Through God's Grace we shall have a Peace Train for all of us.
Monday, September 13, 2021
|Traditionally, the Christian religion has seen|
the yellow butterfly as a symbol of resurrection, a
metamorphosis of sorts, by the Grace of God.
Now that we have withdrawn from Afghanistan, it is a good time for the United States to begin to shed our dystopian, evil doppelgänger self and like a butterfly emerging from its cocoon, bloom into our full promise as described in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
What I am suggesting is making a small change, a baby step, away from our norm of what we have become as a nation (See: The Cost of Two U.S. Blunders https://downriverusa.blogspot.com/2021/09/the-costs-of-two-us-blunders.html) by simply assigning a meager portion of our defense budget to fund what could become a revolutionary force for good, The Humanitarian Corps.
The goal is to create a special “SWAT-like” unit to ensure our Democracy under our Constitution; fund it out of our current defense budget; and implement a FDR-New-Deal-like slate of programs to radically change the direction of our nation away from neo-fascists-oligarchy and maintain/improve the lives of all our citizens.Here’s the idea:
|The Humanitarian Corps. Unit Insignia|
Create a new, rapid response, multi-disciplined, counter insurrection force to be activated by state governors and/or federalized by the President, under the command of the Commanding General of the National Guard. Name this unit: The Humanitarian Corps. The Humanitarian Corps. will ensure citizens civil rights and government institutions are protected under the Constitution and laws of the United States.
We nearly lost our nation to insurrectionist on 1/6. Saved because of the quick-thinking valor of a few loyalists, we came within a hair width of witnessing our vice president and members of congress strung up before our eyes on national TV. The full breath of the insurrection, the leaders, and the funding sources may soon be uncovered, but in the meantime, it is obvious we need new tools and tactics to deal with home-grown terrorism, as in this case, obviously inspired and encouraged from the highest office in our nation and by members of congress, as well. Doing nothing literally risks the loss of the Democratic Republic under the Constitution to oligarchy and fascists who have infiltrated not only our highest positions in government, but also our police departments and military.
Ultra-right authoritarians, Trump cultists, Republican Party insurrectionists and white supremacists have compromised local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies and elected officials to such a degree that it is unknown whether they will enforce our laws as sworn officers and protect and defend the Constitution. Who then will protect and defend us from our own law enforcement?
Sadly, what we face today is not new. During multiple incidents in the past, U.S. presidents, including Grant, Roosevelt (FDR), Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson, were forced to protect citizen voting rights, life, and property, and quell potential fascist insurrection.
However, what is new is that a sitting president of the United States and leader of one of the two established political parties, appears to have planned and encourage the January 6th insurrection of the USA. Further, to this day, he continues to organize and foster insurrection with the overt support of the Republican Party.
To ensure that our democratic republic survives the next ultra-right insurrection we must modernize and expand our "tools" to protect and defend government units and defend voting rights and other civil rights of the people who are victimized by Republican disenfranchisement… those subject to police brutality; those predominantly non-white Americans who cannot depend on their local police or state or even federal law enforcement... to enforce our laws.
A solution could be creation of a specialized "Humanitarian Corps", a new type of Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) unit, melded into the chain of command of the National Guard, under command of the U.S. military, with the mission of “quick response” to protect civil rights and our governmental institutions.
This can be a new and unexpected tool of Democracy to counter to the Republican Party, ultra-right, Trumpian authoritarianism, one somewhat akin to the post-WWII Marshall Plan, but vastly more focused on individuals over industry and government.
Once order under the Constitution is restored, we must go further to protect our Democratic Republic using existing resources and execute a relief plan akin to the post World War II Marshall Plan. Under this “Domestic Marshall Plan” we would provide humanitarian relief, education, and training, in situ, to the millions of unemployed, homeless, despairing, Americans who are mired in a never-ending cycle of poverty.
We can do something different today because we have the wherewithal to profoundly change what will happen to people who are truly hurting because of Republican sponsored domestic terrorism, white supremacy, racism, and outright treason. By doing so, by taking a different path, we can stop our national free fall into fascism.
What could comprise The Humanitarian Corps?
Existing resources, historically activated under military command, following post-combat, including military personnel, Department of State personnel, Intelligence agencies, nonprofits, etc. will be melded under the command of the Humanitarian Corps.
We may never be able to defeat the "powers that be – the funders of Republican treason". Still, we can help some of those left in misery due to our systemic failures. "No one left behind", includes the civilians we displace, leave to starve, and die of their wounds - wounds our system permits - e.g., unemployment, poor education, no health care, inadequate housing, poverty, etc. We have the means to change the course of history by allowing our "better angels" to come forward and do what needs to be done to ensure that our Democratic Republic survives the next coup attempts sure to come.
References and Links
Revealed: neo-Confederate group includes military officers and politicians, Jason Wilson, theguardian.com, 28 June 2021.
‘We’re Going Back To The Capitol’: Ex Trump Campaign Official Announces ‘Huge’ Protest, Mary Papenfuss, huffpost.com, 5 Aug 2021.
Day of Rage: An In-Depth Look at How a Mob Stormed the Capitol, Dmitriy Khavin, Haley Willis, Evan Hill, Natalie Reneau, Drew Jordan, Cora Engelbrecht, Christiaan Triebert, Stella Cooper, Malachy Browne and David Botti, thenewyorktimes.com, 30 June 2021.
Republicans’ effort to deny the Capitol attack is working – and it’s dangerous, David Smith, thegurdian.com, 6 July 2021.
Cities Drop Most Charges Against BLM Protesters as Cops Fail to Provide Evidence, Sharon Zhang, Truthout.org, 19 Apr 2021.
1 in 5 Capitol Insurrectionists Tied to U.S. Military; Soldiers “Targets” for Extremist Recruitment, Lecia Brooks, Amy Goodman, Nermeen Shaikh, democracynow.org, 25 Mar 2021.
CPAC Organizer Denounces Critics Spotting What Looks Like Nazi SS Symbol On Stage, Mary Papenfuss, huffpost.com, 1 Mar 2021.
