Saturday, June 18, 2022

A Conversation with Forrest Gump About the Challenges America Faces Today

Dave - Good morning, Forrest! Thank you for taking the time for this interview.

Forrest - Thank you! You seem like a nice man.

Dave - America is in chaos Forrest. What do you think about that?

Forrest - You have to do the best with what God gave you.

Dave - Could you say more about it?

Forrest - Life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you're going to get.

Dave - Any thoughts about Trump's attempt to overthrow our democracy?

Forrest - My Mama always said you got to put the past behind you, before you can move on.

Dave - Do you think there's any hope for our country ever becoming united again?

Forrest - Miracles happen every day. Some people don't think so, but they do every day.

Dave - Will this nation return to normal after Trump and his minions are held accountable for their coup attempt?

Forrest - What's normal, anyways?

Dave - What do you think about QAnon?

Forrest - Stupid is as stupid does.

Dave - Do we all have a destiny?

Forrest - I don't know if we each have a destiny, or if we're all just floating around accidental, like on a breeze. But I think maybe it's both. Maybe both are happening at the same time.

Dave - What do you think about people who are lucky?

Forrest - Now, Mama said there's only so much fortune a person really needs... and the rest is just for showing off.

Dave - Well, our times up. I sure appreciate your willingness to share your wisdom with us Forrest.

Forrest - That's all I got to say about that. Now I'm going to go for a run in my magic shoes. They can take me anywhere.

Editor's note: Most of the Forrest quotes above came directly from the academy award winning movie FOREST GUMP.

Friday, June 17, 2022

It's a Golden Age for Dystopian Writers

If you're a writer of dystopian literature this age of chaos in America is a goldmine. A bonanza. A winning megadollar lottery ticket. The jackpot. The end of the rainbow.

Just look at the subject matter around you. Take politics for example. You could write book about a renegade president who didn't accept that he lost in a re-election bid and who decided to stage a coup.

I know. It already happened in the real world, and we're witnessing an ongoing attempt to subvert our electoral system. But in your book, you could come up with a happy ending and hold all of the insurrectionists (from Trump down) accountable with long jail sentences.

You'll have plenty of time to write your version of what happened to the traitors who tried to destroy our democracy because it'll be at least two years before AG Merrick Garland announces who (if anybody) will be indicted by the Department of Justice for trying to overturn a legal election.

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Fun Fact: The first time the word dystopian was recorded in print was in 1962

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Of course, there are many other subjects that are fodder for a thrilling dystopian novel in our current society and abroad.

Take COVID 19. The final story hasn't been told about its origin, or the number of variants it spawns before scientists can successfully eradicate it. Lots to work with here.

How about a financial Armageddon where America sinks into so much debt that society has been reduced to foraging bands of poor people who are hunted down for meat by the elites who have killed all the traditional meat sources like chickens, cows and pigs?

As a dystopian writer it may be inspiring to see what's happening in the country with the current blue (Democrat) and red (Republician) states that represent a break from reality where conservatives desire an authoritarian agenda as opposed to the Democratic agenda embraced by liberals.

I don't think I have to point out the similarities to our Civil War to a canny dystopian scribe. Blue and Red forces clashing in a fight for freedom! You get the idea.

Listen. I could go on. But you get the picture. This is a Golden Age for dystopian wordsmiths and students of history.

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Congressman Loudermilk Lied About 'Tour' - So What's Next?

After watching this footage it's obvious that GOP Rep. Barry Loudermilk has been lying about the supposedly innocent tour he conducted on the day before the insurrection.

Photo - Unidentified man taking shots of staircases, security points, and hallways while on tour given by Loudermilk on Jan, 5, 2021. Man in red MAGA hat near Loudermilk in background)

Continue reading for background on video.

Yesterday the Jan. 6 committee asked Loudermilk to voluntarily answer some questions about the tour he gave on Jan. 5th after releasing snippets of it to the public.

In response Loudermilk lashed out at CNN after the video's release and claimed the committee was trying to smear him.

The committee first reached out to Loudermilk last month. They indicated that they had evidence that "directly contradicts" previous claims by Republican lawmakers who said there were no tours, no large groups, no one with MAGA hats on" at the US Capitol complex on Jan. 5th.

