5-22-21 On January 6th 2021, the entire world watched as an angry mob literally assaulted the United States Capitol Building in an effort to try to stop Congress from doing its constitutional duty in certifying the results of the 2020 election. It was sickening, heart-wrenching, and disgusting watching as rioters clambered up walls, busted out windows, broke open doors, and brutally attacked law enforcement officers as they forced their way inside. We heard many of them chanting how they wanted to hang or kill Vice President Pence, Speaker of the House Pelosi, and others. The events of that day are things that most people around the world never thought they’d see occur in the United States of America. The peaceful transfer of power has been something that Americans have been proud of since the foundation of the United States Constitution. It was something which America had that many other countries struggled with. Yet here we all watched as an angry mob attempted to stop the election results for being certified by the United States Congress. This is huge. We as a country have never seen something like this happen in the United States. So it makes sense and frankly is vital that Congress should have a bipartisan commission to investigate the events in order to discover what happened and try to prevent it from ever happening again. All Americans should want this. We’ve had bipartisan Congressional commissions before such as the 9/11 Commission. So it’s unfathomably astonishing and disgraceful that most the Republicans in Congress are opposing such a commission. Some things are so vitally important that political bickering and partisanship should be put aside and the greater good of the country placed at the forefront. But instead of doing that, many Republicans appear to be placing their party and the will of Donald Trump ahead of the country and the United States Constitution. This is yet another example of the dangerous, disturbing, undemocratic path that many Republicans are following these days as they blindly obey Donald Trump even when Trump is clearly out of line. I hope a January 6th Commission is formed and does a thorough investigation. Our democracy desperately needs this. It’s time for people to put the needs of American democracy and the United States Constitution above petty squabbles, party loyalty, and political maneuvering.
Washington DC. For many people these days, when they hear those words, they conjure up images of the vicious partisan politics which has been plaguing this country of late. They think of Republicans and Democrats in Congress at loggerheads against each other to such a severe degree that it often seems like little gets done. But what a great number overlook or forget is that Washington DC is one of the most beautiful cities in the entire country. Really, it is. Why, do you ask? I think it’s a combination of its distinctive layout, beautiful architecture, extensive monuments, and lovely parks. First, the layout. While Washington DC has the traditional north south and east west grid system of roads, it is also crisscrossed with impressive avenues that run diagonally through the city. This distinctive layout of streets creates unique intersections, such as traffic circles the centers of which often contain impressive monuments. There are also numerous parks, big and small, scattered throughout the city which frequently contain statues and other monuments. Then you have the impressive architecture of the city which includes a variety of styles such as Classical, Neoclassical, Greek Revival, Palladian, Second Empire, Modern, and Postmodern. Another vitally important facet of the characteristic look of Washington DC is the fact that homes and buildings are not allowed to exceed a certain height. There are no skyscrapers within the city limits. The reason for this is so that the US Capitol Building and other monuments can impressively stand out instead of being overshadowed. And of course, one can’t forget the heart and soul of Washington DC: the National Mall. This beautiful park runs from the US Capitol Building to the Lincoln Memorial between which stands the towering Washington Monument. Lining each side are impressive national museums, including the National Gallery of Art as well as multiple branches of the Smithsonian Institution. The result is one of the most beautiful cities in the entire country. And if you don’t believe me, check out these photos. I think they’ll prove my point Enjoy.
