Wednesday, July 8, 2020

President of All the People



Suddenly, Joe Biden is actually looking like a candidate for the presidency of all the people of the United States.

Why?

First, he has a plan to deal with the COVID crisis.

And, second, he speaks like a President of all the people of the United States.

Here's what I mean.

Biden's plan to deal with the COVID pandemic doesn't rely on killing grandma to save Wall Street.

"Biden offers additional funding and testing to the elderly so that they can safely obtain the things they need and get care without facing increased risk." Please go her for the whole story. 

Here are some important points of Biden's plan:

  • A national program of free, regular COVID-19 testing for everyone, managed by a Pandemic Testing Board that would coordinate the data and provide consistent access. This includes expanding drive through test sites and test availability until no one has to wait, or to expose themselves to potential risk, to be tested for COVID-19. That compares with Trump’s complete withdrawal of the pitiful few federally-managed test sites, the irregular, and unpredictable testing provided by many states, and results that are so difficult to obtain or so slow in coming that they’re worthless.
  • A national program of contact tracing that starts with at least 100,000 new hires and is dedicated to doing nothing but tracking COVID-19 cases, their contacts, and their progress through the healthcare system or in self-isolation. This would work in conjunction with states that are currently throwing up their hands at the impossibility of working through contacts with the available resources. Compare to nothing at all from Trump’s side, because apparently the federal government isn’t a clerk, or a manager, or worth a damn thing with Trump in charge.
  • A consistently managed, sustainable supply chain for PPE, test kits, and safety gear for healthcare workers. Four months into the pandemic, states are again complaining that masks, gowns, gloves, and face shields are all in short supply, just as cases are surging. Compare to Trump, who has set state against state, and dispatched arbitrary amounts of supplies, often punishing blue states for not praising him sufficiently by denying them needed supplies.
  • A team dedicated to looking ahead to needs that may crop up in the future, rather than just addressing the requests of states at the moment. Compare this with … whatever Jared is doing at the moment.
  • A national promise to provide healthcare workers with:
  • priority access to supplies of PPE.
  • additional pay for placing themselves at risk.
  • free housing to workers coming into crisis points.
  • information hotlines and trustworthy on-line consultation.
  • emotional-health support and psychological first aid with a promise that seeking help will not impact future employment.
  • emergency leave for workers who get sick, or need to care for a sick family member.
  • and no, there’s no comparison for any of this.
  • A coordinated global effort to develop treatments and vaccines that doesn’t depend on “a hunch” about any drug, doesn’t involve taking the U.S. our of the World Health Organization, and doesn’t involve the U.S. trying to buy drug manufacturers to deprive other nations of access. Compare with the opposite. Biden is promising to immediately restore the U. S. association with and commitment to the World Health Organization.
  • A guarantee that therapies and vaccines for COVID-19 will be made available to everyone, without allowing price gouging that limits benefits to the wealthy. Compare with … have you seen the price of remdesivir?
  • Consistent national guidelines for reopening businesses and schools that include protections for worker safety, guaranteed sick leave, and guaranteed leave for those caring for a family member. Biden’s plan would also provide systems by which consumers could know that stores were following safety guidelines and were “Safer for Shoppers” while providing small businesses with a “restart package” that would help them retain existing workers and hire new workers while dealing with necessary changes to their business. Compare with chaos, no guidelines, and shoppers being bullied for wearing a mask.


Here's Biden's recent Fourth of July statement. It's the reason I believe he can be the President of all Americans.


Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Last Raw Nerve


You know when something bothers you so much that you just can't tolerate it? Some people say, "Leave me alone. You're on my last raw nerve!"

Is this tweet proof enough for you that Mr. Trump would best serve the interests of the United States if he were to resign the office of the Presidency forthwith?

Enough already. Mr.  Trump. You win. You are "undefeated". Please exit the office of the President of the United States and go back now to your Trumpian world.

Or, there's a vacant office waiting for you at the Confederate States of America.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Fashionable Intimidation

Fashionable intimidation in St. Louis, MO
Are firearms toys to be brandished to enhance the owner's stature? Or, intimidate someone?

Is it now fashionable to walk around in public places with a loaded rifle or handgun and several magazines with ammunition at the ready?

Thank God, in most states, it's still illegal to point a weapon at someone or show "...a firearm to someone in an effort to threaten them."

In Missouri, where the recent incident shown in the photo occurred, an “unlawful use of a weapon” charge "will typically result in a class D felony. "If your weapons charge is filed as a class D felony you could be looking at 1-4 years in prison and fines up to $5000. If your charge is filed as a class B misdemeanor you could be facing up to 6 months in jail and up to $500 in fines. If your charge is filed as a class A misdemeanor you could be facing up to 1 year in jail and up to $1000 in fines."

I guess, that's assuming the gun toter doesn't kill or seriously wound someone while pointing.


Sunday, June 28, 2020

Free Your Mind



This morning I offer about four minutes of freedom to help you clear your mind with a glimmer of knowledge.

Give yourself a few moments away from the wretched state of Trumpian "government" and the COVID pandemic. Clear of the onslaught of ceaseless "alternative facts" abundantly flowing out of "mainstream media". Away from FOX News and the endless onslaught of social media misdirection and propaganda.

We have much more to learn about ourselves.

Academically Impossible "Lost Pyramid City" Found In Japan?


Friday, June 26, 2020

When Protectors Become Gangsters

Philadelphia Police Inspector Joseph Bologna Jr., a 30-year veteran, hits Temple University student Evan Gorski in the back of the head with his metal baton.*
How do we protect our  First Amendment rights of assembly and speech when the people we’ve hired to do the protecting are themselves the very bestial, racist thugs who are beating the sh** out of peaceful “protesters"?

The last few weeks have proven that beatings, gassing, and rubber-bulleting will no doubt follow when police confront protesters or, as in Washington D.C., don their blacked-out body armor and face-shielded helmets and take off their name tags, badges, and department identification.

It matters not if the sworn protectors are local police, state police, or federal officers employed by one of a myriad of federal departments, the atrocities committed arise from the opportunity to brutalize unarmed citizens utilizing fists, clubs, or tasers; teargas; mace, pepper spray or an assortment of firearms. It also doesn’t matter to the gangster “law enforcement officers” if the “protesters” are white, black, brown, male, or female, young, or old.

What does appear to matter is the opportunity to beat the sh** out of whoever is at hand. That is the moment we have witnessed our “protectors” have metastasized into Helter-Skelter-like robot gangsters, relishing unleashing violence upon their fellow citizens.

