485 Comments
Oct 18, 2022·edited Oct 18, 2022

I am acutely aware of the impact of severe hearing loss. I have the good fortune of being able to purchase very expensive hearing aids that provide considerable assistance in hearing what’s going on.

As occurs elsewhere in the medical profession, access to functional hearing aids has been controlled by audiologists. The result was that tens of millions of Americans with minor-to-moderate hearing loss were financially blocked from obtaining essential hearing assistance.

Thanks to the Biden administration, many millions of Americans will have the opportunity to hear better.

Another president, FDR, while campaigning for re-election in 1936, tried to assist a voter with his hearing problem. Learning that Josh had great difficulty hearing, he suggested to Josh that, if he cut down severely on his drinking, his hearing would improve.

Josh replied: “Mr. President, what I’ve been drinking is so much better than what I’ve been hearing that I’m just going to keep on drinking.”

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I also was fortunate enough to purchase hearing aids prior to retirement two-plus years ago. Because I was employed at a medical school, I saw an audiologist and an otolaryngologist and received a discount: still paid nearly $4000! The MD told me it will be a great thing when hearing aids become deregulated--he knew it was coming because he lived a profession that saw how unfairly people who could benefit from hearing aids were completely shut out simply due to the fact they couldn’t afford it.

Now we must continue to get people out to vote in their best interests: simple things like hearing aids are just as important to good health as medications.

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Linda I HEAR YOU (unless you speak in a very high range which requires my feeble lip reading attempt)

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My first notice of hearing loss in high range was while working as a nursing assistant taking a temp with an electronic thermometer & the patient telling me it was done. I learned then to watch the screen until it stopped. Like all other losses to ageing it is mostly compensating & adapting.

I have a large DVD collection & always use subtitles or SDH. I have gotten rid of older ones that didn't have that feature. Strangely, hearing impaired ppl must not be worthy of watching the bonus features as they often do not have subtitles.

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Keith, you are not alone. I too, have hearing aids now, the ones with batteries. Can’t say they don’t significantly help because they do!

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Just love you, not-Doc Wheelock!

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Ashley Ditto! I have learned not to blink when I hear “What’s up Doc?” Clearly the person is speaking to someone behind me.

I came close. My book NASSER’S NEW EGYPT:A CRITICAL ANALYSIS (1960) was accepted as a doctoral dissertation by the U. Of Penn. But I didn’t seek the rough and tumble of the academic world. Rather I joined the Foreign Service and volunteered for the tranquility of six years in/on Congo. 9mm Beretta, M-16, and .45 would seem amiss in a faculty room.

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My internist alerted me to Costco hearing aids when I started to need them. Excellent in-house audiologists and top of the line Phonaks and Resounds for about half the price charged by independent audiologists. This was several years ago. Upgraded once since then to keep up with improvements in technology.

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Rex, as I replied to another comment down thread, not all Costco locations have an audiologist on site. Mine, in a rural CA county, only has a ‘technician’ to do testing/fitting, etc. Appointments to be seen are 6 months out (sadly healthcare services here are generally insufficient to meet the needs of the county’s population & many travel hours away for medical/dental care). Agree that Costco hearing aids seem to be of good quality and features.

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Barbara, can you make an appointment at another, semi-nearby Costco?

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That might work if it’s possible. The local techs are all you need after you get the hearing aids. That means two long trips (hearing test and order of hearings aids, then pickup and recheck a few weeks later), but the local techs can do everything necessary after that until you want to upgrade.

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The nearest other Costco would be a 3+ hour one-way trip east to Redding, CA or 5 or so hour one-way south to Santa Rosa, CA….would have to check to see if those had audiologists! I love living ‘behind the redwood curtain’ as we call it here, but there are limitations to being such a small population in a large sized county (square miles) & limited healthcare services at all levels are one of them. Would like to encourage the Fed to promote and greatly increase their rural healthcare educational loan forgiveness program for those who work in rural areas for X-number of years to reduce/eliminate their loan debt..a la ‘Northern Exposure’—the TV program from years ago!!! Maybe they would become enchanted with our lovely forests (local, state & national parks), miles upon miles of beaches, a bay, lagoons and rivers + thriving art scene…fall in love with it here and stay to practice medicine!!

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Oh, didn’t know that. Unfortunate, but not really surprising, I guess. I live in a highly populated area, which of course provides a lot of advantages for health care and pretty much any other service or product.

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Funny story Keith, but, honestly, I don't drink much at all (and never did) because, if I do?

Next morning my ears ring. No lie.

Plus, I will have a headache.

Just not worth dragging around doing morning chores for a slight bit of euphoria that vanishes into the commode in the middle of the night.

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Keith, always enjoy your posts. So sorry about your hearing loss..

My beloved cousin, Noreen , was a renowned audiologist who established and operated her own private practice. I believe it was the first in Florida.(It did not make her wealthy !) She had a wicked sense of humor and would tell her adult patients that aha moment when they could finally hear was an eargasm.😂

Noreen was nearing 50 ,when state licensure rules changed ,and had to sell her practice and return to UF to obtain her Doctor of Audiology where she continued to teach.

She had a special connection with my dad….they passed away hours apart on the same day.

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Eargasm, too-too funny; and correct I would say!

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That’s hysterical!!😂😂👏🏼👏🏼

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But for the Letters, perhaps we all should start drinking as well. (or step it up as the case may be)

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Anyone who buys a hearing aid without seeing an ear doctor first is flushing away their money.

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Oct 18, 2022·edited Oct 18, 2022

Gigi You may be right, but the $$$ involved may well be an impediment for many.

I am reminded of the barrels of glasses and people fishing in them to find a pair that ‘feels right.’ Often this simply is a matter of magnification. The same was true of some ‘magic hearing aids’ that simply magnified the sound.

However, these are better than nothing for those who have difficulty hearing (or seeing)/ My latest hearing aids cost over $5,000 totally out of pocket. I remember, when I first went to Germany in 1949 meeting an old lady with an elegant silver hearing trumpet. At least we have progressed somewhat.

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Hearing aids are important for brain function as well as hearing. It remains my most disliked health care experiences from an economic and medical perspective. I first tried Costco as they were cheap in comparison to the audiologist. I returned the Costco as the clerks assistance was lacking. I recommend an independent audiologist if possible.

