A Modern Day Insurrection

Wednesday 06JAN2021 is a day to remember. Trump supporters took over the US Capitol Building disrupting the certification of the 2020 Presidential election. This is but just one outcome of Trump’s rhetoric for the past 6 years. The constant lies, the abuse of power, the grandstanding, the putdowns of opponents and general desire to constantly show power helped to incite the Trump followers to march down to the US Capitol building. If the march was supposed to be a peaceful protest, once at the steps of Congress, these protestors started to force their way and eventually overpower the Capitol police in charge of keeping the peace.

There are so many observations to note

  • The clear double standard between policing white protestors vs black/brown protestors. White protestors were touching and pushing the police with the “Blue Lives Matter” banner in the back. And… what is even more amazing is that the police did not use force to push back the protestors but actually retreated as they advanced. That is white privilege at work.
  • Trump’s Facebook and Twitter social media were finally suspended for violating policy of prohibiting incitement of violence. This makes me wonder… why can’t social media companies implement a common set of rules that determine what kind of speech is appropriate? Speech that incites violence or speech with specific negative law-breaking consequences should be regulated. Consistently false claims that being made (ie rigged election) should also be regulated. Perhaps a set of simple questions like:
    1. Did this speech promote people to do something violent?
    2. Did a large amount of people (10+) actually commit acts of violence?
    3. Did this speech that claimed “X” turn out to be false?
    4. Has this speech that claimed “X” been continued to be spread by the account?
    5. The workflow to flag should be a simple yes/no matrix. A “yes” for 1 and 2 should lead to a ban. A “yes” for 3 and 4 should also lead to a ban. The punishment for continually violating the rules should be temporary suspensions of 1 day > 1 week > 1 month > and finally permanently. Free speech does not mean a person should be able to spread false information or incite violence.
  • The Democratically controlled House of Representatives is starting to talk about a second impeachment of Trump for his actions if invoking the 25th amendment does not happen. I have mixed feelings about this. I think the only message an impeachment will send is that the transfer of power must be civil and peaceful and that future attempts will never be tolerated. Republicans (like Minority Leader McCarthy) are only now offering peace to Biden stating impeachment would further divide the country. I think that’s a bit too late. Biden should let Congress do what Congress does. The Republicans dug themselves into this hole by sticking with Trump all the way to insurrection and should not expect that a white flag will instantly calm things over.
  • What Congress should be doing is looking for ways to censure/reprimand all the Republicans who humored Trump and his false “rigged election/stolen election” rhetoric EVEN AFTER the insurrection attempt by objecting to the certification results. Those like McConnell or Graham who conceded should be spared as they eventually conceded that Biden won. Congress should also be looking to clamp down on speech that has been already proven to be fake/false. Part of the reason why Trump was able to get to where he is was because he was able to continually peddle falsehoods about people and processes that if repeated over many times becomes “Fake Truths.”
  • In the initial breach of the Capitol Building, credit needs to be given to the understaffed/undermanned Capitol police for not escalating through the use of force. Although video shows them being engulfed by the crowd, the fact that only 5 people died after a 4 hour scuffle is pretty amazing.

These insurrectionists are being identified and arrested. How ironic that the “Law and Order” Republican party disrupted the law and order in Washington DC.

For you, the Un-American…

America prides itself on its democratic traditions and peaceful transfer of power. But it takes just one person in power to upend any semblance of respect and tradition of the Presidency and America’s democratic ideals. Are Americans not ashamed of these actions? Are Americans not worried about this abuse? If you aren’t ashamed or worried about the un-democratic abuse of presidential powers, then you are absolutely an un-American citizen.

For you… the un-American, go back and learn about US history but from an immigrant’s or a minority’s perspective.

For you… the un-American, go back and learn about the US government and what the founding father’s tried to imagine.

For you… the un-American, go back an learn about Constitution, the rights of citizens and civic duty.

For you… the un-American, go back and learn the true value of freedom.

Go. Reflect. And. Transform.

The Economic Term of Rent Seeking

I recently learned of a new economics term of “Rent Seeking.” Searching on Wikipedia or Investopedia will give you an pretty detailed definition. For the common person, think of rent seeking as the ability to maintain (or even increase wealth) through existing methods of obtaining wealth while not providing others the ability to obtain wealth.

I realized that the rent seeking concept is more widespread and commonly practiced outside of economics. If the term is generalized even further to situations where person will “protect” what they have by implementing rules. Using the generalized term, situations related to condos and home owner associations could also be classified as rent seeking. Listening to the rationales of condo owners arguing in favor of rental unit restriction is pretty infuriating. Some of the reasoning were related to their current experience of renters, the apparent drop in property value due to renters, and potential future inability to refinance. That sounds like rent seeking to me. I never understood why some people are very adamant about issues that limit others but after learning this term it makes perfect sense to me now.

Another area I see generalized rent seeking is in these voter suppression laws. With voter suppression, politicians create superfluous rules and processes that generally makes it harder for ordinary citizens to vote. Rules such as ID laws or voter purges or even mail-in ballot restrictions further discourages voters who already may have a difficult time getting to the polls due to socio-economic reasons. In the end, the rules benefit a small population of voters relatively easy access and a lower level of entry to voting. These rules end up benefitting the politician such that the politician only needs to “please” these small voter blocs. How is this democratic if only a small voter bloc can dictate the rules to govern and affect the lives of the general population? Because it’s not.

Possible song?

