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From 1945 until 1989, post-war communism prevailed in the eastern bloc, until it imploded under its own weight 44 years later, as Europe flourished and the Soviet experiment stumbled and fell. In 1980 Reagan declared war on liberal democracy in America. The government didn't solve problems; it was the problem. Here we are, 42 years after the beginning of that movement, in the aftermath of a failed fascist coup to derail the peaceful transition in power in the world's most powerful liberal democracy. It turned out to be a tawdry, pitiful affair; a sort of comic opera, as we are now learning. It nearly worked, carried out by a band of would-be private militia members and assorted other radical adherents to a conspiratorial monologue repeated freely by, none other, the POTUS. The insurgents had already conquered the White House 4 years earlier, but failed to consolidate their power base non-violently by political means, leading to a last minute Keystone Cops sort of assault on Congress. Embarrassing, but true. Embarrassing, but dangerous nonetheless. Embarrassing by it's haphazard orchestration but even more embarrassing by how unprepared were the capital police and adjacent law enforcement agencies, embarrassing by how blissfully unaware was most of America at the possibility that something like that would occur in our capital city. Imagine what might have happened if a similar sized rally of opposing interests had been organized and staged between tfg's stage and the Congress, or even on the steps of the Capital. There would likely have been a riot, but perhaps no breach of the Capital itself. Were there counter-protesters? On the other hand, why should I wish that unarmed civilians might have been present to protect our house of government? Is a "free nation" doomed to such vulnerability? More important still, where were all of the potential whistle-blowers; Aides within the White House, numerous congressional offices, even more numerous state level agencies and the Republican Party apparatus who had to be aware of at least bits and pieces of the conversation and widespread interactions amongst individuals between November and January? Since when has political ideology become more influential than the legality of one's actions? My mind struggles to grasp the reality that the rising desperation amongst those seeking a pathway to reverse the election didn't trigger SOMEONE to blow the whistle on their evolving plans. Aside from the NSA or CIA perhaps, this kind of process could not have evolved in complete secrecy; in this world of cell phones, text messages, tweets and the like, as well as the profound lack of discipline of the POTUS himself, someone should have smelled the rat and leaked it to the press. Were we all so inured to the endless psycho-babble we had endured for 4 years that we simply didn't pay adequate attention? Did we collectively deny obvious clues, like Ukraine on the precipice of an invasion? Was no one willing to believe it could actually happen? Shame on us, I guess. Shame on all of us (or most of us, at least). The entire tawdry affair should have us carefully examining ourselves, even as we try to reconstruct all of the events and players that led to 1/6/2021. We can't view this stuff as some kind of grade B entertainment. It's real life, actually happening with potentially unimaginable consequences to our future and stability within our world. Serious business, deserving of sober, serious consequences.

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Jun 5, 2022·edited Jun 5, 2022

I am reading Malala Yousafzai's memoir, I Am Malala, and see parallels between Pakistan before the Taliban took over, and our country. In Pakistan, the government did little to nothing to curb the Taliban. As Nathan points out, in the US, there was an insurrection which of course had been planned, yet the government was absent to curb or derail it, and could not even get the National Guard to timely protect the Capitol and our legislators. And now we are still waiting for trump to be held accountable for his role in that.

In Pakistan, the Taliban's takeover began with one uneducated individual ('a high school drop out') who aired radio programs that appealed to the masses. The masses' support of Fazlullah laid the groundwork for the Taliban, which then exacted its values on the rest of the population: as we know, anyone who opposed the Taliban was disappeared, executed, etc. Democracy and science were viewed by the Taliban as Western values, and inconsistent with Islam.

Here in the US, numerous Republican personalities spread drivel that inspire and motivate the masses, which resulted in the insurrection. Extremist right-wing Christian values are being forced upon Americans that are not based on science, such as a prohibition on abortion, and are based on a religious/philosophical opinion of when life begins. Neither the Taliban or right-wing Christians respect a woman's right to determine her own destiny: what happens to her body, whether to raise kids, or to pursue a career without children. In addition to the insurrection, there are probably other underground plans in the works. Our problem is minority rule, which threatens Democracy.

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Thank you, Nathan, for your powerful response to HCR's letter for today. The parallel "signs" are everywhere. Our lack of common cause will be our downfall.

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".. probably other underground plans in the works " There are indeed Diana. That 'fact' is not cause for panic and fear to reign us; it's most certainly cause to look hard for underlying common cause and 'act' rather than ruminate everyday. Learn, celebrate 'here' and like places, and calmly know and spread truth. That's what I endeavor anyway. Cheers sistuh !

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Pakistan? I thought the Taliban took over Afghanistan.

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Diana, in her response, references the book written by Malala (the young Pakistani activist), in which she outlines the way in which the Taliban inserted its influence in Pakistan. Diana spoke of the similarities of what Malala described to the kind of processes now being used by right wing extremists in our country to take over power in various governmental institutions. It is an extension of what Nathan wrote in his comment. He himself did not mention Pakistan.

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Jun 7, 2022·edited Jun 7, 2022

I had thought that the Taliban was an extreme evolution of the Mujahideen who fought against the Russian occupiers in the 1980s. Like everything else, especially in the Near and Middle East, it's more complicated. So, I looked up info about the relationship between the two entities. The Wikipedia article about the Afghan Mujahideen has an explanation of how that came to pass. The article also has a disturbing sidebar listing "Covert United States involvement in regime change".

For the Mujahideen/Taliban history: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afghan_mujahideen#Relationship_with_the_Taliban

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I wouldn't believe everything I read on Wikipedia, because anyone can make an edit. A wonderful book that provides a first hand account of the Mujahideen fighting the Russians, and their likely evolution into the Taliban is A Bed of Red Flowers, by Nelofer Pazira. Pazira and her family fled Afghanistan, and now live in Canada. She is a news correspondent.

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Both countries actually David; The difference is that in Pakistan, the military - the

'actual' effective authoritarian holding all power, tries to keep the zealots on something of a leash, considering them useful 'tools', which just a glance reveals the repeated usage of them against all comers: India (Kashmir), Afghanistan, - any challenge to their absolute dominance.

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Also Pakistan.

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According to some, the insurrection was Plan B. Plan A is laid out below. Before the J6 hearings begin would be a good time to read Greg Olear's post and/or listen to the podcast which can be accessed off this latest newsletter:

https://gregolear.substack.com/p/13848-in-the-event-of-foreign-interference/comments?s=r

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Thank you Lynell. If I didn’t know the timeline rendered in Olear’s essay was NON-fiction, I would have been looking forward to the fiction bestseller.

This will be a a crucial week in the restoration of our democracy. Batten down the hatches!

UNITA!

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Lynell-This begs the question: was disaster averted, or merely delayed??

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I'm no pundit, Cathy, but my guess would be the answer to that will be revealed this coming November!

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Averted intentionally is my opinion.

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Cathy, In my view, the outcome largely will rest with DOJ. Unless high-level officials up to and including Trump are indicted, I expect the Republican counter-messaging largely will derail the Select Committee hearings.

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Barbara- I totally agree with you. I heard this morning that there is already a plan for “alternative programming” being scheduled opposite the televised hearings this week.

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Given this information ahead of time, those who support democracy (politicians, media, grass roots organizations and high ranking former Republicans) should plan some prolific counter programming efforts. Those efforts can include articles and or advertisements in publications, including those read mainly by the MAGA indoctrinated cult, interviews on TV and radio and statements in social media. They must simply and forcefully explain that media outlets who do not cover the January 6 Committee's hearings in their entirety and politicians, media celebrities and others who downplay or deny the huge, anti-democratic efforts put forth by the former president, certain wealthy Republican donors, corrupt media outlets and State and National Republican politicians, to overturn our democracy in favor of a permanent takeover by the far right conservative minority in the United States are STILL trying to dismantle our democracy for their own corrupt purposes. This is no time for a "white gloves approach."

