“The gun lobby’s interpretation of the Second Amendment is one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word fraud, on the American People by special interest groups that I have seen in my lifetime”
“The real purpose of the Second Amendment was to ensure that state armies, the militia, would be maintained for the defense of the state.”
Warren Burger, AP article, 1991
“The very language of the Second Amendment refutes any argument that it was intended to guarantee every citizen an unfettered right to any kind of weapon he or she desires”
Warren Burger, AP article, 1991
America has a problem with guns. Yes, with guns. Over 45,000 gun deaths in 2020, more than victims of automobile accidents. The right wing wants to blame everything other than the weapons themselves, things like mental illness; other countries have people with mental illness as well, and they have nowhere near the number of firearm deaths that our country racks up every year. It’s the guns, around 400 million of them, more than one for each and every citizen of our nation.
The fact that the 2nd Amendment has been so thoroughly weaponized by the gun lobby and the NRA pretty much means that there is little to no chance it will ever be repealed.
Legislators, particularly Republicans, receive obscene amounts of cash from the gun lobby. According to Market Watch,
Notice the difference in donations to Republicans as compared to Democrats. Looking at the chart above (from 2017), it’s clear that the NRA and associated groups are paying senators to do virtually nothing about gun legislation except sending thoughts and prayers, even when children are slaughtered by the dozen in school shootings.
When cornered about the deaths, Republicans will deflect and delay:
And in the end, nothing gets done, despite the fact that the majority of Americans want stricter gun laws.
The poll by the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research shows 71% of Americans say gun laws should be stricter, including about half of Republicans, the vast majority of Democrats and a majority of those in gun-owning households.
But something has to give, and this is what I require from our legislators 1
It’s time. Because doing nothing means that we all agree dead children are an acceptable price to pay for unlimited access to firearms. And it’s not.
The Old Wolf has spoken.
1 There are more things that could be done, but these are an absolute minimum. Things like a ban on assault-style weapons and large magazines, outlawing bump stocks, mandatory background checks and waiting period, among others. Even if you went for the whole enchilada, people would still be able to “exercise their second amendment rights” as they have come to understand them.
This is a blog. I guess that makes me a blogger. I currently live in Florida (snowbirding from New England).
Ron DeSantis, governor of Florida, is (in my humble opinion) a raving, hateful, ignorant lunatic, and the poster-boy for someone who wants to out-fascist Donald Trump.
He is also a disgrace to an honorable, Italian family name.
I have no intention of registering with the state of Florida to post my opinions about this gross waste of oxygen, human cytoplasm, and space on the Earth. If by some unholy twist of fate he were ever elected to the office of President, I would sincerely consider emigrating to Canada, or Norway, or some other civilized country.
A Twitter thread by Carole Cadwalladr (@carolecadwalla) from 27 February, 2022. A critical analysis of what is still going on, and why it matters. See the original here.
Ok. Deep breath.
I think we may look back on this as the first Great Information War. Except we’re already 8 years in.
The first Great Information War began in 2014. The invasion of Ukraine is the latest front. And the idea it doesn’t already involve us is fiction, a lie.
It was Putin’s fury at the removal of President Yankovych in Feb 2014 that kicked everything off. Information operations were first crucial step in invasion of Crimea & Donbass. A deliberate attempt to warp reality to confuse both Ukrainians & the world.
This was not new. The Soviets had practiced “dezinformatsiya” for years. But what was new in 2014 was technology. Social media. It was a transformative moment. “Hybrid warfare” on steroids: a golden Willy Wonka ticket to manipulate hearts & minds. Almost completely invisibly.
But it wasn’t just Ukraine. We now know Russia began another offensive in Feb 2014. Against the West. Specifically, but not exclusively, America. How do we know this? Because the FBI conducted a forensic, multi-year investigation. That almost no-one paid any attention to.
The Mueller Report. You’ve heard of it. But probably as a headline about how it didn’t “prove” collusion between the Kremlin & Trump campaign. We can come back to that. What it did prove – BEYOND ANY DOUBT – was that Russia attacked 2016 US election through multiple routes.
And just one of the ways Russia attacked 2016 US election was via the tech platforms. Especially: Facebook. This was a military technique, it pioneered in Ukraine in 2014. By 2016, it refined, iterated & supersized these. Most brilliantly of all, they were entirely invisible
And it wasn’t just Russia. Companies such as Cambridge Analytica. Political operatives such as Manafort. Amoral opportunists such as Cummings. They learned how to exploit a platform that was totally open – anyone could do so. And totally closed – no-one could see how.
But also it was Russia. That’s what the Mueller Report proves. And, again, Ukraine is at centre of it all.(Read @profshaw’s thread here. Note walk-on role for Arron Banks’s business partner & his friend the Russian spy)
In 2016, we knew none of this. Russia & other bad actors acted with impunity &, in some cases alignment. But now, through the sheer bloody hard work of academics, journalists & FBI, we do know.
But it was complex, messy, difficult. So… We brushed it all under the carpet
We failed to acknowledge Russia had staged a military attack on the West. We called it “meddling”. We used words like “interference”. It wasn’t. It was warfare. We’ve been under military attack for eight years now.
This failure is at the heart of what is happening now in Ukraine. Because the first offensive in the Great Information War was from 2014-2022. And Putin won.
And he won by convincing us it wasn’t even a war.
We fell for it. We said it was “just ads” that “don’t work anyhow”. And “a bot didn’t tell me to vote”. Facebook is still an open threat surface. Exploited by authoritarians from Philippines to India to Brazil to Hungary. It’s maybe not a world war. But the world is at war.
Meanwhile, in Britain, we’re a captured state. In America, the institutions of govt worked. Even in spite of Trump. The authorities investigated. Individuals were indicted, charged, jailed. The hostile actions of a foreign state examined & unpicked.
