When Failed Insurrectionists Rewrite Laws

There are several important things to note regarding the sweeping 6-3 party line ruling of the Trump tainted Supreme Court on New York’s concealed carry law (New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen) today.

The single most important one being that the majority opinion was penned by the Justice whose wife just helped plan, fund, and carry out — with multiple seditious domestic terrorism militias — an armed and murderous attempt to overthrow our halls of Congress and assassinate the Vice President and Speaker of the House along with other members of Congress.

As justification his ruling states that we must honor America’s long history of unrestricted gun access while disregarding the fact that the NY law being challenged has been on the books for nearly 120 years and has been upheld by the SCOTUS bench before. It also disregards the long history of American cities and states attempting to curb gun violence stretching all the way back into the “old west” when visitors to many towns had to turn their guns in at the Sheriff’s Office upon arrival.

As such this will overturn similar laws in at least 6 other states, and will lead to Red Flag laws being challenged and more perpetrators of domestic violence attacks being allowed to obtain firearms again.

But wait, there’s more.

The ruling actually contains this sentence:

“After reviewing the Anglo-American history of public carry, the court concludes that respondents have not met their burden to identify an American tradition justifying New York’s proper-cause requirement,” meaning that a review of American history (where British law holds influence and English is the primary language) says we cannot put a law in place that requires a person to explain why they need to carry a concealed firearm in public to be permitted to do so.

The ruling was issued the same day that the federal Congress prepares to vote on its first major (although weak) bipartisan gun restriction bill in decades, signaling to members that the court will likely strike down any law they pass regardless of how they vote, giving Republicans an easy excuse to back out of their pathetic attempt at compromise.

More importantly though, the ruling will negate many public safety laws and protocols that have been or may be introduced by federal, state, or local authorities throughout the nation by placing a new and ridiculous bar that must be hurdled before safety restrictions can be implemented. If this ruling had been made 3 years earlier it is likely an additional million people would have been lost to the COVID pandemic.

The end result is that this ruling will make all of America less safe, and do so in ways for which a gun in your purse or holstered to your side won’t provide any viable protection.

And that is exactly what Ginny Thomas and her co-conspirators wanted.

Clarence and Ginny Thomas putting the coup back in couple.

Shocking Revelations?

For a moment, let us set aside the few new revelations that were given to us as part of the House Select Committee’s first public hearing on the insurrection attempt led by Donald Trump and his coterie of sycophants, and engage in some real talk about the primary underlying issue.

Based on the reporting and social media commentary following the hearing, everyone seems remarkably shocked at the extent of the conspiracy aspect behind all of this.

I cannot fathom why.

We knew it was a conspiracy all along, long before Donald J. Trump became a part of it.

How did we know?

The short answer for the “TL:DR” (Too Long: Didn’t Read) folks is simply:

History has shown us time and time again that it is impossible for a single person to gaslight hundreds of millions of people into intentionally harming others and themselves for what appears to be the personal benefit of only that one person. Doing this requires a massive support group engaged in coordinated implementation of a well organized, thorough plan. In this case, that plan was generarions in the making. Trump wasn’t its architect, he was just the newest face of the movement.

If you’ve been reading the books and articles of people like Timothy Snyder and following people like Dr. Heather Cox Richardson on social media, you should already have a good idea of what the long answer is going to be. If you’ve been following me on social media at all since 2011, the same should be true. But most people haven’t been putting the pieces together.

Here is a detailed look at what helped get us here.

After the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln wanted to “heal” the divide between what at the time were the Northern Republicans and the Southern Democrats. So, he made several concessions to those southern land owners and former slave owners who had led a treasonous insurrection against our own government. They took every opportunity to systemically entrench support of their “Lost Cause.” It went beyond just putting the failed treasonous military generals in high government positions, which was bad enough.

The 13th Amendment which made the freedom of the slaves a Constitutional Right was itself amended to allow that slavery could legally continue as long as people were convicted and imprisoned first.

This immediately led to the creation of laws that criminalized being Black and started the racial disparity in our justice system. When the 14th Amendment gave them the right to citizenship, many states went further making it illegal for former prisoners to exercise their consitutional right to vote or hold office, so once they managed to get out of prison they’d have no means of working within the system to enact necessary changes.

Thus began the Dredd Scott and Jim Crow eras.

This continued until well into the 20th Century and the Civil Rights Movement.

Then in 1964, Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson dared to sign the Civil Rights Act. The bill enraged and disenfranchised the southern White “DixieCrats” so much that they abandoned the party.

Richard Nixon saw this as a path to power. He would bring Roger Stone along with him.

He immediately began recruiting them to the Republican party by pandering to their racism and Evangelical religious bigotries. This movement of the southern White elite essentially forced both the Republican and Democrat parties to completely swap their social and political ideologies and policy platforms. The sudden Evangelical embrace of anti-abortion politics as a wedge issue was part of Nixon’s courting of the racist White religious right.

Nixon began the dismantling of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal which had helped end the Great Depression and for the previous 50 years ensured that America would become the wealthiest and most powerful nation in the world by taxing corporations and elevating the middle class.

It was during the Nixon era when Congress separated the minimum wage from the inflation rate so employers no longer had to provide cost of living wage increases when necessary.

However, Nixon got caught committing illegal acts from the highest public office in our nation, a position commonly revered as the “Leader of the Free World.” When the coverup failed to keep those acts from reaching the public eye, his party members knew the only way to save themselves was to force him to resign before the impeachment trial exposed them too. So they did. His condition for that resignation was a full pardon, which was granted by his VP and successor to the presidency, allowing him to avoid any and all legal repercussions for his actions. And also preventing him from testifying as to whom in his party, and the government, helped him commit those crimes and helped him try to cover them up.