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I finally broke down and got hearing helpers two years ago. My head got clearer. Audiologists track the frequencies you have problems with and program the devices specifically to your situation as a soundman would set up graphic equalizers for each different concert hall they work in

Simply upping the volume does not work

I think the key is to deregulate access to the devices themselves, encouraging a competitive price, after getting audio testing

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My mom had a problem with having to replace her hearing aids constantly because they were falling out of her ears. I finally insisted that she get the kind that attach to the outside of her ears because she just could not afford to be paying the astronomical costs of the hearing aids that she was paying and they just could not fit to her ears because her ear was too small. Now she has not had to replace them and it helped her socially so much! She had a stroke right while she was missing her hearing aids and all of the treatment she got was more difficult because she could not hear well. It was such a difficult situation. I could see the huge difference the hearing aids have made in her life. I am grateful that they are included in the bill.

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Mine fit behind the ear with a small wire attached to the plug that is secured in the ear canal. Comfortable and very secure

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Some years back I had a hearing evaluation; it was one of the most interesting and lengthy medical appointments I’ve experienced, truly fascinating. Sitting in a sound-proof booth with headphones and being asked to repeat words fed into the headphones. I came to realize when I struggled with some sounds how much I used the ‘context’ of conversation to fill in the word—kinda like playing Jeopardy (at least I think that’s the show). At the end of the ‘test’, the audiologist showed me the results and, yes, I was in need of the aids, similar, but not exact loss in each ear. He pointed out which sounds ‘dropped out’ for me, only some, as for others my hearing is quite sharp. Go figure. When he told me how much the aids would cost, I gulped and replied “well I guess I’ll just have my friends yell at me!”. I could not afford them. Even now my MediCare supplemental insurance plan will only cover approximately half of what middle-of-the-road pair would cost. So, yeah, just amplifying all sound would not be best for me, and I do worry about OTC aids not coming with appropriate and necessary evaluation and support. I guess, at least, it’s a start.

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Yes, thanks, Dave. I agree. Some insurance companies have paid a little for the last few years toward aids but does the new law lower costs through insurance too? I have Humana plan that required me to pay just $1000 each for mine. And they are very good ones. Humana covered the rest.

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My insurance maxed out at 1500. That left me paying 2800. The improvement in quality of life? Priceless

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Mary, $1000 out of pocket is just too much! My mother ended up paying something like $20,000+ in hearing aid costs altogether and when I found this out I asked why the doctor who was wrongly fitting her did not absorb the cost. She did not want to ask this of him because of the need to be liked by the doctors that everyone has. Fear of being mistreated if one is not compliant and likable seems common. My mom is not like this in other situations at all. However, it seems like all of these costs are too much. In Germany one pays 10 Euros per hearing aid and the health insurance pays the rest including the cost of the visit with the audiologist of course. This is the legal limit that they can charge.

In Denmark if you have public insurance they are free of charge. Netherlands you are paying 0-25% of the cost. Norway pays full cost. Portugal they are 100 percent financed by government. Sweden they are free under national insurance. UK free with National Health Insurance. Other countries had complex formulas I am not listing here. This is from 2018. https://www.efhoh.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/State-of-Hearing-Aids-Provision-in-Europe-2018.pdf

The new law does not really cover the fitted hearing aids that my mom has or you have through your insurance, but the kind that you can get over the counter, you no longer need an audiologist to refer one. Given that hearing loss is thought to contribute to all sorts of other health problems such as falling and dementia, treating it seems important.

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/the-hidden-risks-of-hearing-loss

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I have two friends (prior to OTC) to purchase hearing aids—with the assistance of an on-site audiologist—and they are thrilled.

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I got mine at Costco and have been very satisfied.

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Perhaps I could have been if I had patience. :)

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I really have conflicting feelings about this issue; these are really complex devices and I worry that the lack of support services and audiology care will create more problems for folks. I’ve worn hearing aids for about 10 years and they are definitely life changing....who will you go to for issues after picking them up at the drugstore? Who programs them for your particular hearing problem?

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On this as on many other issues, those of us without deep pockets and/or state-of-the-art insurance generally go with the more affordable option even when it doesn't come with backup services. Often it works out fine: either we don't need the backup or we can find what we do need more cheaply. Sometimes it doesn't work out so fine, as when self-medicating a problem lands you in the ER. I hope that one of these days legislators and those in the various professional associations will realize that making quality care and products accessible to those of us without deep pockets and/or state-of-the-art insurance is a good deal for both the individuals affected and the whole society.

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If insurance pays towards glasses why not also towards hearing aids?

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This question goes into the same bucket with "Why doesn't health insurance routinely cover dental care?" The answer comes down to special-interest lobbying and the power of the insurance industry.

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You have to be a savvy cell phone user. You do get customer service and their apps give you instructions. These will be a huge game changer for everyone.

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My husband is on the most recent of his hearing aids. The latest ones are obvious, but he says they do a better job and yes, he went to an audiologist. My voice is, unfortunately, difficult for the hearing challenged, so we have had many communication problems. There are other problems like sudden unexpected noises and noisy restaurants. I hope that OTC ones work for those who couldn't afford them otherwise because my husband's have not been cheap.

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Michele, I agree. What’s important is to be able to improve hearing for safety and social reasons. But low income is an impediment. My Mother started wearing hearing aids in her mid to late eighties, (lived to be 97) although she would have benefited much earlier. Her insurance covered some of the costs but she still paid $4000 at a reputable audiologist. In about 2000. The warranty was excellent and helped because she needed numerous adjustments (had to take a taxi and their hours weren’t convenient) and because of her particular anatomy had problems with fit and sometimes keeping them in her ear. One time she noticed the left hearing aid was missing. She eventually found it under the bench at the bus stop. Hopefully more people will get the assistance they need and be able to afford the time and costs.

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Irene The three year hearing aid warranty I find useful. Add a year for about $400. Adjustments are needed on occasion. The tougher thing is if you lose a hearing aid—something like $450 for the first replacement. I’m glad that I could retrieve my left hearing aid from my dog’s mouth before he chewed it. No such luck with my wife’s red rubber ear plugs. Bruno just passed a pair yesterday—makes the garden look fairly festive.

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Oct 18, 2022·edited Oct 18, 2022

Keith, that warranty is essential, even extending it. So are the hearing aids essential. Good luck finding a missing device under a bench or in the dog’s mouth. It’s also a hassle as well as luck to lose and find one. And to be able to get back to the audiologist for the follow up and adjustments especially for people who live alone and don’t drive. I remember my mom intently looking at a speaker’s face before she ever had her ears tested. Now Medicare and many insurance companies make testing a part of a yearly exam. And even over the counter devices might be helpful and at least affordable for many who cannot pay thousands of dollars. For Medicare at least the hearing tests are part of the physical exams. Both the exams and over the counter devices are a start. Both supported by Dems. Remember the ACA. We have to call this insurance by it’s initials because Obamacare is too partisan. Another topic, another day.