And what of the commanders and politicians who order the sworn police officers into situations in which they can morph into gangsters? Aren’t their hands bloodier than their gangster’s creations pummeling the defenseless?

House Democrats recently passed a police reform bill  - one good effort to protect citizens. But that has already been consigned to Mr. McConnell’s DOA pile, along with hundreds of other urgently need bills.

It seems that if we are to be protected from our “protectors”, well, then, we must create our own Star Trek-like Deflector Shields or an invulnerable Gort* to do the job.

*See CBSPhilly report: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5NL6UZEIlo

How US police have responded with violence to protests against police brutality -
The Guardian - Jun 12, 2020




Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Voter Suppression

Voting at the Kentucky Exposition Center. Photo credit: WLKY News Louisville
We saw it in Wisconsin, then Georgia and Arizona. Now, Kentucky - maybe.

Voter suppression accomplished by closing polling places, running out of ballots, and voting machine malfunction. All these tactics were used during the COVID epidemic, which alone was good reason not to go vote.

But the pandemic could be considered an “act of God”, like a hurricane or blizzard – no one purposely conspired with Mr. COVID to keep people from voting. At least, not like closing polling locations and forcing people to wait for hours to cast their vote does. No, those things are man made, Republican-made to keep voters from voting.

The other day in Louisville, Kentucky, anyway, voters seemed to have a positive voting experience. Jefferson County had it together at Louisville’s only polling place, the Kentucky. Exposition Center, and the turnout was less than expected for this primary election.

It is likely that many voters stayed away out of fear, lack of transportation, convenience, or employment requirement. And the vote-by-mail program was as screwed-up in Kentucky as it has proven to be in previous state's elections this year.

Still, here we are. The act of voting is not easy. It has gotten a lot harder to vote. In fact, it's a pain in the a__. And that's the whole idea, is it not?. One political party does not want people who might just vote for a Democrat to vote.

Is it not obvious that we must stop the systematic suppression of one of our most cherished “rights”, the right to vote? I believe it is.

How can that be done? it appears that another Constitutional Amendment is now required to make states ensure that the “act of voting” is facilitated by the states in a fair, honest, and timely manner in order to thwart voter suppression.

Voters surprised at lack of long lines at Ky. Exposition Center - WLKY News Louisville
Jun 22, 2020

Monday, June 15, 2020

Our Better Angel

Patrick Hutchinson carries the injured man near Waterloo station in London. Photograph: Dylan Martinez/Reuters
Heroes rise to the moment, doing right without personal regard. Others stand by, frozen in fear or confusion. Still others hide in their bunker.

Patrick Hutchinson was a hero the other day. He acted by carrying over his shoulder an injured white man, a counter-protester, away from danger to safety.

In my mind, Hutchinson is a living example of mankind’s “Better Angel”. He is a hero in a time overflowing with cowards, bigots and bullies.

BLM supporter speaks out after carrying counter-protester to safety, Clea Skopeliti, theguardian.com, 15 Jun 2020. 

“Hutchinson contrasted the intervention with the lack of action taken by the Minneapolis police officers who were involved in George Floyd’s death. “If the other three police officers that were standing around when George Floyd was murdered had thought about intervening, and stopping their colleague from doing what he was doing, like we did, George Floyd would be alive today.”

“I just want equality, equality for all of us. At the moment, the scales are unfairly balanced and I just want things to be fair for my children and my grandchildren.”

"Police said 113 people were arrested on Saturday, including a 28-year-old man detained on suspicion of urinating by a Westminster memorial dedicated to the murdered police officer Keith Palmer, after far-right activists organised a counter-protest to BLM groups. The Metropolitan police said its officers were injured after being kicked, punched or hit by missiles as they faced hundreds of angry demonstrators, who claimed they were protecting statues.

Here's the whole story....

Mariah Carey - Hero - 1993

Friday, June 12, 2020

Mr. Trump’s Swamp Creature


No, this is no 1950's grade F, sci-fi movie. Those were actually fun to watch and leave behind in the neighborhood theater. No, this one is for real.

Here is how it goes:
The list is extremely impressive. So many protections to destroy, laws to disobey or just not enforce, money to steal.

Mr. Trump’s swamp creatures have been really, really busy. Chief performer among the money stealing or at least unaccounted for, just "might be" the Treasury Secretary himself, Mr. Steven Mnuchin.

I say "might be" because Mr. Mnuchin refuses to account for the $500 billion Congress trusted him to disperse to businesses, so they’d keep their employees employed until we extricate ourselves from the COVID economic depression.

That $500 billion is a lot of dough to handle even for a guy like Mr. Mnuchin.

After all he only collected a few of his millions by illegally foreclosing on thousands of homeowners during the last Too-Big-To-Fail-Banker-Saving card trick. Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) aptly described him by painting the Mnuchin picture using the words "greedy" and "unethical." She backed it up with these blunt words: "Whether illegally foreclosing on thousands of families, skirting the law with offshore tax havens or helping design tactics that contributed to the 2008 financial crisis, Steve Mnuchin made a career — and millions of dollars — pioneering increasingly deceptive and predatory ways to rob hardworking Americans of their savings and homes."

Which swamp does Mr. Mnuchin presently occupy? That’s easy to answer. He is Mr. Trump’s very own swampy creation.

There. Now I get my quarter admission back from the theater. That’s great. But we still got to cipher out where the $500 billion has gone.

Creature from the Black Lagoon (4/10) Movie CLIP - Underwater Stalking (1954) HD




Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Distancing From Our Racist Past



Do you share the discovery that improving life by correcting a historic wrong is often a series of baby steps?

After 71 years of discovery I have come to that conclusion.

Don’t get me wrong. Several great things have happened in my lifetime, seemingly overnight. But for the most part positive change has come about through a series of “three-steps-forward-two-steps backward” dance moves.

Still, sometimes, we do make change happen for the better. For instance, this morning I chanced upon an idea that is one of those dance routines attempting to right a terrible wrong.

Three retired military officers have asked the current Secretary of the Army to rename some U.S. Army bases which are currently named in honor of Civil War Confederate generals - and traitors of the United States of America as well as avowed racists.

