Aquarian Weekly
Reality Check
A Simple Primer for the Uninitiated
Two events have recently occurred that prompts me to propose solutions to and from both. It’s what I do in my spare time, occasionally discuss these random theories with friends, and then pass them onto you. You’re welcome. Or… sorry.

The first is the current untenable situation with a skuttled border security bill in the Senate and a refusal by Speaker of the House Mike Johnson to even put it up for a vote. We discussed the tanking of the Republican-pitched, eventually bipartisan Senate border bill at the behest of current GOP presential candidate frontrunner, former president Donald J. Trump last week. With dwindling reasons why anyone should vote for this walking disaster with 91 indictments and the usual circus-like atmosphere surrounding him, the growing migration crises is his best argument. Thus, even though the Right has deemed it an existential threat for years, Republican members of both the House of Representatives and the Senate are willing to let it slide until November to help him out.

Although it is petty, hypocritical, and stupid – all hallmarks of this current Republican party – it is understandable politically. They want to win something, anything. Since 2016, Democrats have slaughtered Republicans in nearly 80-percent of elections and are undefeated in special elections and any vote that combats the Party’s continued attack on women’s reproductive rights across America. They believe, and current polling doesn’t refute this, that Trump is their best shot. But that’s all well and good for Trump, but what of these very same members of Congress that don’t hail from cushy gerrymandered, non-competitive districts in Arizona, California, New York, and New Jersey, all of which were won by President Joe Biden in 2020?

This brings me to my second event; the taking back of a House seat in New York’s 3rd District this week by Democrat Tom Suozzi, who did so by outperforming his polls by five points, which while impressive in a growing conservative Queens/Long Island area that elected detestable lunatic Republican George Santos by eight points in 2022, is still is not as impressive as what Democrats have done almost everywhere else – outperform polling by ten points on average.

Regardless of the spread, Suozzi’s win, buoyed by his embracing of the fucked border bill fiasco, should send shivers of abject fear down the spine of fellow congressmen and women who hold seats in similar Biden-friendly places from 2020. By my count, there are ten. Right now, Republicans hold a razor-slim five-seat majorly in the House, thanks to shitting the bed in ’22, a year they expected a “Red Wave” that didn’t materialize. If they want to pass the border bill – supported by sane conservatives and border security, et al – then all they have to do is make congress work as it is intended: Compromise and aisle-crossing temperament.

If just half of these vulnerable House members flip to supporting the bill, then they can have the numbers to pass it, assuming all Democrats follow suit, which is a gamble, since the far-left wing of the Party could not be happy with this Draconian thing the Senate whipped up that doesn’t even address their core immigration issue of Dreamers – undocumented people born in this country to illegal immigrants. But for the sake of argument, let’s say Democrats could play smart politics too and support the passing of a possible law that would ease tensions at the border, give their president a much-needed win on the issue, and remove it from a Trump talking point in the campaign going forward.

Since 2016, Democrats have slaughtered Republicans in nearly 80-percent of elections

None of this matters, of course, if the Speaker doesn’t bring it to a vote, but thanks to the insane wing of the Republican caucus, which negotiated a “one-vote to vacate” rule for the previously ousted former Speaker Keven McCarthy, one of the ten aforementioned congressmen/women could simply move to vacate, seconded by another one, and then join together with Democrats in having the votes to oust Johnson. Then, once this vacuous theocratic dink is toast find a moderate, compliant speaker to bring the damn bill up for a vote with the same numbers.

Bingo! Working congress! Much needed bill turned into law, and the crazy contingent sent packing with their goofy cult leader.

This not only helps the country, which is a sidebar here, but it makes perfect political sense – the only reason Republicans, many of whom abhor the boorish idiotic mess that is Donald Trump, kowtow to his MAGA contingent in the first place. Pure politics. These people have no ideology (there hasn’t been a Republican platform since 2016) nor leadership, (Trump is about to hand the Republican National Committee over to the woman currently sleeping with his son). So, it’s survival or nothing. I am offering these doomed congressmen in blue districts a way to govern and give them a victory, not hand a life-preserver to Trump. Fuck him. They need to defend their positions in the fall. 

At this point you might rightly point out, “But James, the Senate already killed this bill.” Yes, but there are enough moderate, clear-thinking politicians in the Senate, who must win state-wide elections, not fixed, gerrymandered district jokes, who might be inclined to take the House’s bold move as permission to take care of a national issue that is purportedly important to them. But remove the guesswork by taking the temperature of the votes in the higher chamber before making any moves. They’re all in walking distance of each outer. 

Let them figure it out.

I can’t do everything.

And so, if you are among the nearly 90-percent of Americans on both ends of the political spectrum who would like to see less theatrical voting like impeaching a homeland security chief, and more lawmaking from your Congress, this is the answer to your bitching.

Now, if only someone beside a columnist from a pop culture weekly could give this some traction across the social sphere, we might have something here.

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Aquarian Weekly
Reality Check
Republicans Killed It    
This has been a stellar week for ridding the body politic of the Republican Party virus, as it continues its self-destructive Ouroboros routine to inevitable implosion.

Senate Republicans began festivities by competing a 180 to kill an historically comprehensive bi-partisan border security bill they demanded and aggressively helped to pen, much of it politically conservative anti-immigration porn. Lots of walls and guns and roundups, and zero liberal provisions for Dreamers and the like. The Wall St. Journal raved, as did the pro-Trump National Border Patrol Council, giving it a full-throated endorsement and demanding “its quick passage.” Then GOP nominee frontrunner, Donald Trump, fearing it would curtail one of the few political arguments he has to be president again, called it off, and his errand boy in the House, Speaker Mike Johnson said it would be dead on arrival. Soon, Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, who had worked for weeks on the bill’s drafting, got in line, and abandoned it. 

So, like Richard Nixon in ’68 skuttling the Paris Peace Talks to keep the Viet Nam War raging and killing hundreds of American kids a week to help him take the White House and a dozen years later when Ronald Reagan made clandestine deals with Iranian fanatics to hold off releasing American hostages until he was sworn in, Republicans once again toss the greater good for their presidential candidate. 

This should be enough stumble-bumming to make voters run the other way, but to outdo their ineptitude, Republicans in the Senate then agreed to pass a financial support bill for Israel and Ukraine without border provisions, something they flat-out refused to consider a month ago unless there was a border deal in there, something they just sank. It is difficult to fathom goofier ass-over-teakettle legislating than this. So, instead of making President Joe Biden complicit in the most conservative border security law ever, getting what they’ve been screaming was an existential threat handled, the supposed feeble old fart outmaneuvered them. Biden got the foreign aid he wanted without having to compromise. And, for good measure, he can now run around the country retaking the border argument away from Trump.

