455 Comments

Gretchen Whitmer is fantastic! Thank you, dear Heather, for your concise, clear and factual accounting of how the working class in America has been completely betrayed by the Repugnants. I hope she runs for president at some point. My seat belt is fastened and my popcorn is waiting to go into the frying pan! Have a good weekend! All here should watch “Waco” on Netflix. An incredible documentary short series I watched two nights ago. A MUST WATCH.

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There's a dramatization coming in April on Showtime. "Waco: The Aftermath" deals with the trials of the surviving Branch Davidians. The series follows the trials of the surviving members of the Branch Davidian sect and the rise of Timothy McVeigh. Showtime says the five-episode series also “provides a broader context for the escalation of the American militia movement, which foreshadows the infamous attacks of the Oklahoma City bombing and the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.” On Showtime April 16, 30th anniversary of the end of the event.

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TC, you should also watch “Bowling For Columbine” which links the first mass school shooting in Littleton, CO (headquarters of Lockheed Martin….) to the militia movement. It’s free on YouTube this weekend, thanks to Michael Moore, and he links Timothy McVeigh to all you have described. Incredible. I live in India and don’t have Showtime, but the Netflix documentary is really worth watching. Have a good weekend! Liz

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I watched it yesterday on Youtube. Horrifying and depressing. Everyone should see it. I'll never watch another Charleston Heston film. What a sleazeball.

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Free this weekend on Michael Moore's site:

https://youtu.be/wScIMiWT_dw

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Thanks for the link, Mary Pat

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I just spent 2 hours watching this movie. Thank you so much....it explains so much as to why there are so many shooting in our country! I wonder how much money Heston has been paid over the years from the NRA! And I agree with Carolyn! It was so hard to control my tears!

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Charleston Heston is not Mosses? What is the psyche of gun worshipers? The majority of Americans do not own a gun yet the gun world prevails. It is amazing how the world's oldest democracy ain't very democratic. In recent times two, that is 2 presidents elected by less than a majority of the vote. And look what those two did to us. For the sake of this country and the world can't we fix it?

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Mar 25, 2023·edited Mar 25, 2023

I’d like to see the NRA’s book keeping. Where does the majority of their funding come from? Is it from $30 memberships? Or from gun manufacturers? Is it from foreign sources like Alexander Torshin, brokering for GOP influence?

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Mar 25, 2023·edited Mar 25, 2023

Follow the rubles. All my hunter friend's quit the NRA years, decades ago, when they (the NRA) switched from gun safety to gun selling.

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“Since 2004, fundraising revenue from contributions has grown twice as fast as income from membership dues. The $96.4 million in contributions in 2013 represented a 108.2% increase over the $46.3 million in contributions in 2004. This difference can be attributed to a shift in fundraising strategy starting in 2005, when the NRA put more focus on soliciting donations from individuals and corporations (including 22 gun manufacturers). As a result, the NRA’s finances became more entwined with the success of the gun industry. “ (seems like a decent source 🤷🏻‍♀️)

https://amarkfoundation.org/nra-funding/

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Alzheimer's victim, i seem to recall.

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He was the epitome of “I’ve got it, piss on you.” Horrid excuse for a man…

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I haven’t watched even The Ten Commandments in years because of Heston.

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Imagine that. An America loving 2nd amendment advocate!

How could anyone respect that.

What if he spit on the flag? And was a gay American hating communist?

What a pathetic post. Everything is political for leftists.

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Carolyn Nafziger: Something from your comment, and this whole string, made me want to refresh my memory of Charlton Heston, and googling immediately led me to this interesting link, his last interview, with Peter Jennings a few years before Heston died. It's only 6 minutes long. I highly recommend it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkS5i8qpEXA

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Thank you for the link. I watched it, and it certainly gave another, and softer, aspect of Heston. (I actually used to love his films.) I spoke in the heat of anger about what was shown in Bowling for Columbine - and have very strong feelings about the shocking conviction some people have that the 2nd amendment bestows the right to collect murderous weapons and strut around with them, and Heston certainly promoted that idea.

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Maybe I would feel different about this Heston interview had I not just watched "Bowling for Columbine". I feel he had a lot of blood on his hands and doesn't deserve to be another statue for the brutality in our country. How is it that I didn't see all the hate in our country until tfg became president of the USA.

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Because the haters were emboldened to rise up out of their hidey holes once they believed they were under the protection of tfg. Won't they be surprised when the underside of a fleet of buses is where he kicks them, sooner or later.

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It illustrates, for me that two very different aspects of a person, humility and strength vs. blind and dangerous thinking, can exist in the same person. I stopped watching his movies after he came out as a gun nut supporting the domestic terrorist organization - the NRA.

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J. Nol, I sure understand that! I don't think I ever linked my movie-going with his abhorrent views. But was certainly aware of them!

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Was that supposed to make me feel sorry for him?

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An unfortunate ending of life for anyone. Even Charlton Heston.

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Mar 25, 2023·edited Mar 25, 2023

This kind of suffering and how the disease affects the brain raises a large reservoir of compassion! No exceptions.

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Columbine was kind of the "high water mark" of school shootings before the 21st century. In 1998, I worked a mass shooting in Springfield, Oregon a year before Columbine, where 20 kids were shot and two killed by a classmate armed with a .22 rifle. The difference between Columbine and Thurston was the AR-15 that the two shooters at Columbine had. There were other mass shooting events in 1998, one in Paducah, KY killing three and injuring 5 using a .22 pistol and another in Arkansas also killing 5.

The shooting at Columbine changed law enforcement responses to school shootings, where "contain, isolate, and negotiate" was replaced with "form a hasty team and go stop the shooting". Sadly, this was not the practice at Uvalde.

I'm going to watch "Bowling for Columbine" this weekend; I had not watched in previously and have mostly stayed away from these types of presentations. At almost 10 years retired, I think I am far enough removed from being "in the trenches" to be able to watch this.

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The trenches can return, or the feeling of being there, can return in an instant. Watch carefully, with a friend if possible who can turn it off for you if necessary.

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Thanks. I won't watch it alone. One of my collateral duties (and a hat that I still wear as a volunteer) is that of Peer Support, something that I believe very strongly in.

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Thank you right back. And just in case you missed other comments, it is "ma'am" (although call me anything but late for dinner!)

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Michael Moore posted it free this weekend.

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I found it on YouTube, no problem.

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Thank you for these ideas for becoming educated. Another documentary that shows how corporate greed misdirects excellence and working class success watch:” Downfall,the case against Boeing” This has so much relevance to todays actions on Wall Street.

