644 Comments

Your first two paragraphs had my blood pressure rise. Just the mere mention of Kushner and Navarro bring furor.

Grifters grift. If we have learned nothing else these horrid people wanted government out of their pockets but they helped themselves to money made off of our PPE equipment. The snide comment by Kushner, telling states that they were in their own, was so inhumane and cruel. I pray after the DOJ’s office finishes with going through the millions of papers they discovered, Kushner and Navarro will be held over a flame until they cry “uncle”. That really is my vision for any of the seditionists.

Biden is our guide. He has appointed competent people. We have to be grateful for that.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8j7ZeJrxqU

Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand PM, has suspended travel from India.

IMHO, she is exemplary in her steadfast, intelligent leadership. Is there not one of her in France? Great Britain?

What does it take to inspire the people? To vote? To grow a country? Asking for a friend.

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I'm afraid twe have no such luck! NZ is 2 islands. she shut it down and off from the world very early and caught the bug napping. She has done the same every time she has faced a rare imported case since. No messing with the lady.

Britain is an island but dithered and France refused to shut borders and test and quarantine any arrivals. We got what we deserved.

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Pity, no one deserves obnoxiously poor leadership. I find this lack on the part of our politicians to be criminal.

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That's what you get when people start to consider politics a career rathe than a vocation to serve.

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Ah yes — a vocation. That would require a world view of “No man is an island sufficient unto himself”, right?

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We need to remember and remind often, especially as 2022 rolls around: Republicans Lying, Americans Dying:/

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Agree, Karen. Please repost this regularly!

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Who disagrees with that? The criminals do that is who.

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Come on Stuart. Who deserves death by disease? Death because of ignorance? Death because of poor judgement? No one, but it does happen and there is no dithering about that.

Will we do better next time and there will be a next time? Maybe is the only answer I can see. In fact, I can still see the past, my past. I admit to having had the following diseases: measles, mumps, chicken pox, scarlet fever, pnuemonia, whooping cough and an assortment of broken bones. All of these were when I was a child.

My children had none of these, except for the broken bones. That is an improvement over my generation and those before me.

We are on the edge of medical miracles. They have happened and are happening now.

These things are what we deserve. The comes and goes. Eventually, we will defeat those other things that come our way in the form of diseases.

Perfection, no, but better, yes.

You are so right that diseases caught us napping. Some of us are still asleep, but more of us are awakening. With awareness comes knowledge. With knowledge comes understanding. With understanding come wisdom.

The goal is to be wise enough to use our awareness, knowledge and understanding to do what will benefit us, our families and neighbors as well as people we have never met, nor will meet.

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World's greatest leader. New Zealand, please annex us.

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I was in NZ last year, returning to the US on March 12, just as everything was shutting down. Jacinda (as my NZ relatives refer to her) gave online updates during their initial shutdown to reassure citizens and explain the rationale behind the decisions being made. She was an inspiring example of calm, confident, science-driven leadership.

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Biden is our guide into the next decade of corporatocracy.

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Consider the alternatives. Thanks but no thanks.

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Yeah agreed. Still sucks though.

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True

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Who’s better ?

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I didn’t say anyone was, especially at this point since the election is over. It is obnoxious though on this site that you can’t say anything negative about Biden without getting raked over the coals. I know everyone here thinks he is some kind of second coming of FDR but sorry to say that is just not the case. FDR would have pushed for Medicare for all and a much larger jobs guarantee.

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FDR came to the Presidency after the shock of the ‘29 Crash in the bottom of the depression, crippled, with a brilliant wife, comparisons always break down, but FDRs following was a higher percentage of the population. Bidens only been in office a few months. Let’s see what he does next.

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It is a good thing to remember how incompetent the previous administration really was. (Paul Krugman has an essay in a similar vein about the 2017 tax cuts in the OpEd page of today's NY Times.)

There really are things, very necessary things, only government can do. Dealing with a national pandemic probably tops the list.

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Yes: and deplorable that the Biden Transition Team was blocked from information to plan, target and speed his fledgling administration's efforts.

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I had forgotten about that cruel and stupid policy. There was so much about those terrible years that was cruel and stupid that details get forgotten.

Thank you for the reminder.

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Not just a cruel and stupid policy, but also underlying desperation that the chaotic, ineffective, destructive (and sometimes completely absent) “government” under the previous occupant of the WH would be discovered. And eventually it was.

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More to come, no doubt, re incompetence and cruelty of the last administration. I consoled two children along the way imploring them to stay the course at Dept of State and DOJ. As I explained, we need good people in place to recover from the atrocities committed.

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Yes, horrific incompetence. I knew I was forgetting an adjective. I agree.

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I imagine that as a difficult challenge. Thank you! Without good and effective worker bees holding up Justice and Diplomacy how can we ever hold the crooks accountable or right the ship? 🙏

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They stayed and I am immensely proud of both of them!

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Are you speaking of young adults? Who possibly had responsible jobs at the agencies you are bringing up?

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Well, my prosecutor son is 40 and my FSO daughter 37. Does that make them "young" adults? Some would say yes. I would say they are in the prime of their career!

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And yet in 2024 a Trump sycophant will make a formidable opponent for Biden. Too many states are tilting the table to favor a Republican victory.

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This is why I keep rattling the cage re Floriduh's 2022 Governor's race. Ron DeSantis is an iDJT sycophant if there ever was one. He must be defeated and replaced with Democrat to turn Florida around. We'll need much support from around the country to make this happen.

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We need to do everything we can to get rid of DeSantis, Rubio and Rick Scott. DeSantis has screwed up this state even more than when he assumed office. And he recently received his COVID shot without any publicity. It would have gone a long way to encourage his followers to do so as well, but instead he covers his eyes and says everything is fine. And, while we are at it, we have to somehow get rid of the Republican state legislators. They are about to pass that hideous bill which makes protesting in public (group more than 3) subject to arrest.

