Aquarian Weekly
Reality Check
James Campion
Preparing for Women to Become Government Property

Fans of my decade-plus pounding of these keys for Marriage Equality and years of calling for the expunging of Donald J. Trump from anything resembling the White House will get a huge kick out of the next few months. Because although I have touched on the issue of Roe v Wade and equal rights for women before around here, and most recently this past December, things got real this past week when some enterprising American hero leaked what can only be described as the most heinous judicial attack on the personal liberty of the taxpaying citizenry yet. Get ready. This will be a continuing topic. When 51.1 percent of the populace have their bodies become the property of the U.S. government, it’s worth getting obsessed about.

None of this is surprising. This had been coming for some time, but really a deadlock certainty once the new “conservative judges” (we’ll get to that semantic clusterfuck later) took their places. No one with half a brain thought that when all three – Elena Kagan, Neil Gorsuch, and Brett Kavanaugh – interviewed for the gig and claimed that Roe v Wade was “settled law” it was remotely true. The man who appointed them, the aforementioned Trump, put out a litmus test that only “Pro Life” (a euphemism for allowing the government to fuck with a woman’s bodily functions) would be his picks. This was why Republicans held their noses to vote for this dink. Therefore, this is the entire point of them even being on the Court. It’s not like they were any good. The last guy was a drunk, and not even a good drunk, one that leans into you and smells bad and tells you about how he could have played centerfield for the Red Sox and then tries to grope your date.  

The Religious Right (not particularly conservative) was allowed into American politics in the 1980s, because Ronald Reagan mistook them for lobbyists, and because, well, you know, Reagan. And it’s been a fun ride ever since. They hijacked what was merely a fiscally conservative, warmongering racist organization and decided to go all-in on the culture wars tearing the mantle of conservatism from the likes of William F. Buckley and George Will and handing them over to southern charlatans like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson.

Falwell and Robertson were part of a long line of religious loons that have been trying to tell us what to do, how to act, how to dress, what art we can consume and how guilty we should feel unless we give them money for Jesus since the dawn of civilization. But we had an awakening here in the early part of the twentieth century and it made them nervous. And until the 1980s things were moving along nicely away from government-controlled human behavior rat science to a reluctant form of enlightenment. We called this period the 1960s and 70s, during which the idea that women should have control over their bodies became law. But even the 1980s would not kowtow to the medieval idea of enslaving women – nor did the 90s or the first two decades of this century.

Then this week a leak of Justice Samuel Alito’s draft opinion on the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case challenging the constitutionality of a fifteen-week abortion ban in Mississippi emerged. In it, Alito becomes another justice ignoring the progress of rights in this country to myopically return the nation to the dark ages. “Until the latter part of the 20th century,” he writes in an enviably spectacular stupor reserved for the victims of blunt head trauma, “…there was no support in American law for a constitutional right to obtain an abortion. Zero. None.”

Alito, in essence, is granting the government the right someday to force abortions like in China.

And before 1865, owning humans was legal. There was no constitutional right to obtain freedom for Africans stolen from their homeland to do our bidding for free. Zero. None.

Alito, who also voted against and wrote a bigoted screed against marriage equality seven years ago, evokes the word “abortion” here because he misunderstands the concept of the Fourteenth Amendment that grants protection to every citizen, even ones with vaginas, against “any state to deprive its citizens of life, liberty, or property.” The fundamental disconnect between abortion and property=body is at the heart of this. Alito, in essence, is granting the government the right someday to force abortions like in China.

Alito’s goofy “zero-none” nonsense is brilliantly framed from a woman’s perspective in a piece in the latest New Yorker that every American, male or female, who gives a shit about personal liberty should read. Titled “What’s Missing From Alito’s Decision to Revoke the Right to Abortion”, author/journalist Jessica Winter writes, “Alito is entirely correct that, in 1973, the Supreme Court was somewhat out of step with its time in codifying women’s rights. When Roe was decided, a married woman in the United States needed her husband’s permission to get a credit card, something that did not change until 1974. No state outlawed marital rape until 1975. No man was found liable for sexual harassment until 1977. Pregnancy was a fireable offense until 1978. Alito does not itemize forms of gender-based subjugation that persisted after Roe, many of which might be persuasively argued as ‘deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition.’”


And all of it true.

This is why Religious Right Republicans – you can’t call these fascists conservatives anymore, it’s silly – are up in arms about Critical Race Theory. The truth is painful. The truth is messy. But, as the man says, the truth will set you free. Or at least set women free. But the truth is going bye-bye.

Granted, I am writing this from a comfortable seat of freedom from judicial tyranny here in New Jersey, where my wife and daughter reside. We have strengthened our right to exist free of government enslavement. This column merely points out that the threat to the Fourteenth Amendment for women’s rights against “any state to deprive its citizens of life, liberty, or property” is wrong and should not exist in a purportedly “free” country. However, currently thirteen states are challenging this amendment by banning abortion after fifteen weeks, which may seem fairly reasonable to government-control freaks who are obsessed with its complete sovereignty over the bodily functions of its citizens, but all of those states have “trigger-laws” that kick in once this glaringly apparent Supreme Court ruling comes down, which grants state governments the complete power over the innards of over half of its public.

This statement and the ruling it precedes will effectively put all American women in the servitude of the federal government. There really is no other way of looking at this and calls into question contraception and the like. Because the ruling will not rid the nation of abortion – you can take an abortion pill for that anywhere. You don’t need a clinic or the drunk guy’s vote on the Court to get it. Abortions, just like the failed Drug War, is a pacifier for the Religious Right that will not curtail a single abortion, but it will affect women’s health care, and as stated here more than once over the years, the personal liberty of the female citizen. And this ruling will give rise to the attacks on contraception, another biggie for religious fanatics.

The one thing conservatives fear, government control, will be lasting and comprehensive once this all comes down in a month or so. To wit: Supposed conservative Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves, a Republican, recently told CBS News that with the felling of Roe v Wade, “Each of those elected representatives can make the decisions that they view best for their constituents.”

Let me qualify the horrors of this statement and apply it to amendments you dig, like the First or Second Amendment: “Each of those elected representatives can MAKE THE DECISIONS THAT THEY VIEW BEST for their constituents.”

Making decisions they “view best for you.” Remember all those wusses who wouldn’t wear a cloth over their face for a few months, they now want the government to crawl inside the body of a woman for a lifetime.

Let that sink in, conservatives. Unless you are a member of the Religious Right, let that sink in, ladies.

In the coming weeks we will cover what this means for the 2022 midterms and the rest of our lives in voting booths, which has pitted the concept of America with one party that has chosen to dismantle personal sovereignty.