(Not that it mattered.) The US media & therefore public failed to understand the real lessons of Mueller Report. And in the UK? We didn’t even bother trying. We allowed Johnson’s govt to sweep 2016 under the carpet. Nigel Farage. Arron Banks. Facebook. Russia. The lot.
But it wasn’t ‘just ads’. It was war. And it’s absolutely crucial that we now understand that Putin’s attack on Ukraine & the West was a JOINT attack on both.
That began at the exact same time.
Across the exact same platforms.
And this new front, the invasion of Ukraine, is not just about Ukraine. We are part of the plan. We have always been part of the plan. And Ukraine is not just fighting for Ukraine but for the rest of us too.
And maybe that could be why we’ve failed to understand Putin’s strategy in Ukraine? Because it’s not just a strategy in Ukraine. It’s directed at us too. And that’s what makes this such a uniquely perilous moment. Not least, because we still don’t understand we’re at war.
If it helps, the penny dropped for me with Skripal. Planned by the GRU – Russia’s military intelligence. As was the weaponised hack-&-leak of Hillary’s emails. Military doctrine carried out by military officials in military operations. Just like the one now in Ukraine.
TL;DR – She’s tired.
The story of Arron Banks is intertwined with every single element of the above. That’s for another time. What matters now is Ukraine. And the key to helping it is to understand that Putin isn’t just coming for us next. He already has.
Russia is not our friend. Russia has never been our friend, despite fighting the Nazis together in World War II. I lived through the Cold War and the Cuban Missile Crisis and Civil Defense and Duck and Cover drills, and it’s all Russia.
Putin is still a KGB agent. Never forget this.
The Old Wolf has spoken.
¹ Some have suggested this is a mistranslation of what Nikita Khrushchev said, which was “Мы вас похороним!” While I am not a Russian linguist, based on the feeling that was coming from the Soviet Union at the time, I dispute this. He meant exactly what he said.
Today the Supreme Court, in a 6-3 decision, struck down Roe v. Wade, which newly-confirmed justices Brett Kavanaugh (the alleged rapist) and Amy Coney Barrett (the evangelical activist) had sworn to the Senate was “established law.”
Immediately, a number of states moved to implement “trigger laws” – most recently Missouri – State Attorney General Eric Schmitt acted to put his state’s trigger law into effect within minutes of the court ruling, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. [Newser]
It is expected that over half the states will now move to ban abortions, with varying degrees of draconian severity.
The evangelical right will be celebrating tonight, and there will be many posts and tweets about “liberal tears” filling the ether in days to come. But I personally can guarantee you the following things, just for starters:
If one of their own – an individual, a spouse, or a child – is raped or otherwise violated, or if a pregnancy strikes them as inconvenient, they will find a way to get that abortion, either by going to a progressive state or by going to what will pass for a “back-alley abortionist.”
Women and girls will die, and many will suffer irreparable health issues.
There will be a surge in poverty rates and homelessness associated with this decision
With the stroke of a pen, the court has not prevented abortions – they have only prevented safe abortions.
The ripple effect will be horrific.
This is the Republicans’ long game come to fruition, a game they have been playing for the last 60 years at least. It demonstrates why evangelical voters didn’t care how terrible a person Trump is; they knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that if they could get him into the White House that the Supreme Court would be theirs for generations, and would strike down every law they considered unholy.
Like Roe. And, as Clarence Thomas wrote:
“In future cases, we should reconsider all of this Court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold [contraceptives], Lawrence [gay rights], and Obergfell [same-sex marriage].”
Where this will go, I cannot say. I know only that I will not live to see the end of it, since the echoes of this court will propagate down generations. But I take comfort in the sane and sensible words of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez:
This is the kind of person we need leading our country and making our laws, and not the clown-circus dumpster fire minority-led junta we currently have.
I am a boomer, but this is not what I voted for or worked for. I apologize to my posterity for the world that they are now inheriting. For as long as I have breath, I will fight the trend of authoritarian oppression that so many in the Republican Party seem to want imposed upon our entire nation, and I hope that they will do so as well instead of succumbing to despair and apathy.
For the love of anything you hold dear, vote in November and in every local and national election from now until the end of time. Vote for people who will work to build a world that works, in the words of R. Buckminster Fuller, “for 100% of humanity, in the shortest possible time, through spontaneous cooperation, without ecological offense or the disadvantage of anyone.” Vote to repudiate Trump and Trumpism in all its aspects, vote as if your life and the lives of your loved ones depend on it… because now, more than ever, they do.
The Old Wolf has spoken.
Note: Comments are disbled for this post, for obvious reasons. If you have dissenting opinions, post them on your own pages, not here.
Note 2: If you come to the conclusion by reading this that I think abortion is a great thing, I regret I must disappoint you. Read this.
Seen at the Facebook group “Memoirs of a Moddler.” My commentary is at the end.
