The Seditious ‘Oath Keepers’

Since 6 January there has been a focus on the real reason for the militia known as the Oath Keepers…..for years they presented themselves as the ‘protectors’ of the Constitution and country…..since the insurrection their alleged reason for existence has become more clear…..

The federal courthouse in Washington, DC heard dramatic opening arguments Monday in the most serious Capitol riot case yet—the seditious conspiracy trial against Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes and four of his lieutenants. The right-wing militia members are accused of plotting to prevent Congress’ certification of President Biden’s election victory “by any means necessary,” including violence. In his opening statement, assistant US Attorney Jeffrey Nestler said the “core democratic custom” of a transfer of power goes back to the time of George Washington, CNN reports. “These defendants tried to change that history,” he said. “They concocted a plan for armed rebellion to shatter a bedrock of American democracy.” He says Rhodes began plotting to overturn Biden’s win days after the 2020 election.

The defendants, Nestler said, planned to attack “not just the Capitol, not just our government, not just DC, but our country itself.” Prosecutors said Rhodes acted “like a general,” remaining outside the Capitol as his “troops” breached the building on Jan. 6, 2021, Politico reports. Prosecutors said the group stockpiled weapons at a Virginia hotel for a “Quick Reaction Force” and discussed using boats to bring them across the Potomac River to DC. The other four defendants are Kelly Meggs, leader of the Florida chapter of the Oath Keepers, Florida member Kenneth Harrelson, retired US Navy intelligence officer Thomas Caldwell, and Ohio militia leader Jessica Watkins, the AP reports. Nestler played video of Oath Keepers members inside the Capitol, where some tried to find House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Defense lawyers have argued that the Oath Keepers went to DC to provide security for figures including Roger Stone, and they were only at the Capitol because they expected then-President Donald Trump would invoke the Insurrection Act and use them to stop what they considered a Democratic coup, the Washington Post reports. Nestler said Rhodes, a Yale Law School graduate, tried to use the Insurrection Act as “magic words” to justify illegal acts. Phillip Linder, Rhodes’ attorney, argued in his opening statement that the Oath Keepers “did nothing illegal” and they “are not a violent group.”

Let me point out….these people are still in the process of a trial….as it is they are accused not convicted….

Throw the book at these bastards!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

All That Dark Money

It is election time and the American people will probably vote for one stupidity or another……and in reality they are voting for dark money from dark money donors…..in other words your vote is just a formality to justify the control.

Every year more and more dark money flows into the coffers of the corrupt politicians……

It is time for the dark money monster to be slain….and slain for good….

More than $2 billion dollars. That’s how much dark money eclipsed the 2020 elections, OpenSecrets estimates– an increase of over $1.8 billion from just ten years prior.

The 2010 Citizens United v. FEC Supreme Court decision devastatingly altered U.S. campaigns and elections. By likening political spending groups to individual Americans entitled to First Amendment rights, Super PAC groups have flourished, offering a quick and easy way for donors to pour money into political advocacy while shielding their identities.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) first introduced the Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light On Spending in Elections (DISCLOSE) Act twelve years ago – hoping to at least cast light on the people behind booming political spending. (Even Justice Antonin Scalia went on record stressing the value of transparency and disclosure: “For my part, I do not look forward to a society which, thanks to the Supreme Court, campaigns anonymously . . . hidden from public scrutiny and protected from the accountability of criticism. This does not resemble the Home of the Brave.”)

The bill would require advocacy groups to publicly disclose the contributions they receive worth ten thousand dollars or more – and ban foreign participation in domestic political advocacy.

It’s Time to Do Away With Dark Money

Why cannot the American voter see just how corrupted our political system has become?

Plus this is just a silly bill….asking people taking the dark money to ride the system of dark money is but definition laughable.

Please pay attention….

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

2022 Mid-Term Cheat Sheet

The Queen is buried and now we return the mundane crap of our upcoming mid-terms…..there seems to be very little interest in these elections….is that because everyone could care less who controls Congress and therefore our country?

About 33 days and time for you to vote…..maybe now would be a good time to start paying some damn attention….(just a thought)….

