Portland: Protests vs Riots

I watched about an hour’s worth of Portland videos before writing this only to learn that my thoughts two months ago are still valid today.

a) The daytime protests are in line with non-violent protests I have seen for the past 50 years. Regular people wearing regular clothes singing, carrying signs, shouting their cause through megaphones and at the top of their voices. These are the ones who care passionately about reducing police brutality and preventing the death and injury of people being arrested for a crime.

b) Towards dusk and later, the crowds wear black, they don helmets, they hurl objects, and they attack bystanders as well as police and property. If I were to stereotype the Antifa, the violent people, the destroyers of social order, I would say that if they wear gas masks, wear black, shout their hatred towards the police, and taunt the police, these are the ones I would target for arrest as a police officer assigned to maintain social order.

I read with disgust the statements of Mayor Ted Wheeler, Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury, and the Oregon Governor Kate Brown related to the death of a Trump supporter. They blamed the death of a Trump supporter on …the presence of Trump supporters… who the officials say were there to incite violence.

The Trump supporter was shot dead by someone in a red car. This is not intimidation, it is not Trump-oriented violence. It is an occupant of a red car who shot the man as he was walking in the street. The video is on the internet if you look for it.

When I read and hear what the officials of Portland and state government say, I am reminded of the expressions “Well that’s what she gets for dressing like this” and “well, what did you expect being there at that time of night”.

If any one needs to be “woke”, it’s the Mayor, the County Chair, and the governor. The violence does not stop until they make it stop. It is their job to provide for the safety of everyone. They have failed to do that. They are illegitimate as a government.

Trump may not do anything now, but if this is still happening on November 4th after the election, I expect the US Military to be on the streets of Portland to quell the violence. And I expect they will remain until January 20th if Trump is not elected to a second term… and longer if he is.

It is UnReasonable to permit civil unrest for social injustice to exist this long. The Governor, the Mayor, and the County have had four months to craft a new police policy as a way to stop the riots and they have not done a thing. Shame on their leadership. Shame on them.

an idiot speaks

Not me…a different idiot..

“Moreover, free speech has never been more widely available than it is today. So much so that the cacophony of voices liberated by digital media too frequently drowns out well-informed and sensible opinion. Trump, who blurts out several hot takes every day, is himself an example of the verbal incontinence enabled by Twitter in recent years.”

Please don’t be stupid enough to think that Free Speech has anything to do with Twitter and other social media. Your speech may be curtailed by any person, organization, church, or motorcycle club in your neighborhood who chooses to block you from their website, newspaper, podium, or whatever. You do not have the right to have your barbaric yawp printed or distributed by everyone.

Free speech is about what GOVERNMENT cannot do. They cannot stop you from saying cruel and heartless things… unless you advocate insurrection, the overthrow of the government.

Cancel Culture is the negation of public figures by withdrawing support for them, their history, their products, and/or their contributions. This is rejection, not censorship. It is revisionism of the highest order. It is oppression.

I’m beginning to think we live on the island described in Lord of the Flies. You and I and others like us are “Ralph”.

The rest of the world is like Jack’s savages and soon they will be hunting us. They wish to put our heads on a spike because we adhere to morality rather than savagery.

We may need the military to save us. It’s happened before. Different places and different times.

President Trump’s Rushmore Speech

If you haven’t read it, you should. It’s a great speech and except for one swipe at Democrat mayors, it reflects the American character of exceptionalism.

https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-president-trump-south-dakotas-2020-mount-rushmore-fireworks-celebration-keystone-south-dakota/

I am thankful I did not see him deliver the speech. It would have ruined it for me. I would have focused on his hubris and his poor character as a human being. He will never measure up to the presidential legacies of those who were carved into the rock behind him. But he did have this one great speech.

After President Trump’s praise of our Founding Fathers, he went on to say:

“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 are doing this, but some know exactly 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.

The President goes on to say:

“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 our values, and it has absolutely no place in the United States of America.  (Applause.)  This attack on our liberty, our magnificent liberty, must be stopped, and it will be stopped very quickly.  We will expose this dangerous movement, protect our nation’s children, end this radical assault, and preserve our beloved American way of life.  (Applause.)

In our schools, our newsrooms, even our corporate boardrooms, there is a new far-left fascism that demands absolute allegiance.  If you do not speak its language, perform its rituals, recite its mantras, and follow its commandments, then you will be censored, banished, blacklisted, persecuted, and punished.  It’s not going to happen to us.  (Applause.)

There is a lot of truth in these statements… And a bit of irony that the President fires everyone perceived as disloyal to him while embracing the concept of tolerance for opposing viewpoints.

“Against every law of society and nature, our children are taught in school to hate their own country, and to believe that the men and women who built it were not heroes, but that were villains.  The radical view of American history is a web of lies — all perspective is removed, every virtue is obscured, every motive is twisted, every fact is distorted, and every flaw is magnified until the history is purged and the record is disfigured beyond all recognition.”

The President goes on to remind everyone about our national heroes.

