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Devil’s Advocate, Then a Short Summer Vacation

Devil’s Advocate, Then a Short Summer Vacation

I have decided to knock off for the next few weeks to enjoy the summer with the family. But before I do, just for the fun of it, let’s play devil’s advocate and irritate everybody.

Hey! Where are all the baby boomers protesting the January 6th “Stop the Steal” Capitol takeover and why aren’t they demanding an investigation?

And where are all the baby boomers protesting the misinformation being used by the Trump Republicans to take back the Senate and the House in only sixteen months?

The baby boomers divided into two groups back during the Vietnam War. There were those that were drafted and went to the war and those who went skirted the draft somehow and protested the war. Both sides claimed to be patriots.

The patriotism of the war protesters has always been tinged with a possible conflict of interest. Did the protesters prefer college rather than risking their lives at war? Still, their patriotism has always been secure because the war and its purpose were so mismanaged and the country was so misled. But…

But where are these patriots when our country and democracy are being threatened as it has rarely been before? Was that not an insurrection at the Capitol and is “Stop the Steal” not an ongoing attempted take over the country?

Is this not an issue that is far greater than the Vietnam War?

Those that criticized the protesters back then painted them as spoiled comfortable middle-and-upper- class brats who only thought of themselves and cared not for those who went in their place to possibly die.

What if the boomers are and always have been America’s selfish generation?

Let’s all pretend that it’s gonna be all right. The investigations of Trump will build and fill the newspapers with the same drip, drip, drip of sustained conversation as happened with Nixon. And slowly the big donors will drift away and the Trump party with its roots in Newt Gingrich and southern racism will finally die. And the Trump Republicans who only represent themselves will fail to take back the Senate and the House and gridlock the progressives as they did with Obama.

As the baby boomers drift into old age, don’t worry, it’s gonna all work out. Like the bumper sticker says: “The one who dies with the most toys wins.”

Still, it does make you think that maybe self-interest and the responsibility of patriotism was too much for my generation.

Wouldn’t It Be Ironic?

Wouldn’t It Be Ironic?

So what the hell is irony?

Perhaps irony is when you consider that the descendants of those who came from the previously enslaved may set the standard for the preservation of our freedom.

Last week I again listened to Amanda Gorman’s poem at President Biden’s inauguration and then to her TED Talk about how poetry is political. She points out that when totalitarian leaders take over, they burn books and imprison the creatives to silence alternative voices to their propaganda.

Today, I read a blog post by Heather Cox Richardson, the brilliant Boston College professor, about the courage of Frederick Douglass as he risked his life to secure his freedom. He was a tradesman in Baltimore with a relatively safe life compared to other slaves of his time, but he risked his life for freedom to become the leader he became.

He got on a train from Baltimore to New York with false documents saying that he was free to travel as a freeman. Once he left on that train, he was either going to get off in New York or he was going to be imprisoned and shipped to the Southern states and his likely death.

It must have taken incredible courage and determination to get on that train. He risked his life for his freedom.

As I read the news today, I am convinced that we are at a turning point for freedom in the United States.

The Republican party stands for nothing but itself, its authoritarianism, and Trump. It is unrecognizable and unreconcilable with its past.

There is a high likelihood that because of the propaganda, the falsehoods of “the big lie,” and the Republican southern legislatures that have curtailed the right to vote, the GOP will win dominance in the House and perhaps the Senate in 2022.

If we each do not act now to protect this democracy over the next year and a half, we will lose it as we know it.

I think of what it will take for all of us to get on the train.

But I fear we do not know what we are losing.

The Little Death and The Big Lie

The Little Death and The Big Lie

You know all those starry-eyed men and women who describes sex like “an earthquake”? Well, they’re gonna love fascism!

You think this fantasy has not finally become a reality. Well, who paid off a porn star as a campaign expense?

The statistical proof that the world’s population is increasing much faster than the number of earthquakes is fantasy for these people, but so is fascism. They are just loyal Americans following a former president who led an insurrection on Congress.

They bought “the big lie.” The lie that the “little hands” man won. What are those hats that say Make America Gigantic Again?

These people believe anything that might lead to an orgasm. La petite mort. They have no political agenda other than themselves and their orgasm. It must be treated as a sickness.

Last Sunday, CPAC sullied the conservative GOP’s good name at a fascist rally in Orlando Florida. Trump again unzipped the big lie and his fascist followers, who refuse to impeach him, treat it like a game for winning re-erection.

These senators have embraced their hypocrisy because they know they are safe. They use advance information about the COVID hoax of pandemic to insider trade their stock portfolios and take vacations to Mexico when their states are in turmoil. They don’t care. They will not be sanctioned. They’re delivering “the orgasm” to their followers.

If you think the attack on our capital led by a former president is anything less than the first step toward a revolution, bend over…

The Electoral College has repeatedly given Republican candidates the presidency despite a popular vote for the Democratic candidate in the past. And now 43 states have introduced more than 250 bills to restrict access to voting, ensuring that this minority will prevail based on “the big lie.”

