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Here is what keeps me up at night.

1. I am the director of nursing for a small detention center in NH. The residents cannot leave, the Delta variant is present here (all parameters indicate this), yet our Republican governor, who is running for senate on a "trumpist" platform, refuses to allow a mask mandate.

2. While threatening high level public officials as a political strategy is abhorrent, I worry most about the grass-roots school board members, election precinct volunteers, etc., who basically have no protection from such tactics.

The people that threaten me and many I number as my friends for doing our jobs have made their choices. It has turned them into thugs. This impulse has been present in humanity for a VERY long time, it is now just much clearer for us now in the US who is who. The rest of us also have choices. Do we hide in our own echo chambers, develop our own brand of thuggery, or use competence and the rule of law to manage this horrible situation for the next couple of generations? I am glad President Biden seem to have chosen the latter. A much harder task, but the only one that will work. Thanks Joe, thanks Heather, thanks to ALL of the people who keep this nation running, and make our people a People.

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Steve Abbott, I will add you to my prayers. I feel for the Healthcare profession. It was heartbreaking watching that ICU nurse being interviewed on "The Rachel Maddow Show" last night. That poor woman was spent. The Republican Governors who are in denial that the federal government is coming to their state to help makes me furious. I remember Reagan line about the federal government coming to help. At the time, I bought into it, because at the time it did not seem like the government was helping. Thank God for President Biden! He is saving our country in so many ways. I said many prayers for him.

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Steve, thank you. 1-Your actions. 2-Your thoughts. Biden is clearly above the fray in all this and leading through doing. There is always a third way and Biden knows it and is on it.

When we went thru the upheaval of the 60s, have you ever thought about what the country would have faced if MLK had not responded to the call of that moment? Now it is Joe Biden and I remember the moment he signaled it to listeners at a debate in March. “our country is an peril. I know what to do and I’ll hit the ground running on day 1.”

The next day I went to early voting for the primaries and all of us in line were discussing this moment of clarity.

His strategy is mature and wise and a mystery to the authoritarian mindset. This community Heather has opened up is a big part of this huge movement for real change. The way is opening.

It’s unfortunate the others have more weapons and torches tho.

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The other day I cast my mind back to the Democratic primaries. As all will remember, it was by no means certain, possibly not even likely, until South Carolina that Joe Biden would win. His debate performances had been mostly unfortunate, his policy prescriptions very middle of the road and lacking in flash, and his energy level middling on a good day.

Then he got the all-important nod from Senator Clyburn and the rest of the field pretty much excused itself from further competition, with the exception of Bernie Sanders who fought on quixotically.

How much doubt many many Democrats felt. Sanders and Elizabeth Warren were huge contenders, Harris, Buttigieg, Klobuchar, and Booker had all had their moments. There was doubt for a while whether the party would rally behind Biden or whether there would be a huge and ugly internecine fight, leaving a broken candidate to face the Republican machine.

The Democrats held together thankfully. But more than a few felt that Biden would be much more than a “not Trump”.

Of course, Biden found his footing before the Convention, came out much the better human being and politician in the debates and on the stump than his addled, vicious opponent and won the Presidency. And here we are.

Thank God it was Biden who emerged. Under the most trying, bizarre and disastrous circumstances for the nation, he has governed majestically to this point. And part of his governance lies in the elite team he has picked. There have been no holes in the lineup.

In a time that demands daring solutions, Biden has governed far to the left of what any Americans could have expected. He has used his years of experience to take a fractious party and find common ground in order to bring about mature solutions. The hydra-headed infrastructure legislation will test his Presidency as nothing else has done. There is potential for a brawl that ends in failure. And the voting bills await, as the nation’s numerous red states continually burp out noxious legislation to tilt the playing field in obscene ways.

It is an axiom that the Presidency makes the man - one which TFG turned on its head in a New York minute.

But assuming for a moment that there is truth in that saying, which of Biden’s primary opponents would have got the country this far this fast (“fast” is being used in its loosest sense here)?

It’s highly doubtful to me that Sanders could have won, much as I respect him. Elizabeth Warren, had she won, would have provided the bones and flesh of much needed legislation. But I’m not sure she would have been as sure-footed as Biden in trying times. And she would have been a hated target for the far right - that in itself could have been distraction enough to throw the country further off course. Klobuchar and Harris may grace the Presidency in time. But neither was ready for this moment.

For now I offer a paean to Biden - and I never thought I would do so. He has been sure-footed, comforting, commanding at times. A blessed relief from the flamethrower who preceded him. I have doubts whether it is within his powers to get infrastructure and voting rights done. To a huge extent his hands are tied. But…should the stars align correctly for a brief minute and he is able to seize the opportunity he will go down in history as one of the greatest Presidents in American history.

I fear that the the times are too turbulent and the problems too vexatious for this to happen. But I thought it appropriate at this time to give President Biden an A+ for his first months in the Presidency. He has been an inspiration in a quiet way. There are many many politicians, most notably on the other side who might re-examine the noise they make in their efforts to dent the wall. They are not aging well.

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An excellent analysis Eric, thank you. I must however offer one difference of opinion. You termed Sander’s continuing candidacy as quixotic. It was anything but.

Sanders understands his role with the Progressive wing, particularly on issues of healthcare for all, and climate change among others. He stayed in the race very deliberately, in order to retain the attention of the DNC and the Biden Centrists. He knew he could keep his people moving with Biden if very public negotiations happened for the Democratic platform so that we knew that our voices were being heard. By design and quite well done. Evidence? The 3.5T budget reconciliation package adopted yesterday. Sanders fingerprints are all over it!

I know much of what is in the plan to address climate change because I worked with and for many who developed the policies and advised Sanders and now Biden. While cautiously optimistic about the focus, it still isn’t enough. But in seeing what you see in Biden’s quiet leadership, I will remain hopeful. I appreciate this post and perspective!

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Sheila and others, I think Sanders has served a purpose in giving voice to economic issues, and -- even more important -- inspiring some excellent candidates to run and get elected to Congress. They're already showing themselves more effective politically than he has ever been. But please don't ignore what developed on the outskirts of his campaign: a vocal, mostly but not entirely male contingent that went about shouting down anyone who disagreed with them, especially women, both in person and on social media. This is a feature, not a bug, of populist, personality-focused campaigns. The similarities to the Trump campaign are not coincidental. If you're familiar with the (male-dominated) New Left of the 1960s and very early '70s, which is where Sanders came from, you might share my reservations and be very grateful that he didn't get close to the presidency.

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I share your reservations Susanna. Was merely pointing out that Sanders is as cagey a politician as they come - his decision to stay in the race was absolutely calculated (and yes, he would have gladly accepted Biden stepping aside so he could step in, lol). I spent my career as an environmental activist surrounded by some of the smartest people imaginable. Their skills were and are over the top excellent. They also had (and have) egos the size of Texas - with chauvinism to match. But in a dog fight, as is the fight to combat climate change, given the resources of the oil and gas lobby, I'll take my chances with those who understand and are willing to push, versus those who live in denial who will gladly start the fire and watch it all burn down. And I will take them, warts and all ('cause we all have 'em, if we are honest.)

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Sheila, I appreciate your take on Bernie and why he stayed the course. I really admire and respect Bernie and how he conducted himself during the campaign for 2020 Presidency. The "Bernie Bros" on social media hurt him more than helped IMO.

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And I appreciate both of you! I am of mixed thoughts about Bernie, my own senator whose efforts have helped us, seniors, especially. However, Greg Olear had a scathing commentary this week about the international mafia types (mostly located in the break-away nations from the old USSR) who have manipulated our elections with dark money incentives such as have been traced to many Republicans currently in office. No doubt directed by Putin, their highest goal is to undermine democracy. I was aghast to find that Bernie is on the list of spoilers who were "gifted" to dilute the votes for Hillary and Biden. Just as these Mafiosi infiltrated the NRA, I'm pretty sure they are fomenting the thugs, too. Let us all be aware and wary.

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Thank you. I am not sure folks are keeping in mind the Russian influence on where we are today. While waiting for "The Great American" novel to be written about the last six years, I have settled for other fiction and non fiction works. Having just finished The Cellist by D Silva, I have to point it out. Its the Mueller Report in fiction, focusing on the Russian oligarchs reaching into the 2016 presidential election and the present, the laundromat Deutschbank, Trump as a Russian asset, and Qanon. The reader will recognize characters from Congress, especially those from Ohio, Texas, and Colorado.