In all of the bad things we can say about this President, there is this one good speech about America; there is the calling out of a new fascism that seeks to tear the American Dream into shreds and replace it with an American Nightmare. An American Nightmare to scare the innocent, frighten the ignorant, and horrify the rational and reasonable citizens of America.

We are not now and never have been anything but exceptional.

Our country has abandoned its racist past and its misogynist culture.

It has defeated Nazis, Communists, and a variety of totalitarian dictators.

While the embers of these firestorms still glow, the fires have been extinguished. We must continue to be vigilant so they do not re-kindle into a conflagration once again.

While my disdain for President Trump remains high, he will be replaced one day and America will move forward once again to remove the yoke of misery off the shoulders of its citizens and off the world.

It is our legacy and our future as a nation.

Believe in America’s history, believe in its future.

What now?

Now that everyone has had their thirty-days of emotional response to:

(Choose one or more)

a) police brutality

b) the Confederacy that was defeated 150 years ago

c) slavery that was legal and existed in America from 1492 until Juneteenth 1865

d) the lack of government tools to deal with public mental health

e) wearing face masks

f) monument and property destruction

f) all of the above

..perhaps we can go back to being adults again. Hopefully, better adults this time around.

Politicians and social leaders took up the causes of protesters AND tolerated the protest misbehaviors for the most part. While plenty of people decried the violence, the protesters who respected the laws (and the traditional American convention of social protest) were not tarred and feathered with the Anarchists.

Even the rantings of the President of the United States to gin up an authoritarian response were ignored by local politicians. Thank God.

So here we are cleaning up the destruction of property, the leavings of human garbage, the bruising of community relationships, and the re-examination of law-and-order in our political infrastructure.

What happens next?

Will we change our meme as a nation?

Will the restraint demonstrated by local authorities continue?

Will battle lines be re-drawn?

Will we finally defeat our past?

Do Blacks Need More Help to Succeed at Life?

So this morning I’m watching TV and I see a black woman lamenting that black financial consultants at Morgan Stanley were not given enough help and mentoring to succeed in the firm.

Isn’t that amazing? College-educated. Hired into a traditionally white male occupation. In a formerly white male company. But it is not enough.

Black financial consultants need more help in order to be successful.

Really? Are we going to have the argument that equal opportunity is not enough and that, for some unknown reason, blacks must have more help to enjoy equal outcomes?

Sheesh. In competition there are winners and losers. Perhaps she lost because people gave up on her. Perhaps her skill set is not good enough to be top tier. Even white people competing with white people lose. Join the club of hundreds of thousands of white people who fail to make top tier. It happens every day.

Now I see NetFlix is shifting $100 million to black-owned banks to support black communities.

And billionaire Robert Smith proposes all big companies donate 2% of their annual profits to black-owned businesses. “Dear Mr. Smith, perhaps black-owned businesses should make money the old-fashioned way….”

Native Americans in the US must be pissed at the largesse that is handed out to blacks in America. I’m wondering if they should protest and seek equal outcomes for Native Americans in the same manner as Black Americans have received. Native Americans were kicked off their lands and subjugated for more years than black Americans. But who is getting all the attention?

Is this madness ever going to end?

One image, many interpretations

The President sees the looting and mob actions.

The Media see the abuse of the innocent by the Authorities.

The Democrats see the outcome of rich versus poor politics.

The Republicans see the outcome of poor choices made by individuals.

The Communists see an opportunity to de-stabilize Americans from their government.

The Fascists see an opportunity to demonstrate the Force of Law.

The Antifa see an opportunity to rebel against Authority.

Law Enforcement sees civil disobedience.

The emotionally sensitive see the pain of others.

The emotionally insensitive see the weakness of others.

And what about you? What do you see?

More Judicial Activism?

The right-wing activist responsible for organizing the “Freedom Rally” in Madison where up to 72 people caught coronavirus is one of 17 plaintiffs in a lawsuit that aims to overturn most remaining stay-home orders in the state and prevent more from ever being issued, even as some are already expired and most of them are set to expire within the next few days.

The suit calls stay-home orders, designed to stop the spread of coronavirus, “irrational and unjustifiable” and claims health officials “lack a compelling, legitimate, or rational interest in the orders’ application.”

So once more there is a push to abandon StayAtHome orders in Wisconsin.

Look, it is one thing to say we have to learn to live with COVID-19 (my point for three months now) instead of ONLY ISOLATING. And it is completely different to say abandon ALL StayAtHome orders.

Who benefits if more people contract COVID-19 and are hospitalized and perhaps die?

FEND FOR YOURSELF has never sounded so ominous as it does now.

It appears there aren’t enough bodies in the street for some people.

Since when has a working policy proved its value so well and yet people are rushing in to trash it so completely?

MAGA Mission a Failure

In 2015, Donald Trump announced he was going to Make America Great Again. In his speech at Trump Tower, The Donald outlined his plan. Here it is:

Below is Donald Trump’s formula — 19 points in all — to make America great again, as culled from his Tuesday remarks.