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I agree that cost is a problem. I have pulled a tiny part out of my husband's ear with tweezers...good thing I have a steady hand. He has had several pairs including ones he got online. He seems happy with the new ones....I haven't asked how much they cost.

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Oct 18, 2022·edited Oct 18, 2022

Michele, aging and living alone, such a challenge. Lucky your husband has you and you’re adept at using the tweezers. And more, of course. You bring up just one of the many problems of aging. We do need each other and to be able to afford the devices in the first place. And get to the provider. I’ll stop there. The challenges.

.

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Michele Your family travails with hearing aids reflect my own. Unexpected noises and my wife’s sudden comments that I garble. I wish women spoke as bass or alto. One salvation is text on some TV (esp British) series—-the high ranges I find vexing.

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I have a low voice that if I deign to sing is alto. He doesn't hear high pitched sounds at all, so it's been me to say the car is making a high pitched sound for example. Maybe after reading your post that is a good thing. He does jump at unexpected sounds like the dog barking all of sudden or my saying something when he doesn't expect it. My hearing is good and I do admit that high pitched female voices can be annoying even to me. What really bothers me is the noise coming from our neighbor's shop where lots of the sounds are either very loud and often high-pitched. I don't want to feel like I am at the dentist's office. The metal sander is one of the worst.

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Sometimes we on this page forget there are millions in the country who literally can't afford the luxury of proper health. Thanks for reminding us of that fact, Keith.

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I compare over the counter hearing aids to reading glasses. At one time it was unheard of to have reading glasses. I wish my Grandmother would have had access to affordable "readers."

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Uh no. Oh ye of little faith, the consumer will be empowered to shop the market to find the hearing aid that works for them. And they’ll no longer have to shop for the exorbitantly priced casket at the funeral home.

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Capitalism to the rescue!!

If we only have unregulated, unfettered, legal GREED,

ALL WILL BE WELL!!

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Hearing aids are a tool. We aren’t talking about heart pacemakers being sold at Walmart. We’re talking about a market that has been subject to windfall profits for years. Wait until you need one Mike.

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Agreed. Buying hearing aids without at least an evaluation by an audiologist is ill-advised. While there are DIY hearing tests, you wouldn't let someone who read a medical book take out your appendix would you? Without an eval you may buy more or less hearing aid than you need

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As I sit typing with Big Lots readers on I couldn't disagree more. I respectfully point out that your comparison is an apples to oranges argument.

Why not let people decide for themselves?

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What if your hearing loss is a result of a progressive disease that left untreated could result in permanent hearing loss?

Here's a quote from an article I read today:

"Even though it will be easier to get a hearing aid, the president of the Hearing Industries Association, which represents hearing aid manufacturers, told NPR buyers should be careful about what they are buying.

“I hate to use the words ‘buyer beware,’ so instead it’s ‘buyer be educated’ about what you’re doing, what your needs are,” the group president Kate Carr told NPR."

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/oct/18/hearing-aids-over-the-counter-walgreens-walmart

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Maybe, but when my husband went to a doctor about his hearing loss, the doc sent him to an audiologist.

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Of course he did. That's the club.

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Are you implying kickbacks, or some sort of secret fraternity handshake? Have you ever been to a qualified audiologist to see how much they have to invest in equipment to analyze your personal hearing loss? Loss of hearing is not just a simple "what did you say?" Suggest you get educated before exposing your prejudice.

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Gosh Frank. You sure read a lot into a simple statement. These comments are considered a safe and civil discourse space. Disagreement is great. Belittling someone just isn't necessary. I hope you have a great Autumn day in your area.

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This is not a simple statement. It indicates a belief system that includes conspiracy, collusion, and mistrust of health care providers. It is very difficult for me, a retired and hearing impaired physician, to let stand. Think about that.

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You give me way too much credit for malfeasance Frank. No one is threatening your professional life nor personal issues when they comment. Most comments are done with intellectual vigor addressing the issue at hand. No one is maligning you. We could benefit a lot more from your professional expertise of the medical profession's viewpoint and your personal journey with hearing loss than listening to the whining about someone's comment hurt your feelings.

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Oct 18, 2022·edited Oct 18, 2022

I didn't think that Frank was expressing 'hurt feelings' but, perhaps, an opinion about the integrity of most audiologists based on his experience. It is worthwhile to acknowledge both of your points of view.

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Keith funny you should write my story. I am acutely aware of the impact of the mortar round that left me with severe hearing loss. Not to mention the eye which went south later. When I realized the ringing was forever and the hearing was debilitating I asked the army for help. Hearing aids. Nope they said for 40 years and three requests. Nope! Nope! You dope. We were lying when we sent you into the fray. Yer on yer own cowboy. Not to worry Like most enterprising veterans I invented the cure. Easy to spot in a crowd, I had my version of the silver horn. Perhaps not as elegant were my wolf ears but shucky darn they did work. After 40 years the army did me right and I am grateful. They even threw in an almost successful eye operation. :)

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Pat, I had to beg my husband, also a Vet, to get hearing aids from the VA. He got them, finally and lost one of them the very day he got them. Got a replacement albeit two weeks later but a month afterwards, the VA found his missing hearing aid under a bench! You think he wears them?? It’s a fight to the finish!

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I think it would be a lot of fun to have lunch with you and Pat. You both gave LsOL

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Jeeze Marlene us husbands just like our wives to yell at us. Sign him up as a Catholic and get some guilt working for you. I wear them for my wife St. Tammy.

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Oh honey, he was raised Catholic and I’m Jewish so believe me, there’s a ton of guilt in our house! :)

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😹✌️👏🙉

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Or a Jew. We're wonderful with guilt, too. Although we came first... L&B&L

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A 96 year old woman agrees that it's a fight to the finish with hearing aids. Be tough and persevere. OTOH all HA and all Hs do die and I'm hoping I'll do it first. LB&L

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Not only an enterprising vet with a silver horn and wolf ears, darn lucky to have had the Army come to his rescue 40 years later with hearing aids and an almost successful eye operation. This vet has the talent to make his disabilities as a result of military service and the Army's lack of support for him very amusing, indeed. Hooah, Cole!

