Monday, July 27, 2020

Welcome to Minnesota.....And Beyond

When I was a kid...and I do mean little kid...our Hebrew school teacher read us large sections of MILA 18 by Leon Uris. A single paragraph in chapter 3 has stayed with me all these years for many inexplicable reasons:
He turned away from the river and into a tree-lined street of lovely new homes in a area stamped with upper middle-class wealth. Andrei spotted a large stone on the sidewalk and began to dribble it with his feet with the dexterity of a trained soccer player, his leg muscles fairly rippling through his trousers. He gave the stone a final swift kick of the boot, speeding it down the street toward an imaginary goal, and turned at the gate of Dr. Paul Bronksi’s house.

To this day, I cannot pass a stone on sidewalk or street without kicking it like a soccer ball. Seriously, and I think of Andrei Androfski every time. I think I fell a little bit in love with the Jewish Ulan cavalry officer and his rippling leg muscles. At the same time, and perhaps more importantly, I fell in love with Uris' writing style. He was a master craftsman. He brought more than the people of the Warsaw Ghetto to life; he gave us their world, their fears, their joys, their desperation, their humanity. I cannot tell you the number of times I read MILA 18 over the years...I can only tell you that paperback finally crumbled. 

The images of the ghetto vividly created by Uris were, for many of us kids, the first graphic literary images we had of the Nazi occupation. When the red-headed girl stuck the pipe grenade into the treads of the Panzer tank, I knew she was going to die and I wept before I even read the words. Because of those characters, not to mention the survivors living all around me, I took the horrors to heart. They were real to me because they happened to the people around me. I relied on books like Mila 18 to help me internalize those events. I cannot explain it any better than that, only to say that the images, photographic and literary, are totally part of my brain process for understanding the world.

And that's why I abhor what is happening here, in Minnesota, where assholes wear Nazi armbands as masks in Walmart, a councilman in St. Cloud suggests people attach yellow stars to their lapels if they've had COVID-19, and the Republican Party of Wabasha County compares wearing masks to the Gestapo telling people to wear yellow stars. And we are supposed to be okay with these? Like Brandmire didn't know what a yellow star meant? Folks, not to vaff schmutz on those fine people,  but clearly they are not the sharpest spoons in the Minnesota sideboard. They must've been absent when they taught World War II in school. Maybe they just stopped learning when the Confederacy won? Hard to say. The results are about the same.

And while this tempest in a hotdish is going on, the focus slides away from the real Gestapo action happening in the Portland, while "liberal Democrat" led cities, including New York and Chicago, are in the crosshairs of this new private army masquerading as ""Federal Officers." Since Feckless Leader cannot sent the army into these cities, he is sending Border Patrol and US Marshals to create a war zone. This is intended to divide and create a fictional civil war... one which can be manipulated into a real one. 

The following is part of a post from Nate Cohen's Facebook page.  He was on the front line at Portland. [The photograph is Nate Cohen.] Follow the the whole thing...and weep for our nation.
What scares me is these officers have no clue what they're doing. They are highly trained Border Patrol tactical troops and US Marshals, but most of them don't have protest training, and most of them haven't been trained on the weapons they're being asked to use either (this is per an internal DHS Memo by the way, not just random hearsay). Many of them at any given time are carrying live-round AR-15s. It makes them unpredictable, not because they are being clever but because they are doing shit that is illogical and makes no tactical sense. They're shooting weapons designed to explode overheard directly at people's chests. They're firing into crowds with things they can't aim. And they're doing it to black youth, and vets, and moms, and clergy members, and reporters, and medics. The first night I was there a vet at the fence around the courthouse went into a PTSD-induced catatonic attack when the first flashbang went off. Another medic and I ran to him and when we realized we couldn't move him (he was a big dude and clenched up tight in a ball), we tried to cover him with our bodies as the tear gas was going off. The feds response was to toss 7 more grenades over the fence directly at us, even though we were clearly no threat to them. All seven exploded within five feet of me. Later that evening I was treating a young woman who'd been hit in the hand with a canister. She told me she'd been hit in the head with a baton round two days before but came back because "what they don't understand is I'm ready to die for this shit. It's been too long, we're not letting it go away this time. I don't want to die, but if these fuckers kill me I'll know I died for something that fucking matters." It made me cry and she and I held each other for a minute as we moved out of the advancing cloud of tear gas. Despite Chad Wolfe's claim in a recent press conference that there were "no reports of injuries to demonstrators" hundreds of people each night are requiring medical care for gas, and dozens more for impact and burn injuries. But we keep coming. I've been treating anywhere from 15-50 people a night and I'm just one of the dozens of medics out here. You can taste the tear gas as soon as you get within a few blocks of the courthouse, it's been used so much it's just lingering in the air now. (Someone out there with an environmental or public health degree, there is a case study here with your name on it!)

