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    • The Espionage Act Is Bad Law Even When It Is Used Against People I Despise Like Trump
      Back in June 2019, the New Yorker wrote an article lambasting the Espionage Act. The George W. Bush Administration pursued several government insiders for leaking classified information, but it was the Obama Administration that normalized the use of the Espionage Act against journalists’ sources. Among its targets were Jeffrey Sterling, a former C.I.A. offic […]
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The January 6 Hearings on One Side, and Fox Network on the Other

As probably everybody here knows, Fox will not be covering any of the Congressional Committee hearings regarding the insurrection of January 6, 2021. The first of these public hearings will be shown on January 9, at 8pm Eastern Time, 5pm PT. All but one of the major networks: CBS, NBC, ABC, PBS, MSNBC, CNN, will be covering the Thursday hearings in prime time. Fox will not be.

Fox will be running its same shows. Fox has decided that it does not want its viewers to watch the hearings. Fox wants to pretend that the hearings are about nothing, just political theater. They continue to claim that the entire episode was just some tourists milling about the Capitol, and then some Antifa and BLM people running around. They say that whatever it was, everyone should just “get over it.”

I do not call them “Fox News,” not just because they are a propaganda network, but because they have successfully argued in court that they should be considered an entertainment network, not a news network. This was to avoid possible defamation liability, or other related lawsuits which might be filed against a news network for deliberately misstating facts. Fox executives said, “We’re an entertainment network!,” while they call themselves a news network, and constantly talk about “reporting.”

It is all a clever game for Fox, and they get away with it. So they decide that showing the hearings is not in their best interest; it might confuse their cult of brainwashed watchers, so they will either pretend it is not happening, or mock it.

This of course is a not very far away harbinger of the future, where Fox is State Television under a fascist Republican totalitarian state. We read about such a country in Orwell’s “1984,” telescreens mandatory in everyone’s home; where the state not only feeds continual propaganda to everyone, but can watch them to make sure that they are obediently viewing it, and not doing something subversive to the state, and its representation, “Big Brother.” This is indeed what is going to happen if these forces get their way; and every minute, they are trying to stitch more of this suffocating fabric.

So what do we do? We cannot force people to watch the hearings. We cannot ban Fox, though a worthwhile FCC would not allow them to call themselves a news network. There have been suggestions, as from Kurt Bardella, a former Republican strategist who appears to have legitimately switched sides, and now advises the current Administration, to ban Fox from all press briefings. That would actually make sense, if they are not a representative of the press, like TMZ is not.

These hearings are designed to serve many purposes. One of the most important of them is to inform the public as to just what was planned, and what occurred, in this terrifying assault on the Capitol and American democracy. If few people watch it, this would not be good for the democracy. We need them to watch it, somewhat like the nation tuned into the Watergate hearings every day. Fox, the mouthpiece and propaganda arm of the Republican Fascist Party, does not want people to watch it, so they will provide counterprogramming, in the form of their propaganda.

Any network which would even partially pretend to be a news network, would show these hearings, because they are significant news But Fox does not want to let the news through, it only shows what they want their audience to know or see. They’ve incited people to commit mass murder because of the “Replacement Theory” that they keep purveying. But that was just entertainment for them, I guess.

If they win this battle, they will control the entire feed of information to the public, as much as they do in Russia or North Korea, or the Cuba which the Floridian Latinx immigrants hate so much that they keep voting Republican, for DeSantis, Scott, and Rubio, because they are afraid of “Cuban Socialism,” not the actual fascism which is its totalitarian double, and actually exists in this country.

I hope that everybody tells everybody they know, about the hearings. People who only watch Fox, and there are reportedly millions of those people, will actually not know about the hearings, or perhaps see a brief, skewed, and false version of them.

It is essential that as many people as possible watch these hearings. They will be our best and probably last chance to get this story out, with various possible helpful effects in saving democracy, and rendering Trump unelectable, as well as possibly opening some people’s eyes to the Republicans’ efforts to create an authoritarian state, backed by a very well armed militia of fanatic and insane people with weapons of all sorts, and no regard at all for human rights, laws, and life.

I hope that as many people as possible watch it, talk about it, tell others at work about it, make it the water cooler topic of the month. Yes, there are more enjoyable things to talk about. But at least sometimes, the citizens of a democracy have a responsibility to be serious, to learn crucial facts, and to use that information to make important voting choices, and most imperatively, vote based on them. That is how democracies survive.

Fox Whatever It Is Called does not want our democracy to survive. They want a totalitarian state in which they are the propaganda arm of the authoritarians. If they want their brainwashed hordes to ignore or dispute actual reality, they will call for that. If they want them to riot and kill, they will call for that. That is what essentially happened on January 6, 2021, no matter how much effort they keep putting into hiding, denying, and lying about it

The most important thing in these hearings, in my view, is to show as many people as possible that this was in no way a one-time thing, even something bad that got out of hand. It is to tell the story that this was a plot concocted by Republicans at the highest level, intended to overturn the results of the election; to cause enough violence that either it would be impossible for the electoral results to be certified, or it would give Trump the opening to declare martial law, and thereby keep power indefinitely.

It is something ongoing, it is what the Republican Party is now. No matter how upset one might be about gas prices (and one might want to look to record oil company profits for the blame), the overriding issue is whether you want to have in power a party which does not believe in the democratic processes, or in laws, or in upholding valid elections, but which will do anything to take and keep power. In other words, they are a mortal threat to America. As the computer types like to say, it is now a feature, not a bug. This is the Republican Party in all its deceit and evil. Fox doesn’t want anyone to see that.

Question: Do school shooter drills save lives?

I ask because it seems to me like a lot of kids die anyway. Parkland was horrific. The shooter roamed the hallways. Uvalde and Sandy Hook took a high toll in a couple of classrooms.

Why do shooters concentrate most of their firepower in a classroom or two? What stops them from decimating multiple classrooms, especially when they’re carrying multiple guns and ammunition? What stops them from blowing through locked doors? For that matter, what stops them from shooting through windows?

19 children died in Uvalde. That’s a lot of children who were drilled on how to stay quiet and keep a low profile. I get it that you don’t want panicking children making a bad situation worse. But I question the efficacy of having children cowering in their classrooms like sitting ducks.

If these drills are going to work, they have to be more creative and better.