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Mar 25, 2023·edited Mar 25, 2023

I saw Andrew Brady lose on Jeopardy last week, but he said he just wrote a book about "Conscious Capitalism." Intrigued, I immediately googled him. Here is a TED talk he did that sums up my view of what capitalism must be, and Andrew provides the data to prove it is more profitable!

https://youtu.be/eHZAqpvdkMw

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P.S. Andrew is a WINNER in my book!

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Thank you for the link... I missed that Jeopardy episode (the show is on my 'must watch' list but sometimes I forget to set the DVR). I agree, he is a winner.

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Sounds interesting, will check it out!

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Elizabeth,

I did just go to youtube, but, for me at least, I still have to buy it, it is not free. I will see if it is at my library as a DVD. thanks for the pointer.

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Michael Moore has his own channel. Should be free for all.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wScIMiWT_dw

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Thank you!

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Michael Moore posted a link in his substack yesterday to make the YouTube video free. It was a little tricky to get it to cast to my TV, but I eventually did. It's definitely worth the trouble.

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It is weird how we humans can get sucked into the circular thinking of cults. Like the Heavens Gate folks who took cyanide in order to join the alleged spaceship hidden in the tail of the comet Hale-Bopp. At least they didn't take any bystanders with them. We need to inculcate mental virus detection and removal. The scientific method helps.

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Mar 25, 2023·edited Mar 25, 2023

JL,

"how we humans can get sucked into the circular thinking of cults"

Belief is ever so much more powerful, and attractive, than the complex, multi-faceted, multi-angle truth.

Belief gives us simplicity and certainty whereas the truth is always complex and multifaceted and often has both sides of good and evil represented.

Belief is easy. A few catch phrases ("Love your neighbor" pops into my mind, but, add any catch phrase here) and off to the races you go. "Make America Great Again" is another one. "Heil Hitler" is another good one.

Belief is easy, uncomplicated, gives us a tribe of others who believe the same thing, gives us confidence (belief requires no complicated moral system, for example, sex before marriage? Going straight to hail you are my young friend).

Lastly, belief makes ME RIGHT! What could be better than me being right ALL THE TIME? Heck, even my WIFE would listen to me (well, so much for that in my house, BUT, IF I were ultra religious, then, that would be a rule she would have to follow).

See? That is how anyone, at any time, can be sucked into BELIEF systems.

It is hard to live in reality. Painful. People might disagree with me/you. People might point out my flaws (and we all know I am perfect, especially I know that). I might have to THINK for myself!!

Dang, that whole reality thing? it is hard, painful, requires me to question my own thinking instead of thinking everyone else is wrong!

Give me belief any day JL. Easy street is for everyone, me included.

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I was raised by flawed, but reasonable parents who felt that education was the path to a better life. That was their belief for their children, having no such opportunity themselves. Church bull Schitt was filled with human frailty, education exposed such. When chump came up with “MAGA,” I thought, no one is stupid enough to buy that. Ugh here we are, “easy street” it won’t be. Just a lure for the “belief-laden” fools. I call bull Schitt on your beliefs handed down by Rupert Murdoch from on high (Fox money machine). Cults are proof that there’s a sucker born every minute, and they reproduce and metastasize. Where is the inclination to question? It’s what my education (and common sense) taught me.

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Mar 25, 2023·edited Mar 25, 2023

Jeri,

So, I had the good fortune to emanate from East Texas where Belief marked your caliber as a human being. IF you listened aptly to the white man Baptist Preacher spitting, crying and yelling at the front of the church, well, you were 0.30 caliber Christian!!

BUT, if you echoed that Baptist Preacher "Son, if you have sex before marriage you ARE GOING TO HELL", well, you were a 0.50 Caliber Christian.

So, all of us boys at the back of the church trying not to look at all of the girls wearing sheer shirts and dresses revealing their bras? Well, we all KNEW were were headed straight to hellfire.

It took me a BS in Chemical Engineering and then a PhD in Chemical Engineering at a huge liberal University (yes, the University of Texas, Austin) to work my way to an understanding of where my "belief" fits into my reality.

And, it also helped for me to NOT listen to the Baptist Preacher BUT to actually read the sermon on the Mount and some of that stuff about "judge not lest ye be judged".

So, I blended a passion for the truth with a philosophy taught 2000 years ago (that I fairly often fail to adhere to) and off I went.

Meet me today. I am a Texas "hoot" at these high brow northern dinner parties. No doubt about it.

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Mike S--I understand what you're driving at, but don't blame the women and girls and their clothing. They did nothing to encourage you or your thoughts. If modern society--everywhere in the world--would put the responsibility of behavior on men rather than on the women they objectify and sexualize, we'd be a lot better off.

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And this is exactly why the republicans are working to become a cult, a major thrust of which program is to take over the education system, from bottom to top. Let ‘us’ decide, under the guise of ‘parents' rights’, who gets to learn what (no to 1619, no to learning about 'others', however defined…gay, lesbian, trans, male, female, intersex, Hindu, Muslim, Jew, Sikh, Buddhist……doesn't matter the 'difference'…), when (no talk about menstrual cycles until 6th grade!), and how (no comparisons, no exploration, just the ‘facts’ we make available (get rid of the internet, and let us control the AI bots to spew our truths and alternative facts.) In all cases, trash the libs, denigrate the intelligentsia’s pretensions to knowledge, science be damned (one of my cousins got better from Covid with Ivermectin, but my uncle lost his left testicle after getting the Covid vaccination). Create so much chaos and noise that everything reasonable is drowned out and the only recourse for action is to follow the loud, irascible voice of the fat guy with the Betadine face and blond hair in the blue suit. He's more than easily identifiable; he's omnipresent, thanks to the media. In all cases, make sure our guys are armed to the teeth with rapid-fire guns, just to make sure you can protect your right to ‘protect’ whatever the leader tells you to fight like hell for.

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I remember those preachers, except they were “Pilgrim Holiness,” in my case. Some of the “tent preachers” could put the fear into any young soul. Yes, the Jesus reality is lost today on the one’s expounding the loudest. Lordy

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I was the bane of my parents' existence because I was born - without a silver spoon in my mouth - but with the word "WHY?" popping out at every turn. Today, 81 years later, that word still pops out - more so in these times than ever before.

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Now you have me trying to decide between "Why" and "No longer Available for Comment" on my urn.

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Julia.

