#466. What’s Ahead for the US?

Welcome to a discussion about the upcoming 5th Revolution in the US, which I’ve titled the “Revenge Revolution.” For more about the Revenge Revolution and the author, Entry #1 Periodically I write a “sense check” to assess whether a revolution in the US is possible or whether the entire exercise is based on a statistical aberration — i.e., a roughly 50-year cycle between major upheavals in the US. Entry #430 was the most recent “sense check.”

ENTRY #466: It is Thanksgiving weekend 2022. I started this blog entry over a week ago after having waited a couple of weeks after the mid-term elections. So, what I have I learned by waiting?

The results of the midterms were a bit of a relief, at least temporarily. While there has been a lot of ink about the results of the 2022 midterms, my take is rational Republicans and Democrats took charge and the American public should be generally pleased by the outcomes.

Not to say all is rosy. Even though Republicans gained far fewer seats in the House of Representatives than expected, rational voters should be concerned the incoming House leadership will be a triumvirate of whackos – McCarthy, Green, and Jordan. The far-right trio will generate a lot of noise in the House, but fortunately, all the efforts will end up being for show and of little consequence. 

The brakes on the Trumpian trifecta will be by the Senate, where Democrats will retain at least 50 seats. In addition, based on voters’ expressions in the mid-terms, some Republicans from “purple” states are likely to join Democrats on key issues.

What may be most encouraging for the longer term is a majority of voters in more balanced purple states elected candidates committed to the Federal and state constitutions rather than the Trump autocracy.  Georgia, for example, reelected Republican Brad Raffensperger to Secretary of State by a significant margin.  Raffensperger, scorned by Trump, clearly drew some Democratic voters.  The election in Georgia was not unique.  Overall, most of the Trump-endorsed candidates were defeated. 

As of this writing, there is one major congressional race to be decided — the Georgia senate race. The runoff is in early December between a highly educated preacher, who is currently filling out a term, Ralph Warnock, and a former Heisman Trophy winner, who played at Georgia, but never bothered to graduate, Herschel Walker.

Why Republicans nominated Walker to run is a mystery. While Mr. Walker certainly had a stellar college football career, his academic accomplishments are what one would generously call “limited.”  As they say in the south, “bless his little heart.“

We shall see if Georgia voters continue to be reasonably rational and avoid electing a senator that can’t put two sentences together, Mr. Walker, or elect someone who is highly respected and understands voters, and how things need to work.

Where do the results of the mid-terms lead? From earlier blog entries, fair to say I think the 5th US Revolution, aka the Revenge Revolution, has started. The 5th Revolution started in earnest when Trump became president, and the cultural war has intensified since.

Much like the 4th US Revolution in the 1960s, early 1970s, this revolution will drag out for a while. And over time different factions will come to the fore to lead the insurrection.

Part of the revolution will continue to be mass killings. In the last two weeks there have been three high-profile mass shootings. One was at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs where five people were killed and 18 or more injured.

That same weekend and what received almost no press was the arrest of two far-right extremists at Penn Station. The individuals were armed and wore body armor, as well as swastika patches.  Apparently the two were headed to one or more synagogues in NYC.

The second high-profile shooting was at the University of Virginia where three football players were killed.  The third incident was at a Walmart, also in Virginia, where six employees were killed by a manager. 

Given the spate of incidents and the continued death threats against members of Congress, and other people in government – when did government doctors become the “enemy”? – what seems likely in the next few months is a successful assassination of a high-profile Democrat in Congress or a “liberal“ member of SCOTUS.

Even though Trump seems to be more and more marginalized by his own party and the right-wing media – Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post mocked his announcement about running in 2024 – Republicans in the House seem hell-bent on rallying Trump’s hard-core base, even if their actions pose a serious threat to democracy.

A surge of the far right is not a new phenomenon. In the 1930s, and even during World War II,  far-right supporters of Nazi Germany included high-profile Americans – Charles Lindbergh and Henry Ford I, for example.  In addition, at least 24 members of Congress were supporters of Nazi Germany.

The Nazi-supporting members of Congress were influential in thwarting investigations by the Department of Justice into who in Congress was involved in taking payments from Nazi Germany. (For a good introduction to the people involved and some activities of the far right in the late 1930s and early 1940s, listen to the podcast “Ultra,“ which is hosted by and partially written by Rachel Maddow.  Put aside your politics and listen to some straight-up history that you should not want repeated.)

Another bit of optimism why the length of the 5th US Revolution might be tempered.  After the far-right members of Congress were “outed” for their support of Nazi Germany, most were voted out of office in the next election.  Some supporters never were endorsed by their party, even those with decades of service in Congress. My hope is the public in the US will awaken and vote the supporters of the insurrection out of office. 