You get the feeling that if Republicans wanted to haggle for fruit at an Egyptian market they’d end up without pants. 

On the heels of this, Republicans decided to stage a dog and pony show impeaching Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for, get this, failed border security policy, something they could have overridden had they passed the bill they wrote! This ridiculously baseless charade, only outdone by the Impeach Biden boondoggle that offered zero evidence and less enthusiasm before ending up in a ditch, was engineered by the neophyte religious zealot, Speaker Johnson, the party’s fifth choice for the position after Republicans tossed the last guy, Kevin McCarthy in early October of last year. McCarthy then quit, followed by the exit of disgraced Republican congressman from New York, George Santos for committing roughly 34 crimes. This meant they didn’t have the votes. The thing tanked, and because Johnson doesn’t know what the fuck he’s doing and is only there to be Donald Trump’s lapdog, he appeared woefully unaware that bringing a vote to the floor without the requisite numbers is a basic no-no. 

You get the feeling that if Republicans wanted to haggle for fruit at an Egyptian market they’d end up without pants. 

If Mike Johnson asked to wash my car for free, I’d instruct him to leave my property before my lawn caught fire.

This is a level of incompetence rarely seen, even for the federal government. We have reached a new low for a national political party that looks more like five-year-olds trying to get their lemonade stand onto the New York Stock Exchange. 

Why people are still voting Republican is beyond me. Honestly, this has gotten beyond ideological politics or the two-evils quotient. These people are dangerous, mostly to themselves.

To recap: Since the January 6 insurrection wherein one political party stood for toppling the government for a white supremacy fuck-tard wet dream and the enslavement of women’s bodies to the government after the Dobbs decision engineered in a stacked fascist Supreme Court by Republican machinations and a Donald Trump presidency, things deteriorated rapidly for the party. After Democrats handed Donald Trump’s administration an historic defeat in the midterms, a total and resounding rebuke of the clusterfuck of his reality show on high-grade crank, he coughed up the White House in 2020. More people than ever voted for his Democratic opponent, which was followed by a shockingly tepid midterms against a sitting president two years later, leaving the Senate back in the hands of Democrats and a House with a slim majority, which led to McCarthy being booted, and the ensuing failed votes for red-meat political theater.

Well, as discussed last week, once this goes up in smoke, there will hopefully there emerge a functioning Republican Party with a platform beyond “Whatever Trump Thinks in the Last Four Minutes.” Republicans had no platform in 2020, and they still stand for nothing beyond the whims of the guy sitting on 91 federal indictments. Soon the Chairman of the Republican National Committee Ronna Romney McDaniel, who has been unable to get her frontrunner top show up to her the party’s debates, will be gone. No doubt replaced by another slack-jawed Trump lackey, continuing the slide of this once proud institution founded by Abraham Lincoln. 

But it’s hard to argue anymore that when Republicans oversee anything bad craziness abounds. 

Vote accordingly.

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Aquarian Weekly
Reality Check
Somewhere at the confluence of laughable and pathetic lies those who still fail to see Donald Trump as a tyrant, his candidacy a pox on democratic ideals, and finally the capitulation of the Republican Party to his abhorrent whims. Just this week, the nearly presumptive nominee for the GOP demanded his only opponent, former South Carolina Nikki Haley exit the race, threatened to expunge her donors from his movement, and commanded Republicans in the United States Senate to abandon a crucial bi-partisan bill to secure the southern border and support the dire defense of Ukraine against the bloody invasion of Russia. This is going on right now, not in a Third World country, but America

For her part, Haley hangs in there, for now, trying to be a right-wing alternative to this mayhem, but she is an anathema to the Party. They don’t want her, or what she represents, the Ronald Reagan Republican ideology. That is dead and gone, maybe because it failed to deliver on its geopolitical policing of the world’s ills or the debunking of its trickle-down laissez-faire economic falderal, but maybe it is just because at its violent white-supremacy core the Party openly supports the final death-throes of the American experiment. But pick your poison, Haley is doomed, and only the general election stands between this dark storm and our future. This is blatantly obvious now, even to those who support fascism. It has come to a head.

The good news is Trump’s victory in New Hampshire, which for all intents and purposes was the final hurrah for Haley and what is left of the old, tattered Republican party, was tepid at best and a harbinger of difficult tidings for him.

Firstly, nearly 70-percent of Independents, who will decide who is president in November, sided with Haley, many of whom told exit pollsters their vote was “anti-Trump.” And despite stomping Haley in the Republican tally, still 25-percent abandoned ship. And unlike lily-white and painfully evangelistic Iowa, New Hampshire, while still pretty damn white, reflects more of the politically measured and staunchly secular hue of the country, which is why Republicans have only won the popular vote once over seven presidential elections since 1988.

Trump lost in 2020 by eight-million votes and nearly every swing state. He needs to expand his voter base but is working overtime trying to shrink it with attacks on Haley’s womanhood, crowing about ending Roe v Wade (supported by nearly 70-percent of Americans) with his Supreme Court justices, calling for the dissolution of the U.S. Constitution, and braying in court through haphazard lawyers that presidents should have total immunity against committing crimes. And although his supporters rightfully point to national polls that have him leading President Joe Biden by one to two points, despite being down in the crucial swing states of Michigan and Pennsylvania, there is still the matter of recent voting outcomes that have seen the Democrats win nearly every local and national election since he took office in January of 2017.

It is also important to note that through Democratic rule shenanigans Biden wasn’t even on the New Hampshire ballot and still won a more convincing victory over the field than Trump on the other side with mere write-in votes, which is the first sign that perhaps the “enthusiasm gap” between Biden and Trump is a tad overblown.

Haley is doomed, and only the general election stands between this dark storm and our future.

This is not lost on Haley, who continues to hammer home the idea that since his presidency Trump has coughed up the House, the Senate, the White House, and a host of governorships. She is also correctly stating that her lead over the weakened Biden is more in the five-point range. And all of those who voted Republicans out – women, educated suburbanites, et al – are hardly enamored with his mocking her mode of dress, or calling a woman candidate a “birdbrain,” while going to court every day facing a woman he’s already been found guilty of sexually assaulting and demeaning her in a second defamation case.

The bad news is that Haley is utterly alone. Since the economy is booming, low unemployment, lower gas prices, dwindling inflation without the prognosticated recession, and the stock market at all-time highs, the only weapon Republicans have in their political arsenal is border security. They scream and yell incessantly about it. It is by far the Party’s most potent and belabored issue. Yet, as they closed in on a solution, which many observers feel is as conservative a compromise as they’re likely to see in the Senate, the minority leader, Mitch McConnell tells reporters Trump asked them to skuttle it so he can continue to use the issue to get elected. And since McConnell admitted in public his only aim in the aughts was to make “Barack Obama a one-term president,” not legislate (a plan that worked out fantastically), and his cheating the system to ram anti-abortion justices on Supreme Court, seems to be gladly continuing his hackery to keep these “dangers” alive while aiding Vladmir Putin’s march across Europe. All in the name of electing a lunatic.

