392 Comments

This is the clearest explanation I've seen of how these particular new sanctions against Russia would work - I now understand their significance for the Russian economy. Thank you, Heather, for your letters and for the huge public service you provide in your writings and research

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Yes!!! I'm 76; I find it hard to believe that anyone in the MSM is defending Russia!!! So how do we get this message out to Fox news viewers who might well find it easier to accept TC's "explanation" of Russia's motives? Time for a message from our president?

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I'm 75, and the degree to which one particular, and depressingly large, segment of "our fellow Americans" have consigned their thought processes to Fox "news" simply blows my mind. As for that pernicious purveyor of propaganda, they seem to be using their Pied Piper technique to lure their audience ever further from the shores of sanity, into the depths of depravity, and those poor souls just follow blithely along, becoming ever more indoctrinated. They unquestioningly accept as gospel concepts that, 20 years ago, they would have been appalled to even consider. They are incapable of seeing the contradictions in their assertions that they are good people, many of them "Christians", most of them self-avowed "patriots", while they espouse ideas and actions that are abhorrent -- inconceivable, even -- to those who actually do love goodness, kindness, freedom and democracy.

I have no idea how to reach them. I suspect it can't be done. They are so deeply into that cult that they readily accept even the most extreme hypocrisy, contradiction, and blatant fantasy. And I don't know of anyone who, having inhabited the land of lunacy for that long, ever comes back out.

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I try to stay optimistic with the belief that goodness and truth will ultimately win out, but it's becoming a much tougher slog. I am in a distinct minority at my workplace as a NY Times reading, NPR listening (among other sources, both are a little corporate/mainstream for my tastes) unrepentant progressive who does not keep his opinions to himself. We have been advised of the impending vaccine mandate, which is causing a literal uproar. Although mandates are problematic, in my opinion it's an appropriate response when people refuse to take common sense steps to end a pandemic and save lives. As a result, what used to be an occasional spirited discussion, ending with agreements to disagree, have become more regular arguments with shouting and disparaging names. Just today I was accused of being misinformed because I don't listen to Joe Rogan! (I've tried! I just can't.) It's frustrating, because mainstream science is rejected out of hand, the danger of the pandemic is downplayed - despite having several cases and two! deaths in our Union Local from covid (which are dismissed because of "co-morbidities"), and vaccines are viewed with contempt as ineffective and untrustworthy. Trying to make the case for collective action for the common good is revealing to me the depth of my co-workers mistrust of any institutions that form the basis of civil society. Be it the government, the news industry, or the medical community. It strikes me as a very macho, gung-ho, go it alone attitude. It doesn't strike me as very useful towards maintaining a healthy and safe community. As I said, I want to remain optimistic, but this makes me very worried for the future of our country.

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If it's any help, in HCR's video chats, she has advised treating far righters like domestic violence victims. Neither group tends to be open to listening to reason, so rather than knocking your head against a wall, she recommends do not engage, and instead set the good example. And take care of yourself. More power to you.

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Great advice

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Great analogy! Both are emotionally bonded to their abusers!

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Thank you

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My sentiments exactly. The cult is devoted to the worst human I know of and I see no competition…

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Unfortunately, for all of bumpity's minions, it seems COVID is their self-inflicted solution for the required rejuvenation of our American Democracy's return to an acceptable level of governance, Eh!?

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What would the One Minute Manager say?

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Perhaps the renaissance you seek could be initiated by our current Congress focus upon a successful redistribution of wealth in America thereby beginning the reemergence of a society not only composed of either the very rich non-tax-paying 10% vs the remaining struggling 90% that is yoked with the untenable burden of 100% financing our American government's current "system" of governance "Of the People, By the People, For the People" (sans that inbred 10%),

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The ones I know are convinced that they know THE truth, as they blather bull Schitt. Cults don’t deprogram themselves. Ike knew that.

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Fox is not MSM. They are an "entertainment" channel.

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Hi Sally. I would say propaganda channel. Entertainment too, of course they have Fox Sports, but their “news” imo is primarily propaganda targeted against new social order and for old whites-first men-first social order.

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True - but the MSM isnt doing such a hot job dispelling these lies either!

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I'm hearing a great deal of detail about the promised sanctions, repeatedly, on CNN and MSNBC.

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I watch CBS evening news and local and the rest of the time MSNBC!

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Only if one considers that "faux" daily advocates fomenting treasonists' resurrections against American Democracy "entertainment" !!!

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Anything but amusing

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Sally, what is MSM? Others use it below, and I need to know! Thank you

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Hi Anna - MSM usually means "mainstream media"

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I am 78 and I can remember when Russia was the enemy number one. Now we have TC defending Putin. Who is watching him?....all those so called patriots proudly displaying their flags and stoutly defending the national anthem and the pledge.

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I've seen posts by avid supporters of the former president who are calling Biden a communist. Apparently they weren't paying attention in their alternative universe when the former president was playing footsie with Putin.

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According to a post on the ongoing thread on Christmas movies, Biden is a Marxist. People have no idea what these words mean. I suggested this person read Marx.

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Manchurian Candidate could never be made today. Its like mass hyptnotism

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The Manchurian Candidate is Moscow Mitch McConnell. All the Republican members of Congress who flew to Moscow on a July 4 in order to kiss Putin‘s ring. I think most of the Republican Congress is in Putin‘s pocket, paid off. Certainly their behavior indicates it.