Then Ronald Reagan came along. As Carter successfully negotiated the release of the American Hostages being held in Iran, Reagan was working through back channels to ensure that release didn’t happen until after his inauguration so it would appear his administration secured it rather than Carter’s. This was the foundation of the Iran-Contra hearings that came later, that led to Oliver North’s immunity deal on three federal charges in exchange for his congressional testimony.

While in office Reagan spent a few years intentionally ignoring the HIV/AIDS epidemic because the primary victims seemed to be intravenous drug users and people who were labeled at the time as homosexual. It wasn’t until powerful and influential people, who were formerly closeted members of what is now the LGBTQQIP2SAA community, began announcing their own diagnoses that he could no longer ignore it. Countless people needlessly suffered and died because of his administration’s intentional mismanagement of the early years of that epidemic and the false narratives about how the disease could be transmitted.

He also enacted the nationalization of Trickle-Down economics that has disempowered much of the middle class created by FDR’s New Deal.

And, this will be important later, he vetoed journalism’s Fairness Doctrine Bill. Organizations like FOX News, Breitbart, Rush Limbaugh, and Alex Jones’ InfoWars, couldn’t exist today if he had allowed it to pass.

But the worst thing that came from Reagan’s tenure was pushing the public narrative of individual American exceptionalism and the belief that everyone who was successful became successful on their own through nothing but hard work and determination instead of through the help of supportive friends, family, and community. This became even more destructive with the conflation of all social service programs as “SOCIALISM” and just to be sure they managed to lump all the varying types of socialism as well as communism together under that one “evil” label. This had been going on for quite some time, but dismantling the fairness doctrine really accelerated the way conservative media outlets could package their propaganda.

Then came the the first of two Bush Presidents. The first was pretty much just an extension of Reagan. He did appoint Justice Thomas to the Supreme Court, although it wouldn’t be until decades later that we would learn that Clarence was only serving as his wife’s proxy on the bench.

Before the second Bush came Bill Clinton, who after playing the saxophone on the Arsenio Hall Show embraced being called America’s “First Black President,” despite not being Black. His entire campaign was about embracing Corporatism in compromise with the modern Republicans and forcing all of American politics just a little bit further right with each of his political compromises as he tried getting conservative independents to support him.

Clinton and his administration became embroiled in multiple personal and professional scandals, including Bill’s workplace infidelity with interns which led to an impeachment hearing that would teach American teens that committing sexual acts without intercourse doesn’t legally count as sex, the Whitewater scandal, and the fact that they used Black prison labor [see 13th Amendment’s continued legalization of imprisoned slaves reference above] to staff the Arkansas Governor’s mansion while in residence there. That last might well explain why he was so willing to push the center right while compromising with the former DixieCrats.

During Clinton’s tenure, House Speaker Newt Gingrich would take full advantage of both Clinton’s desire to compromise with Republicans and the various scandals to further the only Republican policy platform agenda that had been in place since Nixon. That was to subversively support White Nationalism, Toxic Misogyny, and Religious Discrimination to keep the people divided, to use the War On Drugs and the War on Poverty to wage war on all marginalized people suffering from drug addiction and poverty in the world’s wealthiest nation instead of providing them the resources they needed to improve their lives; because doing so made them easier to control under the guise of maintaining “Law and Order,” “The Rule Of Law” and protecting “Family values.”

It was at this point FOX News was founded by Australia’s Rupert Murdoch. Murdoch weaved White Nationalism and misogyny into everything he did at the network and everything the network put on the air. He created a 24/7 entertainment empire that would serve as a recruiting and indoctrination service for violently angry White men in exactly the same way that other multinational terrorist organizations recruited and indoctrinated their own terrorist cells.

Following Clinton was the second Bush administration.  Which would capitalize on the American media’s conflation of all Muslim ethnicities into one giant anti-democracy terrorist organization.

“W.” would use the well established Republican relationship with American Evangelicalism to stoke the religious bigotry of our nation’s militant right after the 9/11 attacks of 2001 and unleash the world’s greatest military power on the wrong country so we could secure the oil reserves of that nation.   Considering his family’s fortune and power was built upon the oil industry, this was no doubt a remarkably self serving action that cost millions of lives of all those involved and entagled us in a war that would span decades.

He would also use the incident to justify creation of Department of Homeland Security and issue executive orders that would later be codified into law by Congress to bypass the 4th amendment rights of any and all citizens it wanted if it could meet the lowest possible standards of suspicion of a national security threat.   This would be used by increasingly militarized police departments around the nation to wage war on increasingly marginalized communities of color.  It was at this time, that privatized White Nationalist militias really began to see a surge in their membership as angry White men took up arms to protect our country from Black and Brown people attempting to immigrate here both legally and illegally.

Meanwhile, Roger Ailes became CEO of FOX News, Fox Television stations, and 20th Television.  Ailes had served as media consultant for Republican presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George H.W. Bush as well as for the first mayoral campaign of Rudy Giuliani.  He would maintain Murdoch’s history of racism, religious bigotry, and misogyny in every aspect of the business, but he was also instrumental in turning the outlet into nothing more than a Republican propaganda machine.   The company’s own legal team would argue in court, against slander and libel lawsuits, that the outlet was nothing more than sensationalist entertainment and could not seriously be considered a legitimate news source.

It was the George W. Bush administration that appointed John Roberts to the Supreme Court as Chief Justice.   The Roberts’ court would almost immediately begin stripping away the political power and civil rights protections of the populace and relocating it into the hands of the world’s wealthiest people and corporations.