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Speechless. No accident of history.

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Lynell thank you so much! This is shattering, how close we came…

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The BIG question remains- was disaster averted, or merely delayed?? I am not feeling very optimistic these days; it feels like the forces of evil ate so much stronger than the forces for good.

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Cathy you are putting light on what imo is the essential foundation of our purpose here. To support each other. I am convinced that democracy will prevail. I am convinced that diversity and equality represent the true nature of human consciousness. We are all One. Each one of us has equal power. The politics of world society will struggle between racism/sexism and diversity/equality, but the final outcome is never in doubt. The pendulum will swing back-and-forth, but the entire mechanism as a block keeps moving towards equality. The bad guys are fighting a losing battle, because whites & men & heteros & Christians are not superior.

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Roland! Was just wondering yesterday where you have been busy elsewhere. Have missed your commentary.

Unita! 🙋🏻🙋🏼🙋🏽🙋🏾🙋🏿

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The year has been a whirlwind. We moved from California to Washington state. Today is Day 8. My wife has never lived outside of California, and I’ve been there continuously since 1988. We are Californians at heart, both born there, both never thought we would leave

I love moving. Moving is right up there with major surgery and chronic illness on the list of my favorite things in life.

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Like the Lone Ranger, Roland pops in when we most need him!🙋🏽‍♀️🙋🏼‍♀️🙋🏽‍♂️

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I'm not a man, but I am hetero and a Christian, not the kind that you're thinking of. Some, actually many, Christians are very progressive, supporting LGBTQ+ rights and other progressive ideas, including abortion. You and I think in similar ways. I wanted you to know that

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I love your optimism.

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Jun 5, 2022·edited Jun 5, 2022

USA Today reports: "Today, Liz Cheney called the Capitol attack a 'conspiracy' and described its fallout as an 'ongoing threat.'

"It is extremely broad. It's extremely well-organized. It's really chilling," Cheney said on 'CBS Sunday Morning.' "

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2022/06/05/liz-cheney-jan-6-capitol-riot-conspiracy/7521830001/

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I fear she’s right. I do keep wondering though, if another attempt is attempted and is successful, how will this huge, diverse country be controlled? Do they think we’ll all rollover and play dead for their criminal actions?

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What they want and have been accomplishing is a steady erosion of democracy so they can gain control of the levers of government. Then we end up with an autocracy. This is where we would be headed if Trump had won. If he or one of his clones win in 2024 and control Congress, democracy will be dead and buried. Then the question becomes what will blue states do to resist? Will the military be used to tame their resistance? What happens in the sprawling rural red areas of many blue states? There are tons of questions to ponder.

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The next coup is in place already

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I can't help but think our entire history has been fraught with one coup after another; some we knew about, most we have not.

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Those forces might be raucous and louder, but NOT stronger. Not possible.

Unita, Cathy!

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They are definitely louder.

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Just the fact that this EO was written in 2018 tells me that they knew full well that 2016 was a fraudulent election and they knew that there would be no way for trump to get lucky twice, hence the EO and then when that failed the Jan 6 insurrection was in play. Classic moves by a cornered rat needing to stay in power at all costs to continue the grift and to stay out of prison...which leads me to always raise the point trump was never indicted while he was prez cuz of the gd OLC memo that opined you can't indict a sitting prez! A gd memo! Not a law a memo! I recall a lawyer ( can't remember who in trump's first yr) on msnbc arguing the fact that NO ONE was willing to challenge that OLC memo! Seems if DOJ or another body had the balls to challenge that memo in court Jan 6th may never have happened. Why was it never challenged?

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Jun 6, 2022·edited Jun 6, 2022

For anyone who didn't hear the reason why the OLC memo you mention was originally written, here's a good explanation (based on a witness who was in the Justice Department at the time and present for the discussion of that memo) of why it was written and why it was not created to apply to the president. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oku6xbbbJN0

Here is another video interview of Walter Dellinger, former assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel, telling Rachel Maddow that the Justice Department policy that a sitting president cannot be indicted is "shaky" and not "at all solid." https://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow/watch/policy-against-indicting-a-president-shaky-fmr-olc-chief-1446509635678

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Thanks for these links, CC; and thanks to Doreen for bringing this to the fore for our further consideration.

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You're very welcome, Lynell. It's such an interesting back story for what became such a troublesome memo. P.S. For anyone who hasn't listened to it, the entire "Bagman" podcast by Rachel Maddow is very well done. It's about the criminal and sleazy behavior of Nixon's Vice President, Spiro Agnew, accepting bribes which he ordered to be delivered to him at the White House.

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I don't get to watch Rachel's show often (I don't have cable!) but did hear about the Bagman podcast a while ago. Thanks for reminding me. I will try to find it now.

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Thanks for the 2 links. I recall seeing them back in 2019. And still it was never challenged. Makes you wonder if those in power really have the country's best interest at heart. What a sleazy business D.C. is.

The Bagman podcast is great as well as the book.

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More food for thought...if Nixon wasn't pardoned by Ford do you think trump et al would have attempted their coup or all the other criming while being in office?

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Interesting question, Doreen. While we don't know what TFG would have done if Nixon were not pardoned, we do know his personality and his twisted, emotional view of the world. It's hard to think someone with lifelong criminal tendencies, grandiose self-importance, a one way code of loyalty, a burning need to control people for his own benefit, inflict sadistic harm and vacuum up as much money as possible for himself, could curb these tendencies even when risking potentially certain criminal penalties. He would probably think he could get away with it because of his "superior intellect." But fortunately, I've never been inside his mind, so I could be underestimating his sense of self-preservation.

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You're probably quite right. I would like to think, probably naively, that if Nixon wasn't pardoned it would've put a check on future criminals in the WH.

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Why wasn’t it ever challenged? Good damn question. That memo has existed for years and should have been. Look at what Saint Ronnie got away with.

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Thank you , Lynell. I had to read this post more than once. And listen. Trump was planning a “do-over” before the election? “He would use the findings therein to invalidate the results, ordering the National Guard to seize voting machines. Then he would have a do-over. But this time, the election would be managed by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), an independent agency of the federal government that is primarily responsible for administering civilian foreign aid and development assistance—including running elections in fledgling democracies. (In November of 2020, Trump went to extraordinary lengths to keep the acting head of USAID, a MAGA loyalist named John Barsa, in the job.) of course there are details.” The fact this crime is finally out in the open (hoping) is amazing. Trump is so used to manipulating everything and everyone that we can assume he’s still in that mode.

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You are right, Irenie. The former president, a malignant narcissist, is not capable of stopping himself from attempting to manipulate everything and everyone to do whatever he perceives are in his own best interests. According to psychologists, malignant narcissists are constantly fighting to fill the big black hole of inner loathing inside themselves. Ironically, nothing will ever fill it. But they are driven to continue with their manipulative, sadistic behavior, gaining fleeting satisfaction from inflicting pain and unhappiness on others and chasing their love and need for drama. Trump needs to fail in his efforts and he needs to be held accountable. I know a large portion of this country is praying the Justice Department is working overtime to put together a strong case against him for all of the laws he has broken or conspired to break. Merrick Garland is smart enough to know Trump will never stop trying to destroy American democracy. We all just hope the AG will hold him accountable for his past monstrous behavior, some of which is undoubtedly criminal, before it's too late.

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Jun 5, 2022·edited Jun 5, 2022

CC, perfect textbook “diagnosis” of TFG, even voiced by his psychologist cousin. If he’s so transparent and even armchair psychologists have his number, can we safely assume, many in his party suffer from the same mental illness? Or is criminal behavior not in that category? Either TFG has magical powers or are his followers as corrupt as he is?

