THE LIE OF ORIGINALISM & STATES’ RIGHTS

Aquarian Weekly
1/3/24
 
Reality Check
 
THE LIE OF ORIGINALISM & STATES’ RIGHTS 
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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BLURRING THE LAW FOR THEOCRATIC RULE

Aquarian Weekly
12/13/23
 
Reality Check
 
 
BLURRING THE LAW FOR THEOCRATIC RULE
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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HENRY ALFRED KISSINGER – 1923 – 2023

Aquarian Weekly
12/6/23
 
Reality Check
 
 
HENRY ALFRED KISSINGER – 1923 – 2023

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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A REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS LIFELINE TO REPUBLICANS

Aquarian Weekly
11/15/23
 
Reality Check
 
 
A REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS LIFELINE TO REPUBLICANS
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.

Unless…

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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THE “GOD KILLING” TOUR 2023

(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
10/18/23
 
Reality Check
 

James Campion
 
 
THE “GOD KILLING” TOUR 2023
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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UNIONS ARE BACK

Aquarian Weekly
10/4/23
 
Reality Check
 

James Campion
 
 
UNIONS ARE BACK
A Right-Wing Populism and Post-Covid/Inflation Blowback Resurrection
 

According to a recent Gallup poll, 71 percent of Americans support labor unions. This is statistically significant for two reasons: This is the highest level of public backing of unions since 1965 and as of 2021 there has been a 57-percent increase in union election petitions filed, as reported by the National Labor Relations Board. There are two key factors in this surge in participation and national support for unions: Record corporate profits during post-pandemic shutdown, which shifted drastically after corporations asked workers to sacrifice or be furloughed or ended up being laid off during the crisis, and the solidarity among political parties on the subject. Up until Donald Trump’s complete 180 on working-class rhetoric, first as a candidate in 2015/16 and as president from 2016 through 2020, the previous pro-management Republican Party has now joined Democrats in competing in this field.

Timing and lack of opposition have led to a complete resurgence in the power, influence, and popularity of unions.

Over the past few months two major unions have struck against their employers, garnering increased press coverage and a windfall of public sympathy and solidarity; the Writers Guild of America, which settled last week with Hollywood production companies after being on strike since May 2, and what was once the most powerful union on planet earth, the United Auto Workers, who’s current standoff with auto manufacturers in Detroit continues and has not only gotten support from the president of the United States, but his likely Republican opponent. 

Both President Joe Biden and former president Donald Trump have given vocal support to the union, and in an unprecedented move for a sitting president, Biden spoke on their picket line this week while Trump went to Detroit to ostensibly support the strike, but instead spoke at a non-union management conference. And while this is a classic grifting Trump move to say he is for a popular movement but knows his record says otherwise, so avoids being booed off the stage and puts on a con show instead, the leaders of both parties are on board with unions in both image and branding. 

This is an astonishing comeback for labor unions, who since the Ronald Reagan administration gutted laws protecting unions and firing 11,000 public workers during an air traffic controllers strike in 1981 saw a severe downturn in labor union support nationally. The over fifty-year Republican battle with unions, seen then as an early 20th century Communist off shoot of post-Industrial Revolution blowback, was the core of conservative politics. For a long time, Reagan was a paragon of conservativism for his bold actions forty years ago, but that all ended with the take-over of the Republican Party by Trump and the death of modern conservatism with his populist stance. Now, a large portion of the party, which has become a populist cult of personality that spent decades fighting unions, stumble over one another to be on their side.

This is understandable if not cynical analysis since this is precisely where the political winds are blowing. During last year’s record inflation, price gouging by corporations, especially the auto industry created record profits for management with zero “trickle down” to workers. Just like the advent of streaming services and the use of content created by entertainment writers, wherein the boom in repeated viewings of their work garnered them no extra pay, autoworkers saw exploitation and acted. 

The political might of unions and the reason for their increased popularity are due to the Republican Party’s at least rhetorical about-face on them.

The times have always dictated support for unions, which, as stated, after the Industrial Revolution saw the dehumanization of the worker class, lack of safety regulations, child labor, and other aspects of the period, along with political uprising in Socialist and later Communist philosophies affecting the order of the day. The same for post-World War II and its exploitation of the female labor force and returning GI’s from combat. Unions were never more powerful during the Middle Class/manufacturing boom of the 1950s into the early 60’s. And then came the outing of organized crime infiltration in labor unions, specifically auto workers after the asinine Volstead Act bankrolled their ascent, and the general malaise among union workers, which eroded public support. 