And while this is nothing new for Republicans – Nixon surreptitiously halted the Paris Peace talks in 1968 to allow his “Secret Plan to Stop the Viet Nam War” afloat and Ronald Reagan made secret deals with the Iranian theocracy to halt the release of the American hostages before the 1980 election against President Jimmy Carter – this proves once again Trump’s hold on the Party and its only aim is to prop up his vanity project.

And while I think it the longest shot, Nikki Haley should stay in the race to merely show that whatever is left of the Republican Party prior to 2016 remains on life support. At some point, the Party will have to rise from the ashes of this Trump insurgency, whether he wins in November and takes us into a dystopian autocracy or loses once again, taking the GOP with him. Who will be around to build back up in its terrible wake? 

It is likely too late for Republicans, something I am openly rooting for to return reproductive rights to our women, but as long as Haley stays on the stump in the face of utter defeat and reminds us that there could still be a viable two-party system, then maybe hope isn’t so far-fetched.

But I highly doubt it. 

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Aquarian Weekly
Reality Check
Or How Long Before the Terrorist Party Goes All-In  

The Republican Party is owned by Donald Trump and the MAGA cabal. This is hardly debatable anymore. He is poised to represent the party for a third consecutive run for president and has moved it from a conservative, Reagan-esque fiscally responsible, geopolitical faction to a populist vanity project. The idea the party is even faking a primary in 2024 is laughable, as funny as holding a dozen debates without the clear frontrunner. Even his competition is resigned to his victory, which is why none of them can articulate why they should be a viable alternative. Can you blame them? The man has a national polling number safely over 50-percent among likely Republican voters. They’re Republicans, where are they going? But suffice to say, the primaries are happening, and we cover politics here, so here we go.

Let’s start in Iowa. There is zero chance Trump loses there, even though it is likely going to be 15 degrees below zero next week and frontrunners want big turnout, so that might take a minor hit. That means Trump wins by 30 points instead of 40. We’re merely talking the spread now, not candidates. 

There are approximately three-million people in Iowa, of which about a hundred-grand will show up to caucus, and that number will be loaded with Evangelicals. Two-thirds of Iowans identify as such. Trump is killing it with Evangelicals, unlike in early 2016 when his loud-mouth, philandering boorishness handed Iowa to Texas Senator Ted Cruz. But since, Trump put three justices on the Supreme Court specifically to strike down Roe v Wade, which they did, an achievement he recently crowed about in a Des Moines town hall. Now he’s Jesus’s son. Iowa is a done deal. 

What holds the future of this dog-and-pony show beyond Iowa is Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. The once highly touted fascist has been a shit show on the campaign trail. He has taken over two-million dollars and a 40-percent voter share and turned it into campaign bankruptcy and a nine percent voter share. This is Rick Perry / Jeb Bush levels of crapping the bed. DeSantis sucks at everything – debates, stump speeches, defining his positions; being human or likable is beyond him. He imploded almost immediately and went from bad to worse faster than most people not named Rudy Giuliani, who once spent a million dollars for a single delegate – prompting still one of my favorite political observations: “That’s only one more delegate than me, and I didn’t run.” DeSantis might not get any delegates for twice the cash. Pretty impressive failure by any measurement of futility.

If DeSantis sinks to third place in Iowa, he may drop out. And if he does that, Trump sweeps the primaries. But if he comes in second, even a distant second, and hangs on for another two weeks, things might get interesting during and after the New Hampshire primary. This has less to do with the walking corpse that is Ron DeSantis than the only other barely breathing candidate left in this farce, Nikki Haley. 

The former South Carolina governor has held her head above water simply because she’s been surrounded by a parade of shitty candidates, many of whom are gone now, and one guy who has enough money to pull a Michael Bloomberg self-aggrandizing run until he becomes bored. Right now, the ghost of DeSantis is polling around nine percent in NH. Haley, however, is at 30. Trump is rocking at 41-percent lead there. Solid, but not insurmountable. Mainly because Independents (many of them abhor him) vote in the state, and only one out of four NH voters identify as Evangelical, likely the smallest number of that voting block Trump will see on this trek. But the real story here is former New Jersey governor, Chris Christie, who is sitting at 12 percent, just quit the race.

The idea the party is even faking a primary in 2024 is laughable

Christie’s only aim in running for president, as covered in this space months ago, was to hammer Trump. His campaign was Stop Trump “because he’s a fascist lunatic, who will take this country into a darkness rarely seen in many a generation” (his words). His 12-percent shan’t be going to Trump. Maybe, some of them go to DeSantis, but he’s MAGA-lite, and as illustrated above, sucks and is doomed. I’m no math whiz, but let’s say for the sake of argument Haley pulls even ten percent of Christie’s anti-Trump vote, then she’s at 42-percent, and that beats 41-percent.

Moreover, Christie smartly got out two weeks before voting, so there is time for polls to reflect her bump, and if there is a sniff that she might dent Trump, New Hampshire, one of the most vacillating contrarian states in the Union, would be happy to oblige. This is especially prevalent in a year in which there is no Democratic Primary to speak of, therefore the entire Independent anti-Trump attention will be focused on the GOP. However, if DeSantis decides to succumb to reality and suspends his “campaign,” then much of his nine percent might be enough for Trump to hold Haley off.

One interesting twist is Christie went out swinging at the remaining field, spatting, “Any candidate who doesn’t admit that Trump is unfit for office, then they themselves are unfit for office.” So, it is unlikely he endorses Haley outright, but again, this matters little – his 12-percent is less Christie-based than anti-Trump based. They will look at what is left and go for who’s closest, and that’s Haley. Giving your vote to DeSantis at this point is pot-pissing.

Let’s extrapolate this out, shall we? If this is a three-way race and Haley wins in NH. Then, even though she has no shot in her home state of South Carolina, where Trump is around 60-percent, at least he loses something for the first time since November, 2020. And, if you recall, that went well. Just as he did when he coughed up Iowa in 2016, he will say it was rigged. He says everything is rigged unless he wins. Convictions. Loses. The USFL. Atlantic City. 2020 general election. Everything he botches is someone else’s fuck-up. He will most definitely whine for a month between NH and SC and bring up all that bad mojo of election denialism that has torpedoed the GOP in every election cycle since he slunk out of D.C. with his tail between his legs. Could that boost Haley in SC? Could that remind those who may be under-motivated for Joe Biden in the general to remember what kind of loose cannon jack-ass Trump is when he’s running for office?