I’m not pro-murdering babies. I’m pro-Becky who found out at her 20 week anatomy scan that the infant she had been so excited to bring into this world had developed without life sustaining organs. I’m pro-Susan who was sexually assaulted on her way home from work, only to come to the horrific realization that her assailant planted his seed in her when she got a positive pregnancy test result a month later. I’m pro-Theresa who hemorrhaged due to a placental abruption, causing her parents, spouse, and children to have to make the impossible decision on whether to save her or her unborn child. I’m pro-little Cathy who had her innocence ripped away from her by someone she should have been able to trust and her 11-year-old body isn’t mature enough to bear the consequence of that betrayal. I’m pro-Melissa who’s working two jobs just to make ends meet and has to choose between bringing another child into poverty or feeding the children she already has because her spouse walked out on her. I’m pro-Brittany who realizes that she is in no way financially, emotionally, or physically able to raise a child. I’m pro-Emily who went through IVF, ending up with SIX viable implanted eggs requiring selective reduction in order to ensure the safety of her and a SAFE amount of fetuses. I’m pro-Christina who doesn’t want to be a mother, but birth control methods sometimes fail. I’m pro-Jessica who is FINALLY getting the strength to get away from her physically abusive spouse only to find out that she is carrying the monster’s child. I’m pro-Vanessa who went into her confirmation appointment after YEARS of trying to conceive only to hear silence where there should be a heartbeat. I’m pro-Lindsay who lost her virginity in her sophomore year with a broken condom and now has to choose whether to be a teenage mom or just a teenager. I’m pro-Courtney who just found out she’s already 13 weeks along, but the egg never made it out of her fallopian tube so either she terminates the pregnancy or risks dying from internal bleeding. You can argue and say that I’m pro-choice all you want, but the truth is: I’m pro-life. Their lives. Women’s lives. You don’t get to pick and choose which scenarios should be accepted. Women’s rights are meant to protect ALL women, regardless of their situation!
This is one of the thorniest issues for me with regards to my own spiritual walk. I happen to believe that life is precious, and that the spirits that inhabit the bodies created on earth belong not to ourselves, but to God.
But here’s the conclusion I have come to, for my own peace of mind:
My beliefs prohibit me from eating ice cream in the park on Thursdays. So don’t do it. You don’t understand. Since I believe this, you can’t do it either. *The same thing happens with civil unions. Art by Peruvian cartoonist Carlín
What you believe your God or your holy books say is just fine, as long as it’s valid for you. Just you. 𝐘𝐎𝐔. Nobody else. Freedom of religion gives you the right to believe anything you want. It even affords you the privilege of preaching, teaching, exhorting, persuading, inviting, and enticing people to follow a path that you may believe brings humanity the greatest happiness.
But freedom of religion also guarantees freedom 𝑓𝑟𝑜𝑚 religion. And there is a whole world of people out there who don’t ascribe to your particular flavor of sky cake or mine. What you or I 𝑑𝑜𝑛’𝑡 get to do is CRAM OUR BELIEFS DOWN ANYONE ELSE’S THROAT AND NULLIFY THEIR AGENCY (and yes, I’m SHOUTING to make sure you hear me). 𝐖𝐞 𝐝𝐨𝐧’𝐭 𝐠𝐞𝐭 𝐭𝐨 𝐥𝐞𝐠𝐢𝐬𝐥𝐚𝐭𝐞 𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐨𝐰𝐧 𝐛𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐨𝐟 𝐦𝐨𝐫𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐭𝐲.
This is where the Republican Party and all its subsets, specifically the Evangelical Right, have gotten it completely wrong. If you believe abortion is a sin, well then, golly gee 𝑑𝑜𝑛’𝑡 ℎ𝑎𝑣𝑒 𝑜𝑛𝑒. It’s as simple as that. But just because your faith prohibits you from eating ice cream in the parks on Thursday, you don’t get to tell your neighbors that they can’t either. You don’t get to harass women, or take away their constitutional rights, or kill doctors, or bomb abortion clinics. The only thing you get to do is act for yourself according to the dictates of your conscience, and then shut up and let others do the same. If you are doing anything else, you have much to repent of.
For what it’s worth, if the GOP really wanted to reduce abortions – and they’re going to happen regardless of what legislation gets passed or what SCOTUS happens to say, they just won’t happen safely and many women will be irreparably injured and many will die – they would support organizations like Planned Parenthood, whose work prevents far more abortions than they facilitate, instead of trying to defund them and legislate them out of existence.
In a Church in Ukraine¹, Vladimir Putin has been burning in Hell since 2017.
Note: Christian stuff here. If you’re a humanist, feel free to move along except for perhaps the cultural interest.
The painting, by graduates of an Academy of Fine Arts, was unveiled on Easter even in 2017. Backstory was provided by two Polish websites, fakt.pl and kresy24.pl.
According to the reports, the work shows Putin burning in hell with the Soviet coat of arms and other symbols of evil, according to the Ukrinform news agency.
“The idea was to leave the historical memory of something that happened in our history for future generations. And this fresco of the Last Judgment is probably so unique, because of the depicted figure who did a lot of evil to Ukraine,” said a pastor of the church. ²
Another website reported:
“The painting is right at the entrance to the temple. It represents doomsday. The flames of hell consume, among other things, the symbols of criminal regimes – the hammer and sickle and the swastika. The most striking, however, is the screaming man in a suit. The faithful have no doubts – this is Vladimir Putin on fire. However, a priest at the church has a different opinion: the character symbolizes an official who robbed the country.”²
I’m intrigued by some of the details of the painting.
The devil poking the symbols of Nazism and the Soviet Union with a pitchfork
the concept that not all clergy are evil, since one is being led to the light
the (purportedly) Russian soldier being bitten on the neck by a demon
an innocent child being protected by an angel and carried to Heaven
soldiers and churchmen and royalty along with regular people consigned to the flames.
I’d be curious to know if any of the other figures represent real persons in the minds of the artists, and what the writing above the mural and on the scroll says.
Spiritual leaders whom I respect have counseled us not to consign anyone to Hell even in our imaginations as all judgment belongs to God, but it is easy to understand these kinds of sentiments being expressed by people who have been oppressed by brutal regimes.
The Old Wolf has spoken.
¹ The exact location and the identification of the Church are known, as well as certain other names and details, but I’m not including them in case the Russian army happens to read this and decides to reduce the church to rubble and ashes out of spite. If Ukraine is successful in resisting the unholy invasion by Vladimir Putin, I will return and update the post (if I’m still alive).
