Reasonable Citizen Update

For a while, I lost faith that my words and my opinion mattered in society. I believed nobody cared about truth, and nobody cared about being morally right. Lies are routinely published by both political parties and accepted by millions of people.

I was dejected and felt abandoned. Did anyone care about American politics anymore?

Fast forward to today. I have been hanging out with people who talk about politics, know politicians personally, and care about what is right and wrong with American politics. My faith in Reasonable Citizens is restored.

Freedom. Responsibility. Choice. This is the three-legged stool that a Reasonable Citizen sits upon when contemplating government actions.

Reasonable Citizens believe they have the Freedom to choose without being manipulated. Freedom is like a free-running stream that accepts the flow of all choices. Like minerals in a stream, the weight and gravity of your personal choice will either settle to the bottom for you to collect as a benefit, or it will continue along in the stream for another person’s benefit. I hope you follow that analogy. Ripples in the stream of Freedom are as natural as can be.

By Responsibility, I mean personal responsibility to adhere to moral components and obligations, to accept the requirements and demands of one’s choice, and then to take individual action for a positive outcome. Responsibility is not blaming others for the outcome of one’s choice. Responsibility is accepting the lessons your choice teaches you and improving the result.

Choice. Perhaps the most important. Reasonable Citizens believe government should not manipulate the process to limit the number of options available. Government should expand the number of choices available without creating so many that anarchy or chaos results. People who make different personal choices from you and I should not be charged with a crime.

My hope is you will follow ReasonableCitizen and comment as often as possible. A new journey has begun.

Travel with me, my friend. I could use your company.

The End of American Racism

The tipping point has been reached.

American racism is not yet dead but it will be in my children’s lifetime. Thank goodness.

Fact: “The new estimates show that nearly four of 10 Americans identify with a race or ethnic group other than white, and suggest that the 2010 to 2020 decade will be the first in the nation’s history in which the white population declined in numbers.”

Fact: “In 1967, when miscegenation laws were overturned in the United States, 3% of all newlyweds were married to someone of a different race or ethnicity. Since then, intermarriage rates have steadily climbed. By 1980, the share of intermarried newlyweds had about doubled to 7%. And by 2015 the number had risen to 17%.”

Fact: “It has been an ongoing trend for nearly two decades – while the total number of students in American public schools has risen, the percentage of those students who are white has steadily fallen. According to the Pew Research Center, in 1997, over 63 percent of the 46.1 million U.S. public school students were white. Today, white students comprise just 49.7 percent of the 50 million students enrolled.”

Fact: “In total, 124 of the 535 voting House and Senate members are Black, Latinx, Asian/Pacific Islander or Native American. That’s a significant increase from just 20 years ago, when the 107th Congress had 63 members of minority groups.”

As I said, the tipping point has been reached and diversity in America is increasing to a point that racism will decline and become unsustainable in American culture.

Having said that, the battle cries of, by, and for racism are loud and in your face at the moment. The attempts to overturn the election results, the attempts to steal the vote from people and give it to politicians, and the efforts to oust anyone from their party that doesn’t support vote control efforts is astonishing!

While some people may always be racist, the force of racism has been reduced ever since the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It will cease to be a factor in American society in my children’s lifetime.

That is a fact-in-waiting.

An Unsuccessful Insurrection?

I don’t think so. But I understand why the Democrats characterize it that way.

So let’s begin with the definition of insurrection:

Merriam-Webster: a usually violent attempt to take control of a government

Cambridge English: an organized attempt by a group of people to defeat their government and take control of their country, usually by violence

Other definitions appear to use the words “organized” and “armed”.

All of the definitions I have found fail to describe what actually happened. So let’s be clear:

a) There was a protest against the vote count because the former President stoked that fire and fed it for months.

b) Within that protest, there were organized groups of people who were determined to breach the Capitol and did so.

c) Those violent groups of people made their intentions known to the former President through his acolytes and they were encouraged by the President through his actions the day before and through his inaction the day of the Electoral College.

d) The protest was the Trojan Horse that delivered the violence to the Capitol.

e) To continue the deception that this was a spontaneous action, the organized groups did not bring guns or edged weapons to the fray. They used materials at hand as weapons.

Now the use of the word “insurrection” is key because Section 3 of the 14th Amendment says: “No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.”

If this January 6, 2021 event can be clearly described as an insurrection or a rebellion, then former President Trump is not eligible to run for federal office ever again. And if other Senators or Representatives were involved in planning or supporting these insurrectionists, then they are also unable to remain in office or run for office.

Words matter and perception matters in this case. The key item is IF this was organized with the intent to disrupt the Electoral College, it is an insurrection hiding within a peaceful protest. And it is key whether people participated in or were providing aid and comfort to the insurrectionists and rebellion.

