Sedition and other high crimes

“loser of the year”

fomenting violenceThe fact that the Supreme Court, as expected, rejected that absurd Texas lawsuit doesn’t fill me with the joy that it should.

Of course, the attempt to overthrow Joe Biden’s election victory was bogus. It is, presumably, again and yet again, the “end of the road” for the crusade to overturn the election. But America lost anyway.

His angry mob supporters spark terrorism fears. When he levels threats at the Republican Attorney General in Georgia, his rabid fans take him literally. “Brad Raffensperger… and his wife have received death threats, including by text message, and caravans have circled their house.”

People just trying to do their jobs

And, per a list from the New York Times:

* Dozens of his supporters, some armed, went to the home of Jocelyn Benson, Michigan’s Democratic secretary of state, and began shouting obscenities.

* On Twitter, his supporters have posted photographs of the home of Ann Jacobs, a Wisconsin official, and mentioned her children.

* In Phoenix, about 100 of his supporters, some armed, protested at the building where officials were counting votes.

* In Vermont, officials received a voice message threatening them with “execution by firing squad.”

* Seth Bluestein, a Philadelphia official, received anti-Semitic and violent threats after Pam Bondi, the former Florida Attorney General and ally of IMPOTUS, publicly mentioned him.

* A Georgia poll worker went into hiding after a viral video falsely claimed he had discarded ballots.

Reality?

* Gabriel Sterling, another Georgia official, received a message wishing him a happy birthday and saying it would be his last. In a later interview with Time magazine, Sterling argued that elected politicians could defuse the threats by acknowledging that the election was fair. “Leadership is supposed to look like grown-ups in the room saying, ‘I know you’re upset, but this is the reality.'”

The reality, of course, is not the intent of the “reality” star. It appears to be to foment the violence, and he has succeeded. I agree with the official who worries, “I don’t know how this ends without violence and death.”

And I lay it at the feet of the guy who said, both in 2016 and 2020, long before the votes were counted, that if he didn’t win, the elections must have been rigged. So only one-quarter of Republicans believe Biden actually won.

High crimes

These 40 days of denial and disinformation got me to look at 18 USC Ch. 115: TREASON, SEDITION, AND SUBVERSIVE ACTIVITIES. It’s odd because it is the presumed, albeit outgoing, HEAD of the government that, one could argue is, per §2385, Advocating the overthrow of Government.

“Whoever knowingly or willfully advocates, abets, advises, or teaches the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying the government of the United States or the government of any State, Territory, District or Possession thereof, or the government of any political subdivision therein, by force or violence, or by the assassination of any officer of any such government; or

“Whoever, with intent to cause the overthrow or destruction of any such government, prints, publishes, edits, issues, circulates, sells, distributes, or publicly displays any written or printed matter advocating, advising, or teaching the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying any government in the United States by force or violence, or attempts to do so; or

Conspiracy

“Whoever organizes or helps or attempts to organize any society, group, or assembly of persons who teach, advocate, or encourage the overthrow or destruction of any such government by force or violence; or becomes or is a member of, or affiliates with, any such society, group, or assembly of persons, knowing the purposes thereof—

“Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both, and shall be ineligible for employment by the United States or any department or agency thereof, for the five years next following his conviction.”

One could – and I do – make the argument that in the words of Garry B. Trudeau, He’s “guilty, guilty, guilty.” I’m generally not a fan of sedition acts, as they almost always dampen free speech. But when actions by a soon-to-be-retired high-ranking government employee threaten the very fabric of democracy, I accept it.

Wusses

So why did 126 Republican members of Congress and about a dozen and a half state attorneys general sign on to this Supreme Court travesty? Fear of what he can do with that over $200 million that he has raised, ostensibly to fight the”rigged” election.

But he’ll have plenty of leftover cash. Those Republicans not toeing the orange line might get a well-funded primary challenge in 2022. He’s taking names, he said, like a demented Saint Nicholas, seeing who’s naughty or nice, to him.

