Wednesday, June 29, 2022

 The Delusions of Faith

"A delusion is a false, unshakeable idea or belief, which is out of keeping with the patient’s educational, cultural and social background; it is held with extraordinary conviction and subjective certainty. ~ Professor Andrew Sims - Is Faith Delusion?"

In other words, perfectly normal people now doing and thinking irrational things. The Trump phenomenon is inexplicable when otherwise sane people suddenly go rabid and take up arms to follow a madman. 

Lucian K. Truscott IV seems to hit the nail on the head. About 20 times. This is his essay.
There was a reason Mark Meadows and Donald Trump were “unconcerned,” as Cassidy Hutchinson testified yesterday, when police lines broke on January 6 and Trump’s followers began battering the Capitol trying to get in. A violent assault on the Capitol was the plan all along, or had been at least since December 14, after electors had met and cast their ballots in the states and reported the results to the National Archives. Trump was out of options. Violence was all he had left.
The next step was certifying those ballots, counting them, and declaring the winner of the presidential election at a joint session of Congress on January 6. Trump’s plan to get Jeffrey Clark to send letters to states, beginning with Georgia, falsely asserting that the Department of Justice had found irregularities in the votes in battleground states, and the DOJ was recommending that the state legislatures meet and appoint their own slates of Trump electors, had been shot down at the late night meeting in the Oval Office when practically the entire top rank of the DOJ had threatened to resign if Clark was appointed.
That was only days before January 6. Already in the Willard Hotel, across Lafayette Park from the White House, a so-called war room had been established to oversee the events that would take place on the 6th, beginning with the speech on the Ellipse followed by the march on the Capitol and the violent assault that would take Trump’s army inside. Mark Meadows wanted to go to the Willard to join the war room in progress on the night of January 5, but was disabused of the idea by, yes, Cassidy Hutchinson. He called into the war room meeting instead.
Attempts had been made in the run up to the Ellipse rally by Pat Cippollone and others in the White House to get speech writers to take the lines about going to the Capitol, among others, out of Trump’s speech, without success. Riling up the crowd with lies and sending them to the Capitol was written into the speech days ahead. Trump apparently didn’t decide that he wanted to go to the Capitol himself until that morning, but when he did, he tried to take control of the presidential limousine himself and assaulted his own Secret Service agent when he was told there wasn’t enough security and he was returning to the White House.
In the West Wing, as cable news showed images of his followers violently attacking Capitol police and breaking into the Capitol, Trump sat calmly in the Oval Office dining room watching it happen. Mark Meadows was a few dozen yards down the hall in his own office “on his phone,” as Ms. Hutchinson put it.
Neither man was shocked because the assault on the Capitol was going just as it had been planned.
I think when the hearings reconvene that we’re going to hear and see evidence of coordination between Trump or his close associates like Rudy Giuliani and possibly his own sons with Proud Boys and Oath Keepers in the days immediately before the assault. The entire leadership of both groups are presently behind bars, held without bail, pending trials on charges of conspiracy to commit sedition against the government of the United States. The indictment of the Proud Boys revealed that more than one of them has flipped and has given evidence against his fellow Proud Boys leaders.
Multiple people in Trump’s close orbit are in the same place the Proud Boys have found themselves, facing multiple years in prison. Somebody is going to flip.
Unless a corrupt leader has the country’s military behind him, coup attempts don’t work. The Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers and a few wrung-out drunken lawyers aren’t enough to bring down a government, even when the president of the United States is the one leading them. 
After the hearings, right-wing commentators and Trump loyalists went after Cassidy Hutchinson with a vengeance. What she had described – a grown man throwing temper tantrums, Trump attacking his own Secret Service agents trying to get them to take him to the Capitol – was so pathetic, something had to be done to discredit her. Trump himself, of course, immediately claimed "I hardly know who this person, Cassidy Hutchinson, is, other than I heard very negative things about her (a total phony and “leaker”).
Hemingway famously wrote that you go bankrupt in two ways: “Gradually, then suddenly.”
Trump, no stranger to bankruptcy, has left the gradual stage.



Thursday, February 17, 2022

Canadians and Democracy or the Great Truck Ball debacle.

by Joe Thornton

17 Feb 2022

What we are currently looking at is a marginal segment of Canadian society who have suddenly decided that because they aren’t being heard they have the right to make people listen.  So with that in mind they all saddled up their pickup trucks, balls dangling, rounded up a few semi’s and its off to the Ottawa rodeo. 

The problem with our representational democracy is that we elect people to speak for us.  We seldom have the opportunity to approach the king of the hill directly in any substantive manner.
Representational democracy generally allows for dissent to be heard and dealt with through discussion and a vote taken of those elected officials present – our Members of Parliament or at the provincial level our Members of Legislative Assembly.  Here’s the thing. If you don’t like what is happening in government the person for you to talk to is your representative. No one talks to their reps. No one makes them accountable. They keep electing them over and over for years without ever attending a constituency meeting or a townhall.
We have argued and discussed the shortcomings of such a system many times over the decades, always arriving at the conclusion that it’s still the best system we have, short of direct participation in democracy.

The problem with direct participation is that there are just too damn many of us. 27.4 million Eligible electors to be exact, more or less…  We’d never get anything passed ever if we had to wait for them all to have their say and vote.
Until now that is.

Electronically it might be possible to accomplish this by allotting a few moments daily while the house is sitting to vote via a secure electronic device on the issues of the day.  The internet and parliamentary servers would have to be beefed up somewhat to allow for that kind of traffic but that’s coming anyway… you know, “the Metaverse”.
That works until someone decides not to play. They want all the marbles and don’t want anyone else to have any.  These are the disrupters who don’t care what anyone else wants. They demand that their wants and desires apply to everyone else whether the others want them or not.

Then comes the small block protests who refrain from voting to prove their point, later coming out in opposition because they didn’t vote and their voices weren’t heard. Again with the pickup trucks and the semi’s and the hot tubs on Wellington…

In order to have a law and order society we need to have law and order. It is evident that occasionally the enforcement of those principals has to be more heavy handed than we would like.
The part of democracy that everyone is missing is “responsibility”.  We are all responsible to make democracy work. This is not a top down initiative, it is a bottom up action. Get with it Canada, we can be the crown jewel of democracy or continue to be the laughing stock of the world.