If nothing else, previous news-cycle primary shifts have taught us that narrative matters. It mattered for Trump in early 2016 when he was only winning primaries with 28-percent of the vote and everyone was convinced he was just trying to boost his NBC contract, yet he kept gobbling up delegates and winner-take-all contests. Bill Clinton in 1992, George Bush in 2000, and Barack Obama in 2008 all gained momentum from early surprise victories or even serviceable second-place finishes. A narrative bump for Haley against a thin-skinned psycho twit like Trump taking to social media and giving disjointed press conferences to bitch about the New Hampshire primary being stolen might make things look a little less cushy for him. 

Trump is going to be the Republican nominee and try and take down America from jail eventually, but there’s no reason this can’t be fun until then.

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Aquarian Weekly
Reality Check
This is the Year We Decide Who We Are – Democratic or Fascist

Three years on, the horrific events of January 6 remain vivid. Everyone, from the right-wing extremists who enacted it and its opposition, purportedly the rest of the nation, keeps its memory alive. The instigator / orchestrator, as then sitting president, Donald Trump brings it up constantly. This is despite advisors and media apologists attempting to spin that day away from him and the damaged Republican Party, As he pursues finishing the job of bringing his brat-king fantasy in perpetuity, Trump promises vengeance for those who were prosecuted and “persecuted” for its crimes – crimes, by the way that happened on video streamed across the world in real-time. The Republican Speaker of the House recently boasted a scheme to protect the remaining fugitives from justice.

By the time the fourth anniversary of 1/6/21 comes up the man and the party responsible for its domestic terrorism will either be elected president again, heralding his defiance of law and order, or rejected outright, ending the fascistic violence he stands for. America has a choice. It will be an interesting year indeed.

Meanwhile, the fallout of January 6 is a fluid endeavor.

Donald Trump and his attorneys are trying anything possible to stall his D.C criminal trial, as in Georgia where his elaborate fake electors’ plot is in similar legal jeopardy. Much of the evidence for both indictments having been revealed in the congressional investigation on the attempted insurrection and a deeper Justice Department and FBI sweep – the largest in U.S. history – into his mob’s looting, assault on officers of the law, and finally murder. It could have been far worse had the heavily armed hordes gotten to lawmakers running for their lives inside the Capitol that day or the undetonated pipe bombs left in front of the Democratic and Republican committee offices.

More than 1,200 people have been charged with federal crimes for the events of January 6, ranging from misdemeanor offenses (trespassing) to felonies (assaulting police officers and seditious conspiracy). Over 170 have been convicted of at least one charge at a trial decided by a judge or a jury, while north of 700 have pled guilty to charges. Of the 750 sentenced, two-thirds have received jail time. Prison sentences have ranged from a few days of intermittent confinement to 22 years in prison – the longest sentence handed down to Enrique Tarrio, the former Proud Boys national chairman who was convicted of seditious conspiracy in a plot to stop the peaceful transfer of power.

“The peaceful transfer of power” is one of the most sacred tenets of the American experiment begun when George Washington, only the second general cum ruler in civilized history to abdicate power peacefully and legally after winning a revolution, insisted on there being a term limit for presidents while admonishing the monarch ideals of the fallen British overlords on the way out. Since the spring of 1797, this has been more than an American tradition. This hallowed ritual, the very underlining principle of our republic, stems from one of the first lessons we teach our children; learn to lose gracefully, uphold the spirit of competition, and adhere to the rules laid out before them. Consider the greater good of the institution and less about your temporarily bruised ego. The infantile petulance of the foot-stomping, red-faced sore loser crying foul when things do not go his way is anathema to the very core of America. 

Until Trump, we mostly lived under the idea of democracy as an agreed upon collective deciding our leaders at the ballot box, and despite some consternation in past presidential elections, most recently in 1960 and 2000, concession speeches and general adherence to decorum won out. This was appallingly missing in the words and actions of the former president. He chose a different path, to disenfranchise 81-million votes cast for Joseph Biden Jr. and use every lever of his office’s power to stop the will of the people. 

January 6 should not be a date to recall as mere history, it is a reminder…

Lest we forget, mucking up the “peaceful tranfer of power” was the aim and ultimate purpose of January 6, 2021 – the very day that would ratify the 59th American election of our president. Regardless of the skewered reasoning by Trump and his allies (rigged election, questionable voting machines, massive Democratic conspiracy), this was the goal. Period. After exhausting the false claims of the election fraud through the media, then being beaten in over 60 court cases, failed schemes to jam fake electors in at least four states, Trump tried in vain to convince Vice President Mike Pence to deny the ratification of the electoral college tally that day in congress. Not wanting to commit a crime he advised Trump not to pursue, the president ignored Pence and took one final shot to deny democracy by using a rally he set up and promoted on social media across from the Capitol as a call to arms – urging the amped up crowd to “fight” for their country, or more to the point his wishes and illusions. Joined by many of his cronies using similar violent rhetoric, much of it aimed at Pence, Trump then directed everyone present to march to the Capitol. What happened next, we all know. It is a matter of history, no matter what crazy shit passes for a revisionist one. 

Now, in 2024, just three years hence, we face the very same man that wants to be president forever. He has stated and shown quite effectively through his actions that he has no intention of continuing the American experiment as it is presently constructed. But ultimately, whether Trump believes in elections or not, this is not up to him. It is up to us. We have a decision to make as a nation this year – beyond the economy, border security, abortion rights, and a host of other issues that hang in the balance in November: Do we allow Donald Trump the most powerful post in the world after what transpired when he lost a free and fair election in 2020 or move on with the American experiment?

Fool us once, shame on you, fool us twice, that’s on us. 

It is as simple as that.

I do not believe a court or protests or third-party candidates or bitching about President Joe Biden’s age is going to keep Donald Trump from the White House. Voting for Biden, the only other viable candidate, is going to prevent autocracy in our times. The ballot box is our best weapon, otherwise we become, as Friedrich Nietzsche once warned, the monster we wish to defeat.  

January 6 should not be a date to recall as mere history, it is a reminder, like Pearl Harbor Day or 9/11 of what transpires when we shirk the responsibility to fight for the freedoms bestowed upon us in this rare but fragile framework. Know this, regardless of rationalizations to do so, a vote for Donald Trump this year is a vote for fascism and the repulsion of America as a concept and a democratic foundation.

Yup, it’s gonna be one interesting year. 

