America Exports Insurrection to Brazil, But Brazil Knows How to Handle It.

Flickr – Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Law Enforcement.

Two years ago Donald Trump, refusing to accept defeat in the 2020 election, encouraged his supporters to attack the US Capitol on January 6th, in an attempt to hold onto power. Over these past two years, the foot soldiers who attacked the Capitol, causing mayhem, destruction, and death are slowly being brought to justice. Many have been charged with and convicted of sedition, and are now in prison. Hundreds of “the little people” still await trial or have not been apprehended yet. In contrast, Trump, Giuliani, Flynn, and sitting members of Congress, who all helped plan and organize the insurrection are free to walk amongst us, still spreading the “big lie”. Trump is still holding his hate-filled rallies where he continues to spout his lies and conspiracy theories.

In these past two years, we have had a mid-term election, where some people who have actively participated in the attack ran for Congress, and were elected. People who tried to overturn our democracy are now sitting in Congress. People like Matt Gaetz, Paul Gosar, Scott Perry, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Louie Gohmert, Lauren Boebert, and Jim Jordan, all Republican election deniers, have been implicated in the organization and planning of the insurrection and are still members of Congress! As far as we know the DOJ has not initiated any investigations of their conduct, despite testimony from the January 6th House Select Committee. Why?

Meanwhile, on January 8, 2023, supporters of former and recently defeated Brazilian President Bolsonaro attacked the Brazilian Congress and Supreme Court in response to Bolsonaro’s election loss to Lula Da Silva. As in this country’s insurrection, Bolsonaro and his supporters denied the election and called for Bolsonaro to be reinstated. It’s interesting to note that the scenario in Brazil matches exactly what Trump and his followers executed in this country. Even Steve Bannon had visited Brazil and voiced strong support for Bosonaro in his election fraud conspiracies. Soon after the January 8th attack in Brazil, Brazil’s Supreme Court initiated an investigation into Bolsonaro’s involvement in the attempted coup. The US Justice Department, on the other hand, just recently began to investigate Donald Trump.

It had appeared those law enforcement agencies tasked with protecting the Capitol were unprepared for such an event, but investigations have discovered that the FBI and Capitol police had known well in advance of the possibility of large crowds intent on violence. It was also disclosed that the Trump administration had prevented the National Guard from being called in sooner to quell the attack. In comparison, law enforcement agencies in Brazil appeared to have acted much sooner to prevent further injuries.

While the Brazilian Supreme Court started issuing indictments for the attack within a few days of the attack, the US Justice Department dragged its feet in even starting an investigation and didn’t do so until the January 6th Select Committee unearthed tons of evidence of who was responsible. Still today the major participants are allowed to roam free and continue to spread their anti-democratic conspiracy theories.

Democracy is still in its infancy in Brazil and the country is used to riots and civil unrest, so this attempted coup may not have been unexpected. But the government acted quickly to take control of the situation, most likely realizing this may happen again in the future. The January 6th coup attempt was in no way expected and the government was in no way prepared. Even after two years, the US government still doesn’t know what to do to prevent this from happening again in the future. The DOJ is hesitant to indict a former president because there is no “precedent” for doing so. They haven’t indicted sitting members of Congress because there is no “precedent”. There is no “precedent” of an attempted coup either, so the DOJ does nothing.

Very little has been done to prevent an insurrection from happening again, in part thanks to the very Republicans who took part in the insurrection. Because of the midterm elections of 2022, the DOJ declined to investigate or indict the candidates who took part in the insurrection or those sitting members of Congress who also took part in the insurrection. The election is over and the Republicans have barely taken control of the House of Representatives and the January 6th Select Committee has been abolished. And the DOJ still hasn’t done anything. The very people who took part in planning and orchestrating the insurrection are now in control of the House of Representatives. The attack on our democracy continues.

The presidential election of 2024 is looming ahead and Donald Trump has already announced his candidacy, I’m sure hoping this will protect him from indictment by the DOJ. If Merrick Garland is hesitant to indict candidates for Congress, he certainly won’t indict Trump. Why is the DOJ so slow in going after the former president and his henchman? Are they afraid of MAGA or are they complicit? There is a strong possibility that Trump could be indicted in New York State and Georgia and perhaps Garland thinks that this will take him off the hook.