Then a mostly unknown Black freshman Senator did the unthinkable.  

He galvanized the nation’s people of color, most especially the women of color, to overcome the centuries of efforts to prevent them from having any political power to not only show up, but to do so in such numbers that those efforts would be rendered meaningless.   Even more miraculously, he did so without disenfranchising the White moderates and liberals who embraced his message of cooperative hope for the future.   And even more miraculously than that, he did it with a decidedly “Muslim sounding” name in the aftermath of 9/11 and the Iraq wars.

Barack Obama was the greatest societal unifying force of a generation.   He pushed social services.  He pushed for getting as many Americans as possible health care knowing he’d never get Republican support for Universal heath care.

The only people who saw him as divisive were the racists who were never going to accept him because of his name and/or skin color.  Many people think he didn’t do enough, but what he and his team accomplished against the most aggressively obstructive Congress was nothing short of astounding.

Prominent Republicans looked at his success and said “never again,” and — probably for the first time — meant it.

The Senate Majority Leader at the time vowed, literally at the inauguration, to do everything possible to ensure Obama would be an ineffectual one term president.  Authoritarian and fascist leaders of foreign governments lined his pockets and that of other Republicans to help him, as did quite a few major corporations and organizations, not the least of which were Russia and the NRA.  

To Obama’s credit, he accomplished much, including getting re-elected to accomplish more.

McConnell and the Republicans fought him every step.   And their biggest complaint, even as he offered them exactly what they demanded in their compromise negotiations always boiled down to “But he’s a Black Muslim,” even though he was Christian.

This is where Donald Trump finally officially enters the picture in August of 2015 to announce the presidential campaign he had been threatening for years. At this point in his life, his one true skill is simply self-promotion.   Russia’s former superspy and current president, Putin, had been grooming him for years.

They funneled money to him and other Republicans through the NRA and his money laundering real estate businesses whose primary clientele was the Russian mafia.  His behind the scenes campaign advisors included Roger Stone, Roger Ailes (and several of his fake news network’s superstars), Newt Gingrich, and media shock jocks Rush Limbaugh and Alex Jones.

Publicly, during the campaign, Republicans put up a pretense of hating Donald J. Trump and everything about him.   He had a tendency to talk too much and “say the quiet parts out loud” exposing motives and plans before they could be snuck passed the general populace until it was too late.  He was also at constant risk for sex, ethics, discriminatory, and other legal scandals popping up from his past and present.

However, his donors had much deeper pockets (being mostly adversarial foreign governments) and his advisory team had much more power, experience, reach, and political clout than any of his opponents.

Angry, racist, White Americans loved the fact that he was unabashedly racist and willing to say what they wanted to hear even when everyone knew he shouldn’t be saying it.

Ultimately, when he won the primary, the Republican party agreed to support him for President.  They would protect him from accountability if he would sign off on their desire to stack every federal bench with judges who would be willing to put party platform before their duty to their office.   All three RNC finance chairs from this period were subsequently convicted on various felonies.

The son of a sitting Supreme Court Justice would use his position at a bank to funnel a billion dollars of funding to Trump with a loan no other bank would have made.   The loan appears to have been a funnel of Russian money, not the bank’s own assets.

That Justice would later take early retirement for Trump to seat an additional member on the bench for at least another two generations of furthering the Robert’s court agenda.

McConnell, with the help of all Republicans, literally broke American parliamentary procedures to steal a Supreme Court bench seat from the Obama administration.   Conservative media helped them justify it.

The death of civil and women’s rights champion Ruth Bader Ginsburg would make a third seat available to entrench the Republican agenda on the bench for those generations.

During his presidency, Trump would intentionally damage long standing national alliances, destroy treaties, and court authoritarian regimes as he attempted to remove any and all trace of Obama’s successes from the White House history.   To help accomplish this, nearly every administrative appointment he made was to put in place a person who had already publicly stated that the department they would be heading should be completely dismantled and eradicated.  He immediately began dismantling agencies that performed ethics oversite and civil rights protections.

To further his efforts he would stoke and then dismiss as unimportant White Nationalist hatred and violence toward People of Color and non-Christians.  Drive up the recruitment for White Nationalist domestic terrorism cells (militias) and weaponize them against communities of color along with using ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and the Border Patrol to do the same.  He would also openly encourage more racial policing and police brutality against people of color.

With the help of the entire Republican party and their well established media propaganda machine, he would borrow a page from Reagan’s HIV/AIDS playbook and allow over a million Americans to die as he intentionally mismanaged our government’s response to a global pandemic because at the early stages of that crisis the most effected communities were the ones that weren’t among his support demographic.   They would convince their followers to put themselves and their own families at great risk in an attempt to kill off as many of their opposition voters as possible.

He would be twice impeached, once for attempting to blackmail Ukraine’s president for his own personal reelection efforts and to benefit Putin’s efforts to rebuild the U.S.S.R. and again for leading a violent murderous insurrection against the American government to prevent the transition of power to his rightful successor in the office.   Both times the Republican party did everything they possibly could to protect him from consequence and accountability.

All of this is a matter of public record. 

None of it is part of a big investigative reveal discovered at the Select Committee hearings.

We’ve known all of it all along.

History has shown us time and time again that it is impossible for a single person to gaslight hundreds of millions of people into intentionally harming others and themselves for what appears to be the personal benefit of only that one person.   Doing this requires a massive support group engaged in coordinated implementation of a well organized, thorough plan.  In this case, that plan was generations in the making.   Trump wasn’t its architect, he was just the newest face of the movement.

