“(The American) Bald Eagle…is a Bird of bad moral Character. He does not get his Living honestly…[he] is too lazy to fish for himself.” – attr. to Benjamin Franklin
“You can certainly concede freedom without becoming more secure. The feeling of submission to authority might be comforting, but it is not the same thing as actual safety. Likewise, gaining a bit of freedom may be unnerving, but this momentary unease is not dangerous. It is easy to imagine situations where we sacrifice both freedom and safety at the same time: when we enter an abusive relationship or vote for a fascist. Similarly, it is none too difficult to imagine choices that increase both freedom and safety, like leaving an abusive relationship or emigrating from a fascist state. It is the government’s job to increase both freedom and security.” – Timothy Snyder, On Tyranny, From #17
“The Baltic people (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) have always been singing…Many of the Lithuanian folk songs…were translated by Johann Herder and were inspirations for Chopin, Schumann and Schubert; Goethe also included some of them in his drama The Fisheress…The Balts never took Soviet laws seriously; Kafka and Solzhenitsyn, I was told, were first published, not in Russia, but in Estonia.” – Clare Thomson, The Singing Revolution, 1992
“Germany has agreed to provide more than a half billion euros ($662 Billion dollars) to aid Holocaust survivors struggling under the burdens of the coronavirus pandemic, the organization that negotiates compensation with the German government said Wednesday…The payments will be going to approximately 240,000 survivors around the world, primarily in Israel, North America, the former Soviet Union and Western Europe, over the next two years, according to the New York-based Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, also referred to as the Claims Conference.” – Politico/AP, October 14, 2020
“…the first thing we need to do as a nation…is to confront our past and see it for what it is…filled with some of the ugliest possible examples of racial brutality and degradation in human history…recognize it for what it was and is and not explain it away, excuse it, or justify it…we should then make a good-faith effort to turn our history around …so that we can avoid doing what we have done for so long. If we do that, whites will discover that African Americans possess the same human qualities that other Americans possess, and African Americans will discover that white Americans are capable of the most sublime expressions of human conduct of which all human beings are capable…qualities which we have never utilized to the fullest, but which we must utilize if we are to solve the problem of the color line in the 21st Century.” – John Hope Franklin, The Color Line, 1993
“Rapper Fat Joe and former GOP White House official Bill Kristol (of Neo-Conservative fame) have become unlikely allies in the (Donald) Trump era – a relationship that grew out of several appearances they made together on ‘The Beat with Ari Melber’…Many people in the U.S. and around the world took to dancing in the streets over Pres. Trump’s loss, which Fat Joe likens to celebrations of toppled dictators in world history.” – Msnbc, 12/28/18; 11/14/20
“I’m a soldier, in the war on poverty…” – from a popular American song
In early Summer, 1992, along with the Rheinischer Gesang Verein of Chicago, I took part in an International Singing Festival of the German Singing Federation (Sængerbund), along with Italians (Voci del Baldo of Verona) and Japanese (Tokyo Liedertafel). I also joined one of the German choruses from Cologne, Siegburg, and Radevormwald, in rehearsing folksongs in Estonian, a language akin to Finnish or Hungarian, for their upcoming participation in a giant Summer singing festival outside of Estonia’s Capitol, Tallinn.
In sharing its musical wealth, as well as its economic dynamic, with a devastated, disillusioned remnant of the Soviet Empire, a re-united Germany was underwriting expansion of democracy Eastward in Europe. This unique, musical enabling of ties that bind hearts through peaceful means, confounds the autocratic minds of Cold Warriors like John Bolton, or Vladimir Putin.
Material and moral support of freedom has been led by Germany’s repentant, bi-partisan leadership for 60 years, trying to live up to American democratic ideals, and live down a Nazi past. This, while such ideals were being crushed in the U.S. in the 1980s and1990s: for people of color in cities, and for white folks in the countryside, all in the name of Orwellian slogans like “welfare reform,” “tough on crime,” “war(s) on drugs,” and “trickle down economics.”
John Bolton, and earlier grim “Hit the Beach, Boys!” (CIA Director) Allen Dulles (Eisenhower/ JFK); (Defense Secretary) Robert McNamara (JFK/LBJ) and (National Security Advisor and Secretary of State) Henry Kissinger (Nixon/Ford), in the spirit of “Bomb, bomb, bomb; bomb, bomb Iran,” are still “Empire Building” under the guise of saving the world for democracy and, coincidentally, western oil barons. Dark money boys, despising democracy, having crushed it in Iran, Guatemala, Chile, East Timor, and elsewhere in the world where yearnings for self-determination were cutting into their bottom line, thought that they could do the same at home.
