Sowing Seeds

 “Keep on sowing your seed.
For you never know
which will grow. 
Perhaps it all will.”
Albert Einstein

Most of my fellow Blogaholics are too young to remember one of this countries scariest early domestic terrorist and dangerous white supremacist, Charles Manson.

Manson was an American criminal and cult leader. Early in 1967, he formed what became known as the “Manson Family”, a quasi-commune based in California. His followers, not him personally, committed a series of nine murders in 1969. The motive for the murders was intended to start a race war.

Another well-known supremacist was leader, David Eden Lane. In March 1985 Lane was arrested in Winston-Salem, N.C., and charged with conspiracy and racketeering, along with 22 other members of The Order, a white supremacist terrorist organization also known as The Silent Brotherhood, or Bruders Schweigen. The charges were for The Order’s 1984 machine-gun assassination of a Jewish talk radio host in Denver, Alan Berg, and its robbery of $3.6 million from an armored car in Ukiah, Calif.

Lane was caught only after the FBI arrested Order member Tom Martinez, who became an informant as part of his plea bargain. This was the first step in the FBI takedown, known as “Operation Clean Sweep,” that landed most members of The Order in prison and effectively ended the organization’s criminal activities.

Lane was additionally accused in 1987, of violating Berg’s civil rights by helping to assassinate him, a federal charge. Lane was also charged with sedition, conspiracy and civil rights violations in what was widely known as the “Fort Smith  sedition trial.” Thirteen other prominent white supremacists were also charged in a conspiracy to overthrow the government that allegedly ran between July 1983 and March 1985.

While both Manson and Lane did not pull the trigger, prosecutors said they played a large role in the planning of the murders they had committed by their followers.

White supremacy is not new to our nation. It has dominated in this country both before and after the American Civil War and continues today. Since the first white supremacist group, the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) in 1865, the United States has an expansive list of the different types of racial elitist groups operating in the U.S.

Some academics argue that outcomes from the 2016 United States Presidential Election reflect ongoing challenges with white supremacy. As of 2018, there are over 600 white supremacy organizations recorded in this country.

Christopher A. Wray, the head of the FBI said on July 23, 2019 at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing that the agency had made around 100 domestic terrorism arrests since October 1, 2018, and that the majority of them were connected in some way with white supremacy. 

In an October 2020 assessment by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf declared that white supremacist violent extremists “have been exceptionally lethal in their abhorrent, targeted attacks in recent years.”

What we witnessed on January 6th is laden with white supremacists. Rioters wearing shirts with, “Camp Auschwitz and 6MWNE” which is a cry from racists, 6 MILLION DEAD JEWS WAS NOT ENOUGH. Hats and banners with these slogans are proof of white supremacists.

Not all Republicans and Trump supporters are white supremacist. In my point of view, all of the violent MAGA people at the capital attack are full blown white supremacists. These MAGA people stated clearly by carrying their confederate flags and confirming their white supremacy wearing proudly their merchandise with racists slogans.

Now, Republicans such as Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) were among the politicians to spread the baseless conspiracy theory as well as their leader President Trump are attempting to pin the blame on Antifa and other radical organizations. The FBI has stated emphatically that there is NO EVIDENCE Antifa was involved in the Capital Attacks.

For centuries, leaders around the world have affirmed, the swiftest way to bring down a country is to divide the country. The act of dividing potential allies and communities who could come together to rise up is one of the oldest and most effective tricks in the book. A key tool for countering such tactics is learning from the stories of how previous organizations and coalitions have avoided the pitfalls of divide and conquer.

Divide and conquer is a strategy used by the oppressors to break down the relationships and unity between subjugated (often racial) groups struggling for justice, freedom, and liberation, in order to maintain the status quo.

Often tactics used to divide and conquer is creating a narrative that blames each group for the other group’s problems. This works to foster mistrust amongst groups and to cloud the systematic inequalities of white supremacy, capitalism, and patriarchy.

Bribery is another tactic. This works to align some groups with the elite over other subjugated groups. The resources offered are never close to the original goals of the movement.

While all this violence and chaos ensues in the country, Trump continues to do what he has done since elected, which is to try to divide and conquer Americans for cynical gain. It’s all about winning, and everything else be damned.  Over the past five years, he has sown the seeds of racism, xenophobia, and religious bigotry. Everybody knows it, even his most staunch supporters who showed up at his January 6th political event to provoke violence. As long as he is standing in front of his adoring followers, where he can spew his special kind of wink and nod, dog whistle, cultural political rhetoric, he is fine.