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Aquarian Weekly
Reality Check

James Campion
Dismantling Scurrilous Rumors About the Florida Governor One at a Time
It is better to cast your seed in the belly of a whore than spill it on the ground.
                                                                     – Genesis 38:8
The rumors are not true. In fact, I am here to defuse the furor over claims that beleaguered Florida Governor, rising Republican star for the 2024 nomination for president, was born a woman, and his anti-LGBTQ laws to attack these children at a vulnerable age is a prime example of Freudian sex-identity self-loathing. This is madness and an obvious attempt by radicals to attack his origins and dilute his influence over a dying economic state and add to his plummeting approval ratings. There is also no truth to the allegations that his using the state government to pass laws as blatant attacks on business rights for political vengeance is a prime example of his communist leanings. Nor is this nonsense that his constant parading of the term “grooming” as a systemic mind-control of the state’s youth by the gay community is lifted directly from the third chapter of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kempf, substituting Jews for Homosexuals. And just because the Republicans have voted to disenfranchise Black congressional districts to skew election results, does not cement DeSantis’s membership in the Klu Klux Klan. Come on. This craziness has to stop. Now.

I am no fan of DeSantis. He is a charlatan selling fear and the over-coddling of children for their inability to process information on their own without the help of the government. His banning of math books because it may upset white people is cancel culture run amok. Sure, he’s an opportunist who exploits whatever wind is blowing – anti-science, anti-gay, and whatever crap it takes to get elected. But who doesn’t? I get that. I have been at this a long time. I lived through Just Say No and Freedom Fries and Muslim Bans. I’m a big boy. I do not hate Ron DeSantis. Even though I think he is silly, his kind interests me. Like studying the grazing habit of the dung beetle.

If anything, I pity DeSantis. He is clearly mentally challenged, and these attacks are just a cheap form of bullying. For instance, I am appalled at these memes and repeated video clips played over and over on YouTube of his drooling. This is absolutely not a sign of stroking. Are these people doctors? No. And do they care that his administrative assistants are forced to calm his late afternoon crying jags or deflect these tall tales of his manic jacking off to Donald Trump sweating through interviews? They do not. Instead, they just take to the Internet to hammer on him. Where is the compassion? Maybe it is this low-rent treatment that has led him to act as a psycho bigot. Has The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, or pretty much any Dr. Suess (his canon does tend to drive a singular concept home) taught us nothing?

The state manipulation of a private business concern is not communism. The state using its powers for personal gain and vengeance for a business not supporting its ideology is not communism.

I do not have to agree with someone’s politics to defend their character against mean-spirited political mudslinging. I support LGBT rights. I do not want to see any state, even a sinkhole like Florida, either run by Democrats or Republicans disenfranchise African Americans to better the chances of electoral victory. Having read Mein Kampf and found eerie similarities between most religious-based governing and its dangerous baby, patriotism disguised as state-mandated mugging, I can state with confidence that it is a stretch to take out one or two sentences in a deplorable document to prove DeSantis is a Nazi. Enough with the Nazi comparisons. As if that is ever going to happen again. Great defenders of freedom like Vladimir Putin are putting an end to fascism in Ukraine right now. We are all safer for it. He is a great hero. At least that’s what Trump and Fox News says, and why divert any belief system beyond what a game show host and a tainted news organization have to say? There is no time for that.

Or maybe Putin is a despot? Hard to tell. I’ll have to do my own research and investigation once I am done deconstructing the quasi-science of the Covid virus. I heard a good place to start is Season 26 of The Bachelor.

Can I just break the fourth wall for a moment? I just wrote that there are 26 seasons of something called The Bachelor, wherein strangers find spouses for life on a reality TV show. That is a thing that is true. It has happened and keeps happening. The National Broadcasting Company would not put this on if it didn’t make a shit-ton of money and get big ratings. A quarter century of The Bachelor. Let that sink in.

Okay, back to the satire.

While it is true that DeSantis and his Republican-controlled government is pissing on Ronald Reagan’s grave by stripping the legal right for the Disney Corporation to control land it has built on its own with its own funds, maintain its debt, infrastructure, and other amenities, freeing tax-payers and the local government of the fiduciary burden, he is doing so in the defense of the right of parents against the company’s evil anti-DeSantis ideologies. The state manipulation of a private business concern is not communism. The state using its powers for personal gain and vengeance for a business not supporting its ideology is not communism. It is hardly communism for the taxpayers to absorb the business expenses of private enterprises, thus making it state run. This is like saying that a president not agreeing to the results of an election, trying to use the awesome powers of his office to remain in charge, and then commandeering an insurrection on the federal Capitol building is fascist. Absurd.

Finally, the most outlandish of any of these fast-moving rumors is that Ron DeSantis has had sex realignment, that he was born a woman, and he is using this crusade against the LGBTQ community and, (gulp!) LGBTQ children as a front to deflect the truth. This one is easy to refute. Firstly, no respectable Trans would ever dress like him. Have you seen his suits? It’s like a 1970s Caldor blew up and landed on his back. His gait is also far-too simian to have any female origins. And while I support his right to self-identity as sacrosanct and defend his personal choices to not be defined as a threat by the government, it is beyond believable that this man has ever been anywhere near women, much less was once one.

Okay, so maybe this Roy Cohn-esque boondoggle does come with photos of the former Ronnie Dee-Lite dancing at Birds of a Feather Lesbian Lounge in Miami Florida in 2001. And, admittedly, there are intriguing resemblances to what some, not me, might judge as pre-surgery female DeSantis. But come on. I might be led to believe Marjorie Taylor Green was a man or that Lindsay Graham was thrice the grand marshal of the Mermaid Parade, but DeSantis as a woman just doesn’t wash.

In conclusion, despite actions leaning in this direction, Ron DeSantis is not a self-loathing transgender, nor is he a devout communist, influenced in any way by the writings of Adolf Hitler, nor a member of the KKK – at least not a card-carrying one. But I will be doing further research on this. The Green Bay Packers QB is helping me out.

Considering how gullibly fickle our electorate is, and his preternatural ability to tap into the whiny zeitgeist, Ron DeSantis is probably going to be our next president.

So, come on. Leave him alone

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Aquarian Weekly

Reality Check

James Campion

How Putin’s Folly in Ukraine is Systematically Destroying Russia

Things are actually going worse than I predicted two weeks ago (PUTIN’S FANCY CLUSTERFUCK) when this ill-conceived and badly figured military invasion of Ukraine began for Russia. Vladimir Putin’s utterly insane idea with no rational endgame to occupy a neighboring nation with a subpar, hardly motivated army, (more confused by the reasoning for the fighting than motivated to “win”), has turned into a bloody stalemate that will only worsen when the tough part of the war inside the urban slaughterhouse commences. The Russian Army has been exposed as ill-equipped and badly led. The entire enterprise has caused a once proud nation to be dragged into economic and moral calamity. It, and its beleaguered tyrant president, has been summarily shunned by the rest of the world. It would seem Russia is on the brink of complete anarchy in less than a month, purely on the whims of a madman.

