Uncommon Sense

July 21, 2022

Why the Secret Service Text Messages Disappeared

Really, it has nothing to do with the Secret Service. The pivotal moment was when Vice President Pence’s security detail hustled him away from the mob to a safer location in the Capitol building on January 6th during the insurrection. The head of the VP’s security directed the VP to get into a waiting car. Mr. Pence said: “I am not getting into that car. I know you, but I don’t know them (apparently referring to the driver and other agents).”

So, the VP waited out the crisis and when the mob dispersed, he went back into chambers and completed his task, being the presiding officer over the electoral college vote count.

Imagine what would have happened if the VP had gotten into the car and it had whisked him away to a “safe house” (or worse, to a shallow grave near the Potomac). Lacking its presiding officer the meeting would have been effectively canceled, at least for the day. Or the Vice-chair could have stepped in to do Trump’s bidding.

So, why did the text messages disappear?

Those messages would have clearly indicated from whom the order to evacuate the VP came. If that person were the President or someone closely working with the President, well you can imagine the conclusions that might be drawn.

So, when did the text messages all “disappear”? It was before January 20th when the Biden Administration took over, so all of the actors were linked to the Trump administration. Knowing that the Secret Service agents would not lie under oath, they effected a “technology glitch” that resulted in all of the records of the texts sent on January 5/6 to be deleted. This would not prevent the Jan 6th Committee from subpoenaing the Secret Service Agents involved, but it would delay them, possibly beyond the tenure of any Congressional Committee or Department of Justice investigation (still hypothetical at that date).

June 21, 2022

Ex-President “Mafia Don” Trump

I was watching the Congressional hearings into the Attack on the Capitol on January 6th, 2021 today. I had some revelations.

One is that there are a great many honest, good, hard-working public servants out there, trying to do a good job for the rest of us. This is one reason I bristle when people attack “the government” as if it were some sort of alien attack force. It isn’t. It is just “us, aka We the People, acting collectively.” If it is not behaving as we would wish, it is up to us to correct those behaviors as they are representing us.

Republicans have countered that these hearings are partisan and, well, they are. So far, we seem to have heard the testimony of only Republicans. Definitely not fair and balanced. And, I do notice that none of the “push back” by Republicans consists of them claiming the facts are wrong or “President Trump didn’t do that,” or really anything of substance.

I was especially appalled at the Trump apparatus giving out the names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses of many of the state officials they were trying to subvert, including lowly poll workers. In one case, they gave out this sensitive information for the grandmother of one such poll worker. The 70+ year-old grandmother then receive threats from armed thugs at her front door and received a great many spurious pizza deliveries during the night that she didn’t order. What did Mr. Trump and his goons think was going to happen when they gave out that information? Did they expect deliveries of Girl Scout cookies? I think they knew exactly the kind of harassment that would flow out toward those people, which makes Mafia Don Trump and his minions the most despicable of people.

The committee also played excerpts of Mr. Trump haranguing state election officials in a manner that sounded as if he were auditioning for an acting job on the Sopranos reboot. What a thug.

July 18, 2021

What Did He Know and When Did He Know It?

Filed under: Politics,The Law — Steve Ruis @ 10:17 am
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The leaking of the Kremlin Papers shows that Russia actively tried to nudge Mr. Trump over the finish line in his first presidential contest. (Whether they did or did not has yet to be proven.) My initial suspicions were that Trump was ignorant of these attempts to secure him the presidency, because Mr. Trump has shown himself to be ignorant of almost everything.

But Mr. Trump’s obsequiousness toward Vladimir Putin is hard to explain otherwise. In business Mr. Trump’s persona is that he is the biggest bully on the block or the whole city if you wanted to know. So, to be in character, Mr. Trump should have been chesty with Mr. Putin. Yet his persona was that of an underling toward a mafia don.

So, the big question is: what did he know about these Russian efforts and when did he know it. If he knew of them before his election and did nothing, he has committed treason. If he knew about them after his election and said nothing, which his ego would propel him to do, then he is guilty of several felonies. His ego, of course, would require that he won that election because he was Donald Fucking Trump, a proven winner, don’t you know.

His obsequious behavior toward Putin was a stupid move either way, because it created doubts in people’s minds as being otherwise inexplicable. Remember when we were trying to figure out what hold Putin had over Trump? Mr. Trump would have been better off posturing (chest beating, etc.; he knows the drill) in public and going “wink, wink, nudge, nudge, know what I mean” in private with Mr. Putin. Putin would have understood, as he was getting exactly what he wanted in either case.

So, what did Mr. Trump know about these Russian efforts and when did he know it?

January 14, 2021

Of Coyotes and QAnon

Filed under: Politics — Steve Ruis @ 11:41 am
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After getting over my shock at the insurrection in the Capitol building a week ago, I called for people to pour over any photos and videos to see if they could identify any of the miscreants and get them rounded up by the authorities. Even Republicans believe in personal responsibility.