The United States faces multiple non-traditional security threats, including pandemics (biological warfare), armed rogue “militia” groups, irregular migration, resource scarcity, climate change, and transnational crime, in addition to what has now become “traditional” warfare “hot spots” and conflicts – many seemingly everlasting – as well as a worldwide humanitarian crisis, otherwise infamously labeled, “the refugee / illegal immigrant” problem.
With U.S. military deployed in more than 150 nations, the list of active conflicts spans nearly every continent, sapping our resources and manpower.
Obviously, non-traditional security threats, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic, can also be serious threats to the stability and security of the United States. With nearly 660,000 dead, millions ill, unemployment exceeding Great Depression levels, armed rogue groups storming into state capital buildings, and a historic economic collapse now possible, no one can doubt that our national stability is seriously at risk.
Additionally, prior to COVID, millions of displaced people were forced to leave their homes during times of conflict. Nearly all are dirt poor, with no food or water, no education, and no job skills. But they all share the will to live and to be safe from the mayhem and unimaginable cruelty they experienced.
Today, because of the existing conflicts, the nations of Europe have been forced to accommodate millions of refugees, while the U.S. for the most part, has politically chosen to ignore the problem. Instead of dealing with the “mess” created on our watch, we have decided to build a wall to stem the tide of displaced people and now continue to foist COVID blame on immigrants and multiple other targets of opportunity, such as China, while dodging leadership duty, responsibility and worse, opportunity.
Equally important, repeated application of our brutal battlefield superiority in the past has also created an everlasting birthing and training ground of future enemies.
Historically, many of these challenges are not new, save perhaps today’s high refugee number and the non-traditional security threats we face. However, recently, federal entities, such as the Dept. of Homeland Security, specifically, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, for example, have become tools of domestic “patrician politics”, mired in political dogma, and misdirected away from the rule of law under the Constitution and Congressional mandate.
What is new and within our control is the motivating acknowledgement that security and stability is not only characterized by an absence of conflict, but additionally by how we respond – integrity of command under the Constitution – plus the wherewithal (resources) employed as Congressionally directed.
Since the beginning of our nation, The United States Army command has overcome every challenge we have faced while remaining true to its commitment to duty, honor, and country first and foremost. Indeed, the fact that we have a nation today is a result of that commitment.
The following proposed solution is meant to continue in that tradition and aimed at countering newly emerging non-traditional security threats as well as enhancing our existing post-conflict humanitarian civilian support to go the long game to win hearts and minds.
Confront and overcome multiple non-traditional security threats by combining existing military and other resources under a new corps command: the U.S. Army Humanitarian Corps.
Humanitarian Corps Mission
• Effect civil-military cooperation to prevent and overcome non-traditional security threats
• Effect global cooperation among allies and NGOs to manage and prevent non-traditional threats
• Effect a “local people first” strategy to ensure sustainable security post-warfare following “traditional conflicts”
• Establish and maintain law & order stability until civic authority is instituted following “traditional conflicts”
• Provide in situ humanitarian support until civic authority is instituted following “traditional conflicts”
• Secure borders until civic authority is instituted following “traditional conflicts”
• Begin rebuilding consistent with local culture and heritage until civic authority is instituted following “traditional conflicts”
To achieve its mission the Humanitarian Corps must deliver “no-strings-attached”, in situ humanitarian support in a vastly more individually focused way over past humanitarian support which has in many instances been directed to achieve goals in favor of a political party or corporation (s). It must include – shelter, food, water, security, training, employment, a better life tempered in consideration of local culture and customs - independent of political restrictions and abuses such as religious persecution; racial, gender, and nationality discrimination. Domestically, it must be nonpartisan, nonpolitical party. Domestically and internationally, it must be clear of quid pro quo obligations.
Using military resources for humanitarian purposes is not a new concept. Often during times of natural disasters, hurricanes, earthquakes, etc., political people mobilize military units to evacuate victims, provide medical care, transport emergency relief supplies as well as security. The military, after all, has the logistical wherewithal – the ships, planes, manpower, and the command structure at the ready.
What is new is the newly emerging non-traditional threats which we as a nation must now confront. Creating a special corps to deal with these threats clearly demonstrates to the U.S. citizens, and our allies – in addition to our adversaries, both foreign and domestic – that we are seriously committed to confront them should the need arise.
Empowering military leadership, guided by their commitment to our Constitution, the UCMJ, and Congressionally approved international law, would be historic, free of political party dogma, and ultimately the deciding tipping-point in the long-game of winning hearts and minds as well overcoming these multiple stability and security threats. By doing so we will mitigate the challenges we confront; defend our people and our allies, as well as disarm our enemies.
The new idea here is to use our military resources in a revolutionary new way, the Humanitarian Corps. to implement social and infrastructure reforms. Funded through the defense budget and utilizing existing resources drawn from several federal government departments, the Humanitarian Corps. will become a specialized “SWAT-like” unit to first ensure our Democracy under our Constitution and, second, to implement a FDR-New-Deal-like slate of programs to radically change the direction of our nation away from becoming a neo-fascists-oligarchy and maintain/improve the lives of all our citizens.
Implementing the Humanitarian Corps. will be a critically essential step away from what we have become — a dystopian, evil doppelgänger USA — a war mongering, monstrous, profit making machine for the few — toward our full promise as described in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
EUGENE POLICE DEPARTMENT CRIME ANALYSIS UNIT
300 County Club Road, Eugene, OR 97401
CAHOOTS (Crisis Assistance Helping Out On The Streets) Program Analysis
CAHOOTS Brochure PDF
This Town Of 170,000 Replaced Some Cops With Medics And Mental Health Workers. It’s Worked For Over 30 Years, Scottie Andrew, CNN.com, 5 July 2020.