This, among many other factors, gave rise to modern conservatism and the over 60-percent negative view of labor unions from the 1980s until two years ago, when the once in a century Covid-19 pandemic shut the nation down, closed manufacturing, stymied shipping, and ground the international economy to halt. Workers, both essential and non-essential bound together in a direct backlash against companies gouging the American consumer while mistreating labor. 

This is, of course, not across the board, but the branding and public perception of management versus labor shifted dramatically, forcing both political parties to rush to their aid in hopes of remaining relevant. And while Democrats have been to a fault been the part of labor over the more corporate-minded Republican Party for a century, there is suddenly little area of disagreement on what unions mean to their success at the ballot box.

But make no mistake, the political might of unions and the reason for their increased popularity are due to the Republican Party’s at least rhetorical about-face on them. For the most part Trump’s government was not too far removed from Reagan’s in its ignoring and in some cases attacking worker’s rights, coupled with the massive corporate tax breaks over middle class relief. But since Trump is a media figure and his ham-fisted support of truckers, Johnny Lunch-Pail, barking about the return of manufacturing over outsourcing, and the fear of immigrants in the labor force pulled in the Rust Belt states to make him president, the Republican Party can no longer politically sustain an opposition to labor unions.

For the first time in many generations, labor unions are back, and perhaps bigger than ever, as now they have no political headwinds, not to mention low unemployment figures and inflation sinking from nine to three percent in the last two years to bring them back into the fore. And with a presidential election a year away, their voice and influence have become paramount.     

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SPEAKER ON THE BRINK

Aquarian Weekly
9/27/23
 
Reality Check
 

James Campion
 
 
SPEAKER ON THE BRINK
The Sad Tale of Kevin McCarthy Continues

It’s weird, right? Doesn’t it seem like Republicans are trying to not get elected ever again for anything? First, they have a criminal, who already lost an election three years ago by nearly eight-million votes coughing up former red states in the process, at the top of their presidential ticket. And they repeatedly send doomed candidates to the slaughter who mimic his “stolen election” craziness. They ban abortion, which six-out-of-ten Americans abhor. They deny climate change after five of the hottest years on record, which most Americans want addressed. They defend gun manufacturers and block sane gun regulations in the wake of dozens of mass shootings annually, which is gaining support among voters. And in all states that they run they make it more difficult for citizens to vote.

And now they’re going to shut down the government in the middle of a childish and very public inner-party spat that makes it look like their whole plan is to wreck America. Or as the current Speaker of the House, California Republican Kevin McCarthy put it this week, “They just want to burn the whole place down.”

Mind you, Republicans do not control two-thirds of the federal government, and yet, for some reason only known to six or seven MAGA Morons, they are going to do the one thing that is guaranteed to bury them in opinion polls and further motivate Independents and moderate Republicans to vote them out next fall. You would think the Speaker could wrangle enough votes to at least provide the Senate with a budget to fund the government, the most important job of congress, instead of floating strange evidence-free impeachment inquiries and trying to embarrass law enforcement on Capitol Hill for hours on end, before giving his colleagues a week off with two weeks left to the deadline.

But, nah.

No one should vote for Republicans until they right this ship.  Which sucks, because it fails to put a check on Democrats…

These appear to be the actions of someone who just wandered into the Capitol, like that guy who’s going to prison for four years for putting his feet on Nancy Pelosi’s desk on January 6. But McCarthy, nearly 60 years-old with a marketing degree, has been in congress for 17 years. You would think he could envision the shit storm he is orchestrating. But wait, why is he Speaker in the first place? Ah, right. He needed to persuade these MAGA Morons to get him enough votes to gain the gavel after a record-shattering 15 votes (longest such proceedings in 164 years). And what did McCarthy give up getting those votes? Oh, right. He handed the majority party the right to have any member call for a motion to vacate the speaker’s chair. This was unprecedented idiocy that no Speaker has had to face in the 234 years of the U.S. House of Representatives, but what choice did he have? It was either that or go home. He wanted the damn job, and now he has it, and it comes with essentially no power. He cannot get the requisite votes for anything. He didn’t even have the votes for his sham impeachment inquiry, which means that it’s a toothless political exercise that is also wildly unpopular. Seven out of ten Americans don’t want it, so, of course, Republicans are doing it. They apparently are begging to get shellacked at the ballot box again.

