Saturday, September 9, 2023

Conservatives Have Always Hated College Students: Even in Colonial America

Conservatives are busy launching "woke attacks" daily against college students and liberals like it's the latest cultural complaint.

Wokeism is not new. 

Young people complained of the dictatorial tendencies of academic authorities and often linked them with the tyrannical British in colonial times.

It was Thomas Jefferson who tried to provide students at his new University of Virginia with more intellectual autonomy, allowing them to choose classes. But the students had other liberties in mind and rioted for more freedom from college supervision.

I grew up during the 1960s when young people spurned the world of their parents.

I remember the rights battles and the acceleration of the war in Vietnam. 

Students rejected the idea that campuses should be separate from society and embraced the principal that their political action mattered. The whole anti-war movement engaged in civil disobedience to stop the evils produced by "the system."

The older generation were very conservative and anyone rocking the boat was looked upon with suspicion and yes, hate, for their opposing world views.

Nothing has changed today.

We see the same dynamic as students demand that colleges address systemic racism within the institutions themselves, including examining their histories. 

When conservatives and liberals both denounce cancel culture, I hear the echoes of the 1960s.

Today young people are being accused of being censorious, illiberal and careerist - as well as woke.

The Founding Fathers complained about drinking in the dorms; in the 1960s musical "Bye Bye Birdie," parents sang, "What's the matter with kids today?"

It's fair to say that students will always question obstacles and opportunities in college. It's only natural for young people to experiment with expectations and limits surrounding them as they try to think for themselves in a chaotic society.

As it stands, when I graduated from high school the last thing I wanted to do was go to college. Luckily for me, I changed my mind years later.

Friday, September 8, 2023

The Unity Myth Exposed: It's Americans versus Americans

As Americans brace for a presidential election next year they are also preparing for a civil war.

Cartoonist Walt Kelly's character Pogo once said, "We have met the enemy, and he is us." The phrase's origins go back to Oliver Hazard Perry's famous report where he bragged that "We have met the enemy, and they are ours." 

The irony of that statement rings like a bell in hell. We are our own worst enemies. Not Russia. Not China. Not North Korea. Not Iran. No. 

We are on a destructive path that started seven years ago when Trump was elected president and he set out to destroy democracy and the rules of the land. 

After losing the 2020 election Trump dropped all pretense of caring about Americans needs and went on a personal vendetta and spread the Big Lie. He's still doing it in his campaign to get reelected in 2024.

You know whose fault Trump is? He's our fault. That crazy segment of Americans that elected him crawled out of their basements and caves to give Trump the opportunity to take down our republic and turn it into an authoritarian country.

When Trumpism became a full-fledged cult in the last three years the country plunged into chaos and divided America into two tribes that hate each other.

One could argue that social media opened the doors to lies and misinformation that plagues the land now. But it's more complicated than that.

It didn't help when the country was fighting COVID-19 that extremists took advantage of people's fears by denying the science of vaccines and telling followers that it was bad for them. 

The lingering effects of those lies is still slithering through conservative circles who seek to destroy the constitution and everything this nation was founded on.

Historians say Rome fell from within. There was no country that could defy them and get away with it. But internal politics doomed the mighty empire.

The comparison to America's plight is obvious. Americans are so entrenched in political camps that compromise seems impossible. That's leading to the gradual deterioration of democracy and the world we grew up in.

What could possibly unify Americans during these terrible times? Would a war where an enemy attacks us galvanize Americans to come together in the spirit of freedom?

Frankly I'm not sure. 

As it stands, the way Republicans are embracing Putin and other world dictators is alarming. The Trump cult may end up siding with the enemy. 

Thursday, September 7, 2023

Why Are the Russians Doxxing Info of Trump Grand Jurors?

Russia. Russia. Russia.

Every time Trump has faced legal challenges or spread misinformation the Russians have come running to his aid.

They were there for him in 2016 and continue to defend him until this day. 

Exhibit one:

A Russian company doxxed Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and the grand jurors involved in the 2020 election case against Trump.

According to Atlanta cops the company has refused U.S. federal government orders to remove the information. The Russian host site has ignored all demands and apparently feels safe on the dark web.

The results? The doxxing led to Trump supporters harassing the grand jurors, Fani Willis and members of her family.

This is only one example of how the Russians are currently attacking Trump's foes. They never left his side since helping him get elected in 2016.

Growing numbers of the Trump cult are embracing Putin and advocating for an authoritarian state with Trump as a permanent dictator.

When Trump twisted the Mueller report around - with the help of AG Bill Barr - and claimed he didn't collude with the Russians it was a bald lie.

The Russians Doxxing information of Georgia grand jurors and Willis is a continuation of a relationship that seems to have deepened over the years. 