2-10-21 Okay folks, let’s get one thing abundantly clear: Donald Trump absolutely encouraged, instigated, and incited the angry mob who stormed the US Capitol Building on January 6th. He did. Trump started attacking the election months before the first ballot was even cast. Think about how he began assaulting mail in voting before the first ballot was even sent out to people. He made outrageous claims like his saying that the only way he could lose the election was if it was stolen from him. And this was before any voting actually occurred. Then we come to the election itself. Joe Biden won, and Donald Trump lost. Fair and square. Every single state, including those run by Republicans, certified the election. There were also international observers from multiple countries who monitored the process. On top of this, in all the ballot counting rooms in all the states, there were Republican, Democrat, and Independent monitors overseeing the counting process and who were present to answer questions if any arose. Trump and his people lost over 60 lawsuits that were based on their false claims about the election, and many of the judges who ruled against Trump were Republicans themselves. The fact is that this was a free and fair election. There was no widespread fraud or irregularities. Joe Biden was the elected legitimately and honestly by winning the popular vote as well as the electoral college vote. Yet Donald Trump’s outrageous, false claims and rhetoric with regards to the election got worse and worse. He repeatedly told his followers with fury and anger how the election had supposedly been stolen from him. He kept making these ridiculous and utterly false claims over and over which got his followers more and more outraged. Then we arrive at the fateful day, January 6th. Trump gave a fiery speech making his sickeningly false claims about the election and further inflaming the angry audience with comments like “our country has had enough” and referring to Joe Biden as “an illegitimate president.” He called the election itself “a catastrophe” and claimed that he had won states that he had clearly lost. Trump made outrageously false accusations that had no basis in reality throughout the speech, but the crowd of devout Trump followers believed every word and got more and more infuriated with every passing minute. Then he said, “And we fight. We fight like hell. And if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.” Soon after this, he told the angry mob to go to the Capitol. If you don’t believe me, listen to the speech itself or read the transcript. It’s out there word for word. So here’s the thing folks. The months of lies and sickeningly outrageous rhetoric making false claims that had no basis in reality set the stage for the tragedy that unfolded. All that was needed was to light the match, which is exactly what Donald Trump did in his speech on January 6th. Donald Trump undermined and attacked our democratic values throughout his tenure in office, and the events on January 6th were a culmination of this abhorrent and repugnant behavior. It is clear that Trump is threatening our democracy and should be found guilty by the Senate. He should then be barred from holding federal office ever again. The big question is will enough Republican Senators finally grow some spines and do the right thing to find Donald Trump guilty. Time will tell. But whatever happens, people know the truth, and History is going to treat Donald Trump very harshly.
1-16-21 25,000 National Guard troops are in (or on the way to) Washington DC in order to protect the transfer of power from the Trump Administration to the Biden Administration. Think about that. Thousands of soldiers needed to protect the Inauguration of President Elect Joe Biden. It’s disturbing and sad that our country has sunk to this level. And it’s clear that Donald Trump along with those enabling him and blindly following him brought our nation to this twisted, deeply troubling state of affairs. Divisions, lack of understanding, intolerance, hate, prejudice, and so on were already problems in the United States when Trump started his campaign for the Presidency. The thing is: Trump took advantage of these problems and exacerbated them with his outrageous, hurtful, vicious, and often totally false rhetoric, actions, and lies. Instead of trying to unite people, he worsened divisions and hate creating such a toxic atmosphere that prejudiced hate groups felt emboldened to become more brazen and vocal. And then we come to the 2020 election. He began attacking the election before it even had a chance to get started as he viciously went after mail in voting for months prior to a single ballot being sent out to anyone. Once he lost the election, he quickly began spreading ridiculous, totally false claims and conspiracy theories in his quest to try to stay in office, even though Joe Biden clearly and legitimately won. And throughout all of this, numerous Republicans in important positions as well as millions of every day Americans have enabled Trump’s horrendous behavior by always going along with him, not standing up to him, and flat out blindly following him. And now we are having to endure the results of this sickening situation. We watched in disgust and horror as an angry mob of Trump supporters (incited by Trump and others) literally assaulted the US Capitol Building with the purpose of trying to stop Congress from certifying the free and fair 2020 election. This was clearly a form of undemocratic insurrection seeing how they used violence to attempt to stop Biden from becoming President. It’s disgusting, horrifying, sickening, and disturbing seeing how low things have sunk to. It’s also scary how many people are still blindly following Trump despite the fact he incited insurrection. We have to be strong and stand up for decency, honesty, compassion, science, caring, and democracy. It’s time to put the hate, narrow-mindedness, intolerance, and viciousness of the Trump era behind us and strive to make this a better place for all. It won’t be easy. We as a society and a country are battered and bruised. Healing will take time as will bridging the deep divides that have been tearing this nation apart. But we will get through it. Our democracy will endure and if we work at it, the United States will get closer to being the shining beacon we want it to be.
