Once more I am moved to bang my head against the wall and talk about gun violence. I wish to talk about why someone/anyone’s 2nd amendment right to own any gun they wish trumps all other rights we have. An surprise it is logical but not reasonable.
The right to own any kind of gun is superior to all other rights because of the basic postulate the person starts with. Most of the time this postulate will not be acknowledged but it is there none the less. It is simply stated as follows “I get to do what I want to do because I want to do it.”
This translates into the debates on rights simple as “My rights are superior to everyone else’s rights.” Therefore your right to life must give way to my right to own any gun I want. This works if and only if a personal rights have either a Hierarchy or are unequal. Many people who have not studied the history and evolution of thought on constitutional rights fall into. No right is superior or takes precedence over any other right. They are all equal. The problem is when they come in to conflict. Or when someone uses a right to do wrong. Usually these conflicts are easy to identify when they happen. Unfortunately the misuse of guns it is not.
The other problem we have to deal with is what do we do when a right is misused? Usually the law try’s to make whole, again, when the right is miss used. Like damages for libel/slander when the right of free speech is misused. Again, unfortunately, when a gun is misused it is often impossible to make whole the victim of the miss use. How do you restore life to the dead, or an arm, leg, and or eye?
So I ask you, what should we do? The misuse of the 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms all to often has irreparable effects and the victim can not be made whole no mater what we do?
With the filing of a lawsuit to bar Donald Trump from that states Primary and General ballots we have now given Donals Trump what many, if not all, Presidential Candidates want……A truly historical election. Article III of the 14th Amendment has rarely been invoked and never been tested in the federal courts completely. We now have the chance to see just what, if anything it means in a practical real world way.
I will not be addressing whether what is happening is a good thing politically; I leave that for a later posting. Rather I want to encourage everyone to read up on the 14th Amendment, both its history and legal scholarship. I think you will be both shocked, surprised, and disappointed by what you find. I was but I was also please to note one thing. Since the Civil War the United States has had no significant insurrections , in fact I found only three possible candidates and all three could be and are no more than what happen on January 6th 2021 (excepting the occupation of the Capital). An until now the 14th’s Section 3 has been little thought of and invoked even less. Why this should be makes for a great history paper and I will refrain from do that here.
What is going to be happening, starting now, is a test of just what the 3rd article of the 14th Amendment really means. With the death of the last person to ever fight in the Civil War in 1959 is the 3rd article a “dead letter”? There are good arguments for this. The debate on the 14th Amendment hardly touched on the 3rd article an I have found nothing in the debates about disqualification. (See CREW for details of disqualification)This will be the first time since the 1860’s anyone on the level of a National office is in danger of being disqualified. This is important for both legal and political reasons. With Donald Trump facing this problem rest assured the MAGA-GOP will, somehow, take actions to apply disqualification to the first non-MAGA-GOP to run for President or Vice President. It will happen.
As for the law? I don’t know. I do know that every American needs to watch the coming trials carefully. I mean not just the trials of Donals Trump and his Co-Conspirators but also all of the trials dealing with who is allowed on the ballot(s). Even the most radical judge can be a good judge when they know they are being watch. Watched not only by their peers, nor the scholars of law, but by also by the electorate at large. You don’t have to do much, just let anyone and everyone know you are watching. An unlike the radical right, the common electorate needs no threats, just their eyes and minds.
I followed, as closely as I could stand which was not much, the first of the GOP debate and I heard nothing to make be think about voting for any Republican next year. Frankly this is quite sad for me. While I am a life long Democrat I have, from time to time, voted for Republicans. In fact my first Representative in the House was a Republican and I voted every time he ran for reelection. I was what was known as a Reagan Republican in the 1980’s
So what did I hear in the Debate that I didn’t like? First the response to the idea of ending Social Security and Medicare. I admit that this is very personal for me as all I have to live on now that I’m retired is Social Security. An before you say it, yes it is my own fault that I’m in this position. Back in 2006 Lin and I decided to start our own business. 2009 was our break-even year and we got hit by the Great Recession. In an effort to save the business we put everything we had into to it. To no effect. I lost everything. But I would still be totally apposed to ending Social Security. As to Medicare/Medicaid just try and get medical insurance if you are over 35 on the open market and have any kind of medical issues, like higher than “normal” blood pressure. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
What got me in the debate was not that a candidate proposed the idea, no. What got me was the enthusiasm the proposal got. The audience loved it. I also noticed the lack of any defense of Social Security and Medicare by any of the other candidates. I heard nothing. Did Fox just ignore any response or was there just none? I don’t know.