Putin wants Trump to win. Trump is willing to do anything to regain his power in Washington. That includes a deal with the devil and his henchmen.

As it stands, we've yet to see the Russians succeed in their efforts to get Trump re-elected. He lost in 2020 but the attacks continue going into the 2024 presidential election.

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Live Court Hearings: Democracy on Trial in Multiple Cases

There were two live trials where democracy was at stake yesterday.

There are more trials with the same importance that are likely to be shown live next year. 


In Georgia's Fulton County former president Donald Trump and 18 co-defendants have been charged under RICO with interfering with the state's electoral system with a false elector scheme.

Presiding Judge Scott McAfee decided that two of the defendants - Kenneth Chesebro and Sydney Powell must stand trial with the rest of the defendants. It's a complex trial to say the least.

And it was boring. No drama between lawyers. It was like watching a tea party.

News update: Judge denies Sidney Powell, Kenneth Chesebro motion to sever.


...the other live trial that took place in Texas is another story.

Attorney General Ken Paxton is facing impeachment from a Republican dominated Senate and his lawyer is fighting like a honey badger. He objected to every other sentence the prosecution made by crying out "Hearsay!

The judge overruled him every time. It was obviously a harassment designed to rattle the witness who is testifying about what Paxton did in an illegal act that has led to the charges against him.

The case centers on allegedly corrupt relationship with real estate developer Nate Paul.

What really makes this historic state trial interesting is that the judge Dan Patrick (who is the state lieutenant governor) is presiding as the judge despite the fact that he has contributed substantially to Paxton's campaign.

It's surprising to see this total Republican effort to oust an Attorney General. It's only happened once before in Texas history.

One of the employees that worked for Paxton testified that he and others were wrongly fired when Paxton discovered they blew the whistle to the FBI and other agencies about his corrupt actions in office. 

This trial will probably stretch on until the end of the week. If you like watching historic live trials, it is the best show in town... right now. Stay tuned to next year when Trump will be the star in at least one live hearing.

As it stands, America's judicial system has never faced so many historic trials that could decide if democracy and the rule of law will continue in this country.

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Idiots on Parade: Here's Some Recent Stupid Quotes in the News

There's no shortage of idiots being featured in the news every week.

Here's a look at some recent entertaining quotes that will leave you shaking your head.

1. Political loser extraordinaire Kari Lake said this about the former president in a conservative outlet; Donald Trump deserves a Nobel Peace Prize..."  

Wow! For what? Making billionaires richer? Trying to subvert democracy? 

2. A conservative group - Project 2024 - is gearing up for the potential reelection of Trump by recruiting people to fight the "Deep State.

A spokesman for the extreme group said, "The next conservative president must make the institutions of American civil society hard targets for woke culture warriors." 

Translated that means gutting climate protections to dismantling checks and balances to put maximum power in the hands of the president.

3. Right-wing Christain podcast host Rick Rene urged his followers to see the "Sound of Freedom," but he complained after the movie was out that it wasn't "nearly as expansive" as he hoped.

"The film didn't get into Hollywood and the elites and the Adrenochrome and harvesting - and all the ugly stuff. And it didn't show any of the real gross stuff either," the disappointed extremist bemoaned.

4. A New Jersey state Senate candidate who has made criticism of offshore wind energy the center of his agenda in his campaign represented a company that sought to build the power lines to bring that wind power ashore.

The hypocrite, Steve Dnistrian attended an anti-offshore wind demonstration and called out to Gov. Murphy, "Listen to the people of NJ. Just put things on pause with offshore wind until we can understand what's happening to our ocean."

New flash. Scientists do know what's happening with offshore wind power and the sea. This is the kind of stupid comment that epitomizes science-free Republicans.

5. When it comes to stupid quotes few outdo Margorie Taylor Green when it comes to being clueless.

She recently told the Right Side Broadcasting Network that "global warming is beneficial to humanity."

She went on: "We have already warmed 1 degree Celsius and do you know what has happened since then? We have grown more food since then, which feeds people."

It's almost enough to make a grown person cry to think she's a member in the House of Representatives.

6. It's easy for Texas Gov. Abbott to say stupid things on a daily basis. Recently he made up a story about country singer Garth Brooks while trying to make a point about "woke" politics from the musician.

"Go woke. Go broke" Abbott bleated while claiming Brooks was booed off the stage at the 123rd Texas Country Jamboree in the city of Hambriston. Both the festival and city are fake.

"Garth called his conservative fans 'a**holes. Good job Texas," he gloated.

He later deleted what he said on X (formerly known as Twitter) when people kept pointing out it was fake. Now that's just plain stupid.

As it stands, there's never a dearth of examples when it comes to stupid people saying stupid things in our media saturated society.

Monday, September 4, 2023

Running a Presidential Election from a Jail Cell: It's Already Happened Once

You may have heard the speculation that Trump may end up being convicted in one (or more) criminal cases and have to go to jail.