There is an escape clause in the last sentence of Section 3 which allows Congress by a two-thirds vote of EACH house, to remove this restriction. So even if Speaker Pelosi and Chich Schumer are successful in bringing this to the floor of their respective chambers, they still have to deal with getting a 2/3 majority vote to bar former President Trump and his acolytes from office.

This debacle, this disruption of the Electoral College, isn’t over yet.

The MAGA Shame Upon America

Where the inspiring words were once “Make America Great Again, the acronym MAGA has become a pariah of American politics. Where once there was hope, there is now shame.

The President of the United States was actively involved in subverting the Electoral College of the United States of America. The shame begins here.

In an effort to remain in office, the billionaire real estate mogul known as Donald J. Trump set in motion an audacious plan called The Green Bay Sweep to create a constitutional crisis; a crisis so great that he could falsely claim the federal election had been corrupted. He only needed a handful of people to make the same false claim in an attempt to retain his Presidency. He wasn’t trying to overthrow the Constitution, he was bending it to his will. He was willing to break pieces of it, if necessary, to retain his position as President.

When ex-President Donald J. Trump supported the attack on Capitol Hill, he became the enemy within. As described in the President’s Oath of Office, he became a domestic enemy, not because he believed the election was fraudulent, but because he unilaterally chose to exert his will over the political process described in the Constitution.

Previous constitutional crises regarding presidential elections had been resolved by Congress (Compromise of 1877 for example). Of course, those previous crises occurred AFTER the Electoral College had convened and voted.

Because Vice-President Pence would not lie, and would not subvert the vote of the Electoral College as demanded by the Republican Party, outgoing President Trump executed Plan B to physically disrupt the Electoral College in order to prevent an orderly transition of power.

By this act, Donald J. Trump asserted himself as an enemy of the Constitution of the United States of America. He should be charged with treasonous acts, but there may not be a political will to do this. Just as pardoning former President Richard Nixon for his involvement in Watergate was necessary, Donald J. Trump will not likely be charged for his crimes.

The problem in America today is that the two mainstream political parties believe it acceptable to subvert the Constitution of the United States for political gain. Will the Constitution continue to govern the rules of engagement for the two political parties or will it be cast aside in favor of an autocratic ruler?

Will Congress abide and improve the Constitution or will it continue to shirk its duties to the Republic and the American people?

Will a third national party arise to protect and improve the rules of engagement, the Constitution, AND the Republic or will its focus be on other matters?

To be determined…

Overthrowing US Democracy: An earlier attempt

Rolling Stone has a fascinating bit of historical lore related to a plot to overthrow America.

As always, American conservative businessmen do not like competition. Whether that competition is unions, governments, treaties, foreigners, or each other, their reaction is always the same: replace the uncontrollable person with someone controllable or, at the very least, incompetent. (Which explains why we are where we are in America.)

The Business Plot Against FDR begins in 1934 with an announcement:

“The Liberty League was announced on Aug. 23, 1934, on the front page of The New York Times. The article quoted its founders’ claim that it was a “nonpartisan group” whose aim was to “combat radicalism, preserve property rights, uphold and preserve the Constitution.” Its real goal, other observers told the Times, was to oppose the New Deal and the taxes and controls it promised to impose on their fortunes.”

A bond salesman, Gerald C. MacGuire, a 37-year-old Navy veteran, was the tip of the spear in this efforts and would later describe the plot to a New York Post reporter: “We need a fascist government in this country, he insisted, to save the nation from the communists who want to tear it down and wreck all that we have built in America. The only men who have the patriotism to do it are the soldiers, and Smedley Butler is the ideal leader. He could organize a million men overnight.”

The story of Smedley Butler is extraordinary and the Business Plot Against FDR is incredible reading. I could never tell the story so well, so I’ll just give you the link to read it yourself.

Who was Smedley Butler? “Butler was, at the time of his death, the most decorated Marine in U.S. history. By the end of his career, Butler had received 16 medals, five for heroism. He is one of 19 men to receive the Medal of Honor twice, one of three to be awarded both the Marine Corps Brevet Medal (along with Wendell Neville and David Porter) and the Medal of Honor, and the only Marine to be awarded the Brevet Medal and two Medals of Honor, all for separate actions.”- Wikipedia

Many American business owners detest Communism, Socialism, unions, liberals, and any other opponent to their livelihood. You can understand that, I certainly do. But to create a Fascist government to destroy the liberty of working men is too much to bear.

We are indeed blessed that America sits on a three-legged stool: business, government, and people. The three legs support the Constitution of the United States. Perhaps someday there will be four legs to even out the instability but it is enough for now.

The Coming January 6th Anniversary

If you have not followed the investigation and documentation of the attack on Capitol Hill, please spend some time at Wikipedia and read what is known.

In summary, former President Donald Trump AND his wannabees crafted a plan they called “The Green Bay Sweep” to disrupt the Electoral College. The purpose was to prevent the certification of Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 presidential election.