The request states:

  1. The United States Army exists solely to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. America’s Soldiers are rightly proud of the sacrifices they have made to achieve this noble goal. 
  2. The Army betrays and belittles those sacrifices by honoring domestic enemies of the United States. To correct this wrong, the Army will immediately remove from any place of honor the names of Confederate officers who took up arms against the United States. Specifically, the Army will rename Forts Benning, Bragg, Hood, Lee, Polk, Gordon, Pickett, A.P. Hill, and Rucker, as well as Camp Beauregard.
The Army sent me to Ft. Polk, Louisiana, for basic training in 1971, so I’m tuned-in on this effort. I remember sweltering in the heat, rain, mosquitoes, chiggers, and keeping my distance from snakes and alligators, wondering why the Army named these bases after Confederate generals, the people who tried their best to disunite the Union, killing hundreds of thousands of Americans along the way.

Ft. Polk is named in honor of Lt. Gen. Leonidas Polk. Gen Polk is not listed among the South’s best generals, to say the least, having lost every engagement in which he commanded troops, most often due to his own inaction or by directly disobeying orders, then slandering his subordinates, blaming them for battle losses.

However, by some accounts, Polk did own upwards of 500 slaves and was also a West Point classmate of Jefferson Davis, the confederate president.

The recommendation includes renaming Fort Polk, Louisiana, as Fort Forney, in honor of Medal of Honor recipient First Lieutenant Douglas B. Fournet, of Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Personally, I think that move would be a great improvement helping distance our nation from our racist past and focusing the spotlight of honor on, “America’s soldiers (who) have left us a rich legacy of honorable service… (and) risked and sacrificed so much to support and defend the Constitution.”

The Army I served in was in many ways the embodiment of the fabled “American melting pot” - multiracial, multi-religious, multi-everything except privileged. As the song goes, “I ain’t no favorite son...”. And there weren’t. Not at Ft. Polk.

Here’s the story…

Dear Mr. Secretary, You Can Rename Army Bases Right Now, Col Michael Jason, Lt Col John Nagl, Lt Col Paul Yingling, www.defenseone.com, 9 June 2020.

Colonel Michael Jason, U.S. Army (Retired)
Lieutenant Colonel John Nagl, U.S. Army (Retired)
Lieutenant Colonel Paul Yingling, U.S. Army (Retired)

MEMORANDUM FOR The United States Army
SUBJECT: Eliminating Racism in the U.S. Army


  1. The United States Army exists solely to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. America’s Soldiers are rightly proud of the sacrifices they have made to achieve this noble goal. 
  2. The Army betrays and belittles those sacrifices by honoring domestic enemies of the United States. To correct this wrong, the Army will immediately remove from any place of honor the names of Confederate officers who took up arms against the United States. Specifically, the Army will rename Forts Benning, Bragg, Hood, Lee, Polk, Gordon, Pickett, A.P. Hill, and Rucker, as well as Camp Beauregard (see Enclosure 1).
  3. Those who fought for the Confederacy committed treason in defense of slavery. Let us be clear-eyed about the crimes of the Confederacy. Our Constitution states, “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.” Let us be equally clear-eyed about the Confederacy’s motives, described in this passage from Confederate Vice President Alexander M. Stephens’ speech in Savannah in 1861, “Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner-stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.”
  4. The practice of naming U.S. Army facilities after those who waged war against the United States was wrong and correcting this wrong is long overdue. The Army named the bases above in the early 20th century, as part of a national effort to whitewash the Confederacy’s defense of slavery. The Army is the only armed service to lend support to this disgraceful and dishonest “Lost Cause” revisionist history. No American Soldier would be required to serve at Fort Hitler or Camp Benedict Arnold; requiring our soldiers to serve at Fort Lee or Fort Hood is no different.
  5. We dismiss any claim that this effort “erases history.” We derive our history from studying archives and scholarly works, and not signs and statues. The Army will continue to develop leaders by teaching the best available historical scholarship. We will teach Lee’s brilliance at Chancellorsville, his blunders at Gettysburg, and his brutality in enslaving, torturing, and murdering African Americans.
  6. We also dismiss any claim that purging racist iconography from the Army dishonors Soldiers past or present. Millions of American Soldiers served honorably at Forts Benning, Bragg, etc. However, these Soldiers pledged their loyalty to our Constitution, and not to the name of a base, camp, or barracks. We take special pride in the service of African American soldiers who served honorably and stoically in bases named after men who would have treated them as property and kept them in chains.
  7. In addition to changing the base names cited in Enclosure 1, Army commanders will remove ALL names of Confederate leaders from any place of honor not later than December 31, 2020. Such places of honor include but are not limited to barracks, streets, libraries, and other facilities under Army jurisdiction.
  8. Redesignating the names of Army facilities lies clearly within my authority as Secretary of the Army. While I welcome Congressional affirmation of these changes, no such action is required. I am not debating this change; I am directing it. These Army bases currently honor traitors to our nation who killed American soldiers to preserve chattel slavery; beginning today, and for all time, they will honor genuine heroes to our great nation, Soldiers who have sacrificed their last breath in service of our nation or who have earned our nation’s highest awards for valor.


Ryan D. McCarthy
Secretary of the Army

Enclosure 1
America’s soldiers have left us a rich legacy of honorable service. We will name our bases after those who have risked and sacrificed so much to support and defend the Constitution:

Fort Benning, Georgia, is redesignated Fort Cache, in honor of Silver Star recipient Sergeant First Class Alwyn Cashe, of Thompson, Georgia.
Fort Bragg, North Carolina, is redesignated Fort Johnson, in honor of Medal of Honor recipient Sergeant Henry Johnson, of Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Fort Hood, Texas, is redesignated Fort Benavidez, in honor of Medal of Honor recipient Master Sergeant Roy Benavidez, of Lindinau, Texas.
Fort Lee, Virginia, is redesignated Fort Carney, in honor of Medal of Honor recipient Sergeant William Henry Carney, of Norfolk, Virginia.
Fort Polk, Louisiana, is redesignated Fort Forney, in honor of Medal of Honor recipient First Lieutenant Douglas B. Fournet, of Lake Charles, Louisiana.
Fort Gordon, Georgia, is redesignated Fort Johnston, in honor of Medal of Honor recipient Specialist Four Donald R. Johnston, of Columbus, Georgia.
Fort Pickett, Virginia, is redesignated Fort Garner, in honor of Medal of Honor recipient Private James Daniel Garner of Gouchester, Virginia.
Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia, is redesignated Fort Sargent, in honor of Medal of Honor recipient First Lieutenant Ruppert Leon Sargent, of Hampton, Virginia.
Fort Rucker, Alabama, is redesignated Fort Thomas, in honor of Medal of Honor recipient First Lieutenant Charles L. Thomas, of Birmingham, Alabama.
Camp Beauregard, Louisiana, is redesignated Fort Johnson, in honor of Medal of Honor recipient Sergeant Leroy Johnson, of Allen Parish, Louisiana.

