There is a lot to discuss today. I will try to be brief.
Some of you may recall I wrote a play back in 2019, Seminar, or, Enough Blame to Go Around: Corruption in the Capitol in Late Empire. I posted scenes to this blog as I completed them, then work shopped the completed draft to friends for comments and input. My characters have all since gone about with their lives, but one or two of them keep asking for a re-surfacing, especially the one whose death I faked so she could escape a crazy situation. It wasn’t easy weaving a faked death into the story line, but I did a lot of research on the technique. I think I pulled it off reasonably well. A good resource was a slim volume I found, Backwards and Forwards: A Technical Manual for Reading Plays (David Ball).
Hot discussion today by Democrat politicians about invoking the 25th Amendment or pushing through a “snap impeachment” now that we are less than two weeks from inauguration. Silly people. First of all, the 25th Amendment is for when the President has been incapacitated. He has not. Secondly, senior officials in Congress evince a poor understanding of the Constitution and its impeachment provision with this silly talk. By definition, an impeachment is a deliberative process, requiring discovery, finding of fact, and providing a defense against alleged charges. The fake one they did in 2019-2020, as improper as it was, took a couple of months from start to finish. Now they think they can get one done in twelve days? Useless, stupid, pointless and absurd saber rattling. Write them and tell them I said so. They have better things to do with their time, and I certainly have better things to do with mine. But those who elected them should really pay attention and remember at the next election. Of course, silly me, if China-owned Dominion voting machines are used, the will of the voters will not matter. The votes line up with the implanted algorithm, an Arabic word, by the way.
Events of Wednesday, January 6, 2019. There was a big crowd, hundreds of thousands, at the White House Ellipse Wednesday morning, exercising their First Amendment right peaceably to assemble. A small group of them proceeded to the Capitol, getting mixed in, obviously, with more radical types, whom we now know to be Antifa and BLM (Black Lives Matter), as they approached the Capitol. Reporting is that they forcefully entered the Capitol (though there is actual footage of Capitol Police waving them on and permitting their entry), interrupting a joint meeting of the House and the Senate, who were gathered to count the electoral votes for the Presidency. Glass was broken, a melee ensued, shots were fired by armed guards, protestors were shot and killed, and laptops were stolen from the office of the Speaker of the House. Democrat members now are decrying the violence, all are decrying the violence, though the same members praised and encouraged the violence of Antifa and BLM protestors in Washington earlier in the year when they destroyed property and burned down business. OK, Democrats, and Republicans. Granted it was the Capitol, you cannot have it both ways. It cannot be that violence is justifiable when you consider it against the existing political establishment, but deplorable when you can create a narrative that it somehow was incited by the President. So which one is it? Take your time answering. I’ll wait.
This blog can’t go on forever, so let me wind it down. In my more formative years, I took a college course in Islamic Theology. A lot of the material escapes me now, 40 years later, but I remember the instructor telling us that a special thing about the Islamic holy book, the Holy Qur’an, was that it used storytelling to divide people into three broad groups or personality types and that had never been done before the 7th century when the book was revealed. All people, all mankind (human beings) are divided in the Holy Qur’an into the following three groups: believers; disbelievers; and hypocrites. It stuck with me, and I often find myself judging my own actions by those three classifications. This is perhaps an oversimplification, but while the believers experience hardships, they eventually reach happy outcomes. The disbelievers may succeed or fail in this life, but their end is unhappy. For the hypocrites there is the fire of hell, in this world and the next. All I can say is, please number me among the believers.
On that note, it is Friday, Yaum al-Jumaah, and monumental things happen on Friday since there is the whole weekend to get over them and get back to normal in time for Monday. Let’s hope this Friday is non-eventful.
Closing out (finally) with a Facebook status update inspired by watching the 2019 impeachment proceedings from overseas, and some choice lines from Chaucer —
Dec 24, 2019, 12:54 PM
For better or for worse, social media is shaping up as the battle space for the 21st century equivalent of information civil war upon which we are about to embark. The population of believers is about evenly divided, each side believing they are commissioned by a higher power to defend and expand their share of the battle space. The goal? To win the hearts and minds of the people. The weapon? Words and logical (and illogical) constructions designed to convince and persuade.
Neither side is preaching to the choir, as it were, and, actually, neither side is preaching to their opposing side. Those convinced of the moral righteousness of their cause …. are already convinced. No, we hold these public conversations to attempt to sway the uncommitted, the marginalized, those who are yet to have made up their minds. And that silent majority has considerable power so don’t play them cheap and don’t play them too close.
There is no victory or defeat on a given day, or even on a given subject. Just the other day I told two friends that they could have the final word, because, in essence, all that matters is saving up the resources to fight in the information battle space another day.
Government itself is divided. Actors on the stage are even divided within their own selves. Let that sink in. Many groups, caucuses that once had considerable power are silently approaching obsolescence. Here today, gone tomorrow. Keep that in mind as you make your choices.
To be continued.
Dec 23, 2019, 3:24 AM
Lifted straight from Chaucer.
“Not years enough, in life so short,
to learn a craft so long,** (Ars longa, vita brevis)
whose effort’s hard, whose winning hurts,
whose painful joys slide snakily off –
by all this I mean Love, whose working
wonderful astonishes my senses,
so painful indeed, that when I think on it,
I know not whether I float, or fall.”