#430. Sense Check. When Will the 5th US Revolution Escalate?

Is a Revenge Revolution still likely?  The fall 2013 was the first entry in this blog. About every six or so months thereafter I’ve written a “sense check“ whether a 5th US revolution was possible, or just a statistical aberration.

One needs to be careful about believing everything one writes is somehow automatically true. Doing so might make one feel better, but a peer review and some objective measures are good guardrails.

The last sense-check was Entry #400, published January 1, 2021. The entry preceded the attack on the US Capitol January 6 and preceded numerous (and on-going) attempts by Trump to overturn the results of the presidential election. From a historical perspective, I think the attack on the Capitol will mark the beginning of the 5th US revolution, the Revenge Revolution.

While Trump has continued to make noise, file frivolous lawsuits, and bilk supporters out of hard-earned cash by claiming he’s going to run again (fat chance),  there have been other events recently that suggest the 5th US revolution is accelerating rather than slowing down as one might expect under a new, more rational Biden administration.

For example, in 2021 the Supreme Court seems to have decided to let the highly conservative Fifth Circuit do its dirty work by allowing the seemingly unconstitutional restrictive abortion law in Texas stand, thereby effectively overturning Roe v. Wade.

And yes, SCOTUS has decided that it supports those who question why the Federal government should have jurisdiction over states to protect its citizens against the pandemic.  Apparently the majority of SCOTUS thinks the current governors of such states as Florida and Texas are much more qualified than the world-class immunologist and virologist at CDC to make medical decisions.  Like SCOTUS, surely everyone knows that the Florida and Texas governors are the smartest people on the planet.

What may intensify the 5th Revolution, however, is the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Aside from a clearly biased judge, the verdict now allows someone to carry an assault weapon to an event, initiate trouble, kill people, and then claim he (or she) was being threatened by the people that he intimidated with the assault weapon.  As demonstrated in Kenosha, the killer in that situation can walk away without penalty.

Unfortunately, Republicans and the talking heads on Fox apparently are too stupid to understand the consequences of the Rittenhouse verdict. To demonstrate even more of their stupidity, Senators Cruz of Texas and Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida (under FBI investigation for sex trafficking) offered Rittenhouse an internship in their respective offices.  Doubtless Rittenhouse is as qualified for the position as Cruz and Gaetz are for Congress.

An equally large contributor to the 5th Revolution, although the effect will not be apparent until after the November 2022 mid-term election, is the effect of voter suppression, resulting from changes in state law and extensive gerrymandering. Once the Democrats and Independent voters realize how worthless their votes have become, they likely will become incensed.  But then it will be too late to change any outcome of the election.

How have Republicans been able to run roughshod over voting rights?  Again the US citizenry can thank Chief Justice John Roberts and, to a degree, Mitch McConnell for packing the Supreme Court with lackeys. Roberts led the charge to change the law when he wrote the majority opinion gutting the Voting Rights Act. 

Roberts’ method was subtle.  Rather than continuing to force proposed changes to voting rights in certain southern states to be approved by the Federal government before taking affect, Roberts allowed the states to make a law as restrictive as they wanted without Federal review.  Then, after the law took effect, aggrieved parties would need to sue and prove damages. 

While the voting-rights cases were slowly winding tgheir way through the courts, the restrictive laws would remain in effect and any elections would proceed.  Of course, if the restrictive laws were ever overturned, the plaintiffs had no method to rectify other laws implemented after the rigged elections. 

How will Roberts new “Rules of Order” for elections play out in 2022?  Republicans in such states North Carolina can gerrymander to their hearts content. North Carolina’s about evenly split between Democrats and Republicans. With recent changes to the redistricting maps, 10 of the 14 House seats are so gerrymandered as to guarantee a Republican victory.  Why wouldn’t anyone think that it’s fair for a state split about evenly between Republicans and Democrats, with Democrats holding a slight edge, to have 70% of the Federal House members guaranteed Republican?

One other event that is a positive for justice but may accelerate the Revenge Revolution is verdict in the Ahmaud Arbery case in Brunswick, GA.  Three men were convicted of murdering Mr. Arbery, who was unarmed and posed no threat.  The unfortunate aspect of the investigation is nothing was done to investigate the murder until a video was released, likely accidentally, of the three men chasing Mr. Arbery and murdering him.  Only after a public outcry was an investigation started.

The defense in the Arbery case used a defense similar to Rittenhouse.  It is OK to kill someone else, even if they are unarmed and pose no real threat.  Just claim the other person poses a threat.  The far right loves this logic and many Republicans seem to support or at least condone it.  Few, if any top Republicans commented publicly about the Arbery verdict, which was announced the day before Thanksgiving.  Must have been Republicans were more concerned about cooking the Thanksgiving turkey.    

When the Revenge Revolution ratchets up remains a question. How does anyone predict the point when a bubbling revolution boils over?   

What does seem almost assured, however, is when it boils over, the revolution will include a significant use of firearms and the killings of numerous higher-profile people. I wish the conclusion of the “sense check” were less onerous but I need to be honest about my assessment.  Let’s hope I’m wrong.