The second major take away for me was the idea that Climate Change (Global Warming) is a myth. Once again it is personal, I am a scientist. Yes it is a Social Science but it still is a Science. I still use the scientific method and math. Get over it. The very idea that millions of individuals have colluded to pull a great hoax on the American people for the sole purpose of destroying the ‘Carbon Industry’ (an just what is the ‘Carbon Industry’ anyway?) just blows my mind. That the GOP would give this idea even the time of day worries me. Not because the party leadership believes it but that they are so clinical that the are willing to use it for a few more votes. What else are they willing to do to get and keep power? I don’t want to find out.
In their effort to scare the mass of GOP voters I think the ten candidates last night have accomplished something else. The are scaring the great mass of the Middle voters. Not right nor left but the middle. The very voters you need to win in the general election. Last night I heard nothing to attract that voter. Now we can wait and see.
A little while ago a friend of mine suggested a new way of talking about the Climate Change Crisis. She recommend I use the phase “You can pay me now, or you can pay me later.” I tried it and it worked. We got away from arguing about if it exists or not and started discussing just how we will pay for either just letting things happen or trying to do something preemptively. I was even able to change the wording. No longer are we trying to reverse the effects of “Global Warming (AKA Climate Change) we were now talking about controlling the Climate aka Weather.
Controlling Weather has be a staple of Science Fiction since forever. It is right up there with sailing under the sea and flying to the Moon. Both of which we now have done and take for granted. One big advantage is we can take off the table how we get other countries to cooperate. We can just assume they will joint in just so they have some say in what kind of weather. This also gets the Climate Change Deniers off of defending their denial, very non-productive, and onto thinking about what we can do that benefits us.
Another thing is we can get them to look at just how much the recovery from ‘Natural’ disasters cost and looking at how much preventive action would have cost. One example is the cost of improving the levy system of the lower Mississippi vs building all new sea ways when the river changes its path it has now away from the Port of New Orleans. The river has tried to do this a couple of time already and preventing it has been both costly and difficult. We even have a great ‘Bad Example’ in the wild fire in Hawaii, recovery costs of over $5 billion or greater are being talked about. What would it cost in recovery cost be for Miami when it is hit head on by a mega Hurricane?
Finally we can point out, with hard examples, that the money we put into the research on Climate Control will, 1) be mostly spent in the USA and 2) even pure research has always pay itself back many times over. A when the research is targeted, like in the space program, the return on investments is even greater. An as an added bonus we can go looking for the hidden examples of where research in one area has given great benefits in totally unrelated areas.
You can pay for it now, or you can pay for it later.
Something we all should think about is just what will happen if the GQP/MAGA win in 2024. I will not go into what some liberals fear, but rather just what the Republican Party and its leadership have promised to deliver upon election to power.
First and foremost remember that unless the coming Republican Convention does as it did in the last election the GQP takes as its platform what ever Donald Trump says it is for. Nothing more Nothing less. The Republicans, as a political party only promises only to do as Trump directs. So forget what Republican Leaders like the Governors of Florida and Texas are doing now. Forget what they are saying in Congress. Pay no attention to what the blogs are saying. None of it maters. All that maters is what Donald Trump does.
So what can we expect? We can’t go by what he says as he really has a hard time delivering on what he promises. Like his wall on the southern border that Mexico would pay for. Or that Covid-19 would be just a memory before the election of 2020. In fact the only promises he does seem to follow thru on is when he promises to get ’even’ with someone. Now those are promises he seems to go out of his way to keep.
So we should be expecting the GQP to enable the next Republican President to take ”full direct control” of the DOJ, DOD, Internal Revenue Service, just to name a few. We should see the Democratic party both directly and indirectly attacked an emasculated to the maximum extent possible. We should see the State election officials also attacked with the aim of bringing them under the control of the GQP. This will includes every ’Purple’ and ’Blue’ state possible.
I would also expect to see as many of the people held responsible by Trump for his Impeachments to be brought up on as many criminal charges as possible. I also expect to see a total house cleaning of ’disloyal’ Republicans (aka RINOs) from the party. Also look for the aggrandizement of anyone Trump believes might be of use to him.
Finally look for a lot of infighting behind the scenes and under the table.
It may seem strange but all of the liberal factions of the ”left” are, in many a strange way, benefiting from the Tumpian era of politics. Not to say that the Trumpian era did good things, no. What I’m saying is that the Libs can learn a lot from what has happened, is happening, and will continue to happen.
The time period I am calling the Trumpian era does not start back in 2016, it started back in the mid 1960s. What I mean is that the seeds that came to fruit in the Trump years were started to be planted with the formulation of what is called ”The Southern Strategy”. It continued thru the Reagan years and the Gingrich revolution till Trump and todays GQP/MAGA. It started with the equal rights movement that was to deny a fundamental right of all white men. That no mater how lowly you position was in the social/economic world there was someone who you could treat just as bad, if not worse, than you thought you’d been treated. That you, as a white male was still a member of the upper tier of society.