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"That hideous bill which makes protesting in public (group more than 3) subject to arrest".

And why not reduce the group to 1 like Putin's zombie Duma? Like Lukashenko... Like Hitler, like Stalin, like Mao, come to think of it...

Then set the goons on any single human who's foolish enough to stand out of line to batter the brains out of him.

Have you no means to deal with common gangsters who've gotten themselves into positions of authority?

While there's still time...

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That’s why I’m calling every day this week. STOP these FASCISTS NOW!

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Shades of 60 years of dictator Salazar in Portugalunyil the Carnation Revolution of 1974!

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Can it be done? Who is Florida's Stacey Abrams?

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Kelly, we’ve got your back!

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Thanks for making my day!

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Yes, we do!

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Perhaps. A lot can happen between now and 2024, most importantly HR 1 and major infrastructure legislation. To me, the mid-term 2022 election is the very big deal. If the pandemic has been tamed and the above legislation has been enacted, I think the Democrats have a better than even chance of keeping their congressional majorities. That would be immense.

Right now the public face of the Republican Party is Matt Gaetz.

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With the filibuster staying in its current form, see Manchin, HR1 is going nowhere.

Six months from now it will be “Matt who?”

As this article points out, we, as a nation, are known for our short memory.

I wish I could think of solid reasons why the Dems will hold the House in midterms, but I can’t. Trump has a stranglehold on his followers.

If the House is lost, the first order of business will to impeach Biden. Not once, but twice; just like Trump was impeached twice. Revenge politics at its worst.

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For heaven's sake, is your country so incapable of dealing with major criminals?

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I know nothing of the law in your country, but in the US, no matter how serious the allegations may be, the accused is given the presumption of innocence. See the current Chauvin trial.

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The presumption of innocence is not in question.

What is in question is a regime so constipated that seditious conspirators can continue their activities without let or hindrance.

Suchlike have gotten away with plenty in my country too... likewise because our constitutional arrangements are no longer adequate to protect us from mountebanks and worse.

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At this point, it appears at least 40% approve of lies and thievery. I don’t see how anyone can argue with that point?

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40% of who? By the way who took the poll matters.

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In bad economic times, evil gets an easy foothold. Desperate people will take risks. The mafias are always there just under the surface.

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I know. Don't we all? But I used the word "major" for individuals like those who've brought the "Cupola" under the cupola of the Capitol.

Those who'll bring discredit to normal "business" of that order.

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No, we send them to Mar A Lago for training. The only trouble is that the trainers are incompetent who lie, cheat and steal.

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Just a note: his followers are a vocal minority. They lost the Presidency, the House and the Senate. Not a good !

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A minority only 74 million strong and unfortunately we haven’t yet figured out a way to feed people the truth for breakfast, lunch and dinner

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All this travesty will be forgotten, and the repubs will find something more to lie about. The Dems need to keep reminding: Republicans Lying, Americans Dying (and they continue to do worse than that)...

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Right now that pubic face is self destructing. Challenging Cheney on her own home turf will end up with both R’s and D’Souza burying him for his peckerdilloes.

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But we will have some Josh Hawley type sycophant stepping up to take 45’s place on the podium. Might even be Marjorie Taylor Greene.

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but the day is young.... a few months from now, when the high marks for Biden will keep rolling in... 'they' will see....the economy will heal, slowly at first, but then it will become bigger and better, ...the infrastructure boom will roll out... jobs reports will look better and better...the new dawn will just keep rising, and I don't think they will have a leg to stand on...

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This will certainly be true so long as we continue to blame Trump for the next four years for any failure to meet the urgent needs of the poor.

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Krugman's column not only aims at those tax cuts, but attacks the real problem, legal "tax avoidance."

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Jacob to which column do you refer?

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Paul Krugman had two opinion pieces in the NYT on April 9. One dealt with the looming defeat of democracy here because of State voter repression laws and the other, a reprint from his 'newsletter' dealt with taxes. I referred to the latter. BetsyC refers to that column below.

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WaPo had a Krugman "wonkish" OP ed column yesterday.

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His influence will last more than 4 years. It will eventually fade into the smoke of history.

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Absolutely— if there was ever a problem that needed federal leadership it is and was this pandemic. We are most fortunate to have a president who understands this and is forging ahead.

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"But what it [the 2020 pandemic] has taught us about government is important to remember."

It certainly is. When I saw Kushner's name again, I was reminded just how successful Trump's family was in looting the country during the pandemic and during Trump's entire term of office. I want to see Jarvanka (Jared + Ivanka) held to account for all the money they made during Trump's time in office. I'm sure Trump delayed telling the public about Covid in order to use the time figuring out how his family could make a fortune off of it.

Time to bring in the forensic accountants.

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I hope we do not forget Kushner’s immorality and criminal tendencies as time passes. He’s young and could re-emerge in government since he’s so arrogant.

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They are already on the AG's team in NYC pouring over the finacial archives;

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Thinking about the loss of the vote to unionize at Amazon and President Biden’s plea to keep wearing masks, I’m wondering if the former failed 45, the iDJT, and his followers have turned into smarmy 2 year olds saying “You’re not the boss of me.” The mass murderer should be ashamed to show his face. I recently watched the outstanding Ken Burns film on Mark Twain (Amazon Prime) who was embarrassed that he had to declare bankruptcy and worked years to repay all his debts. Before his publishing company failed, General Grant’s autobiography was Clemens’ biggest moneymaker. Now our democracy is threatened by a bully who declared bankruptcy 6 times, left thousands unpaid, and said not paying taxes makes him smart. Fauci and others needed protection against threats by bullies. Biden’s election should have given him setup time and money to form a new government but he was shut out for almost three months. He has done an amazing job since January 20 righting the wrongs Republicans would like us to forget. Thank you HCR and other historians for keeping truth alive. Let’s do our part!