For those that are truly interested in the direction of this country I offer up the Vox cheat sheet…..

The 2022 midterm elections are fast approaching, and right now, they’re anything but straightforward.

While Republicans were once favored to win a large House majority and even retake the Senate, things are looking more promising for Democrats as voters across the country have been energized by the issue of abortion rights.

With less than two months to go, there’s a lot that’s still uncertain, from how much Democrats can buck historic trends to just how big a role inflation will continue to play. Here are nine questions — many submitted by readers — that look at the factors in each party’s favor, the policies voters are focused on, and the long-term consequences these elections could have. If you have midterms questions you’d like answered, please submit them in the form below.

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2022/9/12/23344632/midterms-2022-elections-key-house-senate-races-control-congress

What will a GOP win actually mean?

With the midterm elections less than two months away, Republicans are strongly favored to win a majority of seats in the House. Democrats, for now, are expected to keep control of the Senate, though some of the contests — particularly Wisconsin, Georgia, and Nevada — could be particularly close.

With President Joe Biden’s veto power, the implications of Republicans reclaiming one or both chambers in Congress will have more to do with blunting a Democratic policy agenda than swiftly enacting conservative priorities.

But if they do win power, what do Republicans want to do with it? If you’ve had some trouble figuring that out, you’re not alone. It’s been confusing. Different factions within the party are competing for the agenda-setting mantle, and it’s been a long time since Republicans wrote a unified policy and governing platform. When they tried at their 2020 national convention, they ended up scrapping their plans. Instead, they kept their 2016 platform, and avoided an anticipated fight with Donald Trump over a new one.

Even the right-leaning magazine National Review observed recently that “Republicans are doing little to explain what they would have the government do differently if they took power.” There has been a mix of proposals introduced with varying degrees of specificity, and previews of the intraparty fights we might see over the next few years.

It’s always easier for a party to appear united when they’re in the minority, but if Republicans reclaim power, they will have the much harder task of needing to unite around a real agenda. That’s when they’ll have to make real decisions on issues like abortion bans, civil rights, rollbacks of environmental protections, and welfare subsidies.

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2022/9/14/23347145/republicans-midterms-2023-gop-agenda

There is much to be concerned over with these elections….but sadly I look for many Americans to be on the sidelines because it is just too hard for them to actually care about the country and its people.

If you do not vote then keep your mouth shut…..because you were lazy the country slides further down the crap hole.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Does Propaganda Really Work?

Short answer is….yes it does!

Propaganda has been used extensively by governments and now the media and social media has joined in the brainwashing of the people.

Interesting article that looks at the way propaganda has successfully controlled the minds of the people….

In the 1970s, I met one of Hitler’s leading propagandists, Leni Riefenstahl, whose epic films glorified the Nazis. We happened to be staying at the same lodge in Kenya, where she was on a photography assignment, having escaped the fate of other friends of the Fuhrer. She told me that the ‘patriotic messages’ of her films were dependent not on ‘orders from above’ but on what she called the ‘submissive void’ of the German public.

Did that include the liberal, educated bourgeoisie? I asked.  ‘Yes, especially them,’ she said.

I think of this as I look around at the propaganda now consuming Western societies.

Of course, we are very different from Germany in the 1930s. We live in information societies. We are globalists. We have never been more aware, more in touch, better connected.

Are we? Or do we live in a Media Society where brainwashing is insidious and relentless, and perception is filtered according to the needs and lies of state and corporate power?

The United States dominates the Western world’s media. All but one of the top ten media companies are based in North America. The internet and social media – Google, Twitter, Facebook – are mostly American owned and controlled.

In my lifetime, the United States has overthrown or attempted to overthrow more than 50 governments, mostly democracies. It has interfered in democratic elections in 30 countries. It has dropped bombs on the people of 30 countries, most of them poor and defenceless. It has attempted to murder the leaders of 50 countries.  It has fought to suppress liberation movements in 20 countries.

The extent and scale of this carnage is largely unreported, unrecognized; and those responsible continue to dominate Anglo-American political life.