From a lady named Jen. Seen at reddit, posted by u/xenophonXiphos, but shared widely elsewhere and originally posted (I think) on Facebook.
“You all don’t get it. I live in Trump country, in the Ozarks in southern Missouri, one of the last places where the KKK still has a relatively strong established presence. They don’t give a 🤬 what he does. He’s just something to rally around and hate liberals, that’s it, period. He absolutely realizes that, and plays it up, they love it, he knows they love it, and the fact that people act like it’s anything other than that just proves that liberals are idiots, all the more reason for high fives all around.
“If you keep getting caught up in why do they not realize blah blah blah and how can they still back him after blah blah blah, you are not understanding what is the underlying motivating factor of his support. It’s 🤬 liberals, that’s pretty much it.
“Have you noticed he can do pretty much anything imaginable and they’ll explain some way that rationalizes it that makes zero logical sense? Because they’re not even keeping track of any logical narrative, it’s irrelevant, 🤬 liberals is the only relevant thing, trust me, I know first hand what I’m talking about. That’s why they just laugh at it all, because you all don’t even realize they really, truly, don’t give a 🤬 about whatever the conversation is about, it’s just a side mission story that doesn’t really matter anyways. That’s all just trivial details- the economy, health care, whatever. 🤬 liberals.
“Look at the thing with not wearing the masks. I can tell you what that’s about. It’s about exposing fear. They’re playing chicken with nature and whoever flinches just moved down their internal pecking order, one step closer to being a liberal.
“You gotta understand the one core value that they hold above all others is hatred for weakness, because that’s what they believe strength is, hatred for weakness. And I mean passionate, sadistic hatred. And I’m not exaggerating. Believe me. Sadistic, passionate hatred, and that’s what proves they’re strong, their passionate hatred for weakness. Sometimes they lump in vulnerability, a compromised circumstance, or an overwhelming circumstance in there with weakness, too, because people tend to start humbling themselves when they’re in those circumstances and that’s an obvious sign of weakness.
“Kindness = weakness. Honesty = weakness. Compromise = weakness. They consider their very existence to be superior in every way to anyone who doesn’t hate weakness as much as they do. They consider liberals to be weak people who are inferior, almost a difference species, and the fact that liberals are so weak is why they have to unite in large numbers, which they find disgusting, but it’s that disgust that is a true expression of their natural superiority.
“Go ahead and try to have a logical, rational conversation with them though. Just keep in mind what I said here, and think about it.”
I’m seeing calls from right-wing “thinkers” to impeach President Biden, Vice-president Harris, and any and all Democrats. This is the sheerest nonsense; Tumblr user “biokitty” explained it this way (emphasis mine):
These are people who don’t understand politics as an entity that actually affects them, they can’t be reasoned with because they know being like that pisses off liberals. It’s honestly the most juvenile, immature tactic that elementary school-aged bullies use but they get a rise out of liberals repeatedly by doing it. It’s why so many of them comment on social media “trump 2020″ on posts that aren’t even about politics: because they know just posting that on a tasty video or something will piss off a bunch of liberals.
And now its “Trump 2024.” God forbid.
You see, Trump is an evil bastard, bred and raised by an evil bastard, a sociopathic serial narcissist and compulsive liar. His moral failings are too many to list here in full, but are well-documented. He’s a racist, sexist, abusive, heartless, bullying, spiteful, vengeful, cheating con man. And he deserved to be impeached, twice. And should have been convicted, if the Republicans in the senate had anything resembling decency, or a spine. But they’re all terrified of him and his evil vindictiveness, and their political careers are worth more to them than honor.
But calls to impeach the Biden administration are being made for one reason, and one reason only: spite. Whereas the Orange Screechweasel belongs in jail on any of hundreds of counts of moral turpitude, business fraud, and outright criminal behavior, President Biden is an honest and decent man as politicians go¹ and is working hard to undo the devastating damage the former guy did to our nation both domestically and internationally. He cares about you and me, regardless of our political affiliation. He wants all Americans to have a better life. But the alt-right, in their slavish, brainwashed devotion to the cult of personality that has sprung up around The Thermonuclear Bowel Evacuation Formerly Disgracing the Oval Office, are mightily offended that their Golden Calf was so unfairly maligned, and they want revenge. Revenge on a political party whose platform essentially says “build a world that works for everyone, with no one left out,” as opposed to the one that says “🤬 you, I’ve got mine.”
The GOP has become a cult of personality, filled with wannabe autocrats who have chained themselves to a violent, hateful, despicable (and piteous) human, one who makes Richard Nixon look like Romper Room’s Miss Julie. If democracy is to survive in our nation, this faction must be sidelined and rendered impotent and irrelephant [pun intended.] Based on what I’m seeing in the way of Democratic disarray, the presence of two additional Republicans in the Senate – specifically Manchin and Sinema – and the growing efforts of GOP-led state governments to implement disenfranchisement strategies, I don’t have much hope for 2022 and 2024. We may be in for a very, very dark time before sanity once again prevails, as it always seems to do.
The Old Wolf has spoken.
¹ Politicians in general have a less-than-stellar reputation, largely deserved. Most of them are a bought-and-paid-for bunch; Congressmen and women, for example, are encouraged to spend at least 30 hours a week calling potential donors for contributions instead of doing the people’s work. As long as Citizens United is in effect, corporations will in effect write our laws and determine the direction and tenor of our society. That said, there is a bell curve of decency, and from everything I’ve seen President Biden is a couple of “honorable” standard deviations from the mean.
The essay below by one of my friends appeared on my Facebook feed yesterday, and it broke my heart.