The Dark Lords of Dark Money nearly crushed American self-government in its union and Democratic Party strongholds of Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan and Pennsylvania with toady Republican Legislatures, or Governors like Scott Walker (WI-2011-2019); Bruce Rauner (IL, 2015-2019), and Rick Snyder (MI, 2011-2018). But they overplayed their hand when their media Ministers of Propaganda successfully backed a sociopathic moron for President in 2016.
Like past demagogues, Donald Trump has the ability to project his own, self-centered grievances onto an adoring following of millions of Americans with grievances, real and imagined, conjured up by those same Dark Lords, and from their own shortcomings. These aggrieved ones project their rage onto selected scapegoats: fellow victims, different only in color, religion or gender. Trump, their racist and misogynistic leader, has been more than happy to accommodate them.
However, Donald Trump has no other talents than nonstop spillage of bile, boasting and betrayal. He cannot “organize a piece of crap,” as one very wise lady in North Dakota put it, and so the Endgame of his sponsors, “the dark despisers of democracy” blew up in the General Election of 2020. My KGB animal friends comprise many who are experts at sniffing out crap, both before and after it hits the fan. I therefore sought their wisdom, as we face a worsening pandemic, with our many inequalities exposed during holidays of “peace and plenty” we took for granted.
High Plains Reader: I know that it is disputed that Founding Father Ben Franklin suggested that the homely, life sustaining, turkey, rather than the majestic, and predatory, bald eagle, be made our national bird, but I think he was on to something. The eagle is a rapacious thief.
Ms. Recovering Republican Lap Dog: Thanksgiving, with the turkey as its centerpiece, hopefully celebrated modestly this year due to Covid-19, is a uniquely American Holiday. It stresses gifts of families together, peace and prosperity. The Eagle, however, is a symbol of military prowess of Empires, mixed with greed. Past and present dynasties abound in world history. All too often, this rapaciousness, celebrating war, pestilence and tearing families apart, is the norm. War, after all, is just organized theft, usually for land, slaves and material resources.
Chicago Dog: Ben Franklin’s contemporaries included the nihilistic Aaron Burr, indifferent to human bondage, and with courage of his ego-ridden convictions. Like those of your cowardly President Trump today, Vice President Burr’s schemes were a severe challenge to the viability of your early Republic. He even was willing to assassinate advocates of equal opportunity like Alexander Hamilton through the “Art of the Duel.” Nowadays, advocates of wage bondage by the “Art of the Deal,” from Newt Gingrich (R-GA) and Tea Partier Jim Jordan (R-OH) to Donald Trump, use character assassination: less bloody, but equally deadly to fair play and freedom.
Prudence Possum: The election of Joe Biden on November 3, 2020 as President has thrown Trump and his “aristocracy of the swamp and gutter,” into disarray. Two surviving servants of this collection of cupidity: Attorney General “Benito” Bill Barr, Trump’s Badass Barracuda Barrister (B-6th Power), and South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsay [the Cringing] Graham [Cracker] (LtCGC), were overheard comparing notes by our D.C. swamp observers:
B-6th Power: Wow Lindsay! Fist bumping with Vice-President-Elect and Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), while illegally interfering in Georgia’s election to suck up to Trump’s ego and Moscow Mitch’s Majority Leader ambitions. That’s impressive! You work both sides of the street better than a high-class hooker. You better hope the “Orange One” didn’t catch that move.
LtCGC: Knock off the “illegal” baloney, Bill! You’ve violated more laws than all of Nixon’s lawyers combined. Investigating bogus vote fraud is a Trump staple that keeps MAGA money rolling in from losers and suckers. I’m the best Senator money can buy, and I’ll survive, even if (Senator) Chuck Schumer (D-NY) wrests the Majority Leader’s gavel from Mitch’s gnarly grip. Only Trump hurts me in South Carolina. You, however, need to worry about your law license.
B-6th Power: Naaaahhh. I’ve only broken norms and gentlemen’s agreements, not laws. There aren’t any gentlemen (or ladies) left among our kind of Republicans, Lindsay. You need to worry about “straight arrow” Republicans like Georgia’s Sec. of State, Brad Raffensperger. There’s more of them around than cynics like us might think. Now that you and Mitch and Trump have forced them into common cause with Joe Biden’s Democrats, your boy Trump is in a world of hurt. I could save the Donald from (Special Prosecutor) Robert Mueller, but not from himself.
LtCGC: True. Even Dark Money boys are pulling back a bit now that Trump is crashing. I’m only trying to help Rudy Giuliani and Steve Bannon set up a “Stab-in-the-Back” Legend, like German nationalists after WWI, by contesting the certification process up through the Electoral College vote on December 14th. Screw democracy! We have to protect our investment in this nut job and his ownership of a third to a half of Republican voters. Guys who paid Hitler to crush democracy, Thyssen, Krupp, et.al., weren’t able to pull out their money when he crashed.