In the years before he died in 2008, the playwright Harold Pinter made two extraordinary speeches, which broke a silence.

Silencing the Lambs: How Propaganda Works 

I have written about this subject many times and still no one seems to care as long as they can find anything that will confirm that their thoughts are accurate.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Trumpian Threats

We all know the saga of the documents confiscated at the ex-president’s Florida residence….and of course all the other investigations swirling around our Orange Man from Florida…..

Trump has issued a warning…..

Donald Trump is predicting big, if unspecified, trouble in the US if he is indicted over his handling of classified documents. “I think if it happened, I think you’d have problems in this country the likes of which perhaps we’ve never seen before,” he said on conservative Hugh Hewitt’s radio show Thursday, per the Washington Post. “I don’t think the people of the United States would stand for it.’ Hewitt pressed him on what he meant by “problems,” but Trump didn’t specify. “I think they’d have big problems, big problems,” he said, per the transcript. “I just don’t think they’d stand for it. They will not, they will not sit still and stand for this ultimate of hoaxes.”

When Hewitt told Trump the “legacy media” would accuse him of inciting violence, Trump responded: “That’s not inciting. I’m just saying what my opinion is. I don’t think the people of this country would stand for it.” Trump reiterated that he did nothing wrong, adding that an indictment would not bar him from running in the 2024 race, per the Hill. His comments on potential trouble echo those of ally Lindsey Graham, who recently warned of “riots in the streets” should the former president be indicted. The Trump interview came on the same day senators were briefed on the increase in threats to federal law enforcement officials since the Mar-a-Lago search, notes Politico.

Democratic judiciary panel chair Dick Durbin called the number of threats “stunning” afterward and criticized Trump for contributing to the problem. “Inviting a mob to return to the streets is exactly what happened here on Jan. 6, 2021,” said Durbin. “His careless, inflammatory rhetoric has its consequences.” But GOP Sen. Rick Scott said after the briefing that it demonstrated the need for more transparency about the reasons for the Mar-a-Lago search. “You have to give people good information so these rumors don’t continue,” he said. “I don’t know why they raided the former president’s house. … They know the conspiracy theories that are out there. So convince people that they’re not true.”

The big question these days is will he be indicted and will he be confined?

America’s democracy crisis will not end anytime soon. Donald Trump and his acolytes in the Republican-fascist party continue to incite acts of right-wing violence, including terrorism, on a nationwide scale as part of their plan to end American democracy and replace it with authoritarianism and one-party rule.

The Big Lie continues to spread across the United States. A majority of Republicans now subscribe to the repeatedly disproven theory that the 2020 Election was somehow illegitimate, that Trump is the “real” president and Joe Biden is a pretender and usurper. “MAGA” is American neofascism; it has fully conquered the Republican Party.

Will Donald Trump eventually be prosecuted, convicted and then imprisoned for his apparent high crimes, which may include violating the Espionage Act? Attorney and author Kenneth Foard McCallion believes that the answer is probably no.

https://www.salon.com/2022/09/19/former-prosecutor-a-day-of-reckoning-is-coming-for–but-hes-not-going-to-jail/

I believe this is correct….he will slip away from be held accountable in any form.

Thoughts?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–26Sep22

I have written many times about the rate and the causes of the suicides by our veterans. It appears that the numbers are higher than have been reported in the past.

The number of US military veterans who have died by suicide could be far higher than the Department of Veterans Affairs has reported, a new study indicates. America’s Warrior Partnership, which works to eliminate veteran suicide, found that in eight states, the number of suicides was 1.37 times higher than reported for 2014 to 2018. If that rate holds throughout the nation, the number of veterans dying by suicide each day would be about 24; the VA’s reported average for that period was 17.7, per NBC News. “We’re not pointing fingers at anyone,” said Jim Lorraine, the nonprofit’s president. “We’re just saying it’s sobering to look at the numbers.”