Creedence Clearwater Revival - Fortunate Son - 1969




Tuesday, June 2, 2020

This Story Has Just Begun

D.C. protesters zip tied and waiting to be loaded into police vans to be taken to jail... so Mr. Trump can have his photo op. (Photo credit: Jay Newton-Small)
Last night there were many heroes in D.C. – all of them citizens, like the rest of us.

Among them were the people who opened their homes to protesters.

Police forced protesters to leave their peaceful protest location near the White House and trapped them on nearby residential streets as they tried to leave. One was Swann Street NW in Washington, D.C.

All were trying to leave the scene after the police started teargassing them. But the police refused to allow them to leave, tapping them, boxing them in at every turn.

Seeing this happening before their eyes, residents opened their homes and helped move people out of harm’s way... only to have police illegally enter their homes and continue teargassing.

Why did this happen. Well, Mr. Trump needed a path cleared of possible protesters, so he could courageously hold his photo op, Bible prop in hand, in front of the closed St. John’s Episcopal Church backdrop.

“All I wanna say is that… The government don't wanna see…”*

This story has just begun, and the days ahead are not going to be pleasant.

— Jay Newton-Small (@JNSmall) June 2, 2020

"All I wanna say is that they don't really care about us."*

“Tell me what has become of my rights
Am I invisible because you ignore me?
Your proclamation promised me free liberty, no
I'm tired of being the victim of shame
They're throwing me in a class with a bad name
I can't believe this is the land from which I came
You know I really do hate to say it
The government don't wanna see
But if Roosevelt was living
He wouldn't let this be, no, no”*


*They Don't Care About Us - Michael Jackson – 1995

Monday, June 1, 2020

Words Reveal the Man

Bill Hudson's image of Parker High School student Walter Gadsden being attacked by dogs was published in The New York Times on May 4, 1963. (Associated Press)

It is 29 May 2020 and the President of the United States is cowering in the White House basement bunker, guarded by a bevy of Secret Service Officers. Outside the White House, more Secret Service stood guard along with D.C. Metropolitan Police Officers, and U.S. Park Police Officers. Additionally, all 1,200 D.C. National Guardsmen were waiting in readiness to defend the cowering leader of our nation, who was hiding from unarmed citizen protesters, located across the street from the White House.

Like thousands around the nation, the Lafayette Park protesters were demanding that something be done to protect Americans from unbridled police brutality, the likes of which stole George Floyd’s life from him.

Floyd was murdered a few days earlier by a Minneapolis officer while fellow officers stood by, bystanders pleading for the murderer to take his knee off Floyd’s neck, and cellphones recording it all. Floyd, pleaded for his life, desperately calling out that he could not breathe, until he had no breath at all, a full eight minutes later.

When the cellphone video of the murder surfaced on the Internet, people throughout the nation took to the streets, demanding, in effect, protection from those sworn to protect them – not murder them in cold blood.

Mr. Trump labeled them thugs and tweeted that, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” “It was the same language a Miami police chief used in 1967 when threatening violence against Black males.” Twitter veiled Trump’s message for “glorifying violence.” Still, Mr. Trump’s fingers could not resist spewing out even more violence inciting rhetoric. Protesters at the White House Friday night, he tweeted, “would have been met with the “most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons” if they had managed to breach the fence.”

Now we have it, Mr. Trump, President of the United States. Your words - not one person can misunderstand - words of racial hatred and your call for mayhem and racial war.

Instantly, your call for the dogs, brought to mind a vision I have tried to hideaway for nearly 57 years. One that not only frightened me then, but the man then occupying the White House, too, along with millions of others.

I vividly remember the Birmingham police dogs ferociously tearing at a black boy. It was May then, too, 3 May 1963.

Associated Press (AP) photographer, Bill Hudson, captured the photo of Parker High School student Walter Gadsden, an innocent bystander, who had been grabbed by the sunglasses-wearing police officer, while a German Shepherd lunged and ripped at his chest.

“The photo appeared above the fold, covering three columns in the next day's issue of The New York Times, as well as in other newspapers nationwide. Author Diane McWhorter wrote in her Pulitzer Prize-winning 2001 book, Carry Me Home: Birmingham, Alabama, the Climactic Battle of the Civil Rights Revolution, that Hudson's photo that day drove "international opinion to the side of the civil rights revolution."

Hudson’s photo became seared into my memory. I have never forgotten it. Another person saw the photo, too. President Kennedy told a group of people at the White House that The New York Times photo made him "sick." Kennedy called the scenes "shameful".”

What you say matters, Mr. Trump, not just to me, but to millions of people around the world.

This November, I know many American voters will remember your words.



Saturday, May 30, 2020

U.S.A. Dominos & Injustice


The Daily Show - Trevor Noah - May 29, 2020


Trevor Noah: "Police In America Are Looting Black Bodies".

George Floyd, Minneapolis Protests, Ahmaud Arbery & Amy Cooper | The Daily Show Social Distancing


Friday, May 29, 2020

Here We Are Again - 50 Years Later

John Cleary, who was wounded by Ohio National Guardsman while a student at Kent State University in May 1970, fills the cover of Life magazine published a week after the historic shootings at the Ohio campus. (Steve Mellon/Post-Gazette)
George Floyd dies at the knee of a Minneapolis police officer. May 2020. (AP) 

In our time we have tumbled far from the Liberty Tree.

Every day, we witness presidential behavior that is at once outrageous, infantile, narcissistic psychopathic, sadistic, moronic, racist, cowardly, and misogynistic. Then we do nothing about it.

Somehow, we have all fallen to a new low, one totally lacking honor and dignity, as well as faithfulness to our ancestor’s highest accomplishment: the U.S. Constitution. By allowing Mr. Trump’s daily barrage of vileness to continue, we put our stamp of approval on it, conflating it each day with a new standard of low-level of acceptability.

Then, we just go about our daily activities.

Still, this morning, some of us at least, will pray that we have finally bottomed out, and the Trumpian era of chaos is finally showing signs of collapse. Because Mr. Trump’s latest outrage clearly promotes armed conflict. And, that is something no sane person call tolerate.

He is now confirming and supporting “the only good Democrat is a dead Democrat”, plus calling Minneapolis protesters, “thugs”, then further glorifying violence by declaring: “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

For me, Trump’s rhetoric brings back another May, 50 years ago.

Then is was May 1970, when another president labeled university protesters, “bums”. His rhetoric, while more “refined” than Mr. Trump’s, signaled the end of his time in office. Soon, most Americans would find some peace of mind as he boarded Marine One that last time, heading out of Washington, D.C.