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I'm loving "iDJT" as I struggle as many do to avoid using the former president's name. I was slow on the uptake, thinking at first it was a typo! I prefer "idgit" to "idiot" so "iDJT" fits right in with my style. Consider it adopted!

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Very succinct! Thanks.

I'm still fond of "Der Pu$$enGropenFuhrer."

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Delirium J. Tremens

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A proud RINQ

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?

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Republican in Name Qanon. RIHO - is Republican in name only.

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I had never noticed how the initials fit until I saw it in capitals. Apologies to the person on this list who originated it. Please show yourself and take a bow.

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Although I have been using it frequently especially on FB, I can’t claim making it up. I try to rotate monikers.

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iDJT is going to stick. Nice one Kelly!

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I repeated it from Gigi above. I love it!

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Alabama is a very tough nut for unions to crack. It's a right-to-work state, the hallmark of which is that no one is actually guaranteed a job. Bah.

Still, I think that soon enough there will be a breakthrough at an Amazon facility somewhere else, in a more hospitable organizing environment. A successful union drive in the heart of the global online economy could be a turning point in putting movement back in the labor movement.

As for Grant, the general and president of freedom, it was long rumored that his Memoirs were brilliant because Twain actually wrote the majority. Not so. The same brilliance also appears in Grant's letters, wartime dispatches and orders. It's unmistakably the same level of talent.

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I was born & raised in Alabama, daughter of URW Local 351. We had many parades in Tuscaloosa, maybe 5 a year? Just a guess. High School Bands from all over West Alabama joined in. The Milliin Dollar Band from UA often participated. Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, floats galore. The biggest parade of the year was the Labor Day Parade. It was an all day event for many. The year Gulf States Paper Corp. closed the paper mill was the beginning of the end to union strength, at least in Tuscaloosa. The owner told striking workers that he would close the plant before giving them what they wanted. The history buffs among you might enjoy this piece about it.

Defender of Robber Barons Who Spends Like a King https://nyti.ms/1kjrijh

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Thank you for your response. I was feeling that President Biden’s mention of the union vote was what turned it negative. There are so many nasty lying trolls out there, from Fox News on down, or rather, on up. I’m looking forward to reading Grant. My high school history teacher called him Useless and now I’m wondering why.

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Thank you too, Gigi. Grant's "Personal Memoirs" are very detailed, and only the annotated edition released about the same time as Chernow's biography has adequate maps to ID numerous place names. It takes effort to read, but may be worth it. Chernow's "Grant" is among the great American biogs; you may prefer to start there. Happy reading.

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Its pretty crazy to see "Sado Populism" at work. When people vote against their own long term interest. I agree.

There is something similar to voting not to unionize, and refusing to mask and vaccinate. I've thought that we need better communications from the CDC to pull at peoples heart strings to change their behavior. Biden needs a stronger/better PR campaign to communicate to the masses. Biden Admin needs to fund more convincing messages for public health. We needed to do this from the start and are not. I still don't think we are communicating effectively to change behavior, and until we do, this pandemic will go to extra innings.

This is how the admin could pull harder on the heart strings of all Americans, its a messaging ad of empathy from Cleveland Clinic....but it would be an easy format to adjust to promote masks and vax: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDDWvj_q-o8

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Governments are only as good or bad as the people elected to run them. This should be our new national motto.

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Yes! Pass S1, S4. 561,956 reasons and counting. Never Forget. ❤️🤍💙

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Never forget, unfortunately it is what we are good at.

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Excellent phrasing, Deborah. 561,956 reasons (and counting) to pass S1/S4

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Posted this. Thanks.

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Indeed! Maybe our pols need to be reminded of this. I keep returning to 14th century Siena and Lorenzetti’s allegory: “The Allegory of Good and Bad Government is a series of three fresco panels painted by Ambrogio Lorenzetti between February 1338 and May 1339. The paintings are located in Siena's Palazzo Pubblico—specifically in the Sala dei Nove ("Salon of Nine"), the council hall of the Republic of Siena's nine executive magistrates,[2] elected officials who performed executive functions (and judicial ones in secular matters). The paintings have been construed as being "designed to remind the Nine [magistrates] of just how much was at stake as they made their decisions".[3]

Considered Lorenzetti's "undisputed masterpiece",[4] the series consists of six different scenes (the titles are all modern conveniences):

Allegory of Good Government

Allegory of Bad Government

Effects of Bad Government in the City

Effects of Bad Government in the Country

Effects of Good Government in the City

Effects of Good Government in the Country“ Thanks to Wikipedia.

Gotta love History!!!

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Lovely. Thank you!

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Thank you for this.

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Kate, This gift is absolutely precious. Many thanks.

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Thank You!!

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Mary, what a delight to find out about this. I visited Siena but did not know to look for it. I found it interesting that “ The virtues of Good Government are represented by six crowned, stately female figures: Peace, Fortitude, and Prudence on the left, Magnanimity, Temperance, and Justice on the right. On the far left of the fresco the figure of Justice is repeated as she is balancing the scales held by Wisdom. All women.

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Jan, thank YOU for pointing this out. The "all women" observation somehow passed me by!I I guess it all seemed totally natural! However, I did enjoy this: https://youtu.be/NouQ7eoPFUs. Worth 2 min and 27 secs of your time!

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Inspiring video! It's time the U.S. caught up to the rest of the world.