The President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing (2015)
Reference for Post-Combat Resources – Iraqi
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Decisive War, Elusive Peace
RAND_RR1214 Synopsis PDF
The RAND report identifies post-combat resources which the Army activated (or wanted to). While the whole report is worth reading, here are some specific pages to review:
Planning for the Aftermath pg 38
Chapter 8 The Aftermath: Civilian Planning Efforts and the Occupation of Iraq pgs 319-338
Chapter 10 Conclusion and Recommendation
Planning for Post-Conflict pg 375
The Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance pg 370
Humanitarian Planning pg 372
Assessing Postwar Efforts pg 380 (especially point 2 regarding interagency coordination)
Saturday, September 11, 2021
Today we remember the 2,974 people who perished at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and on the UA and AA flights during the 9/11 disaster, as well as the 4,343 survivors and first responders who have died in the years since due to illnesses caused by exposure to toxic dust and fumes from the site. These are the thousands of first responders, rescuers, firemen/women, police, iron workers and construction workers. (1.)
Sadly, most Americans stop there. (2.)
We tend not to include additional major losses resulting from 9/11.
For instance, total dead, including civilians, during the Iraq war is estimated to be between 600,000 to as many as 1 million. “As of 2021, 9.2 million Iraqis are internally displaced or refugees abroad.” (3.)
In Afghanistan, "The current crisis (Sept 2021) comes on top of the 2.2 million Afghan refugees already in neighbouring countries and 3.5 million people forced to flee their homes within Afghanistan's borders." (4.)
These wars were not “paid” by increasing taxes as the Korean and Vietnam wars were. The Bush administration reduced taxes for the wealthy and borrowed to finance the wars. The approximate cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is now estimated to eventually cost American taxpayers nearly $6.5tn. That includes veteran benefits and interest payments through 2050. (5.)
Finally, who did benefit from the two wars - wars which most would say are clear blunders; entered into through outright lies; and characterized with the United States committing international war crimes?
You already know the answer: The U.S. defense contractors. (6)
"In the year to June 2020 the big five accounted for nearly a third of the $480bn obligated by the Pentagon to defense contractors." And, to ensure their cash cows, the defense industry spent, "...over $2.4bn lobbying Congress since 2001, and made direct campaign contributions to most members." (7.)
Do you really believe we are the nation spreading democracy throughout the world? I don't. The proof is clearly in the results of the past 20 years.
In fact, we have become the opposite — a Doppelganger U.S. — selling weapons of war and seeding death and misery.
1. 20 Years Later: The Lingering Health Effects of 9/11
2. Iraq: the Human Cost http://web.mit.edu/humancostiraq/
3. Iraqi Refugees https://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/costs/human/refugees/iraqi
4. Afghanistan: How many refugees are there and where will they go?
5. Americans could owe $6.5 trillion for wars in Afghanistan and Iraq — and that's just the interest https://www.cbsnews.com/news/afghanistan-iraq-wars-debt-6-trillion-interest/
6. Military spending: 20 companies profiting the most from war
You will find these articles interesting.
1. About 9/11 truth: Remembering 9/11 – 2,974 WTC Murdershttps://downriverusa.blogspot.com/2014/09/remembering-911-2974-wtc-murders.html
2. About recent American History seen from an “old guy's perspective”: Lies Too Big To Fail (Parts I, II, & III) https://downriverusa.blogspot.com/2014/08/lies-too-big-to-fail.html
3. About Kent State University and truth: When Demagogues & Incompetence Rule Innocents
Friday, August 6, 2021
|America 3.0, Rifkin's Plan|
It’s possible that we may witness a rare occurrence: the U.S. Senate actually doing something positive for the people of the nation, the politicians themselves, and their corporate enablers.
The Senate may adopt an infrastructure bill aimed at repairing our aged roads, bridges, water systems, even establishing, a modern electrical distribution grid and extending broadband services to poorly served areas of the nation. We must wait and see, of course, whether Congress births another monstrosity or a beautiful thing.
After all, we have yet to learn how the billions will be spent.
Still, congressional action may finally launch infrastructure programs we can only hope that the “plan” will begin to bring us on par with the Europeans and the Chinese. Both are way ahead of us due to our inability to throw off the shackles of centuries-old carbon-based industries and Robber Baron Era Predatory Capitalism in addition to the equally failed policies of Reaganomics and Neoliberalism that all but eliminated the U.S. middleclass born of FDR’s New Deal Policies and economic protections and the post WWII economic boom.
While we were duct taping our economy together to please the oil industry people and expanding our American Empire throughout the world, plus most recently, distracted by Mr. Trump’s temper tantrums and neo-fascist fascinations, the Europeans and Chinese have moved ahead creating savvy infrastructures, new economies, to meet the challenges at hand.
They have done this by listening to an implementing the ideas of Jeremy Rifkin, the "American economic and social theorist, writer, public speaker, political advisor, and activist".
Yes, American. Like so many other examples from our past, our current “global” corporate executives and politicians are so secure in decades old, proven technology, as well as the unimagined wealth and the status it has brought them, that they have chosen to hang on to woefully outdated technology and refuse to act on the changes occurring before their eyes.
One obviously similar example from our past is W. Edwards Deming, the guru of modern-day, flexible lean production systems. Deming tried and failed to get the American automotive “Big Three” to adopt his ideas. The Japanese manufacturers, however, implemented them and then cleaned the Big Three’s clocks, creating and selling vastly superior quality cars and trucks.
Mr. Rifkin’s plans are underway in Europe and China.
It’s time for the USA to catch up or watch our collective clock being cleaned once again.
The Rifkin Plan,
Monday, July 12, 2021
Ever wonder why elected "officials" from both parties are really interested in U.S. borders?
It's obviously not about refugees or the reasons desperate people are trying to get into the U.S. Certainly its never been about humanitarian issues. There is no money in that.
However, there is a great deal of money available to the "border industrial complex" of corporations to militarize our southern border.
Here's the story:
The Truth About the U.S. Border | Robert Reich, 15 June 2021
Friday, June 11, 2021
|Super glue was an accident, too.|
Along with graphene ( here and here), the creation of, "what may be one of the most thermally stable materials ever discovered", by Australian researchers may change our future for the better. Interestingly, this discovery is similar to many other great findings... it was uncovered by accident. Here's the story...