Little did I know or even think that selfsame miscreants would post their videos and selfies on the Internet. What idiots.

So, I hope this idiots will be rounded up and prosecuted . . . and . . . well the process tends to weed out the idiots. When the more easily identified and prosecuted go down, they are replaced by those with more competence.

I am reminded of coyotes. Coyotes? Yep. Ranchers in the west were tired of losing livestock to coyotes and got a federal bounty put on their heads. Wipe them out, they demanded. And so bounties were placed and guns started blazing away. The net result? As you would expect. The dumbest, less wily coyotes (sorry I couldn’t resist) got killed off first, so the others were harder to find. And whenever pressure like that is applied to a population, it moves. You can now find coyotes in 49 of the 50 states, prior to which they were confined to the western US states. You can even find them in cities, like Boston, and my home city, Chicago.

So, this “insurrection,” as cartoonish as it appears now, will be less so the next time, and less so after that. We are not out of the water yet as we have allowed a large right-wing minority to build up steam right out in the open. Soon they will be far less visible.

Sun Tzu said “that which you oppose you make stronger,” and someone much wiser than I said that “the cost of liberty is eternal vigilance.”

February 21, 2014

If You Accept What They Believe . . .

If, as Young Earth Creationists believe, the Earth is only about 6000 years old as indicated by their Holy Bible, then certain questions need to be addressed. For one, why does the Bible not mention dinosaurs?

Where are the battles between the courageous Hebrews and the Velociraptors? I am not talking about vague references to monsters in “Revelations,” c’mon. If I were to be in the close proximity of several tons of man rending dinosaur with all of its shit running down your leg adrenaline, I think I could describe that encounter with a few more definitive terms, that is if I survived. If I didn’t, wouldn’t my mates have a story about the “monster that ate Steve?”

Think about the sheer number and variety of dinosaur species that we have discovered and not a single one of them gets mentioned in scripture. Forget about all the camels mentioned in the Bible when there were no camels in Palestine, where are the fucking dinosaurs?

I know that many in the “God did it” crowd will say that God is so powerful he created the fossils of dinosaurs when he created the Earth. That’s effing brilliant; why would God deliberately mislead his people? Did he lay a trap for all of the pointy-headed intellectuals to stub their intellectual toes upon? Why would he not just leave them out?

If you do accept for a minute any of these foolish contentions, you are immediately thrust down a rabbit hole into some kind of Conservative Wonderland.

You may wonder what this has to do with Class Warfare. Well, the answer is simple: Republicans are putting people with such beliefs in important positions in Congress and state environmental agencies. People who can support such beliefs simultaneously with the findings of modern science can believe anything, which is exactly what the corporate plutocrats want. “We can burn all of the fossil fuels we want, Climate change is a hoax; in fact the ‘fact’ that fossil fuels are a limited resource is a hoax.” If you don’t think this is part of a plan of the plutocrats to provide themselves free sway in however they want to make their next billion dollars, think again. They didn’t create Young Earth Creationism, but they certainly have a use for it.

May 28, 2012

Is This Treason?

Filed under: Politics — Steve Ruis @ 12:31 pm
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Imagine that a foreign power has sent undercover agents into the U.S. to undermine our faith in our government and to foment unrest, a Fifth Column, as it were. These agents are clever and effective. They encourage local, state, and federal agencies to overspend their budgets, thus putting us all in very difficult positions when emergencies occur. They undermine people’s belief that government is even acting on their behalf. They actively disenfranchise people so they cannot vote against their plans. And they demonize anyone who opposes their dastardly programs. They receive almost unlimited funds to perform their actions from sources almost impossible to trace.

If caught, those agents would face the death penalty. Any U.S. citizen abetting the actions of those agents would be committing treason or, at least, sedition, crimes also including the possibility of the death penalty.

But, what if those agents weren’t foreign, what if they were members of, say, the Communist Party, USA? Would their actions then be legal or even acceptable? I think not.

What if those agents were members of a major political party?

All of the things described above are being done by the GOP. When the Democrats took over the House of Representatives during the most recent Bush Administration, the approval rating of Congress was 43%. Now it hovers around 11%. The GOP has frequently cut taxes without cutting spending and spent gigantic sums on wars without paying for them which creates budget deficits and debt that makes us indebted to foreign countries and in a position where we cannot respond flexibly to emergencies. The GOP has encouraged an attitude of disdain for poor people, the unemployed, and people of color thus alienating those people from their government. Republicans have repeatedly diminished the control of women over their own bodies. Republican officials have recommended investigating Congress for un-American activities. Republican officials repeatedly spread untruths about the strength of the nation.

Need I go on?

Is this treason? Even if not, should it be condoned?

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