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Thank you Mary, for highlighting these famous frescos. A few years ago they were described on TV in a memorable scene from The Good Wife, to explain running for office.

https://www.google.com/search?q=siena+fresco+good+government&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjbwv7mkvXvAhW4FVkFHVuWAoEQ_AUoAXoECAEQAw&biw=1025&bih=491

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Thank you TPJ. Spent the day - first in over a year - in little community 40 miles or so south of San Fran, to visit a well known goat dairy and check out the baby goats, and buy fresh goat cheese. It was wonderful to be out and about (carefully, of course), enjoy the ocean, and once again the local family-run tavern where I first ate artichoke soup, fresh fish, and their famous Olallieberry pie in 1973. I came home exhausted from walking around the goat farm and checking out the lovely creatures, and actually seeing so many people again. I am looking forward to checking out your source tomorrow, when I have recovered. It's lovely to linger over "pleasures".

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I'm not surprised but I am assured by your history lesson. It further strengthens my belief that history repeat (more like rhymes) but through the course of human existence, it slowly improves.

The frustrating thing is human behavior severely lags behind human technology. The tech/internet/social media boom is the most recent example.

Every time we get new tools to raise the human condition, humans find a way to pound it back into the ground.

So liberals can keep aspiring to new heights and conservative can keep insisting change is bad but that takes me back to my good/bad people comment. It's the most simplest things that are often the hardest to achieve.

Gosh!

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"Slowly improves" might slightly understate the changes to civilization in the past 500 years versus those in the previous 1000 years when little change occurred. And the rate of change (and the requirements for change) seems to still be increasing. What was true 75 years ago when I was born (such as a submissive response to overwhelming force) isn't happening anymore. Poor Third World countries are standing up to Superpowers and outlasting them (eg: Afghanistan vs USSR & US; Vietnam vs US & China) A very different result than when South America bowed before European guns and diseases.

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When I think of change, I think of the Iroquois concept of "seven generations," and the lyrics to Susan Werner's song, "May I Suggest," especially this verse:

There is a hope / That's been expressed in you / The hope of seven generations, maybe more. And this is the faith / That they invest in you / It's that you'll do one better than was done before. Inside you know / Inside you understand / Inside you know what's yours to finally set right...

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There are blinders on all of us ... love and loyalty render us unable to rebel against the past; unable to see the present; unable to conjure a better future. Intelligence and wisdom are no guarantee against these powerful forces which bind us together in families, clans, tribes, nations, and religious armies. Yet there are subtle forces that, like gravity, gently tug on our souls to be kind to a stranger, to hug an orphan, and to embrace a former enemy. It is these more subtle yearnings that bind all souls together, that unite humankind and earthlifekind. It may be justified for us to think ourselves special but it comes at a horrible price when it compels us to think others "evil."

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Mary you gave of the place, the time, the subject matter - a perfect representations for the meaning of today's Letter. Thank you. Now I want to see the pictures.

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Fern, I remember the first time I saw them, and was “blown away”! Wish I could go back and see them again! But that’s a big question mark at my age, however no harm in “dreaming” that maybe I’ll go back, and maybe our “pols” will “get it”.

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We have dreams to keep alive, Mary.

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I’ve been to Siena many times, but did not se this. Thanks for sharing!

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Enjoy the nest visit, Herb!

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< next visit >

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And we don’t need help from Russia, etc., in our elections.

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Bingo, Christopher. Unfortunately, Americans' spines have been so fatally compromised by misinformation as to turn those who are so proud of thinking for themselves into automatons. We may still have free speech, but free-thinking is disappearing.

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Joining this substack has re-taught me that will live in a perpetual state of swinging pendulums and up and down sine waves. Stick around long enough and it will come back around. Just need to find the accelerator pedal.

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Oh, gosh, there is so much to unpack in this "motto". If only it was that simple. I am continually daunted by these sayings that obscure the deeper issues of a democracy. Sure let's elect "good" people.

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My husband and I once had a week long, on and off, discourse about what "good people" are. We finally agreed that we just knew them when we saw them.

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The characteristics I think most readily define "good" people seem to be empathy and compassion; the ability to see and appreciate the other point of view. My concern is that the term "evil" seems to often block this ability and enable us to wreak havoc on others before thinking things through and looking for nonviolent alternatives.

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Just like pornography, am I right? lol!

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Read into it whatever you like, it's just a statement. Both major parties are adept in electing a-holes. Republican's are better at but Democrats have more than their fair share.

If I'd said bad politicians are elected by under educated, misinformed or overtly biased people maybe we could all agree that the uneven educational system is the real culprit.

Where'd you get your degree in passive/aggressive/snarkery and were you valedictorian of your class?

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Forgive me if I spoke too harshly. Your thoughts are clarifying.

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janjamm, your response to Christopher was very kind. It is patently obvious that, “where’d you get your degree in passive/aggressive/snarkery and were you valedictorian in your class?” Should earn dear sweet Chris a PHD.

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It is difficult for me to understand that an administration elected to protect the citizens of this country, failed miserably. And, yet 70 million people voted to re-elect that same administration in 2020. Thank the Universe that more people voted for the Biden administration. I have never understood what the draw was for DT, but I woke up on January 21, 2021 able to breathe for the first time knowing that the country was going to run the way it was designed to by those who fought for our freedom and, later, established a Constitution for us, all. Now, my frustration lies with the citizens who are simply ignoring what needs to be done, and overwhelming an already precarious health system, to end this pandemic. Just venting

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Fran, a neighbor who is a fervent Trumper told my husband yesterday that Trump is “coming back in September” as President. Sadly, he is obviously only one among many who is Trump-eting this great news. That terrifies me. We must find a way to un-brainwash people like this!