Defeat of the Trump MAGAts in the midterms might be an inkling of how fed up many voters are with members of Congress taking extreme positions, especially positions on the far right.  A further indication of frustration may become apparent over the next 6-9 months as the public is exposed to the three-ring circus in the House led by ringmasters McCarthy, Jordan and Greene. 

In parallel with the  circus in the House, more information about Trump’s illegal activities will be released – from tax evasion, to…wanna bet…unreported income from foreign governments, especially governments in the Middle East and Russia. Don’t be surprised if there’s a charge of money laundering as well.  Analyzing Trump is straightforward – just follow the money.

As far as presidential candidates for 2024, lots of emerging candidates on either side. However, way too early to guess who is likely to emerge. Historically many of the early front runners became “also rans” before the third or fourth primary. I’ll bet neither Trump nor Biden is the nominee.

Back to the next 6-9 months, keep your fingers crossed the amount of violence does not escalate.  And keep your fingers crossed the DOJ vigorously pursues those involved with the insurrection of January 6, starting with the lead dog.  More later. END ENTRY #466

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#465. I’m Now Officially a Political Curmudgeon

Welcome to a discussion about the upcoming 5th Revolution in the US, which I’ve titled the “Revenge Revolution.” For more about the Revenge Revolution and the author, Entry #1 Periodically I write a “sense check” to assess whether a revolution in the US is possible or whether the entire exercise is based on a statistical aberration — i.e., a roughly 50-year cycle between major upheavals in the US. Entry #430 was the most recent “sense check.”

BEGIN ENTRY #465: Now I qualify as a curmudgeon with respect to politics. Without any hesitation, I think at least 50% of the US population is too stupid to understand the magnitude of the threat to democracy we currently face.

OK, if you are a right-wing Republican, and believe an autocrat should lead the country and believe that anyone but a fundamentalist, white Christian should be removed from power or even eliminated, then you’re happy.  However, just remember right-wingers that autocrats are loyal only to themselves.

To the autocrat, your support means nothing and your support does not guarantee your safety or well-being. If you think Trump considers you anything but fodder, then go find a pile of rocks and look at the pile. The pile of rocks is smarter than you are.

For other Republicans who support Trump, which means virtually  every Republican, you – yes,YOU – are leading the US to a revolution. No, the Democrats are not the enemy. You can disagree with Democrats about policy, but Democrats are not promoting banning voting, taking away other individual rights, or trying to concentrate wealth in the hands of a few.

YOU as a Trump-supporting Republican are complicit in the planned overthrow of the US government. YOU will wake up one day, finding most of your rights taken away, and then ask, “why didn’t anyone warn me about this?“

I realize this is a rhetorical question, but “what do Trump and Republican leaders need to do, or maybe not do, in order for you to wake up?“ Look, I understand, no one likes to be insulted. But you are being stupid, f*^”ing stupid.  In fact, you may be dumber than the right-wing wackos. At least they stand for something, even if it’s all the wrong things.

YOU, my fellow citizens, stand for nothing. Republicans complain, complain, complain, but have no plan to fix whatever they complain about. Other than possibly cutting taxes for the wealthy.

In addition, the Republican leadership has no ethics, or should I say no balls. Calling Kevin McCarthy, Mitch McConnell, and Lindsey Graham milquetoast is a step up the courage ladder.

Liz Cheney and I disagree on most policy issues. But I say, “Hail Liz!” for having the guts to stand up and do what’s right.

What happens to Cheney, one of the few Republicans with any character? The milquetoast marauders led by McCarthy kick Cheney out of a leadership position in the House, and then actively promote her defeat in the Wyoming primary.  Excuse me Republicans, she’s a profile in courage and should be praised, not punished.

While there are many more examples, I’ll wrap up with the crocodile tears shed by the Republicans for the Pelosi family. Trump, of course, sent condolences to the family of Jerry Lee Lewis upon his death, but nothing to the Pelosi family.  Like the reaction to massacres of students or concert goers, Republicans deflect the real cause of the problem by claiming now is the time for praying and grieving; now is not the time to tackle the problem.

What’s going to happen when a Republican in Congress, or an avowed conservative member of the Supreme Court is assassinated?  Even if all the evidence points to the assassin being a Russian plot designed to rile up the Republican base it will not affect Republican claims. Like all comments from Republicans, evidence doesn’t matter.

Republican leadership will blame Democrats for the assassination(s).  For Republicans it is more important to figure out how to encourage the far right to take action than to be truthful.  When the far-right responds to comments from Trump and Republican leadership, then Katie bar the door for the US population.  The number of assassinations will increase.

