“Extremism certainly sounds bad, and governments often try to make it sound worse by using the word terrorism in the same sentence. But the word has little meaning. There is no doctrine called extremism. When tyrants speak of extremism, they just mean people who are not in the mainstream—as the tyrants themselves are defining that mainstream at that particular moment.” – Timothy Snyder, On Tyranny, From #17
“…if smallpox had not come when it did, the Spanish victory could not have been achieved in Mexico (or Peru).” – William H. McNeill, Plagues and Peoples
“(Q)…why were Europeans, rather than Africans or Native Americans, the ones to end up with guns, the nastiest germs, and steel? (A)…History followed different courses for different peoples because of differences among people’s environments, not because of biological differences among peoples themselves.” – Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
“The Darwin Awards salute the improvement of the human genome by honoring those who accidentally remove themselves from it in a spectacular manner! Example, 2018: A 19-year-old and his soon-to-be-ex were walking along the beautiful Havel River, quarreling. The frustrated man suddenly shoved the woman into the icy river! She could swim, he (who also fell in) could not…” – www.darwinawards.com
“In the case of a physician, the ground of the honor we render him is…(clear). Whatever his science, we would shrink from him in horror if we found him regard his patient merely as subjects to experiment upon; much more, if we found that, receiving bribes from persons interested in their deaths, he was using his best skill to give poison in the mask of medicine.” – John Ruskin
“I think (Senate Majority Leader Mitch) McConnell expects Trump to lose, and therefore, for him to spend political capital to support Trump by forcing through a (stimulus) bill (now) which would put his own leadership position at risk after the election, to me, doesn’t make any sense…It’s always wise to do things from McConnell’s personal perspective, because that’s how things operate in the Senate. He has enormous personal power, and he wants to be leader again, even if he has to be a leader in the minority,” – Ian Shepherdson, Pantheon Macroeconomics, Business Insider, 10/16/20
“Man (says Erasmus) learns at the school of example and will attend no other.” – Milton Mayer, They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-1945
“Joe Biden is a good man. Donald Trump is not.” – General (U.S. Air Force) Michael V. Hayden, ret., NSA, CIA
Once upon a time in a land far away from where I live in Mandan, North Dakota, but very close to my activist Democratic/NPL heart, I was a poll watcher on the North Side of Chicago. My candidates were several over the years from 1972 to 1990. We all had in common an opposition to arbitrary power, in those days the “Daley Machine” of quite beatable, but legendary, status for those who didn’t know any better–which was the rest of the world outside of Chicago-land.
I lived in the suburbs mostly, but I was eligible to be a poll watcher in Chicago because I was a resident of Cook County, the legal entity that carries out State and Local elections in almost every County in the U.S. If there was any discrepancy in a voter’s address, they could produce an ID with their address, and vote by affidavit, like they still can today, Russian or Iranian efforts to the contrary. Your signature on an absentee ballot, swearing that your address is accurate, WAS, and IS your legal affidavit. It was “Regular Order,” despite well-publicized reports of chaos and strife, because Chicagoans were simply more honest about corruption in their midst than other jurisdictions. Democracy survived and thrived in Chicago in the 1970s and 1980s. It just changed its color a bit, with black and brown folks sharing power with whites. Chicagoans could also be poll watchers in suburban cities within the confines of Cook County, but none of us could be poll watchers in nearby DuPage County, where voting was run by a “Republican Machine.”
“The Trump Republican Machine” now wishes to overthrow “regular order” of Americans voting by County government operations, since the Donald desires an “army” of Storm Trooper Poll Watchers. They recruit from Republican dominated counties that harbor 2nd Amendment paranoids in Pennsylvania and Michigan to disrupt voting procedures in heavily Democratic areas. Trump’s designated black disrupter, Kanye West, doesn’t have enough street credibility to recruit in targeted counties. As of now, a Court in PA, part of democracy’s procedural “regular order,” has a dim view of this particular ploy among the Disrupter-in-Chief’s bag of tricks for mayhem on November 3rd, but some of his wacko adherents still pose a clear and present danger to law abiding voters all over the country. Other Courts side with Trump. Disorder is their game. Fascism is its name; as predictable to democracy’s defenders as to Vladimir Putin.