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#429. Stupid Is as Stupid Does.

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 #400 was the most recent “sense check.” 

ENTRY #429: The past couple of entries I’ve tried to move beyond the irrationality of certain members of Congress and irrationality of certain voters. Why bang your head against the wall trying to understand their logic?

Well, I’ve been unable to move on so one more entry addressing irrationality. This time, however, it’s not just members of Congress. We pretty much know where they stand, other than Senator Krysten Sinema (D, AZ).

What has baffled me the past week or so has been the “rationale” of voters in the Virginia gubernatorial election.  According to a number of interviews published in different media, voters in Virginia were frustrated with the Biden administration because not all promised legislation has been passed, gas prices have increased and there are some supply chain hiccups that might affect Christmas shopping. 

OK, so you’re frustrated. What’s the solution? Elect a Republican governor who is a former investment banker and who is supported by Trump. Forget that the underlying causes of most of your frustrations were not the fault of the Biden administration but occurred under Trump and even under some earlier administrations. 

For example, the shortage of truckers can be traced to efforts beginning during the Nixon administration to deregulate the trucking industry.  The shortage of long-haul truckers can be linked, in part, to consumers ordering more on line rather than buying at the store.  If you’re a long-haul trucker, why go on the road sometimes for weeks at a time when you can work regular hours delivering packages locally, make probably the same amount of money and be home at night? And, you’re surprised there’s a shortage of long-haul truckers?

And, Virginia voters, what about your frustration with you just electedthose products being produced overseas rather than the US?  Forget that many investment bankers, like the incoming governor, have encouraged companies to relocate manufacturing overseas, which exacerbated the supply-chain problem.

Just for reference, the voters frustrated with Biden need to ask themselves exactly what did the Republicans and Trump do for you and most voters during the four years in office? Well, the Trump administration’s biggest piece of legislation, the tax cut, transferred substantially more wealth to the already wealthy and reduced the amount of income tax corporations pay.   The net result of Trump’s major legislation?  Reduced revenue to the Federal government so the federal deficit ballooned.  And the other result was the tax cut transferred the responsibility for paying that debt to you, the other 98% of the population.  Good deal, huh?

Then Trump implemented trade policies that helped create the foundation for inflation. Remember those tariffs that Trump promoted?  Trump made sure that tariffs were put on many products, including those from our neighbors with whom we trade the most – Canada and Mexico.  Virginia voters who do think pays those tariffs?  The tariffs are not paid by the exporting country.  The tariffs are paid by the importers and then passed on to you, the consumer.  I guess the Trump administration never mentioned that.

The icing on that piece of “illogical cake” the Virginia voters ate was Trump publicly and emphatically proclaiming that Covid was not a problem.  Hey, only 15 people got sick and it’s just like the flu.  The “ala mode” for the cake was Trump and his minions claiming that climate change was a hoax.

You say, “Aside from all you just said, Biden has been in office long enough to solve all those problems.  He’s been in the White House almost 10 months.”

Let’s put 10 months in perspective.  When those criticizing Biden as taking too long are asked about fixing problems in other organizations, say rebuilding a college football team, the time horizon is quite different.  According to the Biden criticizers, to turn the fortunes of a football team is incredibly complicated and the head coach needs a minimum two years and usually 3-4 years.  Fans need to be patient.”  Mmm, I guess a football team is more difficult to manage than the Federal government. 

Another example of Republican back-asswards thinking occurred during the recent vote on the legislation to upgrade and repair significant portions of the US infrastructure.  Every state and likely every Congressional district will benefit from this legislation.  The legislation will make the US more competitive and address many of the frustrations expressed by Virginia voters.

The legislation passed the Senate a couple of months ago with strong bipartisan support.  Even Mitch McConnell voted for it.

So what was the reaction of House Republicans to the infrastructure legislation?  Don’t vote to help constituents!  Don’t vote to help make America more competitive internationally!  Don’t vote to create jobs! The legislation passed with 13 Republicans voting in favor and all but a handful of Democrats, who opposed the legislation to show support for the Build Back Better legislation.  

What was the response from Republican leadership in the House? Threatening to yank any committee assignments from Republicans who supported their constituents. Some Republicans who voted for the legislation were labeled as traitors.

Traitors to whom?  All elected representatives whether Republican, Democrat or independent take an oath to uphold the US Constitution.  Republicans please explain to me why voting for legislation that directly benefits the people you represent is being a traitor.   The logic displayed by Virginians voting for a Trump-supported Republican and the Republican leadership in the House punishing members for helping their constituents confirms the saying, “stupid is as stupid does.” 

Next entry I’ll try to move on to a different topic.  

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#428 I’m Digusted and Pulling My Hair Out!

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 #400 was the most recent “sense check.” 

ENTRY #428 STARTS: I’m disgusted. Well, OK, maybe I’ve turned into a curmudgeon, and may be a naïve curmudgeon at that.  But, I look at the behavior of a number of members of Congress and want to scream. What’s wrong with these folks?