We read during the election of Louis DeJoy’s efforts to hamstring the post office in order to bolster the irrational claims of The Thermonuclear Bowel Evacuation Formerly Disgracing the Oval Office that mail-in voting would lead to massive fraud. It wouldn’t, and it didn’t. But the actions of this Trump sycophant and donor, a man who has no business as Postmaster General of our nation, are continuing to have repercussions down the line and will continue to do so as long as this waste of human cytoplasm is permitted to continue castrating one of our nation’s most important institutions.
This is a cry from the trenches.
There is a gravestone somewhere with the inscription:
When you go to work tomorrow, I will be going, too, but only long enough to turn in my ID and my laptop.
The GOP Ten-Year Plan To Rape The Postal Service took its first blood on Friday, with hundreds of postal employees and contractors getting the word that their position has been eliminated. As usual, there will be new jobs posted, maybe, at facilities somewhere far from home and at a lesser salary, but a job is a job, and there will be struggles for these positions that will be as entertaining as the old gladiator battles in the Coliseum. And with similar results.
This came about because Louis DeJoy, who ran a shipping company that competed with the USPS, and was a major GOP donor, was appointed Postmaster General during the last administration. The board that oversees the PMG is still a pack of GOP curs, and will not remove him until enough of them are removed to force a vote. By then, it will be too late to save much of the USPS.
In the past year, the IT office that I work in has gone from twelve people to five. The UNIX support group is perhaps 2/3 the size it was at this time last year. The workload has not been reduced at all. Overtime is strongly discouraged. If you think this is a recipe for a catastrophe, I will not contradict you. But it will SAVE MONEY. Just like trashing the sorting machines just before the 2020 election was going to save money. I didn’t notice any savings, because the O/T put in by the employees to take up the slack would have more than eaten it. Oh, wait, they weren’t allowed to charge O/T. So a lot of them did their work off the clock. What a savings!
It will also cripple the USPS even further, so there will be more pressure to simply disband it and give the work to private corporations. Sending a birthday card by FedEx will cost about $15, instead of $0.55. But, hey, small government, right?
And giving us the shaft on a Friday morning of a long weekend was THE morale-booster that we all needed.
Oh, and the USPS employs more veterans than any other government function. So the “We Support Our Troops!” boys have just screwed over the veterans. Again.
I’m a contractor, not a USPS employee. The USPS unit at Peraton is only about 6 months old, having just been acquired from NorthropGrumman. So the scramble for new jobs there will be at least as bad as the one at USPS, because they were still trying to fit us into the organization as it was.
Screw it. I’m six months from turning 66. I may just sign up for the dole, and Medicare, and let the people who are trying to support their families get the jobs. I’m sick of this. I’ve watched the front line get screwed at Kodak, Informix, IBM, and now USPS, and the old men who made the decisions that got us there walk away with fat wallets. This is not how I had thought of retiring, those 40+ years ago, but, as some profound thinker said, it is what it is.
So, tomorrow I drive to San Mateo (55 miles each way, and that I will not miss), turn in all my gear, and drive home to see what happens next. I’d like to thank all the people who voted GOP in 2016 because they were afraid they’d lose their guns, on behalf of the hundreds of us who just lost our jobs.
On behalf of my friend who lost his livelihood and the countless others who have or will, many of whom will not be in a position to retire and say “Screw it,” thank you, Louis DeJoy, for shoving a stake into the heart of our nation’s postal system in the name of ideology and personal profit. May you roast in Hell forever, you simpering, thermonuclear asstrumpet.
The Old Wolf has spoken
PS: Congress, please remove the insane requirement for the USPS to pre-fund its retiree health benefits. Adopting a traditional “pay-as-you-go” method would produce billions of dollars of desperately-needed additional cash flow.
A tweet from Ethical American (@AmericanEthical) which deserves to be read and shared widely.
Edit: A comment made me aware that Ethical American is not the original author, but: Redditor u/techsinger posted it because the original author encouraged people to share it widely. Redditor u/GaterMachetteSr then posted it to r/copypasta. Hence Ethical American was reposting with implicit permission, rather than stealing it. I’m still trying to track down the OP for attribution.
Edit 2: The earliest instance of this that I’ve found was by user paddyC at the politics.ie forum, dated 16 Feb 2021. Still trying to determine if sir or madam is the original author.
Only slightly bowdlerized for a family-friendly audience.
For what it’s worth, every one of the items listed here has been documented with painful clarity. This isn’t “fake news.” This is the real deal.