1-10-21 We’ve seen over and over how unfit for the Office of President Donald Trump is with repeated examples of his inappropriate, outrageous, and disgraceful behavior. He’s ridiculed people with disabilities, lied more than any other modern president, regularly undermined his own government officials and policies, insulted valuable allies while going out of his way to avoid saying anything bad about Vladimir Putin and Russia. Also consider how horribly the Trump Administration has handled the COVID Pandemic so that in many ways, states have been left largely on their own to deal with the devastating crisis. This alone has undoubtedly cost many lives to be lost tragically, needlessly, and unnecessarily. Then we come to the 2020 Presidential election. This was a free and fair election. Every state has certified the results. There were Democratic, Republican, and Independent observers in all the ballot counting rooms. International observers from multiple countries were even present monitoring the election. There was no widespread irregularities or fraud. But Donald Trump has been attacking the election making totally baseless and completely false claims of fraud that he has no evidence for. He has lost over 60 lawsuits because of his lack of evidence. And many of the judges who ruled against Trump were conservative. The fact is that there was no widespread fraud. It was a free and fair election, yet millions of people, who have been blindly following Trump, seem to believe his disgusting lies. He has been purposely spewing out these false claims of fraud, getting his followers angrier and angrier, as he has tried to stop Biden from becoming President. Trump has become dangerously unstable, unhinged, and obsessed with the election which has culminated in his inciting an angry mob to storm the US Capitol Building. Think about that. The President of the United States incited a mob to assault the Capitol Building. The clear intent of the insurrection was to try to interfere with Congressional certification of Joe Biden’s victory. The horrendously undemocratic and frankly unAmerican effort failed, for Congress reconvened within hours and finished it’s Constitutionally mandated duty. Joe Biden will be inaugurated on January 20th as President of the United States. Now the question is what to do about Trump. In my opinion Trump’s behavior has been so clearly unstable and wrong on so many levels that he should be removed from office as soon as possible. Since voluntary resignation almost certainly will not happen, I feel that it’s time for Vice President Pence and the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove Trump from office for being unfit to serve. Unfortunately, since the Cabinet is full of Trump loyalists who have been going along with and enabling Trump’s terrible behavior for a long time, it doesn’t appear likely that enough of them will the courage to do the right thing. That leaves Impeachment. It looks like this will happen quickly in the House of Representatives. And Trump must be held accountable. The problem is that Mitch McConnell is most likely not going to call the Senate back to session early. As a result, the Senate wouldn’t be able to even start a trial until the day before the Presidential inauguration of Joe Biden. Once Biden is in office, he understandably wants to immediately start dealing with important legislation, such as getting economic relief to the country and organizing a national strategy to fight COVID-19. A Senate trial right after the inauguration would delay such action. Plus, there is the concern about whether enough Republican Senators have the guts to be willing to vote to convict. One option would be to delay a Senate trial for a few months. This would let Biden and Congress focus on immediate issues that need to be dealt with as soon as possible. It would also allow more thorough investigations to occur into what happened, including the events leading up to the attack. A big positive of Trump being successfully convicted would be preventing him from running for office ever again. But would enough Republican Senators be willing to convict Donald Trump. We are going through unprecedented times. I truly hope Donald Trump is held responsible for his horrendous and disgusting actions in attacking our democracy. It is also time for people, who have been following Donald Trump, to open their eyes and recognize how bad, undemocratic, and unAmerican he is.