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Irenie, this is my nonexpert opinion. People with the emotional makeup to be deeply influenced by a malignant narcissist's typical "performance" to attract victims do not generally seem to be malignant narcissists themselves. But some could be. In regard to your question about his followers being as corrupt as he is, it's pretty safe to assume from what we've seen and read for the past many years, that most current Republican politicians, far right-wing media and wealthy Republican donors are corrupt. They are doing all they can to support his lies and attempt to overturn our elections, our rule of law and our democracy. It's clear they are in a race to the bottom with Trump to see who can be more corrupt.

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Jun 6, 2022·edited Jun 6, 2022

CC, your description of the repubs is spot on. That’s the power of history, too. We live in an age that makes hiding a challenge. We observe and record events like J6 and the corruption and attempted steal of TFG’s lost election. Time will tell what happens with TFG and his minions. His track record has been to escape consequences that often land criminals in jail or at least censored in some way. His family wealth and political connections have so far protected him. I don’t see him protecting his followers. Loyalty to him is a one way street. The coming months will continue the show. Will he be convicted? For what? Will he escape on AFOne in the middle of the night to Russia? Or hide?

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Irenie, any famous author of spy thrillers who wrote a book that mirrored what we are hearing about today would most likely get bad reviews, calling the book too goofy or nonsensical to be believed!

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Lynell, yes bad reviews. The storyline though is a bumbling idiot with the football codes in his pocket. Or nearby. He’s dangerous in and out of office. Wonder if he will be in the first private jet offered if he is indicted for his crimes. He would likely be welcomed by a few other autocrats in his circle. “Donald Trump is an Autocrat: it’s up to us to stop him.”https://theintercept.com/2020/06/04/trump-protest-bible-photo-op/

Article from 2020.

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Lynell, thanks for posting the link. It's a must read piece, which Olear (I'm a major admirer) credits to the reporting of others.

I hope the hearings reveal who in the intelligence community intentionally delayed issuing a report that Trump, apparently, was poised to use as legal justification to seize voting machines, declare Biden's victory as null and void, and rerun the election in swing states.

If all this is true, the person or persons deserve a ticker tape parade and much more recognition — they're heroes in the truest sense of the word.

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The revelation that the plan was to have a Trump-supported USAID take over a redo election was eye-popping!

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TY for sharing this link. It's comprehensive and fascinating. I find it troubling too. If we have all this information, why are these people still running free? It is very unsettling to know a crime of this magnitude may go unpunished. And that it very likely opens the door for another attack on our democracy.

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You're welcome, Suzanne. It all feels overwhelming to me, too.

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Well his was certainly eye-popping. We did come closer than a cat’s whisker to losing everything, didn’t we.

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True, this, Sarah. I'll be looking for this to come to light during the upcoming hearings.

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Also have a listen to the companion podcast by Greg Olear where he interviews Gal Suburban.

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/13848-with-gal-suburban/id1553506699?i=1000565097515

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Ahh, Stephen, yes. That interview with Gal Suburban is imbedded in Greg's post. I think his post puts in print what they talked about in the interview. I just love time lines; they really focus me!

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Thanks for lead.

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Chilling.

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It is obvious, Mr. Kemalyan, that you have given a good deal of time and thought to this essay. I respect that you have. I would respectfully counter some of your ideas.

Firstly you stated: "Shame on us, I guess. Shame on all of us (or most of us, at least)." For myself I never buy into collective shame, blame, regret etc. The Resistance Movement that spawned on January 2017 worked tirelessly to insure a Democratic election and outcome in 2020.

Secondly. COVID. We all were fighting to stay alive; much less be thinking political intrigue. I woke up on an awful lot of mornings wondering if he had bombed some Country. I will never forget the terror of that time. I still believe part of people's national political malaise is a collective PTSD. Over 1 million of us are gone. That leaves approximately 10 million of us grieving. A coup just wasn't on our minds.

Third. I sincerely doubt many people would view the trump years and its nightmares as entertainment. I even might guess those devotees of his who lost people to covid are perhaps a bit jaded.

I sincerely fail to see where laying any blame on the collective American people for an attempted coup d'etat makes any sense. I don't recall any shaming because of Watergate. America is beat up. We have not healed from the nightmare years of TFG and his evil. We are desperately fighting for Democracy. Let's cheer each other on in this fight and work on our collective morale to keep going.

Have a good week everyone. Remember this. There are more of us than them. We will win.

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Shame, blame, regret; all words one could use to describe the place we find ourselves. I'd prefer a different word; accountability. We can find any number of reasons why it seems that sedition and insurrection could have happened so easily, but we don't get a pass on accountability. We are all collectively accountable for the government we get. I don't see a conflict with staring myself in the face and asking what piece of the whole affair for which I may be accountable and looking forward with hope and resolve to be part of the solution.

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Hmmm. Your tone has shifted. First you said: "Shame on us, I guess. Shame on all of us (or most of us, at least)." Now you propose a collective accountability. Shame and accountability are vastly different concepts. How can I be held accountable for the collective voting habits of a Nation is indeed puzzling. Your further say: looking forward with hope and resolve to be part of the solution." Being a part of the solution is not the same as being held accountable for the collective solution.

I'll close with this. I enjoyed our back and forth. Have a good week Mr. Kemalyan.

One nice example of a collective is Ram Dass' declaration: "We are all walking each other home." Shanti.

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We (plural) ARE collectively accountable. I (single) am individually accountable for how I do or don't participate in the democratic process. In 2016, a decent majority voted for a different president; one with a well established political track record. While perhaps not pristine, her public conduct in several prominent national roles was known, as was her intellectual capacity to grasp and work with complex sets of information. Included in "we" are those who voted for the other candidate while holding their nose regarding his very well documented personal conduct over many years in the public eye. The big "We" ARE accountable for his ascendency to the office, because he garnered enough votes in enough places to win the electoral college. That result was accepted without overt attempts to rewrite history on that election by allegations of massive voter fraud. We (BIG plural) all endured what followed and thank God he was voted out in 2020. But, folks like McConnell, McCarthy, Paul, Cruz and all those junior legislators who came to Washington for the political grandstanding opportunities still survive politically. Apparently, his royal Orangeness also survives politically, merrily pulling strings on the endless national tour of the Republican puppet shop boys. If you're amongst the crusaders leading the charge to clear out the riffraff, feel free to shrug off any personal acceptance of accountability for our current crisis of conscience. Sadly, the larger "We" can't escape the collective piece.

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Let's retrace. In your first comment you were shaming the collective. I responded that I don't carry collective shame. The you switched to a collective accountability. I responded: Being a part of the solution is not the same as being held accountable for the collective solution. Then you said:

"feel free to shrug off any personal acceptance of accountability ..." You have gone from the collective shame to collective accountability to a personal attack and are assuming I carry no personal accountability. Please refer to my previous comment where I cited my personal political activism.

For some reason this conversation has veered off into a lecture and light attack. I certainly respect your fervent attitude but not the lecturing tone. Have a good week Sir.

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You have chosen to take offense; a free choice, but not the only one. I'll accept that "Fervent attitude, lecturing tone" is how you read me, but not likely how you'd describe me if we were sitting face to face across a table. A forum like this should allow for differences of opinion. My opinion is that we have individual and collective accountability for our form and substance of government. As a collective, we are accountable for both the good and the bad that comes out of Washington. You can choose to place yourself amongst the accountable or not. You have chosen where you stand, as have I. I've learned that posting one's opinion to a broad receivership is bound to offend someone's sensibilities; limiting one's comments to a complementary chorus airbrushes over the complexity and nuances of our history and our political process. None of the events in our recent history occurred in a vacuum chamber. No doubt, COVID was a huge impact on our society, but the actual individual effort expended on responding for most people was a couple of hours accessing free vaccination and boosters plus a series of inconveniences like virtual meetings, wearing masks in public. The internet didn't shut down, so access to information was hardly impaired. We are a rich, indulgent and socially somewhat lazy society, by and large. We're quick to point out the splinter in someone else's eye while ignoring the log in our own. My theme in this thread has been that responsibility and accountability for our recent history STARTS between one's own ears. I'm sad that this feels offensive, but most conflicts contain an element of resistance to turning the mirror on oneself. Don't misconstrue; I am including myself in the "most of us".