Sometimes he tells the truth. Maybe he WILL start his own media company to take on the suddenly non-compliant FOX. This will give him the visibility for those other Republicans who want to make a 2024 White House run, that it’ll be an uphill climb.

Can’t win for losing

This week, the prominent German news magazine Der Spiegel named him its “loser of the year”. This happened the same day Time magazine named President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris its “Person of the Year.”

“In an article titled ‘Der Verlierer des Jahres…’ the publication’s Washington bureau chief Roland Nelles and Berlin-based correspondent Ralf Neukirch described him as a ‘man who … was never concerned with the common good, but always with one thing — himself.’

“Nothing is normal under him. He refuses to admit defeat. Instead, he speaks of massive electoral fraud, although there is no evidence for it. The whole thing is not surprising. His presidency ends as it began. Without decency and without dignity.”

I contend, though, that IMPOTUS has won. From that NYT:

His “attempts to overturn the election result are very unlikely to succeed. For that reason, the effort can sometimes seem like a publicity stunt — an effort… to raise money and burnish his image with his supporters.

“And it may well be all of those things. But it is also a remarkable campaign against American democracy. It has grown to include most Republican-run states, most Republican members of Congress, and numerous threats of violence. The new centerpiece in the effort is [that] lawsuit.” And the cowardly Republicans who signed on are “‘inflaming the public’, causing many voters to believe — wrongly — that a presidential election was unfair.”

If you Google 1918 Germany, you’ll find several references to one of the most disastrous political lies of the 20th century. “Powerful conservatives who led the country into war refused to accept that they had lost. Their denial gave birth to…the Dolchstosslegende, or stab-in-the-back myth.

“Its core claim was that Imperial Germany never lost World War I. Defeat, its proponents said, was declared but not warranted. It was a conspiracy, a con, a capitulation — a grave betrayal that forever stained the nation.” The “lies” were perpetrated by the liberals and the Jews. “That the claim was palpably false didn’t matter.” This is not a path the US should follow.

As my friend Alan notes, “He spends every day successfully sabotaging the institutions of our government, which means he is sabotaging the health and safety of every human being in the country. He is the greatest threat to the United States in its history.”

May rambling #1: The Case Against Reality

I had a terrible blogging April, but because I work ahead, it wasn’t always evident.

c 19651965 edition of “Our New Age”[/caption]

The Case Against Reality. A professor of cognitive science argues that the world is nothing like the one we experience through our senses.

Song Of My Self-Help: Follow Walt Whitman’s ‘Manly Health’ Tips, appearing in the Walt Whitman Quarterly Review. It was uncovered by a University of Houston student, and includes: “The beard is a great sanitary protection to the throat.”

The Neverending Workday – A pervasive cultural norm of work devotion leaves many employees with little time for family, friends, or sleep.

In rural Maine, a life of solitude and larceny. Police say the hermit stole to survive 27 years in the woods.

What Would Happen If We Just Gave People Money?

After ‘The Biggest Loser,’ Their Bodies Fought to Regain Weight. “Contestants lost hundreds of pounds during Season 8, but gained them back. A study of their struggles helps explain why so many people fail to keep off the weight they lose.”

United Methodist Church Requires Removal of Reference to LGBTQI Christians from Worship Greetings, and, reported the next day, United Methodist clergy come out as church conference begins.

HamiltonBurr

Transcending ignorance. Plus AmeriNZ weighs in, as does Funny or Die.

This isn’t just for me. It’s for everybody who needs a pep talk.

The smug style in American liberalism.

John Oliver: science reporting and Puerto Rico debt and cicadas.

Russian Insider Says State-Run Doping Fueled Olympic Gold.

Someone Put Bartolo Colon’s First Homer In The Natural, Where It Belongs.

Boston Globe: As great as David Ortiz is, Teddy Ballgame is still No. 1.