What we have been up against all along is a small group of kleptocrats enabled by adversarial foreign governments to undermine democracy, dismantle the US government, and erode our international influence to create a society of multinational Corporate Feudalism.  And they have weaponized uninformed outrage, racism, religious bigotry, and misogyny to accomplish it.

If you look at it with that in mind, every single decision they have made over the years makes perfect sense.

Trump wasn’t the mad scientist brains behind the whole thing, he was the monster those mad scientists created and unleashed.

Of course it’s a conspiracy. 

It’s a conspiracy that has been fully entrenched within the #Culturalinertia of our nation’s history.

It will continue until we put an end to it, or it succeeds.

It’s All So Simple; Really, But Simple Ain’t Always Easy.

Over the past few weeks a lot of different news has been breaking, and the press and the people responsible for it want us all to view each instance as a separate, isolated, and unrelated occurrence, they are not. We have to put some pieces together to put them all in context with each other. If we do that, Things get pretty clear, and the solutions present themselves.

First, lets review a bit of well documented history, that is undisputed by anyone reputable enough to put forth any dispute of merit.

Several years back, multiple foreign interests saw a celebrity conman as a useful idiot they could put in power to serve their interests. They pursued several methods of doing so, ego stoking, funneling money through the NRA, employing a social media troll farm for influence, using hackers to attack our political party offices and election systems, and more. The son of a Supreme Court Justice Antony Kennedy funneled roughly a billion dollars of their money through Deutsche Bank loans that no legitimate bank officer would approve. And, they were successful beyond their wildest dreams.

Their useful idiot became the President of the United States, despite losing the general election by a considerable margin. He spent the next four years stoking racial hatred and political violence. He filled three seats on the Supreme Court with religious zealot personal loyalists with a combination of multiple ethics complaints and inexperience on the bench. One of those seats belonged to Justice Kennedy, who retired early just so this man could appoint his replacement while the Republican party controlled the approval process. He then went on to become personal responsible for more the deaths of more than half a million Americans by seizing on an opportunity to weaponize a global pandemic he thought would be limited to more urban, liberal areas, and controlled before it could spread. His inner circle of kleptrocrats used that opportunity to make a ton of money in illegal and/or unethical investments as they mishandled the national response and created an economic crises. Eventually, though, their misinformation efforts and anti-science, anti-knowledge campaigns backfired, and the virus started taking an even heavier toll on their own support base as vaccines became available. Then when it became clear he wasn’t going to be re-elected, he attempted to lead a violent overthrow of our Congressional system, and seize power for himself. He failed, but he succeeded in further dividing the country with violence, racism, and bigotry. In the process, the Republican senate made a mockery of not just one, but two impeachment trials to protect him.

Now we have a Supreme Court, one third of which was appointed by a violent insurrectionist, rewriting long established and settled law, starting with abortion rights.

During his tenure, the Republicans in state governments around the country have been passing hundreds of voter suppression laws and laws rolling back civil rights, social services, and more.

Republicans are hoping the compromised Supreme Court will uphold their efforts.

Then, after winning back the Presidency, as well as the House and Senate majorities, Democrats wasted nearly a year before pursing real investigations of those that planned and instigated the insurrection attempt, especially those still serving as Congressional peers. They held off on the trials of insurrectionists and cut deals that allowed them to plead out to non-felony charges to avoid more serious punishment, including the, at least temporary, loss of their own voting rights.

Worse yet, the allowed two of their own Democratic senators, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Krysten Sinema of Arizona, to hold the ability to achieve justice and make good on promises of progress hostage for their own personal gain.

The real solutions are simple, and should be bipartisan, if one party wasn’t actively trying to weaponize willful ignorance and hateful bigotry in order to entrench us all in corporate feudalism.

But, simple isn’t always easy.

Here are the things that need to be done now:

Close Ranks and Unify

The Democrat Party leadership needs to steamroll Manchin and Sinema, by taking some lessons of the Republicans to heart.

Schumer and Durbin need to tell them to get in line and do away with the filibuster in order to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the For The People Act.

If the two refuse, then Schumer should strip them of all their Committee seats, severely hindering their power to influence legislation in development. They should eliminate all party support for their re-elections and divert it to candidates who will primary them and vote with the party on these vital issues.

Many people think that the threat of doing so will force them to switch parties, but this won’t happen. Neither of them will switch because doing so puts McConnell back in the Majority Leadership seat and eliminates both or their personal gain leverage as they become the 51st or 52nd member of the Republican majority and of no use at all to McConnell in passing or obstructing anything. They are two self centered and self serving to willingly render themselves irrelevant.

Get them in line and pass the bills required to make sure everything else being accomplished right now remains a lasting accomplishment, and not just a brief respite in the eye of the storm.

Fix The Court

Biden assembled nearly 3 dozen experts to form a commission in response to demands from Democrats to restore what they called ideological “balance” on the currently tainted court. They offered him a 300 page research paper that offers no specific recommendations.

So, here are my recommendations for what must be done:

Change the number of Supreme Court Justices is so there is a one to one ratio of Justices to US Appellate Court Districts.

That number is currently 13. Set term limits to be two times the number of judges, so 26 years.

Appoint one new judge every two years to replace the longest serving judge. If a judge dies or retires early, the President would then nominate, with Congressional approval, a temporary replacement to fill the seat until it would have come up in rotation, at which time the temporary nominee could be reconfirmed for their own term or replaced as scheduled.

This would prevent any one administration from being able to hold an imbalanced sway over the court for generations to follow.

Achieve Accountability

Censure and eject all those who participated in the planning and execution of the January 6th insurrection from both the House and Senate, and any governmental/state agency that they are currently working within.

Hold trials for all those who participated in the planning and execution of that insurrection, on the proper felony charges. Expedite the trials.