While “Regular Order” has few drawbacks procedurally, it has many drawbacks in substance if it sustains corporate greed with phony slogans of “compassionate conservatism,” that have fed D.C. Swamp creatures and the top 1% of Americans for decades. But if “Regular Order” means sane, scientific and humanistic approaches to balancing the power of government with talents and desires of the private sector, small and large, to meet the needs of the American people, then there is hope ahead for our democracy. A gigantic “NO” is being prepared for the Republican Party of Donald Trump and organized, age old oligarchic haters of democracy. Trump’s followers have real grievances among fancied ones, but seek the wrong targets, if they have been weaned on hating anyone not like themselves, whatever that means.
While the wrath of Mother Nature hits in conventional hurricanes and wildfires, driven by our negligence of Earth’s environment, the wrath of anti-Republican voters in early voting suggests a revolutionary hurricane of rising expectations, flooding the GOP’s smug environment. Trump’s ethically neutered Republican Senators, with or without Covid-19 infections, have circled their “geriatric white male wagons” in friendlier confines of the Senate Judiciary Hearings, where they still hold a slim majority. There they continue their procedural packing of the Supreme Court with whom the Heritage Foundation deems are reactionary Justices: ready to strike down any and all 1st or 2nd Branch of Government actions to save lives, liberty, the General Welfare, and the Republic, let alone the pursuit of happiness. I sought advice from my KGB animal “brain trust:”
High Plains Reader: I’m taking my life in my hands at the local gas station! I walk in and these guys -without masks of course, it’s Bismarck, ND- are standing around yacking and spewing Dr. Fauci’s famed droplets within the six feet I need to go pay in person for my 50 cent discount. I’m 81 and don’t want any part of Trump’s HINO (Herd Immunity New Order), but I can’t escape his willing executioners from herds of Orwell’s sheep who are not immune from his madness, but don’t seem to care. Is that what affects Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), running around the White House Lawn and Senate Judiciary Committee spewing Covid-19 and nonsense?
Putin: Perhaps, but mad illusions of power are nothing new. When politically senile Senators like Judiciary Chair Lindsey Graham (R-SC) question Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett with reference to “the good old days,” they signal their allegiance to a Party of Betrayal: A Republican Party dedicated since 1981 to a greater good for fewer people, hiding behind slogans like “trickle down” economics to mask their genuine contempt for democracy.
Rasputin: The blatant greed and power hunger of oligarchic Betrayal Republicans has been exposed more by Donald Trump’s open and gangster-like pursuit of greed and power, than all the Democratic Presidents and Congressional leaders before him. Senate Majority Leader, Moscow Mitch McConnell (R-KY) knows this as much as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). They also know that Trump’s screwing with Post Office efficiency in battleground States to muck up absentee voting, has screwed the timetable for delivering relief checks with Trump’s signature, or his $200. Drug Card briberies for seniors by Election Day.
Prudence Possum: Americans in need rightly fear that Trump won’t sign a Covid relief bill if he loses on November 3rd, while Trump Republican swamp creatures only fear that, once Judge Barrett is confirmed on Monday, October 26, Moscow Mitch will throw them under the bus along with Trump, the Democrats, and the American people, and save his own ass for the future. If he really thinks he’s losing in Kentucky, a bill could go through in a matter of a few hours.
Republican In Terror of Losing Office: What the hell is Mitch waiting for? He’ll get his Heritage Foundation-approved reactionary for the Supreme Court well before the Election. Doesn’t he want Covid-19 checks to save us down ballot Republicans? We’ve kept our mouths shut for so long, no one is going to believe that we despise Trump as much as we fear his base.
Run Of The Mill Republican Racist: Maybe. Maybe not. Mitch figures he can’t save Trump or Senators like Lindsey Graham, the vertebrate without a spine, or Joni Ernst (R), who can’t name the price of soybeans in Iowa. We Trump toadies in the Senate, White House and Departments, who heretofore have bowed to private prison Gulags for drug offenders (mostly people of color) and Stephen Miller’s experiment in throwing stateless Latin American children into cages, where they are more susceptible to Covid-19, have not publicly shrunk from Scott Atlas’s pursuit of low-intensity genocide through a “herd immunity” that kills off more low-income people of color than high-income white people. Why should Moscow Mitch suddenly care about ordinary people, unless he needs to save his own hide in Kentucky?
