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Gender: Male
Hometown: Tucson, Arizona
Current location: Chicago, Illinois
Member since: Wed Dec 25, 2019, 01:02 AM
Number of posts: 3,125

Journal Archives

This national embarrassment must not be allowed to continue.


This is more than just politics, more than a test of the limits of free speech and freedom of conscience, more that just a symptom of a bigger political, and educational, problem that now exists within the United States of America. This is a national embarrassment. I'm talking about Trump's campaign to be elected to a second, non-consecutive term as President of the United States.

There's not a specific mechanism in the 14th Amendment for prohibiting those who engage in insurrection against the United States, such as a conviction in a court, from being eligible for public office. It's initial application simply involved using the record of service to the Confederate States, whether it was in the military or in government, to restrict potential office holders. We had a Congressional investigation into the January 6th insurrection, complete with thousands of pages of documentation and evidence, which identified the former President as its instigator, with the intention of overturning the results of a legitimate election, fraudulent attempts to appoint fake electors with fake documents, and the complete subversion of the Constitution, all acts which, by definition, meet the standards of the 14th amendment.

So what is there preventing any federal court from also indicting him based on the congressional investigation's evidence? And, forgive me for thinking in simple terms, but doesn't Congress' investigation establish the former President as being guilty of insurrection? The constitution does not specify that a jury trial is necessary to do so. When this amendment was passed and enforced, trials were not held for former Confederates to restrict them from office, all that was necessary was proof that they had supported the Confederate States of America. We have that same proof, in the congressional investigation. Who, in government, has the authority to declare the former President guilty of insurrection, based on the congressional investigation, and therefore ineligible for office. Then let's see if Congress can come up with the two thirds vote necessary to get him off the hook.

Has anyone noticed the contrast between Democratic led investigations and GOP led investigations?


The big difference is presentation of documented evidence.

I watched about an hour and a half of the recent hearings conducted by the House into the fantasy issue of FBI "weaponization." Typical of several of the members of Congress who were engaged in the questioning, there was no reference to any evidence, only the citation of a conspiracy theory or a speculative comment with clear, political overtones. Questions, in fact, are rare. Most Republicans make assertions first, then ask pointed questions based on their assertion. There's almost never a reference to any documents sitting in front of the committee or witnesses, no turning of pages, no questions about specifics in any kind of sequence of events.

In the segments of the hearings that I watched, I give FBI Director Christopher Wray an "A" in the manner in which he handled the questioning. He deflected almost every assertion by either asking for documentation of the assertion as a fact, or requested that the questioner present evidence to support their assertion before agreeing to answer their question. In once instance, he silenced Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz by destroying his assertion that "the public approval of the FBI's job performance is at an all time low," by asking to see what data supported that claim, and then pointed out that applications from Floridians who want to become FBI agents is at an all time high.


Along with millions of Americans, I watched vritually every public hearing Congress held during its two impeachments of Trump. One of the characteristics of Democrats on the committees, along with at least two Republicans who participated, was their continuous referral to documented evidence. I'd be curious to find out exactly how much time was spent during the hearings on references to the page number, and specific headings of documents in the questioning. There were long periods of silence as both those who were testifying and those who were questioning read from documents in front of them. Evidence characterized the televised hearings.

Yet another Republican nothingburger investigation without facts or evidence.

They can't seem to get it. The difference between their investigation, and the effective ones that the Democrats have conducted, is that the Democrats present evidence and facts. Their investigations turn up witnesses that are no longer available, if they ever were, and speculation, but the facts don't match their rhetoric. Matt Gaetz is proving himself worthy of being a Floridian, he can talk for ten minutes without saying a word.

It seems that they think if they just assert the same catch phrase over and over, it will be the proof that is eluding them. I'm no big fan of Christopher Wray, but he absolutely buried some of the more idiotic GOP house members in that hearing today.

Confronting ignorance in the 21st century.


Wars have been fought, in this country and around the world, attempting to rid the world of this kind of bigotry and ignorance. We succeeded in eliminating slavery, finally, after the Civil War, though we have not yet rid the county of the residue of bigotry and racism that still persists and now seems to get worse with time. We fought two major world wars to help rid the world of the injustice of imperialism and the oppression and torture of fascism. But there is a growing fascist movement now within the United States that seems to be advocating even more severe hatred than the European variety did in the first half of the 20th century.

