Harriet Vane

Acts of civil war; subverting, undermining the Constitution; refusing to obey the law ...

Dear friends and readers,

The header describes what the Republicans have been openly doing since Trump took office, more overtly yet since the election began. They want to provoke violence from the democrats so that they can send violent heavily armed militia to maim and wound protesters and demonstrators or if people try to remove the fake ballot boxes the Republicans have been putting out in California. Openly in courts and elsewhere they are working to stop people from voting.

Police beating up a demonstrator:

Let's face the reality that what we are seeing in the US are acts of civil war. When one large group refuses to obey the law openly, they are challenging those they are determined to rule in order to hurt to _force them_. The republicans are now openly disobeying flouting laws as well as customs. The appointing of Am Coney Barrett is flouting custom and open lying.
Thus far the democrats have been unwilling ourselves to initiate violence but tried instead to act out the first amendment. The first amendment is now so hemmed in it hardly protects us when we try to assemble and demonstrate. We have not literally fought back; we have demonstrated and when attacked, defended ourselves, and yes fought back with screams (and the traditional) fires and projectiles and sticks. Now increasingly reports show that the federal and Trump's and republican police are deliberately wounding hurting maiming people immediately. If a democrat has a gun, then police have the right to murder him or her with impunity because courts refuse to indite or to convict. The attempt to kidnap the governor of Michigan has resulted in only a few arrests of those immediately in charge and the Republicans led by Trump are increasingly supporting this act. Now in California Republicans are putting out false ballot boxes and refusing openly to take them away.
The open use of the supreme court to change the laws to destroy the social contract we've had (decent medicine, social security) is part of this. I do see in these OLLI classes where I teach individuals who suddenly look sullen (the majority of people in these places democrats, if centrists ones) because I will say things like juries refuse to convict police who murder someone and now (as the election comes up) I got someone defending that, not on the grounds it was done, to allow people to murder blacks, but that the law in courts is set up to allow such nullification. I didn't respond, no, it's that we cannot make anything so airtight that we can prevent people from manipulating language. What I saw in a Kipling class (support for ideas that "the white man's burden" to support egregious colonialism, complacency in the face of racism, misogyny), in a class on health care (hostility to universal health for all as a right when the system that will bring it about is described) is the same.
And a few Trump signs are appearing in my neighborhood and others near by. No with his name but "law and order matter;" these are responding to many signs all over my neighborhood -- "black lives matter." I have one on my lawn. Law and order is code for we are allowed to crush you, for the republicans are not following law. Many who vote for Trump are ashamed of him but they are for his policies. A white supremacy with unqualified uncontrolled capitalism and militarism is their identity -- those who vote republican and openly for Trump want that.
Open violence here too. People sent by Trump, Republican party officials and people taking it upon themselves to come to polling places and (with guns some of them) attempt to stop people voting by intimidation.
To me it's no coincidence that around the world for decades (since WW2) the US gov't has crushed social democracies wherever it could when they emerge in new countries


William Barr by John Cuneo

Trump is glad that armed militia tried to kidnap with an intent to torment or lynch the governor of Michigan (and overturn the local gov't); he rejoiced when militia murdered an older man it's said was an anti-fascist; he does all he can to encourage police to move outside what is legally allowed as coercive violence.

Both together put a woman, Amy Coney Barrett, on the supreme court who is extremist in views (she will not endorse the right to vote, the idea there should be a peaceful transition of power after an election) and lies under oath, such as her claim she will be fair and observe precedent when it comes to Rowe v Wade or any other legislation. Here is a typical decision of hers: a case where a 19 year old pregnant prisoner was repeatedly raped by a guard; he forced her to perform oral sex on him after she gave birth; when she went to court and was awarded compensatory money (a good deal but nothing will erase the experience), Barrett was one of those who overturned the decision and stopped the compensation. She said the case was outside the court's jurisdiction. In other words, there is no place a girl like this can find protection. The basis of justice is empathy and equity and Barretts recognizes none. It has long been the custom not to fill an appointed office during an election; asked why they act in such bad faith, Lindsey Graham's reply is, You can do this when you are in the majority (take power). In other words we no longer have a consensus gov't but one side willing to break convention to set up tyrannical courts or whatever they please. This is not gov't for all the people by the people.

My goal in this blog since Trump took office has been to share relatively unknown but important essays -- or essays that won't attract wide popular attention. I can't always find such writing but I do have one today: Fintan O'Toole on William Barrr (New York Review of Books. Trump's Enabler-in Chief, [the career, writings and father of] William Barr

In reality, the contrast between Trump’s statement and Barr’s is one of tone, not of substance. Barr was answering a question about the election at a press conference in Milwaukee. His reply began, “Obviously I’ve been outspoken and concerned about a last-minute shift to universal mail-in ballots.” In his quieter, more restrained way, Barr was actually supporting Trump’s case—the peaceful transfer of power depends on the validity of the election, but such legitimacy is undermined if there is a large number of mail-in ballots.

Barr has been echoing Trump’s baseless accusations that voting by mail is inherently fraudulent for many months. In an interview with Steve Inskeep on NPR on June 25, Barr raised the possibility of widespread counterfeiting of ballots. Inskeep asked, “Did you have evidence to raise that specific concern?” Barr replied, “No, it’s obvious.” There is only one reason to point to threats for which there is no evidence—to lay the ground for a challenge to the election’s results. In this light Barr’s statement in Milwaukee, far from contradicting Trump’s strategy, could in fact be imagined as the opening premise of a brief from the attorney general to the Supreme Court arguing why huge numbers of votes should be discounted.