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Bet it’s true of Kay Granger, that traitor is running for re-election.

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I too am a 76er and I have the same concerns. All non-76ers herein I’m sure have the same concerns.

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Good to "meet" you, Robin! I'm sure you are right about the non-76ers. I just meant it would have been unheard of in the fifties, sixties and seventies, that any MSM commentator would offer justification for any aggression by the (then) USSR. Thank you!

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76+ and, yes

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I am a mere youngster at 74, but through my childhood there was a general terror of the USSR. We were constantly on the look out for nuclear warheads coming our way (we apparently would have had a warning of 4 minutes before they atomised us!). Yes Russia was certainly looked on as the enemy!

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And the interesting thing is, after the USSR records were opened, it turned out there was no "threat" when we were children! They had few warheads, and no delivery system other than 400 obsolete reverse-engineered B-29s that couldn't get to the main targets here. All the billions spent on the Century Series interceptors, the DEW line, etc., was money spent as a result of Soviet disinformation. The lack of a delivery means was why they tried to put missiles in Cuba. It wasn't till around 1966-67 that they had an ICBM that could reliably hit us.

All those times hiding under desks, and the nightmares - they were the result of the US being snookered.

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I remember those days when we were told to hide under out desks and kiss our asses goodbye. Such nonsense. Where I lived in southern Maine on the NH border, we had a submarine base and shipyard where my father helped build nuclear and other submarines. Across border in NH just a few miles away was an air force Sac base (Strategic Air Command). There were other SAC air force bases all over the country and about four in the state of Maine going up almost to the Canadian border. SAC was discontinued some years later. Many of those bases are now airports, malls, parking lots and other corporations. And now Biden is giving the Pentagon more money for nuclear weapons. We have more than any other country, and if only one is launched, we may indeed kiss our asses goodbye.

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60 Minutes had a show a few years ago about the pathetic state of the security at our nuclear facilities. The technology still used FLOPPY discs, plans were to do major updating to prevent errors. Hope that is what money is for. Would be a shame to kiss our arses goodbye over a boo-boo.

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That's something I didn't know - more $ for nuclear weapons? Has the administration presented any rationale? Of is this more military/industrial complex waste?

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Drone-controlled delivery of our nuclear warheads...to reduce collateral murdering of innocent masses...as long as those innocent masses are 100 miles from the epicenter of the targeted zone...SHEESH!

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The whole disinformation campaign bamboozling us is ridiculous. Aren’t our govt agencies smarter than that? Aren’t WE smarter than that???

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Unfortunately, no.

The arguments were all about "the bomber gap." The Soviets had more than we did!

When the first U-2 missions were flown over the USSR, they found no "bases full of bombers." The Bomber Generals of SAC said that was impossible. More flights were flown. More "bases full of bombers" were unfound. The SAC generals continued to demand more flights. The bombers were somewhere! Like the boy hunting the pony in the room full of horse shit, they went back again. Finally, they sent a U-2 over Sverdlovsk in May 1960, looking for the "bases full of bombers." That one got shot down by a new Soviet missile, and scuttled a summit between Eisenhower and Kruschev..

Suddenly, the warning was of the "missile gap." The Soviets had more ICBMs than we did!

The U-2 couldn't fly over the USSR and find the lack of missiles. But the lack of ICBMs were why, 2 years later, there was the Cuban Missile Crisis.

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I'll continue: the "bomber gap" was "proved" at the Soviet May Day parades in 1954, and 1955, when "large formations" of "advanced bombers" were flown over the Kremlin and the foreign observers there. In fact, both years, small formations of prototypes that had been produced in limited numbers for testing, flew over the Kremlin, went out of sight, flew around Moscow, and then "the next formation" of bombers flew over the Kremlin. And then they did it again. My god! The Russians have so many bombers they could fly 28 of them over the Kremlin on May Day!

I'm not kidding - that was the extent of "US intelligence" about the USSR.

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I remember all that, the U-2 that is. Some days I was surprised that I didn’t wake up dead.

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Hiding under the desks still haunts me - like we could do anything about nuclear fallout, sheltering under small desks with our hands covering our eyes and necks. Ugh

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The 50's version of active shooter drills. Ugh!

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Except we were worried about a foreign enemy, not our neighbors

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Oh MG you are right, Judith! I never made that connection. One very sad memory of that time in fourth grade (1954) was about a boy named Chris who was taller by quite a bit and broader than all the other kids. He couldn't quite fit under the desk and the nun pointed that out in a mocking way. I wanted to do something about that but I was too intimidated. I wish I had stood up for him.

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I will complete my seventh decade next month, and I share these same memories. I lived in a small town in middle Georgia, so the threat from the situation in Cuba was close enough to inspire lots of fear that I will never forget. We started learning Spanish in fourth grade. I went to school with children of first wave Cuban refugees. Their fathers were doctors. There was a very large state hospital in our county. These doctors could practice medicine there while obtaining their residency. By the time we were in high school, these classmates of mine began achieving citizenship. Some of them still live in my hometown.

I, too, cannot imagine anyone who lived through this part of our history cozying up to Russia, but here we are.

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The then state-of-the-art survival technique you reference was to immediately respond to our school teachers' command to "DROP" and we would crawl under our desk and avoid looking out at our non-shatter-proof glass windows! SHEEESH!