Let’s review: McCarthy is fucked. His party is fucked. The country, as long as Republicans are in charge of anything, is fucked.

I am going to reiterate what I have written here since January 6, 2021, and the ensuing striking down of Roe v Wade by the corrupt Supreme Court jammed with lunatics by scheming Senate Republicans, who moved heaven and earth to rob women of their reproductive rights; the first elimination of citizen rights in my lifetime: No one should vote for Republicans until they right this ship.  Which sucks, because it fails to put a check on Democrats, who continue to have it easier because the Grand Old Party doesn’t seem to want to compete in the political arena anymore. They merely want to make Donald Trump and his 38-percent of the national vote happy. They show no desire to expand their voter block, which is shrinking by the generation, or work in a sane construct. They are fooled by conservative media that this is the way forward to govern. It is not. And if Democrats winning every special election in the last six years by an average of 11 points in a polarized atmosphere is any indication of what is coming next year, then I’m not sure what is.

When Republicans return with one week to go before the shuttering of the federal government due to their incompetence, McCarthy has one move left; work with Democrats on a bi-partisan bill that can pass a Democratic Senate and be signed by Joe Biden, a Democrat in the White House. Or watch those polls, and with it, Republican prospects for 2024 sink further. And with the end of gerrymandering in six states by next year and many of the members of congress fortunate enough to gain seats in purple districts in 2022 facing an ousting, this would be bad. For them. Good for people who don’t want American “burned down.” But to accomplish this would mean a revolt in the party and McCarthy’s eventual removal as Speaker.

It’s all so Shakespearean. But it’s what McCarthy signed on for: Fund the government or take a powder. Either way, as I see it, things go further sideways for the Republican Party; shutdown, backlash, or dump McCarthy and then who becomes Speaker? Bozo the Zealot? And can that person get enough votes from moderate Republicans, many of whom have taken to the airwaves and the D.C. press to deem this a “clown show” and “unserious” and “politically suicidal?” 

All of it is a terrible look for Republicans, who prove they are a mess and continue to entreat Americans to vote the other way.

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LET’S TALK EDUCATION

Aquarian Weekly
9/6/23
 
Reality Check
 

James Campion
 
 
LET’S TALK EDUCATION

In the recent Fox News showcase of candidates vying to be Donald Trump’s running mate or at the very least increase speaking engagement fees, a subject caught my ear: “A crisis in education in America.” After laughing at this irony, since for decades Republicans have waged rhetorical war on intellectualism and over the past fifteen years unleashed a legislative assault on the public school system, I thought I’d check the statistics and see if there is indeed a “crisis.” Turns out there is! And Republicans are causing it.

The most egregious of course is in Florida, conducted as a political ploy by Governor Ron DeSantis, one of Fox’s also-rans, with its banning of books, although other states have indiscriminately implemented “selected reading” for students and have levied sanctions and threatened arrests for teachers daring to cross these arbitrary lines. There has also been a steady movement on the Right to sanitize American history to protect the feelings of white people. A repeated lie perpetuated on the teaching of Critical Race Theory being offered in grade school, or even middle to high school classes, has succeeded in ginning up the great unwashed. CRT, as they like to frame it – one, they can’t deign to say it, and two because it sounds more sinister that way – is a college-level course and even that is rare. And, come on, who thinks these people even know what CRT is?

This country has seen this kind of middling crap before. I direct you to the Scopes Monkey Trial, probably our most embarrassing chapter of this pogrom against education – I am leaving out the South’s rejection of African Americans to attend schools and universities because I don’t want to further upset white people, and let’s face it that had way less to do with education than systemic racism.

Nearly a century ago in 1925, a high school teacher, John T. Scopes, was accused of violating Tennessee’s Butler Act, which had made it illegal for teachers to teach human evolution in any state-funded school. The argument: the Bible takes priority over all human knowledge. Crazy right? Wait, read that last sentence again and think of the current state of 51% of our American citizenry in bondage to the government thanks to more idiotic Republican/Fundamentalist claptrap. Crazier still, Scopes was found guilty! But later the goofy verdict was overturned, not because it was abjectly stupid and unconstitutional but on some technicality.

For more on this sad footnote in our complicated history that Republicans try to hide from our kids, check out H.L. Mencken’s work on the matter – some of the finest journalistic writing ever. Seriously, Mencken kicked ass.

Nine out of the ten worst educated states are run by Republicans.