Senator Whitehouse explaining how Trump and junta are managing to pack the courts: dark money, huge contributions by corporations to protect themselves from taxes, from having to follow regulations for public health, from having workers with any rights ...

I have a third presentation (this time not written except in a transcript, which is attached when you click on the URL), which people may have overlooked and is important.

So what we are seeing occurring in front of our very eyes on TV is an act of war, an open subversion (undermining of constitutional norms) in the case of the fanatic religious woman, Amy Conan Barrett. You really must submit yourself to "advisors" told about your private life in the Praise of God group, and all women to husbands.

We need an explanation of how she got there: how is it Trump unerringly picks for courts the most reactionary and extreme right-wing and religious men and women? They are selected by the Federalist Society for Trump (he acknolwedges this openly -- they are among his strongest rich supporters); who are they? one of several interlocking groups of super-rich donors who have transformed the US courts so as to render powerless most individuals bringing economic injustices before the supreme court, and those who want regulations to help our environment remain healthy and our natural resources last, and to reinforce (put back) a reactionary conservative social agenda (especially against any forms of sexuality but heterosexual and any liberties for women as individuals apart from men). It was explained during the hearings by Senator Whitehouse of Rhode Island. In case you missed this, here it Is:


I do worry people will not realize that Trump is deliberately spreading the disease and so too his Republican colleagues: they want to preclude lockdowns doing any good, and fight off any demands that the gov't help support people in need during quarantines, any money for PPE for hospitals, any more unemployment benefits than the bare minimum of ordinary life. This is seen in story after story of their behavior -- but it is not made explict so I make this explicit here -- the fifth reality people must not overlook, must face as shocking it might seem that a group of people in power are working to spread a potentially deadly and maiming disease among us.

Dr Fauci on PBS Reports ....

Trump deliberately doing what he can to spread COVID19; every single demand he makes on how to get there, how to be there is a determined way to spread the disease. He and Junta refusing to pass a bill to help sick, unemployed people and small businesses. Seeking to overturn ACA with Amy Coney Barrett, as handmaid.
When Trump issues dire threats to republican governors: if he does not win, he will get back at them. Stupid people see how stupid he is about the constitution. No, he is telling them to cheat massively or he will get back. "I'll fire you" is the way he talks -- from the Apprentice. He has faced he might lose and is saying he will leave the country -- he does fear prosecution because now he's president he has forced on wide public notice all his crimes -- especially to be seen in his tax returns: see this story about what he's doing in Wisconsin: New York Times: it has hit us with a vengeance. Dr Fauci, this is a systemic disease, not at all an ordinary flu: it maims your organs and different systems. Trump openly ridicules Fauci to run interference so Fauci's message is lost and all the papers talk of is how Trump dismissed the well-known doctor's words as foolish.

This is where the US is today, why we are now over 220,000 deaths, mass drug and alcohol addiction, high suicide rate, blighted areas of the US where Trump's most ignorant supporters live. They vote for him because they want to derive their pride and identity from his white supremacist, macho male, seething angry stances.

Harriet Vane

The importance of symbols

I have again been watching the French series about WW2 in France, centering on the Nazi occupation of 1940-1945 and then fast forwarding briefly to 1946-7, 1975 and then 2002:  A French village.   Gentle readers, you must see it to learn about what is happening in the US today. I have written about it on three blogs: Seasons 1-2, Seasons 3-4, Seasons 5-7

Gretchen Whitmer -- an attempt to kidnap and probably kill her -- militia groups are interconnected across states.  See

I will be making parallels with US this week:  a deliriously sick 73 year old (as the NYTimes has demonstrated through reporting on his taxes a criminal grifter), diseased old man pumped up with super-sophisticated drugs is permitted to seem to "run" the government (while he steals continuously from it, ignores its laws, as in the White House Lawn rallies). He also is allowed to do these rallies (he will be leaving WH) where he enables hundreds to infect one another, and all of them go out to where they came from to infect yet further people. What kind of insanity of a govt do we have?

On the recent right-wing plot to overthrow gov't (not symbolic), spurred on by Trump's encouraging, see "Liberate Michigan."

In A French Village it is tremendously significant when the Resistance manages to have a parade on 11/11: symbols matter. Also effective deadly political acts even when they don't come off matter. That's why the Nazis are so ferocious in their retaliation: killing 100 French people for every dead Nazi soldier.

As in the US the police will not give up their understood right to kill black, disabled, and (to this society) unimportant people with impunity, to imprison them at will. Those who think that Biden can take power and use it effectively are not seeing what is in front of them. Not just Trump being allowed to stay in office and have these killing rallies in the WH, but the Michigan attempt to overthrow a local gov't -- Trump encouraged it, and he has justified it. Yes he cannot get the machinery to put his enemies in jail and cannot stop this election. Let us see if it is not a farce. My father told long ago how important it was that all over the US these right-wing militia groups were allowed to flourish (that was during WACO).
There is probably a coming civil war in the US if the present course of action, law, behavior, is not changed.  While the overt symbols are racism -- intense anger by these white groups that other white groups want to let into the body politic blacks, hispanics, immigrants - the core cause is economic. The several large white groups supporting these republicans and their crazed mascot, Trump, want to return - have returned -- to an unmitigated capitalist military state. Huge give-aways during this pandemic on top of a crazed tax "reform" which is going to continue this trend of a few billionaires, monopolies everywhere, the shrinkage of the middle class. The target now is social security. People fight over symbols like religion or "democracy" (a republic) or nowadays ethnicities and identities but I think that is not what this is fundamentally about. What supports Trump are the top 20% whites in charge of a lot. They want to pay very little taxes and that only to protect their property and privileges. What put and kept Hitler in power was the hatred of communism and socialism. Trump screams he word socialism at the crowds.