Putin has done what no NATO coalition could have done. He has doomed Russia. The country is bankrupt, ostracized from the 21^st century global economy – more than 400 hundred western companies have abandoned it, throwing thousands of citizens out of work, and in the process dragged the last thirty years of progress and assimilation since the fall of the Soviet Union into a new dark ages. It is so bad Putin is forced to beg China for much-needed help and then take to the airwaves to shout about “traitors and scum,” many of whom cling to a harsher reality of food shortages, gas hikes, and an isolation from the goods and services in which they rely.

That is to say nothing of the Russian troops who routinely abandon tanks to run scared into the Ukrainian forests or put down their weapons in an open act of desertion. And who can blame them? According to Pentagon officials quoted in a recent NY Times article, more than 7,000 Russian troops are already dead, a greater number than American troops killed over 20 years in Iraq and Afghanistan combined. To gain a starker perspective on this, the article goes on to state that “in 36 days of fighting on Iwo Jima during World War II, nearly 7,000 Marines were killed. Now, 20 days after Russia invaded Ukraine, Putin’s military has already lost more soldiers.”

General don’t die. Russian generals are dying. Daily.

And through the “fog of war” these are conservative estimates. Some in the U.S. military have been given greater numbers of deaths, which they describe as “staggering.” As many as 10,000 Russian soldiers have likely been sacrificed for this boondoggle, due to Belarusian morgues filling up daily with the slain.
This nearly one-month offensive, predicted by Putin’s brain trust (many of which have likely been executed by now or thrown in prison) as originally taking three to four days, has eviscerated Russian troop morale. Motivation for this mess was already shaky due to soldiers having to murder many of their fellow Slavs for what sounded to them and the rest of the planet as a goofy propaganda ego-circle-jerk by a mentally challenged dictator. The general rule of war is that a ten-percent casualty rate, which includes wounded, for a single unit renders it unable to carry out combat-related tasks. The estimate so far is nearly 21 thousand total wounded, which is nearly ten percent, as there are reportedly more than 150,000 Russian troops in Ukraine. And the kicker might be that four Russian generals have also been killed, a number that usually hovers around zero for generals. General don’t die. Russian generals are dying. Daily.

Considering a lunatic like Putin won’t be quitting this folly anytime soon, he has upped the ante on this losing bet by slaying civilians, using illegal weapons, calling in mercenaries from Syria and the black ops the Russians normally used to assassinate journalists and dignitaries. A kitchen sink tossing is sure to follow. These are desperate times for a despot living in a fantasy.

Ever more galling to Putin is Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, former comedian and TV star, being the toast of the western world and recently enjoying a standing ovation during a speech to the U.S. Congress. Zelenksy has made a very public mockery of the false bravado of his enemy, as women, children and young civilian men join forces with the undermanned Ukrainian Army to thwart the “mighty” Russian Army that staggers around looking to move forward while barely holding flank. And all of it is televised 24-hours a day and flashed on social media: The failures, the embarrassment, the eventual surrender.

While invading Ukraine was never going to end well, not even I could have predicted that there is a chance that Putin may actually lose this war. The longer this bloodletting and destruction of the Russian Army continues this is becoming more of a reality. As stated here a month ago, even if he eventually holds out, after thousands and thousands of his troops are slaughtered and he massacres thousands of Ukrainians, implants a puppet government, and claims some kind of empty victory, then he becomes nothing more than a flaccid occupier, continuously fending off insurgencies and domestic terrorism. All the while continuing this dance of economic suicide with his people and the rest of the civilized world.
Putin is going to lose this eventually, be tossed into the rancid dustbin of history like all the crazies who attempted this stupid shit. But what is to become of Mother Russia, its people, and its general standing in the world, economically, politically, morally? What of the people who endure the last vestiges of this maniac, who has gambled their fortunes on a losing and deadly proposition?

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Aquarian Weekly
Reality Check

James Campion
Stark-Naked Emperor Stumbles Into Infamy
 Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.
                                       – Michael Gerard Tyson
 What the fuck is Vladimir Putin doing?

This is not rhetorical. I have no idea. And from all I have read, heard, and/or deciphered from this Russian invasion of Ukraine, no one – and there has been nothing viably coherent from the man himself – has a goddamn clue. We are a couple of weeks into this ill-conceived, terribly executed military mission, and despite becoming an international pariah and sinking his nation’s already anemic economy, this entire mess has done nothing but effectively lift the veil on whatever myth the Russian president has been concocting for decades: He is shrewd global manipulator.

Suddenly, the man looks spectacularly stupid and embarrassingly weak. Add in a sprinkle of pettiness, a dab of irrationality, and top it with pure idiocy. Certainly, our politicians, including our last president, who carried the tyrant’s water bucket for four years and just this week called him “a genius,” figured this guy was shrewd and cunning. Fox News spent the past few weeks ejaculating over his brilliance as a proud world leader with his finger on the international pulse, understanding the brutal nuances of world politick and acting with swift and measured precision. Wherein our old, clueless president is unmatched. Shit, say what you want about cranky Joe Biden, he has played this like a champ. So far, he has rallied the world to put the screws to Putin’s hubris move. If anything, it has revived his nearly flat-lined presidency.

It is an understatement to stress that now in the wake of this super-botch, everyone may have miscalculated Putin. That is except Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, whom Putin has turned into a rock star and the world’s superhero – another hidden prize of his grand blunder. Let’s face it, Zelensky’s defiance has turned this into a hack move made by a third-world chump, as if Saddam Hussein had come back as a bald, fat goon, whose only hope for anyone to pay attention to him is to bully the country next door. Putin has created a quagmire of human misery and destruction that has the distinct look of a man trying to open a tuna can with sledgehammer. Four days into this, even Donald Trump was faking love for NATO.

The confused torpor that was George W.  Bush suddenly looks like a mighty warlord compared to this stooge.

Vladimir Putin was supposed to be our worthy adversary, akin to Rommel vs. Patton instead of Mike Tyson vs. the town drunk. He appears to have no endgame beyond what he, I guess, claimed was defense against NATO’s influence too close to his border, but instead has created the worst possible scenario: An angry and motivated enemy at his border. Dead mothers clutching charred infants have a way of getting the locals riled. He thought no one would have the stomach to oppose him, and before the week was out, everyone did, even China, who acts like an ally but would just as soon move on as a solo act, and Saudi Arabia, who positions itself to absorb Putin’s fleeing oil customers.

Of course, any act of war is going to bring hardship. But most dictators worth a shit would have weighed this against what riches and real estate might be available once the carnage is done.

To wit: One can deduce the actions of Adolf Hitler’s 1939 invasion of Poland in five seconds. It was horrible, immoral, and world-shattering, but it made military, economic, and national defense sense for Germany. What does Russia get out of “owning” Ukraine? A money-pit headache. Moreover, Hitler’s burgeoning economy was built on a war machine that not only revived the nation’s solvency but had already done some nasty shit for months before this. It appears the lapdog generals in charge of this operation did not have what it takes to tell Putin his heretofore latent army sucks ass.

