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They Didn't Come For Our Guns


      They will come for our guns, they will ban your right to protecting your way of life...

      The right has used that term and similar ones for decades. The fear of thy neighbor has always been the bootlace that ties all of the angst together. In an almost cult-like manner, the zombie voters of the right march right along, it's about the guns. Because we have enemies, there will always be enemies, and things to fight. With our guns and raw power, there's no way to lose... right?

      Quartz - Three percent of the population own half of the civilian guns in the US - Youyou Zhou

      This fear campaign started off years ago, this clipping at the frayed edges of the securities people felt they had. There is something visceral and almost drug inducing in the power that those weapons of destruction carry. It is as close to religion as some may get and in some cases that's just fine with them, it is religious, Biblical. I am afraid to think what some of our religious brethren have put into the minds of those in other parts of the world in their efforts to "spread the word." Witnessing the aftermath of the New Zealand massacre, and all of the multiple shootings there have been it would be easy to condemn the guns again, because that is what we are educated to do.


      We are going to rail against the "gun," in all its forms, social, political, and reality vs imaginations. The political whipping trail goes somewhere back to the early 70's when the Feds killed an NRA member and everything changed. The gun culture at that time definitely took a turn for the darker, the ownership and necessity was socially breakable at that time, people were too scared though, all of this race and violence they were being exposed to on TV and in real life. It was not an easy time with miles long lines at gas stations and rioting in the streets.

      N.P.R. The NRA Wasn't Always Against Gun Restrictions - Ron Elving

      "In 1971, agents of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms killed an NRA member who was hiding a large number of illegal weapons. This, too, stirred a restive reaction within the NRA rank and file. To address it, the NRA's top managers created the group's first lobbying organ, the Institute for Legislative Action, in 1975."

      The Second Amendment, and gun advocacy changed in a matter of months. The NRA was not going to work with the Government any longer, at least not where compliance comes into the picture. The growing number of guns owned by Americans were not a novelty any longer, it was a ingredient for division and it was going to be used, and abused.

      My Father once stated that nobody wanted to invade the USA because we had so many guns, and a standing army could be gathered up out of civilians in a heartbeat. The latter phrase the one that sticks in my head today, a standing army, in a heartbeat. So with the Cold War going on it was all about security and piece of mind, guns were good to keep those dang red commies out of our democracy. The Constitution was safe from those commies, either from overseas or the ones here, the guns were saved and with them our future secure... Is how the story is supposed to go. But that Constitution had some other things in it that held up our democracy with more than brute power. Those things that we live with everyday, those smaller bits that may go unnoticed.


      As the world was introduced to these little machines that derive their power by our ability to program them, we gained an entire universe of new worlds. We also, in many ways, gave up on the real, the tangible, and the truth as well in this world. Because all of the things on those little machines were not what they were made out to be, unreal, unsubstantiated, and mostly untrue. In the process, division and lack of civility bum rushed the stage, the term ugly American was made out to be a truism, and Photo by Alex Kovalerov

      the world began to turn its back on our holier than thou attitudes. It wasn't our guns though, or our religions they were after, it wasn't our inalienable rights. It was something much simpler than that, something much more a part of the country and way of life than we could ever imagine.

      Right now the world is also talking about vaccines, some are trying to claim that an injection as a child for blank or blank will cause autism or some other condition to develop. We know that if you are not vaccinated, your chances for developing troubling and incurable conditions rise dramatically. There is that whole cause and effect, that whole business about knowing better because we are intelligent souls, civilized. We also know that if you don't know better you may go ahead and ingest that Tide pod, or try out that latest illicit drug or some old ones, because we are intelligent souls, civilized... That does leave us with the understanding that there are connections to the little things that the bigger issues arise. So, with a tick bite back about forty years ago, the real assault on our security, the real unravelling began and continues today unnoticed by many.

      Before that Second Amendment, which is actually supported in the 14th, so that is the amendment that should be protected if they want their guns. There is the first amendment, and the foundation of our country starts there.

      "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

      The First Amendment guarantees freedoms concerning religion, expression, assembly, and the right to petition. It forbids Congress from both promoting one religion over others and also restricting an individual’s religious practices. It guarantees freedom of expression by prohibiting Congress from restricting the press or the rights of individuals to speak freely. It also guarantees the right of citizens to assemble peaceably and to petition their government.

