offer a solution. Here it is:

If you don’t want the deep state to hack into your passwords, install a stick shift on your computer — because no one but you will remember how to use it — and then put your GPS in a driverless Uber Eats® and send a cheeseburger to Mar-a-Largo with extra ketchup and napkins.

No one will understand, so you will be safe.

If there is any problem, the lawyers will have to sue the car.

“It Can’t Happen Here”

“It Can’t Happen Here”

“It Can’t Happen Here”  — Frank Zappa

Since recorded history, our world has continually been at war or engaging in domestic civil wars.

Why?

Perhaps it takes repeated wars to reeducate generation by generation those who cannot imagine the reality of war and civil war.

In school, I was taught history chronologically, war by war and how the victors carved new national boundaries and subjugated the vanquished only to have domestic revolutions subdivide countries.

After wars or revolutions end in battlefields and graveyards, but after that generation dies off, wars become books or movies or heroic stories.

It is all just “book learning.” It is easy to get good grades and learn nothing.

There are few generations that are blessed as we have been in avoiding wars or revolutions. The United States has been fortunate. Its last revolution was the Civil War which ended over 150 years ago, and our last foreign war, the Vietnam War, ended over 50 years ago.

I am part of a generation that has not experienced a civil war or a major foreign war for 50 years, however I have experienced both on foreign soil.

After my formal education was over, museums, libraries and good conversations became my continuing education; but international travel gave me the best insights into my own country, its prosperity and its people.

Over ten years ago, I spent an evening with friends in a beautiful plaza in Aleppo in Northern Syria. Talk about the government was discouraged by our guide. Less than a year later, Syria was at war with itself and that beautiful plaza and much of the city had been wiped off the face of the earth.

A little further south, the 2,000 year-old Roman ruins of Palmera, a once beautiful city built around a long dry oasis, would be badly damaged by this modern war.

When I visited Dubrovnik more recently, our guide pointed out the bullet holes that had chipped away that walled city, which had been part of the former nation state of Yugoslavia.

Last summer, during a trip to northern France and the battlefields of the First World War, our guide at the Battle of Belleau Wood pointed to a stand of trees and asked, “How could these trees have survived the battles here and the later deforestation that cleared these fields around it?” And then answered: “The fighting here was so severe that the trees cannot be cut down because the bullets still buried in these trees would break the blades of the saws.”

I have also visited cities and nation-states torn by war and revolution, for example, when I visited the occupied and divided Beirut, Lebanon.

I had been invited to an opulent lunch overlooking a beautiful beach and the city below.

In the cab home, the driver spoke some English. In stop-and-go traffic we were delayed at a roundabout. I found myself three feet from the barrel of a tank pointing directly at my face.

Hoping to encourage the driver to edge forward slightly, I started a conversation, asking about a billboard with a cornucopia of figures looking down on me. He told me that it memorialized the assassinated leaders of the country and city.

That evening, I had dinner with a family who had lived on the top floor of an apartment building in another section of the city, which had had its roof blown off during the intermittent shelling of the city the year before.

A teenage member of the family joked that his mother had, after the damage of the blast, asked if everyone in the family was all right and then went back to eating dinner.

When I asked how on earth they could be so matter of fact, he answered, “Dinner was ready and getting cold.” He then added that fighting had been going on and off in various parts of the city for years, and when it was near their school they got days off until the fighting moved elsewhere.

On my way to the airport as I headed back to the U.S. the next day, I had to show my passport to soldiers in the quadrant of the city that held the airport. I can’t remember if they were Shia or Suni.

So what does global history teach me about my country?

“It can’t happen here.”

Our country supports the freedom fighters of Ukraine as they fight and die to preserve their country from the bloody invasion by Putin — the autocrat so admired by our former president.

After the failed coup d’état lead by this former president (who then raised a quarter of a billion dollars selling the false claim of a stolen election), almost every member of his party voted against an investigation of that coup. Now, half our country still refuses to acknowledge the January 6th Committee’s findings, even though almost all the witnesses are Republicans appointed by Republicans.

The most important protector of a democracy is the informed voter. I wish many of my fellow Americans could be as fortunate as I have been, getting to travel internationally.

So many of my friends will tell me, “We have always gotten through it before. We’re Americans. It can’t happen here.”

“It can’t happen here.”

What Is Originalist History Really?

What Is Originalist History Really?

I am willing to admit I’m a moron but who the hell are these “originalists”?

Supreme Court Justices Amy Coney Barrett, Clarence Thomas, and Brett Kavanaugh have all identified themselves as “originalists,” but it now looks like Alito and Gorsuch do too.

So what do these originalists believe?