The VA bases its count on information provided by the counties where the person died, per Stars and Stripes. The new study, which took four years, went further to gather details about the veterans, working with the Department of Defense and checking state records. Other states could not release relevant data because of confidentiality restrictions, the preliminary report says. The VA’s process, missed veterans about 18% of the time, the study said. The University of Alabama and Duke University worked with the nonprofit. “It’s not the VA’s fault, Lorraine said. “The issue is the counties.”

Veterans Affairs released a statement defending its process. “We take every step possible to make sure that our veteran suicide data is accurate, because the first step to solving this problem is understanding it,” said press secretary Terrence Hayes. Loraine said he hopes more states will take part in the next phase of the study. Broader collaboration would improve the accuracy of the data, as well as prevention methods, he said. The VA’s 2020 report said more than 46,000 US adults died in suicides in 2018, more than 6,000 of them veterans. Another organization has found that suicide has killed four times as many US veterans as combat so far this century.

This problem should be far more important to the government than it is….we asked these people to give their all and then we put band-aids on their wounds instead of giving them the help they deserve.

For a damn change do something besides giving our veterans platitudes in place of adequate health care.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Time To Look At 2022 Vote

It is late September and time to get serious about the upcoming 2022 mid-terms…..

My thoughts are that the Dems are in for a shellacking in the mid-terms…..the House may well go GOP as well as the Senate….then 2024 may well complete the takeover of the government by the far-right….

Some others thought on the elections…..

Last month, Newt Gingrich made a bold (and seemingly wild) prediction about the midterm elections

“I think we’ll pick up between 25 and 70 seats in the House,” the former Republican House speaker said in an interview with Fox.
Seventy seats! That would not only eclipse the 63-seat gain Republicans made in the 2010 midterm elections, but would also be the largest seat switch in the House since 1948.
Gingrich, as he often does, was likely just riffing — going for an outlandishly high ceiling on Republican gains to draw headlines and attention.
 
Which, well, mission accomplished.
Gingrich’s ceiling of 70 seats is well in excess of where nonpartisan political handicappers are — at least at the moment. David Wasserman, the House editor at the Cook Political Report with Amy Walter, is projecting Republicans gain between 20 and 35 seats. Nathan Gonzales of Inside Elections hasn’t released his range just yet — it’s coming next week — but says, “Republicans are well positioned to win the majority.”
New data from Gallup suggests that the national political environment is arguably worse for Democrats than it was in 2010 — raising at least the possibility that the party suffers even larger losses than currently predicted.

https://www.cnn.com/2022/06/17/politics/midterm-election-house-gains-republican-democrat/index.html

Why are people making life miserable for Dems…..there is a shift quietly taking shape that should scare the crap out of us mere mortals…..

A political shift is beginning to take hold across the US as tens of thousands of suburban swing voters who helped fuel the Democratic Party’s gains in recent years are becoming Republicans. More than 1 million voters across 43 states have switched to the Republican Party over the last year, according to voter registration data analyzed by the AP. The previously unreported number reflects a phenomenon that is playing out in virtually every region of the country in the period since President Biden replaced former President Trump.

But nowhere is the shift more pronounced—and dangerous for Democrats—than in the suburbs, where well-educated swing voters who turned against Trump’s Republican Party in recent years appear to be swinging back. Over the last year, far more people are switching to the GOP across suburban counties from Denver to Atlanta and Pittsburgh and Cleveland. Republicans also gained ground in counties around medium-size cities such as Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Raleigh, North Carolina; Augusta, Georgia; and Des Moines, Iowa. One Colorado voter who switched said he blamed Democrats’ support for mandatory COVID vaccines, what he sees as the party’s inability to quell violent crime, and its frequent focus on racial justice.

The AP examined nearly 1.7 million voters who had likely switched affiliations across 42 states for which there is data over the last 12 months, according to L2, a political data firm. L2 uses a combination of state voter records and statistical modeling to determine party affiliation. While party switching is not uncommon, the data shows a definite reversal from the period while Trump was in office, when Democrats enjoyed a slight edge in the number of party switchers nationwide. Over the last year, roughly two-thirds of the 1.7 million voters who changed their party affiliation shifted to the Republican Party. In all, more than 1 million people became Republicans compared to about 630,000 who became Democrats.