Please see:
https://downriverusa.blogspot.com/2017/02/when-demagogues-incompetence-rule.html and
https://downriverusa.blogspot.com/2020/05/closure.html

Perhaps, Mr. Trump will follow the same game plan.

The Day the '60s Died - PBS - 2015



Thursday, May 28, 2020

Cooking COVID Books in Florida


Florida Gov. DeSantis appears to be covering up COVID-19 deaths as "pneumonia deaths".

Only the Grim Reaper will be the clear winner in this "fix". Only when we start dealing with real data will we clearly see the truth about the COVID pandemic and begin to defeat it.

Here's the whole story...

More evidence emerges that Ron DeSantis is deliberately under reporting COVID-19 deaths in Florida, Mark Sumner, Daily Kos, alternet.com, 28 May 2020.

"Back in April, it became clear that Florida was intentionally hiding a list of daily deaths that had previously been compiled by county medical examiners. Since that time, those examiners, as well as hospitals and local officials, have complained that the number of COVID-19 deaths being reported in Governor Ron DeSantis regular updates, doesn’t match what they’re seeing in their areas. Last week, the scientist behind Florida’s COVID-19 dashboard was fired after she says she refused to alter numbers as she was told."

"With 52,600 confirmed cases of COVID-19, Florida is in the top ten states when it comes to infections. But the 2,300 recorded deaths is less than half of those from Michigan, a state with a similar number of cases. Considering the number of elderly residents and retirement communities, Florida’s relatively light death toll seemed somewhat miraculous, and DeSantis has been bragging both about the “success” of his policies and sneering at pundits that warned of potential disaster from his refusal to enforce social distancing guidelines."

"But there’s still more evidence that “miracle” isn’t the right word. The correct word is “con.” Because it looks like DeSantis has been taking COVID-19 deaths out of one column and inserting them into another."

"Even before the state took what had always been public information and began to hide if behind a newfound concern for privacy, there was evidence that DeSantis was covering up COVID-19 in the “Sunshine State.” On April 17, the Sun Sentinel warned that there was a spike in “pneumonia deaths” indicating that COVID-19 was already present and active in the state at a time when the official test results were showing a handful of cases. Even though flu cases were winding down in mid-March, pneumonia deaths had continued to head straight up. State Department of Health officials refused to comment on whether there was a connection between the soaring death count and the coronavirus, even as the official number of COVID-19 remained low."

"As a infectious disease from George Mason University made clear, “It is likely that they missed some COVID-19 deaths and reported them as respiratory deaths.” However, while it might have been possible that deaths in March and early April were missed simply because state officials weren’t keyed to look for COVID-19 deaths, that certainly wasn’t true after that day."

-more- 

Johnny Nash - I Can See Clearly Now - 1972


Sunday, May 24, 2020

Who Is Messing with Your Mind

Robby the Robot was one of the good guys. Please see *below.
Just as I was gettin' comfortable with knowing that most of the COVID stuff is social media disinformation and old-fashioned FAKE news/videos, I learn that there's a 50/50 chance that I'm readin' stuff generated by Robby Robot's Greatgrandkids - not even by Mr. Trump's human campaign staff.

Oh, how low can they go? We now know... really, really, deep, deep down, now that the king of Republican character assassins, Karl Rove, has joined the campaign.

Here's he whole story....

"Jevin West, who runs the Center for an Informed Public at the University of Washington, told Vice last month that the “real goal” of COVID-19 disinformation campaigns is “about creating distrust in the overall ecosystem and institutions. It’s not so much about picking a side as it is about creating confusion and doubt and distrust of authority.”

"For a deeper dive in what Carley’s team is doing, check out the video below based on research gathered through early April:"

Bots Are Likely Responsible For Nearly Half Of COVID-19 Tweets, Say Researchers, Mary Papenfuss, huffpost.com, 24 May 2020.

Many of them are promoting fake cures, spreading conspiracy theories and pushing to “re-open America.”

Nearly half of some 200 million tweets about COVID-19 likely came from bots, with many of them plugging false cures, peddling conspiracy theories and clamoring for the U.S. to drop safety measures in order to re-open America, researchers have found.

Ongoing research by computer scientists at Carnegie Mellon University indicates that a significant portion of the social media conversation about COVID-19 is likely automated amplifications of political perspectives and do not represent individual human authors.

The study has reached no conclusion about which interests may be primarily responsible for the bots, but many of the messages are repeating information from Russian and Chinese state media. During the 2016 presidential election, computer operations linked to the Kremlin were found to be responsible for campaign tweets and other messages that further divided the American electorate by amplifying controversy.

-more-

*I remember watching Forbidden Planet, the 1956 science fiction movie at our neighborhood theater, The Ellet, in Akron, Ohio. Robby was one of the good guys in the film. Dr. Morbius created him to be servant. Robby had a dry wit about him and was fantastically smart as well as physically strong. All characteristics I admire. Most importantly, he was programmed against killing or hurting humans – programming modern bots lack. More about Robby.

Dr. Kathleen M. Carley - Social Media and COVID19

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Boat of Peace


Jesus.
We need to hear that message of peace today.

Unearthed - The Jesus Boat


24 Mar 2020
Syndicado TV

Unearthed in 1986 after a long drought in Israel. Two brothers from the local Kibbutz were exploring along the shores of the Sea of Galilee. To their surprise and excitement, they stumbled upon what has become one of the greatest archaeological discoveries in history—a fully intact First Century Galilean fishing boat. ”Unearthed” will re-visit the initial discovery and excavation of this amazing boat, with archived footage and recent interviews with the two brothers who made the remarkable discovery.

Syndicado TV is where you’ll find an eclectic mix of mind-bending documentaries, cult classic films and investigative television documentaries. https://youtube.com/syndicadotv

America Home of Entropy



What does 100,000 deaths buy?
How about more unemployed Americans than during the Great Depression?
Or, millions of Americans without even the pennies to buy milk for their babies or a trip to the doctor?

Entropy. That is what we have bought.

That is what we now have under Mr. Trump's administration.

Disorder of the most spectacular degree.

Just as a generation obliterated itself rushing headlong into blazing machine guns during WWI, we too, are rushing, arms and legs akimbo, downhill toward our ultimate destruction.

God Save Us, please, from ourselves as we all stumble on, doing nothing to stop our mass suicide.

