If Heather had the time to read what we have been discussing for months here in her community, she might not be gobsmacked. The source of the Republicans' behavior and ideology is racism (whites first), sexism (males first), genderism (boy-girl only, anti-LGBT+), and the preservation of the old society which places whites, males, and heteros first. Hence opposition to genderfree Potato Head. Hence voter suppression of non-Republicans and non-whites. etc etc etc etc

You can break any of the Republicans' actions and attitudes down using this template.

The Big Lie is wishful thinking that Trump and his Old World Society are still exercising hegemony like they have since the beginnings of the USA. Trump losing the election means accepting that white, male-first, boy-girl society has lost control and is no longer in power. They are in denial that they have lost the battle to diversity, to a society where whites (and males and straights) do not set the rules and don't come first anymore.

Personal news:

I am having a heavy-duty month. My dad is getting close to passing, and it means the end of an era. We are engaging what I am calling a transition-to-afterlife support team. They call themselves death and dying doulas. I have been feeling like my truck driving career is ending, which is a possibility when he goes. We have been speaking with an estate attorney, and with sisters and godchildren, about wills and trusts and inheritance and the like. My wife and I are speaking with the people who are closest to us, the ones who would be in our will and who share a bond with us.

The passing of the patriarch and self-designated head-of-household is churning the waters a bit. I am realizing even more vividly just what a poor match I am for the paternal side of this family. I'm just not a conservative, and not a Republican, and not interested in carrying on the values left over from Nazi Germany. Sorry.

In the mean time, despite all this intensity, my story project continues to gain steam. I have never felt so good about myself, ever. Multiple major break-throughs this month alone. My book has edges now, it has a beginning and an ending. I have a chapter outline. My wife is in love with the story, and so am I, I've never done anything this exciting.

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I took a course on international human rights law in undergrad. The professor was excellent. She told us that most international human rights regulations are essentially non-binding. It's, more or less, a global honor code and not easily enforced.

I remember being a kid and wondering what would happen if a political party in the United States just refused to agree to the results of an election, and back then, it felt like a foolish enough question that I quickly forgot and moved on.

I am terrified for our future. January 6th should have been an equivalent in the public consciousness to a major terrorist attack, and yet, here we are, more than three months later, and it feels as though much of the media apparatus is petrified of centering it and holding those behind it accountable.

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I don't know that we have a historical record of what is going on with the Republicans in the political sphere, but I think we do have plenty of examples in the religious sphere. I think Trumpism is a religious mania, not a political movement. It isn't based on political calculation, and the endgame is a vision, a fantasy, and a nightmare. It is, for the Trumpists, the victorious End of History, their vindication, their apotheosis, the burning away of all imperfections, and -- in simpler words -- their glorious death.

That it makes no damn sense is entirely beside the point.

I'm thinking of the Millerites, the precursor to the Adventist sects. It started with a fairly theoretical exploration of an exigetical theory called "dispensationalism," became a date for the Return of Christ, and ended in something called The Great Disappointment when thousands of people sold everything they had and made ready for Jesus, and He failed to show. The date was recalculated, and a smaller party showed up for the second Return, and they were -- of course -- disappointed again. There have been echoes of this prediction/disappointment cycle in any number of American fundamentalist sects, right up to the present day.

One of the latest frenzies was the novel series Left Behind. An Evangelical writer, Fred Clark, wrote a series of blog entries that became a book, The Antichrist Handbook, which is a fairly amusing and blistering critique of Left Behind, and a great manual on how NOT to write a novel, but the interesting thing for me was to realize that neither I, nor anyone else, could really write a better version of Left Behind. The basic story does not, and cannot, hang together. This does not deter believers in the slightest.

I think we have exactly the same situation with Trumpism. The people who showed up on Jan 6 in Washington DC were expecting triumph. They would storm the Capitol; they would capture members of Congress; they would destroy the abomination in the Holy Place by burning the tainted state ballots; they would hang the guilty, like Pence; they would see Trump return in glory, pardon them all, and they would be lauded ever after as saviors of The People.

That's not a plan. That's a religious mania.

I think that religious mania is STILL at work in the Republican Party and its supporters, and the point I want to hammer home is that, if it IS a religious mania, it does not have to make any sense at all. It's all about The Glory. It's about the pain of being tried by adversity, and judged worthy by a Higher Power. The fact that you brought about that adversity by hitting your own hand with a sledgehammer is a side issue, as is the fact that the Higher Power is a liar, a con man, and a rather petty narcissist. NONE OF THAT MATTERS.