Is it too much of a leap to go from the sermon of an old man who is steeped in racial bigotry to the growing threat of anti-democratic fascism found in several forms in this country in the 20th century? I don't think so. The bottom line here is that he said it, and among the constituency in which he was preaching, it didn't really create much of a stir, until the media called them out. If this had not appeared in the local daily newspaper, and The Daily Beast, would the church have issued a denial anyway? I seriously doubt it.


Education defeats ignorance, but in this country, the dubious quality and effectiveness of our whole educational system when it comes to social studies of just about any kind, makes its success against bad ideology questionable at best. We have to continue calling this out, identifying it, pointing out not only its ideological flaws, but where its dominance will lead to oppression if they ever gain control of government. Is that enough to motivate people to do a little research into the candidates that run for office and go cast a ballot for freedom? It should be more than enough.

Raising money brings extremist right wing anti-patriots together with some far right Evangelicals


What does raising money for Kyle Rittenhouse's legal defense expenses, or those of Derek Chauvan, or for Daniel Penny, the marine who killed a homeless man on the New York subway, or the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers being charged and convicted with insurrection crimes for January 6th have in common with raising money for a Christian "ministry" or cause? And why would those things be brought together on a public crowdfunding site billed as both "The #1 Free Christian Fundraising Site," and "The Leader in Freedom Fundraising"?

Some conservative Evangelicals have been particularly caustic in their dismissal of Critical Race Theory because much of the theory is based on "intersectionality," those places in the culture where ideology and discrimination combined to create institutional, systemic racism. They vehemently deny this theory, claiming that it is illigitimate because it has "no Biblical origin." I think they need to rethink that statement, but nevertheless, here is an example of one of those intersections where like minded groups come together around the common cause of generating money to help subversives, traitors, and vicious racists cover their legal expenses, and then, oh by the way, give something to a Christian ministry as well, since they happen to be raising money on the same site.

The excuse offered in this instance by the owner of the site, who set it up because GoFundMe has standards which don't permit misinformation or lies to be used in raising money, or, apparently, ideas that are anti-Amercan, traitorous and subversive. So they can all go here, along with Christian ministries, and not have to worry that their crazy conspiracy theory or outright lies will get them turned down. This is just about as close to what the extreme right, which includes the whole MAGA mess, stands for as you can get.

They'd better be thanking God for the American constitutional democracy that allows this pathetic hatred to exist and speak its conscience.

A back door strategy for helping Democrats win elections in 2024


The percentages at which conservative, Evangelicals have supported Trump have been higher than for just about any other GOP candidate. The irony of their lack of support for candidates who are themselves conservative Evangelicals, and for turning to those who do not share either their doctrine and theology, or their convictions and practices, is incredible. It was a shock to see them turn out in larger numbers for Mitt Romney, a Mormon who belongs to a church that openly declares all other Christians as apostates, and which denies every doctrine evangelicals consider central to and essential to Christian faith. That was quite a step up from Bush, who belonged to a very liberal Methodist church, from an Episcopalian background and who declared that "all three of the world's great religions" including Judaism and Islam, "have truth in them," which contradicts what most conservative, Evangelicals believe.

But the step to Trump, a godless, secular, worldly, self-absorbed, immoral charlatan and demagogue, is even more shocking. Open support for Trump undermines any claim Evangelicals make to being Christian, in the way that term is defined in the Bible, which they claim is the only authoritative reference for defining it.

Those who are not Christians, or who see Christianity as the same as all other religion, contrasted with secular atheism, won't really understand the doctrinal points or nuances of an argument appealing to apostate Evangelicals to get off the Trump train and back into their church pew, so to speak. But there does seem to be a growing realization among those Evangelicals who have jumped on the Trump train, that they may have done so prematurely, without understanding the implications, and are starting to see reality. Hopefully, there will be enough of those to make a difference, especially if Trump defies the odds and actually makes it to the general election.

Just a thought about crossover primary voting...

It sounds like there are several Republican plots, emerging from the flailing Trumpie brigade, to motivate GOP voters to cross over and vote for RFK Junior, or Williamson, to keep the turmoil going in the primaries.

But Joe Biden is a sure thing.

So what do the Democrats here think about the idea of crossing over to vote for a specific Trump opponent, maybe Christie, in large enough numbers to keep the orange headed buffoon guessing?

Mike Pence, a candidate going nowhere.


