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We have been through the High Holy Days-Rosh Ha-Shona, the New Year, the start of new hope and opportunities; and Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, the day of re-tuning your life; these are the days where we re-assess our lives, and look at where we went right and how we can be better for the future. It’s not always good to call where we went wrong “sins;” the idea is that we have these good intentions, but we slip often, and we recognize where we slipped and we learn from our mistakes and start over again. For a person, most of the time, there is room for improvement. And where there is re-alignment with your true, positive self, there is still hope, for the individual and the nation. Let’s keep these lessons in mind as we go through the rest of the year.
In the situation this country is in, we need hope to see us through, to know that we can get ourselves out of this predicament. The forces are arrayed against working and low-income people: a Supreme Court and federal judicial system filled with ideologically backward incompetents; states, like North Carolina, rewriting election rules to make it damn near impossible for minorities, students, and retired people to vote; the elimination of limits on campaign donations, as in the Supreme court’s Citizen’s United decision, so that corporations and plutocrats can pay for favored candidates to get elected. Those are just the beginning of the list of tactics used to “legally” perpetuate oligarchic rule in this country, under the guise of “democracy.”
It’s gotten even more desperate with the news of trump’s contacting the President of Ukraine to demand information about the business dealings of Joe Biden’s son Hunter, in exchange for military assistance to Ukraine as it fights off Russian incursions into its territory.
On top of this-oh the shame, Americans!-trump withdrew US personnel from Northern Iraq, giving the Turkish military the opportunity to attack Kurdish “terrorists”-these so-called “terrorists who have joined with the US in fighting the Islamic State fighters; the Kurds, who for generations have fought for their Own territory and their Own nation-lost 11,000 fighting against ISIS, (By the way, trump has a Trump Towers in Istanbul, along with over a hundred business interests in Turkey-a fun fact to know.)
trump has a soft spot in his “heart” for “strongmen” dictators-Putin, Kim Jong Un, Oban in Hungary, Erdogan in Turkey, and Bolsonaro in Brazil. In his business dealings, he has had close ties to the American La Cosa Nostra and the Russian mafia; and he has, in his rallies, encouraged violence against protestors. (Not that he’s the type to do it himself; I’m familiar with rich kids who think they’re badass since they’re hanging out with guys on the street, but when things get rough, they can count on the old man’s pull and money to get them out of the jam.)
Interviewed by Breitbart, trump said, “I can tell you I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of the Bikers for Trump – I have the tough people, but they don’t play it tough — until they go to a certain point, and then it would be very bad, very bad.”
This tough talk includes threats from the evangelical “Christian” supporters of trump, such as Rick Wiles (https://deadstate.org/christian-tv-host-if-dems-impeach-trump-veterans-and-cowboys-will-hunt-them-down/?fbclid=IwAR0bSFCKLK7k8Qmkkq9sWBtHNz5P2idHWy3zIivMMyTsL3vwyrUugszPF5E) and Robert Jeffress (https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/10/who-is-robert-jeffress-civil-war-trump-impeachment.html) who threatened “a Civil War–like fracture in this nation from which this country will never heal.”
Civil war? Do they mean this, or are they trying to intimidate us? Or both? let us remember the history of the original civil war; southern states threatened to secede from the Union if Abraham Lincoln was duly elected President; this bullying escalated into an actual civil war, where hundreds of thousands of young men died-some to preserve the Union, others to preserve the slave system and their feeling of being of a “superior race.”
I’m afraid that, like the last time, some gang of idiots will follow through on this threat. There have been over the years groups of paramilitary pseudo “militias” of men playing soldier pretending to be valiant warriors carrying assault rifles on their way to the grocery store-just to show they can do so. trump is relying on them to be a backup for him if he is impeached or otherwise removed from office (God willing!); one of these groups the Oath Keepers, certified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a “hate group (https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/group/oath-keepers), served as security for trump’s rally in Minneapolis (https://www.newsweek.com/anti-government-group-escort-minneapolis-trump-rally-1464170). This is a dictator move, having your own personal army-police-militia, outside of the military chain of command, like Hitler’s SS and Mussolini’s Blackshirts. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackshirts)
Recently, we have the news that about a dozen Republican Congress-thugs stormed into the secure committee chamber where Laura Cooper, a veteran Defense Depatment official involved in policy about Ukraine, gave testimony surrounding the attempt by trump to demend information about Joe Biden and his son concerning “corruption” (a topic trump is adept at). These thugs barged in, holding cellphone cameras in violation of security rules, and Capital Police and the Sergeant-At-Arms’ office tried to talk them out of the room. This was a blatant attempt to intimidate Cooper; I hope she stands strong. (https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/watch-republicans-disrupt-closed-door-impeachment-deposition?fbclid=IwAR3OjSFdmVbyzq4QXrRuddyOpBCNbkl1I4LqFfC1E94SLPHMsR1yQGKeUsc)
If these Congress-creeps were anywhere to the left politically, would they get the kids gloves, or the iron hand? In my reading of American history, more than likely it’s the latter. Throughout the Sixties and Seventies, the Republican Party has presented itself as the party of “law and order” and “strong national defense,” while, if convenient, willing to break the law and compromise national security to attain power. Let me count the ways:
Nixon contacting the South Vietnamese government to urge them to back off from peace talks with the North and the NLF, promising President Theiu a better deal-thereby prolonging the war and American’s involvement in it, dragging Cambodia into the war (thus allowing the Khmer Rouge to wage its genocidal regime), and allowing more American servicemen to be killed (how’s THAT for “support the troops!);
organizing gangs of thugs to assault anti-war protestors opposing a terrible war, and organizing a crew of burglars to break into the Democratic National Committee office at Watergate; (this is recorded in The Arrogance of Power; The Secret World of Richard Nixon by Anthony Summers)
contacting the regime of the Ayatollahs in Iran, urging them to back off of negotiations with Washington to release the hostages in the Embassy, thus making Jimmy Carter look weak and inept and allowing Ronald Reagan into office;
the Iran-contra affair, whereby anti-tank weapons were sold to Iran to pay for the contra campaign in Nicaragua, against the law passed by Congress;
Mitch McConnell’s refusal to speak out against the blatant effort, recorded by our intelligence and security agencies, by Russian state entities to interfere in our elections in 2016;
I guess I just scratched the surface.
Fellow Americans, let us NOT be intimidated by the thugs in and out of office. Let us organize, educate ourselves, and show them we will not be intimidated. Let’s get out and VOTE!-November 5 in Pennsylvania-and let’s keep ourselves strong, and America will be free!