The Hitler comparison makes Putin uncomfortable? Okay, take Napoleon in the opening years of the nineteenth century. The French had been preparing for war for decades and possessed what turned out to be an unstoppable force to expand the parameters of his rule in Europe. Putin’s army has had a hard time even getting a foothold in the country across the fucking street. He could have gotten a Northern California biker gang to pull this off quicker. So, now he has exposed his military as wildly overrated and undermanned, and his generals as stupefied neophytes. If Stalin had this force, the Nazis would have glided into Moscow in 1944, Russian winter and all.

I don’t know who talked up the Russian invading army as potentially impressive, but Jesus Bicycling Christ, this whole thing is a stumble-bum fiasco manned by frightened nineteen year-olds with no over-arching plan to refuel vehicles, secure flanks or deal with street-to-street combat. The first week of the invasion will be studied by war historians as a primer on what not to do – overwhelming the botched United States Iraq invasion in the early aughts. In fact, I would say the confused torpor that was George W.  Bush suddenly looks like a mighty warlord compared to this stooge.

And so, predictably, desperate and exposed as a fraud, Putin “readies his nuclear capabilities”. Yawn. The oldest and laziest Cold War maneuver. This is what you do when you fail to learn your own nation’s military history, which would have clued Putin in that both Napoleon and Hitler were eventually defeated by fucking Russia! And mainly because they could not occupy nations that didn’t want to be occupied. Failing that, all he had to do was call up Dick Cheney. The former VP might have told him that the place you are wrecking will not likely be welcoming you as liberators.

But, of course, history is pretty much bloated with tales of once powerful nations taking over other nations who did not like that so much. Soon, there will be, for Russia, the exhausting task of fending off insurgencies and weeding out coups. This is far more difficult than poisoning journalists in London, jailing Pussy Riot, and fucking with other country’s elections. Those things gave him an air of invincibly that this invasion has summarily obliterated.

So far, just moving in has been a humiliating slog against civilians brandishing homemade weapons, further revealing half-assed Russian ground-war capabilities. It has alienated the only economic partners keeping Russia a viable nation, unleashed crippling international sanctions, and ceased a crucial oil pipeline partnership with Germany. Remember, Putin is pulling this horse-turd under the auspices of a global economy that his country relies on desperately. Hitler and Napoleon had no such troubles. They were self-contained nations built for war. No oil money. No Russia.

Invasion is the easy part. Occupation is where things get hairy.

Again, I state, this makes zero sense for Russia, and even less for Putin, who clearly has never given a flying mist-fart about Russia. He has a raging hard-on for the tattered myth of the Soviet Union, conveniently forgetting that what ultimately sunk it was stretching its lust for colonization, which is what also sunk every world power since the dawn of civilization.

Putin has made the ultimate mistake of the grifter, believing his own con.

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Aquarian Weekly

Reality Check

James Campion

How We Got Here & Where We’re Going

For about a week at the beginning of February 2022, the Republican Party pulled back from the brink of insurrection.

Flirting with this concept since the domestic terrorist attacks on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, a majority of the party in both houses of congress and throughout the country, in the media and in the halls of state governance, have either dismissed or supported the horrors of that day, which resulted in seven deaths, 769 criminal charges, and over 70 convictions thus far. This includes the former president of the United States, who perpetuated this lunacy by telling the great unwashed that the election was stolen, inviting them to Washington D.C., promising via twitter to “Be there, will be wild!” and then once they got there armed and riled up by crazy talk, encouraging them to “March to the Capitol and fight for your country.” This ridiculousness is ongoing, as he announced at a recent rally in Arizona that he will pardon the convicted if re-elected. But until three words were part of a Republican National Committee resolution last week, all of this was partisan rhetoric, political grandstanding, and genuflecting to the 70-percent of Republican voters who continue to believe this nonsense.

It was then the RNC censored two GOP senators on the bipartisan January 6 Committee, Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney and Illinois Congressman Adam Kinzinger. This too could have been seen as mere politico shenanigans, until the 168 members referred to their supposed insubordination to the party for “participating in a Democrat-led persecution of ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse.”

That, apparently, was the game changer.

Legitimate Political Discourse.

Those three words could well go down in history as the moment things began to shift in the Republican party. That day, actual “ordinary citizens” who are not white supremacists brandishing weapons, demanding the heads of the Speaker of the House and the Vice President, while smashing windows, breaking-and-entering into a federal building, and beating police with Trump flags, stood up and said, “That’s enough.” Even Republicans who heretofore watched in silence as its party was being hijacked by the insanely seditious goofiness that passes for “the opposition” started to backtrack. This was ultimately the Right dismissing its fringe, as the Left did with distancing itself from the “Defund the Police” movement in 2020. This last-ditch effort kept the Republican Party from being an enemy of the state because that is what that statement underlines. Supporting terrorism of any kind is a bad look, even for fun and argument, especially when representing the entire party’s stance.

When Georgia Congressman Andrew Clyde, five months from the insurrection, noted that it looked like “a normal tourist visit” most people were horrified, but Clyde is just one idiot, and although there are plenty of those in congress, when the RNC, essentially representing the whole of the GOP, frames a violent mob trying to overthrow a national election as Legitimate Political Discourse in a signed resolution, it ropes in every Republican.

For a few weird days, it looked like one of America’s two major political parties was exiting the framework of the U.S. Constitution. That is fairly big news, for it is equivalent to either party supporting al Qaeda. It wasn’t long before at least a few GOP voices put the brakes on this as quickly as you can Osama bin Laden.

Supporting terrorism of any kind is a bad look, even for fun and argument

Legitimate Political Discourse was announced on Friday, February 4, by Tuesday, February 8 (to be honest a tad too long to address the rhetorical rejection of the rule of law and American sovereignty, but he got there) Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell denounced it. While he did finally agree that water is wet by calling the events an insurrection, which is what it was, he tamped that down with procedural blather. “The issue is whether or not the RNC should be sort of singling out members of our party who may have different views from the majority. That’s not the job of the RNC,” McConnell said in his damage-control press conference. He conveniently forgot to mention that the Republican Party was sanctioning the murder of police and the attempted harm of members of the U.S. Congress. But it was a start.

This was followed by Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin praising “my Republican colleagues who have been willing to speak the truth in the last few days,” while also castigating his party by admitting that for months now “the vast majority of my Republican colleagues remained silent while the party leaders declared Jan. 6 legitimate.” Maine Senator Susan Collins echoed this by calling the entire RNC resolution “absurd” and that “every moment that is spent re-litigating a lost election or defending those who have been convicted of criminal behavior moves us further away from the goal of victory this fall.”

It is important to recall when all three of these senators, all of whom publicly blamed Trump for his role in the riot from day-one – McConnel said he was “practically and morally responsible” – had a chance to vote to impeach him when he still held office and did not.

RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, who announced this hot mess, also began running for cover, claiming the phrase Legitimate Political Discourse was not in the original draft of the resolution. This was quickly backed up by the man who wrote it, some cheap political MAGA hack, David Bossie. For his part, the former president called McDaniel to congratulate her for the resolution and for bravely reframing the horrors of January 6 as patriotic protest against government aggression.

