Is It Corruption?

I am asking about our government…..is it a representative body of the people or just a pack of greedy slugs scratching for more cash to do business?

I mean Russia has its oligarch…..and so does the US….although we pretend that it is different…..it is not greedy slugs selling their vote for cash…..it is corruption….but do not take my word for it…..

Another sign of growing discontent in America? A new poll from the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics finds a majority of Americans think the government is corrupt and stacked against them.

To probably no one’s surprise, 73 percent of poll respondents who identify as “strong Republican” respondents agreed with the statement that the government is “corrupt and rigged against everyday people like me.” But Republicans are far from alone in this sentiment. Fifty-one percent of “very liberal” voters agreed with the same statement.

Overall, 56 percent of survey respondents said that the government is corrupt. This included 66 percent of all Republican respondents, 63 percent of independents, and 46 percent of Democrats.

The survey of 1,000 registered voters found that a significant number of people expect that extreme measures may be necessary to protect against government overreach. 28 percent of respondents agreed with the statement that “it may be necessary at some point soon for citizens to take up arms against the government.” Thirty-six percent of Republicans, 35 percent of independents, and 20 percent of Democrats agreed. 

While some have portrayed this as a sign of increasing polarization or extremism, I think it’s the kind of poll question that makes for dramatic results but doesn’t really tell us much. Agreeing that armed revolution “may” (or may not!) be necessary at some unspecified point in the future doesn’t mean you think it’s terribly likely to be necessary.

One interesting finding is that people across the board believed that their political opponents might agree with them if they were better informed. Asked about “people who you disagree with on political issues,” half said that “the root of the problem” is that these people “are misinformed because of where they get their information.” Fifty-one percent of Republicans, 52 percent of Democrats, and 37 percent of independents believed this.

Most Americans Think Government Is Corrupt, a Third Say Armed Revolution ‘May Be Necessary’ Soon

This was made more possible thanx to yet another SCOTUS decision that let corporations give money hand over fist to representatives in the form of ‘donations’….bribes to do their bidding…..

Time for a change….you decide what to do….then do it!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Don’t Pee On Ukraine’s Parade

I have been a very vocal opponent to all the cash and stuff we are throwing at Ukraine in their struggle with Russia….

I have also said that I believe the PR firms and lobbyists are controlling the narrative that we Americans see and hear….and a recent occurrence does little to ease my mind…..

CBS News retracted a documentary it briefly released on Sunday after pressure from the Ukrainian government. The original documentary (watch it here) CBS put out examined the flow of military aid to Ukraine and quoted someone familiar with the process who said in April that only 30% of the arms were making it to the frontline.

“All of this stuff goes across the border, and then something happens, kind of like 30% of it reaches its final destination,” said Jonas Ohman, the founder of Blue-Yellow, a Lithuania-based organization that CBS said has been meeting with and supplying frontline units with aid in Ukraine since the start of the war in the Donbas in 2014. “30-40%, that’s my estimation,” Ohman said.

After the documentary sparked outrage from the Ukrainian government, it was removed from the internet by CBS. In an editor’s note, CBS said it changed the article that was published with the documentary and that the documentary itself was being “updated.”

The editor’s note also insisted that Ohman has said the delivery of weapons in Ukraine has “significantly improved” since he filmed with CBS back in April, although he didn’t offer a new estimate on the percentage of arms being delivered.

The editor’s note also said that the Ukrainian government noted US defense attaché Brig. Gen. Garrick M. Harmon arrived in Kyiv in August for “arms control and monitoring.” Defense attachés are military officers stationed at US embassies that represent the Pentagon’s interests in the country. 

Previously, it was unclear if there was any sort of military presence at the US embassy in Kyiv after it reopened in May.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said the retraction by CBS was not enough and called for an investigation into the documentary. “Welcome first step, but it is not enough … There should be an internal investigation into who enabled this and why,” he wrote on Twitter.