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Yeah, the My Pillow Guy has been trumpeting that tidbit of information for a couple weeks now. First March, now September. The QT contingency reminds me of the Hale Bopp Cult, Heaven's Gate.

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Hale Bopp was a contingency of 40 people. I wish we could say the same for the Q's, the 4Chans, the Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, Patriot Front, etc. The cult list is almost endless. It still shocks me to find so many radical right groups that operate as cults do. https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/groups

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Yes, it was only 40 people. I, too, am struck by how cult like radical right groups are and how easily people are sucked into them. It's as though they live in a tunnel where making a U turn is nearly impossible.

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I had forgotten about Hale Bopp. Yep, same cultish thinking.

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Daria, thanks! We wondered who was touting this fable. We don’t know where he gets it.

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So creepy. He hugs that pillow WAY too close.

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Sorta like Donald, the flag molester?

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when Delirium J Tremens doesn't come back in Sept that may do the job.

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No, they just keep moving the date like all cults.

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David, when he didn’t come back in March as our neighbor said he would, it was as if he’d never told us that it would. I feel quite certain that the same thing will happen in September. This sort of behavior always brings to mind how everyone searches for a motive when there is a mouse killing. Often, no one can come up with a motive. There are some people whose behavior defies logic and rationally.

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If we can’t get The iDJT placed in the penitentiary we can pray he runs for President once again. The only thing the Orange u tan man can motivate more than tRumpers is his loyal opposition. We will come out in droves to defeat him :

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Oh, dear. I meant mass killing, not mouse killing. Also, he would and not it would. Sloppy typing, for which I apologize.

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A resource for “unbrainwashing”. Warning **it’s work (not easy)

https://freedomofmind.com/how-to-help-friends-family-following-trumps-election-loss-false-prophecy-mass-exodus-cognitive-dissonance/

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Christy, it looks like this involves a cost. I would never get him to participate and I would not spend money knowing that ir would be wasted! But i do thank you for the suggestion.

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Sorry Sara. I should have been more clear in my intent in posting the link. There’s a ton of info there to unpack. I tried to post the page that gave specific suggestions for talking with the “brainwashed”, but perhaps failed in that. I have not explored the part about treatment but I imagine that is more for concerned family and friends of folks that are verging on some really stupid behavior like an insurrection. These were the words I specifically thought might be helpful: “ With the hope that there will be a mass exodus from QAnon and the cult of Trump, how can we help? Please be respectful, compassionate and loving. Please reignite old positive memories. Focus on common issues that you both share-love of nature, children, animals, sports, whatever will help you to reconnect. As they change their stance, they may be cut off from their fellow believers’ support. We need to take the first step. Reach out to friends and family. Do not say, “I told you so” but “I miss you.”

One of the new initiatives I am proud to be a part of is the #iGotOut movement. Millions of us were a part of a destructive cult or relationship and successfully left. We need to normalize this experience. By doing so, we can provide an off-ramp for QAnon and Trump followers. They can begin to let go of phobias, understanding they are not legitimate fears. Ex-Followers need to understand they are not stupid. For most, they really wanted to make a difference and see a real change. Connect. Share. Amplify. Use the hashtag #iGotOut on social media and share how you got out. Connect with others who did the same. Amplify your voice. We don’t have to stay silent. Our stories of survival can resonate and inspire those still suffering from undue influence to get out and get free!

We are all Americans and need to work together to reboot the country. We can move forward to repair damage, promote science, and rebuild relationships. We must unify and not divide. 2021 is full of hope!”

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Christy, thank you for the clarification and explanation. I admire you for getting yourself out have a bed situation. It surely takes strength, courage, and determination.

In our situation, our neighbor is more of an acquaintance than a friend. There is never really been a connection between us. We agree on virtually nothing. Covid is a hoax, birds and animals should be shot, There was no Russian involvement in our elections, there is no racism in the USA, etc., etc. i honestly don’t see that he can be turned around, I’m sorry to say.

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Sara, iI’m guessing you missed the quotation marks in my reply quoting from the link. That was Steven Hassan, an expert on exiting cults speaking. My misunderstanding to think you were looking for actual info rather than speaking rhetorically. No big deal. It’s all good.

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Have you heard anything from our President, Schumer, Pelosi touting the escalation in vaccinating the population? its consequences? the newly proposed American Jobs Plan? Silence in response to anticipation of the 2nd coming of Agent Chaos vacuums the greater good that actually is being sought today by such a plan right out of the room. This is the time for us - you, me, and our "leaders" to replace our silence with fact burnished by heart based arguments of the difference a Biden and a democratic majority in the House is making over the wake of pure thievery that characterized the pure gaul of Agent Chaos's administration. Speak truth again again again.

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We need Fern McBride's idea of "Truth Spots" all over media, whenever such lies surface.

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👍🏻

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Fighting for freedom and writing the constitution may not be the same people. History is told by who wrote it. It can be argued that the progressive thinking Hamiltons who fought for freedom were in opposition to the slaveholder Jeffersons who wrote the constituton and eventually hold to power.

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I am from Michigan, Land of the Third Wave. You vent for all of us.

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Yes they’re out there but in lesser numbers. For my own sanity I choose not to focus on them. Many many people are on a positive and stable course now.

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But the right wing folks won’t remember. And the left is also rapidly forgetting. We are at risk for our next election cycle. Government has its place and if the Republicans get power again they won’t relinquish it easily. We must remember what Capitalism unchecked has wrought!

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Trust me, we are still living with the Trump Train in Florida. It's awful.

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Hi Kelly..Orlando here! This morning on Smerconish Carl Hiassen ( who just retired from Miami Herald) referred to plans for a "Trump Library"(oxymoron, right?) in FL. He said there will be fights against it in any number of locales. I hope Palm Beach fights it on the basis of gauche-ness if nothing else. Hiassen also said Gaetz is " not a candidate for Mensa." In FL, he says, when you combine stupidity with an arrogance about getting away with things you get "Florida weird".