Disqualify all of them that are currently running for state and federal offices across the nation from ever holding political office again.

There is established legal precedent for all of the above.

Move On

For years now, we have been fighting against a small group of kleptocrats put in power by an adversarial foreign government to undermine democracy, dismantle the US government, and erode our international influence. And they have weaponized uninformed outrage, racism, religious bigotry, and misogyny to accomplish it.

If you take the time to look at all they have done, with that in mind, every single decision they have made over the last several years makes perfect sense.

Only by accomplishing the things outlined above can we begin to address our collective moral injury as a nation and society and begin to heal from the damage they have caused.

This is how we address the ongoing #StochasticTerrorism of the Republican party and begin to course correct our #Culturalinertia.

It’s Been A Busy Week

Four days ago, for a variety of reasons, I posted a farewell message to my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/timsnews) after nine years of dedicating my blood, sweat, and tears to keeping it going well, and doing so with no real compensation.

There were several private personal issues that played into the decision of how I need to allocate my time and effort going forward, but those were all secondary to the fact that at the beginning of 2016, this page was reaching nearly half a million individual users a day.   Now, with nearly twice as many followers as then, it barely reaches 5,000 a week.  This is a direct result of Facebook’s (now Meta’s) algorithms intentionally quashing the voice of progressive and/or humanist advocates.

As a result of all of this, and other changes to how the Facebook user interface works, the page has evolved a few times over the years, going from a place of user engaged discussion and debate of meaningful issues, to me just posting brief commentary on specific news links, and the few people that still engaged doing so simply by clicking a generalized emoticon reaction button instead of processing their thoughts on the issue for a meaningful response.

Since posting that message, quite a few people who have never openly engaged before let me know publicly and privately how much the page has meant to them, that meant a lot.

Also, several extremely major news stories broke each validating much of my efforts here over the last few years.

Trump’s Chief of Staff published a new book exposing that Trump tested positive for COVID 3 days prior to his live debate with Biden in 2020.  Meaning that he was “patient zero” for the Super Spreader event celebrating his appointment of Amy Cohen Barrett to the Supreme Court and several other events that week, all of which he attended unmasked while hugging the guests.  It also shows that his crowding Biden’s personal space during the debate was an intentional and malicious effort attempting to infect Biden.  And every one of his immediate family members and staff, unmasked in the audience, were doing something similar.   After backlash from Trump, the author, said in a news interview that his own book was “Fake News.”

A former ranking member of the DOJ choose to plead the 5th in front of a Congressional committee rather than answer questions that would expose his own criminal involvement in the January 6th insurrection.   This has been handed over to the current AG for Contempt of Congress charges.

Meanwhile a Supreme Court bench sent the signal that it fully intends to strip women of what remaining personal health autonomy they already have, and in the process set the new precedent for states to completely disregard any and all federal laws and regulations they choose.

You might remember Trump in his debate with Hillary Clinton declaring that he would fill the bench with judges that would overturn Roe v. Wade.   And here we are.

Despite the fact that during his confirmation to the Supreme Court Brett Kavanaugh convinced Sen. Susan Collins that he thought a woman’s right to an abortion was “settled law” calling the court cases affirming it “precedent on precedent” that could not be casually overturned.  And during her own confirmation, Amy Coney Barrett told senators that laws could not be undone simply by personal beliefs, including her own.

In both cases Senators like Susan Collins choose to believe their lies under oath, rather than see the reality of their previous rulings and opinions and op-ed papers, and Trump’s stated intent and confirm them anyway.

As a result, we now have a Supreme Court bench, one third of which, was appointed by a man who attempted to lead a violent overthrow of our government, actively reinterpreting Constitutional law and legal precedent from a fascist White Nationalist perspective.

The legal team Trump assembled to wage his “Stop the Steal” court battles has turned on each other so deeply that they’re publicly exposing each others crimes, and all are now under investigation.  They also lost a major ruling in Michigan as a result of these frivolous lawsuits.   And outlets like Fox News and NewsMax are tearing themselves apart trying to figure out who they’re supposed to support and who they’re supposed to attack.

During this brief four day span, we also learned that the mother of the latest school shooting wrote an open later in 2016 to Trump thanking him for giving her the right to bear arms.  The weapon the boy used was only purchased by the father four days before the methodical and deliberate massacre.   This was a direct result of the incessant #StochasticTerrorism efforts from Trump and his supporters.  The young man is now being charged as an adult with murder and terrorism charges.  His parents are both being charged with involuntary manslaughter as well.

And over the years, each and every one of those things was predicted by the posts on this page, and then discussed again as they were happening in real time.   This, along with your heartfelt responses, further validated my work and effort here and helped me come to a realization.

I started the Facebook page and this blog site for me, they were a place for me to process my thoughts on important and difficult issues, which over the years evolved into an attempt to combat willful ignorance by keeping myself and others informed.   One of the key ways I found to do that was to expose the aspects of our #culturalinertia that were holding us back as a society offering suggestions on how we need to shift them in the proper direction.   At the same time writing about it and informing others became a form of personal therapy to work through my own “Moral Injury.”  If you don’t know what that is, you should.   I strongly believe that we as a collective society are all suffering from this shared PTSD.   Learn more here:  https://www.ptsd.va.gov/…/cooccurring/moral_injury.asp=

So, I realize now, I need to keep doing my writing and sharing it with anyone that I can reach, which means instead of shutting the page down, it is time for it to evolve once again.

I will keep this page open, along with my Twitter page @timelytopics.  Of late, I have been over-posting to Facebook and under-posting to Twitter.  To solve both those issues, instead of posting so many different news articles with their own separate lead in comments, I will be writing a couple cumulative blog entries on this WordPress page https://tims-news.com/ and posting the links to these social media accounts, you can follow on whichever of the three platforms you prefer.

