On Tyranny: Establish a private life.
“Nastier rulers will use what they know about you to push you around. Scrub your computer of malware on a regular basis. Remember that email is skywriting. Consider using alternative forms of the internet, or simply using it less. Have personal exchanges in person. For the same reason, resolve any legal trouble. Tyrants seek the hook on which to hang you. Try not to have hooks.” – Timothy Snyder
“The only weapon of self defence I could use successfully, was that of deception.”
– Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Henry Bibb, An American Slave, New York, 1849
“Leadership, besides being a great creative force, can be diabolical.” – Jan Smuts/Agatha Christie
“…we are now in the worst economic and political fix since 1942. And we cannot change past stupidities. So we have to muddle through. Our country and its economic system will survive and will grow again. But it is a terrible mess…Some members of society, particularly small businesses and the self-employed, are suffering more than others. We need to…fairly and efficiently spread these losses across society as a whole. But we are not thinking of this in a comprehensive way. We are dealing with individual crises in a hodge-podge fashion.” – Ed Lotterman, Bismarck Tribune, 05/24/20
“The liberty of the individual must be thus far limited; he must not make himself a nuisance to other people.” – John Stuart Mill
“Shall we get a better world as a result of our efforts? (Sir Stafford Nye). “I shouldn’t think so, but it might be a kinder one. It’s full of beliefs without kindness at present. (Mary Ann/Renata).” – Agatha Christie, Passenger to Frankfurt
“And if only fools are kind, Alfie, Then I guess it is wise to be cruel. And if life belongs only to the strong, Alfie, What will you lend on an old golden rule? As sure as I believe, there’s a heaven above, Alfie, I know there’s something much more, Something even non-believers can believe in. I believe in love, Alfie. Without true love we just exist, Alfie.” – Burt Bacharach
“Reason cannot defeat emotion; an emotion can only be displaced or overcome by a stronger emotion.” – Baruch Spinoza
I received my absentee ballot for the North Dakota June 9, 2020 primary election on May 18. I eagerly filled it out, choosing in the one competitive race for the Democrats in this Red State, and choosing as best I could, with help from a wiser local citizen than I, from the more competitive non-partisan positions at the county and school board level. The enclosed instructions told me that I did not need to use the mail, which our Reality TV President-who-would-be-dictator has allegedly threatened to close down by June 1st. I could, instead, save a dollar, and drop my completed, signed ballot in a drop box located in front of the Morton County Court House in downtown Mandan, ND, a few blocks from my home, and on the way to my many trips to Bismarck, across the wide Missouri River.
My plan was to leave a few minutes early on May 20th for a doctor’s appointment in Bismarck, drop off the ballot, and be on my way. Unfortunately, a drop box was there, but not labeled as such. The Morton County Auditor’s Office handling the election was not quite ready in this laid back town for an onslaught of eager beaver voters, but had a drop box for the likes of myself, tucked inside the entrance to the Court House/Auditor’s Office Building. Hard to find when you are in a hurry, but not part of any sinister plot to suppress the vote.
I decided to look later and began to drive away, when I noticed a Morton County Sheriff’s Deputy headed to the Court House. I stopped to ask him if he knew where the mysterious drop box was. He said he did, was headed there at the moment, and “if I trusted him,” he would drop it in for me. I replied immediately, “I do trust you,” handed him the ballot, and proceeded to Bismarck, asking myself what I had just done. In fact, it felt “right” that I showed faith in the non-partisan nature of local cops, despite the Liz Warren and “Welcome Immigrants” stickers quite visible as I drove away from him.
I was also impressed that the Deputy Sheriff had asked me to trust him. His lot had suffered a good deal of criticism, not all of it justified, when all hell broke loose south of us at Standing Rock in 2016, due mostly to lack of leadership from a cowardly Chief Executive, Republican Governor Jack Dalrymple, allowing a racist oil pipeline CEO to ram through a project on Indian land, that could have been redirected without major controversy through “white owned” land slightly north of there, but still south of Bismarck/ Mandan.
Nowadays, a more respectful and far less wimpy Republican Governor, Doug Burgum, has honored the Five Indian Nations in North Dakota in word and deed, meeting with them, putting their flags in the Governor’s Office, and testing on their reservations with the same fairness, competence, and determination that he and his staff have shown in the rest of our State — at the rate of over 8.7%, 2nd highest in the nation. In addition, Standing Rock Sioux resistance has focused world-wide attention on green energy solutions to our fossil fuel addictions, burning away at the health of our planet and the American democracy. While I was sure that I had done the right thing by my local law enforcement, as well as with my ballot, I decided to consult with my professionally skeptical Mandan KGB experts to be sure.
High Plains Reader: Hello friends, do you think I did the right thing?
Putin: You’ll never know for sure. Just don’t try that stunt in November when Trump is on the ballot.