As far as I am concerned, Mike Pence ended any chance he ever might have had at any future elected office, and particularly the Presidency of the United States, when he set aside his dignity, morals, ethics, integrity, character and sincerity of his faith, and got on the ticket with the worst, most corrupt, evil President in American history. He knew Trump was a con artist, an immoral, self-serving, law hating, money grubber who was as dishonest as they come, and he knew that by a reputation established long before he sought the GOP nomination for President. But he was willing to seek power instead of integrity, as the whole GOP was when they decided to nominate Trump. It was a disaster for the party, and for the country, and specifically, for Pence's hopes of anything beyond the dead-end job of being Trump's vice-president.

Hiding behind a thin veneer of the obligatory pseudo-Christian "faith" that Republicans are supposed to talk about, Pence is a lightweight in every way. He cannot possibly be as ignorant or as uniformed as he comes off, that's got to be an act to make Trumpies feel better about their own ignorance and inability to handle reality and fact. It took some effort for him to step into second place behind someone like Trump, that had to have been, and must continue to be, humiliating in spite of the ambition for power.


We've had enough corruption, lies, threats, tantrums, stealing classified documents putting the country at risk from its enemies and rebellious insurrections against the United States. Clearly a man who was willing to abandon his morals and ethics to serve a President as corrupt as Donald Trump is not qualified to be President himself.

Go home Mike, if Indiana still wants you. You're done.

We can't trust a Supreme Court without an ethics code


The prior assumption of the American people, when it comes to the Supreme Court, is that the qualifications and requirements it takes in a legal career to even be considered for appointment is the safeguard against corruption. We operate under the presumption that the system will weed out the unqualified candidates who allow their personal biases and prejudices to interfere with their judgement. We think that the experience of someone who becomes a lawyer, and must advocate for their client regardless of their personal convicitions and beliefs, is capable of having a clear understanding of the law, enough to be able to use it as the standard in making a ruling as a judge, after having enough experience in a courtroom, and would not resorting to personal feelings or political preferences when ruling.

We were dead wrong in our assumptions.


I hope my Senators are reading this, I'm emailing it to them. I'm in favor of "packing the court" now, if it is at all possible. That's the only way I see that we have to neutralize this particular court, put the Chief Justice in position to act like a Chief Justice, if that's possible with this one, and restore trust to the Supreme Court. It's approval ratings are at historic lows. Two thirds of the electorate does not trust this Supreme Court and that's only going to get worse as the corruption that has been revealed is exposed. Integrity demands that the justices implicated in improper and unethical financial dealings, and clear conflicts of interest, resign.

So because integrity demands it, and they (the Trump and Bush appointees on the court) don't have any, that's not happening. The Senate needs to give this President the opportunity to appoint at least four Supreme Court justices with Ginsberg's integrity, intelligence and jurisprudence. Twist whatever arms need to be twisted, break the filibuster and amend the Judiciary Act to allow for 13 justices, or if superstition is a factor, 15. That won't be an unpopular political move and it will send a clear message that the United States is a nation of laws.

Right wing arson suspect torches two churches in Arizona over their choice of clergy.


Two historic churches in the small town of Douglas, Arizona were set on fire and burned May 22,2023 as the ressult of an arsonist setting blazes. The two churches, First Presbyterian Church and St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, sit next to each other on the east side of a block known as "Church Square," that also includes the First Baptist Church and Grace United Methodist Church.

According to accounts in the Herald Review, Ridenour and his wife had been recently asked to leave the congregation of Calvary Church in eneighboring Bisbee, because of his views against women serving as pastors. Neighbors said he was attempting to start his own church on his property because he did not agree with women or gays serving as pastors of churches. The pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Douglas is a woman, the pastor at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church is gay. A third church on the same square, Grace United Methodist, also has a woman as pastor, but no attempt was made to start a fire in that building.


When people think they only have to obey laws they agree with, when they believe they are on some kind of crusade in which God is holding their coat and cheering them on, when they believe that certain politicians will move heaven and earth to prevent them from suffering consequences for committing crimes that are politically motivated, churches are set on fire, people are shot in groups with automatic weapons and the truth is distorted and twisted to the point where it is unrecognizeable. The truth about right wing extremism, intruding into the church and hijacking its members, is sitting in the heart of Douglas, Arizona, in its Church Square, in the burned out ruins of two historic churches.

The arsonist who is suspected of the crime, caught with overwhelming evidence that it was him, is being held in jail until his trial, because of the fear of his carrying out additional threats against the congregation members and especially against the clergy who were targeted. This was done because there was evidence that he has no respect for the law, due to prior acts of violence. There are others in that same mindset and category, who have no respect for the law, but who remain out of jail awaiting trial, campaigning for President and still inciting violence with their words and social media posts.
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