Like I said….the dice are being rolled and it appears that the country is about to get ‘snake eyes’…..

Weep for this country.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–20Sep22

This an FYI for all my retired seniors that get a Social Security payment monthly….a must read to understand the news of the largest COLA in decades.

Our seniors got some good news recently…..it appears as if there will be a good substantial COLA for next year.

When we last read the tea leaves in May, it was looking like seniors could be looking at an 8.6% adjustment to their monthly Social Security checks in 2023. The cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) happens in October, and with just one month to go, the predicted increase has ticked up. The New York Times reports the Senior Citizens League is now projecting an 8.7% increase for next year. The Social Security Administration will make its announcement on Oct. 13. Our story from May 2022 follows:

Social Security’s cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) doesn’t happen until October, and it’ll be based on the previous three months of inflation numbers. But a forecast from the Senior Citizens League indicates those Social Security checks could see a big hike. CBS News reports the advocacy group for older Americans projected an 8.6% increase for 2023 based on the Consumer Price Index data for April that was released Wednesday. Consumer prices were up 8.3% last month from 12 months earlier, a slight decrease from March’s 8.5% annual increase. The COLA is calculated using a slight variation of that Consumer Price Index (CPI) called the CPI-W. The CPI-W was 8.9% in April.

Some 69 million Americans collect Social Security, and their average check is about $1,658 per month. Should that 8.6% hike come to pass, that would bring it to about $1,800 in 2023. As for the Senior Citizens League’s track record, it ultimately forecast a 6.1% COLA increase for 2022, versus an actual boost of 5.9%—an amount that isn’t keeping up with this year’s rate of inflation. The top three COLA increases since 1975 were 14.3% (1980), 11.2% (1981), and 9.9% (1979). An 8.6% increase would enter the list at No. 4. But it’s possible inflation will ease over the next five months. “I think the action at the Fed is going to slow things down,” Mary Johnson, Social Security and Medicare policy analyst at the Senior Citizens League, tells CNBC.

Not to worry the insurance companies and your c-pays will go up…..meaning that seniors will probably see a lot less of the raise than anticipated.

2023 will bring some major changes to the program…..

https://www.fool.com/investing/2022/09/18/3-changes-to-social-security-retirees-must-know/

Happens every time we get a good COLA….we lose most of it to the health industry….

https://www.fool.com/investing/2022/09/19/kiss-your-101-social-security-raise-goodbye-2023/

One of the worse scams in history….the American healthcare system.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Is Slavery A Dead Issue?

We are taught that the Emancipation Proclamation by Lincoln officially ended the institution of slavery in the United States……

For those not sure what the Proclamation was truly all about…..

On September 22, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, which declared that as of January 1, 1863, all enslaved people in the states currently engaged in rebellion against the Union “shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.”

Lincoln didn’t actually free all of the approximately 4 million men, women and children held in slavery in the United States when he signed the formal Emancipation Proclamation the following January. The document applied only to enslaved people in the Confederacy, and not to those in the border states that remained loyal to the Union.

That is the short definition and an intro to the next thought in this post….

There are 5 states that will be voting on the slavery issue in 2022……

The 2022 elections have already shaped up to be among the most politically-charged midterm elections in some time. Among the many political races and laws that will be on the ballot in November, several states will be voting on a question that most of us had assumed had been settled long ago: rather to officially abolish slavery. Here’s what to know before voting in November.

Despite conservative attempts to whitewash history in recent years, those of us with even a cursory understanding of American history generally believe that slavery was abolished in the United States as a result of the Civil War. That is technically true. The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution declares that “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” Over time, every state in the U.S. has ratified the 13th Amendment, although the last state to do so was Mississippi in 2013.  (Of course it was)

The “except as a punishment for crime” clause in the 13th amendment, however, allowed southern states to criminalize Blackness in ways that let them retain some degree of forced labor, and over time it has contributed to the problem of mass incarceration in the U.S. The exception clause found in the 13th Amendment is similar to language found in the laws of several states. Five of those states — Alabama, Louisiana, Oregon, Tennessee and Vermont — will vote in November on whether to remove those clauses from state law.

