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Irish_Dem's Journal
Irish_Dem's Journal
June 6, 2024

For my 50,000 post: Thank you and appreciation to DU.

Thank you DU for keeping me sane through the long time political reality we slog through. I have been a Democrat since childhood like my father before me. I became a political junkie at 8 years of age when JFK ran against Nixon. It is hard to find kindred spirits, but they are here on DU.

For day to day news, DU is the best site to get accurate news with commentary. When there is breaking news, the only place I want to be is here on DU. Whether good news or bad news, this is the place to get the best information and support.

Thank you for posting provocative, interesting OPs and comments. The liberal viewpoint from walks of life, backgrounds and values; it runs a fascinating gamut.

Despite the variations, the common thread is aways there. The deep love for democracy, and respect for the worth, dignity, value of all humans and our planet. The belief in a fair, free and open society. We value, truth, honesty. And the advancement of cvil rights and a more perfect union.

This is a true community. We listen, we argue, we get testy with each other, at the same time we are kind and supportive.

I have seen people give me very sharp elbows one day, then turn around the next day and stand up for me if someone else has been unfair or wrong. One time a newbie troll attacked me, making absurd and vile statements. Within minutes, DU members jumped on the troll and sent him to oblivion.

I trust this place, I get as good as I give, but we have each other’s backs.

Thank you to the owners for managing one of the best run forums on the internet.

Thank you to the workhorses on this site. The ones who do the heavy lifting, provide the latest news, the videos, the articles, information from other sites. The specialty information by experts who post here, medical, legal, academic, education, business, etc. And those who post anecdotal information of interest.

Please understand that you are not just touching DU members. I read DU every day. My friends, family and neighbors rely on me to provide news, Dem deep weeds and inside baseball news. One of my close relatives is a young Dem attorney who works for a liberal law firm and is in the know. Thanks to DU, when I am with her, I can give her information of interest she didn’t know.

Thank you for the jokes, the humor, the serotonin boost pictures which gives us a welcome break from jarring news. And the specialty posters the photography, music, labor, science, anthropology, food, etc., too many topics to mention all of them.

On a personal note, for most of the time I have been here, I never made OPs. I made comments. I don’t like attention or the limelight. I am a background helper. And introvert. I like the one on one interaction provided by responding to comments. And I don’t think I have much to contribute of value, meriting an OP.

But recently a long time DU member, one I respect and admire, PM’d me out of the blue. They said I should be making OPs. I was taken aback, and didn’t like the idea at all.

After thinking it over, I realized it was my turn to contribute more. So I got off my duff and stepped up to the plate by making a stab at the OP world. So thanks for listen to my .02.

Thank you for letting me be a part of this site. I don’t always see the world like other people do. I grew up in an Irish Catholic military family, moved from pillar to post as a kid, was not always living stateside. Military bases in Southeast Asia were crowded during the Viet Nam war. So we lived off base on the foreign economy. We tried to fit in. Then coming stateside to non military Americans who lived a different life than we had was a challenge. We tried to fit in there too.

Then getting degrees in political science and mental health gave me more of a unique world view, then being a therapist for over 40 years. Cynicism and idealism baked into my DNA.

So a long way around the barn to say thank you for letting me be a part of this site.

June 4, 2024

My visit to Tiananmen Square.

This is a story about Chinese repression of the Tiananmen massacre, even many years after the event.

About 15 years ago, I had the opportunity to visit China for two weeks. I was part of an American group and we were assigned minders and tour guides as we visited many parts of China. (I had visited China in 1999 so was prepared for some of what I experienced.)

The second trip was spectacular in many ways, however, a harsh reminder in terms of government
repression and control.

The group tour started in Beijing, we had a very nice Chinese tour guide; we liked her very much.

We had had a lovely time, we were in high spirits and enjoying the trip.
We left the hotel to visit Tiananmen Square, where there are important museums, halls and monuments.

But things took a dark turn on the bus from the hotel to Tiananmen Square.

The tour guide stepped up to the front of the bus with her microphone.

She said: We are going to Tiananmen Square and I must talk with you about something very important.

The tour guide went on to say: There was an event which occurred quite some time ago in Tiananmen
Square. I have to warn you that I am not permitted to answer any questions about that event.

There will be some serious consequences to me and to my family in the event you even ask me those questions.

I am respectfully requesting that none of you bring up this topic and not one word be spoken about it. I should warn you that there will be officials at Tiananmen Square in plain clothes who will be monitoring all of our conversations when we are there.

At that point we were all shocked but not surprised; we were familiar with the Chinese government.