Thanks, Republicans, for your lack of courage that will help lead the US to its next revolution. And now you know why I qualify as a political curmudgeon. END ENTRY #465

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#464. Whadda Mean I Can’t Rebuild? It’s My Right!

Welcome to a discussion about the upcoming 5th Revolution in the US, which I’ve titled the “Revenge Revolution.” For more about the Revenge Revolution and the author, Entry #1 Periodically I write a “sense check” to assess whether a revolution in the US is possible or whether the entire exercise is based on a statistical aberration — i.e., a roughly 50-year cycle between major upheavals in the US. Entry #430 was the most recent “sense check.”

BEGIN ENTRY #464: West Coast of Florida: In the aftermath of widespread destruction from hurricane Ian, many residents along the West Coast of Florida are asking, “You mean climate change is real? Governor Ron DeSantis and Fox Alleged News never told me! How would I have known?”

Yes, many of the same hardline, anti-big government Republicans are now demanding taxpayers provide funds to allow them to rebuild houses and business destroyed by Hurricane Ian. Further, according the Fox-and-Friends, taxpayers should make up any financial losses not covered by insurance.

“After I rebuild, I want guaranteed low- cost insurance against future hurricanes. These are my rights as a Republican.”

Well folks, sorry about your loss. Some of the stories are truly heartbreaking.  Many of you probably had no flood insurance. But you know what? Decisions do have consequences.

Let’s talk about the facts. Hurricanes enter the Gulf of Mexico nearly every year. Periodically hurricanes reach category 4 or 5. Whether you believe in climate change or not, it is well known that the sea level in the Gulf of Mexico has been rising for decades.

If you believed the West Coast of Florida was immune from destruction caused by hurricanes and a rising sea, then you probably voted for Trump and DeSantis, and maybe even the Easter Bunny as well.

For those on the barrier islands, you realize I hope barrier islands are so named for a reason. The land of the island is a barrier or break against the sea. Another fact – building too many low-rise homes and covering over too much land that previously could absorb water increases the likelihood and intensity of floods.

Not one of these facts is a secret. All the information is publicly available, except maybe if you watch Fox.

Put the shoe on the other foot.  If someone else went ahead with all those known risky decisions, would you pay to bail them out? Come on. probably not.  So, please tell me why you think taxpayers in the upper Midwest should bail you out from what was obviously a series of high-risk, frankly stupid decisions.

If you disagree, then make your case: (i) why taxpayers should bail you out; (ii) why you should be allowed to rebuild in a place where you never should have built in the first place?  Even if you can afford to lose everything, rebuilding increases the risk for everyone else.

OK, go throw a tantrum and claim that the “deep state” is trying to confiscate your property. When you’re finished shouting and pouting, come back to the real world and discuss why you think you should be able to rebuild on land that’s going to get destroyed again.  Just as a reminder, the government allows people to own land.  You do not have an inherent right to own land. END ENTRY#464

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#463. What Do Republicans Stand for?

Welcome to a discussion about the upcoming 5th Revolution in the US, which I’ve titled the “Revenge Revolution.” For more about the Revenge Revolution and the author, Entry #1 Periodically I write a “sense check” to assess whether a revolution in the US is possible or whether the entire exercise is based on a statistical aberration — i.e., a roughly 50-year cycle between major upheavals in the US. Entry #430 was the most recent “sense check.”

BEGIN ENTRY #463: Over many years, only once do I remember voting a straight ticket – the 2020 presidential election – although I might have voted a straight Republican ticket when I first started.  Just don’t remember. 

With the 2022 midterms rapidly approaching, I’ve been reviewing candidates for whom I can vote as well as selected other influential candidates. Whereas political candidates always are prone to some bluster, one should be able to get a sense whether the candidate understands key issues facing the country, and whether the candidate has feasible solutions to address issues.

 Here’s my simple question – could someone please tell me what Republican candidates stand for? From all indications, Republicans are opposed to virtually any idea, even those previously promoted by Republicans. As obvious is their opposition, it is not obvious how Republican candidates intend to address the country’s problems, or the problems worldwide that affect us.

I get regular updates from the House rep, and the one senator, who is not retiring.  Both reps are Republicans. The updates to constituents are similar – opposed to this idea; opposed to that idea; this other idea won’t work; this idea is a burden on society, etc.  Communiques from neither offer credible references supporting claims or offer links to find out more information.  I guess I’m just supposed to trust them.

Equally frustrating has been an effort to discuss with staffs of the two members of Congress possible practical solutions to climate change.  The solutions have been developed by an apolitical group of MIT alumni of which I am a member. Virtually every proposed solution from the group creates jobs.

To members of Congress, is the welfare of constituents important?  Apparently not because neither MOC or staffs will take time to discuss proposed solutions because …well, I guess if you or a staff member discusses practical solutions to climate change, you can’t claim climate change is a hoax.