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At 76, I remember indeed the bottom of my wooden desk! Now it seems we were victims of a different kind of "Big Lie".

So now 52% (?) of our GDP enables the continuation of that lie.

PROGRESS!

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Is that the military portion? Looking for parallels: the right can persuade their followers to be ok with this by stirring up "patriotic America first" nonsense. But how does that work now that they are also embracing Russia? If Russia is so cool, why do we need to spend so much on weapons etc? Are they going to put this all on China?

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Why not? Does it have to make sense?

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And do you see streams of immigtants desparate to leave their countries banging on Russia’s ( or China’s) doors???

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But they are prepared to risk their lives rough seas in unsuitable craft to make it to our shores!

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Remember when Churchill said that: “democracy is the worst form of government – except for all the others that have been tried.” But for the first time in my life I'm feeling like I need to put some effort into protecting that democracy. Looking for "what is mine to do about this?" I'm starting a video project recording stories of ordinary people who are benefitting from the programs that the republicans are trying to destroy or prevent. Something about making the connection for folks who are being duped by the right's message.....

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That's a very good idea.

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Anyone who grew up during the height of the Cold War is baffled. I was in junior high in Central Florida during the Cuba Missile Crisis and feared the then-Soviet Union would trigger a nuclear holocaust. And today's Russia lovers, I suspect, know little about what life if like there today.

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Yes I remember the Cuba Missile Crisis. I was a teenager. Kennedy was President (my family was in love with him, but felt that he was suddenly exposing us to mortal danger). I remember being huddled around the radio listening to the news bulletins (we did not have a television then - by choice) and worrying at what point we would be kissing our arses (NB that's what we do in the UK - none of your 'asses' stuff here) goodbye.

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It goes back to the discussion we had a little while ago about messaging. Who knew that part of what had to be explained was history...and how to do that when the cynical power grabbers (Ok I admit, I think there are more of them in the republican party) are so good at lies disguised as news set to sound bites designed to rile the base? More work to do.

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Do I sense a power shift to the Select Committee over those called to testify? Executive privilege are empty shell casings and refusals to testify may actually have real consequences. (We hope.)

Yesterday Nancy Pelosi at a news briefing flatly stated that she will "Never forgive the former president of the United States" for causing the Jan. 6 insurrection and putting members of Congress and their young staffers through that traumatic event. Neither should we. March on, Nancy!

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Kudos to Pelosi for her crusade against insurrectionists, to the House 1/6 committee who are turning subpoenas into criminal charges, and to Garland at DOJ, who is carefully pursuing the law against Trump’s scum bums. At stake is the Constitution, the powers of Congress, and criminal law. As was sung in The Mikado “Let the punishment fit the crime.” Oh yes, there are also the grand juries in NY as well as in Fulton County GA, where Trump sought, as a ‘Christmas present,’ nearly 12,000 more votes from Georgia’s Secretary of State. His recorded telephone call seemed an illegal threat from the president of the United States—awaiting the grand jury’s determination.

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What do you think Trump will do if convicted and sentenced to serve time? Equally important, what will his followers do?

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David I’m not convinced that Tubby Trump will ever actually enter the slammer. If this occurred, he would insist that the prison have a golf course, that he have custom-made prison attire, since his Jabba the Hut tummy wouldn’t fit into standard prison garb, and that he have a frig stocked with Diet Coke. His followers would be distraught and probably require group psychological treatment, in which the first question might be “What is a fact?’

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Open SmartNews and read "Trump ordered to testify in New York fraud investigation" here: https://share.smartnews.com/DeQ6V

To read it on the web, tap here: https://share.smartnews.com/LAaqB

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I read that. Looks like Letitia has all of her ducks in a row and is ready to pounce. Good! TFG’s “biographer” makes excuses that ex-prez doesn’t understand all of the ramifications facing him. I call bullshit! The sooner he is indicted and imprisoned for absolutely anything he’s done before 2022 primaries, the better!!

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Keith, I'm rather inclined to think his followers would mutiny -- violently assaulting state capitals and even the Capitol with guns. Purportedly there are 21 million of them primed and ready to go. Perhaps the best compromise to avoid a second civil war is exile to his golf resort in Scotland.

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Oh please, but Scotland would decline, betcha

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Mebbe. I'm all ears if you have a better compromise that would remove Trump from contention as president while keeping Trump supporters from starting a civil war if Trump is convicted of a crime punishable by jail time.

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LOL! I'm really enjoying the witty comments today! I love that last one: What is a fact?

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Hahahahahahahaha. Good opening question , Keith. Hahahahaha.

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Well, I am not sure Trump or his followers were looking for forgiveness from Pelosi. In fact, she probably should not make broad, emotional sounding statements like this.

Even I don't care about her or anyone else "forgiveness" for what Trump did.

If she says anything at all she should wonder aloud why the Justice Department is taking so long to arrest Trump.

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Mike, her statement echoed how many Americans feel. It was so refreshing to hear her say those words. The morale of the good folks of America took a huge dive on January 6 and I don't think we have recovered yet. In all the legal battles, politicization and damnable denials that an insurrection on January 6 even really happened, Madame Speaker spoke to and for Americans. She is a Master at her job.