Justice Amy Coney Barrett, when asked that question at her confirmation hearings, said: “I understand it [the Constitution] to have the meaning that it had at the time people ratified it. So that meaning doesn’t change over time and it’s not up to me to update it or infuse my own policy views into it.”

Okay, Let’s look at some history.

Since the originalists say they must interpret the Constitution based on the time it was ratified rather than interpret the evolution of the historical wisdom it has grown to contain, there is some “originalist” history that they may have overlooked.

The “originalist” history, back when our Constitution was ratified in September of 1787, means: (1) women could not vote or own property, (2) Black people were slaves and didn’t qualify as “people” and (3) interracial marriage was a crime that would get you jail time.

An originalist interpretation of the Constitution, if applied to the present membership of the Supreme Court, would eliminate two-thirds of the “originalists,” as well as a majority of the entire Court.

So Amy Coney Barrett should not vote and should surrender all property she owns and drop out of the Court. And what should they do about Clarence Thomas, or his marriage?

But it gets even more absurd and worse for the fantasy logic of these originalists:

“A Law repugnant to the Constitution is void,” wrote Chief Justice Marshall, the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, on February 24, 1803 when, in Marbury v. Madison, he declared unconstitutional a law passed by Congress and signed by the President, based on the Supreme Court’s right of “Judicial Review.”

Nothing, absolutely nothing in the Constitution gave Chief Justice Marshall and the Supreme Court this specific power of judicial review. It is not in the Constitution anywhere.

Marshall, however, believed that the Supreme Court should have a role equal to those of the other two branches of government, so he interpreted the “intent” of the Constitution even though the words were not in the Constitution.

So how can the “originalists” have any basis to review anything?

I’ll tell ya.

As an Economist correspondent recently pointed out, “5 of the 6 conservative Supreme Court justices were appointed by a Republican Senate majority that won fewer votes than the Democrats” and “3 of the 6 were nominated by a President who also won a minority of the popular vote.”

So where are we now?

Are we a democracy? Are we a republic? Or is this when we lose all that? Have you been watching the January 6th hearings?

The billionaire President who appointed three of these originalists, managed us for four years with lies and Twitter and, after he was voted out, more lies in order to organize an attack on our government based on the Big Lie of a stolen election, and all these lies were affirmed by Fox (not at all) News, Ingram and Carlson.

Isn’t it time to start the long hard revolution to take our country back?

The midterm elections have to be that revolution.

If the Trump support, the originalists, and Fox News win the House and the Senate for Republicans in the midterms, those Republicans will continue their coup d’état and attempt to overthrow our democracy. They have made no secret of this.

America has evolved beyond the originalists. We freed ourselves from a king once before. We freed the slaves. We recognized women’s right to vote. As a democracy we have created a history of humanitarian change, and are capable of great creativity and the capacity to govern with a big heart when we are not divided.

Let’s get back to being the US Again.

Life after Nitrogen Narcosis?

Life after Nitrogen Narcosis?

In our class, the poet Elizabeth Bishop would teach poetry by taking any two poems and placing them side by side to see how they “illuminated each other” by comparison and contrast.

It was an exercise in both observation and communication but it also offered that fresh perspective on what was set in stone and had been taken for granted.

The more extreme the comparison and contrast the more it reawakens: A ripe apple and a red sports car? What makes them red? What makes them different? What makes them go? DNA and water versus oil and a gas engine?

How about like “politics” and “scuba diving”?

Let’s try it.

Well first, in contrast, they encompass two different worlds. One above water and one below. However, people have learned to communicate in both worlds, particularly in life-threatening situations.

How is that communication the same and different, and how can it offer a fresh perspective?

Through communication in politics, Donald Trump raised a quarter of a billion dollars ($250,000,000.00) from small dollar contributions from his supporters to “stop the steal,” despite overwhelming evidence that nothing got stolen. Furthermore, he has convinced his supporters not to watch the January 6th Committee hearings where this was revealed and validated.

So you can’t use Twitter underwater.

But in scuba diving you have hand signals, which is a little more primitive but just as effective for short urgent messages.

All diving is done in at least pairs with each diver responsible for his or her buddy. If you go too deep and become a victim of nitrogen narcosis — which is the song of angels calling you to come deeper to your death. Your buddy should grab your fin and signal with a hand gesture indicating the cutting of one’s throat and then point to the surface. It’s life or death.

During one dive in the outer islands of the Caribbean, I was randomly paired with two Midwestern middle-aged men who already were friends.

We agreed to go down to about 90 feet and swim in formation, like airplanes, to cruise along the deep edge of a cliff overhang and be each other’s eyes and ears.

One of my new buddies, our wing man at the time, banged his knife on his tank to get our attention, made eye contact, and excitedly pointed straight down. He spread his arms way out wide, gave the finger to us, and then put his right hand on his head at a 90-degree angle as if it was splitting his head in half down the middle with an ax. The other two of us got it and looked down into the dark for a “Big Fucking Shark!”