"A new material could find applications in aerospace components and medical implants."
"Australian researchers have created what may be one of the most thermally stable materials ever discovered. This new zero thermal expansion (ZTE) material made of scandium, aluminum, tungsten and oxygen did not change in volume at temperatures ranging from 4 to 1400 Kelvin (-269 to 1126 °C, -452 to 2059 °F)."
"That's a wider range of temperatures, say scientists from the University of New South Wales (UNSW), than any other material demonstrated to date, and it could make orthorhombic Sc1.5Al0.5W3O12 (catchy name, eh?) a very handy tool for anyone engineering something that needs to work in extremely varied thermal environments."
"Examples of where this might come in handy include things like aerospace design, where components are exposed to extreme cold in space and extreme heat at launch or on re-entry. Famously, the SR-71 Blackbird was designed to expand so much at its Mach 3.4 top speed that it would liberally drizzle fuel on the runway at ground temperatures; the fuel tanks wouldn't even fully seal until they heated up. This new material stays exactly the same volume from close to absolute zero all the way up to comfortably over the heat you'd expect to get on the wing of a hypersonic aircraft traveling at Mach 5."
Advanced material has zero thermal expansion, 9 June 2021
A/Prof Neeraj Sharma of UNSW and Dr Helen Maynard-Casely of ANSTO explain their research on advanced materials that does not expand or contract over a wide temperature range.
Monday, June 7, 2021
Most likely you know someone who has passed because of cancer. I do.
All forms of cancer are my sworn enemy. The discovery described below could lead to eliminating the dreaded diseases.
Oddly, for me, the anti-TB drug Bedaquiline (Sirturo) is playing the leading role. I had TB as a child. Please see below.
"...FDA-approved drug called Sirturo, which is used to treat tuberculosis and works by targeting this process in bacteria. In vivo animal experiments showed that the drug could target the fuel supply of these ultra-fit cancer cells and selectively create a "power failure" in them, while leaving healthy cells unharmed. This blocked 85 percent of metastasis in the animal experiments."
Go here for the whole story:
From the University of Salford, Greater Manchester, UK, The University of Calabria, Cosenza, Italy, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy, Universitaria, Pisa, Italy.
Bedaquiline (Sirturo), an FDA-approved drug, inhibits mitochondrial ATP production and metastasis in vivo, by targeting the gamma subunit (ATP5F1C) of the ATP synthase, Marco Fiorillo, Cristian Scatena, Antonio Giuseppe Naccarato, Federica Sotgia & Michael P. Lisanti, 13 May 2021.
"Targeting ATP5F1C with Bedaquiline, an FDA-approved drug, prevents aggressive cancer cell behaviors, including spontaneous metastasis
Bedaquiline (a.k.a., Sirturo) is an FDA-approved antibiotic, that is clinically used for the treatment of drug-resistant TB (DR-TB). Originally, it was thought that Bedaquiline only affected the mycobacterial ATP-synthase, but more recent studies have indicated that Bedaquiline also potently inhibits the yeast and human mitochondrial ATP-synthase."
"As a consequence, we conclude that the gamma-subunit of the mitochondrial ATP-synthase (ATP5F1C) is a new therapeutic target, for mitigating aggressive cancer cell behaviors, including spontaneous metastasis."
|Mom at Springfield Lake Sanitarium, (Edwin Shaw) near Akron, OH|
Funny how memory works.
Once I had a couple of friends who could seemingly remember every detail of their childhood: toys they had… every relative… teachers… classmates… even what they wrote in kindergarten.
Oh, there are a few scraps here and there… but nothing to make a story.
One memory does poke out every once in a while. It’s more of a photo than a real memory… you know one with dialogue and people attached to it.
No, this one is only a snapshot memory.
In it I see my mother waving at us as we drive away… me in the backseat, looking out the rear window. She was standing on a balcony, a screened-in porch, waving goodbye.
Today I know that my mom was a nurse. That she somehow contacted Tuberculosis (TB) and was confined to the Springfield Lake Sanitarium, near Akron, OH, when I was a little boy. I don’t know for how long.
I do know that attached to that snapshot is a feeling of sadness and loss. Fear, actually… that I’ll never see her again.
Like other repressed memories, perhaps one day, I’ll remember more.
But, today, my mind will only let me recall that young woman, waving as we drove from the grounds.
Friday, June 4, 2021
Today I waned to post something inspiring. Why?
We so desperately need inspiration and we need to follow our own instincts today more than any other time in our lives.
I found 12-year old Beau Dermott singing, Defying Gravity from my favorite Broadway show: Wicked.
A Young Shy Girl Walks On Stage, but within Seconds Everyone’s Jaw Hit The Floor
"12-year old Beau Dermott blows Amanda away with her impressive cover of Defying Gravity from the musical Wicked with the Judge reaching for that all-important Golden Buzzer!"
"12-year-old Beau Dermott looks sweet and innocent, but the moment she began singing the audience was floored. Hidden inside this adorable young girl is a voice so powerful that the entire room hung on her every word throughout the whole song “Defying Gravity” from the popular musical Wicked. Throughout the audience, jaws dropped, eyes popped open as wide as humanly possible, and the judges were all just waiting for the opportunity to reward her with something huge."
"Her talent at such a young age shocked everyone, but beyond that, her performance was itself flawless the way she added an extra special touch to the song. She lit up with animation and excitement, showing that singing is what she is most passionate about."
"She received the golden buzzer, and just wait until you see the excitement that follows. AMAZIN!"
Wednesday, June 2, 2021
COVID-19 is a Wuhan, China lab created virus.
It was funded through a grant by the National Institute of Health to the Wuhan Institute of Virology lab in China and presided over by Dr. Peter Daszak, President of EcoHealth Alliance (New York, NY). He is the same Dr. Daszak who wrote the prestigious Lancet article declaring the virus was natural in origin. He was also a member of the World Health Organization commission which was tasked to go to China (members had to be acceptable to the Chinese government) and determine the origin of the COVID-19 virus.