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And thank heaven various upstarts were unable to turn her out of the speakership. To those who are open to it, or seek it, a lot of wisdom can come with age.

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I’m 72 and personally aware of the creeping slowing of my own abilities, mentally and physically, exacerbated by a lifetime of chronic pain. During the primaries, I was hoping leadership would move to a younger generation in the presidency and congress. I was wrong and am impressed by the blend of knowledge and skill shown by Biden and Pelosi.

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I'm sorry about your chronic pain. That certainly IS debilitating. I'm very fortunate never to have had that.

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Brava!

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Barbara. As a long time engineer this will not be the first time I did not notice how folks feel relative to what, in reality, must be done.

And. What must be done is the application of law to lawbreakers.

How many of Trump's supporters are in jail now while Trump continues to grow ever fatter and also is swaying star election dynamics.

Pelosi should talk about the law, who broke it, and when consequences for unlawful behavior will be applied to tRUMP.

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I agree. And also in her role as second in line for the Presidency she is also qualified to lend comfort to an aggrieved Nation.

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Agree Barbara and thank you for your comment.

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Couldn’t agree more. The Republicans have the knives out and are well on their way to inflicting death by a thousand cuts on democracy. If they’re not getting a stranglehold on the laws of who votes and who doesn’t in various states, they are cutting off slowly and surely a woman’s right to choose. While our eyes are turned in that direction, the grotesquely wealthy among them are sponsoring insurrection. And when we finally look for a minute’s peace, they are trolling us by vamping with weapons in their Christmas card photos.

Meanwhile the Democratic leader of the House is wagging her finger censoriously and promising to withhold her forgiveness for 1/6. Embarrassing.

My attention and hope still lies with the House investigation. They face every obstacle imaginable, but they persevere in dogged, creative ways. Regardless of witness slow walking and the impending election of 2022, I do believe they will issue a report that uncovers a shocking amount of the truth of what happened on January 6.

Then all eyes will turn to the Justice Department. At some point surely they will cease being MIA. Maybe?

A last word on Nancy Pelosi. I criticize this comment as being unworthy of her, especially in a year when the Republicans are doing everything they can to move into the ascendancy.

On balance though she is a remarkable steward of Democratic interests in the House. This comment landed with a thud, but her record still stands for itself.

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She’s not worried about Atty General Garland’s legal pace. But many on this forum are. I’ll go with Speaker Pelosi on this one.

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I agree with the second clause of your last sentence.

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I have so much respect fo real reporters who dig deep and expose truths, newspapers who print these reporters findings, and historians, like you, who put it in context for people like me. Thank you. Every single day. Thank you.

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One of the most important reasons why the 2021 Nobel Peace Prizes went to journalists. Ressa and Muratov, among thousands of journalists worldwide, risked their lives to expose the truth. We need more like them, particularly now.

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From The Guardian.

“The number of journalists in prison globally reached a new high 2021, according to a study that found 293 reporters were behind bars on 1 December 2021. At least 24 were killed because of stories they had covered.”

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Good Lord, a hazardous occupation unless you are a Fox purveyor of crap

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Saves my sanity, or what’s left of it.

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Yes, Heather does the heavy lifting for us.

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It still boggles my mind that the Right have become Russian toadies as they have. But it does strengthen my view that Stalinism was just another form of fascism that used different terminology. Thus the Post-Soviet Russians were so easily able to become the fascists their grandparents fought to defeat.

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The irony is rich. And that they are aided and abetted by a cave full of U.S. “journalists” who can practice their First Amendment rights to tear down democracy is almost as ironic and tragic.

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Whoa whoa whoa, Carey. There are thousands of vigilant, hard-working reporters and editors out there fighting the good fight and making good trouble. This nation NEEDS a strong Fourth Estate for the health and well-being of American democracy. The rest of us need to be very careful about sweeping generalizations.

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Carey, Can you elaborate on your comment? I don't know who you were replying to in your comment. You seem to be saying that American journalists, I use the word 'journalist', without irony and as it is defined, are colluding with another country to bring down American democracy. How are you using the word 'journalists'? 'A cave full of US 'journalists'? How big is the cave? Is that cave Fox News? It is a strong accusation, Carey, so I'm looking for the facts. Thank you.

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Carlson is a treasonous bastard.

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I don't why your comment is to me. I did not write anything about Carlson.

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I read it as Fox (not) News

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Yeah, but, TC, what about my dear dad? Navigator in the Army Air corps, stationed in England and running missions into Germany, etc. -- he became such a rabid Trumpanzee before he died. I once was asked him whether he realized that what he was now embracing was the exact thing he'd fought a war against. He ignored the question. Just launched an angry rant. It's so still perplexing. And heartbreaking.

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That asshole from Maralago has not only destroyed this Nation but also many many families. I will rejoice his death. The sooner the better

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200%

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Same with my Father in Law. USAF pilot, intel and infiltration/exfiltration missions during October 1962, Viet Nam chopper pilot. You ask him directly if he supports Russia and Putin, and he launches into anti-Hilary Clinton rhetoric.

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Just scary, Ally

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Fell into the lying cult45. Propaganda is powerful, always

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Agree, the propaganda and failure to look further into issues. I cannot understand this.

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The Brainwashing of My Dad

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I had not seen this, and so I watched it today. Very good!