Swap the name Donald Trump for Jefferson Davis and you get the picture.

For his part, House Minority Leader Mike McCarthy, a very silly man, has tried to play this as close to the vest as possible. He knows he may be on the brink of becoming the next House Speaker if things go the way of first mid-term elections for unpopular presidents, and Joe Biden certainly is one (41-percent approval at the time of this writing), so he has cover. McConnell is not so fortunate. With most of the potential Republican candidates laying in wait to run this November being a rogue’s gallery of knuckle-dragging psychos, it will be tight, and even some indicators are pointing toward the Democrats hanging onto the Senate.

Let that read that political expediency is now at the forefront of the party – not that it wasn’t at any point – but Legitimate Political Discourse has set the bar. Let’s see if the party nominates the man responsible to run for president again.

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Aquarian Weekly
Reality Check

James Campion
Let’s put this out there first: No one thinks engaging in a war with Russia is a good idea. Not even those who claim to think it is a good idea. And now that most Republicans are pro-Russia thanks to the last president, who was Vladimir Putin’s bitch, we don’t have as much rooting interest from the hawk camp as we did during the Cold War. (You know you have lived a long time when things shift this dramatically – if you would have told me in 1985 that Democrats were the anti-Russia hawk party, I would have assumed you were experiencing crack shivers). And let me also state for the record that despite the cheering and victory laps the West did after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1989, Russia has never not been armed to the teeth with nuclear war heads and is now run by a psychopath, who has been mostly unchecked by the loyal opposition for close to a decade.

Our current president has been all over the map here. A change from the last guy who stood on foreign soil and sided with Putin over the American intelligence community. Either way, that lapdog is gone now, reduced to screaming to the great unwashed that he won the last election from his golf bunker in Florida. The guy who did win, Joe Biden wanted this gig – and the shit storm that is coming down now appears to be far more important than his botched exit from our endless military bullshit in Afghanistan or exploding inflation or even the zig-zag pandemic mandates we continue to endure. He needs to steer this one clear of military action. Period.

The day before I am writing this, the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank released satellite imagery on the Russian build-up in Ukraine showing “a significant and sizeable presence of Russian ground troops, tanks, small arms and mobile artillery.” It states: “If peace talks fail, an escalation between the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and Russia could extend well beyond Eastern Europe and include retaliatory measures that are global in nature.”

No shit. We didn’t need a fancy international think tank to come to that gory conclusion, but thanks, nonetheless.

The Russians are moving troops to the Ukrainian border (which the Kremlin calls “exercises”) and although, again, we get the predictably bold talk mixed with calls for cooler heads from our president, the Pentagon has been alerted to ready 8,500 American troops to enter the region should an invasion move ahead.

It is never a good idea to engage in any kind of direct military kerfuffle with Russia.

Let me repeat for anyone not yet fully comprehending it: Going to war with Russia is not an option. This is why Ronald Reagan went nuts and outspent them ten-to-one on defense, forever bloating the military budget, which is the main reason we are in horrible debt today and will continue to be unless we address the federal government’s upside-down budget – which we won’t, but that is another column for another day. I just mention it because the narrative has been for my entire existence on this planet (coming up on six decades this September) there has been Total Annihilation or Bust. Skirmishes in the Baltics is so 1917. You can fuck with Russian-backed dictatorships in the Middle East or even try to upset U.S. dictatorships next door to those other dictatorships, but moving in on Russian military shenanigans in Eastern Europe is not an option. Ever.

I am not suggesting that Putin should be left to his own devices. This is a tough call, because, again, Putin was coddled and sucked up to so embarrassingly for the four years prior to Mr. Biden’s arrival, there is an issue with what Russian thinks is our “resolve.” (Should we mention the stupid and very public shake-down of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky by Donald Trump to withhold U.S. security aid unless he dug up fantasy dirt on then candidate Biden’s son, Hunter?) But that is, again, in the rearview. This is Biden’s call now. His approval ratings have tanked and show no signs of improving in time to stop what is certainly going to be mid-term spanking this November. And unlike previous years when presidents and the military get nearly one-hundred percent support for any action, this is a different time. There is no stomach for this outside of a few voices. And that is a good thing; because I don’t think it is remotely redundant to again point out that it is never a good idea to engage in any kind of direct military kerfuffle with Russia. Ever.

Making matters worse is that Ukraine is playing this very “Czechoslovakia circa 1938,” fobbing it off as business as usual – all talk/no action Putin – something South Korea never does, despite the almost incessant non-aggressive aggression from the North and whatever chubby nutcase is engineering it. It also doesn’t help that no one in Europe, least of all France and Germany (and Germany has made it clear due to pipeline oil issues, it does not want to side with the U.S. in this affair no matter the threat to its border interests), is remotely excited about a twenty-first century ground war.

For whatever it’s worth, which if recent history is any indication, is nothing, Russia has publicly stated through its venerable Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov that they have no intention of invading Ukraine. “We do not want wars, but we won’t allow our interests to be rudely trod upon or to be ignored,” Lavrov, who is also Russia’s representative at the United Nations, said this week. Much of this rhetoric stemming from talk for months of Ukraine joining NATO, a George W. Bush 2008 dream that got under Putin’s skin, which eventually led to the Trump-backed anti-Bush, anti-NATO wing of the Kremlin during the 2016 U.S. presidential election. For its role in all this, the Ukraine has no plans to join NATO, something Biden has acknowledged.

All of this provides insight into Putin’s gambit as ill-conceived and not entirely supported by his faux government. So, it might eventually need diplomatic face-saving. Not to mention that Russia’s current post-pandemic economy is weak, far weaker than ours, and needs European oil dollars to subsist. Wars are costly. And Putin can’t afford it.

Not sure who said that “history finds us” or how “we don’t choose our moment it chooses us” or whatever paraphrase you’d like to cite in that direction, but this is where Joe Biden stands now. Thank goodness we have a functioning State Department again. Talks are ongoing, and it must be clear to even a loon like Putin that this is not a wise move. There should be a sign above his desk that reads the mirror image of my stance: War with the United States is never an option.

Yeah, going to war with Russia is not an option.


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Aquarian Weekly
Reality Check

James Campion
Thoughts from a Parent on the New Violence Normal
Okay, so the morning I am writing this (December 17, 2021) I get a text from one of my daughter’s eighth-grade friends at around six am on whether the young thirteen year-old in my care is going to school today. I must admit (bad parenting 101) I was unaware that there was a warning out there about some National School Bomb/Shooting Day floating around the Internet thanks in no small part to a Tik Tok/Snap Chat social media viral frenzy over a few days in mid-December. This was, as I have researched, the bizarre but expected offshoot of a hoax perpetuated by some enterprising urchins in the Midwest trying to get schools to shut down “for fun.” But, well, in this era of the weekly school shootings, and being a parent of a middle school kid, this was, to say the least concerning.

Spoiler Alert: We sent our kid in. Packing.