Stay tuned.

Little slivers of hope.

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"trump Library"

would that be endless loops of fox videos?

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—and iDJT tweets.

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😂😂😂

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What on earth would be put in such a "library"? Tweets?

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Ha Ha - great response!

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Carol the things they would publish would be used as evidence in his upcoming trials.

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The Trump train is going nowhere. Like all things without a good purpose chaos leads to change and change is in the air.

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It’s like a criminal canal has taken over our state. Our small island of blue in St Pete/Pinellas County is at siege with our neighbors.

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I get it believe me. Living in SRQ is downright depressing, but if we ever get independent commissions for redistricting the end of the nightmare may be in sight. Support the American Jobs Bill HR 1

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SRQ = Santa Rosa County with tip of the hat to Q?

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I am so frustrated for you, Diane, and Kelly and others on this page.

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Diane and Carol can see the future. You unfortunately can only see the past. Change is in the air. Take a deep breath and you can smell it.

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Thanks for setting me straight, joe. I'll try to do better.

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Don't change a thing, Lynell. You receive many more replies and Likes than Joe. He should learn from you.

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*cabal (not canal)

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St. Pete and Pinellas County is evidently loaded with Democrats and people who can make choices that work. Diane, I believe we are in the right place to grow more blue pathways to the central, northern and southern parts of Florida. Nice to look forward to a change.

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Autocorrect is run by Kossacks

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So unhappy for you, Kelly.

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Thx. I am working hard to change the state. But it's an uphill battle. My Rep in Congress beat a great candidate (well known and loved former TV News anchor, started a foundation for breast cancer survivors years ago) by 34 points. He won't have Town Halls because he says it gives Dems press opportunities. He is former Sherriff and is iDJT all the way. Then, there's Rick Scott and Lidl Rubio.

You Tube removed a Covid video our Gov put up last week because it contained falsehoods. Dr. Atlas (of iDJT fame) was on the panel. Republicans are aiming their 1st Amendment rights have been violated by You Tube. The legislature is controlled by Republicans. It's an absolute hot mess!

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*claiming their 1st A . . .

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I am so sorry. That looks horrible from here.

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Think of it as a continuation of the iDJT presidency. Lies and stupidity. 100%

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There were so many instances the past administration ignored custom or protocol that it’s imperative we need concrete laws to prevent it happening again. The transition was one of the last, very dangerous examples.

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How can we get concrete laws when the Republicans in Congress block every measure the Democrats try to put on the table?

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well, there are Mansion and Sinema, blocking and tackling every good proposal they can find...Who purchased them that they are so fearful of doing the right things? Or merely another case of clinging to "power"...

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There is a genuine head of steam building to pressure Biden to get rid of the filibuster, but I think he still feels that somehow he can bring the likes of a Matt Gaetz or Rick Scott to understand the needs for real infrastructure. Good luck with that.

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That was Obama’s mistake. I think (hope) Biden has learned that lesson.

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I think he has. That was discussed during the ARP.

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Next door to me is an infant cemetery for twenty or thirty infants who died of influenza in 1918. It is a little spooky in there with the low hanging oaks and dim light. We are lucky that Covid doesn’t like to kill infants and kids, so far at least.

I enjoyed reading Stuart’s take on France. Just because of the feeling in the posts that I am hearing an inside story, a truth. I do think there is a flavor to the truth. We have just lost its taste because it is so rarely felt. Today we just get spin from most news outlets. That is what I like about HCR. And no, I don’t think it matters that Maine is mostly white.

At the beginning of the epidemic I was in the Bahamas and I gave a talk on what to expect. This was February. I said that since it was a novel virus, meaning none of us have any immunity we would all either have to get it or get a vaccine. Our only choices were when and where to get it or how long it would take to develop the vaccine. There was a noticeable glazing of the eyeballs in the group at that point. It was a sign I didn’t quite recognize as the inability for a fact to penetrate. There was a great willingness to discuss various ancillary details but no return to the solemn central fact. That fact is still true and is a fact that should/could be in play regarding people’s individual choice to receive a vaccine. Eyes are still glazed apparently.

From this I’m reminded of how as a species we thrive on hope even if it is a fantasy. Realism just can’t compete. I hope our situation with the For The People Act doesn’t go the same way. If the notion of free elections becomes a hopeful fantasy because the reality is that too many of our current leaders were elected more for their personal monetary concerns than the concerns of democracy then we are there. Every day I try to understand what is happening with the bill. What is the process for getting it out of committee? Still, I have no idea. The senate rules at .gov just say the committee will vote on it. Clearly, that doesn’t always happen so what’s up? Clearly, it would be preferable for the repressive opposition to let it fade in the national attention by being wound up in committee while the state level fights take center stage.

I also find it interesting that the bill to improve voting is a national bill while the bills to restrict voting are state bills. I guess I have been a strong federal government advocate for some time. I believe we have to be one country not a bunch of states loosely held together. I recognize a past where statehood was important. Transportation and communications over long distances were not as they are now. No one tries to limit their business or their travel or anything at all to their state boundaries. But contrarily, it seems that if you are spending money to influence voters the best way to do it is locally. So it makes sense that repressive voices focus locally. It is hard to argue with your neighbors even if they are nuts but especially if they are more willing to be violent. I have so much respect for those black people who stood up to the Klan. Wow.

There is so much complexity it’s bewildering.

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Complexity is bewildering which is why Heather’s ‘connect the dots’ Letters are so valuable.