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I'm sorry about your Dad's political right turn. But the history is interesting to me. My father was a radar mechanic in the air force, first in England, and later, on each of 2 (of 3) US bases in Poltava and Mirgorod, USSR. These bases served the shuttle bombing, where the flyers from England were able to penetrate further into Germany and Nazi-controlled Europe because they didn't have to go all the way back to England for refueling and repairs, and I'm thinking your father may have been part of that. It's possible our fathers met during the war or even served together in England. (My father remained a left winger all his life.)

There's a book about the US bases, Forgotten Bastards of the EAstern Front: American airmen behind the Soviet Lines and the collapse of the grand alliance, by Serhii Plokhy, which features my father in the prologue, and he appears in several other places (we provided a lot of materials for Plokhy).

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Wouldnt THAT be something if they had met, worked together, touched each other’s life?

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It sure would! Did your father ever mention landing in USSR post-bombing? Unfortunately, I don't know the names of anyone my father served with in England.

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Not that I recall. He used to reunite with his crew every few years. I believe they returned to base after their missions.

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The shuttle bombing only began in 1944, probably in the middle of that year, so if he was out before then, it would stand to reason.

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Yes, your dad and about 80% of the white men of his generation. Everything was hunky dory when affirmative action was white, but when the Dems started arguing for more equitable policies, the “greatest generation” showed its true colors.

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That’s true, Rex, showing true colors. Although my dad didnt express racist attitudes when I was growing up. I didnt feel as if I were raised to be racist. Well, not by my dad. My crazy mother, yes. And, well, the culture around me. Insidious, really.

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Yes, a white person had to be uncommonly observant to see how pernicious racism was in white culture in those days. My dad understood it, but my mom didn’t.

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One wonders if the Germans had treated people of color like the Jews, if anybody would have cared. I did read that Hitler got some of his ideas from Jim Crow. I did hear “krauts” and “chinks growing up in the South, as well as slurs for Jews and Catholics. humans have always had ways to “tribalize,” trivialize, denigrate the less powerful. That said, I never felt hatred, just offhand comments. Like it’s just “normal”. Lordy, how subtle and sad…

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Yeah, that's a sad one - 70+ years of cold war propaganda and (perhaps) an unwillingness to change from the "social views" he was raised on.

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I agree. Mussolini apparently was a "socialist" before embracing fascism. I don't see any difficulty with the concept of a "communist" being a fascist. Technically, communism is an economic construction of society. Theoretically, it could incorporate democracy as it's governing method - or not. The state would own everything. But the managers of that ownership - the business leaders - could be elected by the people. Or not.

Fascism implies a dictator with total power - he can structure the economy any way he wishes. Xi can move back and forth from collectivism to capitalism and back again. The resulting hybrid is the result in place right now.

The early Engels/Marxist vision was to empower the people - the worker, the proletariat. The Russians and the Chinese betrayed the original premise and in practice are really fascists.

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Basically (to me at least) it comes down to Totalitarianism is Totalitarianism. Look at how people were acting, not the words they were mouthing, and both are very similar - Stalinism and Hitlerism. Also Maoism. Personalize them as the personality cults they were, and all the mud becomes crystal clear.

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Same with us TCinLA, my nephew was killed in 1943, nobody remembers, not even my MAGAt bro who was named for him.

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That is just tragic. I am sorry for such ignorance of world history.

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Shocking disconnect

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Without history's ironies, there wouldn't be as much to write about, and a lot of the fun would go out of reading it. Stalin as Fascist in Marxist-Leninist clothing. Someone could turn that into a book, TC.

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Or a musical comedy, David. Mel Brooks is still writing at the age of 95. How about this for a title, 'Karl's & Adolf's Secret Nонимание'

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I was able to listen to his fun interview on NPR a couple of nights ago. Enjoyed it so much!

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Me, too. His age of 95 added to the glow.

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I once met him when I was starting out as a screenwriter. He asked for a meeting with me after reading my Vietnam script (which later became "the best unproduced Vietnam screenplay in Hollywood" according to American Film, but shot down four studio presidents who wanted to make it). I went over to his offices at MGM, knocked on the door and it was answered by Anne Bancroft - which blew my mind! - who was just leaving. Mel told me up-front he couldn't do the script, but he just wanted to meet me and tell me how impressed he was, and to encourage me to keep on because I "had it." I always took that as one of the two best compliments I ever got. He's truly a great guy. I ran across him a few other times and he remembered me, asked how I was doing, paid attention. A Mensch.

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We can't keep meeting this way. If I come up with another 'name' you know, have met, or god knows what, I won't be surprised. How about Tom Hayden, he was the main act in a TV program I produced about Vietnam War? I know you'll top that.

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Russian toadies indeed. Could it be that they see, in Russia, a commitment to white supremacism that matches their own?

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Absolutely. Add nationalism and return to the past, control of history, media control, etc..

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You hit the nail on the head. Putin's propaganda features "defending western (white) christian civilization."

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No wonder that he and chump are in love, although they don’t even make good Pharisees

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The Peace Corps pulled all dark-skinned volunteers from Ukraine after one was beaten up and killed. This was around my daughter’s time there during the Orange Revolution.

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My bro got kicked out of Libya when Khadafy ran off all the Peace Corps folks, late 60 's i think

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likely since the number of non-Caucasians in Russia is, well, zip

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Explains a lot; I am still amazed that the Republiscum have sunk to that level.