B-6th Power: Hitler was nuts, but had guts. Trump’s craziness is short circuited by laziness and cowardice. He’s not stupid though. He knows Americans hate the word “socialist” but not the deed, if there’s something for them. Such hypocrisy allows “Corporate Socialists” (welfare for the rich) to do better than “National” or “Democratic” Socialists in the United States. That’s because worship of wealth in America is sincere, even among disenfranchised. When they care for each other, however – as they often do – normal folks lose focus on goals of greed. We don’t.
LtCHC: Don’t look now Bill, but the disenfranchised won the election with President Elect, Joe Biden, and they are focused on us with laser intensity. As former Senators, he and Vice President Elect, Kamala Harris, know every inch of our rotten souls. Worse, Joe Biden is sincere; as well as a practicing Christian, the worst kind of politician we could face.
B-6th Power: Right. But he’s in politics. He won’t “turn the other cheek” with the likes of us. He’ll play by the rules, but there are still too many of those left by the Founding Fathers for us to have changed in 4 years, and the game will still be “hardball.” You could, of course, keep backing Trump’s ploy to browbeat local Republicans to torpedo the normal canvass process up to December 14, pressure Republican Legislatures in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania to switch to a Constitutional Dictatorship and snatch Biden’s Electoral College votes with the consent of 5 complicit U.S. Supreme Court Justices………Nah……..You don’t have the balls!
HPR: What a disgusting conversation! I’ve never heard so much cynicism, cowardice, and naked greed. And so many wannabe fascists that it’s really scary.
Schickelgruber: What do you expect? This is today’s Republican Party: Senators willing to stand by while Trump, and those “just following orders,” suppress GSA evidence of negligent homicide in numbers that rival what the 3rd Reich and Japanese Empire exacted in WWII.
Kim Dog Un: If enabling Republican Congressmen and Senators can get reelected after all of Trump’s devastation to your country, why should they stop selling snake oil like Vote Fraud, Stab-in-Back Legends and Birtherism? Vast numbers of Republican voters this year are telling pollsters that they think the (gasp!- DIVERSE!) Democrats stole the election for Joe Biden.
HPR: Did 74 Million Republican voters really endorse such views on November 3rd?
Chicago Dog: Not necessarily, but bigotries still have opioid effects on too many folks. White Republicans who maintain that Democrats steal votes simply because they are Democrats, also want to believe that they do not fear or despise people of color, because, as the song from South Pacific goes: “they were carefully taught.” Republican apologists expect Democrats to solve problems in 2020 that they have created over decades, especially under Trump; as, for decades, white skinned whiners have expected black folks to solve racism whites created over centuries.
Mr. Crying Wolf: Trump, Giuliani, Bannon, and Jokers, the new Out-Law Firm of American’s Fascist Future, have to keep up these fictions by suborning local Republican officials to perjury for the sake of Trump’s “base.” Otherwise, like Obama/Trump voters who came back to Biden and the Democrats in 2020, they will figure out who the real thieves are: the Trump/Mitch GOP.
Mr. Swamp Fox: Democrats turned out @80 Million Democratic voters for Joe Biden and re-secured the “Blue Wall” of the Upper Midwest that the Dark Lords of Autocracy had tried to destroy over the past decade. Diversity and democracy are slowly winning, despite terrible and unnecessary losses of life and livelihoods to Trump Republican incompetence and indifference.
Agatha Alligator: Forces of reaction are furious with Trump; that his bumbling malevolence has exposed their true motives far more effectively than evil deceits of a (VP) Dick Cheney (Bush I & II), (FOX’s) Roger Ailes, or Stuart Stevens (It Was All a Lie, How the Republican Party became Donald Trump). Their legacy has been noted, and scribbled onto a memo left in the swamp by a departing straight arrow bureaucrat; hoping, after January 20, 2021, to rejoin the more visible members of the “competent-government-in-exile,” who have been broadcasting nightly for four years on PBS, CNN, Msnbc, and other outposts of the main stream media:
Pied Pipers of Political and Physical Death………………..….Headless Horseman
The Dark Lords of Autocracy sought tools
To crack Midwestern walls of fairness. And,
They near succeeded in their treas’nous stand;
With bad faith Governors and other fools.
No less than democratic death. Their goals
To suck the breath of freedom from our land;
Replaced with toxic dreams on Glory’s sand,
Full burning through the lens of biased coals.
A final stand with Trump was foiled. And yet
The price in human life has been immense.
The Party nihilists and Moscow Mitch
Destroyed the bonds of comity. Our bet
That truth and justice, and our common sense
Should matter; still is poised o’er Hist’ry’s ditch.