I challenge our Republican representatives to name one thing Trump has done to unite the country. 

There is no denying, Trump has laid bare to all of us, who and what he embodies. Trump has yet to denounce what his MAGA people did January 6th. Trump may not have pulled the trigger that killed people during the raid on the Capital, he may not have used exact words to attack the Capital, but his support to MAGA people was loud and clear. To ensue violence and stop the confirmation of our election of our new president because in his words, it was stolen from him.

Trump has been placing a wedge between this country for over five years. A wedge that divides republicans from democrats. That divides race and religion and most importantly a wedge that attempted to divide our beliefs in our democratic society.

Ironically, Tuesday Trump held a political rally in Alamo, Texas to celebrate the “Trump Wall” he created. He bragged how successful his presidency was in building this wall.

I find it extremely telling that Trump chose his wall as his legacy. A wall to divide people. How ironic it is that days before he leaves office we have a new wall. A wall around all of our Capital buildings to protect our democracy not from foreign extremists but from homeland radicals.

Trump must be held accountable for what he has done to this country. Just like Manson and Lane, he has done damage without physically causing violence, deaths, division and threatening our democracy, but by sowing seeds.

 Shine On

Heal and Recover

“Once you choose hope, anything’s possible.” 
Christopher Reeve

On Monday morning I watched the ESPN news from our Capital. Washington DC Mayor, Muriel Elizabeth Bowser answered questions regarding the attempted take-over of the capital. She sadly reported how many of the capital police officers that had served our nation in the war in Iraq had stated they were more fearful of their lives on January 6th then when serving in Iraq. These veterans also told of their experiences of protests in other countries and never believed they would see similar violence in our country by its own people.

Men carrying weapons and zip ties into our Capital are not there to take friendly selfies of the Capital with our representatives.

Our previous Republican and Democratic President’s condone Trump and his incitement to cause violence. I can’t comprehend how anyone believes what these people did when storming, killing and violently attempting to take-over our capital was okay.

Later this morning, to add more salt to the wound, I read that some House Republicans sent essentially an extortion letter to Joe Biden asking him to get Nancy Pelosi to back off. “A presidential impeachment should not occur in the heat of the moment, but rather after great deliberation,” they said. Adding that “impeachment would undermine Biden’s priority of unifying Americans, and would be a further distraction to our nation at a time when millions of our fellow citizens are hurting because of the pandemic and the economic fallout.”

Vice President Pence late Tuesday evening, stated in a letter to Pelosi that he would not invoke the 25th Amendment. He does not believe that such a course of action is in the best interest of our Nation or consistent with our Constitution.

Pence continued to say he “did not yield to pressure to exert power beyond my constitutional authority to determine the outcome of the election” last week, referring to when he oversaw the congressional tally of Electoral College ballots. Mr. Trump had falsely claimed that Pence had the power to reject Electoral College results from certain states.

“I will not now yield to efforts in the House of Representatives to play political games at a time so serious in the life of our Nation,” Pence said.

He also wrote, “the country needed to focus on the orderly transition of power and healing as a nation in the wake of last week’s attacks. I urge you and every member of Congress to avoid actions that would further divide and inflame the passions of the moment.”

My point of view is, Vice President Pence’s decision is no surprise. House Representatives and especially Trump, don’t give a rat’s ass about the people. All they care about is legal consequences from their actions and possible jail time.

As more and more large business pull their PAC money from Republicans and Trump affiliates, this will highly influence the Republicans decision to vote to remove the President from office. These two issues of jail time and money tells a great deal about our Representatives.

Our government leaders should be less concerned about the timing and more about their commitment to convicting a president who has lied about voter fraud, attempted to intimate and coerce government officials to flip the vote and incited violence which caused deaths. I want to believe that these Republicans have more to offer the republic than disloyalty, sabotage and treason.

My hope is that we can have open discussions without violence and hate. This country has a great deal of healing to take place. However, I believe without accountability for the actions from the perpetrators and our leaders who fed the fire of January 6th, there will be no healing. Healing not only from the Coronavirus but from the inflammation caused by lies, mistrusts and conspiracy theories.

We have been a dysfunctional family of people for a very long time. But, just like any dysfunctional person, we must be honest and we must admit we are dysfunctional before we can heal and recover.

Shine On

Get Away With Treason

“Treason seldom dwells with courage.”
Sir Walter Scott

Videos, cell phone footage and security images have been surfacing of the capital building attempted take-over. These images of MAGA Mania/Mobocracy are as shocking and horrific as the images of airplanes flown into buildings on 9/11.