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I don’t know that Meadows or any of the other seditionists think that they’re going to win—they just want to “run out the clock” on the committee until the Republicans take over after the next election and end the committee’s work.

The committee members really need to pick up the pace to the extent that they can.

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On Lawrence O’Donnell last night it was pointed out that everything the committee gathers will still be food for the DOJ who will stay in place even if Republicans take over the house and disband the committee. The DOJ will have the capability to prosecute as long as Biden/Harris are in office.

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Ned Wouldn’t ‘running out the clock’ with House 1/6 hearings in the summer/fall 2022 be a delightful back drop to the 2022 elections? I remember the 1973 Erwin Senate Watergate hearings—-watching some rats squeal and others squirm was riveting. The objective would be to puncture the BIG LIE and the subsequent Capitol Building insurrection. LET THE TRUTH SET US FREE. (I acknowledge that some Trumpists are beyond redemption.)

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I think Cheney saying they will start having public hearings next year is basically saying that they’ve got the goods? As Teri Kanefield has explained the actions on Bannon and Meadows are just consequences for their criminal obstructive behavior and not intended to get them to talk.

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Kanefield's blog on "Dangerous Lies and Simplifications" is worth reading https://bit.ly/3oBBiso

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😁 I’ve posted links previously janjamm. I agree. I like how she makes Snyder’s recommendations more real for me by giving examples. Also I would just add it’s all too human to oversimplify, but just like with our Constitution we can aspire to understand our own transgressions all the while aspiring to do better and be better….

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I agree, it is easy to simplify issues. But I think she is addressing a larger issue. One in which we seek immediate results in a legal system that is deliberately slowed down. Hence the "Garland is doing nothing" meme. The ability to understand complex issues seems to elude us by providing simplified memes. Plus, whatever happens, it won't be enough.

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Yes!!

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Thank you for that link. I subscribed.

This observation, "... how dangerous these Internet Triggers are for democracy because they prevent us from thinking complex thoughts." really hit home for me.

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Thank you for this recommendation. I found it refreshing. I am going to try and sign up for her blog. TY

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Another terrific resource, Teri Kanefield.

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Kanefield's all about Rule of Law.

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Public hearings are exactly what is needed to strengthen their purpose in exposing what “goods” they’ve got on these Repubs. I sure hope there is a strong coordination between what Letitia James has and what the DOJ possess in their pockets.

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Me too Spooky. I would have never guessed prior to Trump that our system is so susceptible to being gamed, in so many ways. We have clear criminal intent here right before our very eyes with these people who tried to overturn an election, and they are successfully running out the clock. I mean - why is Bannon not behind bars right now? I will give them this - they have lawyers who know how to game the system. They know they cannot win under ordinary circumstances, and they also know that if the 2022 election goes their way, they will be in their way to winning in the end.

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If we don’t arrest crooks because they have a gang for violence behind them it is all over here.

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The irony, that we can impose severe economic restrictions on Russia, but we claim helplessness at containing the threats from seditionists and their fascist financiers.

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We need the Fairness Doctrine and for real news reporters to state resources...like Heather does. It is the only way to return to truth rather than those, homegrown terrorist liars of "entertainment" propaganda.

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It’s always been easier to see the need to protect ourselves from Russians rather than our very own neighbors/brothers/sisters

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Except that we now have legislators, politicians, power hungry rich and dimwitted, easily-swayed-by-lies people trying to turn our country into a Russia clone and force us how to live.

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Today's Letter describes two examples of America developing a relentlessness on behalf of what is right. 1) Putin fears the possibility of Ukraine becoming part of the West, part of NATO as did Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia in 2004. While that change may have been unwise and goading Russia, they were decisions made by sovereign countries following what they saw as their best interests. Ukraine should have the same right to follow its best interests without a threat of invasion. 2) Congress is exercising its authority to learn about an attempted overthrow of the US government by an outgoing administration. That it is necessary to make such a statement is horrifying. That participants in that attempt would resist the investigation is to be expected. Congress needs to keep on pushing. We need to elect a Congress in 2022 that will continue to push.

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Just the statement itself that Congress exercising its authority to learn about an attempted overthrow of the US government by an outgoing administration is horrifying. Did you ever in your wildest nightmares think we’d be where we are today?

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One more time. "Each step was so small, no inconsequential, so well explained, or on occasion, 'regretted,' that unless one (knew) what the whole thing was in principle, what all these 'little measures,'...must some day lead to, one no more saw it developing from day to day than a farmer in his field sees the corn growing - each act is worse than the last, but only a little worse. You wait for the next and the next.. You wait for the one great shocking occasion, thinking that others when such a shock comes, will join you in resisting somehow.

You don't want to act, or even talk, alone, you don't want to 'go out of your way to make trouble.' But the one great shocking occasion, when tens or hundreds or thousands will join with you, never comes. That's the difficulty. The forms are all there, all untouched, all reassuring, the houses, the shops, the jobs, the mealtimes, the visits, the concerts, the cinema, the holidays. But the spirit, which you never noticed because you made the lifelong mistake of identifying it with the forms, is changed. Now you live in a world of hate and fear, and the people who hate and fear do not even know it themselves, when everyone is transformed, no one is transformed You have accepted things you would not have accepted five years ago, a year ago, things your father could never have imagined." From Milton Mayer, They Thought They Were Free, The Germans, 1933-45

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And here it is once again. The same old and highly effective playbook. Death by a thousand cuts. Dismantling democracy brick by brick, starting at the foundation. Endless lies, blame the victim, feed the rage, scoff at all norms.