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"If it is to be, it is up to me." Gratitude to Anon

L&B&L

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Great anecdote!🤣🤣🤣

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Let's say the political scientist's assertion is correct: the Republican Party is facing an "extinction event" because of its cultish devotion to Trump. Then consider the likelihood that Trump will be faced with federal crimes for Jan. 6 and document theft and state charges in Georgia for election meddling. This means the odds are extremely high he'll face penalties that will block his return to the White House.

In this likely scenario, it's fair to assume Trump will incite MAGA in various ways, including outright violence across the country that could spill over to the 2024 elections. He is increasingly unhinged as his fate becomes apparent. How bad will it be? How will the FBI, where apparently a large number of agents supported the insurrection, respond? We know that many local police departments are MAGA, so how will they respond when their Idol calls for civil war?

Am I an alarmist? No, more like a realist.

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I have been thinking along these same lines, Michael. So to me it's fair to say the reality is alarming.

One of the things I have been wondering about is if the crowd had gotten to Pence, would his SS detail have saved him.

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My guess is that if Pence had gotten in that car, he wouldn't have been seen again.

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Worst case: an assassination blamed on antifa.

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Then why, in God’s name-and I ask literally since he claims to be such a “Christian” man-why won’t Pence tell what he knows??? The hypocrisy and sickness seem to have no end... he’s as filthy as the rest of them. Lust for money and power-there’s truly no decency or integrity in any of them.

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Pence is white, privileged, evangelical America writ large. He’s able to contain corrosive cognitive dissonance inside, while wearing a plaster smile.

Christianity and Democracy are what he defines it to be, to serve himself, uplift himself, and save himself. The rest of the world be damned. WWJD?

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Jesus would be appalled at what people do in his name.

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I don't think they are all equally vile, bit yes, Pence is deeply complicit.

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Pence is way more dangerous. It makes me very nervous when he starts to look like a hero of Jan 6.

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Oct 18, 2022·edited Oct 18, 2022

Pence is a Dominionist. They fully believe in a literal translation of Revelations and the End Times, and all this chaos means Armageddon is upon us. Hundreds, if not thousands, of politicians in this country are also Dominionists, and write policy based on their beliefs. It's a subsection of the Republican Triangle of Doom.

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Yes, and thank you. I don't think we realize how sure the trajectory is of this strain of the worst and most deranged Christian fundamentalism. These folks are the craziest and most dangerous because they are true believers. I am the furthest you can get from a conspiracy theorist, but I will say that the combination of the secular arm of this far-right crew--the Federalist Society--and the terrible Opus Dei on the religious side--have been dreadfully organized over many years and have achieved many of their goals.

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The lure of the power...... I grew up in Indiana -More of the Pence family is getting into the racket..........

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Me too though I have been gone since college. IN is a misplaced southern state—should be between AL and MS I realized.

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Just because Cheney and Kinziger are on the Jan. 6 committee doesn't mean that they are kind people. They are still Republicans. Kinziger castigated Kamala Harris on Twitter for saying out loud what she was wearing at a conference, which happened to be for sight impaired people.

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Who ever thought there was?

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Maybe he has to consult with “ mother” before he comes forward

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In my opinion, Pence is just about the worst and most dangerous of the lot. He has devoted much of his political life supporting, indirectly and directly, Conversion Camps for gay teens; oddly he refuses to even have lunch in public with a woman unless "Mother" is there. I am not making this up.

He is a dangerous man, far to the right of most, presentable, convincing, dedicated to locking into place the worst of the far-right agenda. If he were elected, he would do more damage than Trump ever imagined, and he would do it so quietly that very few of us would notice.

As for his "Christianity," the whole bunch of them are some kind of zealous Christian Dominionists, and that kind of religious zeal hasn't done much good in the world or so history suggests. We are quick to rail against Islamic extremists but Christian history is pretty grim.

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They wouldn't have had to kill him .... that would cause a whole new set of problems .... just prevent him from certifying the election.

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Probably, but there was also this: "Hang Mike Pence." So one has to wonder.

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One hopes that it wasn't the Secret Service that was saying that ......

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I think the 1/6 mob would have seriously injured or killed any politician they could have gotten their hands on that day.

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That rabid, frothing-at the-mouth crowd would have killed Pence, as well as Pelosi. And doing so would have given Trump cover to declare martial law.

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Yes. That kind of blood lust is hard to stop

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I agree completely, William

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I believe that’s why Pence wouldn’t consent to being removed from the Capitol.

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Understood. My thought is if the SS had used force to make it happen. Fortunately, they did not this time.

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Such a frightening thought. I wonder how secure Joe and Kamala feel with their SS Detail. 😕

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Joe kept his detail that was with him during his VP days. I am hoping on his behalf that they can be trusted. I have no idea about Kamala.

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Lynell, I have wondered the very same.

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For decades, right wing militia's have strategically funneled their recruits - who could and were willing to pass as relatively normal - into police forces and the military. Not a big step - from KKK families with a tradition of going into enforcement and the military.

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They just shed their sheets

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Exactly!

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heart emoji

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Marj-try going to the top of the page-look to the left of the search bar. There's an incomplete circle w/ an arrow @ the end. That's the refresh button. You'll go back to where you were and you should be able to click on the heart so it'll show. Refreshing may have to be repeated withing a few tries.

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It's that & worse. Check out Jim Stewartson's Substack from yesterday about 88Tactical, with blatantly Nazi leanings, now franchising to a shooting range near you. I forwarded it to my law enforcement son, havent heard back from him yet.

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That has been cultivating for many years. Media tends to ignore that very important detail. Former North Carolinian Jewish girl raised by Holocaust victims here.

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Michael, Like everyone I have had similar concerns about the potential of uncontrolled violence. However, someone far more informed and educated on these things, Glenn Kirschner in an interview with Salon says otherwise. While we shouldn't let our guard down, read his comments about the MAGAts who speak loudly when their guns are in their laps but, without critical thinking skills are not individually strong. I trust he is correct. Read below. The pertinent section is toward the end of the article but, the whole interview is worth skimming and if nothing else is better for anxiety than reaching for the Xanax.

https://www.salon.com/2022/10/17/they-are-going-to-convict-very-quickly-glenn-kirschner-on-the-trial-of-donald-j/

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Thanks much for sharing this, BK. The interview is a must-read.

Kirschner, who I listen to often on MSNBC, says that "most of Trump's MAGA followers are cowards and that any potential violence will be limited in scope." He goes on to describe them as the kind people who will move on "to look for the next false God to worship, such as Ron DeSantis or whoever else it might be."

And I love Kirschner's term for why Trump has avoided legal consequences for so long: he's a "ruling-class criminal."