Which leads to this question:

Has a presidential campaign ever been run from a prison cell? The answer is a resounding yes!

This won't be another unprecedented moment for Trump because 100 years ago Socialist Party leader Eugene Debs ran for the highest office in the land from his prison cell.

How did that go?

Actually, it went quite well as Debs received nearly a million votes, about 3% of the national vote share. Being a prisoner was no shame to him or the Socialist movement. As a matter of fact, he relished his incarceration, and his followers used it as a way to get their message out.

Rallies were held for him, and supporters held picket signs with his prison picture and proudly wore lapel buttons that said, "For President: Convict No. 9652." Does that sound familiar to you? Look what Trump did with his mug shot.

There are some parallels between the campaigns when it comes to elections. Both campaigns were unfazed by criminal indictments. The two men's messages were however directly opposite from one another. 

All similarities end there.

Eugene Debs was fighting for the common man. Trump has been fighting for the wealthy minority in America.

Trump's legal attempts to subvert democracy are blatantly un-American. Debs wanted democracy to work for the common man by establishing unions and other ways to promote freedoms. 

Debs was imprisoned for anti-war rhetoric on behalf of the working class. If, and when, Trump is put behind bars it'll be for subverting our electoral system, stealing top security documents from the government and trying to overthrow Georgia's election results in 2020.

What is interesting is the examples of how imprisonment can code politically to the electorate, and the awkward logistics of running for president while stuck in a prison cell.

Compare the two men's political platforms for more insight.

Debs believed the only way forward for most Americans were reforms - such as old age pensions, support for health benefits, women's suffrage, a ban on child labor, and state support for kindergartens.

Trump's platform is anarchy-based cult followers who want to destroy the Constitution and plunge our country into an authoritarian state with a dictator for life.

Debs was unique with his then-radical foreign idea like socialism and presenting it to Americans. He was comfortable talking about socialism in the context of the Declaration of Independence and Tom Paine and Walt Whitman and John Brown.

The government was very confused about how to handle Debs imprisonment. Authorities ultimately agreed to allow him to write a 500-word letter to the newspapers, once a week. In fact, very few publications printed the letters.

Trump is unique for subverting laws and inciting a coup attempt to stay in office after he lost the 2020 election. Speculation is rampant in his case on what it's going to look like if Trump has to take up residence in a prison.

Some think he'll have a faux White House interior and complete access to the media that Debs never dreamed of getting.

What we have here are two populists that have made a major impact on the United States of America. One fought for the common man, and the other is fighting to disenfranchise the poor and middle class to benefit the wealthy.

As it stands, the battle for hearts and souls of Americans is a never-ending story.

Sunday, September 3, 2023

There's Got to be One Thing Americans Agree On: As Soon as I Find It, I'll Tell You

I can't help cringing when I hear about The United States of America when I know damn well we aren't even close to being united.

You'd think that a nation of 340 million people (with more being born every day) would find more than one subject that is nearly universal, or at least one thing that unites us.

Once a slam dunk, patriotism no longer unites us because the word has become bastardized by the far-right. It's meaning has been drug through the fever swamps of MAGA followers and distorted.

Remember when America was united against Communist Russia? It was viewed as a threat to our democracy. 

Now we have political extremists who say Putin and Russia are not our main enemy in the fight for freedom.

Americans can't even decide if women should have the right to their own bodies.

I remember when libraries were treated as a boon to the American people and had everyone's respect. Every town wanted a library because they represented knowledge and freedom to learn. 

Today libraries are under fire by flame-throwing conservatives who want to ban books or to shut them down (like they did in one county in Texas) and turn them into discipline centers.

Growing up I was taught to respect teachers like the rest of my peers. They held a position of authority and importance in the society: even while getting low wages.

Pursuing science has always been a noble gesture in every culture where truth is sought about the world we live in and a way of confirming facts that everyone with an education could agree on.

In the last eight years science has become suspect with Trump's supporters shining lights up their butts to get rid of COVID.

Instead of recognizing that wearing face masks were a scientifically proven way to slow down the spread of a virus Trump cult members refused to wear them in order to prove how stupid they were.

Once upon a time the majority of Americans wouldn't even have considered a presential candidate that carried the heavy baggage Trump does. 

Now Republicans say they'd vote for him no matter how many times he was convicted of crimes. They'd even be okay if he has to run his presidential campaign out of a jail cell.

Traditions, norms, laws and civility have become casualties in our cultural wars that have left us with red and blue states. 

As it stands, if there's one thing, we can all agree on, I haven't found it yet. I'm still looking.

Blog Break Until Presidential Election is Over

I finally hit the wall today. I can't think of what to say about all of the madness going on in this country right now. I'm a writer...