RITOLO: Mitch is content to let his “scorched earth” caucus wreck the economy through covert sabotage of a Covid-19 relief package; and let the outgoing lunatic Trump take the blame for his overt sabotage. With so many Trump supporters still equating threats to freedom with government mandates for Covid-19 masks, or car seat belts, he figures there may be enough dummies left from “herd immunity” to support damage he can wreak on Democrats in 2021.
ROMRR: Though he cares as much about what matters as his former President , Barack Obama did, Vice President Joe Biden doesn’t have to be “President While Black,” and 2020/2021 Democrats are not the Democrats of 2009. If they take the Senate there will be no good reason for Democrats to keep the filibuster, since Republican obstruction will be just as poisonous with Mitch, or any other troglodyte as Minority Leader. If the Trump Supreme Court starts to overrule every piece of legislation designed to help the American people, there will also be no good reason to keep the numbers of the Supremes at nine for the sake of racist, misogynist and elitist traditions we Republicans call the “American Way.”
RITOLO: True enough. The “Heritage” that we and the Heritage Foundation want to preserve, has nothing to do with democracy that includes “uppity” women or people of any color, “uppity” or not. We want the hypocrisy of the Founding Fathers to be our true heritage for the future, rather than their lofty goals of “all men are created equal.” But I fear those days are numbered.
ROMRR: That “uppity woman” from Notre Dame U. those old men are ramming through the confirmation process knows damn well they are using her. Didn’t you notice how much her “Off-red” outfit on the first day resembled the name of the protagonist in The Hand Maid’s Tale: Of-Fred? Why not “use her users” to advance her agenda as well? She may turn out too far to the right for these times, or may confound reactionaries by changing a bit, once Chief Justice Roberts has a little talk with her about nuances governing separation of Church and State and separating people from their health insurance, women from rights to their bodies and souls, children from their parents, and LGBTQ partners from each other.
RITOLO: You spend too much time with QAnon crazies, literary critics, or theologians. With all the Senate traditions Moscow Mitch has trashed to set up oligarchic dikes of reaction, there will be little to stop a flood of democracy from packing the Supreme Court in a year or two.
HPR: Wow! That’s world class cynicism, but about right for soon to be ex-Trump Republicans.
Mr. Swamp Fox: You can’t really blame them, given Trump’s performance in the last debate of October 22nd in Nashville, TN, parallel to surging high voter turnout. It’s “D Day” for the politics of brainwashing — Soviet style (The truth is what the [Communist] Party says it is), burnished by Joseph Goebbels and the Nazis (The Big Lie); Joe McCarthy (The Multiple Untruth), and Donald Trump (All Lies, All the Time). Americans are bone tired from Trump’s lies and their inability to stop his falsehoods from ruining their lives, until now. Joe Biden is painfully honest, his speech impediment no bar to his sincerity and empathy; his humble record of diligent, day to day integrity a stark contrast to lazy, cynical performances of Congressional Republicans, and the sleazy, indolent, wasteful lifestyle of Trump’s Presidency.
Prudence Possum: You can also expect world class whining from remnants of the Party of Betrayal like Jim Jordan (OH) and Devin Nunes (R-CA); signing on to helping Moscow Mitch blow up Democratic Party governmental bridges to the future, like retreating Nazis in WWII.
Agatha Alligator: Those soggy tea bag Republican remnants left a message for their embattled colleague, Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, that echoes grievances of old farts lamenting the changes of their all male colleges into Coed institutions in the 1960s:
Tea Party Time Machine Lament………………………………………………..…..Headless Horseman
We miss the good old days of “owning Libs.;”
Abusing women, boozing in a car.
We never though we’d sink so low or far,
That we would have to own our many fibs.
The “Chuck and Nancy Show” will soon begin,
And make us pay real taxes for our keep.
They’ll have the votes; and we must “baa” like sheep;
Full shorn of what it took before to win.
We played the racist game just once too much;
And waved the Flag to cover pow’r and greed;
This time, without success, as years before.
Young people, women, oldsters, hate us such
As we could not predict. It came with speed
We fear will truly change the future score.