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Saturday, January 23, 2021

Images of the Mall the night before the Inauguration

   I have to say that the Democrats pulled off the best virtual convention and now they did it again with the virtual inauguration last week.  More meaningful than past ones.  Trump can keep his rioters.














Friday, January 22, 2021

Visual representation of the toll of the COVID virus

 


    We saw the 400 lighted lanterns around the Reflection Pool each representing 1000 COVID deaths.  There is another example of what 400,000 deaths looks like.

      Arlington Cemetary has 400,000 people buried there.  It has taken 157 years to get to that number and a year to get to that number of COVID deaths.


   
P.S.
     We have been so desensitized to the number of deaths that when we hear that in the next month an additional 100,000 Americans may die we just accept it as just another month in this American pandemic. Where is the outrage that our political institutions have been made so incompetent that we are looked upon by the rest of the world as a failing country?  When 5,000 people were killed on 9/11 we fought wars and spent trillions of dollars to address a foreign threat.  What are we willing to commit to addressing the internal extremist threat that brought the attempt by the president of the United States to violently overturn a valid constitutional event at the US Capitol on December 6th?  Addressing an internal threat will be more difficult than an external threat but the consequences of not addressing the threat may determine if we remain a democratic country in any form.


Thursday, January 21, 2021

Welcome to Columbia

    

     I recently came across this introduction to Columbia that was very good.  Now if we could just recreate the Visitor Center.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

An image to define two different men and political philosophies

 


       The image above should be representative of the cost of a person and political party that degrades the value of having a functional government to protect its citizens.  On Trump's last full day in office, the 400,000th person died from the virus.  He was not the first person in his party to follow this political path and he will not be the last.  How many American citizens had to die because of Trump and his Republican allies is hard to determine but a comparison with one other country that took a different approach to handle a pandemic is worth looking at.   Taiwan took an aggressive approach to the virus and has had less than 200 of its citizens dying from the virus.  I know that comparing a country like the United States with over 330 million citizens to an island country with a population of 5 million isn't exactly comparable.  Even factoring in the differences between the two countries the reality is that if the United States would have been as successful as Taiwan in handling the virus we would have had around 8,000 deaths rather than 400,000. Attribute many of those additional deaths to the efforts over the past 40 years to degrade any value in establishing a competent necessary government to handle a crisis like the pandemic.

P.S.

The darkness of a period of "American carnage" of one incompetent administration is ending as the dawn of a new administration begins.  Many of us have endured 4 years waiting for this day.  Trump is finally slinking out of town.



Monday, January 18, 2021

Racism still alive at the Capitol riot

     As we start this week celebrating Martin Luther King as the non-violent civil rights hero and leading up to the inauguration we should remember that the racism that he fought against is still very much a cancer in the American fabric.  We may not have police with dogs and water cannons used against demonstrators like we saw in the 1960s but the symbols of racism were still very evident at the Capitol riot of January 6th.  The election of Obama brought the racism out under the cover of the Tea Party which used fiscal responsibility to hide its true racist beliefs.  The racists on the right have coalesced under their support for Trump, our racist president.  To understand today's racist symbols here is a description of each of the ones displayed on January 6th.


Noose and gallows

While a noose on its own is often used as a form of racial intimidation, the gallows were to suggest punishment for committing treason. It is suggesting that representatives and senators who vote to certify the election results, and possibly Vice President Pence, are committing treason and should be tried and hanged.

That treason rhetoric was seen on right-wing message boards in days leading up to the event.


Three Percenters flag

The Three Percenters (also known as III%ers, 3%ers or Threepers) are part of the militia movement in the United States and are anti-government extremists, according to the ADL.

Like others in the militia movement, Three Percenters view themselves as defending the American people against government tyranny.

"Because many adherents to the militia movement strongly support President Trump, in recent years, Three Percenters have not been as active in opposing the federal government, directing their ire at other perceived foes,including leftists/antifa, Muslims and immigrants," according to the ADL.

The group's name comes from an inaccurate claim that only three percent of the people in the colonies armed themselves and fought against the British during the Revolutionary War.

The flag seen above is their logo on the traditional Betsy Ross flag. Pitcavage says right-wing groups (mainstream or extreme), which think of themselves as patriotic, sometimes co-opt America's first flag.

"Release the Kraken" flag

The flag references former Trump lawyer Sidney Powell's comments that she was going to "release the Kraken." Powell falsely said she had evidence that would destroy the idea that Joe Biden won the presidency.

The "Kraken," a mammoth sea creature from Scandinavian folklore, has turned into a meme in circles that believe the election was stolen. The Kraken, they say, is a cache of evidence that there was widespread fraud. On social media, QAnon conspiracy and fringe sites #ReleaseTheKraken has been widely shared along with false theories of fraud.


The Oath Keepers and Three Percenters are two of the main right-wing militia groups in the US that were founded in the wake of Barack Obama’s 2008 election. “While [The Oath Keepers] claims only to be defending the Constitution, the entire organization is based on a set of baseless conspiracy theories about the federal government working to destroy the liberties of Americans,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.


The OK sign

The far right has co-opted the OK sign as a trolling gesture and, for some, as a symbol of white power. The ADLadded that symbol to its long-standing database of slogans and symbols used by extremists.


"Kekistan" flags

The green, white and black flag was created by some members of the 4chan online community to represent a made-up joke country named for "Kek," a fictional god they also created. It has long been present at right-wing and far-right rallies.

"The Kekistan flag is controversial because its design was partially derived from a Nazi-era flag; this was apparently done on purpose as a joke," Pitcavage explained. "Younger right-wingers coming from the 4chan subculture (both mainstream right and extreme right) often like to display the Kekistan flag at rallies and events."


Gadsden Flag

Flown by many protesters at the United States Capitol on January 6, the Gadsden flag has a design that is simple and graphic: a coiled rattlesnake on a yellow field with the text “Don’t Tread On Me”. But that simple design hides some important complexities, both historically and today, as it appears in rallies demanding US President Donald Trump be allowed to remain in office.

The flag originated well before the American Revolution, and in recent years it has been used by the tea party movement and, at times, members of the militia movement.


Confederate Battle Flag

During the American Civil War (1861–65), the Confederate States of America began to use its first flag, the Stars and Bars, on March 5, 1861. After the First Battle of Bull Run, when similarity between the Stars and Bars and the Union Stars and Stripes made it difficult for troops to distinguish friend from foe, Confederate commanders petitioned for a new flag. In November 1861 the first Confederate Battle Flags were issued. Although variations of the Battle Flag pattern were numerous and widespread, the most common design, known as the “Southern Cross,” featured a blue saltire (diagonal cross), trimmed with white, with 13 white stars—representing the 11 states of the Confederacy plus Missouri and Kentucky—on a field of red.

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