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Aquarian Weekly
Reality Check
How a Compromised Supreme Court Will Save Donald Trump

The current Supreme Court is at best the most shamelessly conservative ever or at worst a political arm of the Republican Party’s agenda. The striking down of several tenets of the 1964 Voting Act and its siding with corporations over citizens and of course its most egregious crime, the stripping of women’s reproductive rights, has come to a head. Thanks to the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision to strike the domestic terrorist, Donald Trump from its ballot come 2024, the Court must weigh in. There are several reasons why they should overturn this decision, not the least of which Trump having yet to be convicted of anything despite a mountain of glaring evidence, but many more on why they could uphold it: Specifically, the principles of states’ rights and local election laws that conservatives of every bent have flown up several flagpoles for a century or more. Or the Court can simply throw their master a lifeline and once again act as the legal arm of the Grand Old Party.

Juicy stuff.

Let’s unpack by starting with Originalism, shall we?

For decades now, conservative judges, most infamously led by late right-wing lion Justice Anthony Scalia, have held an unflinching belief in the primacy of Originalism, a stringent method of constitutional and statutory interpretation that asserts all legal text should be construed based on the original understanding at the time of adoption. And so, if this is to be understood as sacrosanct, then the Colorado Court’s interpretation of Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, adopted as one of the Reconstruction Amendments in the summer of 1868, is airtight. Any attempt by an individual or individuals to disrupt or topple the democratic construct of the nation must be disqualified from running for or holding office. This is the very definition of Trump’s attempted coup d’état. From using the nation’s most powerful pulpit to spread blatant lies and unsubstantiated claims about a fixed election – dozens of which had already been defeated in recounts and court cases – to the fake elector schemes that have him currently in legal jeopardy in Georgia and D.C., and culminating with that mess he started by inviting an angered mob to the Capitol to stop the ratifying of a fair and legal election on January 6, 2021.

Conservatives should cum when they read the Fourteenth Amendment. It’s in that pocket Constitution they always wave at the Woke. Rightfully considered one of the most consequential amendments adopted after the bloody massacre known as the Civil War, it addresses citizenship rights and equal protection under the law for formerly enslaved Americans. But it also provides protection against what they constantly harp on as the “evils of federal government.” Mostly, it should be a favorite for nothing else but forming the basis for the landmark Supreme Court decision declaring George W. Bush president in 2000. But, as all laws, the Fourteenth Amendment swings both ways, as unpopular anticonservative rulings such as Brown v. Board of Education (1954) and Obergefell v. Hodges (2015). And it was the reasoning behind the Roe v Wade decision in 1973, which this hack Court conveniently wiped out to placate religious loons and fascists.

It’s a malleable amendment that you can choose to suit your needs, thus making it certain that his Court gets Trump back on the Colorado ballot tout suite, and at the time of this writing, the Maine ballot, as their courts have disqualified Trump’s 2024 presidential bid there.

Any attempt by an individual or individuals to disrupt or topple the democratic construct of the nation must be disqualified from running for or holding office.

To say this is whole thing is rare is an understatement. Section 3 of the Amendment was previously only used once, to block Socialist Party of America member Victor L. Berger of Wisconsin from assuming his seat in the House of Representatives in 1919 and 1920. Berger was convicted of a crime; violating the Espionage Act for opposing U.S. entry into World War I. But, let’s face it, that’s a fart in the wind when put up against the former president’s crime spree for those crucial months after we was waxed in the 2020 election.

And then we have States’ Rights – the political porn of conservative “values.” It is States’ Rights that was used to prop up slavery – something apparently former South Carolina (yeah, the state that started the Civil War), Governor Nikki Haley is unfamiliar with. It was also the hammer used in attempts to stop the Civil Rights and Voting Rights bills in 1964 and ’65. And it was States’ Rights that currently enslaves women with the Dobbs decision in 2022.

During a debate on gutting parts of the Voting Rights Act, which this Court has done flippantly, Republicans like Senator John Thune of South Dakota, cried, “Make no mistake about it, that is what we are talking about: federalizing elections in this country; usurping, preempting states, where elections have been administered and regulated since the inception of this country.” The aptly named Republican Senator Mike Crapo of Idaho chimed in with “This was a power grab that circumvented and federalized our entire elections process, stripping states of their constitutional authorities.”

Yeah, so if Colorado doesn’t want an insurrectionist on their ballot, then how liberal is it to have the federal government force it to do so?

Hmmm… I’ll give you a minute.

Now, remember, the only reason this Court exists as it does is Republicans refused to honor a vote on Barrack Obama’s SCOTUS nominee with ten months to go before an election because of that election’s import in 2016. Then when faced with a more pressing nominee from Trump in late 2020, only weeks before the election, they rammed an anti-abortion candidate through the Senate. Now, the very same Court will ignore States’ Rights and Colorado’s state-run laws of governing their election aid a criminal in running there.

Hypocrisy is baked in.

Now, I have been writing here for years that true conservatism is dead. It was already a flimsy reed of an ideology before Trump turned the Republican Party into a nationalistic populist sinkhole, but if this fixed Court rules against Colorado, which I expect it to do, then it is truly and finally finished.

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Aquarian Weekly
Reality Check
Mike Johnson Tells It Like It Is – Ignore his Warning at America’s Peril

I have extremely low expectations for humanity. I presume more times than not to be disappointed by us. Over the past four to five years, what has sunk even lower in my pathetically low bar is the Republican Party. I am not sure how much deeper they can sink to spike my abhorrence, but the great thing about penning this column each week is it brings new opportunities to mine the depths of depravity. This week we had a doozy from the new Speaker of the House of Representatives Mike Johnson, a heretofore little know religious loon from Louisiana, who helped facilitate the attempted coup de tat on America in 2020/21. Upon the proposed release of extended January 6 footage, he said this week, in public, as a matter of decorum and philosophical pride, “We have to blur some of the faces of persons who participated in the events of that day because we don’t want them to be retaliated against and to be charged by the DOJ and to have other concerns and problems.”

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, a man two heartbeats from the White House, who has sworn on his precious Holy Bible to uphold and protect the Constitution of the United States, and currently guides the nation’s law body, called the press together and said, once again I state, out loud, that he means to protect criminals who sought to violently overthrow a free and fair election, beat and eventually kill capitol police, and destroy the people’s property. 

Is this not completely and utterly insane behavior? 

Or is this the new norm? 

I believe the latter now more than ever, even though I have written so for years, and especially after January 6, but the cat is out of the bag. The Republican Party is a proudly devised and systemically bolstered domestic terrorist organization. What adversary conclusion can one glean from this? Its titular head is shouting from the rooftops that he will aid the obstruction of justice for enemies of the state. In essence, what Johnson is saying is the Republican Party is aligned with domestic terrorists. Not some nut like Tucker Carlson or those dweebs on OAN or the Proud Boys or the tin-foil hat brigade on the Internet waiting for JFK Jr. to join Donald Trump, the new Christ, as VP, but the Speaker of the House! 