So just what did they do? It was not one thing nor was it a well thought out strategic plan. Rather it was a coming together of a conglomeration of ideas and actions over the years. It started with coming up with methods of weening away White Southerners from the democratic party by embracing any and all opposition to expanding voting rights to non-white people. It then continued with breathing new life into the traditional fear and hatred of those immigrants who came after ”my” ancestors immigrated to the USA. The classic ”We are Good, They are Bad” trope. All the while ranting about it is all the ”Liberal Courts” fault and working behind the scenes to load the courts with persons whose political philosophy matched the most extreme conservative view.
Next came the idea that ”Conservatives” were and are the “VICTIMS”. Just victims of what is never made clear. In fact to make clear just how and of what they are victims is vigorously suppressed. All the while decrying the victim hood of the poor, immigrants, non-white, the women, you get the point. Decrying and putting down anyone who tries to present hard facts/data/evidence of persecution of a group. The cry of ”We are the true victims here, not ‘those’ people.” Until the Trump era this was not easy to do but Donald Trump has shown how to do it. Just cry out that ”I am the Retribution for all the wrongs done by the _______ to you.” No need to say how you were wronged. How you were victimized. Now all you need to do is cry out you are getting ”retribution” and no one can challenge your claim to being the victim.
On a personal note: Have you noticed that often as not the people who cry out how they are the Victim(s) here are the same people who told who ever would listen that this was just the ”Culture of Victimhood” and they should just pull themselves up by the bootstraps just like ”My ancestors did.”?
So just what are the Liberals learning from all this? First, and for most, the use of hard facts with logical/reasonable arguments is not going to work in this debate. At lest when dealing with the hard core GQP. It needs to be aimed at the sizable middle who can and will be open to hearing what is said. We must accept the lamentable fact that reason will have no effect on the GQP. That they are so deeply invested in they ideas of the GQP that to question any of it’s dogma is an anathema. That the liberal have to accept that someone will reject out of hand a reasoned argument is very hard to take. But take it we must and we need to stop trying to make it work. They need to focus on what can and does work. Humor and ridicule, and this will not be easy to do. But it can be done. It is being done. An it must continue to be done.
Recently I’ve been rereading the Foundation Trilogy by Dr. Asimov and I noticed something for the first time. In the stories Dr. A never really gives the ready a good idea of just how long a ’Crisis’ takes to build and just what all of the key and/or important events are. Only the ones key to the story line. Which is great for telling a story but not so great for someone who is trying to extrapolate a Socio/Politico/History.
I’ve become aware of this with all of the small (relatively) small events that have been happening this past year. With the release of the latest Trump Tape where we can hear what is reported to be Donald Trump actually revealing what he said was/are classified documents/information to person(s) not cleared to have that information. He also made it clear that he understood, at that time, the rules and regulations regarding classified documents/information. What is important is currently Donald Trump has yet to be charged with the improper revelation of classified information, only the improper possession and failure to return government documents.
I’ve gone in to this detail to illustrate just how complex a Sheldon Crisis is and how it can turn on the smallest things. The small detail here is that he talked about it. Another detail is he let himself be recorded. Finally it shows that even if the Trump wins the Mar-A-Largo case he still faces possible charges in New Jersey for the actual act of disclosing the information to person or persons not cleared for that information.
So inclosing we currently have two major ’crux points’ in the Crisis, the New York State charge(s) and the Federal Mar-A-Largo charges. We have another two potential ’cruxes’; the possible Federal charge(s) on reveling of classified information in New Jersey and the Federal Sedition charge(s) in D.C. Both of these could be made up of many smaller crux points. Which points are important and which are not is the question. I guess we will just have to wait and see, or until the Vault opens at Terminus City.
Once again the Nation gets to watch the MAGA/GOP swill down the Orange Kool-Aid as Donald Trump does his best to help the prosecution in the Florida trial. An what is even better is how much the GOP leadership is doing it’s best to look like total idiots and fools. Lets just look at what has happened over the last few days.
First Donald, in an interview over the week-end, once again admitted to knowingly keeping the documents while, at the same-time, not doing anything to help keep him out of trouble. He also has shown he has no idea of what laws he has been accused of violating. He keeps talking about the ”Presidential Records Act” and that hasn’t even been mention in passing in the indictment .
Next let’s look at what the House Leadership is talking about, the ”Double Standard” that Trump is be teated with. Now this is something I can agree on, Donald Trump is being treated differently than Richard Roe, private citizen. If you know someone who has or had a security clearance just what would have happened to them if they took home a classified document. I bet they would have told you Federal agents of the appropriate agency (FBI, DIA, USMsh) would have arrested them and taken into custody and then figured out if they should hold you. An if you were charged you would have had a good time trying to get released, much less keep your passport. Now I ask you, did anything like that happen to Donald Trump? Did anything happen to Donald Trump? Was he told to surrender his passport? Was he told to not leave the jurisdiction of the Court? Of the State of Florida? No, he was not. He did even have to post any bail!