Well, not really. It is just something I write to be pithy and to allay my growing fears about what the hell is going on, but unlike many of my fellow Americans, I am not in the “What Have We Become?” camp. This has been the America of my fifty-nine years of breathing. In the 1960s, there were weekly bomb threats to my Catholic School in the Bronx, NY. I was in first grade, and we were routinely waltzed into the playground behind the school. Interestingly, one time I was standing back there and noticed the shadow of the school engulfing us tikes as we waited for the bell to usher us back into the joint. I decided that any detonated bomb would likely rain rubble down upon us. I turned and walked home. I got a lot of shit for that, but at six, I think I possessed enough self-preservation to consider it again the moment I heard they’d announced in the towers on 9/11 that everyone should not panic and stay in their cubicles. My guess is I would have turned and walked out. But who knows?

Anyway, it totally sucks that we must be wary of our children walking into a school that may or may not be shot up or blown up today. Right? Whether you support full gun rights or fear every kind of terrorism or believe some other thing, we can agree this ain’t cool. This is not Jerusalem, after all. When I went to Israel in 1996 the main response to what had been going on there for decades (centuries?) was “We just want our kids to take the bus in peace.” – Palestinians and Israelis.

I live in the mountains of New Jersey, and although there is the usual congregation of gun-perverts you expect up here, I think it is a fairly benign region. But then again, these sleepy towns are the ones with the neighbor’s kid who decides he’s had enough.

But getting back to this morning’s drama, before the fancy tweet from Governor Phil Murphy, “While there are no known specific threats against New Jersey schools, the safety of our children is our highest priority and we will work closely with law enforcement to monitor the situation and remain prepared,” I received several texts from other concerned parents. By the way, as an aside, I think this whole using Twitter to make serious government-related announcements should stop. Another fantastic legacy held over from our previous President Idiot. What if you are not on Twitter? Your kid doesn’t count? You think I follow Murphy on Twitter?

“We just want our kids to take the bus in peace.”

– Palestinians and Israelis.

Doing some research on all of this, there have been, according to Nassau, Long Island Police Chief Patrick Ryder, a 148-percent increase in school threats this year. It is a thing now. So “a thing” usually ends up being exploited on the Internet. This, I think, (Jesus, I hope) is what we have here. I have prided myself in not living in fear – of viruses, terrorists, evangelicals, fringe movements, the government, Major League Baseball, big cities, traveling abroad, mainlining absinthe, and the like. This was a tough one. My daughter is more important than anything on planet earth, as I am sure your offspring is. But how are we supposed to live (function) in this “new normal” environment of violence-first? I wonder back to the Pilgrims and those lunatics who started building houses on Native American land, or any number of crazy violence-related shit Americans have been dealing with since we decided to stomp around here as if we owned the place?

I suppose there is no answer to any of this when you consider our legacy of violence. And now our ability to post some madness out there that gets reposted and reposted. How do you think you end up with the kind of street riots of 2020 and, most egregiously, the January 6 insurrection of the U.S. Capitol in broad daylight? The Internet is our playground. And every playground has those kids, you know those kids. The ability to communicate the idea of violence, insurrection, destruction is so easy now. And so is complete and utter bullshit. The crazies count on the bullshit. And although I do support every kind of free speech, this equates to shouting fire in a crowded theater. Causing panic is terrorism. So, if you forward this stuff, are you a terrorist? I am still formulating my opinion on government officials who support those who caused January 6, including President Idiot, so I’ll get back to you on that.

And, let’s face it, it is all well and good to use this space to parse these social aspects of our collective damaged psyche for a lark, however, this is my kid. These are your kids. Are we forced to live in an armored compound and stock up on canned goods?

I say, nah to that. But I guess I cannot fault anyone for going full-on “Check Out” when this kind of thing hits home. It can change perspectives. Fast.

I always say Expect the Worst, Hope for the Best. I guess prepare for all of the above is the best answer to any of it.

And by it, I mean, reality.

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Aquarian Weekly
Reality Check

James Campion
How Candidates Use and May Use SCOTUS Decision on Roe v Wade
The most important Supreme Court hearings on women’s reproductive rights since the 1973 Roe v Wade decision to legalize abortion under the U.S. Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment, specifically its Due Process Clause, providing the sacrosanct “right to privacy” to all citizens, male and female, is underway. A decision is expected this summer, and with the current ultra-right court, packed with three new judges that have a written and judicial history of opposing the law, it appears its current legal status is in jeopardy. The new controversial Mississippi law seeks to lower the abortion timeframe to fifteen weeks that pro-choice advocates claim will further roll back the rights of women against government interference to control what happens inside their bodies. The pro-life argument is that it protects a fetus at that point in the pregnancy, which new scientific evidence points to its viability to survive outside the mother.

To reiterate what I have always written here, I support all American’s Fourteen Amendment rights, as all Americans should. Many who cry about the government’s mandates on vaccines (“My body my choice”), have filched the pro-choice rallying cry as their own while simultaneously supporting overturning Roe v Wade. This is precisely why Senate Republicans played fast and loose with denying then President Obama a vote on his pick to replace the late conservative justice Antonin Scalia with ten months to go before the 2016 election and then with only six weeks to go before the 2020 election, rammed through a replacement for staunch defender of Roe v Wade, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg with a known anti-Roe candidate.

Abortion has always been ancillary political chum, but make no mistake, it is fully engaged in the construct now, and this will be a cut-and-dry political decision for this court. It wants to make it about constitutional law, but since 1973, Roe v Wade has been considered – over hundreds of challenges – to be “settled law”. So, like the whole flip-flop Republican maneuvers to stack this court with changing philosophies, this is now fully about politics.

The abortion debate has moved away from the 1980s into the 90s’ “third-rail” framing into political gold for Republicans, used to great effect in every local and national election for this century thus far. The slow, methodical building of local and appellate judges and the ignoring of the high crimes of the former president to remake the high court is evidence that this is now, by consequence, a fully engaged and shamelessly political issue on the table for Democrats should the expected ruling come down this summer.

According to recent polling, there is anywhere between sixty-five to seventy five percent of Americans who want no part of the government dictating what goes on in a citizen’s body. This is far higher than pro-gun number (also a Republican winner at the voting booth for decades), as nearly seven out of ten Americans want stricter gun laws. I have been consistent in my argument for the First Amendment, and therefore reluctantly support the Second Amendment on the merits of the slightest restructure of those rights as a slippery slope to government control over our constitutional heritage. And this is where I fall on abortion. It is not a moral or political decision for me. It is law and the spirit of the U.S. Constitution to protect our rights to not be invaded by a social, political, or governing institution. I believe every American should support this. But most conservatives are goofy with this issue and just chuck the whole “Don’t Tread on Me” edict. They want their guns and not adhere to health mandates but go nuts on a woman’s uterus. It breaks the hypocrisy charts, and it should not be.

