Sunday, January 10, 2021

Trump's Last Stand: Reflections on the Storming of the Capitol

It's heard to swallow what happened in Washington, D.C. on January 6, 2021.  On that fateful day, the U.S. Capitol was invaded for the first time since the War of 1812.  This time, however, the invasion did not come from an outside enemy.  Oh no.  This time, it was domestic.  It came from within and it came at the bidding of a man who swore to uphold, defend and protect the Constitution of the United States.

Donald J. Trump,, the 45th President of the Republic, actively encouraged violence and sedition.  He incited his extreme, right-wing, neo-Nazi followers to march on the Capitol building in Washington, D.C.  The president aided and abetted this insurrection and he should be held accountable for this heinous crime and for the other criminal acts he has committed during his presidency..  

Millions of Americans and people around the world witnessed the horrifying events in Washington on their television screens.  Right before their eyes, live and in colour, they saw the desecration of the most sacred temple of American democracy.  They watched in stunned disbelief as the Capitol building was vandalized and violated by an unruly mob.  For several hours, parts of the building were occupied and ransacked, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office.  It was all very surreal.  Yet, it really happened, thanks to Donald Trump, his spineless sycophants in the Republican Party and his cult-like adherents.

Unfortunately, far too few Americans hold the president responsible for what happened in Washington.  According to a new YouGov poll, a majority of Republican voters named President-elect Joe Biden as the culprit rather than Donald Trump.  1,450 eligible voters were surveyed and 52 percent of Republicans blamed Biden rather than Trump.  In comparison, only 28 percent of Republicans pointed the finger at the president for inciting the violence, while 26 percent blamed congressional Republicans for attempting to block the final tally of Biden's Electoral College win. 

This should not be a partisan issue.  It is a matter of upholding democracy and the rule of law.  Yes, Donald Trump received over 74 million votes, but Joe Biden received over 81 million votes.  The Electoral College confirmed Joe Biden's victory in the 2020 election with 306 to 232 the final count. .  Biden was the clear winner and accusations of electoral fraud were proven baseless and were rejected by numerous courts. 

Sadly, fascism has come to America in the form of right-wing extremists who believe they are patriots and who wrap themselves in the American flag.  The distressing fact is that so many Republican voters still support Donald Trump's delusional conspiracy theories.  They contend that the election was rigged and that it was stolen from Trump.  They believe this without any credible proof.  In fact, the evidence shows that the election was free and fair.  

Are these Republican voters so brainwashed, their minds so addled that they cannot see the truth - or is it that they prefer to ignore the facts?  On January 6th, the day that lawmakers were to meet to make Joe Biden's Electoral College victory official. Donald Trump held a rally and urged his supporters  to march on Capitol Hill.  Trump told the crowd: "You'll never take back your country with weakness.  You have to show strength and you have to be strong."   It was Donald Trump, not Joe Biden, who egged on his followers and caused them to wreak havoc.  He gave them his blessing and the green light to act as they did.

Since media have posed some hard questions about the storming of Capitol.  Reporters and broadcasters have demanded to know why there was such poor security around Capitol Hill.  Why were the insurgents allowed to stand on the steps of the Capitol, break windows and vandalize offices.?  Why were police so ill-prepared for what happened?  For weeks Donald Trump exhorted his followers to to go to Washington on January 6th.  It was no secret.  It was no surprise when his ardent supporters obeyed him.  What was surprising and terribly shocking was that law enforcers were so ill-prepared for what happened.  Why were Trumps band of thugs, anti-Semites and white supremacists able to breach security so easily?  Would the situation have been different if a majority of the Capitol invaders had been black?  These questions cannot be ignored.  They cannot be brushed away.

Make no mistake.  What has taken root in the United States is not conservatism, but Trumpism, and it's this Trumpism that must be soundly defeated if the U.S. is to remain a viable democracy.  For the safety of the American people and for the sake of the free world, Donald Trump must be removed from the White House as soon as possible. This president is not fit for office.  He is clearly unstable, unhinged and very dangerous.  Donald Trump is a cornered man.  He is desperate and desperate people take desperate measures.  

This president  must be held accountable for his actions and for his high crimes and misdemeanours.  He should do the right thing and resign.  Failing that, the 25th Amendment should be invoked.  If that does not happen, Donald Trump must be impeached for a second time, whether he is convicted or not. This must be done so that no president can be allowed to undermine democracy the way he has.  Donald Trump is not above the law and he must never be allowed to hold office in the United States again.  Every day he remains in the White House, America is in peril.  

I am so glad that Twitter permanently banned Donald Trump.  He does not deserve any forum to spew his hatred, his venom and his lies.  He should not be permitted to incite violence.  Enough is enough is enough  Donald Trump has got to go before he causes further damage to the democratic fabric of the Republic.  Five people, including a police officer, died in Wednesday's attempted coup.  Trump's term in office ends on January 20th.  Does the U.S. need more violence and more deaths during that time:?

- Joanne

Thursday, January 7, 2021

My 2021 Wish List

 Last year I posted my personal wish list for 2020.  I promised to let you know which of my wishes came true and to write another wish list for 2021.  Here's how my 2020 wish list turned out:

Of course, when I made my 2020 wish list, I had no idea that a deadly pandemic would sweep the world.  I never dreamed that this year would be a nightmare in so many ways.  Yet, I remain hopeful for 2021 because without hope, what is there?

In January of 2020, I fervently hoped that Donald Trump would resign from office in 2020 or that he would lose the November election.  I also wished that the Republicans would lose control of the Senate, so that Mitch McConnell could no longer be called the "Grim Reaper."