Initially, in the waning hours and days after the horrors of January 6, the entire gory episode was on Donald Trump and his cronies, many of whom are in jail or have plea-bargained to take him down. The whole “Come to the Capitol Mall, it’s going to be wild” tweets, the rally, the violent rhetoric, and the armed insurrections were his and his alone. But then, slowly but surely, those who initially decried Trump and underlined his crimes on the floor of Congress like former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, seemed to take a left turn and kowtowed to the criminal underground. And now the voters, nearly 90-percent of Republicans, join them. They are about to send the architect of this mayhem, still screaming about our elections being fraudulent back into the fray as their 2024 nominee for president.

To be fair to Johnson, the man didn’t even want to be Speaker. This was the idea of the fascist wing of the party who couldn’t abide McCarthy getting the people’s business done by working across party lines. They ousted him and ended up with a man who clearly disdains the American experiment and its people. His design is a theocracy, a Christian Sharia Law doctrine that jails pregnant women and queers, as he stated before the Supreme Court in a 2003 amicus brief about how “deviant same-sex intercourse should be a crime.” Johnson, who calls our Bill of Rights separation of church and state a “misnomer,” is on the record framing America as a “Biblical Republic,” boldy hanging a Christian Nationalists’ “Appeal to Heaven” flag outside his office that he wishes will replace the stars and stripes as if imagining a Handmaid’s Tale dystopia. The aim of this theocracy is laid out in one simple edict: “God has called Christians to exercise dominion over all areas of American society”.

Believe Johnson when he says this stuff. He doesn’t see the January 6 rioters and insurrectionists as criminals, they are persecuted Christian Warriors sent to overthrow this secular nation for a one-religion government like Iran or Saudi Arabia. Stripping women of their reproductive rights was just the start for this sect, and it is being fronted and supported by the Republican Party. Not maybe or tomorrow or if things go badly, RIGHT NOW. Not just Trump and some crazies from the hinterlands, but the federal government. And not phony conspiracy theorists, but a ruling party. One of only two that we got, folks.

The Republican Party is a proudly devised and systemically bolstered domestic terrorist organization.

The other day, after Ohio rightfully codified women’s rights into their state constitution, which Republicans there are trying to override as I write this, former Republican presidential contender and talking head from some half-baked Right Wing internet media conglomerate, Rick Santorum said, once again, out loud, that “pure democracies are not the way to run a country.” People guffawed. “What a dipshit,” they laughed. Yeah, he is a dipshit, but you know who also espouses this nonsense, Mike fucking Johnson, who has said on more than one occasion, “America is not a democracy.” He believes it, and now he is in a position of immense power. And if Trump wins and Republicans gain full power again, make no mistake, he’s coming for your freedom and replacing it with Christian falderal as law.

They’re banning books and threatening our kids’ curriculum to strike history and revisit it with god-fearing jingoism. It is happening, not as a science fiction harbinger like War of the Worlds, it’s the Republican Party today. So, when Mike Johnson says, “We have to blur some of the faces of persons who participated in the events of that day because we don’t want them to be retaliated against and to be charged by the DOJ and to have other concerns and problems.” We need to hear loud and clear his defense of those who want to transform America into a theocracy. Because he means it. 

Listen and heed him.

Or else. 

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Aquarian Weekly
Reality Check

Concepts like Hell never resonate with me. Afterlife is a gamble at best. Maybe there is reward or retribution, maybe there is nothing. In the case of Henry Kissinger, who died this week at the remarkable age of 100, I sincerely hope there is an infinite anguish awaiting his blackened soul and that in this neo-Christian netherworld his torture reaches the levels of misery and death he spent a lifetime inflicting on the latter stages of the American Century. His like is a rare plague that exists merely to remind us of our failed and damaged humanity. He was a monster and a murderer, an epic liar whose contemptable resume rids us of all notions of a merciful god or one that might ignore his most heinous crimes, as we did continuously until he was expunged from this planet.

Kissinger orchestrated some of the most unconscionably vicious assaults on innocent life to promote his ego and get him laid. His celebrity and influence were unquestioned for his time – every president treated him as an honored stateman – and he used it to inflict wounds on the body politic and slaughter millions worldwide. He helped set in motion a myriad of war crimes in his wake that slithered through the halls of governance and used his heinous methods to wreak global havoc that stood in the place of something called “foreign policy.” His legacy is carnage for photo ops and hatred disguised as American Exceptionalism. He was scum and a villain of the highest order.

Before he ever came to power, eventually given the reigns of Secretary of State by the wretched and disgraced Richard M. Nixon, in 1968, the bloodiest year of the greatest of American crimes, the Viet Nam War that ended up taking nearly 60,000 American lives and over 1.3 million for no reason, he orchestrated the skuttling of possible peace talks that would have ended the conflict and essentially Nixon’s chance at the presidency. Accepting, as I do, the immoral senseless Cold War ideology that was later exposed by the publishing of the Pentagon Papers, the Nixon/Kissinger cabal not only conned the electorate into a “Secret plan to end the war” but coordinated its horrific escalation over the next eight years. Ironically, this mayhem led to the downfall of the Nixon presidency due to Kissinger’s pushing for “a White House Plumbers” unit to destroy the reputation of Daniel Ellsberg – the Pentagon Papers leaker – leading to a series of federal crimes called Watergate, which stood as the worst attack on the U.S. Constitution until the Donald Trump coup to overthrow an American election in late 2020 into 21.

Watergate was a black-ops plan cooked up by Kissinger who played Nixon’s inept paranoia like a Stradivarius and made a mockery of the law, while simultaneously leaking anti-Nixon rhetoric to his friends at the New York Times and Washington Post, further heightening his boss’s perchance for unchecked vengeance. This, of course, pales in comparison to his “Madman Theory” that turned the Viet Nam War into America’s genocide of the neutral countries of Laos and Cambodia, which endured years of carpet-bombing, as Kissinger played a public relations game with human life that had him standing as a “hero” of the failed war when the finality of our escape was in its death throes in 1974. To this day, Loas is still the most bombed nation in civilization. This cause célèbre scheme of creating destruction to later come in and claim “peacemaker” served Kissinger well, as in 1971 when he surreptitiously worked with Nixon and the CIA to squash the move to independence for Bangladesh, installing tyrants to rape, pillage and kill over 300.000 of its citizens, so Nixon could open U.S. relations with China. But Kissinger was only warming up.

His most lasting and puzzling maneuver was the placing of the genocidal maniac Augusto Pinochet as de facto head of state soon after Chileans elected the democratic socialist Salvador Allende president. Flipping “free and fair elections” was normal duty for the Central Intelligence Agency after WWII, but under Kissinger’s machinations became ambitious intervention routines that destroyed nations. According to the Commission of Truth and Reconciliation (Rettig Commission) and the National Commission on Political Imprisonment and Torture (Valech Commission), the number of direct victims of human rights violations in Chile under Pinochet from 1973 to 1990 accounted for around 30,000 people: 27,255 tortured and 2,279 executed. In addition, some 200,000 people suffered exile and an unknown number went through clandestine centers and illegal detention.