A clear conflict of interest, don’t you agree? And a clear cover up, too.
The COVID-19 source does matter.
Literally, the future of humanity depends upon it. How many more millions will die because we have permitted “gain-of-function” or virus weaponization to continue?
I posted about "gain of function" and the origin of the virus on 10 March 2020, Why Are They Killing Us?
Please read the article. (Note: My source interview has now been banned by YouTube. So, I now cite a BitCHUTE posting of the same interview.)
Here’s the story:
Nicholas Wade: the case for the Covid lab-leak theory, 20 May 2021
Friday, May 28, 2021
|Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) at a Feb. 24 Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources hearing on the nomination of Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) to be Interior secretary. (Leigh Vogel/AP)|
Now that senate Republicans have blocked the creation of a bipartisan commission to study the 9 Jan Republican-led, traitorous insurrection to overthrow the government of the United States, what is next for you, Sen. Joe Manchin III (W. Va.))?
Will you continue to be a “useful idiot” for the Republicans by not supporting the end of the filibuster?
If not, you sir and your college, Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.), will become personally responsible for enabling the continued rape of the people of the United States by the Trump Republicans.
On your shoulders, sir, rests our heritage of sacrifice and valor against oppression, Fascism, and oligarchy.
Since 1776, our ancestors shed heir blood for our American Democratic Republic under our Constitution, securing our natural rights and knowing in their heart-of-hearts that no one is above the rule of law.
Are you a man worthy of our past national heroes? The thousand who sacrificed their lives for freedom? Will you surrender our national heritage to these soulless, brainless, thugs who would cut their mother’s heart out for Donald Trump? Or, for what else? The equivalent of 30 pieces of Republican silver?
It is your soul and our nation Sen. Manchin.
Join the Democratic Party effort to end the senate filibuster.
Save our nation.
Joe Manchin comes out with jaw-dropping response to Republican obstruction
Brian Tyler Cohen, 27 May 2021
Wednesday, May 19, 2021
Tuesday, May 4, 2021
|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.|
“Is dissent a crime?”, asked Arthur Krause, the father of 19-year-old Allison Krause, one of the slain KSU students. “Is this such a reason for killing her? Have we come to such a state in this country that a young girl has to be shot because she disagrees deeply with the actions of her government?”
Fifty-one years ago, four Kent State University students were murdered, and nine others wounded by a tsunami of incompetent leadership and bigoted politics. Back then, as today, the people of the USA were wrapped up in a cultural straight jacket of disdain and intolerance for their own youth.
“KSU was in chaos on 4 May 1970, because Ohio Gov. James Rhodes came to campus the day before. In a press conference he unleashed a tirade against the students, calling them “worse than the brown shirts and the communist element and also the nightriders and the vigilantes … They’re the worst type of people that we harbor in America, he continued. I think that we’re up against the strongest, well-trained, militant, revolutionary group that has ever assembled in America.”
“Then he stated that he would get a court injunction banning future protests and left the impression that something like martial law had been declared. Then he departed the KSU campus.”
“Rhodes actually did neither. But, the Guardsmen and their officers, the university administration and the student protesters did not know that. Rhodes did accomplish inciting Guardsmen and the general public against the students and muddling the "chain of command" so that no one really knew who was in charge.”
“That night, Sunday, 3 May, students confronted Guardsmen demanding that the Guard leave their campus. Several students taunted the Guard and were bayoneted.”
“The previous Friday, 1 May, KSU students and students at other universities, such as Yale, protested President Nixon’s invasion of Cambodia and the expansion of the war in Vietnam.”
Please go here for the whole Kent State Massacre story:
When Demagogues & Incompetence Rule Innocents Die, DownriverUSA, 24 Feb 2017
Silently Sacrificing our Children, DownriverUSA, 19 Feb 2018
Closure, DownriverUSA, 3 May 2020
Here We Are Again - 50 Years Later, DownriverUSA, 29 May 2020
Why the Kent State Massacre Matters Today
In the Trumpian era of “alternative facts” and demagoguery we are ever slipping and sliding deeper and deeper into our own Fascist-American quicksand where our leaders mislead, confuse issues and make up “facts” to feed their narcissistic addiction and never-sated power and wealth appetite.
Kent State continues to offer lessons for us today… lessons we continue to disregard.
The KSU administration has still not accepted sculptor George Segal’s, In Memory of May 4, 1970: Kent State - Abraham and Isaac. A work of art they commissioned.
Segal’s sculpture is a contemporary version 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.”
In other words Segal is mirroring our willingness to sacrifice our own children to our gods, whoever or whatever they are. I fear many will continue the practice, still cheerfully following the whims of our past president.
After commissioning it in 1977, Kent State refused the sculpture in 1977, saying that it “depicted violence”.
Violence, indeed. That, after all, is still what we are all about.
In Memory of May 4, 1970: Kent State - Abraham and Isaac is now on display outside of the Princeton University Chapel as part of the John B. Putnam Jr. Memorial Collection, funded by a partial gift of the Mildred Andrews Fund.
*Paul D. Keane, Teacher, M.A. (1972, Kent State University), M.Div. (Divinity School, Yale University) and M.Ed. recently passed. He taught English at Whitcomb High School and Hartford High School, Connecticut.
Monday, April 26, 2021
|"Helping Hand" insignia, US Army Humanitarian Corps.|
Each day we learn that more American citizens have been murdered by our police. We must put a stop to this carnage by reforming policing in the United States. I have discussed this on DownriverUSA several times. Here are two posts:
What Has Been Done?
One successful local community policing reform program is aimed at improving community policing by reducing police shootings and beatings of citizens. It has been in operation for over 30 years in Eugene, Oregon.
Crisis Assistance Helping Out on the Streets (CAHOOTS). CAHOOTS works for citizens and for local government by reducing police brutality while also saving the city about, “$8.5 million in public safety costs every year, plus another $14 million in ambulance trips and ER costs”.