But things have certainly reached a saturation point lately. Republicans want to run the federal government to strip women’s reproductive rights nationally and wipe out the Department of Education, so parents can decide curriculum. Now, as a person who feels we do need to restructure our education system, it is not to teach less or massage the public-school syllabus to match our national pride or placate superstitious zombies, it is to expand the scope of knowledge. To this end, we absolutely CANNOT leave education up to a mob of people who can’t agree on proper diet for their kids, or sleep time, or what content their offspring can consume. We had to put stickers on everything in the 1980s because parents were unable to decipher if “Fuck Like an Animal” was an appropriate listening experience for their eight-year-old daughters.

Also, please stop teaching that Christopher Columbus “discovered” America. This was a difficult feat for a man who never stepped foot on the continent, never mind that there were already people here and lots of other Europeans.

But I digress.

Did some research on the Most Educated States in America based on 2021 data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Since this paper was founded and is published in New Jersey and I am writing this from my barn office on Jersey soil, I will not bury the lede: NJ is in the Top Ten. As a starting mean, let’s note that the national average is 43.8% – the share of a state population with a high school and/or bachelor’s degree. That number already makes me cringe, but judging from some of the stuff that pops up as popular on Netflix and the cable ratings for Sean Hannity, it makes sense.

I think you know where I’m going.

The Ten Worst Educated States are as follows, West Virginia: 22.40, Mississippi: 25.64, Louisiana: 27.36, Arkansas: 30.87, Alabama: 34.46, Oklahoma: 35.32, Nevada: 35.70, Kentucky: 35.70, New Mexico: 36.99, Texas: 40.14.

Firstly, can someone explain to me how in 2023 only two out of ten West Virginians have graduated from any level of schooling?

Second, you got it: Nine out of the ten worst educated states are run by Republicans. (For the record there is a Democratic governor of New Mexico, but it’s a purple state, so there could be some fucked up stuff in there already, but to be fair, the party does also run the legislature.) But that’s one out of ten.

I repeat: Nine of ten of the worst educated states are run by Republicans.

Is there a crisis in education?

To finish our research let’s peek at what the statistical ratings are for Most Education States.

Unless you’re from West Virginia, I think you know what’s coming.

The most educated states in America: Massachusetts: 83.03, Maryland: 76.73, Connecticut: 72:06, Vermont: 71.40, Colorado: 69.30, New Jersey: 68.85, Virginia: 67.33, New Hampshire: 67.20, Minnesota: 63.98, Utah: 63.31.

Come on, NJ, let’s get this to at least seven out of ten!

Eight of the ten states are distinctly NOT run by Republicans, and Virginia has just recently flipped its governorship, and is likely to flip back.

But… Massachusetts. Wow. Completely, shamelessly indoctrinated in liberalism. There is no more “woke” section of this nation. Shit, there’s a reason DeSantis sent those migrants up there. Turns out this was a boon to the migrants, at least if they wanted to learn stuff, instead of being sold that education is a progressive, elitist, radical plot to turn our kids into snowflake robots.

Look, if there is one thing I’ve learned from six decades of being a free thinker, despite Catholic school and mediocre public schools and years of reading and research and never being complacent on what new information emerges from the apparently dwindling great minds of this world: Knowledge is Good. (If I may borrow from the good people at National Lampoon).

Republicans think it’s bad, and then they stand on a stage and pander to the Fox News agenda of denying truth and pass this disease onto our kids. And those kids grow up to storm the Capitol and go to jail and then apologize for being duped by a lunatic.

But judging from the overwhelming number of Gen Z voters – many of them having endured locked downs from school shootings and are far more respectful of gender identity, race, and sexual preference, and sure as hell don’t want the government to control their bodies or choose the Bible over all human knowledge, I think we’re going to be fine.

Republicans on the other hand will be forced to keep running monosporic fascist narcissist domestic terrorists like Trump for high office or start educating their children better.

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WHAT THE HELL IS CHRIS CHRISTIE DOING?

Aquarian Weekly
8/23/23
 
Reality Check
 

James Campion
 
 
WHAT THE HELL IS CHRIS CHRISTIE DOING?
Corpulent Kamikaze from New Jersey Explained

Good question.