Uh Oh. Why is not a good word if talking to a religious person or a Republican. As Trump might say: "Not good".

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Yes, Jeri, which is why we must support public schools, pay teachers a living wage, have free community college, teach the liberal arts, and know good science when it’s offered. Our greatest wealth is our ability to think rationally.

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It's time to bring back the sideshow freaks that the old-time circuses featured. They flourished because they knew that 'there's one born every minute,' as pointed out by Ms. Chilcutt. Without them, the suckers turn to politics and religion which cause more harm than bearded ladies or two-headed farm animals ever did.

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You absolutely MUST read Elmer Gantry.

By Sinclair Lewis. Third best book of my life behind Dr. Richardson's To Make Men Free: A History of the Republican Party and the 1619 Book Project.

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Who can argue with your "beliefs"? For christ's sake, ugh.

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:-)

Well, if you do, you are wrong!! And, not just wrong but evil!!

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Well said, Mike. I call it the "slippery grayness of truth"...belief is black and white: no uncertainty. Truth is gray, slippery, easy to miss; hard to pin down, requires a lot of thought/work and is chock full of uncertainty. Little wonder so many people are easily seduced by "belief".

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Good or bad, belief is a shortcut to thinking. It comes more from the brain, which unfortunately can be manipulated by voices of strangers. It's also different from faith, which comes from the heart and gut and is mysterious and unexplainable. Belief systems usually originate from people with agendas.

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"belief is a shortcut to thinking"

absolutely!

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Thanks TL.

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Belief also drowns out the fact that we often don't know and we don't have to reckon with uncertainty. I would also take issue with the whole idea of good and evil, which are both human constructs. Life, indeed is complex, and we don't know or may never know all the answers. But in nature there is no good or evil. There is just life in all its multifaceted and often unknowable state. Those same characteristics that lead people to be religious are also the same that allow people to believe the lies of a charlatan conman. Anything to avoid confronting this life with all its uncertainty.

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"When you believe in things that you don't understand, then you suffer" Stevie Wonder

https://youtu.be/ftdZ363R9kQ

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Thank you for the link.

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H. sapiens. Big brains. Don't know how to use 'em. They don't come with a user manual.

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I do believe whales, elephants and Dolphins all have much larger brains.

and, oh, yes, Mice.

:-)

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They certainly do have much larger brains. But those who study intelligence in different creatures suspect that what's more important than absolute size is the brain to body weight ratio. Ravens, crows, and parrots are also very smart, possibly on a par with cetaceans and likely with elephants. Being able to manipulate stuff influences evolution of intelligence, and humans, chimps, and bonobos have that over the others, although elephants have finger like appendages on the ends of their trunks. And the general principle raises questions about whether one day squirrels and raccoons might develop high levels of intelligence.

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And what cult nut knows what that is…

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You are not alone in being way out in front of that upcoming dramatization; tfg's handlers (yuk) have thought of that too, likely already have a prescient narrative for the poor actor to give mouth to. In my mind's eye I foresee tfg in a fortune teller type wrap (like Johnny Carson doing his schtick) alluding he foresaw this all in a dream state, hence the early announcement of 'place.' Egads, sometimes I hate my imagination....

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Now that's an image I can't unsee... T**** dressed up as Carnac The Magnificent. Not funny, McGee (as my father used to say), though it was when Johnny did it.

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"Waco" is on Netflix now.

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I think, now that donnie is visiting, the correct pronounciation is Wacko.

Ex-president Wacko and his rally cult. The only way to keep them brainwashed is to continue the mind-control rally tactics. Just like Adolf used. A LOT of similarities.

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Hmmmm -- I doubt anyone is going stop saying Way-co but that explains why my mother pronounced the plane she earned her pilot's license in as Wacko. Age 19, 1939. At 5'4", she had to put blocks of wood on the pedals. She didn't continue flying however, took it up just to show her two older brothers she could do what they could do. I just looked the plane up online and hadn't realized it was a biplane!

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Impressive! What a hoot that she pronounced it that way! I cannot help myself ever since the Branch Davidian fiasco. Why do people want to live in such control and paranoia?

As a therapist, I should understand this. But I cannot fathom giving one's power over, especially to an idiot.

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I took my niece for flying lessons every now and then beginning when she was 7, to show her what she could do. And she was good frm the get-go. On her very first flight, the instructor gave her an extra take-off and landing. Years later, she thanked me for it.

Kudos to your mother!

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Mar 25, 2023·edited Mar 25, 2023

Read “Being the War Home” -Kathleen Belew, to learn more about McVeigh and Nichols, the vulnerability of white veterans, and how radicalization works, and the modern merger among anti gov, white nationalism and white supremacy,

https://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674286078

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Mar 25, 2023·edited Mar 25, 2023

Waco: American Apocalypse is on Netflix. Watched the first 2 episodes last night. Highly recommend.

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There's hope Mary Trump's smart ruse ensures that there are not hundreds of thousands of spectators at this overhyped rally...

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I agree. There won’t be hundreds of thousands anywhere. But keep as many visuals of “no one” there as possible.

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Suppose they give an insurrection, and no one comes?

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My dream. But my then brother-in-law was a firm believer in the bull Schitt of the day and bought the whole scenario. He was a “Christian” believer who had no brain of his own. Belief is permission to ignore reality. How convenient and stupid.

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Don’t give “them” any ideas…..lol!

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I usually take a brief look at Twitter evey couple of days or so. Today, attendees at the TFG rally in Waco scheduled for tomorrow are smiling and waving for the cameras. Keep smiling and waving! That way it’ll be easier to identify you on the surveillance tapes when you follow TFG’s marching orders to use violence in some twisted, white nationalist, Christo-facist, false narrative you do dearly love to hear. You’re not special, you’re next. (I also posted this in Civil Discourse)

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How many New Tim McVeighs will the Waco rally awaken? We can’t afford another OKC.