So my last post had me humming “The Adams Administration

Welcome folks to the Biden Administration
The AP has projected Biden as the Pennsylvania winner
Now it's time for a new age of decency, conciliation
Yet why is Trump still whining about fake election results?
And why aren't Republicans repudiating such shameful theatrics?
"Shut up Trump. Go back to playing golf." is all his allies needs to say....

Welcome to the Biden Administration

At 8:30am PST on 07NOV2020, the Associated Press (AP) officially declared Biden is projected to win for Pennsylvania and the state’s 20 electoral votes. With those 20 votes, the AP is also projecting Biden to be the 46th President of the United States of America as PA pushes Biden past the required 270 electoral votes. It’s now a 230pm PST.

The Next President…

As of 04NOV2020 11pm Pacific, the electoral map of who wins the US Presidency is still unknown. Neither Trump nor Biden has reached the magical 270 electoral votes.

I’ve been thinking if Biden were to win the presidency, he’s going to faced with a number of difficult issues… controlling COVID-19, appeasing racial inequality, combating climate change, equalizing economic and wealth inequality, updating healthcare for all, and reconciling the partisanship (if that’s even possible). And with the divisiveness of America, he’ll be met with extreme opposition with every national decision. With the Senate majority potentially still being retained by the Republicans, the Senate could easily slow any progress similar to how McConnell’s strategy played out in the last two years of Obama’s presidency. Furthermore, if the Democrats do manage to flip the Senate, a conservative court and very litigious Republicans lawyers could also complicate any potential progress to correct these issues. These issues are just some national issues plaguing America!!

From a foreign policy perspective, there’s also the ongoing trade disputes with China as well as the repairing not only the relationships that the current administration have destroyed. Many foreign nations look at US with a sense of uncertainty and view the US presidency as a with little confidence especially compared to the previous administration. Rebuilding the reputation of US as a world leader as a confident, committed, dependable ally is just as important for the future of US.

Biden is right. The 2020 election is an election for the “Soul of the Nation.” It’s an election that determines the course of the American future. It’s an election that hopefully starts the process of bringing back the civility and decency of the American people.

  • I am tired of living in a nation where I wake up to news about how the current administration is offering lies related to COVID19.
  • I am tired of living in a nation where I wake up to news about Trump spouting face and misleading information.
  • I am tired of living in a nation where I wake up to Trump tweeting about racism and fomenting violence between people.
  • I am just tired of Trump, his lies, his temper tantrums, his inability to lead, his pettiness, his racist views, and his moral character.

The best comeback?

I think this is the best comeback from the Trump-Biden debate on Thursday. Trump was attempting to home in on the failures of why/how Biden couldn’t deliver as Vice President regarding some policy. Biden’s comeback was accurate: “It’s the Republican Congress.” But I think what’s more striking was the nearly 5 seconds of silence that followed.

First 2020 Presidential Debate

Did anyone watch the shit show 2020 Presidential debate last night? That was one of the worst 90 minutes I have EVER sat through. I honestly thought the candidates would be civil and inform the TV audience the stances on the various topics of discussion.

Ya… NOT HAPPENING….

The biggest issue was the constant interruptions by the interrupter-in-chief. Every interruption had him spew either personal attacks, lies, or half-truths about all the “issues” that he’s been saying for literally the past 6 years… election fraud, bringing manufacturing back, coronavirus deaths and lying about the COVID-19 severity to Woodward in February and even blaming Biden for Biden’s lack of action. I mean seriously… Trump is the President and has ALL THE POWER to prevent the spread and he blames Biden’s lack of action? Are you fucking serious man?

TRUMP IS THE PRESIDENT and has ALL THE POWER to prevent the spread!!

And he’s blaming Biden? How childish can he be? Re: the Woodward tapes, I understand that as president, making the people feel safe is appropriate. Playing down the coronavirus to the public is one thing, but to not make plans to minimize the spread behind the public is a total irresponsible and un-presidential action. How many of the 200,000 deaths could have been prevented if the president took immediate hard action? How many of the deaths could have been minimized if he listened to his scientific advisors instead of going off his “instincts”? How many people would still be employed if Trump made the decision to do a hard border closure in early Jan/Feb? What about endorsing the simple act of wearing a mask as a presidential statement to everyone? His instincts pretty much bankrupted his companies a number of times. That alone should be a warning sign of his aptitude… but his supporters still think that his facade “business acumen” is still the real deal? My god….

Ruth Bader Ginsberg has died

 

Oh man…. many media outlets are reporting the death of Ruth Bader Ginsberg (RBG). This is an election year. The last time something similar happened, the Republicans considered the election as a “referendum” for the voters to decide on who to be president and thus the power to nominate the replacement. Remember Merrick Garland? Ya… he was nominated by Obama but the McConnell’s Senate cock block rule all but eliminated any chance of confirming a new judge. To say this tactic it’s not political is a total farce since McConnell has admitted the rule was for political expediency.

With RBG’s death, the Dems HAVE TO take the same stance as the Reps did. The Dems need to remind the American public of the past and the political expediency the Reps did. And depending on the response, tie it to the fact that the Reps don’t care about the people or principles… just political expediency. I don’t think McConnell’s Senate will sit aside though. If anything, McConnell will try to force the issue to nominate and confirm a judge. The American people need to start holding these Senators responsible for their (lack of) convictions. “If you stand for nothing, what’ll you fall for

Oh… apparently the political wheels are moving already according to this article. How will this play out…