In the documentary, Ohman described the corruption and bureaucracy that he has to work around to deliver aid to Ukraine. “There are like power lords, oligarchs, political players,” he said. “The system itself, it’s like, ‘We are the armed forces of Ukraine. If security forces want it, well, the Americans gave it to us.’ It’s kind of like power games all day long, and so eventually people need the stuff, and they go to us.”

Other reporting has shown that there is virtually no oversight for the billions of dollars in weapons that the US and its allies are pouring into Ukraine. CNN reported in April that the US has “almost zero” ability to track the weapons it is sending once they enter Ukraine. One source briefed on US intelligence described it as dropping the arms into a “big black hole.”

(antiwar.com)

This sounds like the preferential treatment that Israel is allowed in the US media.

This sounds a lot like Iraq and Afghanistan…..no one is tacking where and how our money for aid is spent….but yet Congress is so worried about any funds we spend domestically….

Now you tell me who runs the government.

Turn The Page!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Who Pays?

The US Congress has voted overwhelmingly to allow Sweden and Finland into NATO…..a bad idea from my point of view…..since the 1990s the US and NATO have been poking Russia in th eye at almost every turn…..and then Ukraine happened.

Now the finger poking begins again….and how will that end? Better question is if Russia retaliates against Europe who pays?

An excellent question and with the US domination of the arms industry….who do you think will benefit the most?

If Europe wants to flex its underused muscle….what will be the outcome?

After Russia attacked Ukraine, European governments claimed to be serious about defense. However, so far few have acted on their latest promises. The continent’s continued reliance on America is evident from European proposals for military escalation — which could only be pursued by Washington. The Biden administration should insist on an alliance rebalance.

For more than seven decades, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has stood for North America and The Others. It was not supposed to be this way. Warned Dwight D. Eisenhower, NATO’s first supreme commander: “We cannot be a modern Rome guarding the far frontiers with our legions if for no other reason than that these are not, politically, our frontiers. What we must do is to assist these people [to] regain their confidence and get on their own military feet.”

However, even after recovering economically from World War II, European governments preferred to invest in their welfare states rather than their militaries. American policymakers preferred to dominate the continent’s decision-making rather than limit the U.S. public’s military liability. As a result, the U.S. consciously acted as a modern Rome. Still, Washington wanted the Europeans to do more. Alas, America’s clients provided promises rather than performance, reducing U.S. officials to begging.

A decade ago, soon-to-retire Defense Secretary Robert Gates criticized Europe’s lackadaisical military efforts: “I’ve worried openly about NATO turning into a two-tiered alliance: Between members who specialize in ‘soft’ humanitarian, development, peacekeeping, and talking tasks, and those conducting the ‘hard’ combat missions. Between those willing and able to pay the price and bear the burdens of alliance commitments, and those who enjoy the benefits of NATO membership — be they security guarantees or headquarters billets — but don’t want to share the risks and the costs. This is no longer a hypothetical worry. We are there today. And it is unacceptable.”

So if Europe wants to escalate against Russia who foots the bill?

If push comes to shove in Europe the US will be on the hook with either troops, money, or weapons…..or all three.

An unacceptable situation that will be reality for the M-IC will always gets it’s way….it is why lobbyists throw money at Congress.

Time for a re-set.  NATO should have ended wit the fall of the Soviet Union.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Will Inflation Slow?

A good question for us armchair economists…..and I am sure there is a wealth of opinions out there…..this is just mine.

Let’s begin with the new Inflation Reduction Act before the Congress……

The bill, introduced last week after a long-awaited deal was struck between Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D–N.Y.) and moderate Sen. Joe Manchin (D–W.Va.), was pitched as a way to lower costs for consumers while also reducing the federal budget deficit and spending billions on environmental initiatives meant to combat climate change.

It didn’t take long for a problem to present itself.