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It pains me greatly to say it, but maybe "another "OKC" is what it will take to shake people out of their complacency. Words alone don't seem to be able to do it and we all know that actions do seem to speak louder. January 6th was the wake-up call that it can happen here. And then, even THAT event didn't awaken an entire political party out of its relentless pursuit of power in the guise of a false prophet. Maybe it will have to be an even more dramatic event, as if taking over our national capitol wasn't dramatic enough. The Republican party is now officially "lost", in my book. After the most recent occurrences: T***p essentially calling up followers to indulge in violence; the Manhattan DA receiving a death threat in the form of (benign) white powder in an envelope; and MTG and the "Free-DUMB" caucus delegation visiting the six 1/6 insurrectionists being held in prison (a pre-trial motion because they are considered a flight risk and are seen as "dangerous to the community") and treating them like heroes. And in response to these things, what has been the response of the so-called "leadership" of the Republican party?? Crickets. Not one word of condemnation. In fact, Rep. Gym Jordan's response to being shown what T***p threatened was to say he hadn't seen it because "he can't read well without his glasses". That's how serious they take this. To dislodge these reprobates out of their "slumber", I'm sorry to say, it may take something particularly dire to get them to finally wake up and stand up for what is right. These extremists that have absconded with the party, including their Orange Jesus, are more than ever emboldened to do and say ANYTHING because there is no need to fear repercussions anymore. If anything does happen, the blame can now wholly be laid at the feet of Donald J T***p.

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Well said, Bruce! A former president of this country, and an almost indicted criminal threatening death and destruction to his 'fellow Americans', those real people that make this country great (as opposed to those who don't know anything about governing) should be condemned, not only by upright citizens, but at least by some of the 70 Millions that used to vote for that 'person'. "...If anything does happen, the blame can now wholly be laid at the feet of Donald J T***p..." And with any luck, he (tfg) will NOT get away with (literally) murder again.

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100%. We have forgotten how many of Hitler's Nazi's went to their graves remaining true belivers. The same for Japanese people in Saipan. If it takes an unspeakable tragedy to break true belivers from the demagogue's spell, that's definitely a cult, right?

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Absolutely. Watch this, and tell me this is not a cult:

https://twitter.com/atrupar/status/1639358835302227972

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Uh oh...what did I miss??! Something cool?!

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Elisabeth, every word you posted! I just said to my husband yesterday morning when he asked who else could we run that would win? Whitmer! She brings the receipts. Try taking away women’s rights while the country elects our first woman president.

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I agree with every shred of my being...but never forget that the U.S is still very much part of a misogynstic culture. The first female president of this country will have to be an extraordinary human.

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I cannot forget that the election of the first Black president unleashed the racism that we're seeing today in the dismantling of the VRA. If a woman were to be elected, would we appeal the 19th Amendment?

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Don't give 'em ideas, Ally. ;)

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I find it bizarre that we can't elect a woman president, when Germany, New Zealand, and other countries have had female leaders. So much misogyny. Women are also held to a much higher standard than men.

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I like her but is she tough enough. At this point I don't know and don't want to find out on the debate stage. The only woman that I believe could really stand up to a Trumpian onslaught of sexism, racist, misogynistic lies doesn't want the job; she doesn't fear for her country enough yet. I believe Michelle could have won in '16 and she could still do it today if she could generate and tap into the moral outrage that this old white guy feels everyday when I contemplate what these traitors want to do to our country.

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I don't think Michelle wants the job, and you have to WANT it to do it well. I certainly believe she could, but I wouldn't push someone into it who doesn't really want it.

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That is exactly what makes her such a good choice. One of the first history lessons I remember was of the Roman general, Cincinnatus, who also did not want the job, but was a great leader. I also feel that Governor Whitmer is definitely tough enough, and I think she has the necessary 'fire in the belly' for the office. Were she to run, she would have my vote.

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What is your description of “tough enough”? Also I find one of the most misogynistic thing people do is to call women by their first names. If you have to distinguish them from their husbands, please include the last name.

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A great big standing ovation for the state of Michigan. Gretchen Whitmer, and a host of other wonderful politicians in Michigan are restoring order and pride in that state. A model for other states to follow including mine (TN). But their enemies are numerous and powerful and devious. The trick there is to hold onto power for the long term.

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We agree!

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For those of us who often feel powerless to stop the current round of Republican nonsense, PBS is running a documentary about how the anti-Vietnam War protests actually stopped Nixon from his planned escalation of the war, including nuclear threats.

My PBS station is premiering it Tuesday evening on American Experience “The Movement and the Madman”. Also available on the PBS app.

As someone who watched the protests and felt at the time they did nothing, I’m looking forward to seeing that they did have a big effect.

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Thanks for the heads-up. As someone who was there as a participant in both of the Vietnam Moratoriums, they were incredibly important - it was the moment the antiwar movement became really strong. For anyone who wasn't there, you really should watch this. 9pm Tuesday local times. Mark it now!

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She does this despite the threat to her life, don't forget. Now it's also Alvin Bragg and the grand jury. These days the military isn't the only place one risks one's life for their country.

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We in Michigan are so grateful for Governor Whitmer’s leadership- she is fantastic. Waco is a tragedy that should never have happened. One would think that high level law enforcement officials would have enough education and street smarts to be able to tell the difference between gun loving criminals (Give me an excuse to use my guns, go on, I dare you), political terrorists (Advertise my agenda, please- or else), True prophets (Love is all there is, be kind to those who hurt you), and raving paranoid schizophrenics, “If you do not obey me, the world will end in fire!!!) To which group does it seem David Koresh fit? If you just want to fight anyone who disagrees with you, you are a terrorist or a criminal. If God (or whatever) is telling you to love everyone, you are a saint- carry on. If you feel afraid of people who are not like you and God starts telling you that the people who pray to some different God, or people with blue eyes, or brown skin should be punished, or are out to get you!, there is medication that will calm the demons and leave your actual faith intact. If criminals and terrorists try to steal your land and children, rape you and and castrate your menfolk, it’s ok to fight back with everything you’ve got. These categories are pretty clear cut in my head, you know? Somebody who tells you to love everyone , but you will get special favors if you give that person more of your money, edges rapidly from prophet status toward con artist. It really isn’t that complicated.

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Many of us here in northern Michigan love "Big Gretch." Her cottage (where those lunatics surveilled her with plans to kidnap her) is in the village I live in. Not exactly the spotlight we were looking for when promoting our beautiful village.

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Mar 25, 2023·edited Mar 25, 2023

Trump exploiting what happened in Waco 30 years ago to stir up right-wing terrorist groups — groups itching to take up arms against the government — shows his desperation is off the charts. Imagine his reaction when he's actually indicted, and not just in the Stormy Daniels case. We're in the midst of an epic drama, and he's already behaving like a raving lunatic. I wouldn't want to be working on the clean-up crew at Mar-a-Lago.