What’s wrong has nothing to do with whether I agree or disagree with what used to be policy differences between the political parties.  What’s wrong has to do with why aren’t these Representatives and Senators focusing on governing and on upholding the Constitution?

Yes, Mitch McConnell may qualify as one of the biggest scumbags ever elected to Congress. Yes, he’s crazed with power, gives the finger to the Constitution and is horribly corrupt. He’s also very likely to be in the pocket of the Chinese government. 

I’ll save the detail for another entry but ask yourself some very basic questions about McConnell’s behavior.  What does McConnell have to gain by holding up all but two of President Biden’s nominations for ambassadorships?  Ambassadors are not involved in domestic policy.  Who or what country would benefit if the US did not have ambassadors in many countries of the world?  What country might benefit from gaining influence at America’s expense?  What is the country of origin of McConnell’s wife?  Give that some thought.  More in future entries.

Back to Congress, what’s disgusting is why no Republican, save Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, the guy from Michigan, will stand up for the Constitution.  Many Republicans members of the House, starting with Kevin McCarthy, are making every effort to thwart an objective investigation of the January 6 Trump–instigated insurrection. Gee guys, did you have a hand in planning the insurrection and that’s why you’re opposed to any investigation? 

If you were involved, then you can rightfully be charged with treason.  And being convicted of treason will land you in prison at a minimum.  In addition, since you were planning to take out VP Pence, maybe you should be tried for attempted murder.

Republicans do not have a lock hold on maddening behavior.  On second thought, maybe they do. Let’s start with Joe Manchin III, senator from West Virginia.  Manchin claims to be a moderate Democrat. But like his coal-at-any-cost buddy from Kentucky, McConnell, Manchin goes out of his way to keep the coal industry afloat.

From Manchin’s perspective, any effort to accelerate cleaner generation of electricity should be blocked. In Joe’s world, having the air filled with CO2 must better for you than having air with just plain old O2.  Joe must think that the carbon is some sort of vitamin and that’s why CO2 is better.  If trees like CO2, humans should, too.

From all indications, including little Joey’s own words, he’s more a Republican than a Democrat. I don’t care what party you belong to Joe, but why do you constantly block legislation that will benefit your constituents? Why do you block legislation that will help avert climate change disasters for your grandchildren?  Joe’s such an honorable guy. Just glad he’s not my grandfather.

Senator Sinema (AZ), the other alleged Democrat holding up Biden’s legislation, acts more like some character in a B-movie.  She must think cinema is spelled Sinema.  Apparently she used to claim to be an environmentalist.  I guess her idea of being green went from helping the environment to taking greenbacks from lobbyists and special interest groups. Where her head is, no one knows. But we know what she’s doing is not helping constituents and not helping the US address climate change.

What happened to “Duty, honor, country?“  Policy debates are fine. Blocking votes on legitimate legislation that addresses a basic tenet on which the US was founded – the right to vote, for example – is antithetical.  The right to vote and the proper counting of those votes is a key to a functioning democracy.  Why are Republicans blocking even a debate on the legislation?

Republicans have been so Trump-like transactional that they have become unable to see the implications of their behavior.  One day Republicans will wake up and ask, “Why didn’t anyone warn us that climate change would ruin my vacation home on the coast?”  Or, “Why didn’t anyone warn us that those ultra-rightwing folks would threaten to take us out if we didn’t vote exactly as they wanted?”  And, many other seemingly obvious incredibly risky behaviors the Republicans are engaged in. 

Republicans loyalty to party over doing what’s right for constituents and doing what’s right for the country has me convinced more than ever that the US is headed for a 5th revolution. And, what’s going to surprise the Republicans in Congress and state legislators, the January 6-insurrectionsists might begin attacking Republicans first.

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#427 Excuse Me Senator. Is Your Name Manchin or Manson?

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 #400 was the most recent “sense check.” 

ENTRY #427:Senator Manchin has been in the news a lot the past couple of weeks. Late the week of 10/11/2021 he publicly stated he would not support taxpayer funding for the development of zero-carbon electricity generation. OK, Joe, what about billions and billions of taxpayer subsidies for coal extraction and oil-and-gas drilling? Tell me what’s the difference?

Not all readers believe that if CO2 emissions continue unchecked, the earth could begin to begin to become uninhabitable by 2100. There’s lots of science and data to support such a statement but some don’t believe in science.

Clean electricity had been a key element in president Biden’s Build Back Better program and a major step toward the US dramatically slowing the growth of CO2 emissions. The Biden administration’s plan would have given the US a good chance of doing its part to limit global warming to 2oC by 2100. Given the unfathomable level of denial of science by Republicans, Joe Manchin might be able to take credit for singularly causing the world to speed up the path to catastrophe.

For you climate-change deniers, remember how Trump claimed COVID-19 was under control? “We’re very, very ready for this,” Trump said, adding that only 15 people had contracted the virus in the U.S. and that all were expected to recover. A mere 700,000 deaths later and COVID-19 is still not under control. Deniers – who ya gonna blame?

Given the severity of the potential consequences of doing nothing to address climate change, I thought an open letter to Senator Manchin might be appropriate. Yes, the letter is sarcastic and a bit edgy but I think Senator Manchin deserves this type letter.