These blog entries will be more similar in structure to the postings I have shared with you recently from Dr. Heather Cox Richardson, and I will allow more of my personal writing voice to be present in my commentary on the issues (as all of my blog posts have done) than my postings here normally have contained.  Expect to find a lot more humor and sarcasm embedded that those of you that don’t know me personally are accustomed to from me.

If you appreciate the work and effort, and are willing to make a donation to cover the expenses of the news subscriptions I use to keep the information here flowing, you can do so at either PayPal: paypal.me/timelytopics or Venmo: timelytopics@gmail.com

A Field Guide to Changing the #Culturalinertia – Part 3

I am long overdue with the release of this third part in our Field Guide to Changing the #Culturalinertia. Follow these links to find parts One and Two. It wasn’t from a lack of trying. I had an essay planned for release in January of this year following the victory of Georgia’s Democrats in securing their national Senatorial seats and also securing what should have been a true Democrat majority in the Senate.

That article was going to address the historical origins of systemic and societal racism in America, how it is perpetuated, and how we could and should have been using a democratic control of both the legislative and executive branches of our federal government for whatever time that control could be maintained. It was going to begin with Abraham Lincoln’s misguided decision to embrace confederate leadership and their “Lost Cause” efforts for the sake of “compromise” instead of allowing them to languish in defeat. Thus began the trend of allowing treasonous generals and politicians into congressional leadership, naming military bases after those same treasonous people, the establishment of Jim Crow laws and sundown towns, the creation of the DoJ to protect civil rights and deal with the KKK terrorists cells and the subsequent subversion of the federal law enforcement agency to be used as tool against any progressive progress made on behalf of People of Color, culminating in today’s school to prison pipeline feeding mass incarceration for privatized prison labor profiteering.

It was a lengthy article that I have deleted and rewritten several times since then because it was scheduled to be released on January 7th, 2021. However, the day prior, a large group of White Nationalists answered the incessant Stochastic Terrorism calls of Donald Trump, leading Republicans, and nearly all conservative media outlets to attempt a murderous insurrection to interfere with the certification of a presidential election and overthrow the legislative branch of our government while planning to assassinate both the Republican vice president and several of our elected Democrat members of Congress along with a few Republican members like Mitt Romney of whom they disapproved.

Every day for weeks after that there were new pertinent additions to be made and the essay morphed into a dissertation.

One of the most telling being that despite the win in Georgia, the Democrats had not truly obtained a Senate majority. Because two right wing conservatives had been elected by their states as Democrats; Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Krysten Sinema of Arizona. Through their refusal to help end the filibuster process, which was originally created as a tool for conservatives to fight against civil rights reforms and is still being used primarily for that same purpose, they have thwarted nearly all major important efforts of the Biden administration without the need of real effort at opposition by the Republicans.

Every time I thought my revisions were done and it was time to release it, new developments would immediately arise within the obvious injustice of the lack of consequences not only for those who perpetrated the offenses but also for those who incited them to it for their own political profiteering purposes.

After months of revisions and rewrites, I have come to an important realization regarding the never ending fight for equity of opportunity and justice. There are a few common recurring points for each side of the political debate on every issue throughout every examination of this fight at every stage of history.

Throughout American history the nation’s conservatives have been working to undermine or eliminate all progressive reforms, all attempts at multicultural equity of justice, and all attempts to establish and secure social safety and security. They strive to maintain gerrymandering, systemic oppression, redlining, and inequality based on gender, ethnicity, and religion.

They feign ignorance to divert the debate to petty points instead of real solutions. They fund and cite pseudoscience to present as real science. They resort to overt lies, which they now call “alternative facts,” gaslighting, cherry picking data, and as many other logical fallacies as they an get away with to control the framing narrative of debate. They have started a civil war and an insurrection, both based on White Nationalist racism.

At the same time, throughout all of American history, the nations liberals and progressives have worked on the assumption that reaching some form of bipartisan compromise with them is vital on every single issue.

That latter, more than anything else, is the true fatal failure of our current system.

The entire political platform of modern Republicans is to maximize suffering and death. It is the reason they fight against all efforts to establish social security, SNaP, CHiP, health care assistance, housing assistance, public health safety, environmental protections, consumer protections, worker safety regulations. It is why they constantly raise taxes on average people while eliminating them for the ultra wealthy and large corporations. They have even courted the assistance of adversarial foreign governments to accomplish it.

So, the next step in our Field Guide to Changing the Cultural Inertia is to stop seeking ways to compromise with those who harbor evil intent.

Until we have made that step, we are letting the terrorists set the terms of our future.

Looking To The Future Through A Hindsight Filter

We are now in our 8th month of dealing with COVID-19 in the US and the 11th month since China first began publicly acknowledging their outbreak and taking large scale preventative measures.

While we don’t, yet, have a cure or reliable vaccine ready for mass distribution, we do have a pretty clear understanding of the science outlining how we can minimize its infectious spread.

This along with the material leaked by various congressional and White House staff members (current and former), the rhetoric and sources being disproved by those leaks, and the physical confessions of criminal intent Woodward suppressed for half a year offer us the wisdom of hindsight.

What is clear to anyone looking at the whole picture is that Republican politicians bet big on the hope that refusing to allow the proper steps to be taken in time would kill off a massive segment of the already elderly, infirm, impoverished, and marginalized minority community members in a natural biological warfare eugenics scheme before it could reach their cloistered and fortified ranks.