I'm not a fan of rallies or protests; I don't enjoy sparring with participants on right-wing websites; my front yard isn't useful for posting signs and I don't care to plaster my vehicle with bumper stickers. My political voice is largely limited to the choices I make on my ballot sheet. I don't read LFAA to reaffirm my political position, but as a source of curated information and application of historical perspective to current affairs of state. Sometimes I feel compelled to respond in the commentary to what seems to be mostly an "Amen" chorus. That's just me, not likely to march anywhere with a sign; more the critic (and self-critic) than the enthusiast. I'm fascinated by individual and collective behavior, what motivates it and the consequences thereof. I'm not generally given to lectures OR arguments, per se, this comment stream notwithstanding. I think we can agree to disagree on some points. The fact that we're drawn to the same forum probably places us broadly on the same team...

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Barbara. Go get ‘em! 👍

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Barbara there are many, many people, on and off the internet and above all in the mainstream press, who viewed "the Trump years and its nightmares" as grotesque entertainment. And entertainment that paid, for the press. It's sad, but it's true. And though I don't remember a mass wave of shame over Watergate, I do remember that my intelligent, thoughtful parents (I was in my late teens) felt deep shame that their country had twice elected a sociopath who cared more about keeping his job than preserving the country he'd viewed to protect. My Republican father would no more have voted for Tricky Dick than for the Former Guy, and both worried for the future in a way that turns out to have been prophetic. We can change--but I don't think we can pat ourselves on the back. Progressives and the left have been telling the Democrats for decades now that if they are not the party of the people and the party of the collective good they will leak power till it's gone. But they shut their ears and gave us the Clintons, Biden, Schumer, Pelosi--who supported Henry Cuellar in the Texas primary--supporter of the NRA and perpetual foe of Roe v Wade--and dismissed the young supporters of "your Green whatever"! They nevertheless fought to get out the vote for the Democrats--and then watched Biden hand out drilling permits for 80 million acres of the Gulf, the day after he got back from COP26.

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I fully agree with what you wrote here, Barbara. Thank you so much for the validation.

Someone posed a link to an Olear post. I need to point out that the things Olear wrote in the post linked to above are old news, well-covered, complete with timeline in multiple publications, inclusing WaPo (and I think Heather also covered it). Olear's post is kind of a Cliff's notes version for people who at the time were preoccupied with other things. References would have been useful.

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Thanks to you for the validation as well.

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That’s what I’m counting on and thinking as well. There maybe some, but there will no doubt be more people ready to put up resistance to what we know is a giant LIE by almost, no,by all republicans in office about election fraud or questionable results. Republicans have so soiled their political worth by lying and obstructing anything like reform, why should any sane person believe a word out of their mouths?

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My comment evaporated. I will try again. I want to add that the most astonishing thing about the vile Trump thugs is that they knew that could get away with their crimes. They slandered Hillary Clinton with impunity and carried out a private, unrecorded session with Putin. From the very beginning of Trump’s emergence as a cartoon crook to taking the America’s top seat of actual power he did things that most of us thought were not possible. It is all still happening! Shrill lies are repeated and augmented with nauseating frequency and fools by the thousands are buying it still. Yes, serious business wanting serious consequences.

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And constant, lately increasing threats of and calls for violence. They. Are. Planning. Another. Attack. Please google Ted Nugent's sick rant at a trump rally the same night as the Buffalo massacre. He's not the only one. The closer DOJ gets to trump, the more they are squealing for violence. A desperate attack to keep themselves out of federal prison. Whatever they have planned, we have to fight back hard. They are few. We are many, and demonstrably smarter.

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Jun 5, 2022·edited Jun 5, 2022

A very good start would be a Mass movement to rid ourselves of Mealy Mouth. Surround him. A million people at his place of business at his home. Let him see the wrath. Let him feel the revulsion. Let terror be his companion. Get in his face. Get in his nightmares. By any means necessary shut his mouth.

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Um. I believe that has been happening. Poor People's March. Women's March. Many local organizations joining together. Trump is isolated in Florida. He no longer goes to his place of business. His public appearances are carefully controlled, sort of flash events. So no way to get any crowd near him. But remember that the man is addicted to tv, and operates from a deep paranoia about how he is viewed. He knows about those marches and events and the heavy pushback against him. I believe that is the reason for the increased disinformation campaigns by his cronies. Oh, sorry, escalating lies and evasion. I think we can take for granted that he has nightmares, because in his mind, the world operates the same way he does, so now he's the mark.

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As TC says, excellent and thought-provoking to anyone not in the cult. I fear half our citizens have no ears

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You need a thinking brain to go along with listening ears.

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Jeri, I fear that more than half of the citizens have no ears, or eyes. Only useless and pointless opinions.

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Bravo, Nathan. Such a great post. When I imagine what might have happened had there been counter-protestors, I keep landing on a declaration of martial law. I think that was part of the plan, and the fact that there weren’t counter-protestors might be one of the things that saved us that day. How did they know to stay away?

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I read a couple articles in early January (and no, I can neither recall where, nor find the citations for them) that encouraged members of BLM to stay away from the Capitol on Jan 6th. I know that there was reportedly going to be an organized antifa response then, and that was also "discouraged" (yes; using "organized" and "antifa" is an oxymoron) as being "counterproductive.

I was so glad there was no organized counterprotest that day; I believe with all my heart that was part of the overall plan to establish Martial Law and take the sedition to the next level.

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Agree, Ally. I stated as such to a friend of mine that has been extremely active in BLM and similar activism in the past. Reply was that the “white rite” (spelling intentional) makes a crucial mistake of underestimating strategic intelligence of the activism of black and brown and freedom issues. Any action on their part would have fueled and absolved the “patriot protest” on that day.

My friend said, “we still here. And as much as white wants, we are no longer their slaves. More better, we don’t want white as our slaves. We simply insist they take their foot off our necks.”

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While on a thread for a post by my R ex-classmate, one of the other posters threatened me with an illusion to what was going to happen. I am sure that he was referring to the plans for January 6th. Interestingly enough, she let his post pass, and castigated me for the response I had made to her post. Some people I know have their ear to the ground in terms of what the cancer that infests us is doing. I am sure that is why a counterprotest was discouraged. I had my massage that morning and came home to be glued in horror to the TV as we watched the assault on the Capitol. Yes, a day that will live in infamy....btw, my ex-classmate has never posted anything about January 6th.

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Fascinating. The only stuff I've seen any of my RWNJ friends post on that event was that it either "wasn't that bad" or that "it never really happened." Sheesh.

My ability to watch the sedition of 6 January unfold was enabled by the fact that I got my first vaccine that day; my work partner for the day (we were both courthouse security) told me to go home, and he would do the same the next week when he got his vaccine.

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Wasn't that bad....that's rich. Never happened...what was that we were all watching. They are truly delusional. Have I met any of them on the thread about arming teachers on your Facebook page?

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And the day before on J5, repubs taking people on sightseeing tours in the Capitol was just that. Video: “Which republican lawmakers led Capitol tours on J5?” https://youtu.be/UJMYY1mdgv4

And nothing more.

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No. The two who have responded(Sean and Ben) are not law enforcement but fairly liberal folks that really believe that everyone who carries has the same tactical mindset that they do, and have no idea how antithetical that mindset is to most teachers.

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I fully agree, Ally. And as Christine says below, I don’t have any notion of the degree of coordination of protests; they always seemed organic to me. But honestly, I never gave it much thought, either, then. Not anymore.

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Like you, I read posts urging liberal demonstrators to clear the capitol on the 6th. We were obviously not all fooled. Martial law was surely plan A. They're planning another one to avoid the consequences of their crimes. There aren't enough of them left. We will win. Then we must clean house at every level of government.