Here's how we got to this point... Leadership...What leadership?
This stunningly detailed timeline of Trump’s failures shows America’s coronavirus crisis was a man-made disaster

And, this:
Hypocrisy Abounds and so does "presidential voter lawbreaking
Trump’s Florida voter registration trips ups his Mar-a-Lago plans

Plus, this:
Trump: Letting Big Corporations Get Away with Whatever They Want
by Ralph Nader

The Trump Death Clock


Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Mourning in America


Dear Democrats:

Where are you?

Finally, someone is saying the truth. Why aren't you?.

The "conservative Republican" Lincoln Project is saying the TRUTH you should have been saying, too. Are you going to accept 3,000+ deaths per day just because Trump is a total incompetent and a psychopath?

Mourning in America
May 4, 2020


The Lincoln Project
Donald Trump’s failed presidency has left the nation weaker, sicker, and teetering on the verge of a new Great Depression.

There’s mourning in America.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/projectlincoln

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Closure

Sculptor George Segal and his sculpture in memory of students slain and wounded at Kent State by Ohio National Guardsmen, entitled: In Memory of May 4, 1970: Kent State-Abraham and Isaac.

What is needed today, yet remains as elusive as time itself?

Closure.

Every day, in the era of Trump, we struggle between virulent ideology and uncommon sense. Each day brings more deaths due to incompetence and one of mankind's most often sounded ideological excuses for inhumanity, "...it's us vs. them".

It has been 50 years since Ohio National Guardsmen murdered four and wounded nine unarmed students on the campus of Kent State University. Please go here for the story: When Demagogues & Incompetence Rule Innocents Die.

It is 50 years later, and we are still sacrificing our children to the god of "us vs. them" as John "Derf" Backderf's recent graphic novel, Kent State: Four Dead in Ohio, depicts.*

Art credit: One page from Derf Backderf's book*. See Publisher's Weekly review here: Four Dead in Ohio: Derf Backderf On Kent State, Rob Kirby, 4 Feb 2020.
It is shocking to realize how we have ended up back where we started in 1970.

Back then, we were a nation deliberately manipulate and divided by politicians wielding their “us vs. them” weapon. The war in Vietnam had gone on for years well before Nixon’s extension into Cambodia. It was that “illegal” addition to the American blunder in Southeast Asia that led to student protests throughout the nation, including Kent State.

Protesting for an end to the war was conflated by the Nixon administration and Republican Party supporters as an attack on the ‘Silent Majority”, the “blue- and white-collar workers the "Forgotten Man of American politics" and on Americanism, the mainstream “us vs. them” philosophy of the time.

Sounds markedly like, Make America Great Again, does it not? That is because it is. It is just recycled “us vs. them”.

KSU "closure" will finally begin when, together, the student body, the Kent State University administration, the State of Ohio and the people of Kent, Ohio, bring back to campus George Segal’s statue, In Memory of May 4, 1970: Kent State - Abraham and Isaac.

Segal was commissioned in 1977 by KSU to create a memorial statue honoring the 4 May 1970 tragedy. But, in 1979, his work was refused by KSU administration as "too violent".

KSU needs to hold the memorial statue's dedication ceremony along with a Native American smudging or “cleansing”. Both of which should have been done back in 1979. It would be a major step forward for KSU, Ohio, the United States and humanity. It will help us confront one of our deepest, darkest truths: our national willingness to sacrifice our youth. When we do, perhaps, we will free ourselves of that terrible, haunting demon.

Segal’s, In Memory of May 4, 1970: Kent State - Abraham and Isaac can be found displayed outside of the Princeton University Chapel. This description is attached to it:

The artist depicts contemporary versions of Abraham and Isaac in an allegory for the May 4, 1970, tragedy at Kent State University. A poignant visualization of humankind's struggle between ideology and paternal love, it mirrors the conflict that led to the death of four students at the hands of the Ohio National Guard. Though Abraham looks poised to strike his son, the artist emphasized that Genesis 22 ends without tragedy, as Isaac is spared.

I hope that it works out that way for us today, the Genesis 22 way, and we spare our children the inevitable tragic outcome of a USA once again driven by "us vs. them".

Until then, I will be looking for the KSU – our USA - smudging ceremony, offering this prayer:

Native American Smudging Prayer


May your hands be cleansed
that they create beautiful things
May your feet be cleansed
that they take you where
you most need to be
May your heart be cleansed
that you may hear
its message clearly
May your throat be cleansed
that you might speak rightly
when words are needed
May your eyes be cleanse
that you might see the signs
and wonders of this world
May (we) and (this) space
be washed clean by the some
of these fragrant plants
And may this same smoke
carry your prayers to
the spiraling heavens

*WKSU, Kent State’s public radio station, is doing good work. This programming is an excellent step forward.





Friday, May 1, 2020

60,000+ Body Bags



With the dead numbering more than 60,000 and more than 1 million sickened, we have now amassed more unnecessary deaths from COVID-19 in four short months than the 10 years of the Vietnam War.

Sadly, we as a nation have learned nothing over the intervening 50 plus years. We stand mute and idle while the President of the United States orders workers to risk sacrificing their lives and the lives of their loved ones to make pork chops. Like the Vietnam War draftees who were sacrificed to make a psychopathic, disgraced President successful, our COVID-19 victims have died as a result of a big lie and leadership incompetence.

We are still willing to sacrifice "others" in order to continue with our American Life Style.

Everyone of the 61,000 plus were living people, with family and friends. They had lives. They loved and were loved. Now they are gone. Needlessly.


*https://www.nbc12.com/2020/04/15/graphic-bodies-stored-vacant-rooms-detroit-hospital-overwhelmed-by-coronavirus/

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Time for Change



This morning I woke from a nightmare... that $trillions in stimulus money has one again ended up in the hands of the big banks and Trump-supporting corporations, like Panama-registered Carnival Cruise Line, which "...according to its SEC filings... is 'currently exempt from US federal income and branch profit taxes'".

Sadly, it wasn't a bad dream - just another night in Trumpland.

So, while the millions of Americans are once again taking it on the chin, our system is working great guns for the Trump-supporting-global-corporations. Our system is not working for us and it is way past time to make a major CHANGE.

Economic Update: Virus Triggers Capitalist Crash
Prof. Richard D. Wolff


Democracy At Work
Today’s episode features an analysis (part 1) of how, why capitalism - especially in US - failed to prepare for or cope with a virus thereby enabling it to trigger another crash of capitalism (third this century: dot.com in 2000, sub-prime mortgage in 2008). In part 2, Prof. Wolff provides an analysis of  how to respond to crash better than the US govt by emphasizing re-employment in millions of new jobs rather than unemployment, emphasizing worker-coops, etc.



Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Green is Now Smart Green

Rusty oil drums in Chukotka, Russia © Staffan Widstrand / WWF

So, the other day the value of petroleum fell below zero.

Yes. A barrel of the stuff once touted as "Black Gold" on the likes of the 1960s Beverly Hillbilly's TV show is now worth "nothin’"... as in less than a penny.


Ah, that's -$37 per barrel. It could go even lower, down, down, down, around -$100 or more.

This morning, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, we find ourselves at a rare tipping point. Even though the price of a barrel of oil, along with stock market in general, is making a comeback (thank you for the market comeback) we now have a society changing opportunity to distance ourselves from our predatory capitalistic, earth/humankind-killing oil and gas industry.

 Please see, A Brief History of Big Tax Breaks for Oil Companiesmotherjones.com, 14 Apr 2014.
and
Fact Sheet: Fossil Fuel Subsidies: A Closer Look at Tax Breaks and Societal Costs, 29 July 2019.

Today, every other source of energy production is cheaper that oil and gas.

Even for hardcore capitalists it must be crystal clear that sustainable energy investment is smarter than antiquated oil and gas investment.

It’s time to make a game plan change and go smart green. From a society built to benefit the wealthy and their corporations to one built to benefit human beings... all of us.


Flatt & Scruggs - The Ballad of Jed Clampett (Theme from The Beverly Hillbillies) - 1962



Sunday, April 19, 2020

Don't stop believin'

Image Credit: Starlit Sky Coaching

We are billions. Billions.Don't stop believin'.
We will win.
Together, we will overcome.
There is a better world for all of us.
And, together, we will make it so.


Journey - Don't Stop Believin' - 1981


"Don't Stop Believin'"

Just a small-town girl
Livin' in a lonely world
She took the midnight train goin' anywhere

Just a city boy
Born and raised in South Detroit
He took the midnight train goin' anywhere

A singer in a smokey room
The smell of wine and cheap perfume
For a smile they can share the night
It goes on and on, and on, and on

Strangers waiting
Up and down the boulevard
Their shadows searching in the night

Streetlights people
Livin' just to find emotion
Hidin' somewhere in the night

Workin' hard to get my fill
Everybody wants a thrill
Payin' anything to roll the dice just one more time

Some will win, some will lose
Some were born to sing the blues
Oh, the movie never ends
It goes on and on, and on, and on

Strangers waiting
Up and down the boulevard
Their shadows searching in the night

Streetlights people
Livin' just to find emotion
Hidin' somewhere in the night

Don't stop believin'
Hold on to that feelin'
Streetlight people

Don't stop believin'
Hold on
Streetlight people

Don't stop believin'
Hold on to that feelin'
Streetlight people

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Wisconsin Heroes

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, voters line up in Wisconsin to cast their ballots. Photo: Sara Stathas for the Washington Post via Getty Images/2020 The Washington Post
We salute and honor those Wisconsin voters who risked their lives to vote.

They alone braved the COVID-19 Pandemic. They served on the front lines in our battle to save our Democratic Republic. They alone thwarted the Trump Republican Party's disgustingly putrid attempt to disenfranchise the majority vote in Wisconsin.

Heroes all. Each one deserves the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Here is the whole story...

Wisconsin Supreme Court Justices Voted Absentee Before Making Everyone Else Vote in Person, Zak Cheney-Rice, New York Magazine, 14 Apr 2020.

"Wisconsin Republicans were dealt a humiliating defeat on Monday. Daniel Kelly, a conservative State Supreme Court justice, lost his reelection bid to Jill Karofsky, his progressive challenger, by a decisive margin. (Returns are still incoming, but as of Monday night, Karofsky was up by 120,000 votes in the nonpartisan race; the New York Times reports that the last election for a Wisconsin Supreme Court seat was decided by fewer than 30,000 votes.) The result shocked members of both parties, in no small part because the state GOP did all it could to guarantee the opposite outcome. The novel coronavirus pandemic has forced most Wisconsites into seclusion, but earlier this month, the Republican-held legislature rejected Governor Evers’s efforts to postpone the election, forcing people to vote in person and risk infection. (In accordance with public-health guidelines, no other U.S. state is holding an in-person election in April.)"

Please go here for more.

Only Good for Humankind

Monday, April 13, 2020

Sworn Duty

Washington Crossing the Delaware River, by Leutze Emanuel Gottlieb
Metropolitan Museum of Art New York USA The Bridgeman Art Library*

Here is the message for each Elected Congressional Democrat: Get off your a**!

Pull on your combat boots and Do Your Sworn Responsibility to, "Support and Defend the Constitution of the United States".

This is your moment. Now is Your Time to muster up courage and live up to your heritage.

Remember the oath you affirmed when you took office?

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God."

Now is that "Come to Jesus" moment to fulfill you sworn duty and ensure that every vote counts this November.

Here is the story...

Investigative reporter breaks down the real reason Republicans ‘threw a fit in Wisconsin’: Trump’s GOP is ‘canceling the American people’s right to vote’, Chauncey DeVega, Salon, alternet.org, 12 Apr 2020.

Excerpts:

"Last week, Trump admitted that “You’d never have a Republican elected in this country again” if Americans were universally permitted to vote by mail."

"Trump is just channeling a belief that has long been expressed both in private and in public by Republicans and other members of the right-wing movement. On this, Trump and the Republicans are correct: According to public opinion polls and other research, the American people overwhelmingly reject their policies and goals."

"Because democracy is antithetical to today’s Republican Party, Donald Trump has repeatedly condemned voting by mail because he believes it will be disadvantageous to his chances of winning another presidential term in 2020. In the final analysis, Republicans want to make voting more difficult even if it means more Americans will fall ill and die from COVID-19."

"Last Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court endorsed Trump and the Republicans’ ongoing assault on American democracy. In a 5-4 decision, the court’s “conservative” majority ordered that Wisconsin’s primary election could not be delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic, and no extension would be allowed for mail-in ballots. This decision forced the people of Wisconsin — most notably nonwhite people, students, young people, and other Democratic Party’s base in cities like Milwaukee and Madison — to choose between their lives and their constitutionally guaranteed right to vote."

"The Democratic Party’s leaders have apparently decided that expanded mail-in voting is a necessary measure, and the best way to defeat Donald Trump in the context of the coronavirus pandemic."

"In reality, matters are not so simple."

*The Significance of Washington Crossing the Delaware: Do Not Give Up!