When Vice-President Mike Pence declined to participate in the nefarious Green Bay Sweep, President Trump and his wannabees launched Plan B to physically disrupt the Electoral College, by using right-wing organizations to breach Capitol Hill security.

Plan B was effective and involved a three-hour battle in the Capitol Building, a delay in providing National Guard support to the Capitol Hill police, and the ongoing promotion of a lie that the national elections were rigged for Joe Biden to win.

The one-year anniversary of the Electoral College disruption is approaching. Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, and President Joe Biden are planning a remembrance ceremony to educate the public at large about former President Trump’s planning and preparation for events surrounding that day.

Ex-President Trump is planning to speak publicly from Mar-a-Lago in advance of the remembrance ceremony and is expected to denounce Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, the Select Committee that is investigating the event, and finally, he will continue the Big Lie that the election was stolen.

It will be interesting to see if any political parties make public announcements or not. And it will be interesting to see how the news media covers this event with interviews of politicians, celebriticians, and other key political figures.

The legacy of President Trump’s term in office is already tarnished with two impeachments. His legacy included the establishment of the Space Force, re-shaping the Supreme Court, establishing a new US-Mexico-Canada trade agreement, providing more tax relief (which increased the National Debt), reducing taxes on the wealthy, increasing cybersecurity, promoting permanent federal funding for black colleges, and setting standards for federal grants. And that’s about all that he did.

There were failures, too, but they pale in comparison to his attempt to thwart the Constitution and disrupt the Electoral College. There’s no need to pour salt into the wound by listing his failures.

The Republican Election Steal

You can read about it at The Daily Beast or you can click it here:

One thing that most people don’t get is how the Republican oligarchy actually operates. Whether they prevent people from voting, or from buying homes, or causing them to live in certain areas, whatever. The Republican oligarchy manipulates the law to work in their favor. And because this manipulation is lawful (at times borderline illegal), the Party of Elite Wealth creates a process or a situation that benefits them.

In the article, if you read it, one of the leaders and influencers of the Republican Party outlines how they intended to steal the election from Joe Biden: create a false concern about fraudulent voting, delay the Electoral College from certifying the election, and use VP Pence in the process.

“This last-minute maneuvering never had any chance of actually decertifying the election results on its own, a point that Navarro quickly acknowledges. But their hope was to run the clock as long as possible to increase public pressure on then-Vice President Mike Pence to send the electoral votes back to six contested states, where Republican-led legislatures could try to overturn the results. And in their mind, ramping up pressure on Pence would require media coverage. While most respected news organizations refused to regurgitate unproven conspiracy theories about widespread election fraud, this plan hoped to force journalists to cover the allegations by creating a historic delay to the certification process.”-Peter Navarro

One routine tactic of the Republican Party is to accuse Democrats of the exact same objective that the Republicans are putting in place: stealing the election in this case.

The beauty of the Republican plan was they already had 100 Congressmen signed up to go along with their perfidy. They didn’t need the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys invading the Capitol but this is what Donald Trump wanted. When VP Pence declined to participate in the Republican Party initiative, Plan B was put into place to seek revenge against Pence. It was Trump’s Order of the Day.

And we know how that turned out.

The Un-Civil War and American Socialism?

It seems like the big fear being tossed out by the Republican Party is that America is becoming socialistic and that OUR country is in peril as a result. But, excuse me for asking, if you are a working person, what is it that bothers you? Of course, Heaven forbid, that we become a one-party Marxist-Leninist state like Russia or China in which the ruling party claims to know what everyone needs or wants and then imposes that upon you. (You know, like the current Republican and the current Democrat political parties in the US.)

But other than the Big Three Marxist countries, what’s is so terribly wrong with being a truck driver, construction worker, or office worker in Canada and Germany? Or a business owner, fisherman, or farmer in seven of the ten countries listed there? Hmm?

I don’t want to live in a socialist country where the government enforces a moral code or political philosophy by sending ordinary citizens to jail who have not committed person-to-person crimes.

And yet, would I take a gun to Washington DC tomorrow to ensure that Republican Party or Democrat Party rules America? Nope. Neither one of them has my best interests at heart. Both want to control me to do what they want me to do and to prevent me from living my life free of their will.

So why do I keep reading about people who think Civil War is coming? What things are so bad that we worker-bees must change our federal government by “taking control?”

I’m thinking we are really looking at a fight between city mouse and country mouse.

Those large cities with thousands of people per square mile on one side and those rural towns and villages with less than a hundred people per square mile on the other side are the issue. Of course, there are more freedoms in the country than in the city. Of course, there are more rules in the big city than in the small towns across America.