The salutation evolved from a comment made during a recent call about climate change. One person on the call accidentially referred to Senator Manchin as “Manson.” That led to a few chuckles. However morbid the circumstances that made Charles Manson famous, Senator Manchin’s decision to refuse to recognize the need to address global warming will have far worse consequences.

Dear Senator Charles Manson:

Thank you for taking a strong stand against generating clean electricity, thereby intensifying the effects of global warming. All the children in the neighborhood and in the family appreciate your efforts to make the earth uninhabitable and shorten their lives.

The children asked if you could share some of the payoff money you received from the fossil-fuel industry. They want to buy some candy before it’s too late.

We also appreciate your efforts to make the US look like a third-world country that has a non-functioning government. President Biden especially appreciates your efforts to diminish his credibility with other countries at the upcoming conference to address global warming.

Rarely in US history has a single senator had such a widespread negative impact on mankind. You should be proud of your accomplishments. (End of letter)

Where the negotiations in Congress go to try and save the provision to fund generation of clean electricity, I don’t know, although I do understand some progress has been made. When thinking about how to solve the problem with the holdout Senators, I was reminded of a scene from the movie, “Patton.” In the scene Patton’s troops are marching through Sicily toward Palermo. The terrain is hilly, the road narrow and the troops are strung out for probably a mile.

The journey is high risk because enemy aircraft can easily strafe the column and there is little protection along the road. Then the column stops. Patton drives to the front and finds a cart with two donkeys blocking a critical bridge. The farmer tries to get the donkeys to move but no luck. The solution was a bit inelegant but effective.

Patton shoots the donkeys, dumps them off the bridge and the march proceeds. When trying to persuade Senators Manchin and Sinema, president Biden might do well to take a lesson from General Patton. Too much is at stake for the US and the world to let a couple of people get in the way.

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/

#426 How Spineless Can Republican Senators Get?

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 #400 was the most recent “sense check.” 

ENTRY #426: OK, I know there have been other entries in the blog about behavior of Republicans under Trump. I’ve tried to be polite and attribute the irrational behavior to brainwashing. But, these days the brainwashing label seems too polite, especially for those Republicans who supposedly had a brain before Trump.

Let’s start with Mitt Romney. Background includes a father who was head of American Motors, then governor of Michigan – and a good one – and finally Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under Richard Nixon. Throughout his career George Romney was considered a moral, upright, straight shooter. You’d think some of those genes might have been passed on to the son.

Mitt Romney’s education was stellar – Cranbrook Schools in Detroit, Brigham Young undergrad and Harvard Business School (MBA) and Stanford Law. Like his father, Mitt Romney spent time in business (investment banker), then governor of Massachusetts. From all reports, he got good marks as governor, including creating what became the foundation for the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).

Along the way he remained a high-profile member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Following a failed bid for presidency, Romney was elected senator from Utah which has a high population of Mormons.

So why would a governor with his pedigree sell out to a huckster, philanderer from Queens, who kowtowed openly to the Russians? Why would a guy with his pedigree buy in to the corrupt behavior of some immoral, unethical senator from Kentucky?

In a throwback to the McCarthy era, “Have you no decency, Senator Romney?“ You don’t need the money. Why would you be willing to spoil your reputation by aligning yourself with a couple of scumbags?

Of course, Romney is not the only allegedly principled Republican to follow instructions from Trump and McConnell. Where is the senior senator from say North Carolina, Richard Burr? Burr, who was chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, claims to be ethical and straightforward. He’s also retiring. Why does he continue to bow to Trump and McConnell?

And the list goes on and on. Republican senators seem to have turned into a bunch of whores. Calling them whores is an insult to those working in the sex trade. At least those in the trade know what they’re doing and are upfront about it. Stormy Daniels looks like Mother Theresa compared to Republican senators.

What’s the most galling, and what’s going to end up being the nail in the coffin for the 5th US Revolution, is a refusal by Republican senators to criticize anyone or group associated with the January 6 insurrection, including Trump and members of Congress. Let’s count the closed-mouthed Republican senators: 1,2,3,4,5,6…48,49,50.

By any standard those who participated and/or enabled the January 6 insurrection should be tried as traitors. The definition of a traitor is “a person who betrays a friend, country, principle, etc.” Now, tell me why those involved in the insurrection don’t fit that definition, starting with Trump. All involved tried to overthrow the government?

Lest anyone think the far-right insurrectionist-genie is going to go back in the bottle post Trump, I suggest you visit a proctologist and have your head relocated to the appropriate part of your anatomy. We are going to have the Revenge Revolution. And, based on behavior and actions by Republicans, the revolution could start in earnest with the 2022 election.

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#425. Republicans: “I Get to Buy but You Have to Pay.”

Welcome to the some 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 #400 was the most recent “sense check.” 

For many years, Republicans have promoted the idea that the government should be run like a personal household. Don’t spend more than you earn.  In that ideal Republican household, if you pay your debts on time everything will be OK.