I owe my Trump-supporting friends an apology. I’ve been critical of the Trump presidency these last four years and am still exhausted from the experience. But to be fair President Trump wasn’t that bad, other than when he:
• incited an insurrection against the government • mismanaged a pandemic that killed nearly half a million Americans • separated children from their families • lost those children in the bureaucracy • tear-gassed peaceful protesters on Lafayette Square so he could hold a photo op holding a Bible in front of a church • tried to block all Muslims from entering the country • got impeached • got impeached again • had the worst jobs record of any president in modern history • pressured Ukraine to dig dirt on Joe Biden • fired the FBI director for investigating his ties to Russia • bragged about firing the FBI director on TV • took Vladimir Putin’s word over the US intelligence community • diverted military funding to build his wall • caused the longest government shutdown in US history • called Black Lives Matter a “symbol of hate” • lied over 30,000 times • banned transgender people from serving in the military • ejected reporters from the White House briefing room who asked tough questions • vetoed the defense funding bill because it renamed military bases named for Confederate soldiers • refused to release his tax returns • increased the national debt by nearly $8 trillion • had three of the highest annual trade deficits in U.S. history • called veterans and soldiers who died in combat losers and suckers • coddled the leader of Saudi Arabia after he ordered the execution and dismembering of a US-based journalist • refused to concede the 2020 election • hired his unqualified daughter and son-in-law to work in the White House • walked out of an interview with Lesley Stahl • called neo-Nazis “very fine people” • suggested that people should inject bleach into their bodies to fight COVID • abandoned our allies the Kurds to Turkey • pushed through massive tax cuts for the wealthiest but balked at helping working Americans • incited anti-lockdown protestors in several states at the height of the pandemic • withdrew the US from the Paris climate accords • withdrew the US from the Iranian nuclear deal • withdrew the US from the Trans Pacific Partnership which was designed to block China’s advances • insulted his own Cabinet members on Twitter • pushed the leader of Montenegro out of the way during a photo op • failed to reiterate US commitment to defending NATO allies • called Haiti and African nations “shithole” countries • called the city of Baltimore the “worst in the nation” • claimed that he single handedly brought back the phrase “Merry Christmas” even though it hadn’t gone anywhere • forced his Cabinet members to praise him publicly like some cult leader • believed he should be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize • berated and belittled his hand-picked Attorney General when he recused himself from the Russia probe • suggested the US should buy Greenland • colluded with Mitch McConnell to push through federal judges and two Supreme Court • justices after supporting efforts to prevent his predecessor from appointing judges • repeatedly called the media “enemies of the people” • claimed that if we tested fewer people for COVID we’d have fewer cases • violated the emoluments clause • thought that Nambia was a country • told Bob Woodward in private that the coronavirus was a big deal but then downplayed it in public • called his exceedingly faithful vice president a “pussy” for following the Constitution • nearly got us into a war with Iran after threatening them by tweet • nominated a corrupt head of the EPA • nominated a corrupt head of HHS • nominated a corrupt head of the Interior Department • nominated a corrupt head of the USDA • praised dictators and authoritarians around the world while criticizing allies • refused to allow the presidential transition to begin • insulted war hero John McCain – even after his death • spent an obscene amount of time playing golf after criticizing Barack Obama for playing (far less) golf while president • falsely claimed that he won the 2016 popular vote • called the Muslim mayor of London a “stone cold loser” • falsely claimed that he turned down being Time’s Man of the Year • considered firing special counsel Robert Mueller on several occasions • mocked wearing face masks to guard against transmitting COVID • locked Congress out of its constitutional duty to confirm Cabinet officials by hiring acting ones • used a racist dog whistle by calling COVID the “China virus” • hired and associated with numerous shady figures that were eventually convicted • of federal offenses including his campaign manager and national security adviser • pardoned several of his shady associates • gave the Presidential Medal of Freedom to two congressman who amplified his [ ] crazy conspiracy theories • got into telephone fight with the leader of Australia • had a Secretary of State who called him a moron • forced his press secretary to claim without merit that his was the largest inauguration crowd in history • botched the COVID vaccine rollout • tweeted so much dangerous propaganda that Twitter eventually banned him • charged the Secret Service jacked-up rates at his properties • constantly interrupted Joe Biden in their first presidential debate • claimed that COVID would “magically” disappear • called a U.S. Senator “Pocahontas” • used his Twitter account to blast Nordstrom when it stopped selling Ivanka’s merchandise • opened up millions of pristine federal lands to development and drilling • got into a losing tariff war with China that forced US taxpayers to bail out farmers • claimed that his losing tariff war was a win for the US • ignored or didn’t even take part in daily intelligence briefings • blew off honoring American war dead in France because it was raining • redesigned Air Force One to look like the Trump Shuttle • got played by Kim Jong Un and his “love letters” • threatened to go after social media companies in clear violation of the Constitution • botched the response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico • threw paper towels at Puerto Ricans when he finally visited them • pressured the governor and secretary of state of Georgia to “find” him votes • thought that the Virgin islands had a President • drew on a map with a Sharpie to justify his inaccurate tweet that Alabama was threatened by a hurricane • allowed White House staff to use personal email accounts for official businesses after blasting Hillary Clinton for doing the same thing • rolled back regulations that protected the public from mercury and asbestos • pushed regulators to waste time studying snake-oil remedies for COVID • rolled back regulations that stopped coal companies from dumping waste into rivers • held blatant campaign rallies at the White House • tried to take away millions of Americans’ health insurance because the law was named for a Black man • refused to attend his successors’ inauguration • nominated the worst Education Secretary in history • threatened judges who didn’t do what he wanted • attacked Dr. Anthony Fauci • promised that Mexico would pay for the wall (it didn’t) • allowed political hacks to overrule government scientists on major reports on climate change and other issues • struggled navigating a ramp after claiming his opponent was feeble • called an African-American Congresswoman “low IQ” • threatened to withhold federal aid from states and cities with Democratic leaders • went ahead with rallies filled with maskless supporters in the middle of a • pandemic • claimed that legitimate investigations of his wrongdoing were “witch hunts” • seemed to demonstrate a belief that there were airports during the American Revolution • demanded “total loyalty” from the FBI director • praised a conspiracy theory that Democrats are Satanic pedophiles • completely gutted the Voice of America • placed a political hack in charge of the Postal Service • claimed without evidence that the Obama administration bugged Trump Tower • suggested that the US should allow more people from places like Norway into the country • suggested that COVID wasn’t that bad because he recovered with the help of top government doctors and treatments not available to the public • overturned energy conservation standards that even industry supported • reduced the number of refugees the US accepts • insulted various members of Congress and the media with infantile nicknames • gave Rush Limbaugh a Presidential medal of Freedom at the State of the Union address • named as head of federal personnel a 29-year old who’d previously been fired from the White House for allegations of financial improprieties • eliminated the White House office of pandemic response • used soldiers as campaign props • fired any advisor who made the mistake of disagreeing with him • demanded the Pentagon throw him a Soviet-style military parade • hired a  ton of white nationalists • politicized the civil service • did absolutely nothing after Russia hacked US • falsely said