Basically, CAHOOTS created a response unit comprised of medical personnel from a local medical facility, most likely a hospital, which is dispatched by the local police dispatcher, to deal with nonviolent/non-sworn-officer-required 911 calls, such as, “unsheltered people or those with mental health issues”.
As Eugene Police Chief Chris Skinner explained, "We need to get law enforcement professionals back to doing the core mission of protecting communities and enforcing the law, and then match resources with other services like behavioral health -- all those things we tend to lump on the plate of law enforcement."
Psychological Standard Test
Some federal authority must oversee, license, require continuing education and psychological testing for police officers throughout the U.S. That oversight must also include ICE, FBI, alcohol and drug enforcement, U.S. Marshalls, etc. – police officers at all levels of government - anyone authorized to wear a badge and carry a gun. Please see: Outraged Yet? - 13 Apr 2021.
Universal Body and Dash Cams
Every American ciizen must wear a body cam and mount an in-vehicle dash cam. Cams are inexpensive and nearly ubiquitous now. Video and audio records will offer some proof of deadly encounters with police.
Who Will Protect Us from Ultra-Right Policing Abuses? – The Humanitarian Corps
The recent CPAC conference clearly displayed a brazen neo-Nazi connection that should alarm all Americans.
Obviously, we need a new way to deal with domestic terrorism, white supremacy, and disinformation i.e., treason, fostered by the emergent, Trump-controlled, ultra-right wing Republican Party.
Who Will Protect Us from Ultra-Right Policing Abuses?
We must create a "Humanitarian Corps", a new type of Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) unit of the National Guard, under command of the U.S. military, with the mission of “quick response” to protect and defend government units and the people who are victimized by Republican disenfranchisement… those subject to police brutality; those predominantly non-white Americans who cannot depend on their local police or state or even federal law enforcement, to be treated with common decency under the law; and those victimized by our for-profit prison system.
An additional mission would be providing humanitarian relief, education, and training, in situ, to the millions of unemployed, homeless, despairing, Americans who are mired in a never-ending cycle of poverty. Consider this a new form of FDR’s CCC-style employment programs, akin to an updated “Domestic Marshall Plan”.
As a past service person, I have faith that our military command will get the job done forthwith, in an efficient and evenhanded manner, under the Constitution, under Congressional oversight, using the equipment, personnel and material, as approved by Congress.
Through the Humanitarian Corps, funded under the existing Dept. of Defense budget, we may steer the course of America away from unending inhumanity to itself and toward a more humane world – for all of us.
Using some military resources for humanitarian purposes is not a new concept. Often during times of natural disasters, hurricanes, earthquakes, etc., political people mobilize military units to evacuate victims, provide medical care, transport emergency relief supplies as well as security.
The military, after all, has ships, planes, manpower, and the command structure at the ready. All that is required is the order to spring into action and get the job done.
What could comprise The Humanitarian Corps?
Answer: existing resources, historically activated under military command, following post-combat, including military personnel, Department of State personnel, Intelligence agencies, nonprofits, etc.
We may never be able to defeat the "powers that be – the funders of Republican treason". Still, we can help some of those left in misery due to our systemic failures. For me, "No one left behind", includes the civilians we displace, leave to starve, and die of their wounds - wounds our system permits - e.g., unemployment, poor education, no health care, inadequate housing, poverty, etc. We have the means to change the course of history by allowing our "better angels" to come forward and do what needs to be done to ensure that our Democratic Republic survives the next coup attempts sure to come.
We can do something different today because we have the wherewithal to profoundly change what will happen to people who are truly hurting because of Republican sponsored domestic terrorism, white supremacy, racism, and outright treason. By doing so, by taking a different path, we can stop our national free fall into fascism.
This can be a new and unexpected counter to the Republican Party, ultra-right, Trumpian authoritarianism, one somewhat akin to the post-WWII Marshall Plan, but vastly more focused on individuals over industry and government.
We can do this by creating a solution: The Humanitarian Corps.
To help move us forward, the concept below is an excellent step… A federally-funded, Police Holster Sensor and Use Report
Let's talk about a plan and a wish for changing law enforcement....
Beau of the Fifth Column - 25 Apr 2021
Friday, April 23, 2021
Have you given a thought to what happens to people when the police arrest them during a protest?
Well, the British newspaper, the Guardian, did the research and discovered the following:
“At least 90 percent of charges against Black Lives Matter protesters in a dozen jurisdictions have been dropped, dismissed or not filed, according to an analysis by The Guardian. Such a high percentage suggests that the police may have been arresting people simply to suppress dissent.”
“In Houston and Los Angeles, The Guardian found, 93 percent of charges were either dropped or never filed; in some cities like Dallas and Philadelphia, that number rose to 95 percent of charges dropped or never prosecuted. Meanwhile, in San Francisco, 100 percent of 127 cases related to peaceful protesting were dropped.”
“The extremely high percentage of protest-related charges ultimately being dropped or dismissed suggests that police may have been using arrests as a tactic to prove that the protests were unruly and unlawful.”
Despite this clear record of outrageous, authoritarian police abuse, Republican-dominated state legislators, such as Florida, “…are filing a stunning number of anti-protest laws. Some bills criminalize protesting in what appears to be a stark infringement of First Amendment rights to assembly and freedom of speech that the right wing pretends to revere. Others propose legal protection for people who run over protesters with their vehicles or shoot them.”
In fact, one current Trump-wannabe, Gov. Ronald DeSantis of Florida, crowed this as he signed Florida’s version of the First Amendment-burning travesty while wrapping an ultra-right Republican ribbon around a slew of other minority-suppressing dreams, including:
- Allowing people, “to sue local governments if their property is damaged, injuries or deaths that arise from a riot or unlawful assembly.”
- Bumping up, “many criminal penalties from misdemeanors to felonies, meaning that, in Florida, many who are convicted under the new law could lose their right to vote.”