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You said a mouthful here: "here was a noticeable glazing of the eyeballs in the group at that point. It was a sign I didn’t quite recognize as the inability for a fact to penetrate. There was a great willingness to discuss various ancillary details but no return to the solemn central fact. That fact is still true and is a fact that should/could be in play regarding people’s individual choice to receive a vaccine. Eyes are still glazed apparently."

Eyes are glazed here in Oregon (or they are ablaze with conspiracy theories; sometimes both.) This thing ain't over. Don't let your guard down.

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I like your point that we thrive on hope and find realism difficult. My angled paraphrasing. Hope requires little in substance and we can morph with it without exercise or energy. Whereas realism require evaluative thought, active acquisition of new knowledge (truth), and has consequences of got that right or got that wrong. This makes us good prey to fantasists and grifters forever in all things.

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Patrick, your description of the audiences' reaction when you were giving a talk at the beginning of the pandemic in February, more than a year ago, will stay in my mind:

'Our only choices were when and where to get it or how long it would take to develop the vaccine. There was a noticeable glazing of the eyeballs in the group at that point. It was a sign I didn’t quite recognize as the inability for a fact to penetrate. There was a great willingness to discuss various ancillary details but no return to the solemn central fact.' '......Eyes are still glazed apparently.'

That provoked me to think about what is happening now in Michigan; the reluctance of many Republicans to take the vaccine as well as others. America is so desperately sick a number of ways, and it took the deadly virus to spell that out.

I think that you have clearly laid issues and questions. H.R. 1 may be stalled by work to tailor it in a way to get it passed but also as matter of timing given Biden's heavy and difficult agenda.

On another point, I don't think that we've lost the flavor of truth, it is unforgettable. Unfortunately, perhaps, some have not tasted it or are absolutely overcome by greed and self-interest.

Yes, through our current experiences, attention to the mechanics of power, reading, concern and Heather's Letters we are feeling more of the savagery inflicted on the Black people of this country.

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Thank you, Patrick, for saying what people need to know whether they're receptive or not. As a sometime historian of disease, I have sounded the alarm about Covid-19 since Feb 2020, in person and online. Yet too many people still refuse to take it seriously, seizing any rationale for indulging in selfish behavior. And until Jan 20, the lack of leadership compounded every problem. Despite the Biden admin's impressive results, it's still quite likely that Covid-19's death toll will surpass that of 1918-19. So much avoidable suffering and death ... tragic.

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Biden’s impressive results notably do not include a 4-5 week lockdown with wages covered. The only proven method for stopping this virus in its tracks.

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The US should have emulated many European countries: the strictest shutdown for 4-5 weeks as you note (I'd say 6), with government deficit spending covering wages, budgets, rents, mortgages, insurance. But that required actually giving a schist about the American people, and the Trumpsky admin did not.

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Also my property taxes were deferred last year and this... what a nice surprise! It makes up for lockdown in Portugal.

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There is no worthy credit due to the previous administration. Now we must only certain that we rid ourselves of the remnants and make certain that our Democracy survives their scourge against voting rights.

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Corbitt your point is so very important! We seem to be on the verge of forgetting how fragile our Republic really is. And there are several countries (Russia for one) that are actively pushing us towards failure. We must as a people stand up against the suppression of the vote.

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When Ohio went for trump in the 2016 election a primal scream of distress was elicited from this household. Across the country, my siblings, children, friends and I noted he would, figuratively and/or literally, kill us all. The combination of incompetence throughout the so called “administration” and trump’s corrupt and dishonorable ways left no other outcome. We recognized the election of this evil person went beyond “normal” and fell into the category of a non-benevolent dictator-wanna-be who picked up the vitriolic rhetoric and modus operandi of the Newt Gringrich era. trump and his minions should be charged with crimes against humanity given their blatant and intentional mishandling of the pandemic.

The US is the largest global corporation and government in the world (and in history). Thank goodness we now have an administration that exhibits benevolent and compassionate leadership combined with a widespread network and deep bench of smart, experienced people who actually know how to govern and understand the massive departments they oversee.

Thanks to people like Heather, there is a growing number of people becoming aware, educated, and involved.... re-awakened to understanding the fact that a well run democracy requires participation and paying attention! That the republicans stonewall any and everything that doesn’t line their own pockets is abhorrent and deadly. There is zero cooperation or intellectual prowess on their part and hopefully the Biden/Harris administration and “we the people” can maintain the momentum to turn the tide against those who only want to do harm.

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Optimism is contagious. I pray you are right in the tide being turned.

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Primal scream of distress, yes. I uttered such in 2016 and then lived with rising anxiety until January 20, 2021. I try to maintain optimism and I generally concur with your assessment above. But then the venality of Republicans...particularly here in the South...stars-and-bars everywhere...sometimes I am so tired.

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The folks that lost someone during these sad times will not forget. My moms mother died of the 1918 influenza. She was 34 years old. My mom was 4 years old. This time around it has, so far, been older folks that have been taken but old or young these premature losses are very heavy to bear for the families they happen to. I look at the picture of my grandmother in her organdie gown in 1905, so beautiful, hopeful and happy, her whole life before her and am so sad that neither my mother or I ever got the chance to really know her. When I look in the mirror I see her smile, and my mom’s smiling back at me so perhaps, they are not so far away after all.🥰

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Thank you for the powerful reminder that history may repeat itself if we let it. The grifters and scoundrels we have had running our government and ruining our lives since Ronald Reagan are shameful. Hopefully we are moving out of the Reagan era for good. As HCR writes, "Remembering the nation’s suffering under the pandemic matters because the contrast between the disastrous last year and our hope this spring is a snapshot of what is at stake in the fight over control of the nation’s government."

