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Six January Plus a Year

A year later, what can be said, except that not enough has been done.

Our government exists to protect our lands and our lives, and to see that we have a say in how that happens, in how our collective efforts bring us to a better future of prosperity. We make our voices heard, and that result is felt in the next stent of government at which point we adjust. And we repeat this every few years, in order that our nation may find its way forward in a complex world.

A year ago some Donald John Trump supporters decided America was theirs for the taking, that they didn’t give a rat’s ass what we thought. Led by Donald John Trump, they embarked on a campaign of lies and noise that culminated on 6 January, 2021, when they sought to steal our government and our law, to pervert it for their own preferences.

But behind them was a larger movement all focused on the same outcome through different methods. Their lying began well before the 2020 election, and they kept lying in all kinds of venues including courts and on all modern forms of media. And some are lying even today! They had no evidence, no real claim, but the design didn’t require either of those things. They at the top of the orgy of authoritarianism seek power through whatever means available, with the caveat that they don’t want to face consequences when they fail (which precludes only a few methods).

The party that shelters this element has repeatedly refused to take a stand or kick them out. Wyoming’s Republican party kicked out Representative Liz Cheney for her efforts to uphold American values. Several state party election officials have held meetings with liars where they say the state’s election was straight, even as the liar says otherwise. Other states have held bogus audits that still failed to deliver evidence as they invalidated the voting machines.

Those seeking Republican nominations, including for offices that administer elections, have voiced their zeal for the lies, portraying themselves as pliant servants of the devilry it represents. They say they will not certify valid elections that oppose the liars. They pass laws, and call for more to be done, to thwart legitimate electors from voting, and from allowing the result to stand, in order to suppress their political opponents.

The impeachment that followed the Capitol attack fell flat, with no new evidence, no testimony, and with a rush to move on, particularly by the Republican caucus of the Senate that had already stalled it while they retained the majority. The federal government is prosecuting the attackers, but as yet no charges for those who egged them on, who brought the mob. And the responsible parties continue to delay, if not defeat, any real accountability.

One year on, we haven’t seen real consequences for the liars, and we don’t see much reason to hope that they will come. For the briefest of moments, a year ago, after the attack, some prominent Republicans spoke as if they would finally return to reality even as others voted to remain in Delusionville. Only a few stayed in reality, most have returned to the land of filth and crud that is inaccessible to those of us with clear minds.

If Democrats and sane Republicans, along with businesses that want a real government more than tin-pot tax cuts (where’s the polling on that?), cannot act to put down this rebellion of the deluded, something besides the Republican party is certainly broken, and likely irrevocably so.

We do still have hope. Our hope is our ability to sift truth out of lies. That we will support those who seek to strengthen democracy, seek to build a better world for all, and we will reject them that won’t. In this division, we are fallible but determined. And over time we will get it right enough that good will prevail. The clock is ticking.

An American Attack.

On the day of counting the 2020 presidential and vice presidential elections, violent criminals attacked the United States.

It’s been about a week and a half since our government was attacked. It was an American attack on America. It was based on a lie in service of a distorted truth. The lie, that the election had been stolen. The truth, that many establishments, including the operational core of the Republican party and most of the business community, do not care about the Republican voter and, even as they are happy to sell that voter worthless supplements, payday loans, and other manner of vile pseudocapitalist dreck, they were happy to see Donald John Trump lose in 2020.

I was also happy, more for Biden’s and Harris’ win. The fact remains that the attackers had some reason behind their beliefs, even while their methods and their beliefs are both horrible. That vague background reason, the lack of shifts needed in labor and law, in education and immigration, remain to be tackled today. They are rocks on the beach, standing among crashing waves that try to wear them away, to carry them out with the next tide. The opponents of progress, of breaking new ground on policy, they open the door to demagogues, incompetent or not.

But I still return to why Donald John Trump could trick so many fools. Why would they attack their own country for such a straight-up loser? In adding to my list of reasons, one more: he does look different. He does act different. To myopic conservative schmucks, that difference may have been enough: he certainly wasn’t a typical politician. He was a departure. A false messiah to some of them, to be sure.

If you’re told they’re all the same, and along comes something different, you have no basis for judging. Your average American voter doesn’t have the background, the history, the experience, to tell fool’s gold from the real stuff. As I’ve said somewhere before, that’s part of the reason it was so damaging to have the mainstream media rubberneck at him, and for the Republicans to have him stand on a debate stage with all those politicians: it gave him prominence. But to add to that, it also gave him contrast. They weren’t of the same cloth. He did glitter differently. And always ready was that same kludge, when nothing else worked: ‘Your kind has run this country for decades, why haven’t you fixed it?’

That’s one of the lessons for Republicans: the stonewalling of legislation, always blocking deals on immigration, on other useful bills, plays right into the hands of a mobster like Donald John Trump.

America does need to help the kinds of people who attacked it. Not by doing what they ask, by capitulating to them, but by building better programs and systems both public and private to help everyone get more education and more stability. Things like a major increase in the number of representatives so that there will be more House members able to give voice to more individuals.

In short, the government must legislate in ways that it should be doing anyway. But if it continues to stall out the known solutions to known problems because some rich fucks like collecting rent on broken-ass systems, we’ll keep seeing dysfunction in the citizenry.

Next Wednesday Biden and Harris are sworn in, become president and vice president.

Mass Shootings versus Terrorism

A comparison of the GOP responses to terrorism and mass shootings.

We’ve seen the countless mass shootings occur throughout the country, and we’ve seen the GOP basically shrug, time and again. Their big answer has been more people with more guns. And yet, in responding to the attack in Paris, their tune is very different.

Keep the refugees out. Only let Christians in. Track all Muslims. Troops in Syria. And, of course, at least one suggested that the French should have carried more guns.

Numerous governors, including those whose states have witnessed mass shootings, have said they will refuse to allow Syrian refugees admittance to their states.

What is the deal? Are terrorists’ bullets scarier than mass shooters’? Is it that the terrorists constantly agitate and announce their desires, where we don’t hear about mass shooters until after the fact? Are terrorists more effective than lone shooters?

Honestly, a lot of it seems to come down to ideology over ideology. Terrorists, it is thought by the GOP, are built of terrorist ideology, something that is infectious, something that could spread. They don’t have enough of a grasp on mass shootings to say whether there is any contagion there.

They see a terrorist like they see a weed in the garden. If the weed stays, it will choke off everything, spreading itself. But they see mass shooters as a rabid dog, wandering into the garden, stomping on the flowers, but once you catch it or kill it, it’s contained.

But to someone outside the GOP ideology, this just seems bizarre. You have terrorism here, with these mass shootings, which they won’t lift a finger to stop. But you have these other acts of terrorism, and suddenly they can’t do enough to prevent it. They want to move heaven and earth to stop refugees.

The solutions aren’t really much clearer for dealing with terrorism. But the implementation, who deals with it, and the types of rallying cries the GOP can give differ quite a lot. For example, they could offer free guns to Americans for every Syrian refugee admitted. They haven’t, but I doubt it will take them long.

Dealing with terrorism and refugees will be a job for the military and federal law enforcement organizations. Preventing mass shootings would likely require at least some local intervention, possibly some gun control measures. Anything that burdens gun owners just can’t rouse the same sort of energy from the GOP.

Anyway, I just think it’s an important instance of hypocrisy to keep in mind. The political convenience and inconvenience are very important factors in what happens with an issue, and it just so happens that Americans love guns a lot more than refugees.