I don’t know how Brazil’s democracy will fare in the future, but it appears the government is actively trying to bring to justice, those who were responsible and taking the necessary actions to prevent future attacks on her democracy. I am not so optimistic about our country’s democracy surviving. With a Department of Justice that is crippled with fear of going against “precedent” or being involved in the insurrection and a Congress comprised of the very participants in the coup, I see little hope. I fear that the insurrection is not over, but is slowly continuing. As a student of history, I cannot forget Hitler’s first attempt at a coup failed, but because of Germany’s inaction to hold him accountable, he eventually succeeded. And we all know how that ended!

Sure, There is Inflation, But How Stupid Can You Get?

For you people who think inflation only occurs in the United States, the above chart may help you understand that inflation is a worldwide phenomenon. As you can see Russia has a 17.8% inflation rate. Now Biden is not the head of Russia, Putin, the idol of Trump-loving Republicans, is. Brazil, another country under the rule of a Trump-loving authoritarian leader, has 12.5%. Biden is not Brazil’s leader. The UK, under a Conservative government, has a 9.0% rate of inflation. Once again Biden is not the leader of the UK. So as you read the chart you can see that inflation is a worldwide problem, not just an American problem or a Biden problem.

C-SPAN Screen of the final vote on the Inflation Reduction Act

Now for all of you people voting for the Republicans because you feel they will do more to lower inflation, the above screenshot shows the final vote of the Inflation Reduction Act. For those who don’t know how this bill helps Americans, here is a summary of what it does for families:

Allowing Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices

Capping annual out of pocket costs for Medicare recipients at $2,000, saving them thousands of dollars a year

Capping insulin costs for seniors at $35/month

Penalizing drug companies for unfairly hiking prices

Investing in forest resiliency to prevent catastrophic wildfires

Supporting small forest landowners to improve forest health

Funding climate-smart agriculture programs

Boosting clean energy manufacturing in the U.S.

Creating credits for new and used electric vehicles

Investing in a reliable 21st Century electric grid

Providing home energy efficiency rebates

Reducing air pollution by providing funding to ports to reduce emissions, and cracking down on oil and gas companies that have significant methane leakage

This bill was passed by the Democrats to help American families. As you can plainly see, every damn Republican voted against it. They voted against you. Yet you are going to vote for them to continue to vote against you? Are you that frigging stupid?

You still have time to vote in your best interests. VOTE BLUE!

Once Again America Turns to the Youth of Our Country to Defend Our Democracy.

Picryl – Imperial War Museums

Eighty years ago the youth of America, your grandparents, and great aunts and uncles, rallied to defend our democracy from the evils of fascism, racism, and hatred, in Europe and in Asia. Many returned, broken and maimed and many never returned. They fought and died to defend the freedoms and rights that we all enjoy today.

Today those rights and freedoms that our relatives fought and died to preserve, are once again severely threatened. Already women’s right to make decisions on their health has been taken away by an extremist right-wing court, whose majority of Conservative justices were installed by Donald Trump, a wannabee dictator. Voting rights, earned in the past 50 years are slowly being stripped away. As we speak this same Supreme Court is planning on abolishing affirmative action which will virtually destroy the ability for minorities to be able to compete on a level playing field with whites. The Voting Rights Acts of 1965 is slowly being dismantled, limiting or abolishing the right to vote for Blacks and other minorities. The right to marry the one you love will soon be destroyed, as promised by Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito. Hard-fought LGBTQ rights earned in the past 50 years will soon be just a memory.

The foundation of our American democracy, the right to vote, has become the target of the new Trump Republican Party. Many election-denying Republican candidates have openly stated that they would not accept the results of the midterm elections if they lost. According to the Republican Party, the only elections that count are the ones they win. Just like elections in Russia, China, and Iran.

This upcoming midterm election could possibly be the last real election that we may participate in. If the Republicans regain control of Congress, it’s all over. It’s all over for women, seniors, immigrants, Black, the LGBTQ community, and the middle class. Once again our country, our democracy, needs the nation’s youth to come to our rescue. We need you to vote. Your relatives fought and died for over 4 years in WW II to save our democracy. We need only that you take the time to vote to save our democracy. Youth of America, PLEASE VOTE!