Despite the assertions, even most Republicans don’t live in their ideal household.  For example, the vast majority of people buying a home don’t pay cash.  Rather they secure a mortgage for 3-4x their annual income and then repay the mortgage (loan) over 25-30 years.  If home buyers were required to pay the cost up front, very few people would own homes. 

“But home buying is different,” you say, “because buying a home is an investment. And you still have to pay back the loan, even if it takes 30 years.”

True. So why do Republicans insist that government expenditures for infrastructure — roads, bridges, transit, airports, etc. – have to be paid for out of this year‘s budget? Isn’t a road that will last at least 50, if not 100 years, with some maintenance, an investment, just like the house?

Now, let’s turn to paying for purchases. If a household buys groceries, some computer equipment, office supplies, maybe some clothing and puts the purchases on a credit card, the household still owes the money.  And the credit card company still has to be paid, right?

Apparently Republicans don’t think so.  During the Trump administration, Republicans deliberately decided to reduce household revenue – income to the government – by reducing taxes on the wealthy.  Then, rather than reducing expenditures because income was less, the Trump administration continued to buy lots of stuff and put those purchases on a credit card.

Now it’s time to pay off the credit card. And guess what? Republicans in the Senate and the House are saying, “Nope, the credit card debt is not our problem.  Even though we ran up the debt, we Republicans refuse to pay.“

What if everyone ran their household like Republicans?  Cut your income, continue to buy goods and services on a credit card, then refuse to pay the credit card company (lender)?  How much more credit do you think the lender would be willing to provide?

The approach taken by Republicans is pure Trump.  Anyone who has lived or worked in New York sometime in the last 40-50 years is likely familiar with how Trump operated his businesses.  Trump ran up debts, blamed the vendors and then refused to pay. 

After getting stiffed by Trump, lenders in the US refused to do business with him.  As incoming president, from all indications, his primary sources of capital were from Deutsche Bank and the Russians. 

Republicans, now the party of Trump, have adopted the same mantra – “Screw you. Not my fault.  I’m not paying. The debt is your problem.”  Mitch McConnell seems to be first in line kissing the Almighty Donald’s screw-the-creditors debt ring. 

The Republicans, who claim to be the party of savvy business people and fiscal responsibility, seem willing to allow the US to default on its debt for the first time in US history.  “Relax,” you say, “You’re blowing any debt default out of proportion.” 

If you are a Republican and support the actions of Trump and/or Mitch McConnell, why don’t you go ask someone how easy it is to get credit after they’ve defaulted on their debt? If someone who’s defaulted can get credit at all, the loan comes with lots of restrictions and a stiff interest rate.

So why are the Republicans behaving so irresponsibly? My only conclusion, as I’ve stated the number of times in various blog entries, is the Republicans have been brainwashed.

If they’re not brainwashed, why would Republicans pay debts they incurred while Trump was in office, then not pay debts incurred while Trump was in office after Biden became president? Trump’s debts are Trump’s debts.  You just can’t ignore then, unless, of course, you’re a Republican.    

Ok, let’s assume the Republicans are just playing politics by refusing to raise the debt ceiling. You’d think if someone was taking such a stand, they’d ask for something in return.  But like Trump, who has demonstrated repeatedly to be one of the world’s worst negotiators, Republicans are not asking for anything in return.  Rather Republicans are willing to put a gun to their heads of all Americans and fire away for no particular reason.

Republicans are so brainwashed, apparently they think only Democrats will suffer if the US defaults on its debt. Republicans are taking the same approach to addressing climate change. The rise in the earth’s temperature will only affect Democrats. 

From the beginning of the Obama administration, Republicans have categorically opposed whatever the Democrats proposed, no matter how many Republicans might benefit and no matter how much the proposal would protect US interests.  The answer to every idea from Democrats has been “No!”

Republicans ask yourself, “With a response of ‘no’ by Republican leadership regardless of the proposal, whose best interests are Trump and McConnell supporting? The best interests of US citizens?”  If you said “yes,” you’ll believe almost anything.

The behavior of Trump and McConnell is not benefiting the US but benefitting the Russians and the Chinese. “That can’t be,” you say.  Well, I say, take another hard look and then follow where Trump and McConnell are getting their money.

The Trump businesses (and thereby the family) have been funded by the Russians for some time. Mitch McConnell, through marriage to Elaine Chao – Secretary of Transportation in the Trump administration – is tied to Chinese money. You keep thinking about the connections and follow the money.

More later, especially how the behavior increases the likelihood of a 5th US Revolution, the Revenge Revolution.

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/

#424 Republicans, Help Me Understand Your Rationale, Please

Welcome to the some 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 #400 was the most recent “sense check.” 

I keep asking myself what I think is a straightforward question. “How can anyone who is a principled Republican remain with the current Party? “

Look, whatever your political leanings, no party will match up perfectly with your beliefs. Most of the time the difference is one of a few degrees. The proposed legislation seems OK in general but a bit too liberal or a bit too conservative for your personal beliefs.