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"I am not sure folks are keeping in mind the Russian influence on where we are today." I'm not sure either, Kathy. I take my cues from media that I trust and there are several references to this, not the least of which is the Mueller report, which we have never seen in full. Sigh...

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Wow! I guess I shouldn't be surprised that Bernie was "gifted!"

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I don't understand this term gifted in this context. Someone please explain.

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Thanks, Liz. Just subscribed to The World Beneath podcast.

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That is a really interesting perspective. I much appreciate the time you took to shine light on a too simplistic point I made. Thank you. :)

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Thank you, Eric. Like you, I was not all that optimistic about Biden's success, even after his election, but have realized that he had many abilities that were underappreciated. His years of experience have served him well, and I have been amazed at his deep dive that began on day one.

I, too, am apprehensive about the possibility that the infrastructure bills will go off the rails, and I try not to awake in the middle of the night to worry about whether voting rights bills will even be presented, and if they are, whether they will be sufficient to outrun and outfox the fascist right wing. I think most of us have become aware that Biden reveals little of his strategic goals, but it's clear that he and his stellar team are working non-stop behind the scenes, so I try to relax a bit.

The one concern/criticism I have is that it seems that this administration has not done enough to prepare to help the Afghan interpreters and others who worked with us during our stay there, and now face imminent gruesome death at the hands of the Taliban. I don't understand why there appears to have been little negotiation with refuge countries for them and logistical support for getting them out of harm's way. Unless there is a plan being implemented, but not discussed, I don't see how we can rescue more than the 1,500 already out of reach - a Herculean task under any circumstances.

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I share your concern. These people and their families need a safe haven here in our country. They have proved their worth in supporting our troops.

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Their future is paralyzingly frightening if they're not rescued. Considering what Biden inherited when he took office, it's not shocking that he has run into problems with this matter, but I just wish he could assign someone to take over and at least move these people to Guam or another country until their visas can be processed. He has done an amazing job of righting this country's ship, but if this matter is not resolved quickly, our reputation is in the sewer, to say nothing of the fate of these thousands of people.

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Eric, you make good observations. I am more optimistic. Am reminded of the children's story, The Tortoise and the Hare. Biden keeps his head down and steadfastly climbs toward his goals. The Repubs toss out dazzle and flash to try to distract him. They are preoccupied with tactics to win 2022 and 2024. Meanwhile, Biden plugs along, ignoring their bait, and quietly gets things done. I agree that lifting children out of poverty, creating jobs through infrastructure initiatives, strengthening and extending healthcare, and providing educational opportunities that were previously out of reach for many Americans puts him at the top of the list of great presidents.

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I love this analogy, Cheryl. You are spot on.

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Cheryl, I agree, and that's my view of Biden, too. I am worried about the Voting Rights bills, though, and just pray that they can be dealt with after the Senate break. Gerrymandering is coming up now, and you know that every Red state will be rushing changes through, in addition to already-passed voter suppression and nullification. It's urgent. He already qualifies for an FDR comparison, and if he can fix voting rights, we can toss in LBJ, too.

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Eric, thank you for so eloquently putting into words my thoughts on Joe Biden from early 2020 to now where he stands as our compassionate, calm, sage, intelligent and unifying President. I feel comfort knowing that he is the person leading us through the darkest times I've ever experienced in my 66 years. EW was my first choice but I now understand why Joe Biden is the best person for this moment.

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Eric, I truly agree with your post. What makes Biden the best man to me is his true humanity and the love, respect and admiration he has for his wife, Dr. Jill Biden. No more pouty faced Melania. Dr. Biden is a woman of grace, intelligence and absolutely dedicated to her chosen profession of teaching at the community college level. (Not lost on me is that free community college is part of the human infrastructure bill). She may be our new Eleanor Roosevelt, a first lady who brought equality and great intelligence and energy to her roll as first lady. At Eleanor Roosevelt's cottage at Valkill on the greater estate at Hyde Park, her cook was often frustrated because when she met an interesting person on the train, she would bring them (all!) home for dinner. Also, Eleanor hung her first cousin Alice's (TR's oldest child) picture in a small corner about 3 feet off the floor. Alice was not a nice person!

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Hi Eric. I thought to check in. The only significant subject, free-press in the USA, left for us for bat around will be addressed on the forum. I will look for your comments about it. It is broiling here, so it is a catch up reading and paper organizing day. Cheers!

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Broiling here in Vancouver as well. Beyond alarming. The Couve, as it is fondly called, might average highs of 75 - 80 in a typical summer. We are well above that.

Climate change has become the climate crisis.

Free speech, which has been a pedal to the medal concept historically in the States, still reassures me at this moment. We have to put up with so much sludge from so many angles, but dissidence is not suppressed. Yet.

The anger at the local level vis-a-vis mask mandates and schools is beyond shocking. I would quit teaching if I was threatened and abused, as teachers and administrators have been recently. There will be gun violence I’d bet. And from there, who knows? The tinder is dry.

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Hi Eric. I suggest that you read 'Facebook's Broken Vows' by Jill Lepore, August 2nd, in The New Yorker. A discussion of the free-press in the USA requires recognition of Facebooks role is disseminating material to the public. See link below:

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/08/02/facebooks-broken-vows

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Very good to hear from you. I'm working online now, putting some of my photographs in a book.

I hope you saw my apology. That comment to you was rolling around my mind, the prick of conscience.

As to the victims of the lie, which is all of us and the children -- this is the curse. Rightly or not, I was not in favor of the country going into Afghanistan, but leaving the people this way - another curse. Were you aware of our abandonment of the Kurds. Eric...

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This is an entirely enraging situation. The war in Afghanistan should never have been started. 9/11, as tragic as it was, did not arise out of a vacuum. Bin Laden did not pick countries’ names from a hat when he chose America. Much of America’s Middle East history has been born of hubris. Yes, it was about the oil. It was about a geopolitical slap to the USSR. But behind it all, there was American hubris. I defended America in the 80s and 90s to other Canadians because I thought the post war Marshall Plan was farsighted.

But I had an increasing number of Canadians who were simply put off by what seemed a perpetually bellicose attitude. The “USA USA USA” chants came to represent America more than any other thing.

After 9/11, there was an immense amount of sympathy for America. Our country flipped because of our revulsion at the deeds of Al Qaeda.

But why a full scale war in Afghanistan? Why not a multi-nation police action limited to capturing bin Laden?

And then all sympathy was lost with the invasion of Iraq. By that point, it seemed to me that Americans were profoundly shaken and the Bush government was way out of step with its people.

And our hands aren’t clean. We fought in Afghanistan, mostly to resist the “you’re for us or against us” pressure of the American government. Of Afghanistan and Iraq, the former was clearly the lesser of two evils.

Yes, I know of the American abandonment of the Kurds, firstly to the tender mercies of Saddam Hussein, and then recently by Trump.

And Abu Ghraib. And the pointless wars, like in Granada. Who invades Granada?

It’s ruinous Fern. Biden is going to need good management and good fortune to avoid electoral disaster. The Mexican border situation has exploded. Afghanistan was abandoned with no plan. Covid rages because of stupidity and spur in the South. The climate crisis is upon us.

This feels so much like a reap what you sow situation. And the bitter fruits are all harvesting now.

I find it so depressing, to be honest. There’s so much good in American people (such as yourself), but it’s getting dispiritingly hard to cheer for the U.S.

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I'm happy that Biden won, but disappointed that Sanders or Warren didn't get that nod. That shows you the country is not really ready to move forward on progressive issues as we really need to. I'm wondering when that will ever be?

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Don't forget that Biden might have felt it was too dangerous to move them from the Senate, considering our razor-thin margin. Even with the tiniest majority, we still have Manchin, Sinema, and others who are concerning.

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IMO, Warren would have been an excellent president -- I campaigned hard for her, and still tithe monthly to Warren Democrats. Sanders, not so much. What it shows, I do believe, is that "the country" has a better grasp on what the country needs than those of us who get carried away with our devotion to particular candidates.