Instagram account @so.informed posted a series of graphics explaining the particular questions on the ballots of each of these five states. All five states’ referendums proposed removing slavery or indentured servitude clauses from their state’s constitutions. If passed, the Tennessee and Vermont proposals would additionally add language to those states’ constitutions specifically clarifying that slavery or other forms of involuntary servitude are forbidden under all circumstances. The Alabama proposal, however, would result in the state “removing all racist language” from its constitution.

https://blavity.com/five-states-to-vote-on-slavery-yes-slavery-in-november

So after over 100 years the institution and the wordings are not over…..the fight continues.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

Then Vote!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

What About This Inflation Thing?

I have heard much ‘good’ news about the economy lately….but unfortunately the real facts say different….

Investors were fully expecting good news from the new monthly inflation report out Tuesday. But instead of declining, prices actually rose in August. Which means the Federal Reserve is all but certain to forge ahead with an aggressive rate hike at its Sept. 20-21 meeting. Details:

  • Monthly rise: Prices rose 0.1% in August from July, according to the Consumer Price Index, reports CNBC. Most analysts had forecast a decline of 0.1%. Investors were hoping for a sign that inflation had peaked.
  • Yearly increase: Compared to a year earlier, prices in August were up 8.3%, which is extremely high by historical standards, though below the annual figures of 8.5% in July and 9.1% in June, per the Wall Street Journal.
  • Market flips: Dow futures were up about 200 points before the report came out, with investors hoping an inflation cool-down would convince the Fed to temper its interest-rate hikes. But as soon as the report came out, Dow futures were down by 300 points, per CNBC.
  • The Fed: The new report is all but certain to keep the Fed “firmly in inflation-fighting mode,” per the New York Times. Most observers expect another hike of three-quarters of a percentage point. “Inflation is far too high, and it is too soon to say whether inflation is moving meaningfully and persistently downward,” Christopher Waller, one of the Fed’s governors, said last week. “This is a fight we cannot, and will not, walk away from.”

So the news is not so good and Wall Street reacting as could be predicted…..

The stock market fell the most since June 2020 following Wall Street’s humbling realization Tuesday that inflation is not slowing as much as hoped. The S&P 500 fell 177.72 points, or 4.3%, to 3,932.69. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1,276.37 points, or 3.9%, to 31,104.97. The Nasdaq fell 632.84 points, or 5.2%, to 11,633,57. A hotter-than-expected report on inflation has traders bracing for the Federal Reserve to ultimately raise interest rates even higher than expected, with all the risks for the economy that entails. Bond prices also tumbled, sending yields sharply higher, after the government reported inflation decelerated last month by less than economists forecast.

Investments seen as the most expensive or the riskiest are the ones hardest hit by higher rates. Bitcoin tumbled 7.1%. In the stock market, all but four of the stocks in the S&P 500 fell. Technology and other high-growth companies fell more than the rest of the market because they’re seen as most at risk from higher rates, the AP reports. Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon all fell more than 4% and were the heaviest weights on the market. The communication services sector, which includes Google’s parent company and other internet and media companies, sank 4.8% for the largest loss out of the 11 sectors that make up the S&P 500 index.

Most of Wall Street came into the day thinking the Fed would hike its key short-term rate by a hefty three-quarters of a percentage point at its meeting next week. But the hope was that inflation was in the midst of quickly falling back to more normal levels after peaking in June at 9.1%. The thinking was that such a slowdown would let the Fed downshift the size of its rate hikes through the end of this year and then potentially hold steady through early 2023. Tuesday’s report dashed some of those hopes. “Right now, it’s not the journey that’s a worry so much as the destination,” says Brian Jacobsen at Allspring Global Investments. “If the Fed wants to hike and hold, the big question is at what level.”

Not to worry they will manipulate the economy to make everything look okay for us mere peasants…..but if you have to earn a living you know it is not ‘healthy’ by any stretch of the imagination.

But go ahead bury your head and plug along barely making it….or do something about it.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”