Free Comic Book Day isn’t free for everybody.

Morley Safer Stepping Down From ’60 Minutes’ After 46 Years.

President Obama delivered a commencement speech at Howard University.

WHCD: Barack Obama and Larry Wilmore. Plus An Obama Blooper Reel, from The White House Correspondents’ Association.

America operates under a crazy quilt of voting requirements, “with each state making its own laws for different populations and with challenges to those laws whipping back and forth through the courts. But if the primaries have frustrated the candidates, try being a voter in November.” Including New York.

Former NY State Assembly Speaker Sentenced to 12 Years in Prison. And former NY State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos sentenced to five years for corruption. Those were two of the three most powerful people in state government, along with Governor Andrew Cuomo.

MUSIC

First Listen: Bob Dylan, ‘Fallen Angels’.

Great audio/visual presentation of Billboard Top 10 songs from 1956 – 2016 (22,000 songs!)

Jaquandor: Music to write swashbucklers by.

Happy birthday to Reverend Gary Davis (April 30, 1896 – May 5, 1972) and James Brown (May 3, 1933 – December 25, 2006).

K Chuck Radio: Rare tracks.

Return of the Monkees and remembering Harry the Hipster Gibson.

What Have I Done to Deserve This? – Pet Shop Boys, with Dusty Springfield.

What does Becky mean? Here’s the history behind Beyoncé’s ‘Lemonade’ lyric that sparked a firestorm. (And me, nearly oblivious to it all.)

Keef cartoon: Nina Simone.

Local legend Ruth Pelham to close Music Mobile. Lack of funds leads the musician to close her beloved program.

Minnesota’s Broad Publicity Rights Law, The PRINCE Act, Is So Broad That It May Violate Itself.

GOOGLE alerts (me)

TWC Question Time #36: I Love You, But… Moments from your favorite comics characters you consider particularly embarrassing.

Arthur on the blog balance. I too had a terrible blogging April, but because I work ahead, it wasn’t always as evident. So we may be Blogging Twins™.

Dustbury is blogging. Chaz is my blogging hero.

AmeriNZ on Kasich dropping out of the presidential race and the REAL May Day.

Shooting Parrots is a grammar nerd.

Ted Cruz solicits me; no, that doesn’t sound right…

I goose Jaquandor; it was not painful.

Feel like getting real

I feel somehow out of touch with people glued to their tiny electronic devices, which wouldn’t be so bad except that they are, at the same time, totally oblivious to people around them.

Sometimes I feel out of sync with the culture. I couldn’t pick really put my finger on it until I read this B.A. Nilsson review of a David Bromberg show from November 9. It was less about the specific show, though.

“I have recordings galore at home, yet something magical continues to happen in that confluence of real-time happening and audience presence. By virtue of being in the house, emanating pleasure, we coax a better performance out of the band.

“And I’m here to tell the abundance of cell-phone wielding recordists that no crude video comes even close to the live experience. You’ll never be able to revisit it with as much excitement again, so you might as well keep the f****** things in your pockets. (But you won’t. You’re frightened of primary experiences. You might as well be having sex by mail.)”

It’s that I feel somehow out of touch with people glued to their tiny electronic devices, which wouldn’t be so bad except that they are, at the same time, totally oblivious to people around them. Did you ever listen to a guy speaking near you, and you think he’s talking to you, but he’s on some miniature phone?

I’m not some romantic looking for the days of hand-written letters, but I feel out of time sometimes. I NEED the “primary experiences that Nilsson is talking about. Seeing a concert in person, or watching a movie in a theater is preferable to me; the DVD or Netflix replay is just not the same.

That’s my thoughts at the close of the year 2012. Who knows how I’ll feel a year from now?
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We lost a lot of musicians that were part of groups & music we knew, but we may not have realized the artists were part of them.

Some of these really COULD make my life easier.

Yes, Arthur, I’m sure your mom WOULD be very proud of you.