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I love listening to Kirschner and he is often I interviewed and quoted. I’ve also been listening to Rachel Maddow’s new series podcast ULTRA. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/rachel-maddow-presents-ultra/id1647910854?i=1000582866641

Reminds me of Philip Roth’s true stories of his childhood and the times he grew up in New Jersey. The mini-series “Plot Against America” might be available. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Plot_Against_America_(miniseries) It ’s also a book!

I think when we learn about History, whether it’s racism or antisemitism or political violence or even successful movements we must realize and connect to the facts that nothing is permanent. Our votes and voices are critical and so is our vigilance, our continuing attention to what is happening here and in the world. It’s political strategy to keep the people dependent, poor or wealthy, partisan and angry or distracted. Even Happy and busy. Or afraid Or you name it. We have to understand we’re manipulated in some way. Even by the good guys. And I’m a good guy.

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Thank you for this link, BK

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I agree but I think the correct assessment of MAGA potential for violence they are collectively weak. What I fear is small individual extremist groups who would demonstrate their disdain for the weak MAGA menace by taking violent actions.

The rural fragmented nature of MAGA support lessens regional or collective strength but opens the door to activate smaller militant extremists.

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Oct 18, 2022·edited Oct 18, 2022

Thank you, BK, for the link. Good article--realistic about tfg's chances in court (very high for an indictment, findings of guilt and an arrest) and to be imprisoned (wishful but unlikely).

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You are not an alarmist - a realist, perhaps. You are not alone. But here is my take.

Outright violence on a larger scale will be crushed. The government has many more and bigger guns. It also has the prisons. I am opposed to violence. A peacenik to some degree. But if a few Oath Keepers and Proud Boy types bite the dust, no loss to America.

The FBI and the Secret Service will be purged of traitors. This mess is going to be cleaned up.

It may come down to some standoffs and some bloody encounters. There have been several "rebellions" and large scale violent protests in our past. They were all put down in quick order.

Such violence and armed rebellion will backfire with the vast middle of America who just want to go to work, raise their kids and have a nice dinner before bed. Sometimes things just need to get worse before the nation finally says "Enough!".

When we watched Ken Burns "Holocaust", we learned that most Americans did not want to go to war - even to save millions from being exterminated. But when they were personally threatened, attitudes changed almost overnight. Private militias attacking fellow Americans will unite the vast majority in opposition. I could be wrong. It happens all the time. But that's my optimistic pitch for this morning.

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I hope you're right, but it's the ringleaders that need to be removed from society and silenced before they can do even more harm.

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Person #1 is the ringleader

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During the WWII we didn't have social media like today and dirty money flowing to the mass Mega from all countries. Money talks in this era today. Just look at the wealh distribution in the country. Tycoon's with China ties reported the in New Yorker today to give to Trump Mega Republicans. What about Musk's ambitions?

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I would call current R policies a resurrection. The old party was dead as too many rejected the trickle down economics of RINOs. Now they are supercharged with unchecked conspiracies and wing nut candidates.

Yet they get 50% of the votes.

Imagine Senator Walker? Ugh!!!

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"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." --Thomas Jefferson to Charles Yancey, 1816. ME 14:384

"Convinced that the people are the only safe depositories of their own liberty, and that they are not safe unless enlightened to a certain degree, I have looked on our present state of liberty as a short-lived possession unless the mass of the people could be informed to a certain degree." --Thomas Jefferson to Littleton Waller Tazewell, 1805.

"No nation is permitted to live in ignorance with impunity." --Thomas Jefferson: Virginia Board of Visitors Minutes, 1821. ME 19:408

"Freedom [is] the first-born daughter of science." --Thomas Jefferson to Francois D'Ivernois, 1795. ME 9:297

"Light and liberty go together." --Thomas Jefferson to Tench Coxe, 1795.

I know, I posted this yesterday, but, today? It is still true!!

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Mike Delightful Thomas Jefferson quotes. However, the same Jefferson wrote about the need for ‘blood’ now and then. David McCullough commenced research on a book based on John Adams and Jefferson’s post-presidential letters. Then David wrote me that he had abandoned that project because he found Jefferson hypocritical. His singular book on John Adams won him a second Pulitzer.

Do you recall Jefferson’s quotes on frugality? In real life he was constantly in debt and sold his library to Congress to try to pay down this debt. Likewise, when he supported an embargo on trade with Great Britain and France (1807?), he managed to finagle some expensive French wine through customs for his personal use.

Enjoy your Jefferson quotes, but never play two card monte with the fellow.

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but Keith, he may have racked up debts but he took action to PAY them

Look what we have now...Politicians today have so little of the intellectual curiosity that he embodied.

And as for business and financial acumen,don't forget, the Louisiana Purchase, the best real estate deal with France imaginable

When you go to Monticello and you see how much he invested in his interests ( architecture, science, botany etc etc) as opposed to gold faucets and gaudy useless expenses of the mindlessly greedy greedy

He was not a perfect man but he was a visionary

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If you read enough biographies you learn to appreciate what people have contributed and accept that very, very few belong on pedestals. We are stuck with being human and complicated.

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Joan Actually a lottery was being planned at the time of Jefferson’s death. Of course Jefferson did some great things of which the Louisiana Purchase ranks perhaps at the very top. Initially he sought New Orleans from Napoleon. Unexpectedly Big Nap offered the entire enchilada.

Jeff the frugalist had no constitutional way to conclude the Louisiana Purchase immediately and Big Nap wouldn’t wait. So Jeff said what the hell and Toujour gai. Lewis & Clark explored the greatest land purchase in history.

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L & C & Pochantas quite a trek.

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Jefferson was an "early adapter" of clever French home improvements; Thomas did have a great amount of common sense placing his Bedroom/ Study on the first floor on the sunny side to deal with a number of personal infirmities. Jefferson's "living room" was a veritable Natural History Museum-still is.

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Bryan Jefferson was a great innovator as reflected in what one can see at Monticello. He also was associated with some duds. Focused on thrift, he supported small boats with mounted guns called ‘Little Jeffs.’ They were cute, but militarily total useless on the high sea. Indeed, they were the object of ridicule as Jefferson faced ther British and French fleet with his ‘flyswater fleet.’

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Yup, early adaption was far from early success in the 18th Century. George W had his share of failures too. Also, I did not care for George's thick "Red Coat" but, I sure it kept him warm.

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You know, I am not a big fan of Thomas Jefferson overall, but I love these quotes. Thanks for posting them 2 days in a row… that meant I saw them today!

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Thank you Keith--Dr. R is not a fan of Jefferson either!