What keeps baffling me is not a few degrees difference but a Republican Party that is 180° from a Republican Party that was based on long-held principles. A Republican Party that now supports actions that are 180° from the foundation of the US democracy.

Republicans, please help me understand why invading the US Capitol with the expressed intent of overthrowing a certified election, killing a sitting vice president of your own party, and wanting to assassinate members of the opposing party should be viewed as “patriotic.“

Tell me why the invasion of the Capitol is not an insurrection. Tell me why the insurgents should be praised rather than sent to prison? Tell me why you support members of Congress who claim to be patriots, but support insurgents?

Tell me why you call yourself “fiscally conservative” when your party voted a tax cut under Trump that ballooned the Federal deficit and transferred huge amounts of money from the middle class to those who were already wealthy?

Tell me why are you call yourself “conservative” when your Party supports increased oil and gas drilling, a known source of major pollution and the primary contributor to global warming. Recall the EPA was established by a Republican president.

Tell me why do you think the US was founded as a Christian country, when settlers left England to seek religious freedom? And, oh yes, there is that silly old Constitution. You know, where Amendment I reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” I guess you want to ignore parts of Amendment I and reinterpret Amendment II.

Please tell me why more Republican governors do not support vaccines, or wearing a mask to protect the citizens against a COVID infection? Mmm, seems the highest rates of infection, hospitalizations and deaths are in states where Republican governors would rather endanger the citizenry instead of protecting it.

Well, principled Republican, if you don’t have solid answers to these questions, or the answers seem contrary to your personal beliefs, then why are you still a Republican?

If your response is, “I’ve always been a Republican,“ then take a long, hard look in the mirror and ask yourself, “Do I really want to be affiliated with this type political party?“ If the answer is “yes,” could you explain to me your rationale?

And you’re explanation can’t be, “You’re a hard-core liberal, you won’t understand.” I grew up in a Republican household, and until Trump, had voted for at least one Republican candidate for a major office in every single election since I was 18. When you have an answer about staying with the Republican Party, please let me know. Thanks.

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/

#423 Coincidences about 09/11

Welcome to the some 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 #400 was the most recent “sense check.” 

Since this week is the 20th anniversary of 9/11, I thought it might be interesting to look at some notes that I made about the event. The notes I found were dated June 2006, roughly 5 years after 09/11/01. 

The hand-written notes were titled “Coincidences about 09/11” and consisted mostly of questions.  By early September 2021, most of the questions have yet to be answered.  With any kind of luck, some of the soon-to-be-released classified material around 09/11 will provide some insight. 

Following is a list of bullet points that I had jotted down. Some minor edits have been made for clarification.  Any explanatory comments re the intent of the question is noted in brackets.

June 30, 2006  Notes titled “Coincidences about 09/11”

  • 17 of 19 hijackers were citizens of Saudi Arabia
  • Iraq has the second largest oil reserves in the Middle East [Technically Iran is #2 but Iraq is a close 3rd.]   
  • President Bush had a ”deer-in-the-headlights” look when told the news about the first plane crashing into the Trade Towers. No one reacts that way if they are truly surprised.   [He was at a grammar school reading a book to maybe 2nd graders, in Texas I think.]
  • Immediately after planes hit the Pentagon and crashed in Pennsylvania, all air traffic in/out of the US was grounded.  Yet, the Saudi‘s were given an exemption.  Why?
  • The Saudi‘s left the US on 09/12-13. Seems like a pretty quick exit, especially when everybody else was grounded.
  • All other Muslims with even the most remote connection to the hijackers were being held in the US while the Saudi‘s, who had obvious connections, were allowed to leave.
  • The Bush family has been long-time friends with Saudi royal family.
  • [Post 09/11]  US invades Afghanistan [Why Afghanistan if the hijackers were Saudis?]
  • [Post 09/11]  US invades Iraq. [Why invade Iraq when none of the hijackers was from Iraq or was there any connection to Iraq?]
  • Iraq, with Saddam still in power, could reduce the oil price by increasing production. The lower price would reduce Saudi wealth accumulation.
  • Bush’s personal wealth increased from ~$4.0 to ~$10.0 while still in office.  [Estimated wealth as of maybe 2004 or 2005.  Likely some disclosure form but no reference in the notes.]  Since his salary is $400k per year, where did the money come from? 
  • The invasion of Iraq smells.  The invasion seems to have been planned before 09/11.  Iraq, without Saddam and under US control, could provide Saudi Arabia a great geographic buffer from Iran.  Plus if the US controls Iraq, then the US controls the oil reserves and production.  

Seems like a lot of coincidences.  However, even with certain material about the Saudi’s and 09/11 being declassified, the questions about 09/11 likely will not be answered.

Comments and/or your questions welcome.

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/

#422. I’m Stumped. Why Not Get Vaccinated? Looking for Real Reasons.

Welcome to the some 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 #400 was the most recent “sense check.” 

I am stumped. What do we, societal we, have to do to get people to at least understand the importance of credible information and the importance of assessing risk?