The violence to police by these Trump gangsters, made me sick to my stomach. One news cast in particular of Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, made me angrier than I thought possible. In Hogan’s press conference January 7th, visibly shaken, he reported how his request for Maryland’s National Guard to come to the rescue of our capital was delayed by 1.5 hours. Why?  Because he couldn’t get approval from President Trump to send help.

As the country grapples with the severity of what happened January 6, 2021, just less than one week into our New Year, our representatives are working to get Trump either removed from office via impeachment or by using Amendment 25.

If President Trump is impeached or removed from office, he will continue to receive his Presidential salary, health benefits, paid office space expenses, reimbursement for moving and most importantly a lifetime of Secret Service protection. There is no cap on any of these reimbursement amounts.

Throughout Donald Trump’s presidency, the 25th Amendment and impeachment has come up again and again as a possible means of removing Trump. His behavior his entire life as well as his business dealings have always been in question. He treated the American people and our constitution no different than he conducts his businesses, with bankruptcies, conflicts of interest, lies, fraud, misleading product information, mistreating employees, manipulating accounts and bribery just to name a few.

In the more than 50 years since the Constitution was amended to create a way to remove a president unable to do his job, the process has never been triggered. The only time in history Amendment 25 was used, is 2002 when President George W. Bush temporarily transferred power to Vice President Dick Cheney while Bush was anesthetized for a colonoscopy. Other than that instance, Section 4 of the amendment, which allow the cabinet to declare the president unfit, has never been invoked.

On the other hand, if Trump is found guilty of treason he could be sentenced to death.

The story of treason and attempts to overthrow the government or to aid our enemies, is nothing less than the story of America itself. Treason is a capital offense and routinely described as the highest crime in American law, worse even than murder. 

January 6th insurgence was an absolute first for this country in over two centuries. We cannot deny that it was a legitimate attempt to overthrow our democratic voting system as well as our government. All the participants, especially Trump, should be convicted and stripped of their USA citizenship especially their voting privileges.

Yet, why is no one talking about treason? The Federal Judicial Center states:

“In the Crimes Act of 1790, Congress created the first comprehensive list of federal offenses, naming 23 separate crimes. Although seven of the listed offenses, including treason, murder, and piracy, were punishable by death, the Act represented a move away from the colonial-era tendency to make the death penalty mandatory for all serious crimes.”

This weekend, one of my fellow Blogoholic’s posted an excellent post, Treason With a Capital Trump. I highly suggest reading Austin’s post.

No president has ever been convicted of treason, so there is no precedent. I couldn’t find any information about what benefits would be stripped from the president if convicted of treason. There have been few actual treason prosecutions under the U.S. Constitution, and only one person, Hipolito Salazar, from the Mexican-American War was executed for treason under federal authority.

We all know, we are living in times that have never been experienced in this country. With that in mind, my point of view is we must think about how we react to a government and president who blatantly treats its people and values with disrespect and dishonor.

Trump’s conduct has been far beyond the bounds of normal presidential behavior and he may have betrayed the country. But, nothing Trump has done, or is alleged to have done has risen to the level of treason as a matter of criminal law until now. 

Our allies look up to America. January 6th broke the image of how other countries perceive us. Russia, China and North Korea commented on the capital coup immediately.  These countries made it clear to their people how democracy can’t and doesn’t work.

If America wants to be respected leaders of democracy throughout the world, we must show that we will not allow anyone, whether he’s an elected official, a citizen and especially a president, get away with treason.

Shine On

Coup d’état

“Most of wars or military coups or
invasions are done in the name
of democracy against democracy.”
Eduardo Galeano

After Wednesday’s attempt by gansta-Trump and his gang members to perform a coup d’état, I ask myself, how did this happen? I’m shocked, but not really that surprised.

On numerous occasions we were warned by Mary Trump about the possible attempts that her uncle would partake to stay as President. We ignored all the telltale signs of his maniacal personality and mental instability. Point of fact, we have been living in Trump’s world for the last four years.

As I watched the takeover of the Capital Building, I felt like I was watching a 2021 bad version of Diehard the movie. But, there was one thought that crossed my mind as I watched the violence unfold and witnessed government officials huddled and petrified on the floor of the Senate room. How apropos that some of these representatives, who had looked away at the violence when 20 first-graders were shot to pieces at Sandy Hook Elementary School, were now experiencing what thousands of our children felt when they were in lockdown after an active shooter was at their school.