- “Making it a first-degree misdemeanor for a group of three or more to try and change someone’s viewpoints by using violence or the threat of violence. The crime would be punishable by a sentence of up to one year.”
- The governor said the bill will also target calls to “defund the police,” which he said was an “insane theory.”
- “This bill actually prevents against local government from defunding law enforcement,” DeSantis said. “We will be able to stop it at the state level.”
Florida’s new law, and those other Republican-controlled states are adopting, are clear harbingers of future ultra-right authoritarian rule as well as high-protein food for those like-minded authoritarian police officers throughout the nation. You know them as those clad in military gear, driving blacked out SUVs, armed with the latest weapons and wearing badges. The same “law enforcement” people who are also most likely to shoot a black person for being black, as well as others, regardless of race, for not following their commands, especially if that person is also obviously not wealthy.
Can we please make USA policing reform happen today?
The Plan to End Police Misconduct -Thom Hartmann (w/ Ben Jealous) - 21 Apr 2021
Wednesday, April 21, 2021
|Ray Downing used the Shroud of Turin to create Jesus' image.|
With all this Republican Party talk about their Anglo-Saxon heritage, keeping America “white”, the "America First" caucus, and working so hard on being a white nationalist, fundamentalist-Christian party, I hope someone reflects for a moment or two on this question:
Who is it who punched their salvation ticket for eternal life?
Why, it was Jesus. Was it not?
And was Jesus an Anglo-Saxon? Well, no.
He was a Mediterranean Jew. But he was the guy who died for us. (John 3:16)
Jordan Klepper Fingers The Pulse - Into The MAGAverse: Full Special | The Daily Show
- 19 Apr 2021
Tuesday, April 13, 2021
We passed outrage years ago.
Honestly, it is time to create a federal standard test for the police class people.
We need to know before they become cops if they will behave ethically and follow the law when they put on a badge and strap on that sidearm.
Do they like people or do they hate people?
Do they have serious psychological disqualifications?
Do they like inflicting pain on others?
Are they control freaks?
We need to know.
We must not continue to empower these predators, those who fail the test, with life-taking, abuse-inflicting freedom to roam our streets.
We need to know.
Some federal authority must oversee, license, require continuing education and psychological testing for police officers throughout the U.S. That oversight must also include ICE, FBI, alcohol and drug enforcement, U.S. Marshalls, etc. – police officers at all levels of government - anyone authorized to wear a badge and carry a gun.
We must put a stop to police lawlessness and abuse today.
Daunte Wright’s Death & America’s Broken Policing System | The Daily Social Distancing Show
Monday, April 5, 2021
I grew up in Ohio, but I guess I was always a Detroit Tigers fan at heart.
Akil Baddoo cleared that up for me.
Tuesday, March 30, 2021
|Photo credit: Tigerland, the movie about Ft. Polk.|
Back in the 1970s, I never doubted the loyalty of the U.S. Army. I knew I could count on our troops because they shared a common desire: survive, go home, and live their lives. Everyone wanted the same thing. So, people worked together and supported each other. No one worried about whether fellow Americans, or our leaders, were working against our common welfare.
Today, things seem to have changed and that shared “common good” appears to be disappearing.
Who will pay the price of Mr. Trump’s insurrection, misinformation, “alternative facts”, and endless lying? What will the resurgence of white supremacy and white nationalism in our military cost you and me?
If not our military, who will defend our Constitution the next time the white terrorists are breaking down the doors, threatening to hang their political opponents?
“Nearly one in five people facing charges related to the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol had some connection to the military, including at least two active-duty troops, prompting Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to order a 60-day stand-down across the services to address extremism.”
Tuesday, March 23, 2021
|Prof. Howard Zinn|
Our world is indeed Upside Down. We need to right it.
The Problem is Still Civil Obedience
In 2012, Matt Damon helped pay tribute to the late historian and author Howard Zinn. This rendition of a speech Zinn gave in 1970 on civil disobedience is one of his most powerful performances to date. It is still true... The Problem is Still Civil Obedience.
Howard Zinn, Boston Common, 5 May 1971
“Back in the 60s and 70s Dr. Zinn was one of the few who understood... and he did his best to tell us... that what was happening to our black brothers and sisters would soon be happening to us, all of us, save the mega-super rich. Today we understand his message was a premonition about our times, too.”
Friday, February 26, 2021
Obviously, the Republican Party has “drunk the poison Kool-Aid” laced with treasonous Trumpism. In its death throes the party is foisting its “alternative facts” delusions on the rest of Americans.
Some of us refuse to drink the poison, including the NAACP. Thank God, or the space people, someone, anyone for maintaining their sanity in defense against Trump-induced insanity.
Here’s the story:
"Derrick Johnson accuses president of ‘operating under a white supremacist doctrine’ in suit filed using 1871 Ku Klux Klan Act"
"NAACP president Derrick Johnson in 2019. The NAACP is representing Mississippi congressman Bennie Thompson in the suit but confirmed they expect more members to join."
“Civil rights group the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has argued thats its suing of Donald Trump using the Ku Klux Klan Act – a historic law enacted to combat white supremacy – is in order to hold the former president accountable to Black voters that his Republican administration sought to invalidate.”
“The lawsuit alleges Trump and his attorney Rudy Giuliani sought to undermine the will of American voters by orchestrating a “series of events that unfolded [with] the Save America rally and the storming of the Capitol” on 6 January in events that shocked the world.”
“We could not stand by and not pursue a course of action to hold those accountable for their treasonous acts,” Derrick Johnson, president, told the Guardian in an interview, noting the act was designed for “the very incident the world witnessed on 6 January”.
“Opponents have argued the twice-impeached Trump and his associates are still subject to civil and criminal penalties, including the Republican minority leader, Mitch McConnell,who blamed Trump for the insurrection in a speech on the Senate floor shortly after voting to acquit him at his impeachment trial.”
“Accusing 43 Republicans senators who acquitted Trump of putting “partisanship over the constitution”, Johnson notes that in the past some civil judgements have still bankrupted hate groups or forced them and enablers to shut down.”