“The impact on inflation is statistically indistinguishable from zero,” concluded the Penn Wharton Budget Model (PWBM), a number-crunching policy center based at the University of Pennsylvania. In fact, if the bill’s passage had any impact on inflation in the short term, it would be to increase it very slightly until 2024, according to the group’s preliminary analysis, released on Friday.

Other parts of the Inflation Reduction Act would do what Manchin and Schumer claim. According to the PWBM report, the bill would reduce future deficits by a cumulative $247 billion over the next decade and would marginally reduce the national debt as a result. It would spend about $370 billion on new environmental and climate initiatives. It would pay for all that by raising taxes and by boosting IRS enforcement, in hopes of chasing down revenue that currently goes unpaid.

But again, the Inflation Reduction Act won’t actually reduce inflation.

The ‘Inflation Reduction Act’ Won’t Actually Reduce Inflation

Once again the answers to the nation’s economic problems is a bill or action that does little to help.

I have made my thoughts known and the comments were as I expected…..but like I say….they are my opinions not a game plan although my ideas would help.

“Inflation” is the new buzzword of the year. It is the reason for the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes designed to increase the costs of some loans. It is the excuse given against renewing the expanded child tax credit program that briefly lifted millions of American families out of poverty. It forms the name of one of the key pieces of legislation that may salvage President Joe Biden’s first term: the Inflation Reduction Act. And, it is the basis of Republican complaints against Democrats heading toward the midterm elections this fall.

With all this concern over inflation, one wonders why so little heed has been paid to another “i” word: inequality.

For decades, government officials, media pundits, mainstream economists, politicians, and others were content to allow and even enable money to flow upward, enriching the already wealthy. They paid little heed to increasing inequality, beyond shrugging their shoulders and lamenting the injustice of it all.

To fiscally conservative politicians, it seems that inflation equates to trouble, but inequality is perfectly tolerable.

To Reduce Inflation, Control Corporate Profits

We are told daily how tough things are for the corporations…..and yet they find enough cash to buy other companies even football teams when times are tough.

So yes….I agree with the article above.

Turn The Page!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

 

Closing Thought–08Aug22

This is a post for all those that think Russia will not stop with Ukraine….that Putin wants to rule the world…..

Ever hear of the Nostradamus Of The Balkans?

Her name is Baba Vanga who died in 1996…..she predicted 9/11 attack and now she has made a prediction about Putin…..

Clairvoyant mystic Baba Vanga, who is most famous for forecasting the 9/11 attacks in the US had possibly predicted the rise of Russian President Vladimir Putin. With Russia taking on the West and launching a military offensive in Ukraine, a prophecy of the blind mystic seemingly about Putin has gone viral on social media. According to Baba Vanga, Putin will one day ‘rule the world’ and nobody could stop Russia from becoming the ‘lord of the world’.

Russia would become the “lord of the world” whereas Europe would become a “wasteland”, Baba Vanga told writer Valentin Sidorov. 

“All will thaw, as if ice, only one remain untouched – Vladimir’s glory, the glory of Russia,” she said in a possible reference to Putin, adding, “Too much it is brought in a victim. Nobody can stop Russia.”

Nicknamed the ‘Nostradamus of the Balkans’, Baba Vanga has made several prophecies. The mystic claimed that after losing her eyesight at a very young age, she discovered her ability to foresee the future. Vanga has made prophecies dating thousands of years into the future till 5079, with people still seeking her wisdom. Forecasts of the Bulgarian mystic who died in the year 1996, have a success rate of 85%, reports have claimed.

In case you are interested she made other predictions for 2022….

https://torontosun.com/life/blind-mystic-baba-vangas-troubling-predictions-for-2022

The prediction about Putin ought to give legs to the fear that Putin is after world domination….the fear mongers will latch onto this and make the Twitter light up and go viral.

I have tried to find more but I was unable to…..to be honest I stopped looking for the whole thing is nonsense.

Turn The Page!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Special Sunday News Edition

Today is Sunday and I would like to give my brain a rest so we have another useless news post……enjoy.  Okay I am being lazy!