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I will heed the advice!

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Thank you, reminders necessary

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Thanks, Mike please post Jefferson quotes for the rest of the Week. For those following the on-going Trial of U.S. [John Durham] vs. Igor Y. Danchenko, 1:21-cr-00245, after Day 3 of the Trial, the Judge has given the Parties 30 Days to 11/14/2022, to file a "NOTICE OF INTENT TO REQUEST REDACTION" of the Day 3 Trial Transcript to stop further Leaks. The redacted Trial Transcript will be available on 1/12/2023 through PACER or Court Reporter, Rhonda Montgomery. VERDICT: DANCHENKO ACQUITTED.

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Why is the Barrack case taking so long? Is there a summary of it somewhere?

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Emptywheel.net has had good coverage on conflict of interest issues but, I have not yet checked THOMAS BARRACK COURTLISTENER. Post, if you get anything valuable.Tu.

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If you learn anything, or have access to PACER, I'm interested because he is the father in law of my girlfriend's son. He of course claims he's done nothing wrong. (Where we have heard those words before?)

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These quotes are wonderful and so true

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"I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical." TJ to James Madison.

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Thomas J to James M, 1/30/1787, "But, weigh this against the oppression of monarchy [autocracy] and it beomes nothing".

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Mike, i hope you saw and read the link posted in BKs comment above. Reiterates what you always say about how rich white men don't go to jail.

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All true, Mike. Expecting to be ignorant (current state of education) AND free? Not happening.

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Michael,

I highly recommend the Greek islands. A bit cold in winter, and, the villages are bit difficult to access through some of the mountain roads.

But, the public education in Greece is, bar none, among the best in the world. Greeks already did their Civil War after WW II and are a stable Democracy as a result.

Lastly, Greek media has not glorified a fake entity called "cowboy" that never existed in a way that everybody wants to wear a gun on their hip. Nobody carries a gun in Greece. Nobody.

In fact, Greeks take a really, really dim view of most Americans, BUT, if you were (unlucky/lucky) enough to marry a Greek (depending on the day for sure), Greeks treat Americans well.

So, instead of worrying about Civil war in the US, find a place that is stable, buy a property, and keep your passport handy.

There is just NO WAY, having better understood American history through Dr. Richardson, the 1619 Book, MLK's speeches which are on utube, that I am going to involve myself in any violence here at all.

Too many people here are imbued in fantasy through media, fake movies about cowboys, super violent modern movies, and fake websites to get involved in violence.

Let em have it. Let's see how that works out for their "base".

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I wish

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I’d go but I’m too old to do so now.

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I have a friend that is seriously checking out The Azores as a second home. She is worried about the stability of our country, and wants to have the option of leaving, perhaps permanently, if necessary.

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Add in the election deniers in positions of power and we are in completely uncharted territory.

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In an orderly world, where laws have their independence from politics and greed; thank you for your realism.

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I think we can all be pretty sure there will be violence. How much, how long, and how extreme remain to be seen.

Christopher Wray needs to be fired as FBI Director, as he "lacked candor" in testimony before Congress and has allowed FBI malfeasance in regard to Trump and Jan. 6. Just as Biden replaced the head of the Secret Service, he must replace Wray so we can have a real remedy to this serious problem.

The police will be tougher in some ways because of so much local control, but federal Civil Rights investigators may be able to help by rooting out some of the racism, which is also a big part of Trumpism

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Christopher Wray needs to be removed. What is the holdup?

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A frightening thought that arose today.

I hope that sharing it will cause readers to strengthen their resolve.

*

"The kindest thing one could say about many Americans' (and others') attitude to party politics is that they treat it as a tribal game.

Democracy is bound to fail if voters are guided by habit and tribal allegiance alone.

You end up with the kind of situation that led to the Nika Riots."

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Profound learning: democracy doesn't work very well in tribal societies. There may be development of good election procedures, but if people are voting and acting along tribal lines democracy is not developing.

I consider circumcision of baby boys an artificial strengthening of tribal belonging, originally aiming at making loyal warriors for the tribe. I think both Moses and Mohammed understood that this habit could not be taken away, so they made it "religious"; less fighting between the tribes, and viable warriors for the religion. Maybe the UN could set up clinics for parents who want their boys to belong to humanity.

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Thoughtful.

In Muslim and some other societies, circumcision is a rite of passage that takes place just before puberty...

But I spoke of tribal identity in a broad sense, an automatism connected with social class and family identity. And, after a long life I've become well aware of how, after mediocrity has taken hold in a political party, there can be a further decline into yob behavior.

In the US, it's far worse than that... But people are stunned by the speed and acceleration of change, yet unable to see that Grandad's Old Party is no longer Grandad's but has been replaced by something very different... and very, very dangerous.

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I observe that many are cheered and strengthened by this accelerated change. If we believe polls, I’d say around 50% of Americans herald and welcome this change toward Loud & Proud white christian nationalism. And they are showing us that they want it “By Any Means Necessary”. This is who we are and who we have always been “under the sheets”. Trying to bend the Arc of Justice Towards Freedom is damn hard. Herding cats is easier and less messy.

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"Cheered and strengthened by this accelerated change..."

Isn't that confusing effect with cause?

No one can keep pace with it, least of all politicians who prescribe the patent medicines hawked a generation or more ago.

Into this chaos strides a cheap conman, straight from the TV update of a Coney Island sideshow.

Like Hitler, he gives a loud voice to the hitherto repressed rage, resentment and hatreds of those who've woken up with a hangover from disappointed dreams of "Greatness", this time, the Great American Dream, Big Rock Candy Mountain and all.

He's empty, he's hollow, a sounding box for limitless resentment... and his voice is THEIRS.

And yes, suddenly there's meaning in their lives, suddenly they're surfing on a tsunami, speeding in to smash it all... and Live Happily Ever Afterwards, in a Great-Free-For-All-Back-To-The-Fifties Fuehrerfest...

Two folk tales tell it all: The Pied Piper of Hamelin and -- above all -- The Tale of the Fisherman and his Wife.

Like the Fisherman's Wife, this Apprentice Antichrist, can find satisfaction in nothing... wants to be God. This ends her up back in the ditch she crawled out of... and the sooner this latterday Fisherman's Wife follows suit, the better.

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Morning Michael. There’s a refrain in Missy Elliot’s rap song “Under Construction” that calls for the listener to “Turn the Volume Up”.