The real purpose behind this "embedded army" is to maintain the level of white supremacy in those cities, not to keep people safe, so let's call these guys what they are: Storm Troopers. They are being sent to round up and ultimately terrorize. They gas-bombed the Mom-Line. How can you gas mothers lined up to provide a barrier for their kids? These are like pictures we used to see of war-torn places, where moms threw themselves in front of all manner of things to protect their families. Like the Argentine Mothers of Mayo who are still looking for the kids that disappeared between 1977 and 1983.

If you think this is legal, please move to another country immediately so the rest of us can begin to pick up the pieces. 

Meanwhile, back at the polling stations, we are faced with another, possibly more dangerous problem. In a Fox interview with Chris Wallace last week, Feckless floated another bizarre trial balloon:
WALLACE: There is a tradition in this country -- in fact, one of the prides of this country -- is the peaceful transition of power and that no matter how hard-fought a campaign is, that at the end of the campaign that the loser concedes to the winner. Not saying that you're necessarily going to be the loser or the winner, but that the loser concedes to the winner and that the country comes together in part for the good of the country. Are you saying you're not prepared now to commit to that principle?

TRUMP: What I'm saying is that I will tell you at the time. I'll keep you in suspense. OK?

TRUMP: And you know what? She’s the one that never accepted it.

WALLACE: I agree.

TRUMP: She never accepted her loss and she looks like a fool.

WALLACE: But can you give a, can you give a direct answer you will accept the election?

TRUMP: I have to see. Look, you – I have to see. No, I’m not going to just say yes. I’m not going to say no, and I didn’t last time either.
Despite his bragging about passing a cognitive test, which all by itself is a) pretty stupid, b) a sure-fire indicator you are missing a few cognition links upstairs, and c) totally meaningless, I'm not all that convinced this guy is as impaired as he's coming off these days. Oh, he's impaired, that's without question, but he's still got enough functioning grey matter to at least partially comprehend the actions of his least well enough to sanction them. And enough to keep talking long after the people behind the curtain are telling him to shut up. 

More and more respectable sources are questioning whether or not this is the twilight of American democracy. It might very well be. I cannot discount the underlying discomfiture of psychological warfare being waged upon us. I look at the Feckless Leader ads on the tube and wonder how the stations can even play stuff that is lie after lie after lie. I look at the comments on Nate Cohen's post about his injuries and I gotta think these people were absent from history class, civics class, and maybe even reading class. I cannot follow their hate-speech riddled conclusions without wanting to vomit. And then I think these are the people taking over this country....if not by rhetoric, but ultimately because they have guns and they are going to use them.  And they will be backed-up by the new black-shirt brigade in unmarked vans. 

Oddly, one I really feel sorry for, oddly enough, is John Roberts, Chief Justice over at SCOTUS. That guy did not sign on for this. He may be the only thing standing between We, the People of the United States and a dictatorship. Congress is missing in action; they're not gonna help one way or the other. SCOTUS is going to have to do something about the rule of law and paramilitary occupation within our own borders. If they demur, there won't be anything left to discuss besides what country you are planning to immigrate to.

You know that's what it's coming down to, don't you? 

The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
On a marginally brighter note:
Whatever you do, do NOT start watching 
Jhansi ki Rani on Netflix.
There are 480 episodes condensed to 70+. 
If you thought Downton Abbey was confusing.......

Monday, July 20, 2020


Today's topic has been long percolating, and not very pleasantly. I mean, it doesn't exactly smell like a good cuppa coffee. But it's been rattling around my head for a while, and this past week, the furor around a few choice comments from folks like Nick Cannon and DeSean Jackson make me want to examine the word antisemitism.

This is not a popular topic. At least not amongst my peeps. If anything, it's a hot button issue, rightly so, but I think this virulence is mislabeled. I am not talking about the act, I am talking about the word: antisemitism.