So, back to my question.  Could someone please let me know what Republican candidates stand for, other than more tax cuts for the wealthy? Thanks. END ENTRY #463

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#462. “Conspiracies Are Us” — Driving a Stake in the Heart of Democracy

Welcome to a discussion about the upcoming 5th Revolution in the US, which I’ve titled the “Revenge Revolution.” For more about the Revenge Revolution and the author, Entry #1 Periodically I write a “sense check” to assess whether a revolution in the US is possible or whether the entire exercise is based on a statistical aberration — i.e., a roughly 50-year cycle between major upheavals in the US. Entry #430 was the most recent “sense check.”

BEGIN ENTRY #462. I continue to be gob smacked by the number of supposed conspiracies promoted by seemingly educated people. It seems the more outlandish the scope of the conspiracy, the more credible some people consider the conspiracy.

Conspiracies have been around for years in the US and other countries.  One major difference now is the use of social media, which: (I) allows the conspiracy to be shared quickly among many people; (ii) has few checks re control of content and/or credibility of the claim.  Social media seems to have encouraged more conspiracies and even more outlandish claims.

Another factor is the dramatic decline in readership of credible, print media.  The decline has taken away the “sanity-check” guardrails for many former readers.  I shake my head at how many people I know who no longer get any news from print media, instead relying on cable or the internet.  These same people express concern about such issues as the dangers of using public Wi-Fi but seem to have few reservations about gathering “news” from questionable sources.

The topic of conspiracies has personal interest to me.  In the early 2000’s, there was a movie made, excuse me, an alleged documentary, titled “Who Killed the Electric Car?” During research for the movie, I was contacted by the producer. In addition to offering insight about the efforts of GM and other companies to develop and introduced a modern-generation electric car, I offered names and contact information of others in the industry who might be considered for interviews.

When I was filmed – in LA on the top floor of a building at intersection of Sunset Blvd and the 405 – it seemed apparent the producer had decided on a conspiracy theme and structured questions accordingly.  Apparently, my answers didn’t fit the conspiracy theory, because only a couple of short clips of my interview made the final edit. 

When I am asked if there was a conspiracy to kill the electric car, or when someone claims there was a conspiracy, my usual response is a bit of laughter and then an explanation. I like to remind people claiming a conspiracy is that those of us involved with the EV programs from different companies were either not smart enough or too naïve to have a conspiracy.   All the people from GM, Ford, Honda, Toyota and some electric utilities were trying to develop and introduced one thing – a competitive electric car to meet the California zero emission vehicle mandate. 

To conspiracy theorists such facts don’t matter. There had to be a conspiracy.  Tell me, just “Who Killed the Electric Car?”  (Interested in learning the real reason GM killed the EV1?)

Conspiracy theorists seem to forget that for a conspiracy to work only a few people can be involved.  And one thing we all know is people love to tell “secrets” to friends.  If more than a handful of people are involved, then the conspiracy soon becomes public information and infinitely more difficult to execute. 

Aside from the electric car, some conspiracies friends/colleagues have been touting of late include:

(I) 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center (always popular in early September) involved far more people than the public has been led to believe.  Depending on who’s promoting the conspiracy, the group involved was  broad-based, including key members from several countries.  In addition, the plan to destroy the Trade Center towers was in the works for at least a decade prior to the attack.  

According to some, the Towers were not only struck by planes but damaged by a nuclear blast underneath the towers and a nearby building. 

As proof the conspiracy theorists show pictures of the Trade Towers with commercial aircraft in the sky behind the towers.  Guys, stop and think just for a second.  One of the major flight paths to/from LaGuardia is not far from the Trade Towers.  Besides, adding planes to the background makes a picture of buildings more interesting.

More “proof” of the long-planned conspiracy is a picture from the late 1990’s of a high-profile individual whose watch has the hour hand at nine (9) and the minute-hand at 11.  Now, how could you not be convinced?  Hard to imagine but just suppose someone doctored the picture using Photoshop.  More proof is a poster for a ferry-ride around Manhattan.  Cost is “$9” and to the right of the $9 is a rendering of the skyline with the Trade Towers.  Now, how can you not believe?

More proof – the floors of the towers could not collapse in pancake fashion.  Because the pancake pattern is not possible, there had to be another “something,” usually not identified. The “proof” disappears after one talks to an architect about how the individual floors in the towers were attached to the exterior walls rather than to central posts.  When the joints holding the upper floors were weakened by the plane crashing and then the fire, the floors could collapse.  The weight of a single floor falling on another would exceed the strength of the joints on the lower floor and the floors would then collapse in pancake fashion.  Never mind logic, I know there was a broad-based conspiracy.    