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Nathan, On the morning of Jan 6,2020 I sent the following text to a friend “I believe that today will be a day that “lives in infamy”!

The Georgia vote/control of Senate, the counting of electoral votes/ seditionist activities in Congress, and rallies in DC with Dear Leader inciting probable violence while continuing to spread outrageous lies. It’s like a “perfect storm”.

BUCKLE UP!!!”

Little, insignificant me “knew” what was going to happen that day. Like you, I find it unconscionable that DC was not more prepared for what happened. I shudder to think of what would have happened if VP had gotten in the limo provided to whisk hem away from the Capital. I sometimes wonder if he didn’t get in so as to save the procedure itself, or did he think perhaps it was to saving his life. We’ll likely never know.

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My recall is the DC was very much prepared. What we had was Republican control over the levers that would have enabled DC's National Guard to respond. "So when chaos unfolded Wednesday afternoon and reports surfaced that there had been a request for additional Guard troops and the Defense Department had denied it, here’s what really happened." https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-military/2021/01/07/this-is-why-the-national-guard-didnt-respond-to-the-attack-on-the-capitol/#:~:text=D.C.%20National%20Guard%20arrive%20to%20push%20back%20protesters,to%20respond%20as%20pro-Trump%20rioters%20overran%20the%20Capitol.

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Recently I read "Dark Money" whose story begins even before WWII, in the years between the wars, when capitalists joined with Fascists for the sake of marketing and private wealth, i.e. oligarchy. Among them were the grandfathers of the Kochs and Trump. Government decency be damned, the purpose of government was to buoy the plundering of capitalism. The Koch brothers in particular were the recipients of a carefully designed tax-avoiding, interest laden endowment. They became masters at foundation designing with off-shoots of "think tanks," i.e. The Heritage Foundation among them, which influenced (and still do) educational, religious, political institutions with their "gifts."...all seemingly innocuous, even charitable, manipulations of our thoughts, laws and policies, which benefited them into the billions. So it's been a long time coming, but as insidious as cancer. We didn't see it because so much is behind curtains of "hallowed" and private power brokers, unlike relatively transparent government institutions. If I were to summarize the book, I would say, "Beware of Foundations!" They are tax free carnival side shows to fool us all. (Disclaimer: my interpretations of what I read, but the book was an eye-opener for me."Oh that's how it happened!") So what we have today are decisions already made, the money to influence the law makers, and the willing puppets, nearly all the Republicans now, to make them reality for a price.

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Sadly, too true.

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History suggests that our Founders delivered and the states ratified a Constitution that was the best they could fabricate under the circumstances of a diverse and fractious collection of ex-colonies.

Three aprioi premises the convention did not question were, without virtuous and honorable leaders and citizens their self-created nation state with limited democratic governance constrained by state sovereignty, the Senate, the Electoral College and the Supreme Court would fail; that the greatest threat to dissolution and civil war was the degeneration of majority rule into tyranny of the mob which their Constitution sought to avoid; and, finally, if the constitution were to seek the abolition of slavery, the Constitution itself would never be ratified. Time has confirmed their fears. To abolish slavery required a Civil War. The balance of powers created by the Constitiution did constrain “the power of the people”. Most importantly, the antidemocratic conspiracies of the contemporary Republican Party that seeks to perpetuate their minority rule confirms that when scoundrels and uninformed citizens dominate a party and a region, ultimately the Constitution itself may be impotent to preserve democratic governance.

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That final clause in the last sentence is what wakes me up at oh-dark-thirty, termbling.

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Yes. Me too.

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How long did it take for the American colonists to absorb digest and react to the British government’s overreaching obscenities? Then how much longer did it take for the new Americans to hammer out a victory and forge a new nation? Our times are compressed by our expectations for instant results of an out of hand runaway political disaster where we are asking government to fix it. As I understand it our republic is divided at best. We are not one in spirit with a few TFGs (TORYs) lurking amongst our ranks. This problem does not have a bandaid solution. The solutions will have to come from a United People, a people who must agree to move in common against an enemy perceived as universal. We must seek the enemy United. Pick our grievances and advance as people rather than political manifestos. Right now I am ashamed that we have so utterly been unable to protect our very children which we hold in trust together. Go ahead and hold your breath and hunker down expecting someone else to handle it. Hunker down Americans! Hell, don’t write a letter, someone else will! Don’t post a sign, someone else will. Don’t write a letter to the editor, someone else will. Heaven forbid you should die for your country like the colonists did, because as you do not care enough, surely someone else will.

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Oh, you mean the indigenous people who saved the lives of the Euro intruders? Whose lands were stolen and communities destroyed? Not long. But it was too late. Fight as hard as they did, Indigenous people were used by the Euro settlers for their own purposes, and then turned their forces against the people whose lands they had taken over. The Euros ended up taking everything, and ever since have thought they own it all, and since they were hierarchic in structure, the wealthy made sure they get the best part of the pie. Wanting more, they copped the Manifest Destiny story to justify taking over ever more land- land that was protected by treaty with the European governments that had originally sent settlers. The settlers were forbidden by their Euro governments to not intrude further, so the settlers disengaged from the governments that had subsidized them, declared themselves independent, and started calling themselves Americans. Up to that point the word American referred to the indigenous people of this continent. That the story you are thinking of?

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Not really. That is the story where everyone kills everyone, evil take the hindmost. Near as I can tell the hallmark of the worst of all civilizations.

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Didn't get the point, did you?

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It’s our turn in the barrel. We are the Indians.

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Oh, nuts. Get real.

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Progressives can’t compete successfully with the billions of dollars that the conservatives have spent on propaganda, strategy and organizing political action. For some reason, there is no counter to this assault. I would like to find a group that has the strategy, and the funding, to respond successfully to this threat to democracy.

If you know of any such group, please tell me.

Thanks.

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I agree it’s an information war, a war for minds and the GOP have been on it for decades already. Heather in an earlier letter provided us with Newt Gingrich's formal plan in 1990, ““Language: A Key Mechanism of Control.” It urged candidates to label Democrats with words like “decay,” “failure,” “crisis,” “pathetic,” “liberal,” “radical,” “corrupt,” and “taxes,” while defining Republicans with words like “opportunity,” “moral,” “courage,” “flag,” “children,” “common sense,” “hard work,” and “freedom.” Gingrich later told the New York Times his goal was “reshaping the entire nation through the news media.””

Perhaps a task force of the best minds on combatting propaganda, and freedom from influence in the age of technology? Would paid ads repeating essential truths over and over on Fox make any difference or just grow the monster of Fox propaganda with more $$?

I maintain it is essential, starting in the earliest years to teach good brain health.

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It's not just paid ads; it's the 5000+ professorships they've bought, the creation of phony grass-root organizations, buying tv personalities, covertly starting the Tea Party, etc. Have you read Dark Money by Jane Mayer?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_Money_(book)

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Jun 5, 2022·edited Jun 5, 2022

Yes! I treasure the gifts Mayer has given us. I agree with you Jeff. It is a war for minds. We need experts in psychology and brainwashing. They get into a person’s brain thru their limbic system. We need just and smart democratic tools to fight back. They have become masters of manipulation in an era of the easiest access to minds ever seen, while most have been concerned with more conventional injustices.

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Essential reading.

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The Lincoln Project. They have bi-parisan, grassroots efforts specifically to seize back control of our own future. Check out LP's "The Game We're In," they have plans. Lots of them, and they won't bleed you dry either.

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Thanks, Loree. Yes, the Lincoln Project responds, but I'm looking for an adequate counter-attack to the Movement Conservatives’ powerful campaign of propaganda, party doctrine planning and recruitment created over the past 60 years. Take ALEC, https://alec.org/about, for instance. They have been the leading force behind so many battles in Congress and legislatures across the country; they have written almost all the voter-suppression laws passed in 2021, yet the Democrats disdain their approach. I was assigned by Heather’s Herd to look into this, and I reached out to the nearest competitor, the State Innovation Exchange (SiX). Their National Communications Director, Katy Fleury, told me that “As for SiX, we do not operate like ALEC (For example, we’re not a “bill mill” that churns out copycat legislation). We know that policy alone won’t fix our democracy and economy, so we take a policy plus approach--we share policy research from issue experts, as well as communications, strategy, connections with movement partners, and other types of support that legislators need.) We do provide tailored support for state legislators, and democracy is one of our primary issue areas.”