“Passed in 1871, the KKK Act originally sought to prevent violence and intimidation that members of Congress were subjected to carrying out their constitutional duties throughout the south during the Reconstruction era.” -more-
Jimmy Buffett live 2010 - Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes.avi - 1977
Tuesday, February 23, 2021
|Opus, Bloom County by Berkeley Breathed|
Please forgive us for using your Opus art, but it seemed so apropos.
Thinking about the USA today reminds me that sometimes when I look in the mirror the person looking back is not me.
Friday, January 29, 2021
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) reminds me of Naegleria Fowleri ameba, the rare “bugs” that infect victims by entering up the nose to the brain and destroy the brain tissue. In her case, it appears she is trying to become a “novel” variety – the Naegleria Fowleri ameba QAnon conspiracy kind – and infect the brains of her Republican Congressional colleagues.
Her Naegleria Fowleri ameba QAnon conspiracy brain eating bug has threatened to put a bullet in Speaker Pelosi; posted support for executing prominent Democrats in Facebook comments and videos; supported the mob takeover of the Capitol; and proudly supports Mr. Trump’s treason.
Now, this from CNN: “In a video that surfaced Wednesday, Greene is seen harassing Parkland shooting survivor and gun control activist David Hogg outside the Capitol. In the video from March 2019, she calls Hogg a "coward" and said he was "paid to do this," repeating a malicious lie that Hogg's activism was paid for by billionaire philanthropist and Democratic donor George Soros. Survivors of the Parkland shooting and victims' families have called for Greene to resign.”
Maybe, someday, a Republican leader will figure out that Taylor Greene's brain eating ameba will be fatal if left untreated.
.@Fred_Guttenberg slams @RepMTG 👇— Democratic Coalition (@TheDemCoalition) January 28, 2021
"She is a depraved person who ran for Congress on a lie. She called Parkland a lie, Sandy Hook a lie, Las Vegas a lie, and 9/11 a lie. She has no business being in Congress."
Tell Congress to vote to #ExpelGreene here: https://t.co/yXSswl9EfZ pic.twitter.com/WT0zOihi2w
Tuesday, January 19, 2021
|An angry mob confronted the police as it tried to gain entry into the Capitol, 2 p.m.Credit...Ashley Gilbertson/VII, for The New York Times.|
The Capitol Hill insurrection of 6 Jan 2021 was a traitorous act orchestrated and incited by Donald Trump to overthrow our Democratic Republic. Trump’s actions were a heinous treachery, exponentially exceeding the treason of the most hated of all American traitors, Benedict Arnold.
Donald J. Trump, while President of the United States, incited insurrectionists into the Capitol building for the purpose of overturning the American voters’ will in favor of his desire to continue in power as President. Further, his followers were intent on capturing and murdering members of Congress as well as Vice President Pence.
They failed — only by mere seconds — the narrowest of margins.
In the process of following Mr. Trump’s direction, they sacked the Capitol building; murdered one police officer; injured multiple others; and killed at least three of their own rioters.
In comparison, Arnold’s treachery simply involved surrendering West Point, NY, to the British. He too, failed by the narrowest of margins.
Still, to put it into historical perspective, General George Washington called Arnold's treason, “Treason of the blackest dye”, because during the Revolutionary War, “…holding West Point meant preventing the British from controlling the Hudson River and dividing the colonies in two.” George Washington called the fortified site “the most important Post in America.” Loss of West Point could have spelled loss of the revolution.
The consequences of Trump’s treason have yet to play out. His supporters have “drunk the cool aid” and lost all sense of reality. They are adrift in a gaslighted, twisted, “alternative universe” of doublespeak and doublethink, where right is wrong and wrong is right.
Over the past years they have slowly stewed, like the proverbial frog in the frying pan, in an endless blizzard of lies and fringe-wing propaganda plus a concoction of religious insanity, which they call "Christian", but is in fact totally opposite of the teachings of Jesus Christ.
For them Trump has become a divine instrument, the voice of God, if not God himself.
Yes, treason most heinous, inflicted on our nation by a man masquerading as president, has wounded us most grievously, if not fatally. Convalescence will require a colossal effort on our part, through a multitude of disciplines, if we are to recover.
41 minutes of fear: A video timeline from inside the Capitol siege
Thursday, January 14, 2021
|Photo Credit: Mike Theiler / Reuters / The Atlantic|
"Just above and behind him (the insurrectionist with the Confederate flag) is a painting of Charles Sumner, the ardent abolitionist senator from Massachusetts, (and) a portrait of John C. Calhoun, partially obscured by the rebel flag, senator from South Carolina and vice president under both John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson, who wrote in 1837:
'I hold that in the present state of civilization, where two races of different origin, and distinguished by color, and other physical differences, as well as intellectual, are brought together, the relation now existing in the slaveholding States between the two, is, instead of an evil, a good—a positive good.'”
America, we have a challenge we must now confront.
The Trump initiated Capitol Hill Insurrection has forced us to choose to become the USA we pretend to be or remain the white racist society we deny we are.
Only the days ahead will reveal our choice.
What happens after the Capitol attacks? | Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), 13 Jan 2021
Congress must vote to impeach and remove Donald Trump.
This isn't a complicated vote. It's a matter of right or wrong.
You're either with the People or you're with that mob.
The Civil War Never ended... Hatreds and Fears
Monday, January 11, 2021
|Officer Eugene Goodman alone between rioters and open Senate door.|
Photo Credit: New York Times
Officer Eugene Goodman was and remains the right man in the right spot at the right time. He is a hero not just because he chose not to use deadly force, but because he courageously stood alone before a mob of Trumpist-rioters, then risked bodily harm and/or death while summoning-up his intelligence and experience to distract them away from the US Senate chamber’s open door.
“Above and Beyond”... Officer Goodman; you are my hero. Your service in defense of our Constitution brings tears of gratitude to my eyes.
Hero Officer Led Mob Away To Save Lives During Capitol Riot
TODAY, 11 Jan 2021