The Insurrection is Almost Complete, The Next Step Depends Upon You

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We all saw the violent Trump-supported mob attack the US Capitol on January 6th in an effort to overturn the 2020 election and our government. We saw those domestic terrorists desecrate the Capitol building, smashing windows, breaking down doors, and even defecating on the floor, all the while searching for Nancy Pelosi, and other members of Congress Trump saw as an enemy, in order to kill them. We also saw these Trump loyalists attack, beat, and either severely injure or kill law enforcement officers defending the seat of our government. We all saw these despicable and treasonous actions unless you were watching Fox News or listening to the cowardly members of Congress, like Minority Leader McCarthy or Ted Cruz, who hid crouched under their desks or some other protected space. Even Vice President Mike Pence was targeted for hanging because he didn’t decertify the election, as Trump wanted. They instead called this bloody, heinous attack on our Capitol and our government merely patriots peacefully voicing their opinions!

We saw Trump’s “big lie”continue to be amplified by Trump and his toadies. We saw every judicial effort by Trump to nullify the election fail. With each failure, Trump and his supporters increased their hateful, divisive, and dangerous rhetoric, often calling for violence toward anyone perceived as Trump’s enemy, Democrat or even the rare Republican. Along with Trump’s perceived enemies being attacked, he and his supporters are attacking the Department of Justice, the FBI, Secretaries of State of individual states where he lost, and even election poll workers. No one is safe from Trump’s pathological revenge.

We saw and are still seeing, thanks to the work of the Select Committee investigating January 6, the extent of Trump’s involvement in the treasonous attack, as well as his other numerous crimes. We are also seeing that Donald Trump has stolen top-secret government defense and intelligence documents that, in the wrong hands, could be a grave danger to our country’s security. Why did he need to have these? Extortion, selling them to Russia?

Since the insurrection, we have seen numerous low-level soldiers of Trump’s MAGA involved in the attack, arrested, tried, convicted, and imprisoned. At the same time, we have seen those responsible for the organization, planning, and funding of the insurrection go free to continue to spread lies, hatred, and division. Trump, Giuliani, Stone, Flynn, and many prominent Republican Congressmen are walking free to help finish the insurrection, using the very judicial system they plan on dismantling if they come to power. Even Mike Pence, whom Trump wanted to be hanged, is too much of a coward to speak up against Trump.

Since the insurrection, we have seen SCOTUS, with 3 of Trump’s far-right extremist appointed justices, after lying to protect Roe vs Wade, repeal it. We then have seen Justice Clarence Thomas promise to go after contraception, gay rights, and same-sex marriage. We have seen that Thomas has not recused himself from court dealings that involved Trump, while his wife is an ardent supporter of Trump and his lies, and has even financially supported the insurrection. Recently we have just seen the husband of House Speaker and second in line to the presidency, Nancy Pelosi, viciously attacked and beaten by an intruder yelling “where’s Nancy”. These are the same words echoed by the January 6th terrorists seeking to assassinate Nancy Pelosi.

Now the midterm elections are upon us. We are seeing voting rights being attacked, especially in Red states, to prevent Black people and Native Americans from voting. Republican legislatures have enacted legislation making it more difficult, if not impossible, for minorities to vote. Not surprisingly, the state courts have upheld these new laws. We are also seeing governors and legislatures in Red states give the authority to the secretary of state, the governor, or the legislature, to overturn an election if they disagreed with the results.

Republican states were quick to ban all abortions, with no exceptions, right after SCOTUS repealed Roe vs Wade. States like Florida have passed laws that make it illegal for teachers to even mention the word “gay” or mention their spouse if their spouse is of the same sex. They have banned all books containing material about the LGBTQ community. They have set their sites on banning gay marriage.

According to Brookings, there are over 300 Trump-supporting election deniers on the ballot in the midterm elections and according to Politico, 57 people involved in the January insurrection are running for office. If you listen to them you will discover their platform is pure white supremacy. They are Trumpers who vilify immigrants, the LGBTQ community, people of color, non-Christians, especially Jews, and anyone who does not fully worship Donald Trump. Most of them have labeled their opponents and all Democrats pedophiles whose policies seek to groom children into the “gay lifestyle” or child prostitution. They have accused Democrats of child trafficking and being members of the “new world order”, whatever the hell that is, and of trying to destroy religion, meaning their “Christian” religion.