Those iconic pyramids of Giza have had people scrambling to explain how they were built……some say aliens did it….others believe that slaves were beat into submission while building the structures……and physicists may have found an answer to this age old question…..

One of the seven wonders of the world are the pyramids of ancient Egypt, and now scientists think they may have worked out how they were built.

It was all thanks to a painting and the outside-of-the-box thinking of physicists including Daniel Bonn, who worked out that water was used to move the heavy pyramid stones and statues.

Bonn and other physicists at the University of Amsterdam decided to see if there was any logic behind the building technique shown in a wall painting in the tomb of Djehutihotep.

https://www.unilad.com/news/archaeologists-figured-out-how-egyptians-built-pyramids-20220804

Philosophers have ask the question…what is the purpose of life on Earth for ages…..like all philosophy it is just an opinion.

I found an article that may answer this burning question for some…….

Before I jump into this essay, let’s clarify what I mean here by “purpose.” It is best to start with what I do not mean. I am not talking about a sense of purpose in our private lives, our personal choices and hopes, and the plans we make along the years. I hope, of course, that each of us lives with a sense that our life does have a purpose, even if this sense is sometimes elusive and fragmented. But what I mean to discuss here is the purpose of life, of biology as a natural phenomenon — this strange assembly of matter endowed with autonomy, capable of absorbing energy from the environment and of multiplying itself through reproduction.

Since this theme generates confusion and controversy, we must be careful. All life forms share at least one essential purpose: survival. This is even more important than another key purpose for life, reproduction. Plenty of organisms, after all, are alive but do not reproduce. To be alive is more than passing genes along to the next generation. To be alive is to want to remain alive. This is an essential difference between living creatures and other complex but non-living forms of material organization such as stars or rocks. These non-living material forms simply exist. They passively undergo the unfolding of the physical processes that shape them. For rocks, this is a give-and-take with erosion; for stars, it is about countering gravitational implosion while there is enough nuclear fuel to fuse in their cores. There is no strategy to any of this, and no action can be taken to delay what is inevitable.

https://bigthink.com/13-8/life-earth-purpose/

I admit it I am no fan of this new tech that makes people more lazy than they already are…..tech can control your A/C, your car, your refrig, your life.  I mean there is even a vacuum that does the light removal of dust and stuff….and this is where I pick up this thought…..

You’ll soon have one more thing to be forced to thank Amazon for: a cleaner home. That’s because the retail giant is set to buy iRobot Corp., the company that makes Roomba vacuum cleaners, as well as other robotic tidying-up products like mops and lawn mowers. CNBC reports that Amazon agreed to pony up $61 a share, or $1.7 billion in total, in the all-cash deal, which will boost Amazon’s smart-home portfolio of products such as Ring camera doorbells, Alexa virtual-assistant speakers, and voice-activated microwaves and thermometers.

Despite a sales surge of Roomba vacuums, which debuted in 2002, during the earlier part of the pandemic when more people were stuck at home, revenue for this year’s second quarter came in at $255.4 million—a far cry from the $303 million that analysts had anticipated. iRobot says these results can be attributed to a drop-off in orders, supply chain issues, and a stronger dollar, reports the Wall Street Journal. The firm also notes that it will be laying off about 140 of its employees, the equivalent of 10% of its workforce.

Over at the Verge, Jennifer Pattison Tuohy takes a look at the bigger picture behind why Amazon may have been interested in acquiring the company that makes robot vacuums. Basically, she writes, because Roombas have the capability to map out and gather intel on your residence’s floor plans, “Amazon bought iRobot to see inside your home.” She sees this merger, along with Amazon’s existing smart products, as a way for the company to get “a pretty complete picture of your daily life” and set up a comprehensive “ambient intelligence” home—which could raise eyebrows on privacy concerns. The founder of iRobot, Colin Angle, will remain at the helm of the company once the deal is approved by shareholders and regulators.