He flaunted his evil and we celebrated it.

Throughout most of the 1970s under Nixon and his successor Gerald Ford, Kissinger oversaw the implementation of a half-dozen “Dirty Wars” from Pakistan to Argentina, overthrowing governments and installing fascist murderers backed with U.S. intelligence and money. This was a culture of muscle tactics that came to define American policies that claimed millions of innocent lives under the guise of anti-communist munitions that rivaled the systemic massacres of Hitler and Stalin before him. This is not hyperbole, it is history.

In a piece I wrote in this space during the weeks after the 9/11 attacks, I recalled a morning in 1997 when I awoke from a long night of debauchery in Boston to Kissinger prophesizing the endless wars to come on CNN and quoted it: “What troubles me the most about the United States current standing in the Middle East in regards to Arab countries is the delicate balance between our alliance with Israel set against the tenuous financial dealings with OPEC. And right now no one knows how the fallout of the Gulf War will affect those invisible, radical factions who fall through the cracks of that balance.”

Kissinger echoed the lies that led us into pointless and inept wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, concurrently outing our failures (much of it espoused by him for decades) and destabilizing the region further; leading to whatever the hell is going on there now.

This is only a snippet of Henry Kissinger’s perversions of the American ideal and the desecration of the rule of law, as he roamed the halls of power and the influential elite – frequenting Hollywood parties to extravagant celebrity circle-jerks. He flaunted his evil and we celebrated it. Everyone in his presence was stained by his legacy, which, sadly, is ours. Coming to grips with the evils of men like Henry Kissinger to cleanse our own national soul may not be enough to do so, but it is a start.

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Aquarian Weekly
Reality Check
Roevember Streak Will Continue Unless the Following Happens

Another election evening and another trouncing of Republicans under the weight of the disastrously unconstitutional Supreme Court Dobbs ruling. What is now being dubbed the annual celebration of Roevember by gleeful pro-choice advocates continues the undefeated streak at the ballot box for reproductive rights in red, blue, and purple states, adding Virginia (Dems flipping the state legislature), Ohio (overwhelmingly voting to codify reproductive rights), Pennsylvania (securing a liberal state supreme court) and Kentucky (re-electing a Democrat for governor in an ultra-red state) to the list. Since Dobbs, Democrats have outperformed polls and previous election cycles by anywhere from six to 11 points despite low approval ratings for the Democratic president under the weight of several controversial issues from immigration to crime. Stripping the reproductive rights of 51.1percent of the electorate is killing the Republican Party. And doesn’t appear to be stopping anytime soon, as prominent legislators, senators and media cronies continue to ignore this trend.


Please consider this a Public Service to Save the Republican Party from Itself – Or Else. It comes from the heart. Zero smarm. I promise. Okay, maybe some smarm and victory dancing on my part, but I would heed the following if I were Republicans, although I doubt, they will. They’re running a criminal for president and just elected a religious zealot for speaker of the House. But for the good of our democracy, the bleeding must stop. And I have a solution for both ends of the abortion issue and for pro-choice and pro-lifers to come together and stop the madness.

Consider it a treaty. All wars with this level of one-sided crushing begs a treaty. The Republican Party needs to come to the table or risk extinction. Democrats should recognize their incredible victory and humbly offer the defeated party a lifeline. For two reasons: a healthy democracy needs political balance, as long as that balance does not include fascism – as the current GOP supports – and it is more important that women have their rights back than to simply use Dobbs as a handy cudgel to cravenly win elections. As stated in this space, my goals to destroy the current Republican Party is not to unilaterally elect Democrats, it is to free enslaved women from this heinous Dobbs mistake and the large swath of Republican governors and Republican state legislators who have imposed draconian laws in fourteen states. The quicker we get there, the better it is for all.

First, before I submit my offer, it must be pointed out that it should have never gotten to this, and it is all the Republican Party’s fault. It used this private sovereignty issue to gin up religious-right support to win elections since the 1980s. Their president, Donald Trump, pledged to appoint judges to overturn Roe v Wade and he did, and crowed about it for years after, as is his wont on everything. They all own this and are paying for it with repeated election floggings. Ultimately, if not for Mitch McConnel stopping the vote for Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee by claiming sixteen months left of a presidency was not enough time to vote for one and then ramming Donald Trump’s nominee through with a month left in his presidency, and the ensuing Supreme Court nominees lying under oath about “settled law,” and then theocratic loons in the South turning America into an episode of Handmaid Tales, we wouldn’t be here. But we are. This is prohibition all over again. And like that moralizing disaster we need a way out.

The results of this have been catastrophic, with hundreds to thousands of women’s lives at stake. Not to mention – okay, I’ll mention – Republican-led states forcing doctors to allow women suffering with dangerous pregnancies to go into sepsis – what killed my father – rather than lose their license or go to jail. States where ten-year-old rape victims are prohibited to escape to free-states to terminate their pregnancy. Or states that force twelve-year-old girls to bring to term the child of their stepfather. These, and many more, are actually daily occurrences and it is clear, unless there is a national protection of women’s rights in this country the ballot-box shellacking of Republican candidates will continue unabated until there is nothing left of the GOP. I can go either way, but I am assuming they want to survive.

The Republican Party needs to come to the table or risk extinction.

If so, read on:

Before Roe v Wade was stupidly taken down, 99.9 percent of all abortions were conducted before Week-20 of pregnancies. I propose a bipartisan compromise of a 20-Week federal moratorium on legal and safe abortion rights, including all health care issues for women before, during and after pregnancy, and especially those who suffer rape and incest. There must be provisions after 20 weeks for health issues, et al, and include healthcare protections against government intervention afforded to men. This is only five weeks more than current governor of Virginia Glenn Youngkin proposed before coughing up both of his state’s houses on election day. What Youngkin, a former wonder-boy of the party, wanted was a way out for Republicans to tight-rope walk this losing issue. He tried and failed to paint those who want freedom as radicals and his party as the sane ones. He’d hoped that by controlling the state legislature he could enact a 15-Week moratorium, which actually polls better than the nightmare going on in the rest of the South, but voters weren’t buying. In fact, they went steps further to hand all of the Virginia’s congress over to Democrats.