The Trump Republican party has laid the groundwork for a new Trump-led authoritarian government to replace our democracy. They have divided us, they have stoked fear of those who are people of color, immigrants, LGBTQ people, and anyone who is not a white Christian conservative. They are already saying that if Trump is brought to justice or if Republicans lose in the upcoming elections there will be violence. To the man, or woman, far-right candidates have publically stated that they will not accept the election results if they lose.

Now, what happens? It’s up to you. If you are a woman, you have daughters, you or a loved one are a member of the LGBTQ community, you are Black, Brown, or Native American, you are Jewish, Muslim, or any non-Christian, you are a scientist or are highly educated, and you love democracy and your freedoms you have everything to lose if Republicans take control of Congress in the midterms.

You have two choices. You can bitch and moan and panic over having to pay a little more for gas and groceries, a temporary situation that people my age have seen come and go numerous times during our lifetime, and vote Republican. Or you can vote Democrat to save your freedoms and democracy. Inflation is temporary, but our loss of democracy is permanent. Remember, Republicans are targeting voting rights, so if Republicans win you won’t have the chance to vote ever again!

The Real Republican Platform, Fear and Hate.

My hometown friend, Sid Krupkin, posted this excellent article on his Facebook page. I immediately thought that this needed to be read and shared by as many people as possible, especially as the midterms loom. Thanks, Sid, for allowing me to use this.

“Republicans would have you believe that Democrats in this country are all sexual deviants trying to turn your children into dangerous, family-hating devil worshippers. They’ve actually come up with a piece of legislation…a rarity in itself…which proposes the banning of discussion of any form of sexually oriented subject matter, especially something called Drag Queen Story Time, a small-scale scenario that emanated out of San Francisco a couple of years ago. Apparently, if a man shows up to tell children’s stories in a library and he’s costumed in a gaudy prom dress, all the kids will instantly turn gay and start dancing like they’re in a burlesque show. Of course, there’d be no objection if he wore the costume of Count Dracula with blood dripping down his face. Nobody would be claiming that he’s trying to turn the kids into murderous vampires. In fact, Halloween is just around the corner and kids across the country, with their parents’ blessings, will be dressed in every outlandish fashion imaginable, from sexy mermaids to famous serial killers to homeless panhandlers…the more bizarre the better. Fortunately, inappropriate costumes and bad makeup don’t doom our children to lives of disgrace and infamy.

What are these Republicans doing with their legislative power? Are they focusing on programs that will enhance the lives of American citizens such as healthcare, infrastructure or the environment? Are they attempting to curtail the rampant gun violence that is plaguing schools and public settings? Are they striving to protect voting rights and making sure that all citizens have a voice in our government? No. They are doing none of those things, although they work hard to obstruct such legislation put forth by Democrats. Instead, they have proposed the “Stop the Sexualization of Children Act”, an alarmist stunt designed to appease their evangelical base and discredit the routinely excellent work being done by educators across this nation. They have aligned with groups like the Proud Boys, who can think of nothing better to do than to muscle their way into a library and disrupt a harmless story time as they did in California last June.

Isn’t it obvious that any person designated to conduct a story session for children…whether they are dressed as a clown, a princess, a corrupt ex-president or the Big Bad Wolf…will be held to an appropriate standard by the school or library? The thing that has been lost in this contrived controversy is that teachers and librarians and administrators are PROFESSIONALS! They are not going to allow anything that will harm or disturb your children. Guest speakers, storytellers or entertainers are carefully vetted and monitored. One thing that may happen…and should happen at an appropriate level in these situations… is the suggestion that there are all kinds of different people occupying the world we live in: Black, Brown, White, Asian, Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Zoroastrian, Atheist, Introverted, Extroverted, Big, Small, Kind, Rude…etc. Children should not be taught to react with panic and fear whenever someone who looks different, talks different or dresses different appears in their lives.

This tempest in a teapot only serves to highlight the real purpose of Republican smear campaigns: to target, demonize, terrorize and criminalize those who they consider to be “the other”. Their actions stoke divisions, endanger groups who choose alternative lifestyles and encourage children to ridicule anyone who doesn’t conform with some rigid, conservative image of humanity.