Size matters when it comes to political philosophy. If you live in a large city, somebody owns every building, every business, every blade of grass, and in some cases, even the sunlight and shadow that falls on the ground is owned or managed by the government. All your noises are man-made and nature cannot be found anywhere. Do you want to be exploited by those who own these things or do you want to feel safe from exploitation? If you want safety from those who control YOUR resources (food, shelter, clothing, etc) then there is an appeal to having a Big Brother government looking out for you. The last thing you want is to become somebody else’s prey in the concrete jungle.

And, of course, if you live in an area with less than a hundred people per square mile, you don’t want a big city, big businesses, the big government imposing their will upon your life and lifestyle. You don’t want to end up like the people in the big city and be imposed upon by everyone. You see big cities as a problem to avoid and you wish to retain your freedom.

And yet, we have people who believe that Civil War will somehow “fix” what ails America. Wars don’t fix anything. They break things and keep breaking things until there is nothing left to break and then Wars finally stop.

What we need is different laws for big cities and for rural America but it is unlikely you will hear either Party talk about that.

To Republican and Democrat Parties, one size (their size) fits all.

We don’t need compromise. We need collaboration to take care of Americans in big cities and in rural towns. We already have socialism, some Party IN GOVERNMENT is imposing their will upon Americans all the time.

We need collaboration in America. Not Civil War. Let’s work towards that and see what happens.

Emperors are naked! Send Clothing!

Yikes! The Jan 6 House Committee is shouting that NONE of the Right-Wing Emperors have clothes!

Not Trump, not his top advisers, and not the right-wing media. Liz Cheney is stripping the invisibility and invincibility from all Trump acolytes. We are seeing the height of their perfidy and their involvement in trying to overturn the 2020 election results.

Oh, my! Which political party will try to get Liz Cheney to run for office under their banner? It won’t be the Republican Party, for sure!

She is a firebrand and has set the former Executive Branch on fire with her investigation of perfidy at the highest levels. Just like every other investigation of ex-President Donald Trump, this one burns everybody around him. He may have been asbestos in Russia Gate but he is going to burn for his role in the events of January 6th.

There are way too many scandals involving ex-President Donald Trump and his attempts to usurp the US election process. How is it possible that the decent people in the mainstream Republican Party can continue to applaud, listen, and support ex-President Donald Trump?

I don’t know.

But I’m reminded of the Bible story about the prodigal son. I wish all the good Republicans would return home to the Party of fiscal responsibility and good governance.

I hope those Prodigal Sons and Daughters realize that HOME has a new address. HOME for good-governance Republicans is now the Reform Party of the USA.

It’s time to come home. The dinner bell is ringing. You are welcome to join us at the table of good governance and fiscal responsibility.

Caveat emptor news

This opinion piece provides the dumbest reasons why NYC should allow noncitizens the right to vote in municipal elections. But it is protected by the Freedom of the Press.

If we made sausages the way News is offered to the public for consumption, the FDA would be all over this crap and shut these operations down. Does Freedom of the Press mean everyone can say crap about everything in national news and caveat emptor (buyer beware) prevails? Sheesh.

( I know, I know, that is exactly what Freedom of the Press means. I’m just having a tantrum over this opinionated defense of foreign residents voting in American elections. Bear with me, please. I’ll get over it.)

A) It will strengthen communities and give more residents an investment in politics that affect their daily lives. (Who says it was a weakness to forbid foreign residents from voting and why?)

B) There are about 15 million legal non-residents in the country and about 800,000 in New York City. These are our neighbors who pay taxes, send their children to public schools, start businesses and contribute to their communities. They should be able to elect leaders and have a say in local politics just like anyone else. (Well, they already have a say in local politics. They just don’t have the ability to vote their politics into American action!)

C) Giving noncitizens the right to vote will encourage civic engagement, thereby strengthening the cities that allow it. The more people who vote, the more accurately leaders and policies will reflect their constituencies. (What weaknesses exist today? Hmm? And what evidence do you have that the policies in place today do not reflect their constituencies?)

D) It is not fair that these potential citizens should go so long without any civic voice as their cases wind their way through our backlogged immigration system. (Cry me a river. They already have a civic voice and it has nothing to do with immigration status. If you mean politicians prefer to listen to American voters over foreign voters, well, yes, that is the moral, ethical, and legal right of a politician to determine who they will appeal to.)

“It’s not fair” Sheesh. Grow up, buddy. Life isn’t about fairness towards civic representation.

The author never cited a single instance in which foreign residents of NYC have been harmed by or neglected by the citizens who do vote in NYC. There is no evidence of suffering imposed upon a population of 800,000 foreign residents of New York City.

But hey, this is America. This is the place that no matter how asinine your cause is, you will find a national press ready to publish it.

If we made sausages the way news is offered to the public for consumption, the FDA would be all over this crap and shut these operations down. Does Freedom of the Press mean everyone can say crap and caveat emptor prevails? Sheesh. I guess it does.