Various academic friends of mine (mostly tenured people) are again saying how Biden will win and then Trump go out --- like in 2016 they said (and other various middle class retired people at OLLI at AU who had had successful middle class careers mostly in gov't) Hilary would win. They are people comfortably well off.  The naivete of these people is seen in how they reproduce Trump's image over and over in their Internet messages, mimicking the media which is trying to keep a gov't going where they can continue to operate -- and make money on this apparently irresistible image. Well I resist it and I tell others to resist it.

We do need the Press.  Without the Press, we would not know how sick Trump is, and how at least 20 officials in the WH are now infected (we don't know how many "underlings"). Meanwhile a creeping acceptance of 4 more years of the Trump junta can be found in news outlets and social media platforms. We would not know Trump is probably guilty of tax fraud, corruption while in Office (taking bribes openly even). Read The Swamp That Trump Built.

I should say one of the elements that this French series makes plain is  the Germans loathe the French (as groups, those in charge) because they lost WW1 and were 'punished' by the Versailles so any mention of 11/11 is needling them. They could not pull off hat parade without the help of many not overtly in the Resistance.  The retaliation is as ferocious as the Germans dare - hanging innocent people, anyone just to get back, two more of our heroes die -- but it is a tremendous moment of pride. A symbol - they dance in the square, leave flowers.

It will be said, look the FBI have arrested them, stopped this local take over.  Only just. Will these people be put in prison? a local sheriff has justified them. What happened to those people in Oregon who said they had the right to control gov't property and not pay taxes. Who makes the massacres -- disgruntled young white men left out. These Nazi-fascist white Americans loathe those who want to let the non-whites in and who are not upper middle. They resent bitterly social security and health for all. They want their privileged chartered airplanes. And they use the above thugs the way the Nazis used male white thugs.

Singing in Square -- it resonates everywhere, brings tears to people's eyes

But when war is over, Antoine is no longer appreciated and is lucky to become a low status farmer, with Angselme not homeless because he's given a job by Antoine's brother-in-law, the sawmill owner who spent much of the war as a collaborating businessman and returns to his business when all is over--the French state remains capitalist with socialist ameliorations distributed grudgingly


The people in my neighborhood for Trump don't put out signs with his name: no they put out flags, and signs saying they will vote on 11/3 -- as threats -- they need the need only make a show, as long as Biden has no landslide, they and Trump will take over as they did in 2000 (with help of the supreme court) and again 2016.
Miss Drake
Harriet Vane

An egregiously naked emperor makes bizarre statements & is obeyed ....

It just distresses and upsets me to the point I can't sleep when Trump is allowed to say outrageous nonsense and then is obeyed supposedly based on this.
I turned on PBS and, before I could shut it off, I hear him (Judy Woodruff betrayed her viewership last night and had him on however briefly three times) say the Chinese, UN, and WHO are all responsible for everyone dying (yesterday I read Trump gave himself an A+ for his handling of the virus -- maybe he heard the 200 bell rings from the Washington Cathedral memorializing the now 200,000 dead); when I say, I hear Trump saying Chinese, UN and WHO developed and sent every where "wuhan flu" and so he is stopping all funding wherever he can. He is not going to cooperate with anyone, anything "American first." Etc.

No one objected to what he said and there are people who want to get out of the UN -- loathe the WHO because the man is a decent public health person (Ph.d in the area and has worked effectively to rid areas of Africa from malaria), a social democrat, and wants to spend public money to improve public health -- using low tech whereever possible and that includes masks, social distancing, washing hands.

But the pretense is important. If you can say anything and people exploit it for their own purposes, you could say anything to something else and far more heinous things are NOW occurring. So all Jews are evil, vermin and we must murder them all -- and German Nazis did. So all African-Americans are thugs and criminals and we must put them in concentration camps (oops! prisons, or allow cops to kill them with impunity). Governor of Florida says people who protest are felons &c and he is passing low to put anyone who protests in prison - and police obey him. The "logic" or "line of argument" to the action proposed and then obeyed is the same. I suppose this is Brexit. EU, says Boris J, a horrible terrible organization trying to destroy Britain, so we must get out -- all the while those doing this know it's not so and others pretend to believe it because they have other hideous feelings and motives (bigotry, fear, stupid ideas that foreigners are ruining their lives.

Read Masha Gessen on Surviving Autocracy and how the language of autocracy works, what it attacks and the danger of the press behaving as if this is business as usual and never rising about the lies to say the emperor is egregiously naked. Trump's continual vicious attacks on anyone who rises to tell the truth about our laws say on immigration (AOC) or enunciate a moral principle we are not obeying and must (John Lewis, Elijah Cumming). Biden did say this picking of a supreme court justice inside 3 weeks is an abuse of power. But did any repeat this much?