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Thank you, Steve, and all who are in the healthcare field and on the front lines every single day. But who is listening to you? The numbers of infected or dying seem to make no difference to those who continue to deny this scourge. I have family members who still deny the science, and it makes me angry (one, however, is in the Navy, and I'm hoping she will be told to be vaccinated). There is an obstinance about this that is nonsensical, and I frankly can't understand it.

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One of HCR’s followers coined the phrase “belligerent ignorance” to describe current Republican philosophy. It can also be applied to this nonsensical obstinance and selfishness. It defies logic.

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I rather like the term "tyranny of the minority" which I heard yesterday from someone on MSNBC.

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A perfect description, "belligerent ignorance." I don't think logic has anything to do with it, unfortunately. Those who seek to gain or keep power recognize the importance of public opinion. The worst of them--The Former Guy and his Republican sycophants--have no scruples about manipulating the public with relentless blatant lies, if they think that the manipulated public will give them more power. That many voters are so easily manipulated and have no concept of logic is due to the decline in the 20th century of public education, and the rise since the 90's of the unregulated internet. Trump and the Trumpists are happy to weaponize anti-mask and anti-vaccine lies if it gets them more attention and power, never mind that they're killing millions of people with Covid. The conflation of anti-mask and anti-vaccine non-logic with "freedom" is very similar to the NRA's decades-long push to rewrite the Second Amendment. They wanted more power and they wanted to prompt people to buy a lot more guns. So they worked for decades to shift public opinion on whether the Second Amendment was ever intended to confer an unlimited, individual right to own guns. (https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/05/nra-guns-second-amendment-106856/)

They manipulated the public's fear and rage to persuade them that their freedom was under threat. And the NRA conflates unlimited gun ownership with "freedom" and equates any kind of common sense regulation of firearms with "tyranny." Again, never mind that their advocacy of unlimited gun ownership gives America a wildly higher rate of gun deaths by homicide, suicide, and accidents than all other wealthy countries. (https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2021/03/24/980838151/gun-violence-deaths-how-the-u-s-compares-to-the-rest-of-the-world).

Sorry for the long rant. The phrase "belligerent ignorance" nails the passionate symbiosis between aggrieved low-information voters and the unscrupulos politicians who are happy to manipulate them.

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You absolutely hit the belligerent nail on the head. Grateful for your rant!

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Spot on, absolutely no need to be sorry. Thanks for taking the time to comment!

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Alexander Moss (VA), I understand why you can't understand their insane anti-vax stance, because it makes no logical sense. The way I see it, all this idiocy is like a childish triumph at the level of "No more pencils, no more books, no more teacher's dirty looks" or "Mine eyes have seen the glory of the burning of the school." It is pure bile.

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An interesting perspective. I remember singing that song when I was eight or nine years old. At that age, kids are champing at the parental bit, and that increases through the “teens” until finally tamed (somewhat) by hard knocks of adulthood.

It seems to me that these anti-everything but me sorts are the remains of children who once expected to be rewarded or outright paid for whatever they accomplished — whether good, bad, or indifferent. Pure bile it may be, but extended self-focus might fit as well.

Thanks for your comment.

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Much love to you Steve Abbott for persisting in the battle for our better nature to prevail. It sure helps to give me hope to hear words like yours. ❤️

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Best wishes to you and the folks like you trying to help.

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Steve, I appreciate your comment and your dedication.

I wonder if you and other leaders in your community - and elsewhere across this community and our country - can knit together in one's community with the police and first responders. Have an open discussion before city council, which is often televised in Cable TV for all to see. Bring in the school district leaders, corporate and business leaders, the Kiwanis and other service groups, veterans groups, etc. Leave no stone unturned, as we are better than this.

Perhaps we need to invite these ’thugs’ to reveal who they are - invite them to come before the city council, school boards, police and fire departments, and share their grievance.

We can find who they are, and not turn away, but turn toward them, in a peaceful way. Show then our interior, for within this, is our healing.

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Yes! Shine the light.

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Well, my experience is the lack of darkness, with the shine of the light. Even within the “thugsters” is their light. Right?

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Sounds very similar to an admirable Quaker teaching. We need more Quakers, but not many people can adapt completely to that life, including me.

All of us, however, are given the Light. Don't have to be Quakers....

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Frederick, that is a fine and admirable approach, and certainly the only one that will work. Getting those diverse groups to convene together would be a marvelous accomplishment. No matter what direction we look these days, the world seems to be crashing inward: the suppression of voting rights and an obvious effort by the Trumpists to form an authoritarian government with the right-wing media's support; global warming and climate change; the growing pandemic.

When you lump them together, the challenges seem insurmountable. Taken one by one, each challenge offers a path to overcoming the obstacles. No easy feat, especially considering the width and breadth of each problem.

I believe all of us here hold the hope that humanity can come together to save itself. Biden is certainly taking the correct approach despite being skewered by everyone in the "other camp." I feel sorry for him. I believe I am especially sorry because I feel people who support him simply aren't being vocal enough to combat the constant pounding of the drums coming from the other side.

Frederick, your idea for inclusive meetings requires a blueprint that folks with a grassroots mindset can follow and achieve success. It is a daunting challenge to organize something like that and a) formulate an agenda that's going to address everyone's concerns and establish goals; b) identify the groups who need to be there; c) develop an invitation that ensures everyone will get X amount of time to air their thoughts/grievances; d) establish ground rules to avoid excessive arguing; e) select moderators from both sides who will keep the meeting moving and its participants on task; f) select a secretary from the group of moderators to take notes and have them synthesized by the end of the meeting so that a chairperson from the group can provide a summary of the meeting's highlights before the meeting ends; g) announce a date for a followup meeting and get a show of hands of those who want to attend. Two of the moderators should greet people as they arrive and get contact information. Local media should be invited and provided with minutes from the meeting by the next morning. A meeting location should be neutral; a fire hall would be a good place or a community center.

I am sure others here have additional suggestions to make such a meeting work.

In my mind the development of an agenda is the most critical component of the meeting. What topics are to be covered? Don't go whole hog in one fell swoop. You can't cover voting rights, global warming, and COVID in one night, but you can conduct a meeting to discuss how those issues can be addressed civilly across the community.

How are the topics presented in a manner that won't offend anyone? How is order kept - and by whom - if and when things get out-of-hand, which they certainly may.

Tough job, but things like this have to be done to gain peace and save people from each other. In a sense, whoever puts these meetings together is undertaking a job that Biden and various offices of the federal government try to accomplish on a national level. And as you know, the federal government experiences mixed outcomes all the time. The difference is that these are local meetings with a narrower scope. But that's why it's called grassroots, little movements that gain momentum over time and often provide powerful impacts to big issues.

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Dennis, I appreciate your thoughtFULL comment! You have put thought and heart into this. Thank you. I like your way of thinking through the agenda of the gathering. However .... I am more inclined to think of this as a, say, “an Activists Anonymous Meeting,” where certain invited people have the chance to lecture, vent, spew, reflect, reconsider, perhaps grieve and breakdown, etc or whatever.

IMHO, there are a lot of people who are acting-out their need to be heard. Once heard, I feel all participants will have a new, fresh and perhaps greatly humbling view of “the other”.

Because, I feel, in every one of us there is enough pain and hurt to weave bonds that bring us together.

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Steve, as a fellow NH nurse, I salute you! Thank you for the work you are doing, on all levels. We cannot let the slippery Susnowem-with -folksiness take Senator Hassan's seat. The only NE governor who waited til after he was safely re-elected in November to enact a mask mandate (expired in April) , just signed the first state school voucher, anti-abortion, anti-divisive concepts bill is a dangerous Senatorial candidate.

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Local-level people do have protection - from concerned citizens who show up with their cell phone cameras and record what happens. It's not bodyguards but it is the community knitting together and what could be stronger than that?

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God bless our cell phone cameras and video. Molly, You make a really great point!

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Your Governor, by going full demagogue, manipulating the issue of masks, is teaching the mob how to go full fascists in the streets for power grab latter.

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These Republican Governors broke the rule and they will be defeated, I just don't see how you can deny and downplay the pandemic, as hospitals go over capacity, kids get sick, and field hospitals are set up in the parking garages, and just continue to make it all worse.

Voters will send Abbot and Destantis home with blood on their hands. You cant go full Demagogue during a pandemic and not pay the political consequences. What we are seeing in Florida and Texas are crimes against humanity.