Let's look at the word SEMITE as a stand alone:
  1. a member of any of various ancient and modern peoples originating in southwestern Asia, including the Akkadians, Canaanites, Phoenicians, Hebrews, and Arabs.
  2. a Jew.
  3. a member of any of the peoples descended from Shem, the eldest son of Noah.
The Levant
No surprises there. Or are there? Lots people don't realize Arabs are Semites, Other people like to refer to themselves as the "real" Semites, excluding Jews because Ashkenazi Jews look pretty much European. They conveniently forget most Jews outside the US are not Ashkenazi, but are a whole raft of other types, with a sizable percentage being Mizrachi from guess where? The Levant....the Middle East... and North Africa. Hello? They look more like their Arab cousins than they look like white Ashkenazi.  

So maybe antisemitism is the wrong word to use to describe what is happening in the Western World. 

Michael Berenbaum writing for ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA  notes:
The term anti-Semitism was coined in 1879 by the German agitator Wilhelm Marr to designate the anti-Jewish campaigns under way in central Europe at that time. Although the term now has wide currency, it is a misnomer, since it implies a discrimination against all Semites. Arabs and other peoples are also Semites, and yet they are not the targets of anti-Semitism as it is usually understood. The term is especially inappropriate as a label for the anti-Jewish prejudices, statements, or actions of Arabs or other Semites. Nazi anti-Semitism, which culminated in the Holocaust, had a racist dimension in that it targeted Jews because of their supposed biological characteristics—even those who had themselves converted to other religions or whose parents were converts. This variety of anti-Jewish racism dates only to the emergence of so-called “scientific racism” in the 19th century and is different in nature from earlier anti-Jewish prejudices.
He may be on to something important here. 

Antisemitism is sometimes called the longest hatred. Its roots go back at least 4 centuries before the appearance of Christianity. Historian Josephus attributes the following to Hecateus of Abdera's writing around the 4th century B.C.E:
[Jews] have often been treated injuriously by the kings and governors of Persia, yet can they not be dissuaded from acting what they think best; but that when they are stripped on this account, and have torments inflicted upon them, and they are brought to the most terrible kinds of death, they meet them after an extraordinary manner, beyond all other people, and will not renounce the religion of their forefathers
We were a stubborn, stiff-necked group, y'know. Still are. 

Once Christianity comes on the scene, well, the history is well-established that Jews are the scapegoat minority in most places. Back then, it's not called antisemitism. It's anti-Jewish. And that's what it should be called now.

The term antisemitism does not even appear until the 1879, thanks  to that fineh mensch Wilhelm Marr who coined the phrase antisemite and founded the Antisemites League. The word took off. At least two more Antisemite parties were founded at around the same time: The German Social Antisemitic Party and the Antisemitic People's Party. Hitler did not have to go far to find an audience. 

But there's that word. I guess German's simplistic structure did not allow for the creation new a word to encompass Jew-hatred. They need more important words to describe art forms like Gesamtkunstwerk or Bezirksschornsteinfegermeister...the head chimney-sweep. One might think that antijüdisch would do the trick, but apparently not. For whatever reasons they had, the Germans chose to mask their intent with a word that was not exactly matching in translation: Antisemitismus

The word stuck. Every time I hear it I cringe...and not just because of context. I hear the sociable lie beneath the surface. The facade hides nothing; the intent remains the same. And people use lots of other phrases to hide their Jewish hatred in socially acceptable ways: Anti-Zionist. Anti-Israel. Anti-Progressive. Why not code it even more deeply and call it Aunty D'vera or Aunty Golde? It's the same bullshit. You remember...lipstick on a  pig?

In the end, it doesn't matter what you call Jew-hating or how you try to push it into socially acceptable terms. No one is fooled. The increase in Jew-hatred is palpable these days. Whether it's in France, the UK, or here, hating Jews seems to be growing as a new participation sport. In some ways, it's like soon as you whack one down, a new one pops up. Here in the US, it's open season on crawling out from under this particular rock, encouraged by the Asshole-In-Chief who seems  to thinks no one knows what he's doing. 3,000 years of Jew-hatred and he thinks we don't recognize it? (Wink, wink.)