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I rarely, if ever, share personal news with this community, but feel compelled to do so this morning because I consider so many of you my friends. My 83-year old husband went missing for 3 hours yesterday afternoon after setting out for his usual post-lunch short neighborhood stroll in quiet west Pasadena. I went looking for him on foot after 10 minutes, by car after 20, and called 911 after 30. Police were terrific, patrolling the area, checking and double checking every area of our house and yard, even the insides and trunk of our cars (which, In a macabre thought later on, I figured was to help eliminate me as a suspect in his disappearance). At the 2 hour point, a police helicopter broadcast his description to the neighbors near the Rose Bowl area and asked people to look for him. One did, and found him resting, unhurt but unable to get up on his own, in the brushes off a long private and secluded driveway two doors down from our house. He was exploring and didn’t realize his limitations. And, unfortunately, he didn’t have his cell phone with him. He was taken by paramedics to Huntington Hospital for tests (dehydrated only) and released home by early evening. Lots of lessons here. Vastly relieved now and thankful for a happy ending, I will try to turn my thoughts today outward and am sending positive vibes to all of you who are doing such good work out there.

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I find myself wondering — where this right-wing pseudo-patriotism will finally end. When Trump and his family were photographed around Trump’s golden throne in his apartment after he won the 2016 election — the true believers commented breathlessly that “We have a dynasty!”. Now, in 2021 some observers have pointed out that Republicans identify with the British monarchy — another stretched too thin analogy. Finally, I think of the story in the Book of Judges in the Old Testament. The prophet Samuel complained to G-d that the people wanted a King “like other countries had”. To paraphrase the recorded answer: G-d said. “Go ahead and choose one, but they’ll be sorry!”

Looking at this long history of people preferring to be ruled rather than ruling themselves through law, I don’t know whether I’m losing my mind or the radical right has collectively lost theirs! Here endothelial the rant! Carry on!

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I will start my comment with a quote from the non-religious Humanist, Isaac Asimov:

“There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”

And, I will continue with my own observation (which may piss off some) that religious ppl perpetuate this ignorance, for if you can believe the supernatural writings of Bronze Age goat herders over rational fact-based observation you can believe any Big Lie. BTW, this can be quantified by observing that both the Puritans and the Taliban subscribe to their versions of these archaic Abrahamic religions and have done the most dreadful atrocities in the name of their god. (And their leaders who preach their version of morality are often found to be breaking all those moral precepts of their religion).

So it is that the original “Christian Identity” terrorist organization the KKK, requires you to be a Christian. How they rectify that hypocrisy with the actual words of Jesus the Christ is anyone’s guess. (Insert image here of the Disgusting Don, wrapped in an American Flag and holding up a Holy Buybull). Oh yes, the America First Caucus is just a rewording of an old German song from the 1930s, “America, America Über Alles.”

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Heather, gobsmacked is spot on. I think I have used that word more since Election Day than I have in the preceding 66 years. Trump spent more than four years building and shaping The Big Lie. He kept his base stirred up by constantly referring to voter fraud in one form or another, emphatically stating that if he lost it would be because Democrats cheated. Tied to The Big Lie is the Socialist/Communist plot where Democrats take over the country and rob its citizens of their money and their freedom/liberty. Their idea of liberty extends only so far: guns, anti-masking, and a perverted form of patriotism where white people are the only true and worthy Americans. Yet, how many times have we read, "Privately, Republican leaders are saying (fill in the blank). If they're saying it privately, why won't they stand together and deny The Big Lie and loosen the stranglehold they allowed Trump to place on the party? Money, of course, but also this: how are they going to recant The Big Lie and keep their base? The answer is, they won't. The instant a Republican publicly supports The Truth they run the risk of losing everything to an opponent willing to double down on The Big Lie. Politicians supporting Trump are like flies on fly paper. They are stuck. They have no way to extricate themselves from him without commiting political suicide and they won't do that.

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Speaking, again, from my discipline, mental health, I see our former president, and the elected leaders who follow him, as classic abusers. As abusers, they are not against any lie for any reason, as long as they think it is useful to their control. The minute they find a better lie, they will promulgate the new lie with loud fervor, and not even mention the old one. It's all about brute, thuggish power. It's a very reduced position, by which I mean, considerations of, say, making sense, being thoughtful, having a platform, etc have no place. It's just about power.

As for their followers, they aren't looking for qualities like making sense or a platform from their elected leaders either. In the case of their followers, they are enjoying a positive image of themselves which their leaders groom them with. It takes remarkably little effort on the part of the followers to forget whatever standards or criteria they may have espoused in the past, to receive and return the plentiful, bizarre praise heaped on them by their leaders. They are being groomed. And they are being praised. They are now important patriots with a historic role. And they like the praise and the special status they are told they have ("Go home. You are very special" D.T. January 6, 2021).

Where does it end? Where does abuse end? In tragic harm.

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Sidney Powell’s lawyers argued that “No reasonable person would conclude that the statements were truly statements of fact.” Marjorie Taylor Greene defends herself against the backlash of the “America First Caucus” by saying someone else wrote it and she HAD NOT READ it. No one in the Republican Party calls them on their lying. Gobsmacked is right, Professor Richardson! We must not be silent and we must keep speaking out and telling the truth. And we must keep supporting President Biden and Vice President Harris and the Democrats. In-fighting will hurt us deeply. Our democracy depends on truth, and the empowerment of ALL the people and ALL the voters.