"Never go full demagogue"

from a movie if you haven't seen it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6WHBO_Qc-Q

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Thank you Steve. I grew up in Cheshire County. I fear thuggery and repression that's stalking our Nation.

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Thank you for doing what you do. Such a vital function of our system that gets so little recognition.

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Your governor in NH has joined the ranks of the stupid along with my governor Greg Abbott and Florida's gov. Ron DeSantis, maybe others. What they are doing for the sake of retaining power is beyond criminal. Don't they realize their non-masking, non-vax followers can't vote if they are hooked to a ventilator in an ICU or have protested their way into a casket?

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Listening to him to do a press briefing right now. He's very carefully walking what I'm sure he considers a middle road, a fine line. He isn't even going to discuss an executive order to prohibit mask mandates but he isn't going to enact one either. He is, fortunately, a big proponent of vaccines and said that several times again today. However, he's so wishy-washy about masks in schools where children under 12 aren't eligible for vaccination and most older children aren't vaccinated; he keeps saying "it's not all about the masks, it's about the vaccine, that's what's going to get us out of this". But hello ?! If you're not eligible and you're forced to be in school, where it's hard to physically distance, it IS all about the masking.

He got thrown for a loop when a reporter informed him they just got verification from Wentworth Douglass Hospital in Dover that they are going to require their staff to be vaccinated (and I thought my hospital would be next, wrong!). The reporter stated with umbrage that that is a very personal choice and did he think that employers were within their rights to demand this. He actually said yes. "There's a lot of tools in the toolbox and the best one is the vaccine........this could be with us for a long time..........build and practice our many mitigation measures.........vaccine, vaccine, vaccine."

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As my husband sez..." I can't fix stupid!"

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Yep, he's got that right!

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Well said. Stay safe.

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We thank you, Steve.

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Do you remember the Stanford Prison Experiment? Situations can turn good people into "evil doers". " The Lucifer Effect" by Zimbardo profoundly illuminates this dark side of humanity.

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Wow Steve, well put. I'm with you.

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One of the most shameful moments in modern US history. Not just the rally, but Trump's support, the lack of Republican criticism, and the clear demonstration that the racism we thought we'd made progress in combating has just been simmering under the surface the whole time. Of course, if we (and I mean me and liberal white culture) had paid attention to our BIPOC friends, we would have already realized it never really went anywhere at all. My fear is now that these reactionaries have moved into open revolt, attempting the violent overthrow of the US government, but have not seen any real consequences, that we will only see all of this emerge much worse and better organized in the future. Every congressional representative and senator who signed the letter questioning the legitimacy of the election should have never been seated.

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They should be arrested for sedition. They have no right in our government.

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Indeed..

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There is a truth that goes like this :: when you protect a person from themself, you create a bigger monster.

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I read from Jeff Sharlet yesterday: " A little while ago I drove slowly across the country visiting rightwing churches & individuals. What I found confirms a change I've been observing for the last 5 yrs: It's really, truly, not issue-driven. What the Rightwing base wants, fundamentally, is a fight. Which, of course, is a core principle of fascism, albeit in its rapidly mutating, inchoate American form: A longing for redemption through violence, identity through the destruction of your foes.

The January 6 beating and attempted murder of Officer Michael Fanone makes that clear. As Officer Fanone has noted, he was down on the ground, incapacitated--and yet the mob kept beating him and calling for his death. He was, he notes, not an "impediment" to their stated goal of gaining entry to the Capitol to "stop the steal"; and yet instead of pursuing that goal, they kept beating him. Some of this is mob frenzy; but I've encountered the same sensibility among people sitting calmly in church lobbies: A desire to destroy one's enemies as an end in itself.

So Trying to finesse policy differences or even "cultural" differences (read: white supremacy self-aware or not) isn't noble, or pragmatic; it *misses the point.* The point, of much of the Right now, is conflict for its own sake, a belief that fighting will make them whole, or "great" again."

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Thank you for this, Elizabeth. It helps answer a question that has been rattling around my brain for weeks now. Watching people who should know better, as well as people who are just thugs (DeSantis, I'm talkin' to you), I've wondered just exactly what they expect to happen? Some of these governors are literally killing their constituents. and in a normal world, there would be a political price to pay for that. Obviously, this is not a normal world. They are, in fact, reaping political rewards for doing what they're doing; at least for now.

I hadn't really considered that the fight is the point. Yes, I knew many of my neighbors are pissed at realizing they are no long top dog. But silly me never thought that what they were really relishing was the fight itself. I guess years of Limbaugh's 'own the libs' and other like mantras from their far right icons has brought us to this. Blind rage.

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What I don’t understand is how radio shows, TV shows, podcasts & written publications are not mandated to declare or state that their content is purely Opinion intended for Entertainment Purposes Only, and not based in real news or truth telling, as shared by historian Heather Cox Richardson and others like Timothy Snyder (read On Tyranny)!

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Sensationalized content is exciting and makes more money than plain factual news reporting.

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Yes! As is equating elections and all that attends them with zero sum games, sports and other competitive events: has to be one winner and that's all that matters. I dearly wish the media would report more responsibly, but what we see is chasing after audience,popularity, and, of course, the money.

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Fox is propaganda disguised as entertainment. They have had an evil intent of brainwashing for a long time. Efforts to clarify rights of free speech versus rights to be free from evil intentioned influence is long overdue. https://www.thebrainwashingofmydad.com/

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Hahaha. Don’t sit around waiting for the news media to do anything but spout off any babble they can find to increase their ratings. Both sides.

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Elaine, you come here every day and spout some type of nonsense intended, I'm sure, to provoke the readers here. If I hear your "both sides" again, I will blow a gasket which is probably what you want!

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"Some of these governors are literally killing their constituents." At first, Covid was killing incapacitated elders (many in nursing homes and dependent on Medicaid), BIPOC, and the poor. I think these population groups are detested by Trump and his minions, thus it was okay to turn a blind eye. Sorry to say that, but it was/is similar to steps taken to create Aryan supremacy.

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Damn, Elizabeth, you have hit the nail dead on the head.

I used to tell my once-reasonable, measured, sensible, lovable father (he's gone now): "Why don't you turn off Fox News for a week, take a break, READ your news? Just one week. I bet your blood pressure would drop, your shoulders would relax, you wouldn't be so darn snappy and sharp-tongued and on the edge of a blowup all the time." (Granted, I'd make a terrible diplomat or negotiator.)

Murdoch and Crush Limbaugh and the rest of those pot-stirrers have taught their audiences how to be intensely angry ALL THE TIME. It was inevitably going to lead to physical violence.

I'd bet that's one reason Biden hesitates declaring mandatory vaccinations. He might as well announce: "OK, everybody, Civil War 2.0 in three ... two ...."

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My father also became a very angry man - partly from his constant ingestion of right wing media. The point [for that sort of media] is to constantly stir the pot and point out different objects to be angry about/at. It is pretty effective, particularly when certain people have that kind of unfocused "spoiling for a fight" floating around in their personality. Every time I saw my father he attempted to start a fight with me. I realized the fight was the point. It energized him.

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I'm so sorry to hear that. My dad (long gone now) was a strong Republican. My brother and I had lively arguments over the dinner table about Vietnam. But, thank God, he was never an angry guy. I do think he would be appalled at today's Republican party for the hate and underhanded tactics they now espouse.

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My father was also and every time I was visiting, he argued with me. I always thought that he was partly angry because I simply was not following him as a Republican. I have often wondered how he would feel now, but he did ask me once if I listened to Rush and got an earful. So I don't know.

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I posted this link just above. Sorry for duplicating but if you haven’t seen it you might find it meaningful. https://www.thebrainwashingofmydad.com/

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Yes, thank you. I’ll watch it for sure.

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Exactly right.

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MSNBC is not much better, nor are the late night comics. Media present what appeals to the audience. NPR has turned into a lot of hand wringing, some of the hosts trying desperately to elicit a certain response. Fresh air is the only talk show I can listen to. The right wants to fight and settle things once and for all as though life were a western movie. Everything is twisted for effect. This split goes back to the sixties, when the dems lost a lot of blue color people over Vietnam and civil rights and picked up the growing number of college educated. The left wants to prove that the right is stupid and the right wants to prove that the left doesn’t know anything about real life. The left believes in planning and the right thinks that clean air and water is for sissies. Pity the motorcyclist who wears a mask in sturgis, SD.