For more details about the history of what happened in the feds standoff with the Branch Davidian cult in Waco and the implications of Trump's latest move, read "Why Waco," today's newsletter from former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance. It's chilling. https://open.substack.com/pub/joycevance/p/why-waco?r=57fmo&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web

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Michael, Watch the Netflix documentary series (short) “Waco” which is visually dramatic and chilling. David Kouresh was a cult lunatic, who had sex with young girls and was a creep of the depths of depravity. All in the name of Christ. That is who Dump is going to glorify this weekend. The sickness of the Branch Davidians is so similar to today’s extremists you will be shocked. They lived by the gun and died by the gun. The missteps of the ATF, FBI and Feds is also shocking, but when you stock weapons of a small army with millions of rounds of ammunition you are drawing that violent energy to yourself. That is what happened. Have a good weekend. We are in this together!

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I don't think the story of what happened in Waco Texas in 1993 is so cut-and-dried.

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I remember every horrible detail. There is no excuse for excusing the cult nuts.

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So do I. I think it happened on my birthday.

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So you were there? Apologies if I offended you by my comment.

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No offense, I was closer than comfortable, a horribly painful time. Seems the past lurks around us all… traveling down I-35, I always avoid Waco. Chump’s visit is a call to arms, only the cult “Nazi’s” will show.

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Mar 25, 2023·edited Mar 25, 2023

It was indeed a very upsetting thing. I was far from it. I'm finding out more about it now and it seems that the government stepped right into the role that had been designed for it, and screwed up terribly. It disturbs me very much that those heavily armed men went to that compound and began shooting into a building with people in it, as much as the bombing of the MOVE cult in Philadelphia only 8 years before does. Move was also a Christian group, armed, non-conforming to the wider world's standards

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Molly Ivins wrote extensively about this...her take on Koresh and the whole scenario was slightly different. Did she not know about the sex with young girls bit?

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David Koresh was very mentally ill. The gun nut authorities escalated that situation in a totally incompetent manner. Ugh.

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"shows his desperation is off the charts"

Perhaps.

Or, perhaps he is following a script given to him by some folks who are, likely, quite a bit more strategic, intelligent and coherent than him.

It is not impossible, at all, for Trump, or another Demigod, to put all this violence talk + Fox News propaganda together and pull off the destruction of our government and the subjugation of the American people to corporate interests and guys like Peter Thiel.

He might be desperate. But, there are other signs that he is not. Trump is aware that he has pulled off every last stunt successfully, in his life, including January 6th to some degree. With the help of Fox News and other Republicans, half of America believes that January 6th was a picnic on the lawn of the US Capitol.

All Trump needs, Michael, is for 40% or so of America to buy into his narrative. Which, is close to the % that have done so.

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Trump keeps making money off this circus. Pretty much the only thing he cares about, really.

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Watch out for flying ketchup!

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Your first paragraph is prescient. What is in the depths of this darkest of hearts when he posts the baseball bat image or writes of “death and destruction”? His base of millions was the center of his amour propre since he drew it to him. He reveled in it virtually non-stop - “your favorite President”, “We win so much you’re going to get tired of winning”.

When his first call to arms buttressing the phony Tuesday indictment elicited a yawn, it seems likely his hurt knew few bounds. This week he went full nuclear in a desperate attempt to regain attention and those fleeting moments of inner glow.

Millions of members of his base see this intuitively, and they are gently trying to extricate themselves from his grasp. For it’s their self-worth as well that is taking a hard beating. They invested God knows how much money in him, but much more importantly their full throated enthusiasm and love. He was the repository of all their pent-up anger - the default emotion in America today.

Trump will soak the country in threats until he is in a position where he can no longer reach it. The danger to watch for is not the power of crowds to become a mob as on January 6. It lies in the undying fealty of the lunatic fringe who are, I am convinced, plotting as I write this to punish America in violent and asymmetrical ways. This seven year itch will not end quietly. These times are deeply worrying.

Trump associating himself with Waco is a vile, desperate move. We can only hope that Trump gives a war and nobody shows up.

Part of the blame goes to the DOJ. Yesterday Elie Honig described Merrick Garland as “barely sentient” in his first two years. That is harsh but not unmerited. Jack Smith is now on a mad dash to indict Trump before he gains traction in his Presidential run and once again shields himself from the short arm of the law. There should have been no need for this.

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Excellent summary – thanks for sharing it.

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Agreed, Michael. Joyce did a fantastic job on her piece today. Chilling!

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Mar 25, 2023·edited Mar 25, 2023

Oh. Shared. Thank You.

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Thank you for sharing that link.

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After tfg's post showing him with the baseball bat and threatening a prosecutor, why on earth wasn't he arrested? This is from a post by Jay Kuo....

'As senior Brookings Institute fellow and CNN legal analyst Norm Eisen noted, threatening a prosecutor is a crime in the state of New York, and pretty much everywhere else. It is, in fact, at least several crimes, three of which he listed immediately:

Harassment in the first degree NYPL 240.25;

menacing in the second degree NYPL 120.14;

stalking in the fourth or third degree NYPL 120.45 & 120.50'

Hasn't he finally crossed the line with this? And now he is going to continue his hate speech in Waco. smh

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I think all this will come back to “haunt” the orange monster. In a sane world, someone doing this would be immediately arrested. But we know the world is no longer sane, Just hang in Carole. Justice is at work, I am very sure. We are in this together, as Joyce Vance says at the end of her newsletter. And we have precious Heather. AND we have each other! Have a peaceful weekend.

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...WE KNOW THE WORLD IS NO LONGER SANE...

Thanks for stating the obvious truth that we are facing pandemic madness.

Inevitably, the sane too are affected. But this community remains, by and large, a bastion of sanity.

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Mar 25, 2023·edited Mar 25, 2023

I was simply responding to Carole’s complete disbelief that Dump continues to roam the golf courses of Merde A Lardo…..while harassing, menacing and stalking a prosecutor. It IS mind boggling….

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Mar 25, 2023·edited Mar 25, 2023

Simply responding.

And, in so doing, drawing the correct general inference.

I forget exactly when the lines that follow were written. Probably some time after January 6th 2021.

*

He has divided

his country

He has divided

brother against sister

sister against sister

son against father

husband against wife

*

That’s how it is

and no one’s safe

as long as he walks free

*

a time bomb

strapped to the back of the nation

*

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On this matter of division -- divide-and-rule -- Christ is said to have spoken as follows -- cfr. Saying 72 of the Gospel of Thomas:

*

A man said to him:

“Tell my brothers to divide my father's possessions with me.”

He said to him:

“O man, who has made me a divider?”

He turned to his disciples and said to them:

“I am not a divider, am I?”