      Cornell - First Amendment

      The links in the previous text should sound the alarm, they are links to the definitions that have been argued about each part of the amendment. There is one glaring omission in them though. That part about the free press, that piece of our foundation that has been eaten away at by the Termites of progress, the lawyers of corporatocracy, and the willingness of a country to turn away from its best defences against disease and forget where we came from. Now, before running away with the thought that, "Oh, it isn't about that at all," there is a cause and effect, and those wishing us harm will simply supply the tick. They are not on a schedule, we are though.

      Vanishing Newspapers: The United States has lost almost 1,800 papers since 2004, including more than 60 dailies and 1,700 weeklies. Roughly half of the remaining 7,112 in the country – 1,283 dailies and 5,829 weeklies – are located in small and rural communities. The vast majority – around 5,500 – have a circulation of less than 15,000.


      Waketech.edu: “The Decline in Newspapers: A Closer Look” Joseph Ahrens

      Local and relevant reporting, watch dogs all of us. I remember reading a paper front to back, every word, looking for those insights. I am capable of using my own intellect, my own abilities because of that...training, that education. Those very watchdogs got pushed out, pushed away and silenced. The voices of the people, the communities and impacts that every local thing delivers was sent off to a .www address and forgotten among the lights and fancy clickbait. The free-press is now deceased in America, and being relegated to a subjective posture of revenue before the facts. When advertisers are their only revenue, they will cater to that revenue. If you stop getting paid for the work you do, you look for a new job, or new way to get paid... papers are no different.

      The reason this is so dang important in the bigger picture is this. If there ever was a delivery system that could later bring you down to your knees an inoculation ... this is it for a democracy like ours. Our securities have always been in our communities, in the place we live and the people that live there. The local papers would paint that picture of the community quite well, and corrected quickly by readers if incorrect. That tie, that connection has been systematically snipped, cut and taken over in the process. The larger regional papers are gone as well, sucked up into the monopoly of information, the conglomerates and revenue. It wasn't the guns they were after, it wasn't our power to fight, but our ability to coalesce, to create that standing army. Why, what better way to "fight" your enemy than to make them fight themselves. This is America, this is now, and this is bigger than the knee-jerk reactions and emotions that develop after tragedies.

      The five foundations, or basic principles, of democracy are social equality, majority rule, minority rights, freedom and integrity. All of these have a common basis in the fundamental ethical principle of mutual respect for diversity.

      Every single basic principle above relies in some form on the ability to communicate, ability to inquire, and the ability to redress. In each of them, local and regional papers and those "responsible" for its publishing are allowed protections under the first amendment. When those powers are diluted to the corporations responsible, to the businesses responsible, then there is no responsibility to the local communities and expenditures are cut, people are cut-off, and so are communities. In today's comments about tribes of political and ideological people, I guess we are going back to smoke signals as far progress goes. The securities we thought we knew are getting thinner, and it has nothing to do with guns. It has everything to do with us, with others meddling, and with an entitlement that will leave us never quite knowing how it all came apart. The symptoms belie the cause.

      This may come as a surprise, that because of a little shot when you were younger, you didn't have to suffer through some horrible conditions and diseases. The things that secured your life were more than likely not guns, but built upon those times when they were needed. Those primary foundations of democracy and the Revolution that was rife with little local papers, they told our stories, our wishes, and our concerns. Creating a condition where our voices ring hollow in the chasms between us is the easiest and most diabolical way of poisoning a people. A Tower of Babel has been built, and it was built with the bones of those local papers, those local watchdogs, those voiceless citizens. It will continue to grow until it falls, or we do, separating and dividing us even more so than today. They didn't come for our guns...



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      Trump's Racist Delusions And The Global Threat Of White Hate




          Democracy, security and peace are being endangered by white supremacist hate, while Trump yells about his wall.


          Many studies have shown that mass shootings/terrorist incidents/hate crimes are connected to the far right’s extremism. These incidents are increasing rapidly, with racism, homophobia, misogyny, xenophobia, Muslim hate and anti Semitism included in the list of these terrorists' motivations. Following the dots take us to the Trump administration’s support of such motives, yet in the main, the media most often seems not to have followed the dots.

          Trackers tell the public that at this time there are over one thousand active hate groups that are working their murderous mayhem just in the United States, and we are aware that there are many more if other countries are included; yet Trump and his administration just shrug them off as Trump declares a national emergency that is obviously not an emergency, He and his mostly white supporters spread their paranoia against immigrants and their bigotries, racism and hatred against non whites and non Christians. The goal: billions of dollars from the national treasury to build Trump’s vanity wall.

          All bigotries erase rational thought. Fear based prejudices arouse hatreds. Trump, the GOP congress and his advisors promote fear and compromise rational thought every day just to keep their followers supporting their power and yes, to get an unnecessary, very expensive wall.