So, for story hour, schools and libraries can go ahead and choose wizards and witches, kings and queens and magicians and clowns if they want to. Let’s just be careful not to choose any devious clowns on Election Day.”

Sid also has a great page on Facebook to fight bullying. Check it out, “Mr. Sid, anti-bullying specialist”.

To My Fellow Senior Citizens, Are You Senile or Just Plain Stupid?

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With the midterm elections just a few short weeks away I am shocked and saddened by the stupidity of some of my fellow senior citizens. Like most seniors, I depend on my monthly Social Security benefits to stay alive. Fortunately, I also have a pension and an annuity to support myself in my final years. But there are millions of people who rely solely on their monthly social security benefits. Like all other seniors, I also depend on Medicare to help with my medical expenses. Also like other seniors, I have health needs that include numerous prescription drugs, many of which are extremely expensive. For many seniors, these prescription drugs are not affordable on their meager monthly income.

This Democratic administration has managed to pass a bill that would allow Medicare to negotiate for lower drug costs for Medicare recipients, set the cost of insulin at $35, and set a cap of $2000 for drug costs. Every single Republican in Congress voted against the bill to help senior citizens live a comfortable, worry-free life. Seniors are also affected by the high gas prices and higher cost of groceries. The Democrats passed the Anti-inflation Act that will lower costs to families and lower the deficit. Once again every single Republican voted against it. Democrats also introduced a bill that would impose a windfall profits tax on oil companies charging exorbitant prices at a time when the poor and middle class are suffering economically. And guess what? It didn’t pass because every single Republican voted against it.

The Democrats are asking voters to give them a larger majority in the Senate and to maintain their majority in the House so they can continue to lower drug costs for everyone, provide effective healthcare for everyone, strengthen Social Security, lower inflation and the deficit, strengthen voter rights, codify Roe vs Wade and same-sex marriage. The Republicans are promising to abolish the Anti-inflation act and repeal the legislation to lower the cost of insulin for Medicare recipients. They have promised to block the debt ceiling vote until the Democrats agree to make major changes to Social Security, including lowering the benefits, extending the age for retirement, and even the possibility of denying benefits to those who also have a pension in addition to Social Security.

Yet many of my fellow senior citizens stupidly and ignorantly sit their fat asses on the couch while they watch Fox News spread hate and fear that some non-white immigrants are coming after their way of life. They cruise around in their golf carts in places like “The Villages” wearing their little red “Made in China” MAGA hats praising everything their fat, orange god, Trump, has done and will do for them. They’re all rallying around the Republicans either not caring or not aware that their democracy, their social security benefits, and their Medicare will soon be gone if they vote Republican.

When our Social Security and Medicare are gone, who will you blame? Biden, immigrants, Blacks, Democrats, gays? I’m sure you won’t accept any responsibility, just like Trump and the Republican traitors you voted for.

The New Definition of the Red Scare

Picryl.com

In America, in the late 1940s and 1950s, the country was engulfed in the hysteria of the Red Scare, the fear of communism. The enemy was the Soviet Union, under the control of the dictator Joseph Stalin and his Communist Party, symbolized by the red star. The Red Scare gained popularity when Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy alleged that there were hundreds of communists living in the United States, plotting to overturn our democracy. He theorized that communists had infiltrated the U.S government and were prominent in the Hollywood community. You can learn more about Sen. McCarthy and his activities from the United States Senate site here.

Growing up I can remember being warned that communists could be lurking around every corner of our society. Anyone who was in the least bit different from the average American citizen (white, Ango-Saxon Protestant) was a communist. Popular Hollywood actors and entertainers were accused of being communists and most people who espoused policies that would today be called liberal or progressive were either called communists or socialists. The Republican Party called FDR a socialist for implementing Social Security, which benefits all Americans today and is a prime target for destruction among most Republican politicians today. FDR’s policy of helping the poor and working class has always come under fire from Republicans, as being socialist policies. They attempt to stoke fear among Americans that we will become a socialist country. They and most Americans are truly ignorant of what socialism is. That’s a lesson for another blog post, however.

In my youth and my college years, people were leery of the “Red” Chinese, Russia, and “the Reds”. They were communists and our sworn enemies. When Cuba was overtaken by Fidel Castro and became a communist country 90 miles from Florida, the Red Scare became very real. I can remember being in grammar school and hiding under our desks in practice for a possible Russian nuclear attack. I can still remember how close we came to war when JFK stared down Nikita Khrushchev and demanded Russian missiles be removed from Cuba.