They weaponized the willful ignorance of their racist supporters to hasten the process and used #StochasticTerrorism to whip them into a frenzy.

They did this while accelerating their long term efforts to strip access to health care away from the millions they want to eliminate.

They even managed to fabricate an economic crisis that escalated the risk to those lower income workers in societally essential, but underappreciated and underpaid jobs. Making them choose a death by pandemic illness or homelessness due to loss of income.  And they created an imbalanced stimulus package to benefit the employers and companies that were abandoning their workers by the 10s of thousands.

All to eliminate a huge segment of their opposition voting base and protect their dying grasp on the levers of power in our nation.

Horrifically, they were largely successful. A quarter of a million Americans died, millions more fell ill – many permanently, and tens of millions dropped further into poverty and face homelessness in their near future.

But they weren’t successful enough. The people were galvanized instead of broken. We began using social media to organize large scale resistance and defeat the propaganda spin. They prepared en masse to reclaim democracy.

This increased resistance threatening the decades of work the Republicans spent gerrymandering and redlining districts and suppressing votes by every legal and illegal means possible, forced them to take larger, faster, more obvious steps toward establishing a fascist kleptocracy under the influence and control of an adversarial foreign power.

If they had managed to kill more, and crush the resistive spirit of enough of the rest of us, faster, they would have immediately adopted the necessary protocols to stop the spread of the disease to save themselves.

But, we persevered for too long, and the illness reached them before they could secure victory over their own citizenry and constituents. Now it is too late to admit their intent openly without their own violent supporters being forced to realize how they were being used and being disregarded and discarded along with everyone else in the process.

So they have to maintain the lie at any and all costs, even as they begin to suffer the same detrimental health effects and possible deaths within their own gilded halls sequestered from the masses.

And that is where we are now.

The only way we begin to recover is to sweep everyone who has supported, protected, enabled, and emboldened this presidential administration from every level of our federal, state, and local governments.

Then we can work on passing some new laws, abolishing some old ones, and begin correcting the course of our #Culturalinertia. It will be generations before we are done, especially if Trump and McConnell secure a 6-3 imbalance on the Supreme Court.

We will never complete the journey unless we decide right now to take every possible step necessary to begin it.

The first step is making sure your ballot is properly submitted between now and November 3rd.

Buckle Up, The Rest of This Ride Is Over Some Dangerous Terrain.

We are 100 days from November 3rd, and it is imperative that Donald Trump is removed from office. During the next 100 days he, his administration, and the Republican party will be pulling out all the corrupt and authoritarian measures possible to ensure their reelection and retention of power.

We must prepare ourselves for that, but we must also begin to prepare ourselves for what comes next. If we fail to show up and not just vote to remove Trump from office but to overwhelmingly repudiate the modern Republican platform and rhetoric on both local and national levels, they will see their reelection as not just a mandate to continue that but permission to escalate it further over the next 4 years.

We will quickly see the escalation into a Martial Law police state enforcing apartheid laws. If we do show up and repudiate them, we need to prepare for Trump and McConnell to unleash Hell upon Earth during what would normally be considered a “Lame Duck” session through the final three months of the administration’s official power.

With nothing left to lose, there will be nothing but the current House of Representatives to hold them back. And we need to be prepared for the possible necessity of a forcible transition of power for the first time since our system of government was established.

It would be bad enough if this were all happening under otherwise normal circumstances, but the fact that it will also be happening during both an avoidable health crisis and an avoidable economic crisis will increase the difficulty of navigating these issues by at least an order of magnitude.

These next 6 months will determine the future of our nation and a significant portion of the world for generations to come.

Enough!

It’s time to put some things in perspective.

As I write this, at 12:30 p.m. eastern time on August 4, it is the 216th day of 2019.

Based on the statistics at the Gun Violence Archive this is where we stand right now:

gva2019

So, lets do some averaging to put things in perspective.

So far this year America has maintained:

  • A rate of 153 incidents gun related incidents per day.
  • Over 40 gun related deaths per day.
  • In excess of 80 gun related injuries per day.
  • Nearly 2 daily deaths or injuries of children between the ages of birth and 11 years old by guns.
  • More than 9 daily deaths or injuries of children between the ages of 12 and 17 due to guns.
  • More than one daily mass shooting even with 4 or more victims — not including the shooter — injured or killed by gunfire.
  • Nearly 1 officer involved shooting daily that results in the injury or death of a police officer.
  • More than 5 officer involved shootings per day that result in the injury or death of a suspect.
  • More than 5 uses of a fire arm during a home invasion each day.
  • Over 4 defensive uses of a fire arm daily.
  • More than 4 unintentional discharges of a fire arm daily.

Keep in mind, that these tallies only include those incidents that were reported and verifiable.

Here are some definitions for their methodology:

methodology

Now, let’s also take a look at more than one year. The folks at Gun Violence Archive have been keeping these tallies since 2014.

gunviolence

So, in just over 5.5 years, the United States has experienced:

  • 309,626 gun related incidents
  • 80,233 deaths as a result of gun violence.
  • The injury or deaths of 19,814 children aged 17 and under due to gun violence.
  • 1,923 mass shooting events resulting in the injury or death of at least 4 people not including the shooter.
  • The injury or death of 1,598 polices officers in officer involved shooting incidents.
  • 10,967 suspects injured or killed by police gun fire.
  • 13,293 uses of a firearm during a home invasion.
  • A defensive use of a firearm 9,798 times.
  • 10,386 unintentional discharges of a firearm.

Enough is enough.

Of all the wars the United States has been involved in since its foundation only the American Civil War and two World Wars have claimed more American lives than we have sacrificed in just the last five and half years by our refusal to well-regulate our gun ownership rights.