Professor Richardson’s letter is a barnburner today. That line from the song started playing in my head. I sent it out to a shitload of contacts already. Your comment made me turn the volume up on the last sentence. I’ve wondered the same. What will be the response to another insurrection display of violence across the country or isolated to a place such as the Capitol again? All I can say is that we have a current Commander in Chief that will call on our strength to crush the MAGAts. Instead of eating a cheeseburger watching it.

Turn the volume up…..

Unita. 🗽

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Guess we are about to find out how thoroughly fascists have infiltrated “law enforcement.” Chiefs, directors and Generals have looked the other way when confronted with rank and file membership in militias, QAnon, KKK, forever. Turn the volume up, indeed.

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January 6th MAGA crowd was at a fever pitch and melted when the Virginia National Guard appeared with DC police. Pressure on public misbehavior by Oath Keepers and others will damp down real action. The real danger is control will be lost if the midterms go badly and I think many Democratic voters are in denial of what is at stake.

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Stop the flow of Dark Money. Where ever THAT is, corruption is.

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I have to agree with anyone who is concerned about how LE or the military will react. It was clear from the last committee report that the Secret Service and probably other agencies knew there would be violence and basically did nothing except keep death star from going to the capitol building. Every time I think about that day, I get sick to my stomach.

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Oct 18, 2022·edited Oct 18, 2022

Michael Bales, Knowing where this country is between Biden's efforts to provide government support, long overdue, and power moves by Trump, along with his Republican MAGA Criminal Inc. Party is impossible to ascertain. HCR's Letters provide reports on both sides, but the balance between the two, where art thou? How much damage has been done to the functions of government; infiltration into the military, government, law-enforcement, business and the general public by the fascistic members of Trump's cult?

In an interview with with Chauncey Devega printed in Salon, Glenn L. Kirschner is an American attorney, a former U.S. Army prosecutor, and an NBC News/MSNBC said,

'The fact that Donald Trump is not being held accountable doesn't make sense. But it can be explained by the phenomenon of the ruling-class criminal. America has never been willing to hold them accountable, whether they are in politics, business, entertainment, the tech business or what have you.'

'We are prosecuting Donald Trump's foot soldiers who he unleashed upon the Capitol on Jan. 6 to stop the certification. They are going to trial; they're going to prison. The man who gave the criminal order to attack is playing golf, holding rallies and attending dinner parties. That is a deep injustice at play in America every minute of every day, until Donald Trump is held accountable.'

'Donald Trump believes that he is above the law. And he holds that belief for good reason. It appears that Trump has lived a life of crime and has never been held accountable. That is a dramatic failing of our criminal justice system, our law enforcement agencies and most certainly our nation's prosecutors. Trump, in my opinion, has also come to believe, with good reason, that if he admits his crimes out loud people will take a step back and scratch their heads and say, "Geez, I thought it was criminal what he did, but he is saying he did it.'

Devega to Kirschner: If you had Merrick Garland's ear right now, what would you tell him?

'On the one hand, you want to say better late than never if you're going to bring charges against Donald Trump. But it's already so late. People have lost so much confidence. You came in as somebody who was determined to rebuild the institution, the prestige and the legitimacy of the Department of Justice. But I think the way this investigation is lingering is doing the exact opposite. I hope he can make decisions quickly that will remedy all of that.'

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Just read the article, Fern. IMO, Kirschner is as balanced as balance can be about this state of affairs.

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I agree. Lynell. He calls it straight with the facts and with feeling.

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A mystery.

When will the reasons for this strange appearance of impunity be revealed?

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Ah, succinct, to the point, sharp and witty; it is the power of one line by the pen of Peter. Thank you.

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No wit. Not amused but deeply anxious. For us all, here and now. For posterity.

I have never forgotten the words of a distinguished former German judge whom I met when I was a student, a Jew, forced to leave his beloved country, when he spoke of the failure to execute Hitler after the Munich beer hall putsch and the consequences of that failure of justice.

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Oct 18, 2022·edited Oct 18, 2022

No doubt, whatsoever, about the serious and daggerlike point of your message.

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No, Fern.

You at least are well aware of the danger.

When I spoke of the former judge's view of the incalculable effects of a failure of justice, I did not have one man's crimes in mind, or their punishment, but how the great power of Nazi Germany was as nothing compared to that of the United States today.

I leave it to you and to readers, especially jurists, to consider the implications of this fact.

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Oct 18, 2022·edited Oct 18, 2022

I’m with you. As Heather says, he’s trying to destroy the rule of law. Like Putin, he will cause chaos to distract and then insert himself. And then forget about laws as you know them.

Watching the Ken Burns documentary on the US response to the Holocaust made me sick to think that Americans were so susceptible to propaganda. But here we are again. And this time, it could be even worse.

MAGA lovers have no idea what their asking for. They’re even touting MAGA communism to gain media attention at great risk.

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Realist indeed, only ostrich’s don’t see the view from their own eyes. And there is the possibility that if McCarthy becomes speaker, the investigations will melt away. Am I an alarmist!

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Possibility? I'd say its pretty definite. Not an alarmist!

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So, I guess no anti-semitism was spoken today, which is a good thing. Heather, are you as frustrated as we are that Garland hasn’t hauled Trump into court yet? We know he won’t comply to the Select Committee’s subpoena. He is a weasel and a dangerous one at that. Everything seems to be coming out now except for who financed the coup and why haven’t we been privy to Ginni’s testimony?

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Not necessarily - he claims he is "eager" to testify live, and of course the committee would love to have him commit perjury on national television. His lawyers - at least the ones who didn't get their law degrees from a box of Cheerios - wouldn't want that.

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Tom The day Trump testifies under oath before the 1/6 House Committee is the same day that I am elected Pope (and I am not Catholic).

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KEITH, KEITH KEITH FOR POPE.!!!!!!!!

(Its OK, catholics that support DJT are not catholic either)

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HAHAHAHAHA! Love this!

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Of course! It's a sucker's bet otherwise.

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I am Catholic but female, so I can't be pope.

That is another argument for another day.

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Oct 18, 2022·edited Oct 18, 2022

Miselle At one time there were three popes at about the same time—including the dude in Avignon. Perhaps we can have another papal trilogy with a woman, a non-Catholic, and the Holy Ghost. You can be pope on Fridays and eat fish. I will declare Wednesday a holy lamb chop day. I’ll leave the wine and wafer to the Holy Ghost.

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Miselle, I recently was confirmed as an Episcopalian, after a lifetime of Presbyterianism. The priest who founded my church is a woman. I get a huge charge out of that.

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Didn’t Herschel get his badge out of one of those cereal boxes?