The Red scare was in response to the fear of an overturn of our government from a foreign power, beyond our shores. Today our democracy is threatened again by the color red. This time red star is not associated with communism, but with the Republican Party. It’s not the Red Star we must fear, but the Red MAGA hat!

On January 6th, 2021 Trump red-hatted supporters incited by Donald Trump attacked the US Capitol in an attempt to overturn the presidential election and our democracy. The attack almost succeeded. But Trump and allies are still spreading his big lie, that the election was stolen. Trump Republicans have succeeded in nominating extremist candidates, who if elected will succeed in finishing what Trump started on January 6th. These candidates support the big lie and have vowed revenge on anyone who did not fully support Trump. The Republicans have promised, if they take control of Congress, to propose a national ban on abortion, sunset Social Security, end Medicare, abolish same-sex marriage and LGBTQ rights, and end the separation of church and state.

Amazingly these far-right extremists, some of whom are convicted felons and participants in the January 6th insurrection, stand a good chance of winning in November. In Red states, they are almost assured of winning. Despite numerous investigations into Trump’s plethora of alleged crimes, including stealing top-secret national defense documents, he is the front runner for the GOP nomination for 2024. People’s fealty to a wannabe dictator is stronger than the desire to preserve our democracy. Yes, people are that stupid. You may want to read a previous post on the danger of losing our democracy here.

Former Trump administration and Republican members of Congress are attacking the same judicial system they are using to deflect and delay criminal proceedings against them. They are destroying our rule of law and our Constitution in an attempt to install an authoritarian form of government that would assure that a white Christo-fascist America will replace our democracy. When I was younger it was common to hear the phrase “better dead than Red”. If Republicans regain power that phrase may be reworded to say “be Red or be dead”.

Astonishingly many people I talk with are entirely unaware of the dangers our democracy is facing. I hear comments such as ” I don’t watch the news”, “it’s all politics”, “Trump is being treated unfairly”, or this one I have written about before. There is a good chance that if Republicans are victorious in the midterms and the 2024 election these same people will wake up to a reality of a dictatorial fascist government and wonder how it happened.

What Will Happen If Trump Goes to Jail?

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With the recent FBI search of Donald Trump’s Mar- a- Lago the likelihood of his being indicted for a crime and possibly being incarcerated if he is found guilty has grown considerably. Even though the traitors and toadies of Trumpworld are outraged at the event and calling for the Justice Department to be investigated or defunded, as reported here, they have completely disregarded the fact that the search was legal and carried out with a warrant signed by a federal judge with the consent of top DOJ officials. The warrant would not have been issued without probable cause that a crime was committed and there was cause to believe evidence could be destroyed.

The party of “law and order” are now attacking Attorney General Garland, the FBI, and the Justice Department. They complain that no other president or former president has ever been treated like this, which is true. But they forget that no other president in our history has been so corrupt or attempted a coup to remain in power. If any other citizen of this country had committed even one of the crimes Trump has committed or been accused of, they would have been thrown in jail long ago. But Republicans believe that their furor is a martyr and is above the law.

No president has ever been indicted and sentenced to prison, either while in office or after leaving office. The logistics of a former president serving time in prison are unknown. If found guilty would Trump serve his time under house arrest, be pardoned, placed on probation, or jailed? What would happen to his Secret Service coverage? Would they too have to go to jail? Many pundits believe that because of these concerns Trump would not or should not be imprisoned if indicted. Some go further saying he shouldn’t be indicted either.

People worry that if Trump is brought to justice his supporters will take to the streets causing mayhem, violence, and bloodshed I sincerely believe this will happen, as Trump has already alluded to this in a speech at a rally in Texas in January of 2022. You can read about this here. Certainly, Trump would rather burn the country down, than give up his quest for dictatorial power.

There is a distant possibility that if Trump sees that it is inevitable he will be indicted, he may flee the country, possibly to Russia or Saudi Arabia. I’m sure he would flee, alone, leaving his wife and family behind to suffer their own consequences. To Trump, only power, money, and himself matter.