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Can you provide examples of twisted news stories, misinformation, personally belittling of far-right broadcasters and accusing republicans as well as supporters of the right-wing of stupidity on MSNBC's programs and by on-air anchors. Sometimes people compare Fox News' and social media's anti-public health and anti-democracy propaganda as well as conspiracy theories with that on liberal media outlets. I would not be asking you this question if you provided any evidence for lumping the two together. It terms comparing their journalistic standards, Fox News and MSNBC appear to be in different worlds. Generally, Fox News does not uphold journalistic principles. That does not dismiss the sharp and nasty comments made about several of Fox New's popular hosts. Most often, the complaints refer Fox's attack on the facts.

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I agree, Fern , it is a faulty comparison. I particularly like Nicolle Wallace (still a registered Republican) whose analysis is spot-on, Lawrence O'Donnell, and many others. When they make mistakes, they own them, and although their opinions are generally not favorable to the right wing (how could they be?), they give credit where it's due and hold the Democrats' feet to the fire when they make bad calls. They don't lie, but the same can't be said for Fox and other ultra conservative outlets.

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I wondered when the first attempt at false equivalence would show up.

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Like Sandra said, this is helpful to see, Elizabeth. I keep thinking about an incident that seemed small at the time but has haunted me since. I'm an election officer in my county, which is usually a fairly peaceful gig, and I love doing it. All the election officers arrived last November 3rd to find the many campaign signs for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris slashed to ribbons but left fluttering on their frames right outside the polling entrance. What pure anger and rage must have led that person to make that many cuts? Again, no one was beaten or threatened, but the visual was clearly meant for the election workers and voters that day. The fight is what they want. As Adam Serwer aptly put it about the former guy, "the cruelty is the point."

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Ha ha, thanks! Appreciate the suggestions for additional podcasts - I'm going to check these out

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That desire to fight "for its own sake" is why the right-ists and Republicans have very little to say about policy, about providing and administering leadership or services. They want to shift debate to issues that are argued emotionally rether than factually or logically. By taking this approach, they can involve the many who only manage to navigate life by using emotion rather than reason, making them immune to rational arguement.

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I have been pointing out for some time now that sadism is a key component of fascist psychology. It always has been. Fascism is the ideology of cowards, bullies, and weaklings. That's why it makes a fetish of what it perceives as "strength," which consists entirely of the ability to inflict pain, injury, and death on others.

For the fascist, the cruelty is the point. It is, in fact, self-justifying.

But, of course, the fascists can't admit this. They need a fig leaf that allows them to see themselves as victims acting in self defense rather than the violent monsters that they actually are. When the monster looks in a mirror, it never sees another monster. It just sees a victim.

This is why fascists are constantly accusing the rest of us of the things they themselves are doing or plan to do if they can get away with it. They're building their justification. Hence the fake victim mentality.

Bear in mind the the Nazis always saw themselves as the real victims. They invented the International Jewish Conspiracy to justify their own fear and hatred.

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Grunt, and watch Pasolini's Salo. (read the Wiki commentary first)

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Brilliant. It fits every single one of those I know personally to a "t."

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P.S. One need not buy into all the theoretical constructs of Freudian psychology (I don't) to recognize the accuracy of the descriptions of the various defense mechanisms.

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Thanks. Hardly original with me, though. Anna Freud had it nailed a long time ago: projection, reaction formation, and other defense mechanisms of the ego. SS, DD. Vaillant's 1977 categorization is useful in this regard: http://thomas-n-ruth.com/misc_articles/ego-defense-mechanisms.html Note that pretty much everything we get from the right these days falls under Levels 1-3.

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"to justify their own fear and hatred" hits the nail on the head.

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Reading this reminded me of all those so called "rallies." What I saw of them were red faced screaming angry men (and women) who seemed desperate for violence. They used their voices and their chants and their MAGA caps and t-shirts and their flags, but what they REALLY seemed to want was pure thuggery.

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If only the energy for fighting could be transferred to fighting to save our only planet. There will be so much more to fight over if we don’t drop our personal interests and look at what is coming our way if we don’t act together for our common good.

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Unfortunately "we have met the enemy and he is us" (Pogo). Very hard to get angry at ourselves.

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I immediately thought of iconoclasts of all persuasions, throughout history. Break it, deface it, burn it — and all will be well. A well made point, Elizabeth, thank you.

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You and Jeff are correct. I've often wanted to ask people who hold these extreme positions "Who do you want dead?" and "Are you going to kill them?"

I wonder what response I would get.

In addition: so much of this rage is wrapped up in the cross which is so sad. The cross represents the result of inchoate rage and cold political calculation and lukewarm cynicism all mixed together to kill peace. The cross is also a means of state execution; a modern equivalent would be to wear an electric chair around one's neck.

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Thank you, Elizabeth. I had never thought of our current predicament in this light, but it is the one explanation that offers clarity. I have a friend who is liberal, and while visiting family in upstate NY she suffered a health crisis. Her family is pretty solidly Republican, and some have no compunction about constantly challenging her politics. She told me she was going to talk with a particular cousin when she had a lot of time, in order to understand his reasoning for his angry stance, but I advised her not to do it while her health is an issue, and pointed out that if he answered her questions, she still wouldn't have resolution. With your permission, I would like to copy your post and send it to her. The light bulb definitely came on for me.

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Certainly. The quote is from Jeff Sharlet, a journalist who has followed the hard right for decades.

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I first came across Mr. Sharlet when I read his book, "The Family", during the Bush years. It was a real eye-opener.

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You omitted the preceding sentence: "We don’t have to get into silly self-satisfying arguments about the Right’s ignorance or cynicism to understand that appeasement right now is a liberal pipe dream & even a form of narcissism, a refusal to look at the Right as it openly presents itself. "

APPEASEMENT is the Letters from an American position. Be honest about it.

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I'm not sure what point you are making. We are all citizens of this country and I don't think it serves our purposes to try to 'out-crazy' those who think they want to kill us.

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Appeasement. Sound familiar? You must know that denying appeasement is not "out-crazying those who think they want to kill us. But go ahead with the passive approach. I do hope that it works out for you.

Resist!

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Thanks, I think it will help my friend.

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All of them are like that? I have clients who are on the right and they are not violent at all. they have a difference of opinion Which in my humble opinion is kind of wacky but they are not violent people. In fact many of them are very graceful, helpful and compassionate people.

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It's never "all of them." However I grew up with and know a lot of people for whom fighting *IS* the point.

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Sure, of course. That said however I’ve known some very liberal people who also have been fighters. So I think to classify and label people is pretty dangerous if we want a better country.

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Not identifying this violent is the most dangerous position to take.

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Hugh Hewitt's sister???

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With your “whataboutism” splashing up the place?!!

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According to two different polls released today, 66% of parents think the unvaccinated and Republicans are responsible for the spread of the coronavirus. And 67% of the country think mask mandates are a good thing. People are getting a clear look at who the real enemies of America are.

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An infectious strain unto themselves. Thankfully, we also have a vaccination against this variant. It’s called common sense and refuting their claims with vigorous dedication to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Thank you, TC, for your contribution through journalistic rigor.

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Then the 67% are right where the 66% are not necessarily so. There is an interesting statement by the Icelandic Government's Health Minister in the papers today...96% of the population have had at least one jab over 85% have had 2.....on their recent and on-going, big, 4th wave Covid outbreak 70% of the newly infected are vaccinated. The good news are that so far the symptoms are mostly mild, confirming the thought that the vaccines are essentially self-protection for those particularly at risk as they prevent serious complications....but masks are essential for everybody...as well as a complementary anti-viral treatment strategy . The Icelandic Government has brought in recommendations for masks inside and in crowds for everybody after having previously dropped all covid restrictions. The Minister seriously questions the 100% Vaccine-only strategy to create herd immunity and is edging towards the Swedish attitude.....of encouraging people to be sensible, masks, hands and distances etc while vaccinating those who might suffer serious complications.

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On day 6 of quarantine after a client who received an hour of bodywork from me tested positive, I assume Delta variant as that has become the dominant strain here. So far, no symptoms for me. Getting tested tomorrow. We are both fully vaccinated, she with Pfizer, me with Moderna. Thankfully, I had followed my instincts and some guidance from my professional association and gone back requiring clients to wear a mask, as do I. I think this might have saved me; we shall see. If so, it will certainly give me more confidence about continuing to see clients who are vaccinated rather than shut down again. I don't want to have even a mild case.