I know I am an old fart and still resist tech invading my life……I may be old but I can still change my thermostat and start my car….I will not Alexa into my home for any reason.

There are some thoughts and stuff for this Sunday….hopefully you found something either useful or entertaining….

Enjoy the rest of your weekend….be well….

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

That Usual Saturday News

The weekend and time to lighten up the posts.

Today’s edition is about the food we eat…..

The big news….as the Halloween season approaches Hersey has issued a statement…..

Halloween could be haunted by candy shortages this year, Hershey warned Thursday. The company said supply chain issues including shortages of raw materials like cocoa meant it would fall short of meeting demand over Halloween—its busiest time of year—and the holiday season, reports Reuters. Chief executive Michele Buck said the issues affecting the supply chain include the war in Ukraine, which has disrupted energy supplies to Germany (which provides Hershey with some of its equipment and supplies), the BBC reports. The company’s products include Twizzlers, Jolly Ranchers, Kit Kat bars, and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

Halloween production kicks off in the spring each year, and uses the same production lines as its everyday candy. When asked why Hershey hadn’t taken an “all hands on deck” approach to producing a Halloween stockpile, Buck said the company had decided to focus on keeping store shelves stocked now, the Washington Post reports. “It was a tough decision to balance that with the seasons, but we thought that was really important,” she said. Hershey said Thursday that second-quarter sales had grown 19% year-over-year. The company raised its profit forecast, with most of the growth expected to come from higher prices, Reuters notes.

A candy shortage?  Does that mean the sale of toilet paper will go up?

It is the age of Mountain Dew, a gamers favorite beverage, looks like Europe and Japan will have to do without the drink of choice….

“Mountain Dew’ll tickle yer innards, cuz there’s a bang in every bottle!” That’s what the hillbilly spokesmascot for the carbonated beverage used to say in this old TV commercial for the “Sof’ Drink.”

I thought the “bang” was the added caffeine (54 mg per 12 oz ounce serving as compared to 34 mg for the same amount of Coca-Cola) but it turns out to be brominated vegetable oil, which contains bromine.

According to NewsNation, bromine is “the element found in brominated flame retardants, which can build up in the body and potentially lead to memory loss, as well as skin and nerve problems.”

Sadly, our friends in Japan and the EU can no longer enjoy Moutain Dew or the equally delicious Fresca, because food containing bromine is banned in those places.

Mountain Dew and Fresca banned in EU and Japan because they contain an ingredient that can lead to memory loss

I live on the Gulf Coast and seafood is all the rage….one of those favs is crab….crab cakes, crab gumbo, crab salad et etc…..but these days the prices of crab meat is almost prohibited for most people…..about $10 a pint…..so many are switching to ‘imitation crab’…..what the Hell is that?

While it may seem like fake, processed food, indicative of modern cuisine, the roots of imitation crab go back hundreds of years to a substance called surimi. Surimi is a paste made from minced and washed mild white fish—typically pollock, but sometimes cod or tilapia—with additives to extend its shelf life. The main ingredient is usually Alaskan pollock or another type of white fish.

Japanese chefs originally created surimi to make use of extra or leftover fish fillets. It has been considered a delicacy for more than 900 years, and it’s still used in many popular Asian dishes, such as fish cakes. Chefs eventually stabilized the recipe and introduced it to other countries in the 1970s and ’80s, when it gained popularity in the United States as the foundational ingredient for imitation crab.

You’ll find surimi products clearly labeled as imitation or as a “processed seafood” or “fish protein,” per FDA policies. When dining out, be sure to ask waiters or other service staff if you’re getting the real deal or not. While it’s not the fresh, unprocessed original and will never taste exactly like real crab, many diners find that imitation crab is a satisfying, versatile and low-cost alternative.

What Is Imitation Crab Meat, Exactly?

Finally this report may be a bit yukky….and could make one leary of the food we eat…..