(2) Covid and other vaccines are being promoted by the pharmaceutical industry, Bill Gates, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and who knows who else as a way to control the populace. You might not know this but there are RFID chips in the vaccines.  (Liquid chips, I guess.)  At some point the liquid RFID chip would be activated and signals sent that would turn those vaccinated into killers of other people, thereby reducing the number of people on earth.  Why take such action I don’t know.  Gates is 66 and Fauci past 80, so how will they benefit?  Conspiracy theorists often fail to cite a logical benefit.  

(3) The number of deaths from Covid was greatly exaggerated because doctors and hospitals made more money from Covid-caused deaths than other deaths.  At least this conspiracy provided some logic.  However, when I state that putting the cause aside, significantly more people died during 2020 and 2021 than would be expected (~3 standard deviations greater than the norm), I have yet to get a response.  Guess a lot of extra people just wanted to die early.

(4) Global warming is a hoax being promoted by governments as part of the broader plan to control the population.  The hoax is really impressive.  For example, those icebergs are melting not from the earth’s warming but because (my sarcastic logig follows) the socialist Democrats have placed blow torches under icebergs and glaciers to make them melt.  Why? The socialists Democrats are just jealous of all the Republicans who own seashore property.  The deniers of global warming have myriad reasons why it’s a hoax but never provide any scientific data.

(5) Evidence at Mar-a-Lago that inventoried Trump’s illegal retention of secret documents, and other classified material was planted by the FBI…and the list goes on and on.

The acceptance of the conspiracy theories and the refusal to accept the results of Biden’s election by a wide swath of Republicans does not bode well for the democracy and reinforces the likelihood of a 5th US revolution.  What can be done to mitigate the negative effects of these conspiracy theories?  Stay tuned for ideas.  END ENTRY #462

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#461 Students Should Be Forced to Repay Loans Because…Well, Just Because!

Welcome to a discussion about the upcoming 5th Revolution in the US, which I’ve titled the “Revenge Revolution.” For more about the Revenge Revolution and the author, Entry #1 Periodically I write a “sense check” to assess whether a revolution in the US is possible or whether the entire exercise is based on a statistical aberration — i.e., a roughly 50-year cycle between major upheavals in the US. Entry #430 was the most recent “sense check.”

BEGIN ENTRY #461. President Biden has proposed a program to reduce outstanding student loans by up to $20,000 for many middle- and limited-income families. Surprise, surprise, this proposal has many Republicans up in arms.

Before addressing the merits of such a program, let’s take a look at what’s available to companies and individuals who have too much debt relative to income, other than debt from student loans.

Companies with too much debt compared to income have an option called Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The cause of why the company has too much debt can range from bad luck to bad economic times to bad management, which is usually the cause.

While the cause of too much debt might influence whether existing management remains in place, the cause does not prevent the company from filing for debt relief under Chapter 11.

One company that seems to be quite familiar with Cha11 is the Trump Organization.  Trump has filed for Cha11 SIX (6) times.  For Republicans opposed to forgiving some portion of student debt, Trump’s bankruptcies somehow must be different.  Think about it. How could a business genius like Trump be forced into bankruptcy? Someone else must have been the cause since the Donald never makes mistakes. 

OK, I’ll stop the sarcasm. But the facts are straightforward – companies and individuals can file for bankruptcy, have debts significantly reduced or eliminated and start fresh.  Companies and individuals get debt relief even if an individual or management has made incredibly unsound financial decisions.  There’s only one exception – student loans are not relieved/eliminated under the bankruptcy laws.

That’s right. Student debt cannot be reduced or eliminated by bankruptcy.  Even if all other personal debts are excused, student debt remains.  Further, interest rates charged by the lender – usually a 3rd party and not the government – are often substantially above market rates.  Student borrowers have little or no recourse against unscrupulous lenders.

Who are the major players attracting prospective students to take on debt for “education“?  I’m sure you’re shocked but often the most aggressive are for-profit “universities.” Some examples include ITT, University of Phoenix and, of course, Trump University, which is now defunct after a being forced to close for fraud.  There are other for-profits as well – cosmetology schools, for example. 

The for-profits are not alone.  Some not-for-profit academic institutions have aggressively pursued students needing loans.  However, for-profit universities have a major incentive to attract prospective students with limited knowledge and/or marketable skills, keep students in school as long as possible and provide as little staff support as possible.  And why not? Students can increase ROI and the risk to the for-profit university is minimal. Once a student takes on debt, the for-profit university has created an annuity.

In what has become true Republican fashion, discussions about the merits/drawbacks of student debt reduction program (not complete debt relief for most), have been directed at blaming the student for the entire problem.  After all, the student signed the paperwork.