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A friend of mine told me Tuesday that she is quarantining after her granddaughter tested positive for covid. She lives with her son, daughter in law and five kids. Only she and her son are vacinated. She is worried about the 18 month old who is running a high fever and is having a hard time because he wants to cry, but when he does, ends up coughing and having a hard time catching his breathe.

I'm so happy my grandson in Austin is too young to start school this year. Sadly, I'm not holding out hope for next year with the way things are going.

I truly wish people would take a breathe and realize that the longer it takes to get this under control, the longer it will stay and the more variants we will have to deal with.

But again, I put no hope in these people. Ive spent too many years with them and most will go to their graves thinking they were right.

Stay safe.

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I hope those parents have at least called their pediatrician. A high fever in a toddler is concerning. In addition to the possibility of Covid, I've heard on NPR that there has been a nationwide rise in RSV, a common virus to which preterm babies were routinely immunized and in some states, all babies now. RSV is uncommon this time of year and while it doesn't usually cause any trouble in adults, in young children it can lead to respiratory distress and hospitalization.

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'People are getting a clear look at who the real enemies of American are'. Is it clear enough, TC?

We have pulled away from neighbors; there are breaks and cracks among family members, limits have been put on what we'll talk about and communication is less frequent; we don't chat freely with people we barely know and our group of close friends has gotten smaller. Much of this is the result of our political and social polarization and some is due to covid.

We are uncomfortable, wary and fearful. We do not feel free.

We live in more distinct worlds from one another. Reality is quite different for social media and Fox audiences than it is for the rest of us. The vast divide between us has been reflected in morality rates, general health and access to health care became evident to most of us during the pandemic. Police brutality towards Black people, in particular, also awakened many white folks who had no idea.

The seeds of our division began long before Reagan; it has ebbed and flowed from the start. The racial knot and the design of our system provide openings for the accumulation of power and vast wealth. In recent times, William F. Buckley, Jerry Falwell, Michael Medved, Newt Gingrich, Bill O'Reilly, Bill Clinton, Matt Drudge, The Koch Brothers, George W. Bush, Rush Limbaugh and many more have kept these seeds fertilized.

Trump fueled the base and lit the fires. Beneath the white supremacy gangs, militias, alt-right groups, fundamentalist churches, anti-government, anti-taxes, anti-regulations, anti-abortion movements is Big Money Donors (The Dark Money) - The Foundations - The Power Brokers subsidizing the fascistic forces.

The American people see the cruelty of several Republican governors. We know the harm and deaths they are causing. Mayors, school superintendents and boards and parents are trying to fight back. The Democrats in Texas', members of state legislature are a model of resistance against voter suppression and subversion. Millions of Americans demonstrated against the police attacks against Blacks.

There are important signs in recognition of the threats to Democracy as well as the lives of the American people. Against the forces of autocracy, however, our response has seemed weak. The remedies of justice are very slow; the legislative reversal of bills created to eliminate free and fair elections ate absent; legislative initiatives to reverse the 'trickle down' theory of economics have only just begun and will encounter great resistance.

We don't know where we are in all this. Too often, even with engagement, we feel like bystanders, more akin to actors in a horrifying game of chicken.

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We need heroes.....Martin Luther King, Jr, John Lewis, John McCain, and now Biden have appeared.....And heroes need to be celebrated. Solzhenitsyn : "The line between good and evil is in the center of every human heart.".

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Entirely right. And the polarization has gotten to the point where people who before were "contenders" or "opponents" have adopted progressively more radical beliefs to the point they have become The Enemy. The sad, deluded people we see in this video and others didn't start out to be that way, if there was a chance to talk seriously with them one would find they didn't think they were (though they likely now define us as The Enemy). But those people in that parking lot after the meeting are actually dangerous, and considering them anything else would put you in danger. I sure do wish it was otherwise, and have been very happy over the past five years to come across people who I had thought had crossed that line really are still "contenders" and "opponents," who still believe in the system. But these people are not that.

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Thank you, TC. The course of humans defies bromides and damns advancement.

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Bill Clinton. C'mon!

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The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996

In his 1996 State of the Union, President Bill Clinton says the era of big government is 'over.'

The 1994 Crime Bill

'North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which cleared Congress in 1993, Clinton essentially endorsed Republican programs and benefited from Republican support. On others, like welfare reform, the Republican-controlled Congress accepted Clinton's lead in publicizing the issues, but dominated the writing of legislation creating the actual programs. In the summer of 1996, Congress passed a sweeping reform bill, fulfilling Clinton's 1992 campaign promise to "end welfare as we know it."

'Along with the political scandals that plagued his presidency, Clinton failed to realize a major goal of his administration: affordable health care insurance for every American. The United States is the only industrialized nation in the world without a universal health care system, ...'

'The appointment of Hillary was a serious mistake. It immediately placed the First Lady in a position of being a major policy and political power—an appointment that deviated significantly from precedent, allowing critics to attack her as well as the program. Moreover, her unique relationship with the President meant that other advisers reacted to her differently than they would to any other task-force head, not wanting to alienate the President's wife with difficult but well-intentioned criticism. Hillary also blundered in several important ways. Her decision to recruit a task-force network of experts to work in secret on complex issues—such as health-care premiums, managed competition, and health-care alliances—looked too much like policy by cabal and fiat. A federal court forced her to make records publicly available of some of the proceedings, after some in the health-care industry sued for open access. Most importantly, the process largely left Congress out of the picture as the task force drafted the particulars of the plan, thus reducing the plan's chances for legislative success; Clinton had wanted to present to Congress a finished package, which meant that key participants in the congressional lawmaking process were not involved in its drafting. Moreover, there was significant internal disagreement within the administration about the costs of the plan, its scope, and its political marketability.' (Miller Center) See link below:

https://millercenter.org/president/clinton/domestic-affairs

'Predatory lending was not an invention of the Bush administration. High-interest payday loans and subprime mortgages took off under Clinton. The morals of the marketplace were once again, “Buyer beware.” Many loans, tellingly referred to as “teaser loans,” were structured so that the monthly mortgage payments would start off low and rise significantly in the future, even while the overall loan amount—the outstanding principal—would also rise. The borrower would end up worse off several years into the mortgage than when the loan began.'

'As with the housing bubble, so went the stock market bubble. The Federal Reserve has a long history of imposing margin requirements (minimum down payments) on lending for the purchase of securities on major exchanges. Regulations G, T, and U gave the Fed important tools in containing stock-market speculation. But with Clinton in the White House and Robert Rubin as his treasury secretary, Greenspan felt no pressure to raise margin requirements even as the stock market bubble reached new heights. Instead, Clinton reappointed Greenspan as Federal Reserve chair in early 2000, about six months before Greenspan’s term was due to expire, and apparently without first discussing margin requirements or any other Federal Reserve policy with Greenspan.' (Dissent, see link below:

https://www.dissentmagazine.org/article/the-legacy-of-the-clinton-bubble

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Ah yes, but the mask fights continue. Here in Oregon, parents actually favored the mask mandate for their local district, but the board voted against it. Yesterday the district where I was employed had a board meeting....outside. I read the rules for commenting and it said they would recess and remove anyone who was there for a shouting match. I haven't had a report yet about how it went. Another local school district is against the mask mandate including the superintendent. My feeling that if COVID breaks out at any school where this happens, then individual board members should be sued as well as any individual school officials. The governor has mandated masks in schools (and now in all inside public places). The state provides the bulk of school budgets, so I don't know if there will be ramifications there.

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They did have to recess and throw people out

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Is it OK if they are just people who disagree? The whole us against them thing is the very divisiveness that is killing us as a country.

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Your heart is in a good place but to me, unvaccinated people are a dire threat to the health of the nation and its citizens. Not just medical well-being, but social and financial, too. Their inaction, their selfishness is making people suffer and die. So I can't have a mere disagreement with them. I won't be surprised if their grotesque irresponsibility allows an even more contagious and deadly variant to emerge. What then? Chat over a beer to discuss our disagreement?