Among all the creepy-crawly creatures in the world, cockroaches are the creepy crawliest, according to many. These hearty insects live on nearly every continent and tend to build their homes in all sorts of nooks and crannies — and, in the view of the cockroach, the dirtier and more unappealing that place is, the better (via the BBC). In some parts of the world, though, cockroaches are on the menu, although that buggy diet has yet to catch on everywhere, as U.S. News & World Report notes. Even though roaches may yet to be served at a restaurant near you, far more people eat bits and pieces of insects — including cockroaches — than they realize, and the U.S. Government says it’s okay.

This makes some sense because insects are among the most plentiful and industrious living things on the planet, with nearly a million species so far identified, according to the World Atlas. What’s more, new orders of insects are discovered consistently, even today, as Scientific American goes on to report. Given the ubiquity of insects in every climate — and especially in and around our agricultural operations where food is grown and where what we eat gets processed and packaged — is it really reasonable to expect that no insect parts at all will make it into our food supply? Not according to the FDA’s Food Defect Levels Handbook.

Read More: https://www.grunge.com/900980/you-might-be-eating-cockroaches-without-knowing-it

EEEEEEEW!  Well there goes my appetite for this morning.

Finally…..back in the day I was addicted to Altoid’s sour tangerine drops….and then one day they disappeared much to my chagrin….there are other foods food miss and would like to see them return…..

BuzzFeed posted the 40 discontinued foods that the world wants back…..and surprise my Altoids are on that list…….

https://www.buzzfeed.com/daves4/discontinued-snacks-foods-childhood

Any thoughts?

Enjoy your Saturday and do not eat too much.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

The Ukraine Report

A famous NGO has done an investigation and issued a report on the Ukrainian conflict.

The NGO says Ukraine set up bases in residential areas, including schools and hospitals, when there were viable alternatives.

Amnesty International on Thursday said that Ukraine is endangering civilians in its war-fighting tactics by establishing bases and launching attacks from residential areas, including schools and hospitals.

“We have documented a pattern of Ukrainian forces putting civilians at risk and violating the laws of war when they operate in populated areas,” said Agnès Callamard, Amnesty’s secretary-general. “Being in a defensive position does not exempt the Ukrainian military from respecting international humanitarian law.”

Amnesty said that most residential areas where Ukrainian soldiers located themselves were “kilometers” away from the front lines and that there were “viable alternatives” that would not endanger civilians.

The NGO said it found Ukrainian forces using hospitals as de facto military bases in five locations. In 22 out of 29 schools that Amnesty visited, their researchers “either found soldiers using the premises or found evidence of current or prior military activity.”

Amnesty said that as a result of Ukraine’s tactics, Russian strikes in populated areas killed civilians. However, the NGO said that not every Russian attack followed this pattern and that where they accused Moscow of war crimes in Kharkiv, they did not find Ukraine using civilian areas as bases. Amnesty also said Ukraine’s tactics do not excuse Russia’s “indiscriminate attacks.”

Ukraine reacted angrily to Amnesty’s report, with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba saying he was “outraged.” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused the NGO of “helping the terrorists” by publishing the report.

Callamard called on Ukraine to ensure that the areas it uses as bases are away from populated areas. “Militaries should never use hospitals to engage in warfare, and should only use schools or civilian homes as a last resort when there are no viable alternatives,” she said.

Apparently Amnesty does not fall for the narrative that Ukraine’s lobbyists and PR firms want to portray.

In case the reader would like to read the entire document (now there is a laugh….someone taking the time to do their own research) it is here….

Ukraine: Ukrainian fighting tactics endanger civilians

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Here a RINO, There A RINO

Another of my series of WTF Is Happening?

Now there is a popular term in the last few years….meaning those GOPers that do not hold the same radical beliefs of those little nuts in the party.

The GOP is a party running scared….afraid of minorities….afraid of women….afraid of education….afraid of science….afraid of fact checking…..afraid of the voter….and afraid of itself……hence the label RINO……

But what does it mean and where does it stop?