Once a popular and within his party revered governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie had his time to run for president. That time was 2012. He did not run. Instead, he chose to run the year Donald Trump was in a contract dispute with the National Broadcasting Network and decided to raise his brand by ruining the Republican Party and then after that particular joke ran dry, went onto wreck the country. During Trump’s rise, Christie bailed on his goal and became the first Republican to publicly back the leading candidate, working inside the wavering campaign, debate prepping and standing weirdly behind him as Trump made a mockery of democracy.

When Trump became president he dangled many jobs in front of Christie, something the venerable politician, considering his simpering fealty, thought would be a slam dunk to get. And it would have been for normal politicians. But Trump was a game show host who spent decades using a quasi-real estate business to build his celebrity while getting other people to pay for it. Trump didn’t know what the fuck he was doing and cared even less about it. And so he was duly informed by the ad hoc fascists behind him that Christie had made one of the grandest mistakes for any Republican back in 2012 when he embraced and worked with then President Barack Obama, a Democrat, to assist in the rebuilding of his state after the devastation of Hurricane Sandy.

Christie was out in the cold.

But Christie was steadfast; throughout Trump’s horrid run of governance from 2017 until the insurrection of January 6, 2021, the former governor now claims he hung around in an attempt to be one of the few “adults in the room” surrounding Trump, keeping him from completely tanking America under the weight of his haphazard whims. Basically, Christie followed the actions of his Republican brethren Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Lindsay Graham; forget the terrible things Trump said about them and their families, emasculating them publicly and constantly, damaging their reputations, and just suck his ass like a pathetic bitch.

However, something happened to Chris Christie on that dark day in January of 2021. A profound sense of clarity overcame him; what many outside this space considered would be the final straw for Trump among his party. But to Christie’s dismay, his party kept defending Trump, making excuses for him, perpetuating his gambit to lie that he actually won an election he was pummeled in by nearly eight million votes – yeah, that’s the ticket, I won, not lost, and it was stolen, like the popular vote in 2016, yeah, stolen!

Christie, who had eaten more of Trump’s shit than anyone thought humanly possible, couldn’t stomach that, so he began extricating himself from his former sins, admitted he fucked up, that he now realized that Trump was evil and stupid and hated America and democracy and treated the country like all his failed private businesses. He was likely to run again in 2024 and he had to be stopped.

Christie, mostly a poser phony jackass who sucked at governor, is here to make some noise.

Some months ago, despite no ideological lane or foreseeable constituency, Christie announced his bid for the presidency. Throwing his hat in the 2024 race seemed silly. Ron DeSantis, humiliated governor of Florida, was poised for coronation should Donald Trump implode, which he most assuredly would, and there was several (turns out four) investigations that were to end up with Trump and his cronies indicted for the 2020 and 2021 shenanigans to take down the federal government and piss on the will of the voters. DeSantis was next up! What the hell was Chris Christie doing, exactly? He’s not MAGA, he’s not a culture warrior decrying “Wokism.” He wasn’t even a former cable news commentator. He’d retired back to Jersey. Out of the game.

But wait…

Ron DeSantis sucks. He is broke and has shed twenty poll points since the moment anyone outside of the sinkhole of Florida heard him utter a word. There is no more second place, just a giant hole where once stood an empty suit. So, Christie decided to do what DeSantis could not; he became Donald Trump’s troll under the bridge to the former president’s unwitting Billy Goat Bluff: Tormenting him on social media, taking to news shows and fake news shows, legitimate press and the goofy right-wing echo chamber of horrors. Trump’s a loser, he said. Trump’s a liar, he cried. He’ll sink us all – Republicans, Independents, Democrats. He must be stopped!

At first, again, this seemed silly. What’s the end game, to merely trip Trump up? Name calling and verbal fisticuffs have greatly assisted in faking the gullible unread and unwashed from believing Trump is good at debate. He is not. My fifteen-year-old-daughter would eviscerate Donald Trump in a debate. I might even feel bad for him. But Christie said he was in it to win it and suddenly he is tied with the fumbling DeSantis for second in New Hampshire and gaining in Iowa for primary positions he had no business sniffing in the spring.

And his only platform is taking Trump down. He says a few things about President Biden but considering the economy humming at a record rate and the bogeyman inflation cut from nine percent a year ago to three percent currently and all-time lows in non-wartime unemployment, and not really being into the Hunter Biden sweepstakes, that’s all Christie has got. And he does not mind playing the kamikaze. Republicans don’t want him, but that has not stopped Trump’s corpulent pit bull from gnawing at his shinbone day after day.