Is the student to blame? Partially but blaming the student for the entire problem is like blaming someone for a car accident who has never been taught to drive.

If we, societal we, want to retain Chapter 11 bankruptcy for businesses in Chapter 7 for bankruptcy for individuals to relieve debt, then we need to make some provision to relieve a portion of student debt. END ENTRY #461

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#460. Republicans Nominate Charlie Manson for President.

Welcome to a discussion about the upcoming 5th Revolution in the US, which I’ve titled the “Revenge Revolution.” For more about the Revenge Revolution and the author, Entry #1 Periodically I write a “sense check” to assess whether a revolution in the US is possible or whether the entire exercise is based on a statistical aberration — i.e., a roughly 50-year cycle between major upheavals in the US. Entry #430 was the most recent “sense check.”

BEGIN ENTRY #460. This entry might seem like a variation of recent entries. Just hear me out. The issue is too important to discuss just once or twice. I think, without fear of exaggeration, that our democracy rests on addressing this issue satisfactorily.

Since starting the blog in late 2013, the purpose has been to discuss issues that might contribute to/diminish the likelihood of a 5th US revolution.  Blog topics have ranged from those of personal interest – the impact of macro and micro-economics, e.g. – to cultural issues – the impact of religion on attitudes toward government, e.g. 

During the last nine years, what has been most surprising to me is how a large segment of the population has become swayed to believe in and enthusiastically support ideas that are completely bogus, and often 180° from reality.  One would like to believe that more education would help people avoid this seeming brainwashing. However, apparently not the case.

A substantial portion of those “believers,” – let’s assume 50% to minimize the error – is relatively well educated, including some with advanced degrees. Why are supposedly more knowledgeable people falling into the liars den?  Why are people who supposedly have more understanding of the process of critical thinking continuing to believe claims that are so outlandishly false that they would punish their children for saying something similarly false?

Who are these people? Do they have a certain profile?  Yes, most are white, descendants of western Europeans, and overwhelmingly Christian, especially fundamentalist, and virtually all Republicans.

The world according to Garp – growing ascension of radical protestants – is one where “My religion is the only answer. Government must be based on my religion. All education needs to be based on my religion. If you are not a believer in my religion, you must be punished.“

The religious right seems to support any candidate for political office who promotes their religion. The candidate can be corrupt, living in a way counter to the basic tenets of their religion, and even can be promoting that democracy be abolished. All those traits are OK as long as “my religious beliefs are forced on the population.“

 Based on demonstrated behavior, most Republicans in 2022 would seem to support even Charlie Manson for president, as long as Charlie promised to continue to change laws and pack the courts to ensure that fundamentalist Christian beliefs are implemented.

One might argue that the example of supporting Charlie Manson is too extreme. However, if you think too extreme, I ask you to consider why Republicans enthusiastically support Trump, who has a long history of lying and corruption, over the FBI, the whitest and most conservative agency in the federal government.  In addition, every director of the FBI under every administration, Republican and Democratic, has been a well-established Republican.  (Read the last sentence again.)

Why do Republicans enthusiastically support Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lindsay Graham, Mark Meadows, Ron DeSantis and a host of known liars and then chastise Liz Cheney for having the temerity to uphold her oath to Constitution?  Support the US Constitution rather than Trump?  How dare she!

Republicans have repeatedly demonstrated they would rather flush logic down the toilet and continue to support the religious cult. When cults conquer logic, the only solution to restore logic, and the solution is never pretty, is to squash the cult. END ENTRY #460.

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#459. Are Republicans Really that Stupid or Just Brainwashed?

Welcome to a discussion about the upcoming 5th Revolution in the US, which I’ve titled the “Revenge Revolution.” For more about the Revenge Revolution and the author, Entry #1 Periodically I write a “sense check” to assess whether a revolution in the US is possible or whether the entire exercise is based on a statistical aberration — i.e., a roughly 50-year cycle between major upheavals in the US. Entry #430 was the most recent “sense check.”

BEGIN ENTRY #459: Let’s see, this past week the FBI raided Trump’s club/residence in Florida, Mar-a-Lago, and recovered at least 11 boxes of material that were illegally transferred from government property. Earlier in 2022, Trump returned to the government 15 boxes of material that had been illegally transferred from the White House. The return of the material occurred only after an injunction forcing Trump to do. One of Trump’s lawyers signed a letter indicating the 15 boxes represented all information that needed to be returned. Oops.

Some of the boxes, how many to be determined, contained files marked “Confidential,” “Top-Secret” and “TS-SCI,” which indicates files are only to be viewed in a preestablished security location.