          David Mascriota reports the following for SALON, March 19, 20i9.

          Donald Trump, speaking in a style that boldly combines the last call drunken rant with the megaphone corner rave, recently proved that three pillars of America’s executive governance are stupidity, racism and delusion. While pounding his chest over issuing a veto of Congress’ rebuke of his emergency declaration to build a wall at the Southern border, Trump fielded a question from a journalist about the escalating threat of “white nationalism.” Studies show that terrorist incidents in the United States connected to far-right extremism — with motivations including racism, anti-Muslim, homophobia, anti-Semitism and xenophobiaare on the rise. The question came in response not to any act of violence in the United States, but the gun attacks on two mosques in New Zealand that left 50 dead. The white man arrested for the murders appears to have posted to social media a document filled with xenophobic and anti-Muslim propaganda in advance of the shootings.

          “I don’t really,” Trump said with typical eloquence in response to an inquiry into whether or not he believes white nationalism is a growing danger. “I think it’s a small group of people who have very, very serious problems.”

          All evidence indicates that the group of antisocial and criminal people who have “very, very serious problems” — on that we can agree with our President — are not so small, and are not any smaller than the Mexican street gang MS-13, with its estimated membership of 10,000, which Trump has denounced often. It is difficult to nail down with great precision the amount of white supremacists in the United States, but the Southern Poverty Law Center reports that there are 1,020 active hate groups across the country. Assuming that each organization has more than ten members, simple arithmetic — which now might fall under the category of “fake news” — demonstrates that the threat of white hate dwarfs that of MS-13, the right wing’s favorite and latest comic book monster.

          It is worth remembering that the Ku Klux Klan is the deadliest terrorist network in United States history, and that before the attacks of September 11, 2001, the worst terrorist attack in American history was the Oklahoma City bombing. 168 people died in Oklahoma, all at the hands of Timothy McVeigh, a white supremacist and anti-government extremist.

          The mass shooting in New Zealand, along with the 2011 Norway bombing from another white supremacist, shows that, unlike student debt and medical bankruptcy, white hate is not merely an American enterprise. It is a global movement threatening to continually add to its already high body count, and undermine international cooperation and multicultural democracy.

          Meanwhile, President Trump, and his overwhelmingly white base of support, are attempting to overthrow the separation of powers in United States governance to build a wall along the Southern border. Trump’s current real estate ambition will address a problem that exists nowhere outside the imagination of white paranoia. In 2017, arrests for illegal border crossings hit a 46-year low; the majority of illegal immigrants in the United States have overstayed their visas, not jumped the border; and multiple studies coalesce to prove that immigrants commit crimes at lower rates than natural born citizens.

          If Trump and his supporters were judicious evaluators of evidence, they might demand the deportation of everyone who advocates the white supremacist ideology, at least until we “figure out what the hell is going on,” to use Trump’s erudite justification for his prohibition of Muslim entry in the United States. They might also call for a thorough scrutiny of white applicants for green cards, and maybe they would instruct TSA workers to spend a little extra time questioning and patting down young men with blonde hair and blue eyes.

          Racism eliminates rationality. Mexicans and Muslims will continue to suffer vilification, rather than their more dangerous white counterparts, because they look different, and because millions of white people are preconceived to see them as dangerous, even when they are not.

          The Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at Ohio State University defines “implicit bias” as “the attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner.” “Build that wall!”, more than an insipid, pro-wrestling audience chant, is an admission of implicit bias.

          Implicit bias is one of many reasons why white racism constitutes the gravest threat to peace, security and democracy in the entire world. America has already fought two wars due to white supremacy — the Civil War and World War II. A reasonable observer would expect the entire culture to act with obsessive caution, guarding against the mere hint of white hate’s resurgence.

          The members of the mainstream media, on cue and off their cue cards, continue to miss the story, even as it confronts them with a sheeted face.

          When Senator Sherrod Brown recently called Donald Trump a “racist” on Meet the Press, Chuck Tood, with odd indignation, asked if he could really make that judgment about “what’s in the President’s heart.” As Aristotle taught, virtue is habitual action. A man who habitually does and says racist things is a racist.

          The press also plays into the right’s hands by abusively bandying about the word “socialism” to describe progressive policies of universal health care, tuition free public universities, and higher taxation on the wealthy. As the entirety of Western Europe shows, all of these programs fit into a capitalist framework. And yet, the press is bashful about using the word “fascism” to describe the rightward turn of American politics and the leadership of Donald Trump. Even the softer term “authoritarian” typically comes with the qualifier, “impulse” or “instinct.”