Later that afternoon, sitting side by side with me at the bar, my two Midwestern buddies good-naturedly unloaded all the liberal Democrat jokes they had in rapid fire in my direction, and with mock astonishment I countered them with my defenses and went on the attack. Quite naturally we had come to trust each other with our lives underwater, using sign language which we made up as we went along. We were friends.

I would love to meet them again and learn from them again and laugh. I want to sit on that barstool, turn to look at them and, with a perfectly timed pause, stop deadpan and say: “TRUMP???” And then spread my arms out wide, give them the finger and put my right hand on my head at a right angle as if it was splitting my head down the middle with an ax. I’d love to have them laugh at that, for us to laugh together.

I want to laugh with my Republican friends again and have us trust each other again with our lives.

It beats drowning in an angel’s call.

Democracy in Ukraine

Democracy in Ukraine

The delicate interdependence that is nature also protects democracies. But it is difficult to recreate once eradicated.

The Heron

A tall shadow controls my autumn pond.
It moves on long legs and will stare and wait.
After the late March ice had come and gone
And the exchanged songs of the frogs that mate,

The lily pads rise through the clear water
To shelter the colonies of black tadpoles
That are born as eggs, like pupiled eyes, pure,
And, like the rest here, uncompromising souls.

The summer heat reveals the baby fish
Spawned by the survivors of last winter.
By August it is like my winter wish:
Blooming like some Eden, ready to enter.

The heron knows nothing of what I mean.
By noon it will have picked the pond all clean.

“Week 38” from An Accidental Diary
(Available now on Amazon in paperback and Kindle.)

Listen! Paul Revere Is Calling

Listen! Paul Revere Is Calling

Can you hear? Paul Revere is calling!

I have always believed that the genius of America is derived from the ability of its people, from all walks of life and differing backgrounds, to talk together and educated each other.

I am not alone on this.

In the 1830s, almost 50 years after America was founded, Alex de Tocqueville, a visiting French diplomat wrote: “The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults.”

The way America has “repair[ed] her faults” and ensured its greatness has been “we the people” talking together and educating each other, and with the collective credibility of our conversation we voice our conclusions with our votes.

The founding fathers universally opposed political parties.

They feared that political parties could act as intermediaries for the voice of the electorate. I would argue that the political parties have now evolved to protect only themselves.

Our elected representatives are heavily funded by the political parties and rewarded with better health and retirement benefits than those whom they represent. They vote in lockstep with the party interests.

Recently the political parties have divided us through gerrymandering, voter suppression, and by defining the issues of our conversation, and we are polarized.

The parties relentlessly continue to further increase their power and our polarization at our expense. Most recently, in 19 states they have limited our collective voice, which is the vote. The parties now just fight each other for dominance rather than represent their constituents.

The polarization of America threatens not only our greatness but now even our democracy.

We no longer talk to each other to repair America’s faults.

We the people are not the enemy. The Political parties are.

So what do we the people do?

First, we pass the deadlocked voting rights legislation presently pending in Congress, which would curtail gerrymandering and preserve every American’s right to vote.

Second, we must regain our obligation to share our collective conversation and educate each other from our differing experiences.

Sixty years ago, John F. Kennedy spoke to the nation and said “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.”

What is asked of us now, other than to pay taxes, which we avoid as much as possible? That’s about it. With little or no responsibility to our county, we have become entitled, lazy, and self-centered.

The Second World War brought us together as we marshaled our resources to protect democracy and the free world against the fascist states of Germany, Italy, and Japan. These countries lost their freedom from the inside when they let totalitarianism take over. In contrast, the American people worked together side-by-side, talked together, and came out of that war as the most prosperous nation in the world up until now.

What if we each agreed to a universal commitment to serve the country for just one year to work together side by side, talking together and in so doing eradicate the political parties’ polarization which now separates us?

The 2022 election, one year away, will set in stone for ten years the gerrymandering and voter suppression which has been imposed on us. We the people must take our government back now or perhaps lose it forever to the power brokers that were once middleman and now are our kings. We are not their servants.

But that’s not all we have to do. We have to individually accept the responsibility to talk to those who are our perceived enemy and not lecture each other but listen and learn and become great again.

I have been blessed with critics of my points of view on this blog and on more than one occasion I have asked to meet them and buy them a beer. In each case, I have made a friend with a different political perspective, and an American friend at that.

We are not the enemy! We hold the genius of America in our hands if we will only embrace our responsibility and get rid of those who would make us slaves to their superiority and greed.

It is time to raise up before it is too late. It’s up to us to protect our democracy and our country.

Wake up! Paul Revere is calling.