Youngkin’s move was a cynical political gambit, but it shows one key thing: Republicans are cracking. Bold talk about wiping out baby killers is over. The whole heartbeat movement is toast. The pro-life movement, pardon the pun, is on life support and they now know it. But with the Virginia trouncing of the 15-Week Hail Mary at the polls, Youngkin’s surrender proposal is out. And remember, Virginia is a purple state. Ohio, a ruby red state, voted overwhelmingly for 22 to 25 weeks – or the viability of the fetus – which was the 50-year Roe statute. So, my 20-Week compromise is sweet relief for Republicans. Take it or leave it. And make it quick, because more hurt is coming in 2024, as a half-dozen states are priming to put reproductive rights on the ballot and goose turnout, and many of them are red or battle ground states. Not to mention, the architect of this catastrophe, Donald J. Trump, is on the ballot too, as he brags about delivering the stacked Court to sink women’s rights.

The war is over. The evil axis of Republicanism and Theocracy lost. Badly.

And so, to ensure the Republican Party does not go the way of the nineteenth century Whigs, this is more than a fair proposal for a federal protection of reproductive rights. For a party with zero leverage and hanging by a thread, it is the best they’re getting.

And to my pro-choice and Democratic friends and/or enemies, and most importantly women, many of whom I reached out to prior to writing this a received a solid majority for the plan, I think you should lay it out there and be the bigger of the two in this fight. Come with an olive branch and restore sanity to the nation. Why risk someone competent and not defending himself in four trials to run for president as a Republican or some weird shit going down and somehow Republicans own all three branches of the federal government again. They will ban reproductive rights federally. The current Republican-controlled congress voted unanimously to do so this past January the week they attained power. It’s coming. So, get something on the books now. Take this issue, as it should be, off the table. Restore the rights of your moms, sisters, daughters, aunts, cousins, significant others, your friends, and more to the point, Americans.

Or, if you want, and I don’t deny it is tempting, let this go one more year and take down Trump and whatever is left of Republicans and then control everything and do what you want. But as an independent and a free thinker, I disagree with this crash and burn plan. Sure, if they resist and don’t say uncle, then wipe the Republican Party out. I’ll keep helping, as I have now since Dobbs went down. But this is the fastest, best way to return the blessed sovereignty of constitutional rights to the bodies of 51.1 percent of our electorate while simultaneously removing this political death grip from the necks of Republicans and get back to debating election-denying, insurrection-revisioning, gun-toting, Bible-thumping, LGBTQ-hating, and win that way.

Take the W, Dems, and take the L GOP, and end this.

Women in all states deserve equal rights. Now.

You are all welcome

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(Above photo, jc with IDF soldier outside the Dung Gate, Old City, Jerusalem, 5/29/96 – the day Benjamin Netanyahu was first elected Prime Minister of Israel)

Aquarian Weekly
Reality Check

James Campion
Square One: Rinse & Repeat

The Lord thy God doth give thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth.
               – Deuteronomy 20:16-18 King James version
It ain’t those parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.
               – Mark Twain

I always find it interesting when Americans think everything is about them. The minute people started dying, missiles fired, and things went sideways for the umpteenth time in Israel this past week, politicians, pundits, Twitter (X or whatever), and the usual “echo chamber of the silly” weighed in on how this was someone’s fault around here. Of course, none of this is true. Well, some of it. I know we bankroll the Israeli Defense Force’s powerful armory and have been the one superpower to maintain the country’s sovereignty in the midst of its surrounding enemies, most of whom we either have uneasy alliances with over oil (Saudi Arabia), wage war against for stupid shit (Iraq) and constantly make deals with (Iran – Reagan to Obama), and then we moved the country’s capital to the hotbed of religious lunacy, Jerusalem, followed by someone sending their son-in-law to fix it, but, really, this has (hardly) anything to do with us. 

Long before there was Joe Biden and Donald Trump (as much as that seems hard to believe considering both are really old), and before there were Republican and Democratic Parties, shit, before there was democracy, there was God. And the formulation of this God in oral tradition and then documentation – much of it unpleasant with a lot of rules and terrible retribution for not following these rules – seemed to confuse those whom these rules applied to. (For a recent instance, the Torah, the Old Testament of the Bible, is written specifically for Israelites, the pure Chosen People. No one fits this category in America, or pretty much anywhere, yet people used this fucking thing to strip women of their reproductive rights a mere two summers ago). Crazy, right?

And now onto truly crazy. 

The very idea of Israel as the center of the theocratic universe and its “ownership” of such a place by these mostly confused sorts, gives both ends of their skewed theology credence to unleash mayhem. It begins with a “one way or the highway” scenario – the highway usually ending up with one person’s God telling them to kill the other person because their God is wrong or some such. It started with fists and then rocks and sticks, then escalated using whatever terrific new ways to kill came along. Look at Israel as the proving ground for how crazy the God thing can get. For the past five thousand or so years people have been killing each other for this small stretch of land over the God thing, and even when twentieth century craziness like politics (Nazis) and culture (Israeli/Palestinian) enter the fray, the results are the same. 

Since visiting Israel in 1996, the very month the current Prime Minister   Benjamin Netanyahu was elected for the very first time (also crazy, since the most famous baseball player of the last half century, Derek Jeter hadn’t even won any of his five title yet), I have been fascinated with the underlying human carnage there. Not just death carnage, but rights of survival carnage, parenthood carnage, day-to-day existence carnage. No Palestinian, despite their being treated as Europeans treated indigenous people on this continent, want violence. I know this. I went there and asked them. Anymore than most Republicans wanted the horrors of January 6 to unfold. And Israelis, despite their ham-fisted leaderhip and shaky (at best) human rights crimes, want to worry about their kids popping into a candy store being at risk to end up a smoldering heap of flesh and bone. 

But then there is the God thing, and ya know… 

There’s also politics, sure, but what is politics anyway? The Good Doctor, Hunter S. Thompson once mused it’s “the art of controlling your own environment.” And since that environment was never built, nurtured, fought for, or preserved on principle and law (human law, not the God thing law), then the opening for what is happening right now is infinite.

Even when twentieth century craziness like politics (Nazis) and culture (Israeli/Palestinian) enter the fray, the results are the same. 

One thing will be for certain, because it has been the case since the late 1940s, the IDF is a vicious and concentrated fighting machine (also met and spoke to many of them, which is made up of every citizen) and no terrorist attacks or fancy slogans are going to keep it from crushing all comers. People will “pay,” things will calm down (but not really), and then we will be back to square one, because square one in Israel is the default position – Square One being an untenable and weak cultural and religious off-balance that leaves a vacuum for extremist hatred and state retribution. 

Rinse and repeat. 

Now, I get accused all the time here of being a cynical twit. And I am. Guilty as charged. But, come on. If for five millennium, things go this way more or less than you must call it as you see it.

It sucks.

We suck. Humans, I mean. But don’t worry the planet has a plan for us that includes being under water over time and we’ll be eradicated from the proceedings.

Until then, there is Israel, the God thing, Square One, and a bunch of solipsistic self-centered ego-loons over here blaming it on each other.

Rinse and Repeat.

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