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Posts published in “Day: November 1, 2022”

The killing field


America is a powder keg awaiting just the right “strike of a match.”

Our President lives in a large white house surrounded by tall fencing, with armed missiles and men with machine guns. Certain members of Congress and our Supreme Court justices have bodyguards 24/7 and travel in armored vehicles. Mayors and city council Presidents in many large cities do, too. At work and at home.

Many states - including my own - have laws permitting armed citizens with no requirements for training on how to use their usually concealed-carry sidearms. Bars allow customers to linger till closing with no thought of the killer combination of alcohol and guns.

It’s commonly believed that more than half the homes in this nation have one or more guns inside. In the West, it’s likely much more than half.

Children arm themselves and kill each other so often it doesn’t always make the national news. Their classrooms are fat targets. Churches, too.

Last week’s attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband by a nutcase with a hammer was far more than just two adult men in a struggle for survival. It was a full-on testament to the undercurrent of violence in our society. In our “entertainment.” In our video games. In our streets. In our schools. In our churches. In our politics.

It was testament to our acceptance of that violence and of the obvious failure of us as a society to address and conquer it.

The plain fact is, if we don’t recognize we are a broken society in need of repair, we could lose our democracy - our republic - and succumb to the uncontrolled violence that would result.

When I was a kid, I had a paper route in a small Oregon town. A route that extended into the forest on the edge of that town. I walked that route daily and got home after dark. Now, all these years later, I would not retrace those many steps. I would not have the sense of youthful, taken-for-granted, small town “security” in doing it.

In a week, we’ll ending the angriest, most contentious and unnecessarily in-your-face political campaign I have ever witnessed. Vile threats. Angry repudiation. Taunts and personal confrontations. Debates - many debates - some where qualified candidates would not participate because of perceived dangers posed by people whose names never should have been on a printed ballot.

Some months ago, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy decided to “anoint ” himself “Speaker of the House In-Waiting.” At a public event, he mused accepting the Speaker’s gavel from Pelosi “without hitting her with it.” Rude. Crude. Contemptuous. Dangerous words.

The seemingly endless “fuel” for our society of hate and anger is everywhere. Leaders - people who obviously should know better - spout violent, verbal B.S. at will. Others who hear the dangerous words note there seems to be no backlash - no societal revulsion - so they repeat the slime and, pretty soon, we’ve adjusted - allowed ourselves to “accept” such language and the accompanying behavior.

Somehow - somewhere - someone or many “someone’s” have to lance this boil of vitriol and anger. We’ve got to end the threats - real and perceived - to the underpinnings of society.

It must STOP!. It MUST!

If we continue to accept our current national rage in nearly any venue, our freedoms will have to be defended in the streets. By us. With weapons.

Paul Pelosi faced a someone with a hammer. That attack, by someone with mental problems, is more than just the violation of one family’s zone of personal safety. More than a rupture of the comfort of someone’s home.

It was a warning that no place is safe. No place is “off limits” to someone filled with anger. There is no sanctity of safety even in the bosom of our family.

This time it was a townhouse in San Francisco. Where will it be next? Where?


Whither thou?


“The radical left believes freedom OF religion is actually freedom FROM religion. The good news is, after four years of the Trump-Pence administration, I’m confident we have a pro-religious freedom majority on the Supreme Court. Help is on the way.”

May come as a surprise to you - as it was to me - that more than half the Trumpian criminals who attacked the Capitol in January came from Democrat strongholds. ‘Tis true.

Political scientist Robert Pape, a guy who researches such things, found more than half came from states and counties Trump won.

Example: some arrested Trump folk came from New York State in six major city zip codes. That’s how Pape tracks ‘em. Same for Biden-won states. Guess if you live in a city that votes Democratic, your neighbor might be planning for a civil war.

Pape’s work also found arrest after arrest took place, not in your typical red state, but in deep blue Democrat states and cities. The arrested were often middle class, older and new to extreme right movements. Average age 40; nearly half business owners or used to white collar work.

Pape’s research, of course, will be viewed with the works of other students of things scholarly political, as well as the parties themselves.

The central question to such political research is this: what is the future of the Republican Party? Will it continue as is - dominated by Trump? Or, will more qualified and serious Republicans drive him out into the wilderness? Or, will those same serious Republican folk form a new party with the help of some of the growing number of independents? Guess we’ll get some answers tonight as polling results roll in.

All grist for the mill. So, let’s add some of our own grist.

Consider: Senator Romney being roundly booed by Utah GOPers at a Republican leadership meeting. Sustained booing to which Romney replied “Aren’t you embarrassed?” Given a resulting uptick in hollering, guess not. And Romney deliberately did not endorse fellow Utah Senator Lee this year.

And Republicans - both in and out of the U.S. House of Representatives - attacked Rep. Liz Cheney because she had the guts to vote to impeach DJT and serve on the January 6th Committee. What about that? Lost her seat in Congress. Republicans eating their own? Wouldn’t be the first time.

The whole damned Party is in upheaval. Lots of factors - and a whole lot of just plain determined ignorance - making things hard to figure.

Like this: Recent CNN polling found 70% - 70% - of GOP folks contacted believe Biden did NOT win the 2020 election or think he won it underhandedly. Seventy-percent! How do you reason with such appalling ignorance? How do you have a viable, meaningful political party when seven-out-of-ten of your folks refuse the results of the most audited and re-audited national election in our lifetimes?

And this: “The Great Replacement.” This is just one of the myths of Trump followers who call themselves Republicans. The idea that people of another color are going to “replace” White Americans as a majority by 2050. Many in the GOP are scared of that eventuality. Scared and angry.

Consider the unhinged “Project 1619" law signed by Idaho’s governor. The loud, baseless rejection of substance tied to the New York Times project. But, given Trump, his followers, the entire conspiratorial hate voice B.S. and (un)social media, the “replacement” theory has taken root in Republican politics. Which adds still more fuel to the fire of hatred extant in that party today.

Trump and his minions have been pounding the theme that “cancel culture”is destroying jobs now held by White workers and that participants in Black Lives Matter protests will soon come to “burn down” houses of White Americans. This is what’s being preached currently at GOP rallies. Everywhere.

How do you reform a political party with all that B.S. flying around the room? Other scholarly research shows more Americans claiming to be “Republicans’ have more guns than Democrats and some are planning for the big “boogaloo” or civil war.

At Republican events, you often see more Trump banners than American flags. There’s mocking of anything Democrat, a steady stream of lies and bigotry from speakers and entertainers. And the audience? The audience claims to be Trumpian or Republican. Or both.

There were more Marjorie Taylor Greens, more Lauren Boeberts, more Matt Gaetzs, more Josh Hawleys on our ballots this year. Ignorant of responsibilities as members of Congress, ignorant of American history and the Constitution. Unfit to serve.

But, they represent today’s Republican Party. They’re the office holders. They’ve won the elections. They cast votes and spend our tax dollars. They often make life-or-death decisions on our behalf. They’re called upon to be “leaders.”

The question of “Whither thou, Republican Party” needs to be answered and soon. Who’s going to restructure it as a viable national political organization our country needs? Or, failing that, who’s going to build another political entity that can offer a safe place for disenchanted Republicans and independents who are seeking substance, honesty, truth and similar values?

The issue’s on the table today at polling places around the nation. What now?