The topic at hand is Covid.  Covid presents a significant risk to the individual, the individual’s family and a risk to society. Assessing the risk is fairly straightforward math. If you are unvaccinated, the chances of getting infected with the Delta variant, even with some precautions, are high.  Once infected the odds of a serious illness are much lower.  However, the consequences of a serious illness are significant.  In addition, among those infected, 25% or more may suffer long-term health consequences, the severity and scope of which are unknown since this strain of Covid is recent.

For those willing “to play the odds” with Covid, let’s apply the same odds (or even better odds) to a different situation – say air travel. If you’re an anti-vaxxer, would you get on an airplane where one out of every 20, 50 or even 100 flights crashed? And the consequence of the crash was death for everyone on board?

If one of every hundred flights crashed, say in Charlotte, there would be 6-7 crashes per day. I suspect the anti-vaxxers would find this rate too risky and refuse to board aircraft.

Yet, people who insist on not getting vaccinated are assuming the same risk as the 1:100 airline crash.  Why?  Like I said, I’m stumped.  For anti-vaxxers, take a look in geographic areas where a large percentage of the population is unvaccinated.  What’s happening?  Hospitals are at capacity. Funeral homes are beyond capacity and the funeral homes are hiring refrigerated trucks to hold bodies.

The simple solution to reducing risk of Covid is getting vaccinated. Why the resistance?  I’m stumped.  This past week two people I’ve known for some time both indicated they have refused to get vaccinated. Their rationale varied slightly but in essence was “I’m concerned about the risk of this“ or “…the risk of that“ or the vaccine “did not kill the virus“ or “I have credible information from the internet that proves…something or other.”

The “proof“ cited by one of the two was a YouTube video from an MD, well supposedly an MD. The anti-vaxxer posted the link to the “MD” on Facebook. A couple of days later, Facebook noted the information cited was fake and covered the picture of the “MD” and broke the link.  I suppose the anti-vaxxer’s retort to blocking the post was Facebook has been in the pockets of the “deep state.“

As far as risk of the Covid vaccine, yes, there is a risk. All vaccines and all medications carry some risk.  But the risk of the vaccine is slight.  The risk of a severe side effect is less than the risk of a severe side effect from birth control pills.  Wonder how many anti-vaxxers want to ban birth-control pills?

The real issue is the degree of risk of the vaccine versus the degree of risk without the vaccine. Using the airline example, the risk of a serious health issue or death with a Covid infection is at the very best 1:100, while the risk of a health issue stemming from the vaccine is 1:1,000,000+. 

If the difference is so striking and so obvious – for anti-vaxxers 6-7 airline crashes per day in Charlotte versus 1 crash every 4 years for those vaccinated – why are so many people continuing to resist getting the vaccine? Neither of my contacts is stupid. So why the resistance?

As noted in several blog entries beginning with Trump’s nomination, I think Trump supporters have been brainwashed. Trump’s behavior was the antithesis of everything the Republican Party and the religious conservatives stood for. Yet, Trump won the Electoral College vote in 2016 and the vast majority of those who voted for him the first time did so again in 2020. Many Trump voters continue to believe the election was “stolen.“   If you ask a Trumpster “stolen by whom?” or “stolen how?” there is never a specific answer.  Always some reference to some vague, hard-to-define conspiracy.

The brainwashing and the conspiracy logic also applies to Covid. Don’t get a vaccine, because you will…well, we know there’s a conspiracy out there someplace.  Big pharma and Bill Gates, and maybe George Soros, are in cahoots.

The only time reality seems to set in for an anti-vaxxer is when in ICU and on a ventilator. Then the anti-vaxxer finally awakens from the brainwashing by stating, “Gee, maybe I should’ve gotten the vaccine.“

Unfortunately, the brainwashing is likely to continue.  The primary source of the brainwashing, Fox News, continues to promote the alleged stealing of the election, and the alleged conspiracy surrounding the vaccine.  While no conspiracy has ever been defined, “We anti-vaxxers all know Dr. Fauci lies and is a bad guy.”  The Fox solution to Covid?  Don’t get the FDA-approved vaccine but take ivermectin, a drug of no value for treating Covid but used among other applications to deworm animals.

Soon we should be hearing Tucker Carlson and his ilk telling Fox viewers, the forest fires, droughts, hurricanes, heat domes and the other extreme weather incidents are just those 1:100 or 1:1000-year events so don’t worry about climate change.  The claims about climate change are a hoax.  Keep burning that fossil fuel because CO2 is good for the atmosphere.  Don’t trust the scientists.  Trust Fox.”  And throughout these lies, the brainwashed will continue to bow to the king of BS.

What does the brainwashing mean for the Revenge Revolution? The short answer is the Revenge Revolution is still coming.  Originally I thought the Revenge Revolution would be based on economic disparity with the “have-not’s” revolting against the “have’s.”

While there still might be economic disparity between the two sides, the different sides seem to be evolving toward those citizens willing to sacrifice for the common good against those who refuse.  The same disparity in willingness to sacrifice seems to hold when discussing climate change.  The economic disparity results from education. For both the Covid vaccine and climate change, a higher percentage of people with more educated seem to understand the causes of both and the need for society-wide actions to reduce the risks. 