The Supreme Court will hear the latest voting rights case and will likely uphold the restrictions. The Supreme Court, largely appointed by Electoral College Republican presidents, has been very hard on voting rights.

The fascists have always been there. They have hidden in the Democratic Party as well as the Republican Party. Hanging black people was a campaign event. One of them assassinated Lincoln, giving birth to the states’ rights arguments of the Jim Crow laws, which overturned democracy in the former slave holding states in the South.

If you think the attack on our Capitol lead by a former president followed up by CPAC is anything less than the first step toward a revolution, bend over and enjoy your earthquake.

Sympathy for the Devil

Sympathy for the Devil

This may be the start of a conspiracy theory, but there is a really big question hanging out there:

After that “freak” snow storm in Texas you’ve got to ask yourself, is Punxsutawney Phil, that  Pennsylvania groundhog, a Democrat or a Republican?

Think about it. What if that “freak” Texas snowstorm was about gathering support for the Green New Deal?

It sure looks like the “the deep state“ because the coverup is so clever.

It’s true. Think how hard it is to prove Phil’s party affiliation.

The election was stolen in Pennsylvania, so his vote was definitely destroyed and so “ipso facto” we will never know how he voted.

There may be even no evidence that he even registered to vote!

Just watch. The coverup is clever!

The Dems always want it both ways. They will say he had to vote by mail because groundhogs can’t sneak into voting places unnoticed so his vote should be counted.

But don’t get fooled by the lie that he voted by mail! Everybody knows he was in hibernation in November.

Lock him up! That groundhog should be indicted, unless Phil was actually a groundhog just trying to do its civic duty and he actually did see his shadow, but this was suppressed.

Did you see the press conference? Yes?

Remember after we were told that Phil saw his shadow?

Didn’t Phil look kind of unreasonably sleepy after months and months of hibernation?

He never actually said he saw his shadow, did he?

What happened to his First Amendment rights?

Very clever! Genius! Avoid the indictment by getting a groundhog to do your dirty work. And then, trust me on this, they cut lose the Sky Laser to redirect the polar winds to Texas!

Rush Limbaugh died last week. He was a true genius of radio and polarizing conspiracy theories: Obama‘s birth place, for example, or the 2009 healthcare bill that would empower “death panels“ and “euthanasia“ for elderly Americans. Even during his final broadcast, he insisted to listeners that the new administration had “not legally won it.”

He created this kind of talk radio. “There is no talk radio as we know it without Rush Limbaugh; it just doesn’t exist,” according to Sean Hannity the Fox news commentator. “I’d even make the argument, in many ways there’s no Fox News or even some of those other opinionated cable networks.“

Early on, he built conservatism as a satirist who evolved into the source of information for an ever- growing angry group of Trump supporters. Global warming was a “hoax”, the homeless were “compassion fascists,“ abortion rights activists were“ feminazis.” He championed homophobia and called a female law student “a slut” because of her testimony in favor of health insurance coverage for birth control: “If we are going to pay for your contraceptives, and thus pay for you to have sex. We want something for it. We want you post the videos online so we can all watch.”

The FCC “Fairness Doctrine” was introduced in 1949. It required the holders of broadcast licenses to fairly present controversial issues of public importance and to do so in a manner that was honest, equitable, and balanced. President Reagan eliminated the policy in 1987.

Rush Limbaugh made a handsome living after the end of the Fairness Doctrine. According to the February 18th New York Times, he collected $85 million a year and lived in a 24,000 square-foot oceanfront mansion in Palm Beach. He had a half dozen cars one costing $450,000 and a $54 million Gulfstream G550 jet.

Shortly before his death, the president gave Mr. Limbaugh the highest honor American government can provide to a civilian: The Presidential Medal of Freedom.

The protection of political speech does not protect the trafficking in misinformation.

Democracy, for its survival, depends on the truth of its information.

Welcome to the American Amusement Park!

Welcome to the American Amusement Park!

If you witnessed the 57 to 43 impeachment vote which exonerated former President Trump and then witnessed Mitch McConnell’s speech immediately thereafter condemning Trump after he had voted for him, you get a free pass for the new roller coaster (“RNC”), which just opened in our All-White American Theme Park.

Included with the ride you get that picture of yourself with your hands in the air as you descend screaming into free fall.

You can use this picture on your driver’s license or your passport. You pay for it with your taxes and the 1% get it free.

But Mitch knows what he’s doing so don’t worry about it. He is the magician, expert of the sleight of hand.

After the House voted for impeachment, he refused to return the Senate to vote during the waning days of the Trump administration. He then declared that because Trump was out of office, he constitutionally could not vote for the impeachment he had delayed.