Read it and weep. “…democracy is one of our primary issue areas.”

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Yes, the roots of all this go back to Father Coughlin through the John Birch Society (hello Koch Family) to today. They’ve known what they wanted for a long time, and worked to get the infrastructure in place to get it. Democrats just refused to take it seriously until smacked upside the head (Operation RedMap in 2010).

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Still don't take it seriously enough to mount a counter-attack of the same caliber.

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They are doing quite well with the circular firing squad, though. Sigh

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I’m sure I have only a superficial understanding of much of history and politics. For instance if I knew about USAID before today I have forgotten. I had hoped that the 2021 Presidential Initiative for Democratic Renewal would include a major component for our own democracy. I have tried to get more info as their mission looks so good. But I’m not seeing substantive work on our own democracy. I wish the media would inform us better on where this work is at 6 months into it.

“In the face of the sustained and alarming challenges to democracy and universal human rights around the world, more than ever, democracy needs champions.” Joe Biden

https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/12/09/fact-sheet-announcing-the-presidential-initiative-for-democratic-renewal/

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Jun 5, 2022·edited Jun 6, 2022

It appears to me that the opposition (conservatives calling themselves independents, movement conservatives, republicans) engaged in warfare long before we took their actions seriously. The clown in the center was a perfect choice with which to delude us and train a cadre of loyal followers. The clown broke every tradition and norm and was rich and successful. The perfect charismatic person to run rallies in which every hopeful conservative could find a hero who couldn't be stopped. My hero! Rallies cemented a loyal following. Nothing like it on the center or left. And, we're surprised that SIX simply won't engage in the tactics of ALEC, because they taste bad and work? I think this give a lot of credence to Nathan Kemalyan's very careful statement of concerns.

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Jun 5, 2022·edited Jun 5, 2022

Nathan Kemalyan asks why no Republican whistleblowers alerted us of the election intervention plot; that's different from why no progressive campaign has counter-attacked the 50 years of strategy, and cunning tactics that the conservatives have mustered.

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He also laments why we (not just Republicans) neither failed to anticipate the enormity of what was happening nor acted in concert to engage in the war on our democracy that was actually underway. My interpretation of the implications of his remarks (near the end of his post).

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Progressives can do it. And there are several (interlinked) organizations that have been hard at work since the day after the 2020 elections were confirmed. You might be especially interested in the Movement Voters Project, which takes a leaf from the long plan of the Republicans (stretching back to the Nixon years) and concentrates in particular on giving money to grassroots election activists at the local level, to build up a democratic infrastructure of state reps and judges and county commissioners and school boards. But there are many highly organized national groups--and we have been winning elections despite being unable to compete $ for $.

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Mary, you're betting on Movement Voters Project with their rallying cry, "We Can Defy the Odds in 2022" vs. "Republican legislators have enacted voting restrictions in 19 States! Join the Winning Side"

I think that's like bringing a banana to a knife fight.

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OK, that's what you think and I've said what I think--after a lifetime of political organizing.

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If you find such a group, please tell us about it.

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Jun 5, 2022·edited Jun 5, 2022

Nathan: powerful questions: “ should have smelled the rat and leaked it to the press. Were we all so inured to the endless psycho-babble we had endured for 4 years that we simply didn't pay adequate attention?“

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I paid attention, every day, with every utterance. Watched while others repeated history, or at least revered the worst. Heartbreaking

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The psycho-babble has been going on longer than we think. I'd go back to at least the late 1960's with something that was called The Southern Strategy.

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I paid attention. In the midst of desperately looking for face masks, Clorox wipes, toilet paper and praying I wouldn't catch COVID I was politically active. And I have never cried for our Country like I did back then. And I am known for being tough. We were under attack on all fronts. I respectfully disagree with you that it was psycho-babble. Steven Miller had a plan. The Russians were having a field day on our social media platforms. We were isolated internationally. Classic abuse situation from the raging narcissist President. And the Fascist wolves circled the White House licking their chops.

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Take heart. Nevermore.

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Thank You. I sincerely believe "nevermore." (most days)

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A wonderful piece, even more compelling now that we have watched the solemn House Special Committee hearings. It is amazing how few believe we were, and are, on the precipice of plunging into a very deep and dark hole of fascism. Trump checks almost all the blocks that make him a fascist. Clearly he is a dangerous and destructive totally self absorbed grifter who led the coup against our democratic form of goverment.

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Nathan,Thank you for this reminder at the beginning of the week when the January 6th Committee is televised. NOT ENTERTAINMENT but deadly serious business.

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Remember that there was a conscious effort not to have counter-demonstrators because that would have created the excuse that Trump needed to declare martial law.

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More prayers please everyone. Russia has just dropped bombs on Kyiv… tonight…or early morning there…banner just now came across my phone as I was reading Ms Heather’s evening letter

We have so much work to do … go to our polls on Tuesday if your state votes that day as Calif does… VOTE please…and Talk w Everyone Peacefully about guns and children and bombs & PRAY please… for UKRAINE, for ALL OF US…everywhere …

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I just received notice that my vote in CA was received and counted.

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The California voting system is outstanding and should be the norm in every state. In SD County, a very large county with many rural locations, has 132 ballot drop boxes in addition to mail ballots & polling places. Looking at the impressive list of locations & my familiarity with SD County, the range & variety of locations for drop boxes is wonderful. At my local library, there are always 2 people sitting with the drop box, one a County employee plus a volunteer. https://www.sdvote.com/content/rov/en/elections/election_information2/ballot-drop-box-locations.html

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I always used the Fallbrook library as my location. Also love the way both the SD county is easy to talk with with questions.

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Each ballot has a unique bar code for that registered voter. Every registered voter in California who votes by mail receives an email notice that their mail ballot has been mailed, an email that the mail ballot has been picked up by the postal service and, finally, an email that the mail ballot has been received and counted.

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Thank you Carol O, per CNN LIVE quoting Kyiv Mayor a few minutes ago, 1 person hospitalized Sunday morning after attacks on the Darnytski & Dniprovskyi Districts. Infrastructure is intact. Ukranians fighting fiercely but taking casualties in the East. WAPO Update per Rachel Pannett et al, Putin on Sunday imorning is raving about hitting targets "we have not yet hit". We need a competent analysis of the fast moving war against the Ukranian people. Per Reuters, the U.S. Ambaassafor in Ukraine, Bridget Brink, is advocating an investigation of Russian war crimes.

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I’ve been searching for where that banner came from … on my phone prob about ten mins ago…

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Thank you for the Alert.

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Carol, going to the polls and voting blue may not be enough to stop them. I was alerted to the fact that a frontrunner for mayor of Los Angeles on the Democratic ticket was a registered Republican two years ago, and he was someone well connected to the tRumps. We can all vote blue to try to stop the fascist madness, but what can we do about the Republicans in Democrat’s clothing who will try and succeed to get elected??

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Haven’t got an answer..bereft and worn down w everyone’s duplicity

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The vote is more powerful than the bullet.

Use it.

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To me it seems that we just need to bomb the hell out of the Russians. Again, one individual has destabilized the world, and terrorizes a peaceful nation. There is no excuse for this. It has to be stopped.

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It is tempting to think of that as a solution, but "bombing the hell" out of anyone has never solved problems. Just kills a lot of innocent people and creates even more problems.

I know many innocent Ukrainians are already being killed, but I think we just need to supply them with everything they ask for, and QUICKLY!

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They have asked for fighter jets, so that they can bomb the hell out of the Russian army in Ukraine.