the Boy Scouts called him to say his bizarre Jamboree speech was the best speech ever given to the Scouts • claimed that Black people would overrun the suburbs if Biden won • insulted reporters of color • insulted women reporters • insulted women reporters of color • suggested he was fine with China’s oppression of the Uighurs • attacked the Supreme Court when it ruled against him • summoned Pennsylvania state legislative leaders to the White House to pressure them to overturn the election • spent countless hours every day watching Fox News • refused to allow his administration to comply with Congressional subpoenas • hired Rudy Giuliani as his lawyer • tried to punish Amazon because the Jeff Bezos-owned Washington Post wrote negative stories about him • acted as if the Attorney General of the United States was his personal attorney • attempted to get the federal government to defend him in a libel lawsuit from a women who accused him of sexual assault • held private meetings with Vladimir Putin without staff present • didn’t disclose his private meetings with Vladimir Putin so that the US had to find out via Russian media • stopped holding press briefings for months at a time • “ordered” US companies to leave China even though he has no such power • led a political party that couldn’t even be bothered to draft a policy platform • claimed preposterously that Article II of the Constitution gave him absolute powers • tried to pressure the U.K. to hold the British Open at his golf course • suggested that the government nuke hurricanes • suggested that wind turbines cause cancer • said that he had a special aptitude for science • fired the head of election cyber security after he said that the 2020 election was secure • blurted out classified information to Russian officials • tried to force the G7 to hold their meeting at his failing golf resort in Florida • fired the acting attorney general when she refused to go along with his unconstitutional Muslim travel ban • hired Stephen Miller • openly discussed national security issues in the dining room at Mar-a-Lago where everyone could hear them • interfered with plans to relocate the FBI because a new development there might compete with his hotel • abandoned Iraqi refugees who’d helped the U.S. during the war • tried to get Russia back into the G7 • held a COVID super spreader event in the Rose Garden • seemed to believe that Frederick Douglass is still alive • lost 60 election fraud cases in court including before judges he had nominated • falsely claimed that factories were reopening when they weren’t • shamelessly exploited terror attacks in Europe to justify his anti-immigrant policies • still hasn’t come up with a healthcare plan • still hasn’t come up with an infrastructure plan despite repeated “Infrastructure” • forced Secret Service agents to drive him around Walter Reed while contagious with COVID • told the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by” • [botched] the Census • withdrew the U.S. from the World Health Organization in the middle of a pandemic • did so few of his duties that his press staff were forced to state on his daily schedule “President Trump will work from early in the morning until late in the evening. He will make many calls and have many meetings” • allowed his staff to repeatedly violate the Hatch Act • seemed not to know that Abraham Lincoln was a Republican • stood before sacred CIA wall of heroes and bragged about his election win • constantly claimed he was treated worse than any president which presumably includes four that were assassinated and his predecessor • whose legitimacy and birthplace were challenged by a racist reality TV show star named Donald Trump • claimed Andrew Jackson could’ve stopped the Civil War even though he died 16 years before it happened • said that any opinion poll showing him behind was fake • claimed that other countries laughed at us before he became president when several world leaders were literally laughing at him • claimed that the military was out of ammunition before he became President • created a commission to whitewash American history • retweeted anti-Islam videos from one of the most racist people in Britain • claimed ludicrously that the Pulse nightclub shooting wouldn’t have happened if someone there had a gun even though there was an armed security guard there • hired a senior staffer who cited the non-existent Bowling Green Massacre as a reason to ban Muslims • had a press secretary who claimed that Nazi Germany never used chemical weapons even though every sane human being knows they used gas to kill millions of Jews and others • bilked the Secret Service for higher than market rates when they had to stay at Trump properties • apparently sold pardons on his way out of the White House • stripped protective status from 59,000 Haitians • falsely claimed Biden wanted to defund the police • said that the head of the CDC didn’t know what he was talking about • tried to rescind protection from DREAMers • gave himself an A+ for his handling of the pandemic • tried to start a boycott of Goodyear tires due to an Internet hoax • said U.S. rates of COVID would be lower if you didn’t count blue states • deported U.S. veterans who served their country but were undocumented • claimed he did more for African Americans than any president since Lincoln • touted a “super-duper” secret “hydrosonic” missile which may or may not be a new “hypersonic” missile or may not exist at all • retweeted a gif calling Biden a pedophile • forced through security clearances for his family • suggested that police officers should rough up suspects • suggested that Biden was on performance-enhancing drugs • tried to stop transgender students from being able to use school bathrooms in line with their gender • suggested the US not accept COVID patients from a cruise ship because it would make US numbers look higher • nominated a climate change sceptic to chair the committee advising the White House on environmental policy • retweeted a video doctored to look like Biden had played a song called “[F] tha Police” at a campaign event • hugged a disturbingly large number of U.S. flags • accused Democrats of “treason” for not applauding his State of the Union address • claimed that the FBI failed to capture the Parkland school shooter because they were “spending too much time” on Russia • mocked the testimony of Dr Christine Blasey Ford when she accused Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault • obsessed over low-flow toilets • ordered the rerelease of more COVID vaccines when there weren’t any to release • called for the construction of a bizarre garden of heroes with statutes of famous dead Americans as well as at least one Canadian (Alex Trebek) • hijacked Washington’s July 4th celebrations to give a partisan speech • took advice from the MyPillow guy • claimed that migrants seeking a better life in the US were dangerous caravans of drug dealers and rapists • said nothing when Vladimir Putin poisoned a leading opposition • never seemed to heed the advice of his wife’s “Be Best” campaign • falsely claimed that mail-in voting is fraudulent • announced a precipitous withdrawal of troops from Syria which not only handed Russia and ISIS a win but also prompted his defense secretary • to resign in protest • insulted the leader of Canada • insulted the leader of France • insulted the leader of Britain • insulted the leader of Germany • insulted the leader of Sweden • falsely claimed credit for getting NATO members to increase their share of dues • blew off two Asia summits even though they were held virtually • continued lying about spending lots of time at Ground Zero with 9/11 responders • said that the Japanese would sit back and watch their “Sony televisions” if the US were ever attacked • left a NATO summit early in a huff • stared directly into an eclipse even though everyone over the age of 5 knows not to do that • called himself a very stable genius despite significant evidence to the contrary • refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power and kept his promise • and a whole bunch of other things I can’t remember at the moment. • But other than that…
Oh, and don’t forget when he
• evilly mocked a disabled reporter¹ • told America that if he didn’t win in 2020 the election was rigged • insisted that he won the 2020 election (The Big Lie) • incited a mob of followers to attack the Capitol on January 6th, and promised that he would be there with them (he wasn’t) • watched with glee as the events of January 6th unfolded • continues to this date to insist that the election was stolen and that he is the legitimate president of the United States
The Old Wolf has spoken
¹ Of all the horrors that The Thermonuclear Bowel Evacuation Formerly Disgracing the Oval Office perpetrated upon America, this is the one which early on showed me that he is nothing but a cruel, pathologically-motivated third-grade schoolyard bully from a terminally-corrupt family, one who should never have been allowed within 10,000 miles of any seat of government or power or influence.