Women of the IDF
Jews are a strange amalgam of the human condition. We come in all sizes, colors, and shapes. We are our own rainbow. We are a group of human beings. What we are not is homogeneous. Even in the United States, there are Ashkenzai Jews, Sephardi Jews, Mizrachi Jews, Black Jews, Persian Jews, Ethiopian Jews, Bene Israel Jews, Syrian Jews, Asian Jews, orthodox Jews, marsorti Jews, reform Jews, and secular Jews. Line us up, and you don't see one face, one nose, one intellect, one bank account. You only see a diverse group of people. We tend to be very polite about that. We let the haters apologize...or pretend to apologize...and we all smile and say, "that's okay," but it's really not.  

Once upon a time, someone tried to line us up and send us all to the ovens. That is not ancient history. There are people, precious few and dwindling daily, who stood on those lines. They know what hate looks like....and it's not antisemitism. It's Jew-hatred and it's alive and well in the US.

If you want to hate Jews, you get to hate all of us regardless of size, color, or shape. You have to pretty much admit you hate all people unlike your own little microcosm. And if you hate Jews, you are not antisemitic, you are a Jew-Hater. That's a much more precise  label. Maybe people should start getting used to it. 

We need to stop making excuses and being polite. Call Jew-haters what they are. No other community would tolerate the slander and the slurs the way we have. We don't need Nick Cannon or DeSean Jackson to apologize. It's not really gonna change what they think, only what they say in public. We need to be calling it out, saying the words, and stop being so goddamn nice about it. 

Retire antisemitism. There are better ways to call it what it is: Jew-hatred. And if you really need an "anti" word, use anti-Jewish. Much clearer.

There. I said it. Let the firestorm commence. 

The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week

A note to my gentle...and some not-so-gentle readers: 
Ten years ago, on July 19, 2010, I published the first episode of 
not knowing where this would go, what I would write about, or if anyone would care. 
I still cannot answer where or what from week to week, but I can tell you that empirical evidence leads me to believe people seem to care. 
I will not pretend to understand that, but I will tell you I am eternally grateful for the reader response...especially the emails. Keep 'em coming. Please. 
Therefore, you should know I am not stopping anytime soon.

From the bottom of my heart, I thank you. 

Monday, July 13, 2020

Out of Flavor

When I was a little kid, my dad had put up this counter-thing in the teeny-tiny kitchen in Bayside. I used to sit on a stool and read the Dentist. See you tomorrow. New York Times Sports Section out loud. That was how I learned to read. If I was moving at a good clip on a Sunday morning, he would sometimes let me read the front page. That was where I first encountered the phrase out of favor. 

My four-year old brain didn't get the whole concept quite right. The article was about something called The Kremlin. The article said a man was out of flavor with the Kremlin, but I thought they meant gremlin like the evil dybbuks Grandma Bessie told me about. And for the life of me I could not figure how a person could be out of flavor because who would eat a person? My father was trying really hard not to laugh (or so he would tell me whenever the story came up,) but I just wasn't going to believe a person could be out of flavor or why the Kremlin would want to eat him. 

My buddy Eleanor of Aquitaine
Eventually, I came around to understanding the phrase out of favor. There was Queen Vashti who fell out of favor with King Ahasverush, Moshe fell out of favor with the Egyptian court when he killed the task master beating the slave. And one of my personal heroes and these days, close personal friends*, Queen Eleanor (aka Eleanor of Aquitaine,) fell out of favor with her husband, King Henry II, who worked really hard to get rid of her, failed, and died, thereby missing her tour de force as de facto regent while their son King Richard was running amok in the 3rd Crusade. I loved the phrase out of favor. It is so temporal, so transient, and in its own absurd way, romantic. Usually. 

I heard the phrase on the news a couple of times late last week, and then I saw it in The Washington Post on Saturday night:
Four months ahead of Election Day, Trump wants to “reopen and move on,” said another senior administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to reveal internal deliberations. Those who disagree with that approach are out of favor, the official said.    
I've been chewing on this ever since. 

Falling out of favor is something that happens to courtesans and politicians that run afoul of despotic governments. Scientists, unless they are strapping pasta-strainers on your head with electrodes do not usually fall out of favor. Their ideas may be disproved with science, they might be sent back to the lab, but unless they are from the Chuck Woolery School of Science and Game Show Hosting, they arenot outta favor. We see this all the time in this administration. Just look at the attrition rate in the West Wing. Unless your name is Feckless Spawn or Kushner, your job is, at best, on the permanent line. 