We got off the bus and were walking around Tiananmen Square and in fact two or three middle-age men in suits, ties and raincoats quietly joined our group and just did their listening. We Americans either remained silent or asked benign questions about building architecture, etc.

It was indeed a sobering experience. I often think about that experience and the MAGA fake courage, sunshine patriot stance. They talk big, carry guns to intimidate people and anonymously threaten people.

Would any of them have the courage to stand up to a fascist regime like the Chinese student so many years ago standing up to a military tank coming at him. Or even the courage of a regular Chinese citizen earning a living by conducting tours in TS knowing any day things could become dangerous for her.

June 2, 2024

What will the Trump trial jury do now?

Will they all go back to their normal routines and fade into history?

Go the talk show circuit, podcasts, etc?

Will they write books?

Become famous?

Become targets for MAGA?

Can the judge control any of this?

June 1, 2024

One way Judge Merchan could handle sentencing:

1. He could put Trump on probation with conditions.

2. Violations of those conditions would mean Trump goes to prison.

3. This puts the jail keys in Trump's hands.

4. Trump decides if he goes to prison or not.

ETA: This is possibly win win.
Trump either violates the probation conditions and goes to jail.
Or he follows the rules for once in his life and we get a break from his bad behavior.

May 30, 2024

At least three men on the SC have serious issues with women.

Kavanaugh, Thomas, Alito. (These are the SC justices we know about.)

As SC justices, these men make life or death decisions about women.

So what do we know about these men?


This man was credibly accused of rape by two women, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez.
How many other victims are there? Many rapists do not stop at two women. At his confirmation hearing Kavanaugh revealed his serious temperament problem, immaturity, and dishonesty. If he acts like this in a very public televised hearing, what does he do in private?

Anita Hill, a credible source, outlined the sexual harassment she received at the hands of Clarence Thomas.
Some of it too vulgar to repeat here. Thomas to this day, reveals his anger problem with his ranting about how he is a victim. One of the most privileged, powerful men in the world. With a permanent cushy federal job. We see his narcissism, immaturity and anger. Again, this is how he functions in public. We can only imagine the private side.

In both cases, the FBI pretended to investigate, and pretended to find nothing. In the Kavanaugh case the FBI received over 4000 tips about Kavanaugh, and the FBI just sent them to the Trump White House which was trying to mitigate the accusations. We now know that Trump and his team are quite skilled when it comes to ending unwanted stories about sexual issues. We can imagine Trump quite happy to nominate a man to high office who treats women badly.

The FBI is well known to refuse to take sexual harassment or sexual assault cases seriously. For example, U.S. gymnasts Olympic gold medalists Simone Biles and Aly Raisman testified a couple of years ago before the Senate Judiciary Committee about the FBI not taking their reports seriously about the ongoing sexual assaults of American athletes by Larry Nasir.


This man oozes arrogance and hatred/disdain for women. If you read his fake rationale for making women second-class citizens in his Roe opinon, it shockingly includes 17th century Sir Matthew Hale, who ruled that husbands can’t be prosecuted for raping their wives, sentenced women to death as “witches,” and whose misogyny was apparent even by 17th century standards. Not surprising as Alito's ruling has led to the 21st century version of the Salem Witch Trials. Women persecuted for no other reason than the fact they are women and it is deemed necessary to control and punish them. This man sounds quite disturbed in his total disdain of women.

For these men, ending Roe has little to do with abortion,
It had everything to do with control and subjugation of women.

How do we know this?

The GOP astounding hypocrisy is one of their consistent and notorious hallmarks.
During the Covid epidemic, when GOP leaders were advocating Americans not wear masks and not get vaccinated, they themselves were getting vaccinated and wearing masks. Sending their children to private schools where masks were required, etc. GOP congressmen who pretend to be strict Christians rushing to support Trump during his sex with a porn star trial. There are too many examples to list all of them.

Certainly if one of the SC justices had a 10 year old pregnant daughter or granddaughter who was the victim of rape or incest, they would arrange for an immediate abortion. Certainly these men's wives, girlfriends, mistresses, daughters and granddaughters all have access to abortions.

Would any of this men allow their female family members to be sent to the parking lot to die? Or would they use their wealth and power to obtain immediate and appropriate emergency medical care. We know the answer to this question.

What did the Roe ruling tell us about how the SC sees women?
Their views are quite are clear in their Roe ruling. And the ongoing threat to make contraceptives illegal as well.

They set the stage for women to be denied emergency medical care, forced to have children against their will, ten year old rape victims forced to have the rapist's child, and the possible travel ban and surveillance of American women. Continued and forced pregnancy will relegate women to second class citizen status, unable to purse educational and career opportunities. The MAGA dream of women in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant. Some of us are old enough to know what our mothers and grandmothers experienced.