These same representatives looked away from the Coronavirus which has killed over 373,584 US citizens as of January 7, 2021. They looked away when it came to helping Americans who lost family members, medical insurance and jobs. They looked away when BLM supporters marched throughout the country for equality. They looked away from senseless violence and death in this country.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
vetos 2019 bill to expand background
checks for gun purchases.

For the last five years, Trump has endorsed violence against political enemies and to anyone who was not as he perceived, on his side. In each case, his Republicans/followers never blamed Trump for his insidious behavior. Instead, they took refuge using the Second Amendment. When Trump inspired violence would  occur, these same Republicans would go on to say, this is the price of our freedom. Truth be told, many of Trump’s government appointees, celebrity backers and business associates are guilty of giving oxygen to his fire.

It’s a well-known fact, that people never change until they experience something personal to themselves. It took a coup d’état by our own President and his gangster followers to wake people up. What’s disturbing, is some still support the President as I write this post.

While we all watched in horror Wednesday, we were not the only ones watching. The entire world was watching along with us. As a country and as its people, we have humiliated and embarrassed ourselves, to say the least, by what this country has become. Let’s face it people, this is us. This is America. This is what we’ve become. But, I believe we have reached that tipping point where change for the better begins.

January 6, 2021s insurgence was an absolute first for this country in over two centuries. We cannot cast-off that it was a legitimate attempt to overthrow our democratic voting system.

It all began after news broke that the two democratic candidates had won the Senate runoff races in Georgia. Early Wednesday morning after that news broke, a pro-Trump rally in front of the White House by Trump and his supporters was taking place. Trump incited his followers to march to the Capital in protest. Meanwhile, as Vice President Pence was presiding in the chamber over the electoral final count, Trump follower’s broke windows and stormed the Capital, causing numerous deaths, damage, violence as well as terrorizing police. These rioters were brazened enough to actually break into the Senate chambers, congressional members offices, while taking selfies and stealing laptops, government documents and souvenirs. The aftermath left five people dead and many injured, mostly law enforcement.

The overall scene from yesterday, was a legitimate coup attempt by Trump and his supporters. The power of the Presidency is the power to inspire and/or to incite. There is no denying that Trump has been inciting violence with his lies and talk of conspiracy about the 2020 election process. The buck begins and ends with Trump and his Republican enablers. Not to mention the police who fled the scene when the rioters broke into the Capital building. All these people should be punished and  held accountable for their actions and lack of actions.

The big question today is, what is going to be done to these criminals and most importantly their leader, President Trump?

There is talk by our leaders both democrats and some republicans, to immediately remove Trump from office using the 25th Amendment or by impeachment. He only has 12 more days in office. But, as we’ve seen in the past, he can do a great deal of damage to this country in less than 24 hours.

In this Blogaholic’s point of view, I say enough is enough, is enough! To prevent Trump from inflicting any more deaths and damage to this country, we must not only remove him from office, but also try him as a criminal. This country has sufficient evidence on his blood-stained hands to convict him as well as remove his title as the 45th President.

The US Law reads: For a seditious conspiracy or Coup d’état charge to be affected, a crime need only be planned if two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.

Twenty years sounds like an extremely tolerant sentence for Trump and his gang members. Some countries would behead a leader who instigated such a Coup d’état.

Shine On

NOTE: I’m not a big fan of Mary Trump, but her insights into her Uncle Donald are chilling.

Emulate Your Example

“When you get, give.
When you learn, teach.”
 Maya Angelou

I received an email from a friend, with these words of wisdom for the coming year:

“For each of us, eventually, whether we are ready or not, someday, it will come to an end.

There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours, or days. All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten, will pass to someone else. Your wealth, fame, and temporal power, will shrivel to irrelevance.

It will not matter what you owned, or owed. Your grudges, resentments, frustrations, and jealousies will finally disappear. So, too, your hopes, ambitions, plans and to do lists, will expire.

The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away. It won’t matter where you came from or on what side of the tracks you lived at the end. It won’t matter if you are beautiful or brilliant. Even your gender and skin color will be irrelevant.

So, what will matter? How will the value of your days be measured?

What will matter is not what you bought, but what you built. Not what you got, but what you gave. What will matter is not your success, but your significance. What will matter is not what you learned, but what you taught.

What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage, or sacrifice that enriched, empowered, or encouraged others to emulate your example.”

 Shine On