What do you know of the history of the term?

I can help with that lapses in your education……

Republican In Name Only (RINO) is a disparaging term that refers to a Republican candidate whose political views are seen as insufficiently conforming to the party line.

The phrase, without the RINO acronym, became first popularized during the Theodore Roosevelt presidency, as he was often labeled a “Republican in name only” by both critics and proponents, as his trust-busting policies were at odds with long-standing Republican Party ideologies.

By 1992, the acronym “RINO” had shown up in print, with an article in the New Hampshire Union Leader, written by John Distaso, being cited as the first instance of RINO in print.

The use of the term RINO arose as polarization increased in the political parties. Prior to the 1992 election of Bill Clinton, the Democratic and Republican parties had been in a long process of realignment where conservative Democrats and liberal Republicans were quite common. With the election of Bill Clinton, Republican ideological unity became increasingly fixed. This is exemplified by Grover Norquist’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge, which called upon signatories to reject and oppose all measures to increase tax rates. By 2012, nearly every Republican presidential candidate was a signatory to this pledge.

The increasing ideological unity of the Republican Party made holdovers from the previous political alignment look like outliers. Whereas historically liberal Republicans comprised a wing of the Republican Party, they had (by 1992, and especially by 2020) become incompatible with the Republican Party itself.

Therefore, in an age of party unity, the term RINO was often used as a political weapon. It could be used as a threat: vote how your party wants or be branded a RINO. It could also be used as an effective tool in a primary campaign: the incumbent is a RINO, vote for the challenger. Indeed, in the 2010 Congressional Elections, the Tea Party effectively used the term RINO as a way to “primary” Republican Incumbents whose policies were not conservative enough.

I know you have heard the term used….you may have even used it yourself…..but what is a RINO in the Republican world?

Donald Trump went to Wyoming to campaign against Republican Rep. Liz Cheney. He repeatedly called her a “RINO” and urged the state’s voters to elect her challenger, Harriet Hageman. But Trump’s speech exposed how the meaning of “RINO” has changed. It used to refer to people who weren’t Reagan conservatives. Now it refers to people who are.

The substantive positions for which Trump praised Hageman—on oil drilling, guns, crime, and border enforcement—were no different from Cheney’s. In fact, according to the American Conservative Union, Cheney’s voting record is far more conservative than the record of Rep. Elise Stefanik, who, at Trump’s behest, replaced her last year as chair of the House Republican Conference.

In his speech, Trump called Cheney a “lapdog” for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. But that accusation, too, is bogus: Cheney has voted against Pelosi’s positions more consistently than have the top three officials in the House Republican Conference.

So Trump’s beef with Cheney isn’t about conservatism. Unless, that is, he finds her too conservative. And in many respects, he does: On several major issues, Cheney respects longstanding Republican principles, while Trump flouts them.

You can disagree with Cheney or her father about their positions on these conflicts. But you can’t argue that Trump’s position, compared to theirs, is more “Republican.” For 15 years, Afghanistan, Iraq, and the global struggle against terrorism defined the GOP. The 2012 Republican platform—the last platform before Trump seized control of the party—resolved to “employ the full range of military and intelligence options to defeat Al Qaeda and its affiliates.” The platform opposed troop withdrawals from Afghanistan and pledged that “future decisions by a Republican President will never subordinate military necessity to domestic politics or an artificial timetable.”

What Makes a Republican a “RINO”?

Don’t get me started on DINOs!

Your history lesson is done…..now don’t you feel smarter?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

If You Want Democracy Then Learn…..

Since this country is proud of its democracy maybe a good thing to do is learn a few basic skills that will preserve the democracy that we all say we love…..they are much needed skills as we watch the republic slide into disarray.

This is probably not going to happen because most Americans think they know all there is about the Constitution, the very foundation of this nation.