Most of my liberal friends don’t even want to talk about it. We’re old, scared of the pandemic and so very weary of the dysfunction. I feel like Cassandra. I feel so sad.

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i am exhausted as well, being old and an Alz care giver, not to mention living on retirement pay, but i cannot ignore the horror that is engulfing us. Can't do much but my grands deserve better, as do all the young.

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Precisely! 6 million killed. Daughter of Holocaust victims.

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JennSH from NC - And the architects (i.e., Mark Meadows, DeJoy, and by university education Steven Miller) are from our state NC

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My home state has some ‘splaining to do…. Damn NC, McCrory really hatched some vermin

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Disgusting, isn’t it?

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Shameful, from people I respected and trusted, but the divide was in your face when you had been gone for awhile

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Born and raised in small town US of A in NC. Left at age 18 and never looked back.

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Left at 18 too, family there so I visited. There are pockets of sanity but almost as bad as Texass

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I visited often too because of family but yes, the insanity, the racism…ugh

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NO! It’s way worse than that.

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Iva Toguri (Tokyo Rose) and Mildred Gillars (Axis Sally) were both native born American citizens who joined forces with America's enemies, during WWII. 84% of G.I.s listened to their programs because they said it had "good entertainment.” One G.I. remarked, "[l]ots of us thought she (Tokyo Rose) was on our side all along."

Today, we can add Tucker Carlson (Moscow MAGAt) of Faux News to that exclusive list of traitors admired by our military personnel.

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Blanket statements assuming the position of a large group of people are completely irresponsible. Women .... this, minorities ..... that, this or that religion ..... something else. I can assure you that our military personnel do not admire Tucker Carlson nor any of the obstructionist Republicans in Congress. Certainly some do. But, to this retired USAF officer your comment is repulsive. To add to this, Tucker Carlson's supporters come sadly from all corners of American society.

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To my retired USAF Lt. Col. father in law, Faux "News" is the only news reporting that is accurate. He also steadfastly refuses to acknowledge that Russia is doing anything wrong. He flew intel missions during the Bay of Pigs, and until about 2008 hated Russia/Soviet Union with a fire that was something to behold. Now he thinks Putin is a better president that any US president of his lifetime.

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This is an astonishing phenomenon happening before our eyes. Your timeline, Ally, suggests the election of Obama was the turning point for your father in law. Our first black president brought racism out of the shadows into full view. Faux News attacked him 24/7 in one of the most sustained and corrosive propaganda campaigns we’ve ever witnessed.

Now they’re turning Trump & Putin into heroes. And their viewers are falling for it. Unless we restore some modern version of the Fairness Doctrine to all news media, including social media, we are in grave danger. The lies will destroy us if we allow it. Putin is counting on it.

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He was always a racist; Obama's election was the tipping point for him.

Our conversation a couple years ago when he was telling stories about his time on the Air Force One detail and was bemoaning how he couldn't find any qualified Black pilots to bring into the cadre (LBJ had "ordered" him to find Black pilots) is how he finally acknowledged his racism. I asked him why he thought, in the early 1960's, that he couldn't find pilots with the required number of hours in multi engine jets who were also Black. He said it was because Black USAF men were "sullen and disobedient". I asked if it was entirely possible that there were no qualified pilots because Black soldiers were shut out of the GI Bill following WWII or that during WWII Blacks either served in segregated units or in Mess capacity only. He said "no, they are just unsuited to be pilots." He did say he was a racist, and did say that lots of Black people were now serving in the military in leadership roles, but they still weren't "as good" as white men would have been. Sigh.

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Thanks for this reality check. Propaganda doesn't make people believe; they want to believe.

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Kathy have you seen the documentary others have referenced here today The Brainwashing of My Dad? I find neuroscience and the study of brainwashing fascinating.

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Kathy I think you hit the nail on the head. I have long been trying to understand the attraction to Faux News. I have relatives who watch and believe. They hold much bitterness and resentment since childhood so are predisposed to wanting to be supported in their views by Faux News. Same upbringing as the rest of the kids (now in our 60s) of my family but hold onto and define themselves by petty resentments and victimization. Racist and casteist. No one converted them. Faux News did not brainwash them. With Faux entertainment and TFG there was a platform that supported their worldview. My guess is that this is true of most of the right-wing Trump cult and nearly impossible to change. They are a minority. We can't convert them. We have to continue to put our energy into forge a more inclusive community, loving, compassionate world.

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I will never forget my grandfather in the mid-80s political discussion about candidates telling me he would rather elect the corrupt white man over the Black man. I was appalled. This was the first racist statement I’d ever heard out of my grandparents and I was almost 30.

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I know him in so many others

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100% you are so right.

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That's sad. Unfortunately, there are too many people with similar views in professions where you wouldn't normally expect to see it. Police, politicians, judges, university professors and administrators, teachers, medical professionals, .... Everywhere. But, we have to hold our ground and not be taken in by the lies and deceit.