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The Republicans think this will end with them still in power, given that the Republican-led Georgia and Iowa legislatures, motivated by the Big Lie, have already passed "new Jim Crow" voting laws. Some 40+ other states hope to implement similar restrictions.

The courts will decide if these new election laws will stand, while the upcoming election cycles will determine the fate of the GOP and the future of America.

Regardless of how the courts rule, President Biden and his initiatives are popular -- let's hope popular enough to get people out to vote, in spite of any obstacles.

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The only national solution to this collective delusion on the part of Republicans is for the John Lewis Voter Rights Act to be passed or they will legislate the Democrats into perpetual minority status. So, Joe Manchin and Kirsten Sinema, DO YOUR JOBS. The Republicans shoved Amy Coney Barret down our throats AFTER tens of millions had already voted, and yet you want to work with these people when the ability of millions to vote is at stake?

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Hey, again, everyone! Having already addressed today's Letter on this page, my thoughts turn to an important partner who plays a huge role in each of our daily lives. There is a concept called Calming Signals that some in the horse community embrace as a way of getting along with our equine friends. No, it is not how humans calm horses but, rather, how horses ask humans to calm themselves to be better partners in our lives with them.

To get to the point, it occurs to me that for years now our partner Mother Earth has been sending Calming Signals that mostly have fallen on deaf ears. I have noticed that these signals have been getting louder and louder as each year passes. So as a lead-in to Earth Day (April 22), a little history: https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/the-first-earth-day

Here's some stuff to get us started: https://allgreenrecycling.com/blog/

As the week progresses, don't hesitate to post any of your climate saving ideas here.

Thank you!!

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I believe they think they will wear us out, we will give up the fight for American Democracy and in the long run they will take over the country just like Hitler and others. I don't know about you but 5 years of disinformation, lies, criminal behavior and FOX NEWS, I'm tired and overwhelmed. How would Trump and Friends get this lie going and keep it going if they didn't have Rupert Murdoch and Fox News? Shutting Fox down would be like cutting the head off a snake and it will IMO be the only way to turn this around now. Stop the source feeding the lie 24/7 and most people will not work to hard to find another source to feed their morbid fear of change. But then again how do you shut Fox down? How do you educate those that don't want the truth in the first place? I think the Democrats should go full speed ahead as fast and as hard as they can (we can) and beef up our educational systems to teach true history and critical thinking etc. and it will take several generations to get that done in the middle of a pandemic and climate change that is threatening to kill us all. Am I depressed about this, yup, can't hardly breath most days. Catch myself screaming into the phone when I make my calls to Congress. I'm tired, so very tired...

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I made a mistake this morning and googled Roy Cohn, the attorney, later disbarred, who advised Joe McCarthy during the 50's communist hearings, and Donald Trump during his machinations with the NYC mob-owned cement companies to build Trump Tower. Oh, and advised Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan. Somewhere in there is Robert Murdoch. In 1979 Cohn had Roger Stone deliver a suitcase of undisclosed contents to the New York State Libertarian Party to support presidential candidate, John Anderson, in order to split the Democratic vote, and consequently Republican Reagan won in 1980 handily. Then, the same Roger Stone initiated The Brooks Brother's Riot in 2000 that threw the Florida election into the hands of the Supreme Court (with an enabling assist by basketball star and attorney Brett Kavanaugh, along with fellow Federalist Society attorney Amy Conan-Barrett, both sent to Florida to supervise the count) for a George W. Bush win. And, of course it was the same Roger Stone and cronies who colluded with the Russians to blackball Hillary Clinton, and assure Donald Trump's win in 2016. The only logical, malevolent, gas-lighting next step for this hoard of mobster, criminal, con men is to DENY that Trump lost, and to purchase (or threaten to "defund") elected officials to in turn kill voting rights when the planned insurrection failed. The Big Lie is not just that Trump won, but that the Republican Party has fairly, honestly won any presidential election (except perhaps George Bush Sr?) since Dwight D. Eisenhower did the year I was born, and I am pretty old. The Mob, and now the Russians, own Lincoln's Party. It's over. Lock them up.

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Republicans are edging ever closer to a tipping point, the view from the other side of which appears more ominous with each passing day.

Our President is doing and saying all the right things, but there is only so much he can do in the face of beliefs that are impervious to reason.

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It will hopefully end with a lot of ga-ga old boomers having early heart attacks and Making America Great Again by finally getting rid of a good portion of that generation. Everyone thinks the Boomers were the generation of "The Sixties" and all it represented - it turns out less than 15% of boomers were active participants in "The Sixties". For my high school graduating class, it meant exactly two of us, with the rest either never getting out of the Fifties or if they did "participate" it was just music and dope, since the biggest "heads" back at the 10 year reunion are all now big Trumpers - at least the ones still alive are. (I'm always glad I hauled ass three days after graduation and never went back) That end result of too many of the boomers is pretty widespread, which is why the Faux viewership and Republican votership is majority 55+.

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