It is time to continue bold actions: Make the Electoral College irrelevant, eliminate the filibuster, pass voting legislation to make gerrymandering illegal, etc. All of these things are possible. With eight years of Biden we can make Republicans a thing of the past.

We must not be timid. As the professor writes,"In America, the two very different responses to the pandemic have given us a powerful education in government activism. 'For the past year, we couldn’t rely on the federal government to act with the urgency and focus and coordination we needed,' Biden said, 'And we have seen the tragic cost of that failure….'"

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One thin profit from having Republicans as adversaries is that it activated Democrats and others.

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I am just going to sit here and breathe in some of your optimism. I tend to be gloomy about the prospects of making these changes. The deck is so stacked against us... Deep breath....

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Reid look what we did in GA. The deck was stacked there. I, incredibly cheap bastard that I am, gave more money to Fairfight than I gave away during the entire 2020 election cycle. We can repeat this. And I for one plan to provide lemonade and quiche to voters in The longest voting line I can find in the Peach State.

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Hi Reid - It is just sunny optimism on my part, only spotting a path. I firmly believe if we don't get rid of the filibuster, McConnell will at his first chance. I believe, too, that the reason they are block voting is to say in the end, we knew Biden was not really president.

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I think it helps to keep repeating such messages as often as we can. There are millions who don’t read LFAA. It’s one way to push back against the PUTIN/KOCH/GOP/FOX propaganda raining down on so many every damn day

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Influenza is with the world every year, all the time, and it's not going away in seasons but travelling round the world evolving as it goes. The world is round, it comes back. It has had massive peaks such as the 1918 epidemic and again with the Hong Kong Flu in 1968. Each year the vaccine for Europe, which takes 6 months to develop, is based-upon the "beast" as it passed through Australia the previous summer. This year we have hardly heard about influenza! The beast hasn't gone away but people are taking precautions by washing their hands frequently, adopting masks, practicing "social distancing and limiting the size and scope of gatherings. The beast has largely been tamed and we take it in our stride. We will learn to do likewise with the Covid, mostly master it and get on with our lives.

What we have most clearly to control better is the panic created around the epidemic. Panic leads to chaos and very bad decision-making. The French government and many other such administrations in the Western World accerbated the panic, creating fear and other psychoses in the people and chaos in their response to the challenge. They screwed up on the mask question; saying first that they were dangerous, then unnecessary before admitting that they had destroyed all their safety stocks (1B masks!), they screwed up the testing program....they had no tests, they failed appallingly at tracing the contacts of those infected, they canned programs to test and validate viral infection drugs that might help as they were selling an "only vaccines can do the job" message....but no french company could produce, masks, tests or vaccines. Now they are screwing up the vaccine program by starting with an insistence that Europe handles it...not them and then poo-pooing the idea of mass vaccination centres.

Despite this government, with dedicated hospital workers of all sorts and the people's perseverance and courage we are beating the bug down to a level where it can be "managed" in the future as it will not now be going away entirely. Fortunately our "Nov 3" in May 2022!

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I can’t speak for France Stuart, but, in the US our previous administration saw Covid purely as a political problem. Every action or inaction was driven by political gamesmanship, not public health. They effectively threw paper towels at the states and told them to clean up the mess.

Residue from the initial mixed messaging and misinformation still taints our understanding today. Masks and social distancing have become political footballs instead of lifesaving strategies. Vaccines have been misrepresented by those who want to stoke fear and hobble the Biden administration.

Bizarrely, the only adults in the room during the previous administration were businesses who understood that their survival required getting the virus under control and protecting their employees. Large grocery and big box chains required masks when government wouldn’t. Meanwhile meat packing plants and nursing homes, who were barred from public scrutiny, provided little PPE for workers many of whom came to work sick out of necessity. These businesses became hotbeds of infection.

Even CDC & WHO guidelines have been woefully inadequate. Hospitals developed their own protocols to protect their employees from aerosol transmission. They realized that N95 masks, let alone surgical masks were not adequate for healthcare workers spending time in the same room with Covid patients. The CDC still hasn’t adequately updated guidelines.

And your likely correct that Covid won’t go away. But, unlike the old “beast” it may not be so easily managed. In many ways it’s still far more deadly and insidious than seasonal Flu with debilitating long term effects for many survivors. Virologists have concluded that the dramatic drop in flu cases is not only due to masks & hygiene, but, also lack of air travel which is its normal vector in modern times.

Biden is working hard to fix what is broken, but, 4 years can’t rebuild what’s been dismantled over the last 50. Covid 19 is a metaphor for our vulnerability as well as an actual killer. It should have brought us together, it didn’t.

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I prefer to see the signs of hope and rebirth that are emerging as more and more of us are vaccinated and life starts to look more normal. This I attribute to Biden’s leadership. Former guy spent the first 3 years trying to dismantle government in efforts to create his own form of dictatorship. Then he lied from the getgo about the virus. Even if he realized that this pandemic required federal leadership, he would have been incompetent to make it happen partly because he surrounded himself with other self-serving incompetents. We have many smart and hardworking members of Biden’s team in the act of repairing the colossal damage.

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My optimism is tempered by what’s happening in my state. The former guy still controls much of his party. Here in Florida, he’s king. All attempts to appear fair and reasonable have been cast off as “cancel culture”.

We’ve become the canary, stay tuned.

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I am tuned to the politics in FL and I really hope things get better.

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If Florida is the litmus test, we are in deep, deep trouble.

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Doesn't it look, too, as though Orangepeel Man thought, like Bolsonaro, that Covid-19 would mainly kill off the poor who didn't count for him? Apart from that weird right-wingnut superstition that individuals are so separate that we don't share the same air along with what it carries.

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Or social security recipients (no doubt many fall into the poor), and minorities whom all had higher mortality/morbidity rates

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