Without any evidence, Trump claimed all the information held at Mar-a-Lago had been “declassified.“ As a result, he had a right to possess. Some Trump staffers and supporters claimed Trump had a standing order to “automatically declassify any documents that left the White House.“ 

I hate to inform Trump and supporters but there is a procedure for declassifying documents.  Part of that procedure includes “restamping” each page of the document as “Declassified” and providing other documentation.  In typical Trump fashion, no support was provided for the claim that all documents were declassified.

In parallel, Trump and supporters blamed Attorney General Garland and the FBI, which is headed by a Trump appointee, of either continuing the long-standing “witch hunt” against Trump or setting up the raid to keep Trump from running for office again. In either case, the AG, DOJ and FBI are all corrupt and according to some Trump supporters, should be tried for treason.

Other Trump supporters, Jim Jordon (R-OH) being one, asked, “What’s the big deal about Trump having the documents? All the documents were declassified.“ Jimmy you’re such a hypocrite and a liar to boot.

The radical right began to spout that anyone connected with the raid – the judge who signed the order, the FBI agents who conducted the search, and AG Garland, who personally signed off on the raid – should be assassinated.

Where were Republican members of the US House and Senate once the raid became known? Spineless, of course, save Liz Cheney and a couple of others. The so-called leaders of the country were afraid of the great wizard of Mar-a-Lago.  Some spineless Republicans were concerned that efforts to prosecute Trump for any one of several crimes connected with material would just aggravate his followers and upset little Donnie.

Unless I’ve been asleep for the last 50 years, appeasing Trump won’t change behavior. He’s always been a liar, a jerk and thought he was above the law.  Being elected president exaggerated the behavior, especially disregard for the law. Among his many inane comments are, “Where is my Roy Cohn,“ and “Why aren’t my generals more like Hitler‘s?“ 

Sill Republicans in the House and Senate continue to bow to the great con man. Republicans, I hate to tell you, Trump is a real estate developer.  Trump doesn’t care one iota about you or the Republican Party. The Donald focuses only on two things: (i) stoking his ego; (ii) making more money. Every interaction is viewed by Trump as a transaction that can stoke his ego and make more money.

Republicans, you have been and continue to be mere chattel in a series of transactions. Like chattel, you will be discarded when no longer needed for the transaction.

I’ve heard people say, you can’t expect others to change if you insult them. That might be true. However, anyone who still believes what Trump says and believes he is being unfairly targeted by DOJ and the FBI, or whatever this week’s claim is, deserves to be insulted.

If you still support Trump, you are either brainwashed and/or incredibly stupid. Go look in the mirror and ask yourself, if a close relative or close friend behaved the same way as Trump, would I continue to support that person? And forget the save the sinner comment. Trump has been and will continue to be scum who has no regard for other people, for the law or for any tenets of most religions. END #459

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#458. Dear Grandkids: Here’e Why I Hate You.

Welcome to a discussion about the upcoming 5th Revolution in the US, which I’ve titled the “Revenge Revolution.” For more about the Revenge Revolution and the author, Entry #1 Periodically I write a “sense check” to assess whether a revolution in the US is possible or whether the entire exercise is based on a statistical aberration — i.e., a roughly 50-year cycle between major upheavals in the US. Entry #430 was the most recent “sense check.”

BEGIN ENTRY #458 — The US Senate voted to approve legislation that will take a major step toward addressing CO2 emissions and climate change. The effort will help the US reduce overall GHG emissions about 40% from 2005 levels. While additional steps will be necessary to achieve a zero-emission economy by 2050, the legislation is a major step forward. 

How many Republicans in the Senate voted for the legislation aimed at avoiding a climate catastrophe? Wanna guess? Start at zero and count no more.

By voting “no,” what Republican Senators are saying to their children, and especially grandchildren, “Yes, I hate you. I want you to ruin your lives and want you to die early. Now, aren’t you happy with grandpa/grandma?’

Apparently what matters to Republicans in the Senate, is not family, is not country, is not duty to uphold the constitution. What matters to Senators is allegiance to the Republican Party and its de facto leader, the Donald.

If you don’t think Republicans believe allegiance to party is more important than commitment to family and mankind, then why vote against the climate change legislation? In addition to addressing climate change, the legislation helps reduce drug prices and cuts the deficit. Republicans, what do you want in the legislation?

Obviously, Republicans don’t know what they want. To help provide some guidance, during the August recess go home and ask your kids and especially your grandkids if they would rather live in a world that’s reasonably unpleasant or a world in which there are even more droughts, floods, fires and record-setting temperatures? I suspect they’ll provide some guidance to you. Then, make an appointment with a proctologist and get yur head repositioned properly on our body. END #458

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#457 Hope Springs Eternal. Well, a Little Hope Anyway.