But back to politics, where abortion has been mostly a winner for Republicans. It is not the main reason for hanging onto their shrinking support on most issues at the polls, but it helps. Religious support for Republicans during the Reagan Era shifted this paradigm. One wonders in the wake of this decision if the Biden Era will be seen as a new rallying cry for pro-choice activists once their rights have been so radically impinged.

Conservatives… want their guns and not adhere to health mandates but go nuts on a woman’s uterus. It breaks the hypocrisy charts, and it should not be.

I wholly support expanding the Supreme Court, blowing up the filibuster, and/or passing state laws here in New Jersey to protect women’s reproductive rights. I think it is as important as the Civil Rights issue, and later, for me, marriage equality. These are all dramatic political plays with major risks, but this issue calls for the kind of sweeping actions Republicans pulled in 2016 and 2020 to stack the SCOTUS with anti-Roe judges in the first place.

The Democrats are poised to take a serious beating in 2022. President Biden’s approval numbers are nearly at Trump-level tanking. Note: If there is a presidential poll that puts you in a discussion with Trump, it is time to panic. Inflation is real and it is going to get worse before it gets better. Oil prices are rising, as new Covid variants pop up. This whole new “Parents Rights” stuff that helped secure a Republican gubernatorial victory in a mostly blue state, is happening. There are some months to go, and things swing so quickly in this political climate, it is hard to predict six months out, never mind a year. Half a year ago, Biden had a 53-percent approval rating; the highest for a president since the first months of the Obama presidency thirteen long years ago. It hovers dangerously at 42-percent. Considering mid-term history, the massive redistricting going on right now, and the draconian anti-democratic laws being crafted in the wake of the Big Lie in Republican-run states, Dems are in electoral peril.

But… introduce this disastrous SCOTUS decision, and there is your wild card. Does the left have any chance to exploit abortion rights the way the right exploited wiping them out? Can this be, in essence, the passing of the Affordable Care Act kind of political wind shift that kick-started the right-wing Tea Party movement of 2010 this time galvanizing liberals and independents?

Let’s face reality here; the House is toast for Democrats, where redistricting tips the scales considerably. But the Senate is different, and in the wake of a Roe v Wade gutting, could rile up the independent vote (staunchly pro Roe v Wade) and the vacillating suburban women vote that wilted for Hillary Clinton in 2016, but came out in droves to sink Donald Trump last year. It is, after all, the Senate that approves future federal judges; something Republicans have used as a craven cudgel to remake minority ideologies a force. It is political viper Mitch McConnell’s greatest or saddest legacy.

The SCOTUS decision, the final victory for the right’s decades-old fight to essentially end national abortion rights is upon us. It is as political as any decision in my lifetime for the high court, and it may be a powerful political pendulum that could swing the other way

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Aquarian Weekly
Reality Check

James Campion
Coming to Grips with Humanity One “Like” at a Time
Facebook’s rank-and-file employees warned their leaders about the company’s effects on society and politics in the United States. And they say its inability to effectively moderate content has magnified those dangers, both in the U.S. and abroad.      
             – NPR Review of Facebook Papers 10/25
The release of the Facebook Papers has underlined a point I have consistently, and most times vulgarly made in this space for twenty-four years now: The problem is never with politics, companies, media outlets, art, etc, it is with us. We’re the problem. We make this stuff. And sometimes with the best intentions. Television was to its inventors a way to communicate and educate the masses, raise their awareness, and challenge the intellect and imagination for generations to come. It ended up with Real Housewives of the Jersey Shore and Tucker Carlson. We also buy, consume, and support this stuff we make. We do this. It is our way. So, who could possibly be surprised that when some college dink creates a way to rate women on the Internet that it would devolve even further into a mud pit of domestic terrorism, human trafficking, and Baal Worship groups?

Apparently one Frances Haugen was surprised. So much so, that the former Facebook product manager disclosed to the Securities and Exchange Commission a cache of communication and damning data that reveal that (wait for the shocking conclusion to this allegation…) Facebook’s leaders “repeatedly and knowingly put the company’s image and profitability ahead of the public good – even at the risk of violence and other harm.”

This is adorable. Next, we’ll be stunned to learn that oil companies spend billions to lobby and cover-up their pollution of the planet or that the National Football League is nothing more than a gambling delivery system.

You know who runs oil companies and the NFL? Us. You know who uses oil/gas to run our vehicles and heat our homes and incessantly watch the promotion of violence, stupidity and brain damage? Us. We don’t care about the planet or the dumbing of our culture, any more than we care if our neighbor dies of Covid. God forbid they might be gay or socialist or religious or want to get an abortion. Then we care. A lot. An annoying lot. But companies? They don’t give a shit about anything but “profitability.” Even “image” is a crapshoot. It’s actually refreshing when someone doesn’t try to sell, say, fascism as some kind of self-help, security measure. This was always the difference between someone like say Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump, although to be fair to Reagan he wasn’t a psychotic terrorist, but still, I like my fascists to be up front about it. Trump is at least that.

But, as usual, I digress.

Also, if I may, this Haugen person was a product manager – and what the fuck does a product manager do at an internet social media site? – not some poor sucker that worked in the mail room. When she joined this rancid outfit, Haugen was presumably under the delusion that it was there to nurture babies and keep kittens safe. The woman is thirty-eight years-old (twenty-one when Facebook was launched) and attended fucking Harvard! Didn’t she read the dozens of books painting its founder Mark Zuckerberg as an angry misogynist and raging sociopath? Assuming she’s not a reader (do you have to read to get through Harvard?) there was even a popular film about the whole thing that presents Zuckerberg as all of the above, in addition to a narcissistic, exploitive, backstabbing, lying piece of steaming shit. So, um… Haugen went to work there anyway. Then, I guess, she suddenly found Jesus?

Our nature does not lean towards our “better angels’ it leans towards Facebook.

But enough about Haugen. I am sure she is trying to save her soul by whistleblowing, and for entertainment purposes, we thank her. But let’s get to the Facebook Papers, which I assume submits that somehow Facebook has an obligation to keep lunatics from being lunatics or idiots from believing idiotic shit, or whatever it is alleging. Spoiler alert, Facebook was invented and implemented for exactly these things. It is a platform for humans to do what humans do. It is in a way a microcosm of America, which has always stood as the Great Human Experiment. Give people the rights and freedoms to hang themselves or as Lincoln surmised choose to express “the better angles of our nature” and things don’t go so well. I love Abraham Lincoln. He was by far our greatest president and the true moral compass for a nation so badly damaged by “our nature” that he wiped out half the nation and gave his life for the effort. But in this case Honest Abe was wrong. Our nature does not lean towards our “better angels’ it leans towards Facebook.

We could have used Facebook to come together as a global village and cease hunger and genocide, instead we used it to perpetuate something called Q-Anon, which is a middle-school version of Dianetics, if L. Ron Hubbard’s parents procreated with sub-mental cousins.