This kind of thing has been going on for more than 4 years now -- it's not about to happen -- it is happening before our very eyes -- we are not recognizing this as montroust and right now because it is right now.  We mythologize the Nazis into some impossible evil.  No. The experience was just like this (see A French Village).  And it's been this way and more areas of our lives taken over  since Trump came to dominate public discourse.

Absentee balloting and mail-in ballots are fraudulent, says Trump, so what shall we do -- as in what happens when he sees himself losing, what then, and what will his millions of followers and fascist militias do then? Why do newspapers hang on to idea that if he does not concede, then maybe he need not leave office if he loses? Are they helping him to make this kind of false logic, lines of argument succeed?  Yes. He must be contradicted. He must be called a liar. He and his sycophants must not be obeyed.


It distresses and upsets me when Trump is allowed to say bizarre nonsense, is put on TV saying it, and then obeyed ...

Miss Drake
Harriet Vane

Voter suppression proceeds apace; situation dire; US federal gov't a kakis [=crap] tocracy

There is a news-story of over-riding importance and it was on Democracynow.org or Amy Goodman's news hour.

The Trump junta, together with continual help from courts filled with Trump-appointees (due to the incessant activity of Mitch McConnell who appointed 200 federal judges in the past session) is succeeding in what may turn out to be mass voter disenfranchisement.  The methods are several: 1) sow voter confusion so voters don't know what to do or how to vote; 2) use the post office and other means to stop the mailing out of ballots, use courts to invalidate ballots that are sent out; inside states to reduce the number of polling stations to absurdly low numbers 3) go against the voted will of the people and in effect open disenfranchise thousands whom the voters have now given back their right to vote: in Florida after an election returned to people who had been oonvicted of a felony, the right to vote, the Florida Republican controlled legislature requires by law all these people pay fines (apparently when you go to jail you end up owing a lot of money) before they can vote.

Make it that the day of election ends in uncertainty with weeks to ascertain who won by forbidding early counting of votes -- remember Republicans are controlling state legislatures and courts in many states (and in the senate their representation of US people is 13%):



FLORIDA:  It was a really pivotal decision in Florida, because in 2018 64% of Floridians approved a law restoring voting rights to people with past felony convictions. Before that, Florida prevented one in 10 people, including one in five African Americans, from voting. Then, the GOP Legislature said that people with past felony convictions have to pay off all fines, fees and restitution to be able to vote, which the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, which now has a Trump majority because Trump appointed five justices to that court, upheld that law.

What it means in practice is that, according to studies, 775,000 people in Florida still owe money on their sentences and might not be able to vote. And remember, Amy, this was a state decided by 537 votes in 2000. So we’re talking about hundreds of thousands of people maybe not being able to vote in Florida, who should have had their rights restored, in a state that’s been decided by only a few hundred votes in the past.

WISCONSIN:  It went down to the wire in Wisconsin because the Green Party filed late to try to get on the ballot. So, there was a dispute, first, with the Wisconsin Elections Commission of whether they should be on the ballot. And then the question was: Should they delay sending hundreds of thousands of ballots to put the Green Party on the ballot?

And the Wisconsin Supreme Court basically said, “We’re not deciding this on the merits of whether they should be on the ballot. It’s just too late to add them to the ballot.” Tens of thousands of ballots have already gone out. Hundreds of thousands of more are going out this week. There’s been over a million absentee ballot requests in Wisconsin. And this week is the day that they start sending them out en masse.

So, I think this decision adding the Green Party to the ballot would have led to major voter confusion in Wisconsin, in that a lot of people who got a ballot would have had to then get another one. And there was a risk that they would be very confused, that some people might vote twice, or some people might not vote at all. So, irrespective of the merits of whether the Green Party should be on the ballot, I think election officials in Wisconsin are breathing a sigh a relief that they don’t have to print new ballots and they can send the ballots that have already been requested out on time

in Iowa, the Democratic counties, in particular, decided to, on their own, send absentee ballot requests to voters. So, in places like Cedar Rapids and Iowa City, the Democratic auditors decided to send these ballots. To make it easier, they filled in personal information, because Iowa passed a new voter ID law, and one of the provisions of that law is you have to have a PIN for your driver’s license on your absentee ballot, and a lot of people don’t know what that number is. So, the auditors tried to make this process easier for voters by filling in the information, including their driver’s license PIN number, which nobody knows what that is.

And instead of saying, “Hey, thank you for making it easier for people to vote,” in response to a lawsuit by the Trump campaign, the courts have now invalidated absentee ballot requests in the most Democratic counties in the state. So, this is very confusing for voters, because imagine that you requested an absentee ballot, and now you think you’re getting one in the mail, and now you’re going to have to get a — do that whole process over again, 50 days or less before the election. And so, it just adds more uncertainty into the process. And people are already confused about how to vote in this election, and these court decisions making it harder to vote are not helping things right now.

PENNSYLVANIA and COLORADO: talk also about Pennsylvania. I mean, it seems like, across the country, if the Republican Party sues, it simply delays absentee ballots from going out, even if they’re going to ultimately lose. So, talk about what’s happening in Pennsylvania. Then, in Colorado, if you could explain what’s happening there, a federal judge ordering the U.S. Postal Service to immediately stop sending mailers that contain false information? And then talk about McConnell and the U.S. Postal Service.