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And that would invoke a nuclear war. We just can't invade another Country.

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Link??

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Guardian. YouTube.

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Disheartening. Wondering if anyone has heard from our dear friend Allen? Prayers to him & his family.

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He and his family made it out and are safe. I see his posts now and then.

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"It worked. American investment in Europe helped to turn European nations away from communism as well as the nationalism that had fed World War II, creating a cooperative and stable Europe."

All very nice and sentimental, except that's not how it worked.

A good half of the $17 billion (roughly $200 billion in 2022 dollars) never left the United States - it was money the Europeans could spend to buy American equipment here for shipment there; much of that prevented the Europeans from creating competitive industries for those items for quite some time. There's a long story I could go into about how the US used the Military Assistance Program to dump a third-rate fighter - the F-84 Thunderjet and Thunderstreak in it's two variants - on the Europeans involved in NATO, which directly torpedoed both the British and French aviation industries and made sure they were never competitive with the US aviation - now aerospace - industry. The F-84 was followed up by the F-104, an airplane the USAF actually rejected, which was inferior to both the British and French competitors on everything but price and payment options, which was the subject of what was called The Sale of the Century to the NATO air forces in the 1960s, an event that led to the passage of the US laws against corporate bribery of overseas sales in the 1970s when it came out.

And Western European democracy also got a major push from the CIA, which financed the Italian and German Christian Democratic Parties and the French Socialist Party up into the early 1960s, and also ran disinformation campaigns against the Italian and French Communist Parties that make what Putin did here in 2016 look like a child's Sunday School picnic - it helped that the two parties were so hopelessly under the sway of Stalinism, but the CIA did a good job of making sure that the "Gorbachevs" of the two parties never had the chance to oppose the Stalinists.

People who believe the United States ever does anything internationally out of the goodness of its heart probably believe the Easter Bunny will really deliver eggs to them next Spring, on the day the sun rises in the West. I will include Lend-Lease on that list; we didn't do anything for Britain until they had signed over every British commercial possession in the United States under "cash and carry" beforehand.

If I chased away anyone's ponies and kittens, I'm sorry, but fanciful dreams about the United States are just that.

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An anecdotal story from a French friend of my parents: the factories in her town were rubble and would have taken years to rebuild. She often reminisced about how great it was to get US goods, grain and other raw materials to sustain them while they rebuilt. It kept them from starving. Did it help US farmers and factories? Of course; but helping US interests while helping others does not negate the effects of US goods on a devastated populace.

I wish that you’d referenced works other than your own to allow further research by the readers.

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Yes, it did all that, and while doing so, it also insured continuing US economic (and thus political) dominance, which was its purpose. One of the best ways to keep control of people is to make them happy.

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The reason for dominance at the time was largely due to the fact that the majority of our country hadn’t been bombed. We’d fought on other countries’ land. It was imperative that the non-USSR portions of Europe get planes and other military supplies to arm themselves against aggression from Russia; the planes that you reference were already in production and able to be shipped quickly.

You’re partly right; it was in the best interests of the US to have a stable, democratic Europe.

What you’re ignoring was the good feelings of the wheat belt farmers who could provide food for the people their children had fought beside. More than a decade later, they were still proud of having shared the food they’d produced with the communities their kid’s friends knew personally.

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Damn, Rupert knows that preaching hate makes the MAGAts giddy with the anticipation of power and control. I see it all around me.

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TC At stake was the survival of much of Europe. This was also at the outset of the Cold War, with Soviet troops occupying much of Eastern Europe. Would you, like isolationist Senator Robert Taft, would have preferred that America did nothing to help post-WW II Europe?

In fact, Stalin could have assured that the Senate wouldn’t approve the Marshall Plan. As drafted, Soviet-controlled countries could have sought Marshall Plan aid. The Czechs went to the initial Marshall Plan session in Europe with a list of desired assistance. Then Stalin sent an order that the Soviet bloc must dissociate from the Marshall Plan.

Had the Marshall Plan included Soviet countries, I doubt that the Senate would have voted approval.

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Pane et circensus, exactly. *But*you actually have to make them miserable enough and hustling daily to fulfill basic daily needs that your little chumpchange circuses or three-day weekends are appreciated by a starved, exhausted populace and THAT right there is some empire-level prestidigitation.

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Bread & Circus

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Good post TC.

I am never surprised by any fact that can be verified. I am usually not surprised to find that the core of a USA led effort was money, not any good deed. Afghanistan and Iraq were my earliest education in that basic tenet of US endeavor.

However, I think Dr. Richardson's conclusions today, about Europe post WWII are valid, independent of the fact that many in the US used the Marshall plan to get rich and make money.

The Marshall plan did stabilized Europe and then Japan.

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Mike Spot on about how the Marshall Plan ‘saved’ Europe. I don’t believe that it included Japan. At one time General MacArthur, who was our ‘presence’ in post-WW II Japan, warned of unrest and hunger in Japan. When Washington equivocated, MacArthur sent a telegram: ‘either send more food or more ammunition.’

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Keith, Thank you for the clarification. It is true that I was assuming the Marshall plan also covered Japan and don't know for sure.

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Not to mention the continued US control of the overvalued £ exchange rate until Sept 1949, their post-war "management"of Bank of England reserves (gold stored in Fort Knox for "security") and its non-forgiveness of war-time debt and lend-lease payments, their takeover of UK's political role and influence in the Middle East, the replacement of oil contracts with BP/Shell by contracts with Exon Mobile, texaco etc.......just like the 1914-18 war which transfered all of UK's massive investment in South America to American coffers.

It was the only way Roosevelt could get congress to fight Hitler and the not just Japan.....a probably necessary but very high price to be paid

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Stuart, a friend of mine, Albert Hirschman—a prominent economist who in Marseilles worked with Varian Fry to rescue over 2000 Jews—was working at the Fed during the launch of the Marshall Plan. He and others wrote the regulations that provided the initial basis for the eventual European monetary system.

I am unaware that Britain ever made significant ‘repayments’ for the armaments and other goods provided under Lend Lease.

Churchill called Lend Lease the ‘most unsordid act by a county in the history of the world. I don’t consider this an understatement.

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I recall that a highly publicized ‘repayment’ was the housing of some American soldiers in British homes during the war. Overall, these ‘repayments’ were cosmetic. FDR, in initiating Lend Lease, was deliberately fuzzy on repayment, which he didn’t expect. He said that LL was akin to a person lending his neighbor a garden hose when the neighbor’s house was on fire. Afterwards, the neighbor would simply return the hose.

Hard to do with expended armaments, tanks sunk in the ocean, et al. You have to admire FDR’s style, which got this one-way-deal through the Senate.

My recollection that, including the Soviet Union, Lend Lease totaled about $55 billion {a massive amount back then]. Certainly Stalin didn’t intend to pay back a ruble, as about 20 million Soviets were killed.

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Keith, many years ago i did a thesis on the development of a common European currency and appreciate that the sound rules recommended by specialists have had, unfortunately, little influence on the Euro's initial and current state....as it is and always was an almost totally political construction which quakes daily.

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Stuart I defer to your expertise. I was simply relying on what Albert Hirschman told me and, I believe, a paper he gave me on what he and others in the Fed had done surreptitiously, while others were focused on other aspects of the Marshall Plan.

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Your facts may be accurate, but the tone of your interpretation leaves this reader wanting. A plan doesn't have to be ‘ponies and kittens’ altruistic to be ‘good.’ In 1948, lots of people in the US were still suffering from the deprivations of the depression and WWII. And they grumbled about the Marshall Plan and how charity should begin at home. My father, a pragmatist, would argue, “What the hell good would it do anyone anywhere to leave Europe bombed out and starving? You don't have to be a saint to understand that helping someone up is mutually beneficial to the future of everyone.” Lesson I learned…at age 10.