Thus far, the committee has refrained from explicitly accusing Loudermilk of leading a "reconnaissance tour" as some Democratic lawmakers are calling it. But they do want to talk with him.

Because Loudermilk's story had shifted repeatedly the committee wants to ask him questions about his visitors - on a day when all Capitol tours had been cancelled because of the pandemic.

Committee chairman Bennie Thompson sent a letter to Loudermilk recently that said,

""We have surveillance footage that shows a tour of approximately ten individuals led by you to areas in the Rayburn, Longworth, and Cannon House Office Buildings, as well as the entrances to tunnels leading to the U.S. Capitol. Individuals on the tour photographed and recorded areas of the complex not typically of interest to tourists, including hallways, staircases, and security checkpoints." Etc.

Loudermilk didn't bother to respond to the letter but said yesterday - after being confronted with the video - that the Capitol Police had cleared him of any wrongdoing after they viewed the video footage.

Apparently, Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger is either a MAGA minion or just plain stupid. The select committee watched the same video and pointed out some really obvious red flags.

The video shows a man taking photos of tunnels, hallways and staircases within the Capitol complex. The rest of the group didn't appear interested in taking the same photos instead opting for normal visitor type photos of historic content.

The committee's clincher came with a video and audio of the same man taking photos marching on the Capitol on Jan. 6, voicing threats to Democratic lawmakers. Maybe Chief Manger was unaware of the second video showing one of the tour group the next day during the assault on the Capitol. His review doesn't sound like it was too serious.

The man's name hasn't been released by the committee who talked with him but didn't charge him with anything. Yet.

This whole incident is just another example of how far Republican lawmakers will go to protect Trump and his minions from justice.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Are You Prepared for a Civil War?

Rumors of war are in the air we breathe today. They're choking rational discourse and motivating Trump cult followers to tear down the government and to replace it with an authoritarian state. 

Experts on national security, terrorism and related topics are warning that the United States is on the verge of a second civil war or a sustained right-wing insurgency, and that Jan. 6 was just a warm-up for a future coup attempt.

Steven Hassan is one of the world's leading experts on cults and other dangerous organizations, as well as how to deprogram people who have succumbed to "mind control." He's the director of the Freedom of Mind Resource Center and has written several bestselling books, including "Freedom of Mind," "Combating Cult Mind Control" and, most recently, "The Cult of Trump."

In a recent interview Hassan discussed Trump's enduring power over his followers and why it has outlasted his presidency. He argued that the right-wing Christian churches, Fox News, conspiracy theorists, right-wing social media and other propaganda machines are keeping Trump's cultists loyal and further radicalizing them. 

Hassan explained that the biggest single bloc of true believers are members of right-wing Christain fundamentalist churches and other groups. These are authoritarian religions where the members believe their pastor is an apostle who is directly connected to God and getting revelations.

The most troubling part of the interview was Hassan's assertion there's a ninety-five percent chance there will be a civil war. He contends that about a third of the cult will double down and engage in acts of violence, and that the middle third will make their decision based upon what their peers are doing. The last third will not follow commands to go to war.

No matter how you cut it, we're talking about millions of Americans who are likely prepared to assault our democracy in the name of Trump.  

Are you prepared for a civil war?

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Believing Lies or Your Eyes: What Gets You Through the Day?

The Big Lie lives in millions of fevered brains that are blind to reality or just don't give a damn about truth. 

Especially if embracing the Big Lie brings endorsements, advancements, or confirmation of popular conspiracy theories.  

Watching the second installment of the Jan. 6 Committee hearing yesterday was sobering. Witnesses testified about Trump grifting his own followers by seeking donations to help him get his stolen presidency back. Instead, the donations he squeezed out of his base went into Trump's personal PAC and hotels.

With his minion's assistance Trump has made over $250 million dollars fleecing followers according to testimony from one of the witnesses today. The reality that Trump was shamelessly ripping his devotees off was spelled out with evidence shared by the committee.

So why are people clinking to Trump's lies despite a ton of evidence disproving each fraudulent claim?