So, first off, in Pennsylvania, there’s a ton of litigation right now. The Trump campaign is litigating, for example, to try to prevent voters from dropping off their ballots at drop boxes to avoid postal delays. There’s disputes over whether you should be able to start counting mailed ballots before the election. Right now you can’t, which means it could take longer for the votes to count. And actually, Republicans are refusing to allow votes to be counted earlier, because they want uncertainty in terms of the process. So, there’s a lot of litigation in Pennsylvania. Ballots have not gone out there, either. And this is, of course, a really pivotal swing state.

In Colorado, what happened was the post office sent mailers to all 50 states, basically telling people, “If you request an absentee ballot, request it early.” The problem in Colorado is that you don’t have to request an absentee ballot, that they actually automatically send ballots to all registered voters. They also can turn around ballots quicker because it’s a vote-by-mail state. So, what election officials were angry about in Colorado and other states is that the post office sent this one-size-fits-all mailer to all voters, as opposed to making it state specific, because the voting laws in Colorado are very different than the voting laws in New York. And election officials told the post office this is going to confuse voters, this is going to end up being a form of voter suppression. The post office didn’t listen. Now there’s an injunction against them.

 Keep in mind too that the people running all the vital agencies are now utter sycophants, rotten people, those who are opposed to the missions of these agencies; when they are not (as doctors in the CDC) they are silenced or fired.  Masha Gessen in her crucially truthful book about what has happened to the US gov't federally (and in states: Surviving Autocracy, calls this kakistocracy. It's an older word, comes from describing regimes well before the French revolution where the worst kind of people are put in charge and given the ability to desseminate false information and stir up rumors that cause riots.

Separate stories to keep in mind:  the police unions are all in favor of Trump; they are determined to continue to shot people dead if they feel like it with impunity - they have been showing this the last few weeks. There is evidence that Nazi like tactics are being used in the prisons which detain refugees at the southern border of the US (including enforced sterilization of women prisoners). (Children still kept there separate from parents.)  If Trump wanted to pull off a coup, what he needs is a ruthless militia everywhere.  Overt refusals to arrest white men going around with armed weapons simply killing black people; police killed an older man said to be an anti-fascist who killed a rightist type -- with no warrant for his arrest, no court trial. The false idea (analogous to the idea the coronavirus is a hoax invented by democrats and the press) the total climate catastrophes, massive fires, happening in California and Oregon, are set by anti-fascist arsonists. I suspect those who say they believe these things don't but profess to.

Miss Drake

Harriet Vane

Woodward's Rage: another successful con effort by Trump

Remember how plausible Burt Lancaster was as Sinclair Lewis's Elmer Ganty?  Lewis wrote the book, It Can't Happen Here, about the US turning fascist ....

Woodward's book is being presented as hurting Trump but I'm not sure of that: when he told Woodward in effect he was lying he said he did it to stop panic -- that's not unreasonable if it were really true. The truth is he lied because he is against all gov't intervention, because he couldn't see a way to make money from it for his cronies; and he reveled in the idea of democrats and people of color dying. What Trump told Woodward is being treated as truth. One article even tried to explain why Trump had been so foolish as to talk to a writer: it is said in this foolish article that Trump never reads and so doesn't understand the effect of a book. NONSENSE. It's more posturing and lies; he is not a moron to tell a writer "all;" he is a con-man when he talks to Woodward -- and now the idea he lied to keep everyone calm is floated everywhere. Not at all. He mocked the American people with his advice, he confused people with his contradictions; he set up competition between states and cities so they couldn't get the ventilators they bought and stocked them like any blackmarketeer during March.

He is still forcing people to send their children to schools through his governors.
A story in the Washington Post tells of how the governor has forced people to send their children to school, then succeeded in pressuring local authorities to hide the statistics on how many children are getting sick. Is this what people want: a party that is for sickness and death and silencing. 

Trump does not act out of pro-social motives at all... is Woodward another patsy like Comey was for Trump in his speech on TV yet excoriating Hilary Clinton?

Miss Sylvia Drake
Harriet Vane

The gutting of democracy & lawlessness spreads more and more brazenly

It's not that Trump has not been lawless almost from the beginning of his taking power.  Much that he is doing to immigrants across the US defies congressionally passed laws, all custom and court orders. Everyone knows he is making profits off being in power. But since he escaped impeachment he has become brazen. Now he openly fires anyone who has displeased him or he can scapegoat. An important article:

https://tinyurl.com/y2sp6wb8 Read this.

I know you have to get round the ceaseless ads so I point out that although the lawyers have had real successes in court what Trump does is fire and replace all the federal officers given the power to implement the law and refuse to follow Trump's gutting of it. Thus the wins in court are nullified and our gov't turned slowly into a unmitigated capitalist disaster dictatorship.

I know realize that horrifying RNC went over well with the white oligarchy, evangelicals, fascists, bigots & supremely wealthy & cops too. Trump knows how to make a TV show. That's why Brooks responded in the following fatuous reactive way. I am wondering if previous Republican campaigns lied so egregiously as this one? It's shocking how absolutely untrue just about all they put out is -- and exaggerated. Maybe I didn't pay as much attention?