If Trump is not indicted and is not held accountable for his crimes, it will send a signal that some people ARE above the law, and no matter what they do they will not be held accountable. The likelihood of another coup, this time successful, will be assured. Our democracy will certainly come to an end.

This country is between a rock and a hard place thanks to Donald Trump. If he is not held accountable for his crimes our democracy will definitely be destroyed. Our freedoms and even our lives will be at risk. The rule of law will no longer exist and blood will be shed. With Donald Trump free, he will always be a danger to our country. If he is held accountable for his crimes he will surely ask his supporters to fight in the streets and there will be bloodshed. Red states will threaten to secede and Republicans in Congress and state legislatures will retaliate against anyone they perceive has wronged Trump. The only true choice we have is to uphold the rule of law and uphold the Constitution.

Different People, Same Objective!

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On September 11, 2001, the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City were attacked and destroyed, the Pentagon was attacked and a hijacked plane crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania before it could have reached the Pentagon. In all 3 attacks, 2977 people were killed and numerous more injured. The 19 perpetrators of the September 11 attack were radical Islamist members of al-Qaeda. 15 of them were from Saudi Arabia and the others were from Egypt, Lebanon, and the UAE. They wanted to destroy American democracy, the “American” dream, and our system of values. We all considered them to be terrorists and we all united against terrorism. President George W. Bush, in retaliation, attacked and invaded Afghanistan in 2001 and 2003, respectively. It was the beginning of America’s war on terrorism. Every non-white, non-Christian was suspect, and many were harassed and discriminated against.

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On January 6, 2021, an armed mob of Trump supporters called to Washington, DC by defeated President Donald Trump to protest his election defeat and overturn the election of President-elect Joe Biden and attacked the United States Capitol. Their purpose was to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power, at all costs, even the murder of the Vice-President and Democratic members of Congress. When it was all over and law enforcement regained control of The Capitol, 9 people had lost their lives and the Capitol building was desecrated.

The January 6th insurrectionists came from many of the 50 states of our country. They all had several things in common. They were all supporters of Donald Trump. They all believed his “big lie” that the election was stolen from him. They all believed that the “American Dream” belonged only to them and that the freedoms enshrined in the Constitution were possessed by only white, Christian people born in this country. They believed that the American system of values was defined by Trump and his cult and not by Democrats, immigrants, people of color, or anyone who doesn’t look, act, worship, or talk like them.

Unlike after the 9/11 attacks when America was united in defiance of terrorists, America became deeply divided, with Trump and his Republican toadies leading the way. Those who attacked the Capitol and attempted to murder members of Congress to bring down our Democracy, instead of being labeled as the terrorists they are, are considered “patriots” by the Republican Party.

The perpetrators of 9/11 have been hunted down and held accountable for their actions. Bin-Laden and most recently al-Zawahiri have paid the price for their actions. As of today, the people who organized and orchestrated the insurrection, Trump, his closest advisors, and members of Congress remain free and unaccountable for their treasonous actions. The boots on the ground, the little guys, who actually stormed the Capitol are slowly being brought to justice, albeit in most cases, with just a slap on the wrist.

Why is it that foreigners can attack our democracy and try to destroy our freedoms be labeled terrorists and suffer the consequences, while a bunch of American citizens, led by a narcissistic, autocratic, sociopath is labeled patriots and are not held accountable for their actions? What does it take to be considered a domestic terrorist? If you are a white Christian and perform terrorist acts, you are considered mentally ill. If you are a Muslim, and an American citizen, you are considered a terrorist, not a domestic terrorist. If you try to destroy our country from outside our borders you should be considered a terrorist, a foreign terrorist and if you try to destroy our country from within, you are still a terrorist, a domestic terrorist.

After 9/11 the American people were outraged and still are. They vowed to never let this happen again. On January 6th Americans were outraged and placed sole blame on Trump, but a week later Republicans in Congress, many of whom owe their lives to the Capitol Police, called the insurrection just a bunch of “tourists”. Instead of investigating the insurrection Republicans lined up on their knees to kiss Donald Trump’s ass, either out of fear of Trump or complicity in the insurrection. Instead of exposing “the big lie”, they encourage its spread. Instead of assuring that this would never happen again, they have laid the groundwork in swing states that would assure that when it happens again, it will succeed.