Oh, and speaking of Chuck, tweet this one on for size:

 Chuck Woolery
The most outrageous lies are the ones about Covid 19. Everyone is lying. The CDC, Media, Democrats, our Doctors, not all but most ,that we are told to trust. I think it's all about the election and keeping the economy from coming back, which is about the election. I'm sick of it.
9:17 PM · Jul 12, 2020
Chuck Woolery
There is so much evidence, yes scientific evidence, that schools should open this fall. It's worldwide and it's overwhelming. BUT NO.
9:23 PM · Jul 12, 2020

So, I'm wondering why he isn't really sick from it. Meanwhile, based on Feckless Leader re-tweeting we should be getting our science advisories from this guy. From Wikipedia:

Woolery was born on March 16, 1941, in Ashland, Kentucky. After graduating from high school, he served two years in the US Navy.
In 1963, Woolery worked as a wine consultant for Wasserstrom Wine & Import Company in Columbus, Ohio. He was also a sales representative for the Pillsbury Company. 
Ja, sure, you betcha.

Seems people who speak intelligently about COVID 19, its impact on the economy, and the reality on the ground for millions of Americans are out of favor with the White House. Teachers who understand the risks of opening schools too soon are out of favor with the White House. Reporters who consistently ask probing questions are out of favor with the White House. Anyone who demonstrates even the briefest alignment with reality is out of favor at the White House.

Convicted felons? Hoo Ha! They are totally IN!

Look, I won't post COVID numbers here; they are changing much too fast. Places that opened while infections were on the rise are in serious trouble now. Let's see what happens with DisneyLand and DisneyWorld visitors in 2 weeks. There are places that are working hard to mitigate the exposure, but that requires visitors willing to play along. 

We know that is not always the case. The occupancy rate of ICUs supports that as fact, not conjecture. 

But if you are stupid enough to believe the US is handling the COVID 19 pandemic well, and opening restaurants, bar, amusement parks, and schools is the right thing to do, I strongly urge you toss your mask, and go to a Trump rally. And for the record, you and your pea-sized brain are out of favor with reality. The best you can hope for is a quick meet-up with the disease because you're gonna have one. I guarantee it. Your survival rate is not guaranteed. 

What depths has this country sunk to when scientists with proven records of public service and successful research and analysis data fall out of favor? Have we lost all sense of truth? Are we unwilling to believe that which we see with our own eyes because that miscreant in the White House tells us, "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain?" 

People who believed it was a hoax and went to COVID parties are dying. Isn't that enough to convince their friends not to do that? Apparently not. 

If wearing a mask somehow fucks with your personal, constitutional rights, I hope to hell you're not wearing a seatbelt either. Go light up your cigarette in a bar and see what that gets you. 

Ziggy always maintained you can't fix stupid. I think we have entered that realm of the Twilight Zone where we are about to figure that out on a permanent basis. 

The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
Yes, there is a new novel nearing completion.
I spend way too much time talking to Eleanor of Aquitaine these days.
This is what authors do when they are not doing other stuff.

PS: if you happen to know a good literary me. 
Mine passed away, and I'm not crazy about her replacement.

Monday, July 6, 2020

When In The Course of Inhuman Events

I finally saw HAMILTON on Saturday night. Yes, it was on Disney+ , but this was going to be the best way for me to finally see the show. 

That is was a filmed stage version and that worked well for me, being that I am by education and early practice a theater director, and I much prefer stage to screen.  Always have. Why it is so transformative is easy to understand. Although I am not a big fan of hip-hop, the music is compelling. As for history, well, no musical ever really tells history in anything other than glossy glossing over reality...and that's kinda what theater does anyway. Setting that to the side, HAMILTON made people curious about Alexander Hamilton and gee, isn't that a good thing?

Well, actually, it is. It also made me go back and read the Declaration of Independence.  ALL of it. Hadn't done that in a while, but the use of the text in the show was too inviting to ignore. So, as a public service, here is the full text of that document [Highlight and italics are my own addition.]:

In Congress, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.


Some of the grievances are rather applicable at the moment, which is disheartening and rather scary. The reading of the following quote requires a very cautious understanding of what the Founding Fathers meant, and begs the question as to whether or not this was to be a one-time deal, or a blueprint:
That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
This is the open door, an invitation to insurrection to be used by anyone who feels the current government is, in any way, unjust and unrepresentative of We, the People. Granted, at the time this was written, it was a truly revolutionary statement that was the basis for the break away from Great Britain. I get that. But at the same time, that language is enshrined in our national discourse as a sacred responsibility. 