I wrote the following letter to PBS reports (Judy Woodruff & Co) last night.
On the issue of safety & law & order:
Dear Judy and all,
Tonight once again Judy gives David Brooks too much of a free ride, and Mark Shields accepted what he said w/almost no dissent. Brooks brought the "issue of safety came up" and from an empty mind talk of how the democrats are not addressing the issue of safety. "People," says he ,don't feel safe. What people? why? How? he was talking of those voting for Trump, the 1500 at the WH (who represent the oligarchy of this US who think they can win again and don't care what Trump does to the constitution, our gov't or the majority of US people), also Centrist Democrat who he implied are now going to vote for Trump unless Biden comes out -- for what? -- for police.
Wait a minute? surely you could have asked _whose safety?_ Black people are unsafe every minute of their lives. They are shoot at in their apartments_. Police do not = safety. Police are dangerous to protesters and demonstrators. They are dangerous to disabled people. They are trained to shoot, to demand instant obedience or beat people to a pulp; and that they can kill with impunity -- since 2016, e.g., they have been trained to "pit" people in cars, deliberately give chase to force these cars off the road, to turn over, to fall off cliffs - what does it matter if the passengers die: they were resisting the police. Not allowed
I didn't expect anyone to refer to police' training in detail but you all just accepted this idea of safety. The white people who don't demonstrate, who live in wealthy areas are safe -- Law and order=brutal treatment of
But citizens exercising a right to assembly, protest, demonstration. These principles were part of what made the French & US constitution so important.
You want democrats to say the problem of these demonstrations and protests is "no one" feels safe. Who is no one? not the demonstrators whom Trump vilified as did others -- they were following Goebbels script of telling big lies through out the 4 nights.
You just let Brooks get away with saying the democrats are inadequate and republicans taking the lead -- to say that encourages viewers to believe that. It may be the democrats' response is not adequate but the issue is not safety. It reminds me of how on FB white people deplored the loss of drug stores; of how demonstrators yellowed at security guards.
"Safety" is not the issue or only issue; why did not you or Shields tal of justice, imposed impoverishment, depriving people of the very right to live == and their children who are being forced into disease-ridden buildings in public schools. I give it to Shields who mentioned how many people had died in the last 3 days -- more than in Pearl Habor, more than on 9/11.
If you do not question Brooks and Shields' analysis, they will not worth be listening to -- you are treating them and especially Brooks as an oracle. This is just so wrong and inadequate.
And it's so important that real words about the real situation be used. Do you want your program and PBS to go under too?
I signed my name.

A friend on my listserv Trollope&Peers wrote me offlist of the RNC:
"-- this civilizational trauma is simply horror -- we should not use his name"
Goebbels said tell big lies. "45" said the pandemic is over, the economy thriving, people in the streets so much scum and police our saviors. Over & over. Then played Cohen's Hallelujah without permission (or paying for it).
I will avoid his name from here on in. I ask everyone who reads this to _at least_ STOP REPRINTING HIS PHOTO. If you want to share a story about him, click on the little x when the photo comes. If it persists in coming up, find another picture, any picture, say of an animal and place it on the slot for adding pictures (the little green icon), it will supersede the news' story's promotional picture. Give him no more free advertising no more endless ego stroking.
Keep in mind the New Zealand Prime Minister persuaded newspaper and outlets never to reprint or say aloud the name of the mass killer who was sentenced to life imprisonment the other. His name is never used. He cannot exult as "45" does.
I plead with everyone who reads this posting to stop reprinting his picture if you feel you must use the foul name.


I am now worried that Biden is not going out to rallies. He cannot win if he sticks to online ads and videos. Trump went from the illegal White House to New Hampshire. Where is Biden? where Harris? I have written the Biden campaign, tweeted and talked with a Democratic National Committee representative where I live urging them to have a train tour. Travel all over the US in a train. Stay inside or on top. Wear masks. Encourage people to come in small groups. It will attract attention, people, coverage. It will work --

Trump & junta have decided it's in their interest to let the virus rip -- kill as many as it will -- one man from that coronation ceremony said in reply: everyone is going to get it -- meaning those who do and die fine. Again to have eliminated would have meant in Ireland was test everyone, trace everyone weekly (?), or almost everyone and quarantine. This is a tremendous advantage to them. But a train could get round the problem of infecting people in large numbers.


Police shooting unarmed Jacob Blake; yesterday in hospital now paralyzed from waist down, the authorities had handcuffed him to his bed
Interview with his father who says he never wants to leave the house again . He had committed no crime at all, he was trying to stop a quarrel. Here is a transcript of an interview by Amy Goodman:


WHAT WE HAVE GOT TO REALIZE IS THIS: The most powerful position in the world is now inhabited by an extremely bad man who will do anything he can to stay in power. He was right about standing in the middle of 5th Avenue and gunning down people and still his supporters would vote for him. As long as he serves their particular interests, they don't care about anything else. The top 1% (preposterously wealthy) and the top 15% want low taxes and all their privileges and to keep everyone else subordinate, desperate, kowtowed. They were represented on that WH lawn. They showed themselves. Also the haters and bigots, white supremacists, the amoral evangelicals, all those in office in the present Republican junta.

He is now responsible for the deaths of over 176,000 (more today) and his supporters don't care.  We are in the worst unemployment situation since the depression.  His supporters don't care. He turned a gov't place protected by law into a circus: his supporters colluded. His supporters are the egregiously wealthy, the top 15% of whites in the US in wealth (the thing they dread is multi-dwelling buildings in their area which is why Trump assures them this will never happen - they believe he is telling them the truth when he says he is serving their interests.