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Thank you very much Peter. The Platform, SF based Substack Inc, is also facing the "pandemic" which raises the issue of the contractual rights of this Community per Substack Inc's standard 'Author' contract which defines the Community as "Readers" with 3rd party contractual rights and access to the SF based mediation forum JAMS (Judicial Arbitration Mediation Service). I have participated in over 20 case matters at JAMS since 1990. Capable folks.

There have been recent Substack content mediation enforcement department efforts which you may have noticed with an apparent new Substack internal Team titled "LFAA admins" which I am pleased to report as a careful 'Reader' is up & running.

Perhaps we should raise the multiple issues arising from the digital ' pandemic`directly with HCR to protect her valuable work product that has become essential to many Readers. Thank you again for your accurate Comment Peter.

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Elizabeth, your optimism is inspiring...mine was beginning to waver with all the hype last week amounting to nothing more than trump bilking his lemmings out of more money.

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Carole, Jay Kuo is a trial attorney with sharp analytical skills. But, the criminal statute of limitations is "tolled" while the Perp is out of state. The clock is not ticking. No rush.

The final days of March through April 4 could bring more witnesses in front of the Manhattan Grand Jury, more evidence of terror-like tactics & a critical election in Michigan.

The Manhattan Grand Jury meets next Monday. Meanwhile Jack Smith harvested potent evidence yesterday out of a 3 1/2 interrogation of tfg's attorney now a witness. Also, 8 tfg likely co-conspirators must testify as well under OATH.

There will be many, many efforts at distraction & misdirection. Stay the Course.

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Thank you. So many directions to keep track of......I am just praying that tfg will have to serve some time....maybe he will learn a little humility? (not holding my breath on that one). And that we will still have our country when all is said and done. Praying for the safety of Bragg and the people on the jury. re: Jack Smith.....I am amazed at what he has accomplished in a relatively short span of time....as there must be stacks and stacks of documents to pour through.

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Wise words-calming. Thx, Bryan.

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Very helpful legal analysis and projection - thank you!

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🙏 Keep the Community posted on the April 4 Vote.

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Mar 25, 2023·edited Mar 25, 2023

"why on earth wasn't he arrested?"

Carole, I highly recommend the book: "The 1619 Book Project".

Also, "By Hands Now Known".

Those books will completely answer your question in high, painful, horrifying detail.

But, the main reason is: America was founded on violence based White Supremacy which immigrated to America from Great Britain.

And that heritage remains part of our modern culture.

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Mike, I read the 1619 book a while back, and I just started the series on Hulu. The series is really good. I highly recommend it, even if you’ve already read the book.

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I think we do have access to Hulu so will do and thanks for the reference.

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Does it have an easily found title on HULU?

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Mar 25, 2023·edited Mar 25, 2023

Carole Berkoff "Does it have an easily found title on HULU?"

It is simply "The 1619 Project." And if you have an account, Internet access to Hulu.com can be found at https://www.hulu.com/series/the-1619-project-7ba3407a-299c-4a10-8310-bbcdd6ab4653

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Mar 25, 2023·edited Mar 25, 2023

Read: “Bring the War Home”- Kathleen Belew

This book details modern anti gov, white Nationalism/supremacy from returning Vietnam vets in the seventies. McVeigh and Nichols were not the only disciples of this movement, and their movement had grown in numbers, guns, and organization.

https://www.kathleenbelew.com/bringthewarhome

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What a thorny mess we find ourselves in, Ted. I defended dishonorably discharged VietNam vets in the late 70’s as a law student in LA. The system was so anti-vet, but we won every appeal and protected the vets’ benefits. I did not pick up on white supremacy, though many clients were white. It was a life-changing experience for this sixties anti-war activist.

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Mar 25, 2023·edited Mar 25, 2023

Not every veteran of course. Some though brought back with them a worldview of hate and destruction that soldiers learn just so they can survive. In Vietnam, some also learned insurgency and counter insurgency tactics and strategies. These early white nationalist taught these tactics to others. They merged white supremest with white nationalists and promoted growth with fringe demagogues like Alex Jones & Rush Limbaugh. They wrote “how to” books like “The Turner Diaries ” explaining bomb making, detection avoidance, modern insurgency operations, guerilla tactics, how to target vulnerabilities, like the Murrah Federal building, to not attach strong points.

They are as or more dangerous than Al Queda. They walk among us at work and schools. Maga has consolidated all these fringe groups and given them an umbrella of political vindication, validation, and credibility. They are well organized, well armed, with malice intentions.

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And most, I believe, just put in their time and were thankful to have survived, only to come to realize in time that the government they trusted had ill used them in an unjust war. For some, (I think of Bob Kerrey, John Kerry, Max Cleland) their experience became a driving force in their honorable political careers. For many of us with lesser ambitions, it became something we just had to accept, and move on. Watching the news of Kent State on AFVN in Phu Bai was probably the genesis of both my disinterest in politics and general mistrust of government. Fifty years on, I find myself working to protect that government from those who would destroy it. Thankfully, I am not alone.

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Well said.

Not only being used and abused by our government at the time, but many were also badly treated by the civilian population on returning home. We started out with the worst pay (Oct. '66, $88 per month GROSS pay, before deductions, which worked out to 11 cents an hour--less than1/10 of the then minimum wage of $1.25/hr.) Congress used the war's unpopularity to then give us the worst GI Bill benefits of any GI Bill, before or after Vietnam. That was the government's way of trashing military members during that era--by punishing them for the war which the government started and maintained for 11 years. That treatment of Vets showed the then-government not to be worthy of trust.

As an aside, I recall the two principal U.S. military units at Phu Bai as being the 3rd Marine Division and the Army's (ASA) 8th RRFS. I served at the 7th RRFS at Udorn.

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I don’t understand why action wasn’t taken against Trump for these crimes.

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I’m with you in that one. We ordinary citizens can’t get away with it! Why is he getting away with it? The FBI should be crawling all over him just as they would be on us. Oh, but he subverted the FBI just like he did the Secret Service.

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Why is he getting away with it?

1. He rich.

2. He is white.

3. See 2 above.

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Yeah, that may be all there is to it.

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maybe that was his intent.... another perp walk for his martyrization....

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I think the fuss this week was both real and purposeful. Law enforcement wants to see how TFG reacts, monitoring the pre indictment effect on the militia crazies, how they are communicating, with whom, the more they chatter, the more likely surveillance will discover the next plot. It only takes one or a few Tim McVeighs.