So we now have hard evidence that a double standard does exist. It just not what the GOP Leadership is complaining about or maybe it is but they don’t want the GOP rank and file to notice just what is happening. Most people understand where the MAG/GOP rank and file are coming from when they get upset about the perceived special treatment for Biden or Hilary. But what gets hard to take is when they refuse to see it when it applied to Trump. Go ahead and complain about a double standard but keep your eyes open for where and when it happens. The double standard has little to do with what political party you belong to. It has everything to do with how much power/influence/fame/wealth you have.
With the Indictment of Donald J Trump last week and the first of the formal court proceedings (aka reading the charges) we are now entering what is the next phase of our Sheldon Crisis. We are now nearing one of the major crux of this crisis, I hope. In the next year or so we can expect to see one or more things happen, and I am taking this time to list the ones I see right now.
Trump is not convicted.
This can happen in several ways. First and most unlikely is that the Prosecution does an incredibly bad job and/or the Defense does an incredibly good job. As I said, not likely but it has happened in the past.
Next, a still unlikely the defense is able to convince at lest one juror to vote for acquittal . This would end up in a hung jury and most likely lead to a new trial. So the defense needs to get the presiding judge to declare the miss-trial with ’prejudice’.
What I think the defense is trying for is to get the presiding judge to throw out most if not all of the evidence of what Trump is accused of. This is very hard to do and timing will be everything. If at all possible these ruling(s) need to take place so that the prosecution has little or no time to appeal.
Trump is convicted
Now let’s get to the dangerous part. The trial runs its course and Trump is convicted on one or more counts. Now what happens?
Almost assuredly Trump appeals all the way up to the Supreme Court and it has one of several things it can do.
First it could just not hear the case. This could be the best for the Court if the lower court throws out the conviction. But if the conviction is still standing when SCOTUS hears it then the court still has several things it can do. The best for the court would be to put the case on what is sometimes called the ’Merit Docket’ hear all the arguments and then make it’s ruling. Unfortunately this case is the political hot potato of hot potatoes and this court has not shown itself to be willing to take on this kind of case in the ’Merit Docket’ To many people will see just who is a loyal MAGA who isn’t.
SCOTUS could also decide to take the case on what is called the ’Shadow Docket’. This is attractive in that it is done all behind closed doors and without any of the justices putting their name on the ruling. In fact no reasoning needs to be given. SCOTUS could just rule that the case is overturned with prejudice and say nothing else. The one major problem with doing this is that what ever the prestige SCOTUS has with the general public will take a very big hit.
Well my computer is now overheating with running all the Sheldon Equations so I’ll say good by for now.
Today while listening to the ”Sisters in Law” podcast they were asked Why the GOP is not worried about the US defaulting on its debt? It is a good question and the Sisters in Law gave several good answers but I think they really missed the mark and I’d like to share my take on an answer.
There are several things to keep in mind when trying to answer this question and the most important is that there are some 271 GOP members of congress. That’s a lot of diverent views of the problem even not considering all the ’conservative’ mover and shakers exerting their influence. So with that in mind lets get started.
First, for the extreme MAGA wing of the party any hurt done is totally immaterial. All that maters is “Owning the Lib’s”. This is a two teared goal. First the Lib’s in the congress have to be seen to cave in to them. Next if the Libs do not cave in any and all harm can and will be all the Lib’s fault. This will most likely be expressed in the classic abuser ”Look What You Made Me Do!” If the Lib’s had just been good little boy’s and girls and done what the MAGA told them to do nothing would have happened.
Next, for the regular GOP members it is as simple as they just do not believe anything bad can happen to them. They are the ”Elite”, ”The Chosen One(s)”, the ones who never seem to get in trouble even when they are in the middle of it. A while this is mostly true for the top 5% (what I like to call the Upper/Uppers) they will, at most, have to curtail some of their staff. After all it is hard to tell the difference in how you live when your net worth goes from $5 Billion to $3 billion. Or million for that matter. Now it is much easier when your income goes from $100,000 to $60,000 or from $40,000 to nothing.
Finally, for the members of the GOP who do realize just what default can and will mean; they think that the political gain for them, both personally and party wise, fair out ways any suffering of the mass’s. Indeed, some of this group actually think they see ways to personally gain, both politically and financially. That they maybe mistaken never seems to cross their minds.
In closing please remember that this is just the top three answers to the question. Also, my dear reader, remember that anyone of the MAGA GOP can switch between any and all of these answers and can mix them anyway they want. Just remember we are in a political game of ’Chicken’ and that game can only end in two ways; Someone swerves or someone dies. Sometimes two someones.