Archive for January, 2021

THE BIG LIE

Posted on 01/19/2021. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: |

WAR IS PEACE FREEDOM IS SLAVERY

IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

George Orwell, from the book 1984

Repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth, is a law of propaganda: Attributed to the Nazi Joseph Goebbels

President Trump is known for lying. Fact Check clocked him with over twenty thousand lies during his four year term as president. The country became accustomed to the lying, expected it and factored that into the information they were getting from the President. Things like “up is down” or “two plus two is five”. Annoying but little harm done.

That is until the BIG LIE, the lie that he had won the 2020 election in a landslide and it had been stolen from him. The building of the BIG LIE began in the summer of 2020 when Trump proclaimed there was no way he could lose the election except by fraud or cheating by the Democrats. The main culprit of election fraud would be mail in voting. This set up the notion that regardless of the outcome of the election, Trump would remain in the White House for another four years.

According to the election preliminary results, Biden did win the election convincingly so Trump moved to plan B of the BIG LIE. Plan B was devoted to lawsuits charging fraud and illegal actions by state authorities. Over sixty lawsuits were filed. One minor lawsuit concerning voter monitors that didn’t affect the vote count was won by Trump lawyers.

Having not convinced the courts, including the Supreme Court, that there were no irregularities or fraud that would affect the outcome, Trump went to plan C, which were attempts to change the Electoral College results. He made calls to state officials in several states and implored them to change the states electoral votes to favor him without meaningful success. During this time Trump in an hour long recorded phone call with Georgia officials, asked, pleaded and threatened them to come up with enough votes for him to win the Georgia vote. It was the only authenticated case of fraud in the 2020 election.

Plan C was not successful so Trump went to plan D, which was an attempt to dispute the certification of the electoral votes of certain states by congress on January 6, 2021. Over a hundred Republican representatives and ten Republican Senators pledged to support Trump’s dispute of the certification of the electoral votes. That was a significant number of legislators but not enough to change the results. This would have caused hours of meaningless debate but not the outcome.

As a last ditch effort, a rally to occur near the White House on the morning of January 6, 2021 was promoted where the president, a member of his family, Giuliani, and others spoke, amplifying the BIG LIE, exhorting the crowd to march on the Capital where congress was in the progress of certifying the election.

The aroused crowd dutifully marched to the Capital of the United States of America, found it surprisingly accessible, broke in and took possession of the building. The members of congress, the Vice President and staff were able to take cover, and avoid being harmed by the mob. The mob continued occupation of the capital for hours during of the afternoon of January 6, 2021. Finally enough security personal were able to assemble to clear the mob from the capitol building. During the afternoon the president watched the carnage on TV and did nothing; not unlike Nero being properted to have played a fiddle as he watched Rome burn.

That was when the bubble that had been the BIG LIE burst. This had not been one of those inconsequential lies. The BIG LIE threatened the United States democratic form of government, it’s constitution.

What I don’t understand is how so many public figures, such as legislators, can condemn the mob take over the capital, and still support the BIG LIE. Neither do I understand why so many of the general public continue to believe the BIG LIE. Do they really believe it? Do they not believe it, but want to believe it? Do they profess to believe it because of peer pressure or to maintain a good standing with people in authority or with people who can help or harm them financially or physically?

I don’t know the answer to those questions but I do believe our democracy is worth doing whatever has to be done to preserve it. As Churchill is credited with saying, “Democracy is the worst form of government possible except for all others.”

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Good Bye 2020

Posted on 01/05/2021. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: |

What happened this past year? More than I can describe in a reasonable long post.

The year began with the Trump impeachment trial, which he shook off with the help of a Republican majority in the Senate. His followers loved it.

Then there was the COVID-19 pandemic. Weren’t we lucky? There have been generations of humans who never get to experience a pandemic. Unfortunately, our nation, the richest and technically capable nation on the earth, suffered more cases and deaths, per capita that any other advanced country. This wasn’t a lack of capability; it was the result of inept leadership at the national level. We could write this off because of our form of government, a democracy where everyone has an opinion. This makes coordinated national effort difficult. I happen to have lived during WWII, when the nation did pull together as one.  During the Cold War there was a bipartisan effort for twenty years, with both Republican and Democratic administrations having the same goals and winning that conflict. Another example was the moon landing, conceived and achieved in ten years as planned with bipartisanship cooperation.  

George Floyd’s death resulting from police action caused a summer of protests.  For reasons not fully clear, the protests escalated and become national and racially neutral. The protesters were a mix of every ethnicity and with many marchers in smaller cities being predominantly white. There were counter marchers, which in many cases resulted in conflict and became riots. Intended peaceful marches turned to looting and became riots. The effort was politicized and made the nations divisions even deeper. It will take bipartisan efforts to bring the country together on this issue.  

While all this was going on the Covid-19 cases ebbed and flowed in the United States. It was never brought under control. There was the initial peak during the early spread of the virus, a slowdown, then a late summer peak, another slowdown soon followed by a fall peak that exceeded any of the previous highs.

Number of patients hospitalized 2020

I had relaxed my isolation during the late summer, with outdoor Sunday dinners with my youngest son’s family and having friends and relatives visit my condo where we would have patio lunches occasionally. This stopped in November in account of the weather and rising cases of the virus in Minnesota. I have since been isolating with only food and prescription runs. I had been getting my hair cut during the summer but discontinued that in early November.  My plan to avoid haircuts until vaccinated may be in question because of the slow rollout of vaccinations. Sometimes being bald has advantages.

In Need of a Haircut

Of course, there were the elections. All summer Trump had been suggesting there would be cheating, fraud, scams because of early absentee voting and other reasons. He could only lose because of fraud and cheating by the Democrats. Otherwise there would be no other way he could lose.  

Trump did lose but there has been no evidence that the loss was due to cheating or fraud of any kind that would have influenced the outcome.  Since Biden has been declared the winner, Trump has gone apoplectic and has gone to the courts sixty times, claiming fraud, irregularities, losing every case at every level in the justice system but one, a minor case about toll watchers. The only significant verified attempted fraud. cheating that has turned up is a phone call Trump made to a Georgia official where he suggested, begged, exhorted the official to come up with enough votes to change the outcome of the Georgia general election.

I have been around for a while and have not seen anything like what has occurred in this last election. It has been equivalent to a fantasy story or movie.  

Another occurrence during 2020 was my ninety third birthday, something that should not have happened.  I say this because no uncles on my paternal or maternal side, and there were a bunch of them, that had reached ninety. It is not in my DNA. A problem with growing old is that the body doesn’t work as well as it once did and it’s a one-way street. I didn’t take any prescription medication until I was eighty-six and now I take a handful.  

2021 HERE WE COME, READY OR NOT

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