The January 6th Committee has been doing an astonishing job investigating the attempted coup and those responsible for it. They have uncovered evidence of the involvement of Republican members of Congress, Trump administration officials, Trump associates, and even the wife of a Supreme Court justice. The only 2 Republicans on the Committee have been chastised and demonized by the Republican Party, simply for doing their job defending the Constitution. Instead of doing their constitutional duty and supporting the Committee, they have been fighting it every step of the way hiding behind the Fifth Amendment, “executive privilege”, or refusing to testify, being in contempt of Congress. These are not the actions of patriots, They are actions of terrorists attempting to cover up an insurrection.

If Trump and his MAGA Republicans are not held accountable as domestic terrorists for their actions in the January 6th attempted coup, they WILL try it again. The greatest dangers to our country and our democracy come not from abroad, but from within our borders. Some of the very laws that now protect us, will be the ones that will destroy us. As radicals have taken over the Islamic religion, so too have radicals taken over the Republican Party and the Christian Right. If we don’t realize the dangers that Trump and his sycophantic Republican followers pose to our Constitution, our democracy, our country, and our freedoms and vote as if our lives depended on it, the United States will cease to exist as we once knew it.

I’m Not Really Into The Fourth of July This Year!

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Usually, at this time of summer, I am eager to enthusiastically wish everyone a Happy Fourth of July. But not this year. I have always been proud of being an American, especially after same-sex marriage was legalized in 2015. But no more.

When Donald Trump was elected President I was pretty leary of what he might do to the LGBTQ community and in particular my same-sex marriage. With every attack from his administration on gays, immigrants, Blacks, Muslims, and women, my paranoia grew. When I saw Conservatives, mainly Christian Conservatives, viciously attack Roe vs Wade and call for its repeal and call for the repeal of all LGBTQ rights, as well, I became increasingly alarmed. My Republican friends and many political pundits said not to worry, it will never happen. They are now legal precedents and part of our American culture and our rights as Americans. Well, guess what? They were all wrong.

Trump’s picks for SCOTUS were given a mission by the GOP, the Federalist Society, and the Christian Right. Kavanaugh, Gorsuch, and Amy Coney Barrett are all Roman Catholics, belonging to a radical faction of that religion. All three were pushed through by McConnell, regardless of their qualifications, and accusations of sexual misconduct, on Kavanaugh’s part. They were not entirely vetted by the FBI, at the behest of the Trump administration. Their mission was to destroy Roe vs Wade, repeal same-sex marriage, ban contraceptives, and limit voting rights with a preference given to whites and Republicans.

In 10 days the Supreme Court for the first time in American history took away rights from the American people. They banned abortion and took away the rights of all American women to control their health and reproductive rights. They destroyed the time-honored tradition of Separation of Church and State, undoubtedly favoring the Christian faith. They weakened gun control laws making it easier to carry concealed weapons, thus making it easier for more of our children to be slaughtered in their classrooms. At least the children will be able to be led in prayer as they are being massacred by an AR-15! Finally, SCOTUS sided with the fossil fuel industry instead of the health and safety of future generations, in America and worldwide, by stripping the EPA and other environmental regulatory agencies of their powers.

In his majority opinion on the repeal of Roe vs Wade, Clarence Thomas made it clear that they would “revisit” the decisions on contraception and same-sex marriage. The court is now in recess until October, but there is an item on their docket that could take away our freedom to vote. That item would allow state legislatures to overturn the popular vote in the individual states. This means that if a Democrat wins the vote in a state with a Republican state legislature, the legislature could overturn the vote and award the state to the Republican candidate. If they allow this to happen our democracy is over.

If the Republicans retake the House and Senate, Biden will become the last Democrat to serve as President. Soon after the Republicans return to power, same-sex marriage and LGBTQ rights will be gone, women’s rights will be further eroded, voting rights will be severely restricted, Civil rights will be curtailed, First Amendment rights will disappear, and a Christo-fascist authoritarian government will be installed.

I can hear the fireworks from our community’s Fourth of July celebration as I am writing this article. I cannot be excited as women’s rights are being taken away, and my rights are on the chopping block. I cannot be excited about being an American because, to me, this year’s celebration seems more like a deathwatch. If people don’t vote the Republican fascists out of office in November, the next July Fourth will be a funeral. A funeral for our democracy and our once cherished freedoms.