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Carolyn Spot on! I first visited Europe in 1949. The rationing in Britain was worse than in WW II. I saw German cities that looked like some of the Ukrainian urban centers that have been destroyed by Putin.

Europe was revitalized when I visited Europe in the 50s. Local inhabitants were extremely grateful for the Marshall Plan, which provided them the resources to rebuild. It made me proud to be an American.

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Well said. The people of Europe were literally starving.

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Jun 5, 2022·edited Jun 5, 2022

TC Ah, ‘self interest’ and politics. You are critical of the Marshall Plan for tieing much of the funding to American purchases. Of course, without that provision, the Senate wouldn’t have approved the Marshall Plan. From a practical standpoint, America had over 45% of the world’s Gross National Product in 1947 and an economic structure enhanced by World War II. Where else would the equipment and food come from during 1948-1952 of the Marshall Plan?

RegardingLend Lease, you cavil at the provision that British assets by used to minimally offset this program. Again, politics. [I recall Churchill protesting that we sent a cruiser to South Africa to bring some British gold to America.]

In fact, Churchill hailed Lend Lease as the most extraordinary assistance in the history of the world. It was a remarkable ‘invention’ by FDR to aid an endangered Britain (and later Russia) in rthe face of stringentNeutrality Laws.

I consider the Marshall Plan and Lend Lease, whatever their warts, two remarkable American initiatives that ‘saved’ Britain during 1940-1941 and ‘saved’ Europe post-WW II. Do you agree or disagree?

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I agree, Keith. Lend Lease and the Marshall Plan were critically important to saving Britain and the rest of Europe during and after the war. As I recall, Pres. Roosevelt's analogy in describing the logic for Lend Lease to the press and the American people was: If your neighbor's house is burning down, and he needs to use your hose to fight the fire, do you refuse him use of your hose? No, not if you're a good neighbor. As to the Marshall Plan, it prevented a great deal of starvation and also stopped the Stalinists from getting a firm hold in the destroyed nations of Europe. I don't think most Americans realize that Europe was blown to bits by the end of WWII.

As an aside, I'm in awe of General Marshall (as were Presidents Roosevelt and Truman). His character, capabilities, integrity, and devotion to serving the U.S. are just beyond the beyond. My father knew him, meeting first at Ike's headquarters in Algiers in January 1943, right after the Casablanca Conference. Ike was having trouble with many American and British officers who were at each other's throats [with many fights and one shooting]. Ike didn't know what to do and asked Gen. Marshall to come by his HQ [to help him] after the Casablanca Conference. Marshall did so, and he told the American officers, "Mind your manners or you'll be sent home." Of course, that meant being sent home in shame. The situation then improved.

Truman summed up his admiration for Marshall's abilities and devotion to service with, "I've never known another man like General Marshall." After a pause, he added, "I may never know another man like him." And he finished with, "There may never be another man like George Marshall." At the end of WWII, Churchill described the role of the major players in WWII. He described General Marshall as "the architect of the Allied victory." In the 1950s when Marshall had a serious stroke and was dying in the hospital (Walter Reed, I believe), Churchill came from Britain to visit him. Shocked by Marshall's condition, Churchill, on leaving Marshall's room, had tears coming out as he said, "He was the greatest Roman of them all." As a Marshall scholar said in an A&E biography of George Marshall, "We desperately need another George C. Marshall now." Amen to that and especially now.

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Heydon Marvelous encapsulation of George C. Marshall, who I consider the greatest American of the 20th century.

Churchill had great admiration for Marshall. Churchill was insisting [some of his military suggestions were bizarre] that the Allied force invade Rhodes rather than continue on to Italy. Marshall, his dander up, told Churchill ‘We are not going to lose a single American to take your damned island.’ The matter was closed.

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Such a good summation, Heydon.

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Foreign policy successful implemented often involves much sausage making, the details of which are better oft not shared widely. Democracy survived in Western Europe because of the inventions of Mr Roosevelt and implementation of the Marshall Plan, I think.

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Back to reading "Shock Doctrine" - please - if you want to understand the shennanigans that have led to the current state of the world, READ IT!

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I read it. Excellent book. Kudos to Naomi Klein for writing it.

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Great book.

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Good Lord, how do you “keep the faith” on anything, knowing the intricacies of the machinations that most of us have no clue about. I knew FDR was a flawed man, but he had burdens I could not imagine. But please don’t take away my admiration for Marshall. I have thought that The Marshall Plan would have been a good response to the W/Dickie debacle. Of course, Obama had his burdens too…. Seems we have painted ourselves, and the world, into a corner

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My husband was born in 1940 in Königsberg. His dad was the town baker and was conscripted to be a medic. He went off to the Russian front and never returned. His mother took her tiny kids by the hand and ran for their lives when the Russians and the Allies started bombing - a few little treasures, Dad's watch, remained. They found refuge, sharing a little cabin with some US soldiers who stole Dad's watch. What that watch would mean to my husband today.

The things we do to each other in the course of a lifetime.

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That last line says it all.

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I'm reminded of the line by Robbie Burns, the poet who summed up history in four words: "Man's inhumanity to man."

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Morning TC. Griddle is sizzlin’. Usually in fanciful dreams, the pony is a unicorn. I’ve said before, right now is a time to park the kittens and unicorns, the stuff of dreams, on the shelf. Reality check needs a hardwire rewiring before Dem dreaming attempts to navigate out of the current mess.

First and foremost, accept for the moment that facts are really hard to swallow sometimes, but accept and then plan to move forward based on lessons of past experience. My motto (one of them hahaha) get out of your own dang way, Christine, and move forward. Many roadblocks are of our own doing. A collective force must have unity.

Salud, TC.

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And I am glad we don't. Practicing "idiot compassion" is either supremely naïve or amazingly arrogant. Calculated largess is the smart play. If it builds National pride that's fine too.

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Jun 5, 2022·edited Jun 5, 2022

Wow. I'd love to read more on "the half that never left the United States." Can you recommend a book, or text, where I can start?

Thanks.

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Surprise surprise (not!) that the person who would click "like" to this happens to be a European. :-)

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Jun 5, 2022·edited Jun 5, 2022

Imagine that. Free and democratic nations helping one another, sustaining each other’s democracy with aid, infrastructure, and good will. I hope we can do it again with Vaccine diplomacy.

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Republicans will kill any vaccine diplomacy at the first opportunity.

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I’m encouraged by Iowa. Admiral Mike Franken, running against Grassley.

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I wish we would do this for Ukraine.

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Just a comment - and really I'm not being pedantic. There's communism and Communism, there are republicans and Republicans, there are liberals and Liberals. What's the difference? - considerable - the "small c communism" is a philosophy, the Big C Communism is a political system (otherwise known as State Totalitarianism). Ditto republican and Republican, and so on. It is ESSENTIAL to differentiate between them - and the USA seems to have done a pretty good job of confusing everything - resulting in some pretty horrible attitudes and actions.

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The United States spent the entire Cold War thinking that the Communist states were automatons of the USSR, the way the individual communist parties had been dominated and controlled by the Comintern between the wars. We never considered that Prince Metternich's rule from the Congress of Vienna back in 1815 (Nations have no permanent friends, or permanent enemies, only permanent interests) worked the same way on the countries that became Communist. Thus, we never figured out the split between the USSR and China.

We also made the mistake of thinking we had won World War II with the A-bombs that made Japan surrender. They didn't - the fear of the Red Army landing on Hokkaido at the end of September when all their defenses were in Kyushu to oppose our invasion that was planned for November, and overrunning the otherwise-defenseless country by the time the US arrived, was what made them surrender and tell us it was the bombs that did it. And then, believing out own bullshit, we decided we could rule the world with a weapon that couldn't be used without destroying the world.

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The irony being that not the atomic bomb but industrial business as usual is what is destroying/has destroyed the planet.

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Three Miles Island, Chernobyl, Fukushima.....give Nuclear Fision a chance and it will completre the job.

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