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Oct 18, 2022·edited Oct 18, 2022

Marlene, that Cereal Box Caper is possible or maybe this: “In fairness to Herschel Walker,” George Takei, the actor known for his role on “Star Trek,” tweeted on Friday night, “I sometimes pull out my Star Fleet badge to get past security at Star Trek conferences.” https://www.nytimes.com/2022/10/15/us/politics/walker-warnock-debate-police-badge.html

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🤣🤣🤣 love George Takei!

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George is the best!!👏🏼👏🏼😁

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If tRump testifies, he'll make a circus out of everything. Just more chaos and lies.

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Terri Kanefield, author and former defense attorney, has an excellent blog where she explains over and over that prosecutors who indict before doing all their research set themselves up to lose.

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She’s terrific, and her FAQS (sticky) are real time updated in how the DOJ is progressing.

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Thank you, Joan. Just read her latest and I kind of get a few things now. I subscribed.

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Oct 18, 2022·edited Oct 18, 2022

Very frustrated with the Justice Department. But by cutting the head off the snake (jailing Trump), would it stop this MAGA madness? Or would another demigod “savior” take his place?

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Oct 18, 2022·edited Oct 18, 2022

Dave,

Applying the law to a rich white man who openly broke the law in many ways?

Yes, that will matter. Right now in America most whites figure that no matter what they do, they will not go to jail, so, they feel like they can do whatever they want.

Arresting Trump, cuffing him, and trundling him out in front of the cameras and on twitter into the back of a paddy wagon filled with black people being arrested for 2 oz of Marijuana?

THAT would make a difference here in America Dave.

No doubt.

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Are you aware that "Paddy wagon" is an ethnic slur against the Irish? ("Paddy" is a nickname for Patrick, and the implication is that all Irish are drunks.)

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Lee. No I was not. My apology.

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Mike, I completely agree. No inference intended that Trump should not be prosecuted. He should and with a vengeance, IMHO. Oh, the damage to this country he's done!

I'm left wondering just how much more evidence the Justice Department needs to nail this guy to the wall (perhaps they are waiting for it all to be put on a silver platter)? As I mentioned in an earlier post, the theft of top secret documents should have been a cut and dry life term in Federal prison, regardless of ethnic background. But, as they say on TV, "but wait, there's more!".

I'm also wondering who the RNC #2 is that would undoubtedly carry on this MAGA cancer should Trump be removed from the equation and jailed.

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Completely agree.

Maybe we can do a Citizens arrest?

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Fair concern, but IF the law actually is SUPPOSED to apply to "all men equally", shouldn't he have been wearing a striped suit a looooong time ago? Is it not critical to pursue some form of "justice" under the law, with this mob organization? Doing otherwise suggests that this whole sordid mess just adds up to billionaires across the globe, playing, for their own amusement and enrichment, with the lives and illusions of the masses. He must be prosecuted or we are condemned to The Mad Hatter's Tea Party. IMHO.

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K Barnes - "Fair concern, but IF the law actually is SUPPOSED to apply to 'all men equally', shouldn't he have been wearing a striped suit a looooong time ago?"

I posted this a couple days ago:

From: https://www.palmerreport.com/analysis/equal-justice-different-paths/47473/

There’s something we all need to acknowledge to each other and to ourselves. “𝘌𝘲𝘶𝘢𝘭 𝘫𝘶𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘦 𝘶𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘭𝘢𝘸” is different from the notion that “𝘯𝘰 𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘷𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘭𝘢𝘸.”

In no law in the United States is it codified that anyone is above that law. Laws usually begin with ANY PERSON and end with SHALL BE.

Donald Trump is not above the law. His case, however, is a very different case from any other case.

1. Millions of Americans and people around the world are watching. Millions of Americans are heavily prejudiced in favor of Trump, and millions of Americans are heavily prejudiced against Trump. It will be impossible to try him outside the Jupiter-sized gravitation of bias.

2. And it will be difficult to try him without the threat of inspiring civil unrest.

3. And it would be unwise to indict him within 60 days of the 2022 midterm elections.

In other words, Donald Trump is not above the law, but, for Trump, there is no equal justice nor can there ever be the pretense or expectation of equal justice.

He is handled very differently because his circumstances are very different. He may eventually get equal justice, but the path to that justice is going to be very different from what the path to justice would be for you and me under the same charges. Therefore, the outcome could also be very different.

The path to any indictment is not equal and it doesn’t pretend to be. And once indicted, I can guarantee without looking that Donald Trump will never sit in a courtroom wearing an orange jumpsuit and shackles. He will arrive at court in a chauffeured limousine surrounded by powerful lawyers and thousands of fans.

Will he ever go to prison? Perhaps. But don’t expect the path he takes to get there will ever be anything like the path you and I would take. And remember, however attractive the idea of equal justice under the law is to us, we are a very long way from achieving it.

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I did read your first posting and the second. Thank you for the clarification.

Read Chauncey DeVega's Salon interview of Glenn Kirschner on 10/17/22.

https://www.salon.com/2022/10/17/they-are-going-to-convict-very-quickly-glenn-kirschner-on-the-trial-of-donald-j/ "

He refers to tfg as a "Ruling class criminal" and also to his band of ruling class criminals. Simply an obvious statement to the other 50% of the spectators who have watched this long slow drawn out morality play, packed with cortisol spiking shock, over 5 years.

per Kirschner: "America has never been willing to hold the ruling-class criminals accountable, whether they are in politics, business, entertainment, the tech business or what have you.”….In reality, what we as a society need to do is to focus on why Trump and other such people are not being prosecuted.”

....and...and (the spectator's voice inside me cries, full of hope and prayer,) we must proceed as if we DO have the will to fix this fact of American life. Now, before this continues to breed, across the country, this explosion of political crime bosses.

Perhaps I am the mother who brings my very sick child to the pediatrician. I may not understand the highly technical medical jargon for what is wrong, but I do sense that it is urgent that my child's problem gets fixed. It is all too painful to grasp that there are more tests recommended, or that I need to "watch and wait to see what happens" while my child suffers. So every now and then I slip, crying out with a very ineffective cry: "We must seek a cure NOW!" Apparently, even on this forum, I am not alone. But rest assured, I am sure we also understand that all the above exceptions you noted do reasonably apply. I often delete such outbursts of mine. This one slipped past.

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Agreed, Dave! I just want to see the ghastly creep held Accountable! It's such a bad message to let him go with a tap on the wrist "because he used to be President"... I'd like to see his funding cut off too.

I know, that's all wishful thinking.

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