And now with only a week to go before Trump surrenders himself to yet another district indicting him – mugshots to come! – and a debate stage he will skip, because what’s the point? He’s forty points ahead of anyone close to him and apparently no one in this field beside Christie wants to take him on. (My daughter is busy with Minecraft). One guy said he’ll pardon him if elected to an office Trump wants, and if this idiot were within twenty points of the Donald, he would call him every racist name in the book.

And so, Christie, mostly a poser phony jackass who sucked at governor, is here to make some noise. We do that in New Jersey. And it is rarely pleasant.

Let’s see how far this noise goes.

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OHIO CALLING

Aquarian Weekly
8/16/23
 
Reality Check
 

James Campion
 
 
OHIO CALLING
Another Fascist Republican Defeat to Democracy & the Call of Women’s Productive Rights Nationwide

We’re not going to stop until Republicanism is dead. Period. And we’re going to use the tool of women’s reproductive rights to do it, because so far, the not-so-silent majority is on an unprecedented winning streak to send the fascists a message nationwide. On August 8 a record turnout of highly motivated voters rejected a scam by a super-majority of Republicans in Ohio to make it harder for the will of the people to change their state constitution. This cheap and losing tactic was lashed together haphazardly for the fascists to stop the codifying of women’s reproductive rights that they robbed from them. And so, Ohio joins Kansas, Michigan, Kentucky, Vermont, California, and a growing number of states to stamp out the illegal virus heaped upon the U.S. after the ignominiously unconstitutional striking down of Roe v. Wade by a corrupt Supreme Court last summer. And it is not going to stop.

It was a nice try by the fascists to whip up a special election referendum to raise the threshold for amending the state constitution from a majority to sixty percent. After all, fifty-seven percent of its citizenry want legal and safe access to abortion and that issue is on the ballot this November. This is thanks to a petition that doubled the number (700K) needed to get it there. Republicans had to stop it, because these hypocrites who and claim that the striking down of Roe v Wade lets states decide. But they don’t want states to decide, because when they do their anti-woman policies go bye-bye. And so, they play games. And they lost this game, and will keep losing these games until they either give up, come to the table on a national referendum to return women the rights they’ve had for half a century, or die on that hill.

I would take either… but prefer both.

The assumption by the Republicans who cooked up the idea of taking the voter’s voice from them was that not enough of them would notice – low turnout in early summer. And so, they changed the rules (even though this same body of “legislators” banned special August elections just last year) and hoped to crush the democratic process.

But democracy went all democracy on them.

Democrats, Independents, and a surprisingly considerable number of Republicans from districts Donald Trump won by ten to fifteen points voted to strike down this “Issue 1” scam, in some cases by forty points. The ballot-box slaughter was a vehement rebuke of fascist tactics. And in the fall, they will lose again.

This November they will finish the job and notch another victory for women’s rights and put fascism on notice once again.

By the way, as a matter of record and sweet revenge, the final tally was 57-percent voting “no” on Issue 1, the exact polling number that want legal abortion codified into their constitution.

And if August 8 and red-state Ohio standing up for women’s reproductive rights is any indication, the momentum and furor over the disastrous Supreme Court Dobbs decision has not eased. If anything, it has gained fire. Just a few months ago Wisconsin, a severe 50/50 battleground state, elected a liberal judge, flipping the court for the first time in fifteen years to stop the draconian anti-women laws sanctioned by state Republicans. This all-but guarantees a lawsuit against their unconstitutional shenanigans will be successful and as a bonus will spark a long-overdue redistricting to disallow fascist Republican gerrymandering, which is one of the severest in the nation.

You see, Republicans, who are in the minority on almost every issue; gun violence, climate change, “Wokism,” LGBTQ rights, and abortion, among many others, have only been competitive because of heavy gerrymandering. They have no national voice – having lost the raw majority vote in every presidential election except one (2004) – for the past thirty-five years, and with Mr. Soon-to-be- Convicted at the top of their ballot, this will stumble closer to half a century. They must stop you from voting, otherwise they don’t exist. Most Republicans are in their 70s and 80s and the new flock of teen-to-thirty voters (Gen Z) are progressive, politically aware, and apparently voting in record numbers. The University of Ohio students had a 95-percent attendance rate in this August 8 vote.

If I was stupid enough to cling to the Republican party at this juncture, I’d cheat too.

But this latest attempt to do so was sent packing in a red state by a large margin in the middle of summer.

This November they will finish the job and notch another victory for women’s rights and put fascism on notice once again.

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