If you truly love the democracy this country has to have and use all the techniques at our disposal…..if not then the slide that started back in 2010 will eventually eat away at the foundations of this country until we are left with nothing….nothing good.

These simple skills will help this democracy survive and thanx to the site courterpunch.org these skills are easily learned and used….even for the thickest dolts out there…..

As primaries roll out around the country, we’re tracking voter turnout. Raised on Schoolhouse Rock’s cartoon civics lessons, I know that being a good American means voting.

Those 1970’s cartoons weren’t wrong. Voting is the most fundamental act of democratic citizenship. That’s why it has been fiercely contested throughout our history.

But now we’re in the 21st century, deluged by information, increasingly divided, with few models of bipartisanship.

Democracy now requires much more than voting. What should a 21st century Schoolhouse Rocks teach?

Finding information

Most fundamentally, we need to be skilled seekers of information. In this era of deepfakes, bots, and fragmenting media platforms, the ability to access and evaluate information is key. Algorithms push us ever more deeply into one point of view. To address multifaceted 21st century issues, we need deliberately to seek a variety of information, including backstories about controversial events, from differing sources to construct the whole picture.

Understanding our own biases

We must process information skillfully, getting around our inherent neurobiological biases. For example, we naturally lap up information that confirms what we already think but ignore information that challenges our world view. We also are wired for double standards: we attribute another person’s bad behavior to their personality (“she’s late because she’s disrespectful”) while giving ourselves a pass for the same behavior (“I’m late because traffic was bad”). Understanding these natural biases lets us challenge ourselves to explore issues more fully.

Having conversations – not arguments – across divides

Understanding biases promotes a third democratic skill: truly talking with one another. Research, including my own, shows that liberals and conservatives alike often experience cross-divide conversations as an assault on their values. Yet most people also believe these conversations are important and would like to have them to feel connected and informed.

Constructive conversations require listening and asking good questions. Political scientist Andrew Dobson describes listening as our “democratic deficit.” We rarely listen closely to the other side. This undermines our ability to create policy which is seen as a legitimate outcome of democratic debate. Nor do we ask enough genuinely curious questions to learn why others think what they do to help find common ground. As Steve Benjamin, former head of the National Conference of Mayors, noted, “We all suffer from some degree of experiential blindness and need to become experts at learning about others’ perspectives.”

Having complicated relationships

Perhaps the most important – and most difficult — 21st century citizenship skill is maintaining relationships with people who think differently. For a democracy to function, we need not only a robust marketplace of ideas, but also the ability to work together for policy that meets widespread needs. A conservative interviewee in my study remarked, “Everybody is so comfortable being polarized – they are not happy unless they’re mad.”

It’s challenging to hold conflicting feelings about people, appreciating their good qualities while disagreeing on politics. But perhaps we make it harder than it is.

Research shows we overestimate both how much the other party dislikes us as well as how much they disagree with us about policy. Asking genuinely curious questions and remembering what we appreciate just might help us find that we have more in common than we think. Our 21st century democracy needs us to develop these skills.

Learn these skills and use them…..it will not be easy but survival is essential for this country.

Next Question.

How many amendments are there to the Constitution?

(I pause here for the dash to the Google machine)

27 and can you name them?

Do not hurt yourself I can help you out…..

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 lays out five basic freedoms: freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and the freedom to petition the government.

hese rights were important to establish because they ensured that individuals could think, speak, and act without fear of being punished for disagreeing with the government. 

In addition to being arguably one of the most important amendments, the First Amendment is still very much at the center of America’s political discourse today — from questioning whether or not Twitter bots have First Amendment rights to whether or not the White House banning a CNN reporter violates the Constitution.

https://www.insider.com/what-are-all-the-amendments-us-constitution-meaning-history-2018-11#the-first-amendment-famously-protects-freedom-of-speech-1

Learn this stuff!

You must choose….does the republic survive as a democracy or will it divide itself along ignorant useless biased lines.

It is your decision….choose wisely.

Turn The Page!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”