I have theories but no definitive explanation. My wife and I have members from both sides of our families who've been drinking the orange Kool aid far too long. We called and texted family members who said they weren't going to watch any of the hearings.

They don't trust their lying eyes, I guess.

They all-spouted Fox News propaganda for reasons why they weren't going to watch. It's hard to live with the fact that people you love are that far gone... that they are in fact cult members. Because when you break this whole Big Lie down it's nothing more than a continuation of a brainwashing process that goes back to his days of hosting The Apprentice.

It's no coincidence that the majority of Trump's base were fans of that show. He was entertaining and they believed his bullshit about being a financial wizard. The believe anything he says now.

I've got this lifetime habit of believing what I see. I recently got cataract surgery on both eyes when the world around me grew dimmer. Now I see with crystal clarity. 

America is coming to a crossroad that either leads to a continued democracy, or a fascist state. Are your eyes wide open?

Monday, June 13, 2022

Oath Breakers: Lawmakers and Judges Making a Mockery of Solemn Vows

Oaths once carried a lot of weight.

(Photo - Top oath breaker Kevin McCarthy is busy pretending he doesn't know anything about the coup attempt)

An oath was considered an act of loyalty, an assurance that an individual will faithfully carry out his or her duty.

Since the dawn of time oaths have been considered sacred and binding. You didn't lightly take an oath. It could mean life or death.

In another example of how our society is descending into chaos, oaths no longer mean anything to millions of apathetic Americans who silently stand by and watch lawmakers and judges break their oaths daily.

It seems there's no longer repercussions for lawmakers and judges who violate their oaths with impunity.  Many get re-elected term after term regardless of how many lies, or broken promises they make. Some, like Clarence Thomas are embedded in the Supreme Court like a parasite for life.

If you just happen to be following the Jan. 6 hearings on TV, you'll see and hear about numerous oaths broken by Trump and his loyal minions as they attempted to disrupt the peaceful transition of power and continue to this day working towards rigging future elections.

Everyone who works for the United States government, from judge to lawmaker, takes an oath to protect our country against foreign and domestic enemies. Period.

The attempted insurrection came dangerously close to dealing democracy a blow that might have spelled the end of America as we know it.

These oath breakers need to be voted out of office and/or indicted for capital crimes against this nation. I strongly recommend following the remaining Jan. 6 hearings starting today. 

You and I, along with millions of other Americans, have a duty to protect this republic. We need to make these un-American oath breakers pay a price for trying to steal our country.

Sunday, June 12, 2022

March for Life Protestors Turned Out to Take Action on Gun Violence: Will It Help?

Did you know?

There were over 400 rallies against gun violence across the nation yesterday.

Protestors took to the streets to push lawmakers into taking some action in the wake of recent mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York.

The rallies were organized by March for Our Lives, a youth-driven organization first created by students who survived the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida in 2016.

As inspiring as this action was I fear it will do little to get Republicans on board for any type of gun control. The NRA owns them and it's no secret.

The House passed a "red-flag" bill Thursday that would allow a judge to take firearms away from individuals who pose an imminent danger to themselves or others. Some political pundits think this bill just might pass in the Senate. There's no guarantees.

The House also passed a series of new gun measures on Wednesday. They include a minimum age to buy semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21. Sadly, that legislative package doesn't stand a snowballs chance in hell. It's all but guaranteed to fail in the Senate.

I've concluded that Republicans put guns above children.

All one has to do is examine their voting records on protecting children in schools to see the truth. 

Never go by what Trump Republicans say. Go by what they actually do. The all talk a big game but are merely puppets following a former president and insurrectionist who hopes to return to power.

The unsettling truth is Americas gun culture isn't going to disappear regardless of what laws are passed. 

It's in our national DNA. The only thing we can do is keep applying band aids to the daily bloodletting and hope for the day the nation wakes up and does something meaningful about controlling our addiction to assault rifles.

Crazy Talk: The Latest Conversations from the Lunatic Fringe in Politics

Let's get this party started. The leading conversation  today among the lunatic fringe in politics involves the former TV host and twice...