HE COULD SQUEEZE IN AGAIN. He is thinking he will with clever cheating and suppression and throwing out votes. He will then terminate social security, medicare - he has done it through stopping the mechanism which in tax accounting keeps it funded.

HE IS THE OPPOSITE OF LAW and ORDER. He is lawlessness with police to support him no matter what. They have this week shown they will carry on murdering black and brown people ruthlessly, with impunity

Miss Drake
Harriet Vane

Last week's Democratic national convention (2)

The FEC. If you were wondering why the FEC does nothing when Trump blasts his evil campaign from the white house, why nothing is done about corrupt bribery, about the open judgement the Russians interfered in 2016 and are doing so again today, you should know that under him, they have no quorum and so cannot process any complaints. They have 350 outstanding matters they have done nothing about:. This is what happens to agencies when a corrupt criminal is president. Don't say Trump does nothing. Don't say he is a moron. Don't think if he's elected you will be able to survive if you don't have a substantial income or money of your own set by. And don't count on that.

The Republican convention is a coronation of Trump: he needs no agenda; he can do what he pleases. Tonight @White House horrifying event is occurring. Wholly illegally Trump is hosting a coronation of himself. Thousands are spent while millions of people go hungry, are in danger of eviction, and thousand are dying daily. Hundreds of people in close proximity w/or masks who have not been tested will become infected and spread a deadly disease. What kind of country and society are we that this can be happening right out in public -- on public property it has been forbidden to use this way?
This week armed forces allowed a white man with an AK-15 to march streets and kill two African-Americans and is only arrested a couple of days later, and then justified by someone called a reporter on a major TV channel. Police murder an unarmed black man getting out of a car to stop a quarrel by firing at him several times in the back. Armed forces allow Nazi groups to threaten and kill protesters with guns, and in the faces of protesters pour pepper spray. These are obscenities acted out on camera on TVs. Who or what is governing this society that allows all this to be legal? justifies it in courts and through its prisons? Horrifying evens like these occurring in the streets in different US cities with protesters put in jail, accused of felonies.

By contrast, Biden's speech:

That of his nominated vice-presential running mate. Here she is tonight in response to what is happening this week:

Miss Drake
Harriet Vane

Last week's Democratic national convention (1)

Dear friends and readers,

I've not posted about last week's convention because I had mixed feelings over who spoke, and what subjects were brought up (see below), but this week while Trump is playing his circus with half of his speakers his family, two utter sycophants, to frame a world of lies and detract from the 176,000 dead thus far, bankruptcy of millions, and destruction of US social agencies and science projects, pollution re-instituted, the ACA defunded, and now social security and medicate's very mechanism of funding stopped and the post office sabotaged, where many people will send their votes, I thought ought at least to put on my blog - to remind anyone who wants to listen or to watch, of the important truthful speeches of Obama, Sally Yates, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. The blog ends with a truthful critique and debate between Cornel West and Ben Jealous and today's last outrageous theft reported: yet another two people close to Trump and other of his cronies have been engaged in stealing billions from a fund they promoted to build a wall, while the wall itself is already corroding to pieces.

So, here is a compilation of, 4 of the most cogent important speeches from last week's Democratic convention: Obama, Yates, Warren, and Sanders. This is intended the alternative to remember this week as the lies of Trump's family & sycophants dominate TV. My coda is a genuine assessment on behalf of what the democrats are doing to win and then as a good plan to govern (to start with) and the latest fraudulent stealing of US taxpayers money: billions have vanished into Bannon and other people's pockets and an eroding wall (already cracking) as a result of the circus "We Build a Wall" projectl

President Obama really tells the truth about what Trump has done, and how all our liberties, our rights, our ability to live decently and our very democracy is now at risk:

Sally Yates, formal Acting Attorney General, for the Justice Department tells of how she was fired from the Justice Department for refusing to disobey the law and act utterly unethically:

Elizabeth Warren, senator from Massachusetts, outlining some of Biden's proposal social plans for infrastructure, job building, schools; she emphasized the importance of young child care which she couldn't have done without (she had an aunt to do); my daughter, Izzy, would not have been ready to go to kindergarten without early childcare intervention for her autism. Listen to this beautiful speech: we don't have to give our tax money to billionaires and crooks, but will be able to see it used for ourselves

Last Bernie Sanders, senator from Vermont, who I voted for for President:  his vision is the one which would save all of us for a long time to come; he argues that Biden will do a lot of this, and certainly the spirit that Sanders embodies is the one Biden will:

If you click here, you will hear a discussion between Ben Jealous and Cornel West about what is so crucial about what is on offer and if we do not win, what will destroy our country, turn it into an impoverished white supremacy fascist world. With West I wish more had been said, I wanted more time for AOC, to hear Rev Barber instead of Colin Powell; I thought John Kasiich's full speech an insult to Biden:  Biden does not need this man to show that we can trust Biden not to make the many reforms needed beyond getting back to where we were in the first days of November 2016, before this present horrific corrupt and cruel blight was imposed on us. It includes the opening of Biden's speech


What Bannon and three other Trump friends/associates appointees have been doing with the project "We Build A Wall"


The con-man circus display a few months ago:

Miss Drake
Harriet Vane

Plus ca change, moins ca change: open attack on post office, social security, election itself cont'd

Dear friends,

Plus ca change moins ca change (sans accents). Reversing what I suggested yesterday, taking another set of criteria. Yesterday on FB I said how life is changing -- more dissolution of social bonds in daily life is happening apace, and in the US that's very bad since among other things US people just move around the country a lot, seem not to have any real adhesion to roots (are willing to lose people known, relationships with groups of people, and their past in & knowledge of, a given area).