Independent, Investigative Reporter Greg Palast


Please go here for the interview transcript.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

God Works in Mysterious Ways

Photo Art Credit: The Easter Renewal.

Today, Easter Sunday, many of us celebrate rebirth, resurrection, forgiveness of sins, overcoming death and life everlasting.

Today, while we rejoice, we also suffer.

We cower, tottering on the edge of the abyss, hands on our backs pushing us toward certain doom. Unless we turn and face our assassins, into the chasm we may fall, plunging down and down to certain loss of our rights and freedoms as Americans.

As inheritors of our Democratic Republic, earned with the blood of our ancestors over tyranny and built upon the bedrock of our Constitution and the laws of our land, we must summon up our courage, honor our heritage and demand equal justice under law.

We will prevail over the evil that would rule our land.

Here is how we fight evil. Here is a beginning. Here is how we Slay the Dragon.

Slay the Dragon


Magnolia Pictures & Magnet Releasing

Follow Slay the Dragon
https://www.facebook.com/SlayTheDrago...
https://www.instagram.com/slaythedrag...
https://twitter.com/slaythedragon

A secretive, high-tech gerrymandering initiative launched 10 years ago threatens to undermine our democracy. SLAY THE DRAGON follows everyday people as they fight to make their votes matter.

Directed by Barak Goodman and Chris Durrance
Produced by Barak Goodman and Chris Durrance
Coming to theaters and on demand April 3rd
https://www.slaythedragonfilm.com

For more great titles, check out Magnolia Selects: https://www.magnoliaselects.com


Saturday, April 11, 2020

2020 Good Friday Was a Hard Day

Drone Footage Shows Apparent Coronavirus Mass Grave At New York City’s Hart Island

Good Friday 2020 was a tough day for people throughout the world. In the USA we saw more than 2,000 people die due to COVID-19 infection and thousands forced to wait in line for food and likely exposure, too.

2,000 U.S. Dead In a Day, Carla Russo, huffpost.com, 10 Apr 2020.

"The U.S. is the only country in the world to see more than 2,000 people die in a day from complications of the virus."

‘Unforgettable’ footage of endless car lines at food banks reveals the stark COVID-19 crisis in the U.S., Eoin Higgins / Common Dreams and alernet.org, 10 Apr 2020.


Please go here for the whole story.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Necropolitics in Wisconsin


The global COVID-19 pandemic has come home to roost, bringing to the forefront one massive question:

Why do we tolerate our corrupt society?

We live in a world where American-style predatory capitalism continuously runs wild, where oppression and exploitation are celebrated and rewarded while humanitarianism is denigrated. It is a world where those who serve the society honorably - nurses, hospital workers, police and firemen, grocery store workers - are the lowest paid in greenbacks but expected to willingly give their lives to keep the economy grinding forward.

In a blatant display of inhumanity, to cite but one example, the United States Supreme Court refused to extend by a week the deadline by which an absentee ballot could be postmarked, forcing Wisconsin voters, during the raging COVID-19 pandemic, to go to "... one of the few available polling stations – in Milwaukee only five of 180 designated polling stations were open – and risk exposure to Covid-19, or follow the state’s stay-at-home order."

"Residents had to choose between voting or protecting their health – proving Wisconsin has turned into a vanguard of the Republican assault on democracy."

Why?
"Yes, there was the Democratic primary, but that was of little concern to the Republican lawmakers. Of great concern, however, was Tuesday’s vote in a state supreme court contest. This vote pitted the sitting state supreme court justice Daniel Kelly, a strong conservative voice on the bench, against Jill Karofsky, a lower court judge supported by progressives."

How?
"All this is as shocking as it is unsurprising. Wisconsin, once a thriving crucible of progressive politics, has turned into a vanguard of the Republican assault on democracy. Remember that the commanding Republican advantage in the state assembly is itself a creature of grotesque gerrymandering: despite winning only 46% of the state vote in 2018, state Republicans succeeded in capturing 66 of the 99 seats in the state assembly. Recall, too, that no sooner had Tony Evers secured the governorship in 2018, then this same gerrymandered body raced to strip the newly elected Democrat of powers long enjoyed by the state’s chief executive."

In pursuit of political control to preserve its catbird seat for pulling off unrestrained graft and corruption, the Republican Party has for decades openly trounced upon democracy at every chance, sucking the life blood from the common people of the United States.

In its putrid, biowarfare-like attack, the Republican Party has throttled our civil rights, torn apart our government and destroyed our meager, but hard-won social safety net - social security, Medicare, unemployment insurance. Only a cursory glance at the record reveals a ceaseless, and to-date sadly successful, psychopathic campaign to eliminate and/or underfund environmental protection, health care, clean water, public education, safe workplaces, pensions, and programs to care for the elderly and disadvantaged.

By using the COVID-19 pandemic to force Necropolitics in Wisconsin, that is dictate, which "people may live and how some must die", the Republican Party has also literally murdered our hard-won democratic republic.

Here's the story...

Yes, Wisconsin Republicans used the pandemic to stop people from voting, Lawrence Douglas, the guardian.com, 9 Apr 2020.

Should I vote or should I protect my health? That was the stark choice that Wisconsin voters faced on Tuesday – thanks to their elected state representatives. Like much of the rest of the nation, Wisconsin is under a statewide stay-at-home order. The order is designed to slow the spread of a disease that has already sickened nearly half a million Americans and taken the lives of 13,000.

Given the gravity of the threat, the mayors of Wisconsin’s 10 largest cities urged the state to delay the Tuesday election – lest the state put “hundreds of thousands of citizens at risk by requiring them to vote at the polls while this ugly pandemic spreads”. Nearly a dozen other states had already chosen to postpone their primaries given the national state of emergency. Invoking his emergency powers, the state’s Democratic governor, Tony Evers, likewise sought to delay the election until early June.

But Wisconsin said no. In a decision staggering in its cynicism and recklessness, the Republican-controlled state legislature flatly refused to delay the election. What did they hope to gain?

Yes, there was the Democratic primary, but that was of little concern to the Republican lawmakers. Of great concern, however, was Tuesday’s vote in a state supreme court contest. This vote pitted the sitting state supreme court justice Daniel Kelly, a strong conservative voice on the bench, against Jill Karofsky, a lower court judge supported by progressives.

Please, go here for the whole story.

Republicans Admit They Lose When Elections are Fair and Free


8 Apr 2020

Bill Moyers guest this week is the journalist David Daley, whose reporting and advocacy on gerrymandering and voting rights have fired up a generation of activists fighting for free and fair elections.

Please go here for transcript.