That national discourse has been derailed of late, but Feckless Leader's remarks at Mount Rushmore harkened back to that very paragraph.  In his speech, he said:
Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values, and indoctrinate our children. Angry mobs are trying to tear down statues of our founders, deface our most sacred memorials, and unleash a wave of violent crime in our cities. Many of these people have no idea why they’re doing this, but some know what they are doing. They think the American people are weak and soft and submissive, but no, the American people are strong and proud and they will not allow our country and all of its values, history, and culture to be taken from them.
What "values, history, and culture" does he think is being taken away? The one where the Confederacy is honored as a noble cause unjustly put down by an unscrupulous Federal government? The one where slavery was abolished by a Congress that didn't understand the South's need for slaves? Or the one that Melanie Hamilton was raisin' money for: Association for the Beautification of the Graves of Our Glorious Dead? Or how about the part where some of our elected officials encouraged racist behavior?

Feckless Leader went on to say, later in the speech:
We are the culture that put up the Hoover Dam, laid down the highways, and sculpted the skyline of Manhattan. We are the people who dreamed the spectacular dream, it was called Las Vegas in the Nevada desert, who built up Miami from the Florida marsh, and who carved our heroes into the face of Mount Rushmore. Americans harnessed electricity, split the atom, and gave the world the telephone and the internet. We settled the Wild West, won two World Wars, landed American astronauts on the moon.
This was one of the most insane things he said: almost every one of the items mentioned (except for the moon landing) happened because the Indigenous Peoples of this continent were forcibly removed from their lands. But they don't count, do they? They are even less visible to the jackass running this country than other POC. 

And then there was this bit of ...of...of...who the hell knows what to call it? Fantasy Camp?
One of their political weapons is cancel culture, driving people from their jobs, shaming dissenters, and demanding total submission from anyone who disagrees. This is the very definition of totalitarianism, and it is completely alien to our culture and to our values and it has absolutely no place in the United States of America.

Cancel culture? Who us? The Artsy-Fartsy Liberal Left? I DON'T THINK SO. We're not the ones cutting funding to arts, education, and media. If anyone wants to cancel culture, it's the whacko base over at the White House. This made me apoplectic all by itself. My head is still doing a 360 from this one. 

But let's go back to The Declaration for a moment.  I am certain Feckless Leader has his legal eagles scouring this and The Constitution for ways to suppress votes and, if necessary, prevent or overturn the election. If you don't that his cabal is looking at that, you are delusional. What the hell do you think Barr and his cadre are doing over at the DoJ? Having coffee?

Meanwhile....back at the ranch:

This is today's post from FiveThirtyEight

Keep in mind that people are gradually becoming less likely to believe his trash talk on COVID-19, that 99% of the cases are harmless. They are seeing the spike with younger people and links to gatherings. It's hard to miss the increase in hospitalizations while at the same Europe has effectively barred all travelers from the US. Please think of those people who are claiming it's their G-d given right not to wear masks as basically too stupid to live, because they are busy significantly decreasing their odds of their own survival by exposing themselves to a deadly disease. 

Then there's that time-honored game of chicken: "Hey, kids! Let's go play with the kid who has [insert communicable disease here] to see who gets it first!"  Those rocket scientist teen-agers are in Alabama. Their parents must be so proud.

The pandemic in the US could be better managed, and we could be on the road to real recovery, but we are not because we do not have effective leadership in this country; any progress is undermined every time the Great Orange Herring opens that garbage-spewing trap of his. Instead of moving us toward containment, it's becoming increasingly clear this asshole wants certain communities to just die. Seriously. Cut the testing. Tell insurers they no longer have to cover COVID costs. Don't wear a mask at your own rallies o'death. Let personal freedom and corona virus ring!

One day, when all those "undesirables" are dead, buried, or barred from the US, there will be no one to mow the lawns, pick the produce, change the bed pans, or bury the dead. Those low-level jobs, the ones Americans are too superior to do, will be left undone. 

Who you gonna call?

The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
Watching HAMILTON? 
Don't be afraid to use closed captions on the TV.
The lyrics are lightning fast, and this will really help.