I wonder if their were any Federalist Society victims in the Murrah building bombing? Why don’t they get it? Their hearts are as dark as their minds are dumb!

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Which, I’m guessing, is why that perhaps any lawyer left still willing to represent might have told him to take the post down. How often has he removed a post before this?

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There is something so big and so wrong going on in the country right now, that I’m failing to put a name to it. I just know that the forces that should be protecting us don’t seem to be doing so. I think that’s what bothers me most of all.

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Yes, something is so wrong that even my brother who called himself a repub sent me a link to Florida being an open carry state without a permit. He is not a gun guy, so was deeply disturbed. I told him to look at Texas and thank the courts. And sent him a Guardian link with photo of Kentucky repub Thomas Massie’s famous Christmas card, seven smiling military style gun toting teens and parents. I see red turning blue soon. What does it take for diehard repubs to wake up? I’m seeing it in real time.

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Mar 25, 2023·edited Mar 25, 2023

This is great news, Irenie. Keep sending your brother the truth. That’s what it will “take for diehard repubs to wake up.” The Almighty Truth. Have a good weekend.

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Thank you, Elisabeth. You, too, have a good weekend. I hope we see more repubs “seeing the light!” Reading today’s letter and seeing McCarthy not communicating with his party about the budget is a huge worry. It certainly looks like deliberate stonewalling that will cause havoc to our budget needs and priorities so they can blame the Democrats.

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Is your brother a Fox viewer? Might wish to send him this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNM_XqrzaN0

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Luckily, no, he isn’t a Fox viewer. Just a former believer in the repub party.

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They still think that republicans are a legitimate political party, couldn’t be more wrong. Democrats seem to think that too, so does MSM. Hence, our nightmare in real time…

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Mar 25, 2023·edited Mar 25, 2023

If it walks like a cult, and talks like a cult… and gives speeches at the altar of a cult..

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EXACTLY!!!!

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Mar 25, 2023·edited Mar 25, 2023

It takes violence. Every major social issue has advanced when the American People witness mass violence. Only the TV coverage of the racial violence during the Civil a rights movement changed things. No one saw images of the Tulsa Massacre. No one saw video of Wounded Knee or Sand Creek. When Eisenhower Republican types witness mass violence perpetrated like Waco, like 911, like the Murrah/OKC building bombing, that will wake some of them up. Sadly, school shootings are to regular an occurrence to wake them from the nightmare. But the ground has shifted today. They have a former President leading their Party, giving credibility and justification, calling for the violence. Literally this is going to blow up. It is crazy, stupid, and totally unacceptable.

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I hope some Repubs in Tennessee wake up as well. They are criminalizing drag shows and loosening their already loose gun laws. (Open and conceal carry of hand guns without a permit.)

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Mar 25, 2023·edited Mar 25, 2023

Are we ready for a national law prohibiting birth control? This is coming so get ready to protest.

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SPW, please hold your judgment. None of us has ever, ever experienced a period in our history like this. I think Jack Smith is a serious guy, he knows what he is doing, a lot of that work is behind closed doors, which is a good thing. Merrick Garland prosecuted the Oklahoma City bombings, very much like the idiots now being prosecuted for the January 6 insurrection and he also is following the law as he sees it. I am quite certain that the many-pronged investigations will result in jailing Dump. The others too. Mark Meadows is a “big fish” in this drama and he is about to go under the scrutiny of our judicial system. Patience. Have a good weekend.

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I don’t think I mentioned either AG Garland or Mr Smith.

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The 'forces who are supposed to be protecting us...' are merely the guardrails. WE, THE PEOPLE, are supposed to be the shepherds and protectors of our own society...by vetting and voting in upright, compassionate, conscientious citizens to craft, by discussion and compromise, the legislation that helps societies protect themselves. that is how a democracy properly functions...which is how the Framers and Founders envisioned (with bias toward white well-to-do men, of course) their newly conceived government. WE the People got too complacent and lazy...

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Bingo! This feeling is so much bigger, darker than just one or two people.

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I thought you were inferring them both….”the forces that should be protecting us, don’t seem to be doing so.”

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Yes. Why not? If you focus on the shadows you see shadows everywhere. Focus on people who are doing their jobs. I find I feel better that way.

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Garland needs to give a peace speech at the Murrah Memorial to counter TFG’s Waco violence call to arms rally.

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SPW you struck a chord. I have been reading the news about the parasites that are inhabiting the brains of wolves and mice (Yes, I know it much like is the storyline of The Last of Us). The parasite changes their risk taking behavior. Apparently it is easily transmissible. The exact mechanism of how the parasite influences the mice' and wolves' brain chemistry is not yet clear.

I am beginning to wonder if there is a human specific variant that is infecting Republicans.

Sometimes truth IS stranger than fiction.

And I hate to say it as a scientist but I am only half kidding....

https://www.cnn.com/2022/11/30/world/mind-control-parasite-toxoplasmosis-wolves-scn/index.html

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It’s Rupert and Rush from the 80’s, and social media bull Schitt after that. No biological explanation needed…

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The infection should be called Brain Softening.

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How interesting that article is! Thank you!

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Mar 25, 2023·edited Mar 25, 2023

Georgia,

If there is a disease affecting Republican cognitive capability it is most likely Syphilis.

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Dean Koontz Jane Hawk series copyright 2017 are a great fictionalize version of the infestation of minds. How close he hit home!

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Fascinating.

Thanks for this article, Georgia.

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SPW,

The glacial speed of justice makes me feel the same way.

But here is a name that describes what is going on. FASCISM. Being preached by a demagogue. A former President advocating the overthrow of our democracy.

Law enforcement is hard at work building cases that need to be "air tight" to be effective in wrapping up this era of alt right, ultra right wrongness. There will always be "Q" people. There will always be idiots who buy the Fox News nonsense. But the cases against Trump will neuter him.

And here is the best part. Younger folks don't buy the bigotry and hate that is peddled by Murdoch and DeSantis. The majority of Gen Y and Z are tolerant and expect respect for diversity. The Fox watchers are older and have an expiration date.

The future is bright. But yes, the present is hard to stomach. Get out your Pepto-bismol or your gin - we'll need it for a bit longer.

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Bill A, I fear it is hard to agree with you that "the future is bright" when we continue to be preoccupied with the ultimate fate of politicians who lie and cheat using money from the very corporations who have contributed so heavily to the destruction of our planet's ecosystem and who continue to block and try to reverse any effort of our democracy to combat the profound changes in our climate! We have a shrinking window of time in which educate our populace as to all that needs doing to at least slow down if not reverse the continual flood of pollutants into our atmosphere, our seas and lakes and our very lands. We are not leaving our "tolerant and respectful Gen Y and Z" much time to work with.