If someone chooses to remain unvaccinated after what's happened in the last weeks, they deserve to be ostracized. Or better yet forced to volunteer for a month of double shifts in a Covid hospital unit. I mentioned irresponsibility. It's more than that. Their refusal to protect people is immoral.

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I am so glad you drew attention to what happened in Tennessee to doctors and nurses. I saw a clip of it today and was astounded. It feels like we are living in a world gone mad.

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Well, we are. This is not dress rehearsal.

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Agreed!

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Agree also. I think October will be a very ugly month given times from infection to death, increased rates among the young, and a potential collapse of the health care system. Stock up, be prepared.

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Earlier. September will be horrific. October could be worse. We have allowed demagoguery to flourish and it is blocking more than a century of common sense Public Health measures. These curves are too steep. They indicate cases could could go twice as high as previous peaks. As hospitals reach capacity like in the south, shut downs become the last line of defense. It’s gonna get much much worse on all fronts before it get better.

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The clock is ticking. I think we agree on the ultimate effect but maybe see different times frames. I have a meeting with my futures group today and will pose the timing question to them. Byt yes, it will get very fugly.

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I m most worried when schools get back to it. Many, like where I live have a less than 20% vaccination rate for the 12-17 year old's. Yep.

Nationally, 20% of cases are under 17. This is significant. These area's like where I live ( adult vax rate around 40%) also are not planning on having the kids wear masks again like last fall. This is a huge mistake, as we are already seeing kids test positive their first week back to school in many places.

I finished Andy Slavvits Book, Preventable. An important thing he pointed out was the mistaken conception about exponential curves and spread. We humans do not experience much things that grow exponentially. Probably the only thing that comes close, he describes is our IRA's and compounding interest, but that happens over a 25-40 years. Delta is faster spreading than priors, with speed and ease of the chicken pox and that is right on the heels of measles, the fastest airborne spreading virus known to man. So I think this problem is moving faster now, and its going to pick up so much velocity, many will be in bewilderment, dismay, and to protect their own constructs they will continue to deny.

This Pandemic is fast becoming not "you reap what you sew", or even "reap the whirlwind", we are about to "reap a tornado of suffering", and everyone should prepare as such. Stock up on masks and essentials, limit your outings, stay safe and resilient my friends.

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Stay healthy 🙏❤️

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I sure would like to have one of those expired Pfizer doses they threw away in my arm.

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Christy, I hope you were able to get access to full vaccination.

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"While that attempted coup was unsuccessful, the empowerment of violent gangs as central political actors is stronger than ever. Since January 6, angry mobs have driven election officials out of office in fear for their safety. In increasingly angry protests, they have threatened school board members over transgender rights and over teaching Critical Race Theory, a legal theory from the 1970s that is not, in fact, in the general K–12 curriculum."

To my mind, among the most dangerous thugs and gangs, are the ones who comprise present members of Congress. What 45 was unable to do while in office is being shaped by his devotees in our government today. Just think of the fires being stoked now by the Gaetzes and Greenes of the latest right wing, tragi-comedy.

Thank you, Prof. HCR, for taking us back to 4 years ago and to last January -- we mustn't forget what we so clearly lost from a psychological perspective during the events of those two days. They will haunt us for many years to come.

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I completely agree: we have people sitting in Congress who were involved in that insurrection. Sitting. In. Congress. There has got to be some sort of reckoning for them. If not, we are lost.

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Exactly the point.

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Wise Kasumii. Good morning. We will rebuild the perspective that we lost into a more evolved and compassionate one. Together.

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Who, me? 😉 Good morning, Christine! I really like that thought. Together, we can "rebuild [that lost] perspective ... into a more evolved and compassionate one." Here's to reassembly, rejuvenation, and more empathic rehabilitation!

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Rowshan! That is the second time I have misnamed you! I must have known you in Baby Heaven in another lifetime.

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😂😂😂 That's very possible!

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An attempted coup in 1934 against FDR? It was more of a plot than an attempted coup, and was also know as the Business Plot, the White House Coup, and the Wall Street Putsch. Thanks to a whistleblower, Gen. Smedley Butler, it did not manifest beyond plotting.

The plotters were wealthy, powerful business tycoons (names we recognize) who were upset that FDR had suspended the gold standard. They employed an American Legion member named Gerald MacGuire to travel to Europe in 1933 after the Nazis and Italian Fascists had come into power. MacGuire was to investigate the symbiotic relationship between these political forces and the powerful business interests in Europe. "But MacGuire’s ultimate model ended up being a right-wing nationalist league in France called the Croix-de-Feu, which had managed to summon 150,000 supporters, many of whom were veterans."

MacGuire approached Gen. Butler "to assemble a paramilitary force of some 500,000 veterans, and to use them to throw President Roosevelt out of office." Thankfully MacGuire just said no in 1934, like Jeffrey Rosen said to Trump and Jeffrey Clark in December 2020.

Toward the end of 1934, Congressional committee hearings were held. "Of these wealthy and prominent people, none was called for testimony, and none was punished."

https://timeline.com/business-plot-overthrow-fdr-9a59a012c32a

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The problem we face is in your last paragraph; if there are no consequences, the behavior will not change.

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Great link today Ellie, and good morning. One edit…it was Gen Butler that “just said no in 1934”.

Sounds like a dyed-in-the-wool type like General Mark Milley.

I love this bit of history today.

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Ayyy, thank you for catching that! Good morning and good night!

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Very much like today. Trump calls for an "insurrection", some folks respond by trashing the Capitol, some of those who answered to call are now in jail, but, Trump himself remains free to eat and grow more rotund at Mara Lago.

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while at the same time, minimized, silenced and defrocked, to show who he truly is Has has been ... “trumped."

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Yet, if he said "do it again today", they would.

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Watch for statements coming from him in regards to 8/18. Been reading about how there is a march planned on that date to go "protest" those "political prisoners" who stormed the capitol.

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Did you know that he spoke to the mother of Ashli Babbit and is threatening to release the name of the officer who shot her? https://news.yahoo.com/trump-says-spoke-ashli-babbitts-200900934.html

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I expect he will announce it at his next rally.

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Mar A Lardo. There fixed it for you.

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I go with Maga Lardo....

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Ellie, thank you for this extra background. Dark money in plain sight. The greed of the billionaires who funded the January riot openly (the big red bus!) talk about liberty but need to have a working class indebted to them. The shameful meat emergency caused the deaths of hundreds of workers while the iDJT never called a public health emergency. Ultra greedy criminals must pay their fair share in taxes and be punished if they don’t. They have gotten away with it far too long. And hopefully they are getting scared. Start with the mass murderer x45. ASAP.

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"Since January 6, angry mobs have driven election officials out of office in fear for their safety."

Sounds a bit like police unions, not just "angry mobs." In the BLM protests, police were willing to serve Trump by using techniques against American citizens learned in Israel to suppress Palestinian demonstrations. Had Biden lost, I think that we would now be living under a police state.

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You're right - and if the coup had been successful we'd be living under martial law.

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In many ways it was successful. It throughly brought their message front and center with minimum recourse.

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The insurrection is still occurring.

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Exactly.

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Munich… 1923.

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So those of us who have been protecting abortion clinics for the last 40 YEARS know how to do this. You have the entrances cordoned off. You have volunteers surround the personnel and others who are entering the hospital/clinic/school. And you SUE THE SHIT OUTTA THE PROTESTERS AND THE BULLIES. Because the only way to really "hit" them is through their pocketbooks. Any threat of violence? Hit 'em with a lawsuit. Any "we know where you live"? Hit 'em with a restraining order and then enact it when they ignore it.

People (meaning most men who have not thought at all about what women have to deal with ALL THE TIME): this is not actually hard to do. It just takes a bit of nerve and a willingness to engage. If my local cancer clinic, where I spend a lot of time, asked me to escort patients, doctors, and hospital staff in and out of the building for a few hours a week, I would do it gladly and willingly. Masked up of course.

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Yes Linda. There is a particular difference, not better or worse, when feminine energy goes to war. And the call for it is usually rare. War and the “war room” is and has always usually been depicted as a man’s arena. Yet in the animal kingdom, it is usually the mother, when it’s young are threatened, rise with an abandoned ferociousness to fell the threat. So the foray of this predator right wing war, however named, to threaten harm on schools and our children, the grudging agreement to hard infrastructure but not the soft infrastructure which builds human and family capacity? The arrogance of their strategy actually boggles my mind but at the same time calls out their hand. As the rule of law and Pres Biden’s promised “I know what to do” hems in the extremist right and their complicit leaders, they turn back to the former’s inept bravado with Covid coupled with a restructuring of “how” children will be taught to maintain white privilege and a “civics” approach to literally brainwash kids?