If the democracy is to survive the Revenge Revolution, only one side can win. And it’s not the side of conspiracy theorists and climate-change deniers. More to come.

Comments, questions, suggestions, criticisms welcome.

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/

 

  

#421. Climate Change: Overview of Steps to Start Solving

Welcome to the some 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 #400 was the most recent “sense check.” 

If you still believe climate change is a hoax, then quit reading this blog entry.  You’ll be pulling out your hair by the end.

In the real world, climate change exists.  In the real world, the consequences of not addressing climate change are catastrophic.  If society does not begin taking major steps immediately to reduce CO2 emissions, the primary contributor to the earth’s warming, there is a distinct possibility of a huge die-off in the earth’s population in the next 100-150 years. 

Just for reference, the current concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere (parts per million) is the highest since 3-5 million years ago, long before the evolution of modern man.  The high concentration has changed the curve of the earth’s natural warming and cooling cycle.  Based on historical patterns, the earth should be in the very early stages of a cooling cycle.  Instead, the earth’s temperature continues to increase.

No matter what we do, the earth’s temperature is likely to rise for another 50-75 years.  During that period the US and virtually every other country will experience more intense heat domes, rising oceans, more intense rainstorms, more flooding, more droughts, more fires and a severe strain on the agricultural sector’s ability to grow and harvest crops consistently. 

In addition, because of the shift in the jet stream caused by warmer temperatures in the Artic, areas of the southern US could experience heretofore rare severe winter cold snaps.  This all sounds like fun, huh?

How do we begin slowing the increase in earth’s temperature and eventually get earth back to the normal cycle of temperature variation?  The simple answer?  US society needs to have the will and commitment to fix the problem we helped cause.

Interestingly and fortunately, the technology exists today that can help make a major leap toward slowing the increase in temperature.  Also, technology is in development that can slow the increase even more.

If we have the technology, then why doesn’t the US just implement it?  What’s the issue when everyone would benefit?

Welcome to a country where logic and commitment to the common good seem to have vanished.  There is no better example of vanished commitment than willingness to be vaccinated for Covid.  A substantial portion of the US population refuses to get vaccinated even though the unvaccinated are at very high risk of being infected. 

The anti-vax groups offers a range of unsubstantiated medical claims and the usual array of conspiracy theories, including an effort by “government” to bend the will of the people, which will lead to more government takeovers, of course.

The extent of the selfishness of this group is hard to overstate.  The group insists a requirement to be vaccinated would impinge on their “freedom.” Yet, when the anti-vaxxers become infected with Covid, the group demands immediate medical attention.  I guess the group has forgotten their “freedoms” and the organized medical community resulted from actions taken by that bad old federal government.   

In addition to the anti-vaxxers, there are many companies, especially in the fossil-fuel industry, that refuse to accept any responsibility for global warming.  While we might not have known in 1900 how much drilling (methane release), then burning fossil fuels (CO2) could contribute to global warming, we have known about the linkage and the potential problem for at least 50 years.      

Another category of deniers sits in Congress, mainly from Republican-dominated states, and in particular from states with fossil-fuel resources.  One senator from such a state stated that producing oil and gas was not the contributor to global warming.  The real problem was burning the oil and gas.  OK, there are some products that use oil and/or as a feed stock.  However, a substantial portion is burned and creates CO2.  If the companies continue producing oil and gas at the current rate, unsold inventory will fill storage capacity quickly.  Then what, senator?

Without getting into a long dissertation, here’s a list of actions that could begin meaningful progress toward mitigating the effects of climate change.  The US needs to step up before we start negotiating with other countries to do the same.  More discussion about the proposed steps in coming entries. (The recommendations are excerpts from a paper I wrote as part of a group of MIT alumni working on practical solutions to climate change.)

  • Because the US is so polarized politically, a “9/11” or “Pearl Harbor” moment beyond the UN Report and record heat seems necessary to gain broad public support for addressing climate change and encouraging Congress to pass necessary climate legislation
  • Federal mandates requiring 100% electric usage in transportation, major industries, commercial building /homes, agriculture by a certain date are likely the only solution to ensure compliance across key sectors.  More in coming entries why a “free-market” solution likely will not work in time.
  • Even with a “Pearl Harbor” moment and mandates for electric, widespread education of the public will be necessary
  • The president or Congress should activate the Defense Production Act of 1950 to ensure electrified products are produced in quantity adequate to meet mandates
  • Federal government financial support for infrastructure and cost reduction programs will be required in all sectors, including provisions for “buy-back” of banned products
  • Renewable sources of electricity – solar, wind, hydro – likely will be inadequate to meet substantially higher base-load demand.  Nuclear power will be required.  Fusion is superior but commercial fusion decades away.
  • Accelerating timeline for widespread hydrogen availability will help achieve zero-emissions in aircraft, long-haul trucking as long as hydrogen not derived from fossil fuel
  • Students, grammar school thru college, and those under age 30 in 2021 can be a major influence on changing public attitudes and spurring legislation      

Comments, questions, suggestions, criticisms welcome.

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/