It is genius. With the vote, Mitch kept all of his angry MAGA followers while reassuring the 1% who have been recently fleeing the Republican ranks. Trump, he was promising, will slowly be made miraculously insignificant as his MAGA voters get reprogrammed.

Can he pull it off? Is it worth it? You have to be careful of roller coaster rides. You know how they get all creaky when you go zooming around on shaky foundations.

Why does it seem that Trump’s unflinching base always seems unified by anger?

Because the Republican party has always kept in its little secret in its closet — with Willie Horton and “dog whistle politics,” and the unity of fear of anything but a White America

McConnell’s problem is that Trump didn’t keep the secrets. He over energized the hidden heartbeat that has really propelled the republican party at least for the last half century and the South forever: White supremacy.

Trump had overreacted, gotten greedy and gave away the secret and now everything may be exposed and disclosed.

What if the Republican Party has slowly been evolving to stand for nothing other than to hate the Democratic Party? When the screen is pulled back there stands the rich puppeteer who makes his haters dance.

“Trickle-down economics” was the lie of the Reagan administration, which was denied by even Reagan’s own supporters in the end. But it was resurrected by Trump in defense of his tax cuts for the rich.

Newt Gingrich and the Tea Party preached the “spendthrift Democrats” and all unified behind a balanced budget, but Trump has exploded the deficit.

How about the lie that Republicans are good for the economy? Since the 1930s, the economy has raised by 4.6% during Democratic presidents’ administrations, compared to 2.3% with Republican presidents.

It was built into the Constitution‘s DNA and with it the Republicans in all but this election have recently lost close Democratic votes but taken the presidency with the electoral Congress.

Slowly but steadily the American theme park has evolved into a haunted house of lost ideals with the language of the Constitution over our heads as each new generation optimistically walk in as believers.

We are better than this!

America needs a party of Lincoln that is dedicated to equal protection for all and also a party of fiscal and military restraint and good judgment. Washington, Lincoln and Eisenhower offer us great examples of what Republicans could be for us now.

The party of the South can no longer dominate us. Equality is good for the economics of this country and therefore everybody in this country. Why hold ourselves back? We don’t have to be afraid of our brothers and sisters of the human race.

Let this old creaky roller coaster fall.

Even Malcolm X realized that no laws can reshape a bigoted human heart. Painfully but realistically, he prophesied:

“Do you know what integration really means? It means intermarriage. That’s the real point behind it. You can’t have it without intermarriage. And that would result in disintegration of both races.”

Zoom Séance

Zoom Séance

The first rule of trial law is if the law is against you, argue the facts. It appears the first rule of impeachment is if you don’t have the facts or the law, make something up.

The law doesn’t help Team Trump in this impeachment because the country has been impeaching federal administrative officers after they have left office from the beginning.

The facts are all on film: Trump is on tape saying “Fight! Fight!” and he was not at a football game in a kick line of cheerleaders.

This is tough, but it may not be impossible for Team Trump.

The only winning argument that I can see for the Republicans is the previously untested “historical Zoom call.”

Rudy Giuliani is just the man to quote the Zoom call he had with King George III during his pretrial prep. The king confirmed that because the American Revolution was not an act of “sedition,” we are still British subjects. Therefore, the United States Constitution is unconstitutional.

He can rely on what we already know, which is that Zoom calls are really just séances: “King George? King George are you there? We can’t see you!”

Handled properly this is not a bad argument because:

1) No one has the facts to deny this

2) If there are questions, Giuliani, as an officer of the court, will swear that it’s true

3) Fox News will confirm it

4) The Senate has already made up its mind

Furthermore, Giuliani can forcefully deflect criticism by arguing that it is just those insensitive Democrats again. After all, King George is a senior citizen, and this is new technology! And also, he’s dead.

If Fox News broadcasts this, half the country will believe it!

What will protect America? How do we win back the hearts and minds of our fellow countrymen and women?

I know! I know! A counter Zoom call with Mark Twain!

Mr. Twain, how can we save ourselves from these despots? We can’t defame a dead king to depose a fascist president! 

“Our papers have one peculiarity — it is American — their irreverence… They are irreverent toward pretty much everything, but where they laugh one good king to death, they laugh a thousand cruel and infamous shams and superstitions into the grave, and the account is squared. Irreverence is the champion of liberty and its only sure defense.“

Do you mean don’t take them on at all? Next, they will have the Christian churches preaching it from the pulpit! Remember “In God we trust?” 

“The devil’s aversion to holy water is a light matter compared with a despot’s dread of a newspaper that laughs.” 

But I have been raised to believe that there will always be heroes that will protect our constitution! 

“We all live in the protection of certain cowardices which we call our principles.” 

Mr. Twain may have something here after all.

My recommendation is that the Democrats give the newspapers something to work with and not put up an argument at all. In place of legal posturing that will not persuade the Republicans in the Senate, simply hand out happy faces and little American flags that can be waved with syncopated knee slapping instead of objection or logical argument.

Have we really come to this?