I wrote this post on August 25, 2020, but never finished it simply because life got in the way. I’ve updated it a bit to reflect recent events.
Clearly, there were none.
America is not Liberia, where in 1927 “the most rigged ever” gave Charles D. B. King 243,000 votes despite the existence of fewer than 15,000 registered voters.
America is not Ukraine, where results were contested, candidates were poisoned with dioxin, the media was biased, and voters were intimidated.
No, this is America, where even in the most hotly contested and controversial of elections, the result was a peaceful transfer of power.
Now we have an individual in the White House, an impeached president who was elected despite losing the popular vote by a margin of at least 3,000,000, who has been dog whistling to his base that “the only way he will lose is if the election is rigged;” making loud noises on Fox News that he won’t commit to accepting the results of the 2020 election and ensuring a peaceful transition of power; and doing all he can to disparage mail-in voting and make it difficult or impossible for countless millions of underserved Americans, who tend to vote dominantly Democratic. to vote.
This is unheard of. It has never happened in our history. It’s an absolute disgrace. It’s shameful. And there’s not a single person in this administration who has big enough balls to shout into the *president’s face, “You can’t do that! If you lose an election, you’ve lost, and you accept it with good grace!”
Of course, “good grace” is not something compatible with this administration. But it’s truly one of the most frightening things I have encountered in my lifetime here on American soil. And given that we are currently living in one of the most challenging years ever, what with Covid, BLM, police overreach, a tanked economy (oh, it’s great if you’re rich – not so much if you’ve lost your job, your business, or your insurance), and the most polarized political climate I’ve ever seen, that’s saying something.
I tremble to think what could happen if the Orange Screechweasel loses the electoral vote and calls on his base to rise up against the “liberal, radical, Communist” horde who rigged the election so he could not win – despite decades of Republican gerrymandering, voter suppression, roll purging, and most recently, dismissing mail-in balloting and hamstringing the US Post Office. This could be an absolute catastrophe.
Here ends what I had written before the election.
And it was.
It was worse than could have imagined. People died, including one Capitol police officer who was beaten to death by “protestors.” They were not protestors, they were armed thugs. They were not “Antifa,” they were almost exclusively Trump cultists.
But even today, more than 2 months after this disgraceful event, there are no adults in the Republican party who are willing to shout into the faces of their brainwashed, “Stop the Steal” colleagues, “You can’t do this! You are destroying American democratic traditions, and wiping your feet on the Constitution!” Nobody. Any opposition comes across like someone whispering in a hurricane, and it’s just as disgraceful as the events of January 6th, just as shameful as a year-long trumpeting of “The Big Lie,” just as destructive to our nation’s political landscape as the 4 years of the most heinous *administration the White House has ever seen.
America is a wonderful land, full of storied, honorable traditions and good people who want nothing more than to provide a good living and a safe place for their families, people who would reach out to each other and give the shirts off their backs and their lives if need be for those around them.
But Congress is full of some of the most repugnant individuals I have ever encountered in my life, and I’m counting people like George Wallace, Richard Nixon, Strom Thurmond, Spiro Agnew, and Joseph McCarthy in that assessment. Our nation has a deep-seated illness, and these people are the symptoms. The illness was born of 50 years (at least) of Republican gaslighting and disinformation, designed to marginalize people of color, Democrats, and anyone they considered “other.”
“The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people,” former Nixon domestic policy chief John Ehrlichman told Harper’s writer Dan Baum for the April cover story published Tuesday.
“You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin. And then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities,” Ehrlichman said. “We could arrest their leaders. raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”
Harper’s Magazine, April 2016 “Legalize It All“
This quote was backed up five years later by another Nixon aide:
“[President Nixon] emphasized that you have to face the fact that the whole problem is really the blacks. The key is to devise a system that recognizes this while not appearing to.”
–H. R. Haldeman (quoted in Christian Parenti’s, Lockdown America, p. 3. Unsourced quote.
People of good conscience cannot allow this madness in our government to continue. We need to elect more people like Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, young, fiery progressives who have the courage to stand up to the exclusionary, white, evangelical, xenophobia of people like Mitch McConnell, Ted Cruz, MTG and Lauren Boebert. These people are those of whom John the Apostle wrote, “Yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.”
We need Medicare for All. We need election reform (H.R. 1). We need corporate reform (repealing Citizens United). We need equality of economic opportunities and the elimination of such great financial inequality in society. We need so many things to heal the illness that festers at the heart of our nation.