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Trust me, I know how many cops there are that suck up to that view. My cohort is mostly retired now, and they are eating that view like candy.

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And yet, they deny that blacks have legitimate grievances. They are just lazy, blah, blah, blah. This old whitey is constantly embarrassed.

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The word on the street is that Fox is by far the most popular TV channel on military bases. Do you claim the street is wrong on that point? Are the Christian evangelical wingnuts still in charge at the Academy in Colorado Springs?

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This is disturbing to me and I don't doubt the truth of it.

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Knew a Iraq vet who said they used to watch MSNBC, then tv’s switched to Fox in many places. This was 10 years ago and Rupert was everywhere…

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Like you said, “Certainly, some do.” That’s why I didn’t I didn’t mention it. You have taken what I said out of context, because I didn’t point out the obvious. Thanks for your service, but you are giving yourself a coronary over nothing.

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Not being clear in what you say leads to many listeners (or readers) being unsure of what you really mean.

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I was clear enough. Stop the faux rage.

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Mr. Woolley, it's not faux rage. But, words matter. My words also matter. In my response to your original post my words were provocative and poorly chosen. I apologize for that. I let my pet peeve of being lumped in to something I definitely do not support color my words in a way that is disrespectful and antagonistic. I grew up with this feeling because of racist comments I couldn't agree with. I have these feelings today when I here blanket comments regarding any group. -- So, I hope you can accept my apology for the tone of my original comment. I still object to being lumped in with supporters of Tucker Carlson.

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Accepted, point taken, moving on.

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You can add some of law enforcement to that list of traitors. I don't know how many, but enough to worry me.

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I like where you're going with this.

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President Biden warned Mr. Putin about what measures the West will take if Russia invades Ukraine. There is no reason to doubt that the nations which support the US position have the ability to accomplish those actions.

There is probably no way of knowing what caused the disruption of Amazon Web Services later the same day. My frivolous imagination suggests that it might have been Putin demonstrating a small example of what his cyber warfare agents could do in retaliation to Western economic sanctions. Not nearly as dire as total nuclear war, but even so extremely harmful to our economy.

I hope I'm wrong about this fantasy.

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I agree that the Russian cyber threat is very real. Under Trump, our responses to this threat were hobbled, now they are not. Our (the US and other NATO countries) cyber capabilities surpass even Russia's. Remember stuxnet?

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I hope that you’re right, Steve. It’s long past time for the Russians to pay a price for their computer attacks on us.

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I just wonder how much information was given to Russia during the last Administration. Could be they have the keys to destroy us with cyber warfare.

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I’ve been hoping that I was so wrong about so much for so long…

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Some of the rats are scrambling off the Trumptanic seeking parachutes, life lines, or even Fifth Amendment limited immunity. With Trump relatively safe in his Mar-a-Lago bunker, his sycophants feel exposed to subpoenas and grand juries—-not a comforting feeling, as the bane of them all, Steve Bannon, is already in the refuse-subpoena-proceed-to-criminal trial stage.

Meanwhile, President Biden and Putrid Putin conversed. Biden told Putin that, if he re-invaded Ukraine, he would encounter draconian economic push back. To date economic sanctions against Russia have been mosquito bites, not deadly wasp stings. Biden and his now-back-on-board Western allies have the Damocles sword of SWIFT.

SWIFT is the daily money transfer mechanism involving 200 countries and over 11,000 banks and financial institutions. It is the roadway for a majority of daily money global transfers. Biden and his buddies have the ability to cut Russia out of SWIFT. This would directly affect payment for much of Russia’s petroleum and natural gas exports, which are vital fuel to Putin’s gasping domestic economy.

The controversial Nord 2 natural gas line between Russia and Western Europe is also on the hard-ball retaliation table. The U. S. Has long objected to this new gas line, which would deny Ukraine major transit fees and increase West Europe’s short-term dependence on Russia’s natural gas. This pipeline is finished but not approved, while Germany seeks further bureaucratic procedures. There is a report that Germany threatened that a Putin invasion of Ukraine would result in the abandonment of Nord 2. WE MAY BE ENTERING A HARD BALL PHASE WHERE THE WEST HAS A POWERFUL FIRST TEAM PREPARED TO ENGAGE PUFFED-UP PUTIN. Gadzooks, Comrade Trump wouldn’t have treated his friend this way.

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Comrade Trump exactly! And we were warned by one of the most accomplished women in the world. Will we ever examine why so many were led to hate her so easily? And the far left still want to deny Russia’s influence on our failures of governance

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For Christy and for subsequent responders: Having been off-line all day, I, indeed, am late to this conversation. Still, if I may, I wish to share a few observations. My first thought is that it’s not a coincidence that the same root word underlies both communication and community. And though by “far left” I had presumed Christy was referencing that portion of the electorate that critiques the mainstream for viewing the dispute over Ukraine purely from a Western perspective, I derived an important lesson from the exchanges that ensued, namely the importance of taking the time and effort to ensure we have established a shared understanding of our terminology. On a more personal note, I recall learning, probably in a public speaking or writing class, that it is prudent to expect to be misunderstood and then to take precautions against that happening.

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Please define "far left".

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Seriously? In 500 words or less? Generally speaking, it means as far in that direction as one can go?

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I honestly don't know your definition of what constitutes a far left person's beliefs. How about in 2-3 sentences?

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