Welcome to a discussion about the upcoming 5th Revolution in the US, which I’ve titled the “Revenge Revolution.” For more about the Revenge Revolution and the author, Entry #1 Periodically I write a “sense check” to assess whether a revolution in the US is possible or whether the entire exercise is based on a statistical aberration — i.e., a roughly 50-year cycle between major upheavals in the US. Entry #430 was the most recent “sense check.”

ENTRY #457 BEGINS: Nothing like an oppressive heat wave in much of the country, record rainfall in some areas, forest fires in other areas and a well-publicized Congressional hearing with evidence overwhelmingly indicating the former president is guilty of multiple crimes to have politicians and voters pull their head out of their you-know-what.  And, if that weren’t enough, women of childbearing age are recognizing that they’ve lost a bunch of personal rights thanks to a bunch of old white guys, save one, in Washington.

Nevertheless, the saying, “hope springs eternal“ still seems true. While very early in the “hope” spring – the crocus are the only plants peeping up through the snow – the US made some progress this past week in addressing climate change.  Thanks to efforts by Chuck Schumer, Senate majority leader, the Democrats appear to have enough votes to pass a major bill addressing climate-change and some other issues. 

OK, so Schumer had to line the pockets of Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia – or was that Manson? — but the bill has life.  Of course, no Republican Senator has yet to acknowledge their constituents are suffering from record heat, record drought in some areas and record rainfall.  Mitch McConnell, (R, KY) apparently forgot he represents Kentucky, which has been hit with a series of disastrous weather events.  Mitch and the other Republican senators must be very slow learners.

Maybe the prospect of passage of the legislation addressing climate change will provide some cover for Republican senators who have been insisting that climate change is not an issue.  We know that Republican of all stripes have a problem with basic science.  Remember how difficult high-school chemistry and physics were?  Besides, you can’t expect a Republican senator to have confidence in science. I mean, how can you trust Newton, Einstein, Madam Currie et al?  All of them were liberals, ya’ know. 

While Republicans seem to have a hard time with basic science, some Republicans now seem to realize that their hero, Donald J Trump, is really a gangster.  Their hero made every effort to overthrow the government.  Many Republicans thought such a takeover was OK as long as a far-right Republican was in charge. 

But alas, the January 6 Committee is making supporting the Donald difficult for many rational Republicans.  Gee, what would happen if a Democrat acted the same way as Trump?  Guess allowing an overthrow is not such a good idea after all. 

Even some of Trump’s inner circle are beginning to change their minds.  What we the public don’t know is who among the coup plotters has talked.  We know about testimony from a number of people with direct access to Trump and or key aides, and even from some Trump family.

What comes next will be even more interesting. As the screws from various federal and state investigations begin to tighten on the coup plotters, how many more of Trump’s munchkins will come forth?  The coup plotters see that Steve Bannon has been convicted of two (2) counts of contempt of Congress and faces up to 24 months in the slammer.  Given his past behavior and behavior since the conviction, seems highly Bannon will break whatever terms for behavior are between trial and sentencing. Little Stevie could be spending even more time in the slammer.

Then there is Peter Navarro, another coup plotter. Navarro is next to go to trial for contempt of Congress.  Navarro’s case appears to be about as cut-and-dried as Bannon‘s.  Wonder if Navarro prefers an orange jumpsuit or one with black and white stripes?

Other members of the gang-that-couldn’t-shoot-straight may face more severe charges and consequences. When faced with the prospect of going to jail or protecting Trump becomes more apparent, who in the gang will squeal? My bet is Rudy Giuliani, if he’s not already done so, might be first in line.

The information from the January 6 hearing has caused some other high-profile defections from Trump.  Even Rupert Murdoch and Fox News have been avoiding Trump lately.  In what must have sent Trump into a tantrum that would make a 2-year-old proud, Fox broadcast 15-20 minutes of a speech by Mike Pence while ignoring a speech by Trump given about the same time.

How do the defections from Trump affect the midterms?  Who knows right now?  The 01/06 Committee has more hearings and more damaging evidence will be released to the public.  We know that a certain percentage of voters will support Trump forever.

But other voters are awakening from the Trump-induced coma. More voters on the right and left are beginning to realize the democracy only works when people can be aside political differences and find practical solutions to important issues.

One of those issues is the need to take serious steps immediately to address the causes of climate change.  The solutions to climate change are going to be painful but, like the sacrifices made in WWII, everyone in the population will be affected.  We are still early in the “hope spring” – remember the crocus are just peeking out of the snow – but there is hope. END ENTRY #457

Other Topics. Interested in more info about climate change, what’s required to electrify a fleet of cars/trucks, what it was like to work day-to-day with Lee Iacocca and an array of other topics? Visit another page of this website, https://usrevolution5.com/jrd-thought-comments/