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I hear you John. In order to maintain my mental health, I park my attitudes in three places.

Short term - aggravated, depressed

Medium term - optimistic, hopeful

Long term - we are doomed to an apocalyptic planetary collapse

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Bill I HEAR your need to maintain mental health! In fact, I applaud it! We certainly need to heed Churchill's wisdom that "the pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty." I continue to press us all to see the underlying value in loudly and repeatedly emphasizing the climate destruction which continues being fueled by so much of the dark money which flows to our politicians and, it appears, to our judges. This is especially the "free speech" dark money which flows from so many of the businesses and industries which are the major contributors to the very pollution and destruction which threatens us all. Perhaps a bit like you I rate myself an optimist at heart as "it does not seem to be much use to be anything else."

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Thank you, Bill, for your thoughtful reflection. I have a cold beer in the fridge, waiting for the news from Waco. It is evening in India….I hope no one showed, would be the best.

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The only way to fight this onslaught is exactly the way it’s being done right now. We can’t afford to be impatient or cynical. The best minds in the nation have got this. The rest of us need to back them one hundred percent. ✌🏼

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I thought this in the 70’s, the 80’s, the 90’s, 2000 and I’m having trouble with the chump bookend to the political history of my adult life. Still, I am an optimist. As Churchill said, what good does it do to be anything else. Paraphrase of course.

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SPW: How about "Mass Paranoid Schizophrenia", stoked by media, both left and right, driven by gratuitous greed without concern for the public welfare?

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There’s that too. Thank goodness I do consider myself an optimist or I would have offed myself several times by now. But I also don’t live in a bubble. I’m too old to think things are always going to turn up roses. I still have to say that when HRC said that there was a “vast right-wing conspiracy” at work, I sort of laughed but she was right. A lot of us have seen it in action over the years and now the republican corpse flower is about to bloom.

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Law enforcement is predominantly Conservative, White, and Republican. There has never been anything but a Republican FBI director.

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I really find it hard to believe that people would actually follow and want this madman in OUR White House again, but every day I find that I am wrong. He is acting like a rabid dog that has been backed into a corner. There are people who still want him as he exploits them for money and power...what a horrible mess he has made of America!

But, I was born in and lived most of my life in Michigan. We call our governor "Big Gretch"! She is not big in stature but WHAT an incredible leader she is! We have powerful leaders in our state now and we love it. It is so fantastic that she signed the repeal of that stupid "right-to-work" law which was actually just the opposite. But that is just one of the things she has done since we voted in real leadership and voted out so many redumblicans that used to run our state. She is the BEST! Thank you Big Gretch!!!!!

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Thank You Big Gretch!!! And to all the Michiganders who worked to get our state redistricted fairly, and all the voters who made it so!

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You are so right MaryPat! Our state was so gerrymandered that the elections were never fair. The district surrounding the area where we live is still an issue but the state is much better. Now we have Joey Andrews representing us and that is a big plus!

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Ugh, even with redistricting, I’m stuck with sycophant Moolanaar; a GOP propaganda machine

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I’m so sorry! We were stuck with Fred Upton for MANY years but when redistricting happened he decided to retire. That was a good day.

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Yup. So sorry.

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My area is still highly gerrymandered, but overall the state is in much better shape.

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Mar 25, 2023·edited Mar 25, 2023

Wonderful! We are still stuck with John Roth, but it looks like he knows which way the wind is blowing.

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I wasn't familiar with his name so I looked him up. So sorry for you too! I hope he continues to monitor the wind!

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Knew John Mollenaar growing up in Midland and vacationing at Missauwkee Lake (where his family also had a cabin). John had a crush on my sister, but she fould him too religious. So the source of all our evil?

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Aren't you glad that it didn't go any further than that!

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Mar 25, 2023·edited Mar 25, 2023

The victim. The Redeemer redeems/saves them and their grievances are made concrete even as he talks about them in the abstract. When he is attacked and ridiculed for blaming the “other” for all their problems and pain, this validates the real pain of the followers. Soon he will be indicted, tried, and convicted. This will be framed as their savior being crucified, and then he becomes their immortal martyr. Majority of Maga will go their graves the same way of majority of the Nazi’s, true believers to the end.

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Really sad, isn't it. Perhaps they will see it as the "second coming" and then all commit suicide because it is their armageddon.

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This extremely slim-majority Maga house is full of third grade performance actors who have no intention of trying to govern. Who have even less intention to learn about governing itself since they clearly have no intention to govern or learn about governing. Not sure if they simply are ignorant about government functions what they should be doing as a legislative body OR possibly are more likely than not to act simply as institutional destructors. An obvious 3rd rate bully game viewable only on fox.

I am really ashamed that these know-nothings and provocateurs are in Congress only to try to destroy it. Not unlike trump’s playbook with his “leadership” choices for departments. Those guys to a person seen to have a mission to try to destroy the departments they headed (EPA. Education, Labor, etc.). Talk about massive corruption and fraud. These department heads all shared the belief that the federal government should get out of way so privatization could proliferate with fewer and fewer critical safety regulations, so that they. Lkwould interest with their singular quest for excessive profit. No one thrives in that situation. No one wins.

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In support of your voice alerting others to the mission of the current GOP to burn it all down.

From Fortune on 2/25/2017:

“Speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Thursday, White House chief strategist Steve Bannon said that President Trump’s cabinet picks are aimed at “deconstruction of the administrative state,” meaning weakening regulatory agencies and other bureaucratic entities.

“The way the progressive left runs, is if they can’t get it passed, they’re just going to put in some sort of regulation in an agency,” Bannon continued. “That’s all going to be deconstructed and I think that’s why this regulatory thing is so important.”

President Trump’s critics have noted that at least some of his Cabinet picks seem uniquely unsuited to their roles. Scott Pruitt, recently confirmed as head of the EPA, had previously challenged its regulations in more than a dozen suits. Trump’s initial pick for labor secretary, Andrew Puzder, operated a company that depended on low wages and faced allegations of labor abuse. Puzder’s nomination was scuttled by the discovery that he had employed at least one undocumented immigrant.

Trump’s FCC chairman and energy secretary have also been critics of the very agencies they’re now tasked with managing. Rick Perry, Trump’s pick