          Albert Camus wrote that “the State is always criminal in its dreams.” Former Presidents have joked about how they would prefer to have dictatorial powers, and there is not much that citizens can do to censor the dreamlife of a leader. Trump is unique in his overt ambition to redefine American political life. Already working the soil to plant seeds of electoral nullification with his talk of “voter fraud” and “illegals voting for Democrats,” Trump has programmed his supporters into hostility toward the essence of American democracy. According to poll results first published in the Washington Post, 52 percent of Trump voters believe that their emperor should have the power to postpone the 2020 election if he believes that voter fraud is a concern.

          Trump also recently told an interviewer that things could get “very, very bad” if his “tough” supporters in the military, police departments, and biker gangs decide to “play it tough.”

          Is that what happened when Brenton Tarrant, who cites Trump as an inspiration, opened fire on a mosque in New Zealand? Christopher Paul Hasson, another Trump supporter and white supremacist, attempted to play it tough with his foiled plot to assassinate the most prominent politicians in the Democratic Party.

          As the country inches toward another presidential election, Trump and the Republicans will attempt to distract the public from genuine dangers with phony warnings about Mexicans, Muslims and socialists.

          It is an old tactic of manipulation. One white nationalist put it this way in the 1990s, “I believe we are turning into a socialist government. The government is continually getting more powerful, and people need to defend themselves against government control.”

          That was Timothy McVeigh explaining why he decided to “play it tough.”


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          Pundit Post

          Opinion: Trump Is Right. This Is A Witch Hunt!



              Along with Jim Carey, I tend to view Trump as the “wicked witch of the West Wing.” Evil witches cause chaos, destruction, and general all around misery, and in my mind Trump fits that description.

              According to fact checkers, he has used the term “witch hunt” to describe the Russia probe and any other investigations he sees as threatening to expose him for what he is, 361 times since the 2016 election. Since he has all the characteristics of a wicked witch, it would seem that he is correct in labeling it that way. After all, he is the first witch that we have actually seen take over the oval office.

              In the old days, when America was new to the colonies, magic was considered real, and witches who practiced evil magic were prosecuted. In today’s world we have laws against tax cheating, attacking people of color, boosting wealth with foreign money, and paying hush money while using tax payers money to boost one’s personal wealth, among other crimes. Such things are considered bad magic!

              Dana Milbank takes us through the world of Trump’s witchery in the following essay written for the Washington Post and published yesterday, March 18, 2019.


              President Trump is right. This is a witch hunt.

              Monday morning, he used the term for the 261st time as president (according to the Factba.se database), this time tweeting: “50% of Americans AGREE that Robert Mueller’s investigation is a Witch Hunt.”

              On a weekend of rage directed at late senator John McCain, “Saturday Night Live,” Fox News and many others, Trump rose Sunday morning to denounce Crooked Hillary’s Fake and Unverified Dossier, “the info that got us the Witch Hunt!”

              Sometimes it’s the “Mueller Witch Hunt,” other times it’s the “Russian Witch Hunt,” occasionally it’s in ALL CAPS and often punctuated: “RIGGED WITCH HUNT!

              Just because Trump says something, however, doesn’t automatically mean it’s wrong. The treatment of Trump by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and other investigators does have characteristics of a witch hunt. This is because Trump has characteristics of a witch.

              So says a leading authority on the history of witchcraft, Thomas J. Rushford, history professor at Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale. In an anthropological sense, Trump “is really quintessentially a witch figure,” the professor tells me, and if what is happening to Trump is a witch hunt, “it is only in a good sense, that is, this is society policing the boundaries that they believe to be ethically and morally right.”

              Some explanation is in order.

              Witch hunts get bad press, probably because of playwright Arthur Miller’s portrayal of the Salem witch trials in his immortal takedown of McCarthyism, “The Crucible.” We tend to think of innocent women burning at the stake because of accusations by devil-possessed girls (or, if not so literary, we might think of a wart-nosed hag stirring a noxious potion with the broomstick she uses to commute). But witch hunts weren’t all bad, and their targets weren’t always innocent.

              Therefore, to dismiss what is happening to Trump as groundless by calling it a witch hunt is unfair — to witch hunts.

              In the time of the witch hunts, roughly the 1530s through the 1690s, the existence of magic and witchcraft was as universally accepted as the existence of electricity is today. Though typically illegal, the practice was generally tolerated until something really bad happened — cows got sick, babies died, men went lame. When that happened, authorities (they lacked our modern understanding of illness) cracked down on bad magic.