Scene in front of a bank, near a gov't building

I am beginning to think the world as I have known it as it impinges on my life in my house and whenever I am out-of-doors is changing, the way we have lived recently (the last half century) is indeed being overturned. Usually I laugh at such ideas. And that the change is not for the better, oh no. What I was talking about was a way of life. When Jim first died, I tried so hard to become part of communities, to belong and to do it through service; I worked at getting out and being among people. I could manage tenuously because this is outside my character. But that world of relative (and it was only relative) openness and social safety nets, daily bonding contacts, is gone; it was rotting away under the forces of gigs, inequality, poverty. The US individual's tendency to up and move has a great dissolver of relationships; it's as if US people don't care about this; all the talk about roots is a compensatory imaginary coverup. And now a differently and even more isolating world in a daily sense is taking its place, or carrying the asocial trends even farther.

But then one can argue the other way. It was naive of me to forget that there was no post office until the 17th century in Europe, then it was quickly very corrupted (because not respected) and also was not wanted -- it was a site to fight over because the powerful didn't want the powerless to communicate. In revolutions in the 1790s and again early 20th century the ability to correspond, the use of correspondence, the post office was fought over and people died stopping others from sending letters or controlling the post office. The same motivations emerge again when those in charge become the same kinds of thugs and thus supporting them the same kind of utterly selfish wealthy indifferent to all but themselves are in charge once again -- to the point the reality that in fact they don't want any democracy at all (they don't want anyone but themselves or those who will vote in their interest to vote) as they believe that they can rely on their connections and the military & prisons to protect them from tyrants.
I read in the LRB in the 1980s someone (I can't remember who alas) that the reason the powerful were shamelessly ruthlessly beginning to destroy the social safety net and other contracts with the vulnerable (like unions being allowed) in the UK was under Thatcher they saw they could get away with it -- in the US the powerful saw this happening under Reagan. When Goldwater lost, the Republicans did see the new coalition of hatred, bigotry, ruthless capitalism, fascism they could build a new coalition from. So what was a defeat taught them a lesson they then began to build a new Republican party from. These four years have seen the resignation of old-line (democratic and decent) Republicans from office, and all that is left are the sycophants, religious bigots, and corporate fascists.
In such an atmosphere of course the post office is under severe attack. Even social security with 67 million at risk of destitution cannot survive if the tyrant wins (or steals) the now corrupted election again because he and his cronies have thwarted the election process, minimized polling places and made the post office unable to cope.

Miss Drake
Harriet Vane

Trump de-funds social security for several months by Executive Order

I am not sure he can get away with this. It might be illegal, but the courts may said with his specious reasoning: it is needed in this emergency to give people more money. Which people? not the unemployed, not those in the gig economy (what is left of it?).

Martha Rosler, The Grey Drape

I have a story about the US social security system to which Trump has just dealt a death blow if he gets away with de-funding it. About 37 years ago when I moved into this house in this upper middle neighborhood I've lived in ever since, I got to talking to an older woman living next door to me. She had said hello and introduced herself as people did as a matter of course then. People no longer do that.
She began in front of me to inveigh against social security. I was shocked but said nothing as she talked. It seemed that her black "yard man" (that was the way she referred to him throughout) did not come to garden in her yard every week, and when he did come, there were things he would not do. Why was this? because he did not need the money badly enough. He had social security to tide him along. I remember her distinct bitterness to this day. I wanted to find her shameless and did, but the problem was that she wasn't ashamed. She didn't realize she should be.
She also didn't realize I didn't agree with her until I spoke and told her the story my father used to tell me. Before social security he used to see so many old people without enough food, how they would line up in food kitchens, how they were dependent on other people to hand out food to them. How they lived with adult children and had no space of their own. What a blessing FDR's program had been to all. His own mother especially who in her last two years of employment with Bordens' was moved around and given jobs too hard for her (my paternal grandmother was a cleaning woman) and managed to get rid of her before she was eligible for a pension. So she lived her days in a house he and my uncle and other relatives had built for summertime visits.
I looked at her -- Mrs Walker was her name. She went silent and a cold hard look came on her face. The phrase "political correctness" had not been invented yet so she had no easy words to accuse me of hypocrisy. I think I did manage to say that I expected some day I would need social security too, but I'm not sure because it was clear the conversation was over.
Ladies and gentlemen, that woman still exists. She lives in many of the houses in my neighborhood. About 20 years ago I would hear as a regular thing how useful illegal immigration was, for the woman then could demand more of the hispanic women who came to clean for them. They never talked back. Oh right.
Don't imagine for a moment that Trump's support is just the 1% or the 10% or the crazed white impoverished bigots, or the immoral evangelicals (who are called "transactional" in their voting); oh no. Think of all the small business people who hated contributing to ACA though the tax system (since Trump this has stopped), think of the people inhabiting many of the houses in my neighborhood.

Martha Rosler, If you had to live here (Englished)

Shakespeare's Lear: "What is it in human nature makes such hard hearts" it's not a failure of imagination. I wish it were.

Miss Drake