Well, thankfully Trump lost the election in November, although he still refuses to go gently into that good night.  Unfortunately, McConnell was re-elected.  He won his senate seat in Kentucky.  However, much to might delight, the Democrats won control of the Senate by winning the two runoff elections in Georgia on January 5th.

I hoped that Benjamin Netanyahu would be ousted from power by Israeli voters.  Unfortunately, his is still prime minister, even after having been charged with corruption.  After Netanyahu's unity government with alternate prime minister Benny Gantz.  Gantz was set to become prime minister in November of 2021.  However, the coalition collapsed. and  new elections were scheduled for Israel on March 23, 2021.  I hope Netanyahu will finally be ousted from power then.

I  hoped that the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan would be successful and that Canadian athletes would  Due to COVID, they were cancelled.  They are scheduled to take place this summer instead.  

I didn't have high expectations for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2020.  My wish was that they would have a much better record than they did in 2019.  Due to COVID, the Major League Baseball season was shortened to just 60 games.  The Blue Jays have become a young, up-and-coming team but there are still some pieces of the puzzle to be completed before they are able to really compete.  Fans wait patiently.

I lowered my expectations for the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2020.  Despite the crazy COVID season, the Blue and White still managed to disappoint.  I really don't think they will go anywhere until they stop investing so much of their payroll on four players - William Nylander, John Tavares, Mitd\h Marner and Austan Matthews.

I wished for my civility in the world.  It certainly didn't happen in the United States.  Once Trump is finally out of the White House, I expect a return a more civil atmosphere in the U.S.  

As for war and terrorism, 2020 didn't really stand out, thank goodness.  It may be because everyone was too concerned about COVID-19. 

Here is my 2021 wish list:

My biggest wish for 2021 is that COVID-19 will be brought under control around the world.  I also hope that once that goal is achieved, more attention will be turned to the environment and combatting global warming.

I hope that Joe Biden will meet his destiny with honour and become a good president.  I hope that he will restore the soul of America, as he has promised.  I want Donald Trump to be accountable for his crimes and for the damage he has done to American democracy.  If that means going to prison, so be it.  No one is above the law.

I hope that Benjamin Netanyahu is ousted from power.  

I don't want a federal election in Canada this year, not as long as the pandemic is raging.  

I hope that the Olympics will go on as scheduled this summer in Tokyo.

I hope the Toronto Blue Jays keep improving and that they will make some good moves over the winter.  I also hope that at some point in 2021 and will be able to attend a game at Rogers Centre.

I hope the Leafs make the changes needed to compete, but I have no lofty expectations for them.

I wish the best for the Canadian Football League, which was forced to cancel its 2020 season due to COVID.  I truly hope there will be a 2021 season.

As I do every year, I wish for more peace and harmony in the world.  I hope 2021 is a better year for you and your family.

In January of, 2022, I will write another wish list and I will let you know if any of my 2021 wishes came true.

- Joanne

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Mitt Romey's Statement on Certification of U.S. Presidential Election Results

 I urge you to read this statement from Mitt Romney, a Republican, and the junior United States senator from Utah.  Thoughtful Republicans will realize that the issue of the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election goes far beyond partisanship.  It's a matter of preserving American democracy for future generations.  

- Joanne

Romney Statement On Certification of Presidential Election Results

Sunday, January 3, 2021

SALT LAKE CITY– U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) released the following statement in response to an announcement that several Republican senators plan to oppose certification of the presidential election results:
“The egregious ploy to reject electors may enhance the political ambition of some, but dangerously threatens our Democratic Republic. The congressional power to reject electors is reserved for the most extreme and unusual circumstances. These are far from it. More Americans participated in this election than ever before, and they made their choice. President Trump’s lawyers made their case before scores of courts; in every instance, they failed. The Justice Department found no evidence of irregularity sufficient to overturn the election. The Presidential Voter Fraud Commission disbanded without finding such evidence.
“My fellow Senator Ted Cruz and the co-signers of his statement argue that rejection of electors or an election audit directed by Congress would restore trust in the election. Nonsense. This argument ignores the widely perceived reality that Congress is an overwhelmingly partisan body; the American people wisely place greater trust in the federal courts where judges serve for life. Members of Congress who would substitute their own partisan judgement for that of the courts do not enhance public trust, they imperil it.
“Were Congress to actually reject state electors, partisans would inevitably demand the same any time their candidate had lost. Congress, not voters in the respective states, would choose our presidents.
“Adding to this ill-conceived endeavor by some in Congress is the President’s call for his supporters to come to the Capitol on the day when this matter is to be debated and decided. This has the predictable potential to lead to disruption, and worse.
“I could never have imagined seeing these things in the greatest democracy in the world. Has ambition so eclipsed principle?”

EDITOR'S UPDATE (January 4, 2021): On Sunday, January 3, 2021,  Former House Speaker, Paul Ryan, a Republican who represented Wisconsin in Congress from  1999 to 2019.  He spoke out against members of his own party who were planning to reject congressional certification of the 2020 U.S. presidential election.

Paul Ryan

Here is Ryan's statement

"All our basic rights and freedoms flow from a fidelity to the Constitution and the rule of law.  This principle is not only fundamentally American but a central tenet of conservatism.  Under our system, voters determine the president, and this self-governance cannot sustain itself if the whims of Congress replace the will of the people."

I don't usually agree with Paul Ryan, but in this case, he's absolutely correct about the rule of law.  I wish more conservatives felt this way.

- Joanne