  • Sell junk to Saudi Arabia, since the goods we send them are blown up anyway;
  • Repeal Obamacare “and replace it with something that benefits everybody”;
  • “Turn off that spigot” of sending money to China (in the form of debt payments) by taxing them “until they behave properly”;
  • Renegotiate our foreign trade deals;
  • Call up the head of the Ford Motor Company and tell them they are going to be taxed at 35 percent for every car coming from Mexico until they decide to nix their plant in Mexico City;
  • End President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration;
  • End border crossings from Mexico because some of those border-crossers are “rapists”;
  • To do that, build a “great, great wall” on the U.S.-Mexico border;
  • Have Mexico pay for that wall;
  • Don’t appoint a secretary of state who rides bikes and breaks his leg;
  • Avoid riding bikes himself;
  • Work hard on the Islamic State problem;
  • Stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons;
  • Find the General Patton or General MacArthur from within the U.S. armed forces to “make it really work” in the Middle East;
  • Rebuild the country’s infrastructure — “nobody can do that like me”;
  • Create jobs — “I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created”;
  • Save Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security “without cuts”;
  • Protect the Second Amendment;
  • Take the brand of the United States “and make it great again.”

I conclude the MAGA Mission has failed. But let’s give this President his due. He did accomplish items # 4, 10, and 11 but I think it isn’t enough to compensate for the other items he failed to accomplish.

Perhaps his slogan in 202o should be MAMA.

Make America Mediocre Again.

He seems to be doing quite well at that.

Wisconsin Republicans and the Law

By now everyone in America is aware that Republican leadership in Wisconsin legislature complained to the Wisconsin Supreme Court that the renewal of the Wisconsin Stay At Home order was unconstitutional.

The first emergency order came from the Governor and it was uncontested by the Republican leadership.

“Evers declared a public health emergency on March 12 using a state law that grants governors the power to address emergencies resulting from “a disaster or the imminent threat of a disaster.” The governor’s declaration authorized DHS to “take all necessary and appropriate measures to prevent and respond to incidents of COVID-19.” The Legislature can revoke the governor’s powers, but even if lawmakers don’t act, they expire after May 11.”

The extension of the original order, however, did not come from the Governor. It came from the Department of Health Services Secretary Andrea Palm. And she came to her job through an appointment. An emergency appointment that was never confirmed by Wisconsin Legislature. The Republican leadership does not like her and has since demanded that she be fired. This led to the complaint to the Wisconsin Supreme Court that an unelected and unconfirmed Cabinet Secretary was using the power of the law to shutter Wisconsin businesses.

“But it was Palm — not Evers — who issued Wisconsin’s initial Safer at Home order on March 24 and then extended the order until May 26 last week. Palm used the authority given to her under a different set of laws designed to manage communicable diseases. Those don’t require the governor’s approval, and they don’t expire with his emergency order.”

Section 252 of Wisconsin statutes grants powers to the DHS related to communicable diseases. Those powers include the ability to shutter businesses.

The conservatives on the Wisconsin Supreme Court have now ruled that DHS order by Cabinet Secretary Andrea Palm is illegal. This is judicial activism at its worst.

In an unusual twist, the Republican leadership requested the ruling but they also requested that the effect of the Supreme Court ruling be delayed one week while working out new rules through the legislative process. The Wisconsin Supreme Court ignored this request and immediately blocked the Wisconsin Stay at Home order issued by Palm.

Which now leaves Wisconsin in limbo with no state-wide rules and each County can enact Public Health rules as they see fit.

This means nobody is going to pay attention to the County Health Departments’ “guidance” as law.

As you can imagine, the bars in northern Wisconsin are full of people drinking and cajoling and breathing infected air. A spike in Wisconsin’s COVID infection may be expected in four to seven days.

The nature of that spike and the deaths related to it is all on the heads of the Wisconsin Republican leadership and the Wisconsin Supreme Court who decided to meddle in Public Health and the powers granted to the Department of Public Health by law.

Politics kills people. We will know soon enough how many and for how long.

 

Trump Lies, McConnell Fies

It’s barely noteworthy.  This President lies.

Today he implied that Joe Scarborough killed a 28-year-old intern. Which Republicans will condemn him for this false accusation? None.

Mitch McConnell is far too busy telling former President Obama to stop criticizing President Trump for his mistakes. You remember Majority Leader Mitch right? The one that saved President Trump from impeachment? Of course, you do. He is the one that prevented the Senate from hearing testimony from people who work for Trump. McConnell worships President Trump.

Watching President Trump fumble his way through these COVID press conferences is nauseating. Watching journalists treat the President of the United States with contempt is disgusting.

It makes you want a new Congress, a new President, and a new set of good behaviors.  The two corporations that run the American government could use some free market politics right about now. Do you remember the idea behind free markets?  If there are enough competitors in the market place, the quality will be high and the cost will be low. That is what Free Trade is all about…letting the buyer choose among several alternatives produces the highest quality and the lowest cost. Free Politics is about reducing the barriers that prevent a new political party from rising.

Maybe we should create Equal Opportunity policies for federal elections to encourage the advancement and development of political parties in America. Free Party Politics sounds like a winner to me.