We could solve it if we wanted to. So, why don’t we want to?

It would not be difficult for a nation with our resources and technological capabilities to:

 

  1. Properly interpret the entire text of the 2nd Amendment.

  2. Properly regulate and enforce that interpretation with laws that would make it harder for criminals, mentally ill people, domestic abusers, and unattended minors to easily gain access to them. Training requirements, annual registration, licenses, etc…

  3. Properly treat all racist rhetoric as hate speech and all acts of overt racism as hate crimes and/or acts of terrorism.

  4. Properly investigate and punish perpetrators of domestic violence.

 

 
The fact that a Venn Diagram depicting people strongly against doing these has a massive intersection with very little room for outliers not in support of all of it, should tell us much about their motivations and reasoning.
 
It wouldn’t be difficult to draw the conclusion that they want to not only protect racial hatred but to use it, and the ready availability of such weapons, as a tool to stoke and fuel racial violence.
 
If so, it wouldn’t be difficult to draw the conclusion that low level support of such things is offered because they want to cull the population of people of color and terrorize the remainder as well as the women subjected to domestic violence into subservient submission. Nor that the high level support is to use the resulting violent hate crimes, and the inevitable violent backlash against it as means of escalating police state enforcement over the general populace to “crack down on the violence” without addressing the actual problem.
 
None of these problems is actually difficult for us to truly address as a society, if we as a society choose to do so.
 
Instead we have endless debates over semantics and the intentions of long dead politicians and statesmen.

 

In regards to the 1st Amendment:

 

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

 

 

As explained on the Cornell Law School’s Legal Information Institute site explains:

 

The First Amendment guarantees freedoms concerning religion, expression, assembly, and the right to petition.  It forbids Congress from both promoting one religion over others and also restricting an individual’s religious practices.  It guarantees freedom of expression by prohibiting Congress from restricting the press or the rights of individuals to speak freely.  It also guarantees the right of citizens to assemble peaceably and to petition their government.   

 

As I wrote in October of 2016, “Freedom of Speech ≠ Consequence Free Speech”

 

The 1st Amendment protects you from governmental persecution, prosecution, incarceration, or execution in order to silence your message.

It does not guarantee you a platform from which to speak. You are not entitled to have your words mass distributed by a social media or news outlet. You are not entitled to a microphone or news camera to extend the reach of your words. You cannot force people to listen to your message.

It does not prevent an employer from terminating your employment if they do not want to have their business or professional reputation associated with the opinions and words you are expressing.

It does not protect you from public ridicule, ostracization, or rebuttal in response to the words and opinions you express.

 

Nowhere does it protect the right to espouse hate speech or the use of it as a shield for stochastic terrorism to incite violence without personal consequence.  That is an interpretation we have allowed to embed itself within our own cultural inertia to the point that we don’t recognize how much it is harming us to cling to it any more.

 

This brings us to the 2nd Amendment:

 

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

 

Every modern interpretation of this amendment to our constitution completely ignores the first thirteen words it includes and their relevance to the entire right as outlined.

 

Make no mistake, there is currently nothing at all well regulated about American gun ownership or American militias.   In point of fact, those private militias are one of our greatest sources of large scale gun violence as domestic terrorism and the source of radicalization of many of the perpetrators.

 

As ‘Frontline’ for PBS reported in 2012, “while conventional wisdom suggests that an individual’s right to bear arms is enshrined in the Second Amendment of the Constitution, it is, in fact, a relatively recent interpretation.”

 

It really started to change with the rise of the modern conservative movement in the ’70s and ’80s. You had Ronald Reagan, Edwin Meese, who was his attorney general, Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) in the Senate, really making a very sustained argument that the courts had misunderstood the Second Amendment for hundreds of years, and the NRA was an indispensable partner in this moment. And it became the conservative conventional wisdom that the Second Amendment gave an individual the right to bear arms.

1977 is really a key moment here, because that’s when the National Rifle Association went from being a largely apolitical gun-safety organization to a mobilized political operation that was dedicated to fighting gun control. … It both reflected and reinforced the growing conservatism of the Republican Party generally.

 

We would be well advised to remember one this statement from one of the key writers of our nation’s founding documents.  As Thomas Jefferson said:

 

“I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.”

 

This is exactly why the ability to amend and ratify our Constitution as our society evolved beyond the vision of the document’s authors was included for us to use when necessary.

 

So, what is it about our Cultural Inertia that forces us to cling to such mindsets that are so obviously harmful to huge swaths of our society?  

 

Is our cultural acceptance of racism and rape culture so deeply embedded that we are willing to pretend that the practice of them are protected constitutional rights that outweighs the rights of the victims?

 

What line would actually have to be crossed before you, personally, have had enough and start advocating and working toward shifting the cultural inertia in the right direction?

Interview with Chris Johnson

On Saturday, July 20, 2019 Chris Johnson interviewed me for his internet radio show “MSR After Dark” which airs on markskinradio.

At least a few people who missed the show due to short notice have expressed interest in hearing it, and Chris was kind enough to make the audio available for us.

The interview was scheduled to run for about 15 minutes, but as we talked Chris was kind enough to let the segment run long, the full interview aired for roughly 45 minutes.

In it we discuss the origins and purpose of my Facebook page and blog, my obsession with pointing out how to recognize and overcome various aspects of the #culturalinertia we sometimes unknowingly cling to that prevents progress and improvement, the dangers of #stochasticterrorism (a phrase we both managed to mispronounce), and a good bit of the news of the day including touching on some politics here and there.

I hope you enjoy it and come join our discussions on Facebook.

I will attempt to give more notice the next time an interview occurs.