              Likewise, today’s laws and norms say that certain behaviors — cheating on your taxes or your spouse, holding racist views, lying to business associates — are bad, even if they are fairly commonplace and often ignored. But when, say, the president smashes social norms in an extreme way — attacking minorities, boosting his wealth with foreign money, paying hush money to a porn actress — the culture no longer tolerates his bad magic.

              “A witch would be doing a lot of magical things all considered to be wrong,” the witchcraft professor says, but authorities “wouldn’t do anything about it until there was some egregious enough act.” If somebody was “truly a witch figure,” Rushford said, he eventually “crossed a line.” He also noted: “Trump has done the same kinds of things.” Trump’s dubious legal and ethical standards didn’t matter as much when he was in the private sector. But people are alarmed now that he’s using those same dubious standards to run the country.

              This defense of witch hunts isn’t to excuse the long-ago practice of torture-induced confessions and executions of innocent people — often women or those on the margins. But it’s unfair to say, with the benefit of modern scientific knowledge, that earlier cultures were foolish because even the best-educated among them believed magic controlled the unseen, which led them to regulate witchcraft. “If you take that culture on its own terms, they had every right to punish people who were breaking the law,” Rushford argues. “They were saying, ‘Here is a person we believe to have violated the ethical and moral conventions of our society.’ ”

              Just as Europeans had laws against witchcraft some 450 years ago, the United States today has laws about cheating on taxes, working for foreign powers, and lying to lenders and civil authorities. Five former Trump advisers have admitted violating these laws, and a sixth has been charged. That’s half a coven.

              As far as we know, Trump hasn’t turned anybody into a newt yet. But the dubious business dealings he has conducted for years and continues to conduct in the White House are a 21st-century form of bad magic. You can’t plausibly complain about a witch hunt if you’re the guy stirring the cauldron.


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              Pundit Post

              Maine GOP Rep. Says Access To Menstrual Products Would Make Jails Like 'country Clubs'


                  Wow. Really? I've been in a few country clubs, I had NO idea I was supposed to have access to this stuff.

                  God sake, I am SO damned tired of these old GOP men that don't know the first thing about how women's bodies work dictating what we can or can't do or get or use.

                  Women in prison need to be guaranteed access to products, no matter how much they need. It's not like we can turn the spigot off.

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                  Our Criminal President, Trump's Corruption In Office, The Definitive List



                      Trump's Corruption While In Office, The Definitive List:

                      They don’t even try very hard to hide it.

                      President Trump, his family and more than a few of his appointees are using his presidency to enrich themselves. They are spending taxpayer dollars for their own benefit. They are accepting sweetheart deals from foreigners. And they are harnessing the power of the federal government on behalf of their businesses.

                      There’s a word for this: corruption.

                      Given how widespread Trumpian corruption has become, we thought it was time to make a list. It’s meant to be a definitive list of self-dealing by the president, his family, his staff or his friends — since he began running for president. To qualify, an incident needs to seem highly credible, even if it remains unresolved, and needs to involve making money.

                      Compiling the list made us understand why some historians believe Trump’s administration is the most corrupt since at least Warren Harding’s, of 1920s Teapot Dome fame. Trump administration officials and people close to them are brashly using power to amass perks and cash. They are betting that they can get away with it. So far, Congress has let them.

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                      Senator Warren Calls For Abolishing Electoral College


                          Hello. Anyone out there listening? Of all the Democratic candidates running in 2020 it seems as if there is really only one so far who first of all understands that our government is broken and is just not blowing smoke up peoples's butts but is actually proposing that which tackles our problems. Who but Senator Warren is talking about breaking up these monopolistic mega companies or getting rid of the electoral college or getting rid of citizens united or going after wall street and the banksters. Senator Warren understands that which is destroying our Country and is one of the few who isn't afraid to take on the challenges.

                          If Democrats want to once again win big then they need someone the people can get behind. Not because they spew a bunch of empty rhetoric like we hear coming out of that Beto guy's mouth but because they have proven they can accomplish real goals and are willing to stand up against these corrupt banksters and Wall street. The presidency is NOT about winning a popularity contest, it's about who is best suited to do the job and has the best qualifications based on actual performance and past accomplishments not upon some empty promises.

                          Getting rid of the Electoral College levels the playing field and every single person's vote counts and can't be over ridden by electoral votes. Let us not forget that Clinton won the last presidential election by over 3 million votes and look what is sitting in the oval office today. The Electoral College no longer serves a purpose except to let loser's such as Trump win elections.


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