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    • Interview Part 2: Politics Thru Climate Change
      This second excerpt from my interview is more interesting and longer. This is the second clip from my interview with Ian Welsh (Ian blogs at ianwelsh.net). For this segment, we went on a wild ride discussing the big picture mess that is US politics and society more broadly. I asked Ian what might happen if […]
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Some observations.

This image of the current online version of WaPo will make you anxious, especially if you didn’t see it coming:

Here are some observations, please add your own in the comments section:

  1. The fact that we are currently gripped by disease, hardship and fury should come as a surprise to no one. It is the foundation of American life. We have been living with this reality for decades. But until you have experienced it yourself, long term unemployment, a shredded safety net, a paucity of affordable healthcare and normalized mistreatment of African Americans and women, it takes your breath away when it happens to you. What did YOU do to deserve this? Weren’t you a good citizen? Didn’t you live within your means, pay your taxes, get a good education, strive for success? Why is it that now I’m being treated with such disrespect? No one should be humbled just because they aren’t born wealthy. No one should feel less than because they choose to pursue a trade instead of college. Everyone deserves dignity and respect.
  2. There were many George Floyd’s before George Floyd. There were Eric Garners and Sandra Blands. There was Ahmed Aubrey. There was Representative Lucy McBath’s son who was gunned down at a gas station for playing music too loudly. There was Philando Castile whose girlfriend’s four year old daughter was in the backseat of the car when he was shot to death in the front seat. Some of this was caught on video, some on audio. All of it is horrific. A lot of Americans have been outraged at the calloused inhumanity and the lack of accountability. They were all obvious violations of a person’s due process rights. The cops acted as judge and jury and we all knew it was wrong. So why was this time different?
  3. Protests are supposed to make people uncomfortable. If they didn’t discomfort and inconvenience the powerful and privileged, we would call it a parade. Peaceful protests and non-violence is the ideal. But they MUST be allowed to make other people uncomfortable. They must shine a light. They must shame. Or they aren’t effective.
  4. There are provocateurs in these protests. A car full of undercover cops was identified last night in Atlanta near the CNN center. What are they doing? Who sent them? Who was paying them? For what purpose?
  5. There was a recent study that showed up on Twitter yesterday. Your reaction to the protests will be shaped by the way the media covers them. If the focus is on the lawlessness, you’re likely to side with the law enforcers. If your attention is drawn to the victims, like that George Floyd video, you’re more likely to sympathize with them. What role do provocateurs play in shaping the narrative?
  6. The press has been targeted in multiple instances in the last couple of days. Some have been arrested, some have been shot at with pepper bullets. https://twitter.com/chrisbishopl1c4/status/1266546753182056453?s=21 There are videos that show these targets as clearly marked as media. So, some rogue elements in the police and state police are deliberately going after the press. Those videos are equally disturbing.
  7. We’ve had problems in the past. The Vietnam-Civil Rights era was particularly rough. But there is something different going on now. If you don’t feel it, you must be living under a rock. There is nothing like it in our American history.
  8. It will ruin us. The structural problems have always been there. Now they are exposed and we are all vulnerable. If things don’t start getting under some kind of control, we should expect more chaos, fear, illegal actions and more crime as desperate people start looking out for themselves. Is this what the powers that be really want? Do they want to kill the golden American goose? Because that is what is going to happen if Trump isn’t held accountable and the country doesn’t start to stabilize. We’re going to start to look like Venezuela.
  9. What is it the powers that be want so badly that they would allow this to happen? Somebody better find out fast.

Well, Republicans, was it worth it?

Protests and riots are happening everywhere. With the breakin at the CNN headquarters in Atlanta, and targeting of news crews with pepper bullets, we are seeing an increase in attacks on the press. But the media is still not quite getting it. In the Washington post this morning, there is a piece about Trump threatening to call out the military to restore order but former military and defense experts don’t think he would do it.


On what basis did they come to that conclusion? Was it because Trump removed one of his flagged tweets yesterday? Please.

We are unraveling. Six months ago, if I had said this is where we were headed under Trump, I would have faced a barrage of scorn and ridicule. This country will never break down, they’d say. You’re suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome. Um, actually, I think I did have this conversation. I think I replied that some countries have to learn the hard way. We are now that country.

But it didn’t have to be this way. We knew last fall and on into January that Trump was out of control and dangerous. Adam Schiff pleaded with Republicans back in January to take this seriously.

“How much harm can he do in the next several months? A LOT.”

All we had to do to protect ourselves as a country was remove him from office so that he didn’t pose a danger to US.

But Republicans thought this was all a big political game where winning was everything. They couldn’t look beyond that. They couldn’t see the effect of a virus. They couldn’t see how it would compound the danger.

We did. For that we were made to look like we were exaggerating to overturn an election. In retrospect, it would have been a mercy to us all if we had been able to overturn that election. But all we wanted to do is remove a dangerous person from office. It wasn’t a coup. It was an intervention.

And so, Republicans, elected and base voters, verily I say unto you, it didn’t have to be this bad. This is on you now. Our country is reaching a tipping point. It is time to make that walk from the Capitol to the White House and remove him. If you want, you can even start your own impeachment procedure. We don’t have a problem with that.

But make it quick before Atlanta burns again.