The first big revelation in the Facebook Papers is that its algorithms do not properly translate globally, leading to misinformation and hate-speech, which hardly ever transpires here in our English-speaking nation (Cue laugh track). You know what else doesn’t translate globally? Porn and Trumpism. Neither gives a shit, and if you consider this for a hot minute, why should Facebook? You think Chiquita Banana corporation carefully considered the oppression of the Cuban people? How about Apple? Do they lose sleep over eight year-old Chinese girls putting their IPhones together in poorly ventilated sweat shops for twelve hours a day? I am sure most of us who have these phones don’t give it another thought. But Facebook needs to care?

After the January 6 attempted bloody coup against our government and the blatant attack on the core of our democratic system perpetuated by the then sitting president of the United States and backed by a large majority of one of the two major parties in this country, it was revealed that much of the effort was planned on Facebook. This must have also been astonishing, since most of the people who use Facebook now are middle-aged white angry people. But, alas, the network only labeled these activities “harmful” but “non-violating.” Which makes sense, because unlike those who actually worked in congress and helped plan the overthrow of the government on behalf of a crybaby, Facebook does not and should not be the arbitrator of political decorum or possible sedition. Those who argue that Twitter has acted more responsibly, then good for Twitter. While it was their decision to kick off domestic terrorists, this is a business model for Facebook. Hell, someone beyond OAN has to profit from this.

Now, the revelation of human trafficking of Filipino maids is a different story. If this brings Facebook to its knees, then so be it. That ain’t cool, because unlike anything stated above, or the nifty discussions on whether the “Like” button is a form of bullying, that activity is illegal – but again, is only a glimpse into what depths human nature can go when it has a chance to exploit, profit or subjugate.

Ahh, Facebook. It is our mirror. We see ourselves and we don’t like it, so we blame the glass. This is what we do, but then we’d only have ourselves left to shout at, and what fun is that? That would be, to use the visual parlance of the platform, a thumbs down.

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Aquarian Weekly
Reality Check

James Campion
Treason, Banning Abortion, Lean on Voting Rights, and Attack on LGBTQ or Not
New Jersey is not Texas or Alabama, or God forbid Florida. We do not elect religious loons or social puritans. We occasionally get sucked into cults of personality, like with the tough-talking poser Chris Christie, who sold us a guy-next door boondoggle and ended up a spluttering sewage pump. He was a portly fucktard and a total bust as governor. Even a knuckle-dragging celebrity whore like Donald Trump routinely ignored him. This is the free-thinking state. Our stronghold against the national fervor to turn the concept of democracy into a propagandized circus freakshow for hack lawyers, Internet goons and land rapists. We have open debates on things like corruption here. We know who our criminals are and if we choose to elect them on merit, fine. But eventually we merrily expunge fascists when they reveal themselves. I helped get one of those out of my district, so I know. And this is why there is no other choice but to vote for Governor Phil Murphy for a second term.

It is odd to cite “the lesser of two evils” in this case. Murphy has actually been a solid governor. His leadership during the Covid crisis received less press than the shamed and sacked former governor of New York, whose name escapes me at the moment. The other guy, a shameless publicity hound and ego pimp, ultimately did more harm than good. There was a steady hand in this government during the depths of the pandemic of 2020 and beyond. No grandstanding. No panic. No shifting agenda. And, of course, there is the legalization of marijuana, the only reason I touted Murphy’s first run for the seat four years ago. He delivered. And soon we shall see its results on state income, as we have already seen a welcomed plummet in ridiculous drug arrests. Murphy deserves another term.

But this is less a full-throated endorsement for the Democratic candidate as it is a warning to New Jersey voters about Republican candidate Jack Ciattarelli. The latter is a dangerous gamble with the state’s stand on women’s reproductive rights, a fortification of democratic parameters like voter protection, security for the LGBTQ community in the workplace, and the above-cited measured approach to the Covid crisis.

Firstly, make no mistake New Jersians; Roe v Wade is on life support nationally. Once this radical right-wing Supreme Court gets ahold of the phalanx of abortion cases coming this year, the matter will be thrown to the states. Nearly seventy percent of N.J. voters support Governor Murphy’s “Reproductive Freedom Act,” which expands the medical care for women and acts as a stronghold against the inevitable attack on women’s fundamental control over their bodies from federal government interference. A Don’t Tread on Me concept that has escaped those who wave that particular flag. Don’t get me started on the misuse of symbolic laundry. I have fought on that hill too many times to recall.

Nonetheless, women’s rights are in serious peril in the wake of a Ciattarelli administration. A source inside the campaign was quite open with me about the candidate’s Right to Life stance – a politically correct phrase for “Open Your Legs and Let the Statehouse In.” It is the most crucial issue facing the state, especially, again, with the imminent striking down of Roe v Wade in the Supreme Court.

A vote for Jack Ciattarelli means a total overhaul in our voting system.

The source also confirmed that although Ciattarelli has tried to distance himself from the treason-wing of his party, he not only attended a Stop the Steal event this past year, later claiming ignorance of the thing, which should make you stop for a moment and consider his mental faculties, but he also spoke at a Pro-Trump rally, boasting a roll back in the state’s current LGBTQ curriculum and pledging to wipe out mask mandates for schools. So, in a way, he is a Right to Life candidate who is okay with killing kids already out of the womb. This is a problem for me. I have one of those “out of the womb” kids. I like having her around. And Jack Ciattarelli is not allowing the state government to endanger her, so he can appeal to the zombies at OAN.

And make no mistake, a vote for Jack Ciattarelli means a total overhaul in our voting system; pulling polling stations out of Black neighborhoods and implementing all these useless and anti-democratic, anti-voting laws the other fascists are signing into law in Republican-controlled states across the fruited plain. Do you want partisan flunkies overturning your vote to give an election to the loser? That’s a thing right now. States handing over the power for government employees to blithely overturn the will of the people. And Jack Ciattarelli supports this. Loudly. Boldly.

Ciattarelli’s act may play well in goober states. But here his policies and beliefs are sadly atavistic, so he has predictably leaned heavy these past weeks on the Lower Taxes bullshit. Let me ask you, because I know the answer, I’ve been living in this state since late 2001; did your taxes go down over the two Chris Christie terms? No. They did not. So, if you are going to toss out democracy, habeas corpus rights, the protection of the socially persecuted, and put your kids in danger, shouldn’t you at least pay a little less money to the state? But you won’t. Not a dime. In fact, like with Christie, your taxes will go up. And they will continue to go up if this puritanical crackpot gets in office and turns the thing into the latest Republican shit-show.

And that is the nut, isn’t it? As my friend Doc Buzz once mused so presciently about all-things politics; Who’s kidding who? Ciattarelli is a Republican. And until further notice, this is the party of Trump. And Trump is a treasonous criminal, who should have been dragged from that podium on January 6 and tried on sedition charges instead of ending up shuffling his fat carcass around Mar-a-Lago speed-injecting acetaminophen and pissing on women dressed like his mother.

New Jersey is not Mar-a-Lago. There is a scrouge across this land and we need a defense against dangerous idiocy.

Vote Murphy.

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