As Linda describes above, I’m not sure how many of you know what it is to physically protest and stand for a woman’s right to her own body or to protect a women’s clinic and keep its doors open. When men, and mostly white men, just go too far in dictating matters and treading on rights that involve women and children and our worth…..well, a tyrant and any force he has mounted forgets one thing.

What it is to get between a mama bear and her cubs.

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Ah, dear Christine, I agree with you except for one thing that I don't understand. Why are some moms fighting against vaccinations and masks for their kids? They clearly would protect them from serious viral effects. Yet so many of them are now protesting mask mandates and supporting our horrendous governor. They could do well emulating those mama bears.

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I am reminding them. And I see a dawning of light in their eyes. Find the crack. Find the crack. For the light. This is how women go to war.

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Blessings on you, too, Christine.

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Thank you. Both Dr. Richardson’s post today and all these excellent comments including yours deserve a re-reading with time for reflection. IMO there are several core ideas here that need to be understood and amplified if we’re going to push back and successfully rescue our country.

And thanks for your actions to protect us all.

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Blessings on you, Linda Mitchell!

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We are having a problem here in Salem, Oregon, with protestors who come every Tuesday to the local Planned Parenthood to hold a church service. They block the public right away and have the Proud Boys doing "security". Last month two people were arrested and this week, the police showed up, but did little until the end. Among other things, one of them shoved a person who was filming as she was walking back to her car, causing her to have to walk around the block to get back to it. She was being careful only to film church members and not counter protestors. Churches are also taking over the downtown riverside park and they seem to want to do it every night. Once again there have been problems including violence toward other park goers, spraying a five year old in a car, and trying to lure children to the service when their parents are not looking. Then there is the loud music breaking the city's noise ordinance at both places. For many of us it looks like the city is dragging its feet. We have a city manager type of city government, so he is not elected which is part of the problem.

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Michele, I am so sorry. I would recommend contacting the ACLU but also finding a pro bono lawyer to file civil suits against the obstructors and threaten the city with lawsuits if they don't do anything. I am in a part of the country that has no abortion clinics (where I used to live we did and it became necessary to engage in legal action against protesters) but in my experience also hounding public officials and naming and shaming works surprisingly well. Especially the latter. I admit that I am all for aggressive nonviolent tactics against these f***ers.

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This is ongoing and apparently, they are partly on private property as well....looks it is some outfit in San Diego. There are other businesses there too and the neighbors are not happy with the noise and confrontations. We have several fundamental churches in the area whose m.o. seems to be getting in people's faces and being as obnoxious as possible. They also preach hate. And we now have an antivaxxer booth set up across the street from the Saturday Market where many people park. Flag attached of course.

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Yeah--we have the joys of the horrible Westborough Baptists in my part of the world. There are ways of neutralizing them, but they take a lot of effort. One thing that people might think about: If you feel safe enough to do so, go up to male protesters and say "Are you opposed to abortion? Then wear this." And hand them a condom. One of the things that we don't do enough is to demonstrate that all of this anti-choice shit is misogyny on the hoof.

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In Canada, the Proud Boys are listed as domestic terrorist. The group disbanded. Gov Brown should do the same. WE have to stand up to these mobs and their demagogic "leaders". What you are describing is terrorism. How the heck did America loose so much common decency, respect for others rights, and common sense?

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The US Federal Government must fight this terrorism. To date it has accepted terrorism into our nation.

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I am not sure the governor can proclaim them terrorists. Here in Salem they are perceived as such by many, but not always the police. The federal government should list them as terrorists. Even then i am not sure they would disband. All this is ongoing with lots of people pressuring the city council and the city government. I don't know how it will be resolved.

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I felt that coming. I'm in Idaho and its worse here than Oregon. Yes, the Federal Govt should do it. I think that is an outcome I hope will bear fruit from Jan 6th prosecutions.

I am reminded daily of Tim Snyder, On Tyranny everyday. In this case "beware of paramilitaries" and "be reflective if you must be armed". When the police and paramilitaries start to blend together, the end is close, and when you cant tell them the apart, the end is here.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/book-party/wp/2017/02/24/20-ways-to-recognize-tyranny-and-fight-it/

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We have this and several books by Snyder who is one of our favorite historians. Scary stuff.

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🙏 100%!

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Linda, I love you for all you continue to do!! Take care!

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Fire and Ice

BY ROBERT FROST

Some say the world will end in fire,

Some say in ice.

From what I’ve tasted of desire

I hold with those who favor fire.

But if it had to perish twice,

I think I know enough of hate

To say that for destruction ice

Is also great

And would suffice.

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When in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes,

I all alone beweep my outcast state…

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Thanks, Sandy. I read HCR in the morning, sometimes listening for the larks.

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With all this polarization, it fells like we’re stuck in a cruel kind of “Groundhog Day”, where everyday, dozens of children die, while the same little Nazi, Dunxsutawney Don, comes out of his country club, to laugh at his fat shadow.

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Indeed..

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At the Fox Chapel Area School District board meeting Monday night a man threw an “ironic” Nazi salute at the board after they voted to approve a school safety plan that included a mask mandate. Fortunately he was part of an unmasked crowd whose leader chose to lead them out of the room in protest after the vote and the meeting continued more rationally. But that was a moment that made many feel very unsafe. Fascism in action, as you say.

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Our back to school orientation included a run down of house bills that affect this new school year. The wording was very disturbing! It’s under the guise of social studies and history. We’re not to make students feel guilt due to past history. We’re not to base anything on the 1619 project. Our instruction will be based on the documents of the original founding fathers. All students will pledge allegiance to our country and our one republic. I don’t have the wording exactly as it’s stated but it was disturbing! And one teacher said it’s got nothing to do with a political party. I didn’t engage her in a conversation. I already know what she thinks. At the elementary level we wouldn’t have touched on those things in a political way but definitely would be honest and factual. We have to be careful how we do that now.

Our district is following the governor’s order about masks. We can’t require them. School starts Monday for us. Another year of chaotic worry. I’m wearing a mask.

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I am thinking of every teacher, every day as the school year begins with chaos and argument amongst adults. I am praying that the better nature of teachers, as I know them, will form the community and draw in their students close to them in every classroom in this nation and assure them that all teachers have one job only… to help them learn and keep them safe. And instruct them that every student in every classroom in America has the same job…to learn and be safe.

On that reciprocal agreement lies the common good of public education.

May God bless our teachers and may our support strengthen their dedication to our children.

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Here in NH, that is NOT the wish of the Republican majority legislature, the Republican governor, and the Commissioner of the NH Education Dep't. They have voted/signed legislation to divert public education funds to private/religious schools and home schoolers, then did NOT replace those diverted funds. There was widespread public opposition to this bill. Therefore, it was hidden in the State Budget so those parties could do as they wished!

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Barabara, you know how state senator Jeb Bradley and other gopers kept saying that it was no big deal, not that many people would take advantage of the "Education Freedom Accounts", aka vouchers? When I went to the post office Saturday, there were SIX campaign size, full color, glossy brochures in my mailbox advertising the EFAs. We received three for each of the two registered Independent voters in our house, all paid for by .....wait for it........Americans for Prosperity. Hmmmmmm.

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🤬🤬🤬

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My heart goes out to you and all teachers laboring under the burden of reactionary, politicized curriculum in addition to anti-support for physical safety in the face of a Covid surge. Good for you for wearing a mask, and more power to you.

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They say nurses are the heroes but teachers like you are real heroes too, Denise! Yes, wear your mask and light your light shine for those children. They will remember your fine example of trying to protect others while carrying on with your profession.

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I just want them to feel safe and loved!

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What's sad is that teachers rather than parents are the ones helping children be/feel safe. Thank you, Denise and all other teachers for the caring you give the children.

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Thanks! We’re back in the trenches! 😳

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I'm sure they do with you, lucky kids!

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Exactly!!

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Denise my heart is with you. Thank you for being a warrioress. I’m thankful your students have you. May you stay strong and healthy 🙏

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