HPR: I won’t, but are you sure there will be a fair and equitable election in November?
Rasputin: Of course there will be–at least enough to matter for the Electoral College. Despite efforts of entrenched, venal and dictatorial Republican power brokers at the federal level and in the economy, a vast majority of Americans value their right to vote more than ever. Also, a significant percentage of the “1%” has decided to turn on the Koch brothers, et.al. and their attempts to utterly destroy middle class democracy in America.
HPR: Plutocrats as idealists?
Rocinante: Not necessarily. More likely because billionaires have babies they don’t want to be thrown away with ordinary citizen bath water by a 2nd Term incompetent and malevolent Trump Presidency.
Mr. Crying Wolf: People who risked their health in Wisconsin to vote their wish for a political party will join with those who risk their health to boat and fish, and just plain “party.” Trump is already behaving like a loser, telegraphing his punches, by threatening to shut the Post Office. That will work out about as well for what’s left of the Republican Party as his shut down of the government in 2018/2019. Trump already figures to screw the Supremes by pardoning himself.
Mr. Swamp Fox: Big money boys have plenty of cash for Trump’s reelection, but are hedging their bets by using Mitch’s tax giveaways to take over wind and solar power, while making noises in the courts that they really want to install those planet killing petroleum pushing pipelines from the Canadian Tar Sands and overly drilled North Dakotan sweet crude sites.
Kim Dog Un: Other Republican thieves in the White House and Congress steal as much as they can before they are voted out in November and AG Bill Barr can no longer cover their butts. The media cover millions being looting in 2020, but the big boys protect billions for past 2021.
Lena: Exxon/Mobil, et.al. are terrified that Big Wind and Big Solar, as a substitute for Big Oil and Big Coal will also become extinct, as gas guzzling Trumpeters in the Interior Department tax them to death, and State and Local governments, having been abandoned by the Feds; figure out how to cope with a global pandemic, and then fight climate change on their own, dealing directly with the private sector on their own terms, like the Bank of North Dakota has done for 100 years.
Ms. Recovering Republican Lap Dog: Localities merely need to change their zoning laws to allow every household and small business to install their own, small scale energy efficient, wind turbines, solar panels, geothermal, and/or biodiesel contraptions. Conservatives who claim to hate big government and liberals who claim to hate big business will have to put up or shut up.
Señor Perro: People who know how to maintain their guns, or tinker with cars and farm and home machinery, also have the know how to hold down good jobs for the maintenance of small scale machinery in a green energy revolution.
Omar Khayyam: Such a revolution would keep up with developments in the rest of the world, and would sweep away the “too much” mistake that Americans always get when fossil fuel giants and their willing executioners in President Trump’s and Senator Mitch McConnell’s (KY) Republican Party hold sway.
HPR: That scenario is too good to be true.
Putin: Naturally. But it is also true the big boys are scared to death of the thought that it could happen, as a result of Trump’s inept response to Covid-19. From their point of view, Trump’s derangement as a dictator-in-diapers, is much more of a problem than a death toll of unimportant “people-who-are-really-not-like-them,” caused by his incompetence—people, of course, like you and your local Sheriff’s Deputy.
Ms. RRLD: Ford Motors (with help from employees) just threw Trump under one their new line of “hypocrisy buses” by exposing his On Again, Off Again, Covid-19 mask caper when he ventured forth to Michigan to insult “that woman” (popular Governor Gretchen Whitmer[D]).
Rasputin: Meanwhile, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo couldn’t wait to sit down with shadow government, big buck’s donors to prepare for a 2024 Presidential campaign. Pompeo apparently assumes that, after four years of a competent Democratic administration cleaning up his and Trump’s messes, the American people will just be literally “dying” to be lied to once again by a Republican Presidential nominee.
Torquemada: One of our colleagues managed to “ferret out” a copy of President Trump’s special nightmare treatment, a lullaby sedative poem next to his bottle of Hydroxychloraquine and other lotions and potions. It was supposedly composed by a Stephen Miller aide for a narcissistic, Reality TV Presidential persona like Trump, confronted by the inescapable political logic of his imminent demise in the national election. The object was to hint at his worst fears, but not upset him to the point that he reached for the nuclear football:
Shop ‘Til You Drop – “Lullaby of (Tweety) Birdland”
“I’d like to open our economy
But pointy headed libs still block the way,
And doctors! They screw up my ev’ry day
With death statistics. Why do they blame me?
I also hate the fact some people vote
With their convictions ‘stead of with their feet
In shopping malls; content to drink and eat
As if there’s no tomorrow left to note.
Oh wait! That’s right! My voters still die too.
And I’m oath-bound to act as if I care;
Yes! That is what is hardest ‘bout this role
I could have cruised, without this Covid flu;
Now, Mitch is getting nervous. Best beware!
I might be really down in ev’ry poll.” – Headless Horseman