Ending Roe means that the males on the SC do not see women as capable of managing their own bodies. Women are not competent to make their own life decisions. Men must do it for them.

Women are not worthy of prompt medical attention during a medical emergy. They deserve to die a torturous death, while doctors stand helplessly by. Or sent to prison. Women must be punished for being women.

10 year old girls, victims of rape or incest are forced to bear their rapist's babies. These girls are not treated with respect or dignity.

Women are made to have forced births again their will. Women are property who must do as their are told.

The Supreme Court sets the stage for women to be subjected to travel bans, surveiannce, and monitoring. Women are second class citizens who do not deserve the same rights as males.

Such rulings reveal the total disregard the SC has for women, in fact their disgust and hatred of women.
A total inability to treat females with the respect and dignity they deserve.

What else would we expect from SC justices who are rapists, sexual harassers, and misogynists.

May 29, 2024

How many ways did Trump cheat to win the 2016 election?

The major take away from the hush money trial is that Trump installed himself into the White House by using illegal and dishonest methods. This fact should receive more attention.

The question is not did Trump cheat to win the 2016 election, but how many ways did he cheat? What was his criminal plan to steal the White House?

By now we know that Trump is a ruthless and dangerous sociopath who will use any means to get what he wants. Money and power. He will break any law, rule, ethics.

I will start the list of ways Trump cheated to win the 2016 presidential election. Please feel free to add to the list.

1. Hush money to Stormy Daniels and others. Covering up his affair with a porn star. The Access Hollywood tape had just come out with Trump making comments indicating how happy he was that his fame and wealth allowed him to sexually assault women. His campaign could not take any more bad press. So it was critical he silence women coming forward with his many sexual crimes/misbehavior. We know that Stormy is not the only woman silenced, Karen McDougual was also paid off. How many others were there?

2. Russia connection. This probably should be an OP on its own. We know Paul Manafort was the go between, the link between the Trump campaign and Russia. Manafort had been working with Russians in Europe, trying to throw elections in their favor there. Manafort was working working with a Russian spy, Kilimnik who was the channel for underhanded and illegal methods used by the Russian military to hack into Democratic Party emails and leak them. There were other dirty tricks as well.

3. James Comey and the FBI. Comey did a last minute investigation of Hillary Clinton, Trump's opponent right before the election. This included a very public announcement that she was under FBI investigation and scrutiny for alleged crimes. This turned out to be frivolous, but had a big impact at the time. This was no doubt engineered by Rudy Guiliani.

May 20, 2024

Judge Merchan to Robert Costello: "Are you staring me down?"

Source: CNN

Judge Juan Merchan has asked to "take a minute" and told the jury to step out.

"Mr. Costello you're to remain seated," the judge told witness in a raised voice.

After another sustained objection, witness Robert Costello rolled his eyes and let out an audible sigh side, glancing at Merchan.

"I want to discuss proper decorum in my courtroom," the judge says.

Merchan also said, "You don't give me a side eye and you don't roll your eyes."

"When there’s a witness on the stand, if you don’t like my ruling, you don’t say 'jeez,' you don’t say strike it," Merchan says.

Then Costello held a long glare at the judge.

"Are you staring me down?" Merchan said.
Then Merchan said "clear the courtroom."

Read more: https://www.cnn.com/politics/live-news/trump-hush-money-trial-05-20-24/h_fc850e757ca8063da63e81e6153dcdd7

May 17, 2024

We are watching history in the making: the GOP is breaking apart.

We are looking at the break up of a long standing US political party.
The tectonic plates are shifting right in front of us.

The GOP has been taken over by MAGA and international political forces.
They have become a crime syndicate, not a political party.

The GOP has broken into two pieces:

1. Those who are fine with being criminals to obtain power and wealth and aligning with sinister foreign powers.

2. Those who cannot swallow that direction. In a recent comment BumRush called this group "the deer in the headlights" group, they are paralyzed and don't know what to do.

But we see signs that this deer in the headlight GOP group is waking up, up and joining forces with the Dem party. We see many former GOP strategists and operatives speaking out against Trump and the Magas. And in Bum Rush's OP, we see the GOP aligning with Dems to support a Dem candidate.


Edit to add this quote from BumRush (with her permission) which is an excellent summary of how the GOP got to this point: "The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a catalyst that spawned a revolutionary ideology change among many southern Democrats dubbed "Dixiecrats", coupled with the rise of Goldwater and a nascent Republican party who welcomed them, the election of the first black President of the U.S. in 2008 became a further catalyst for the Republican party to begin a self-destruct sequence as a functioning party, making it nothing more than the landing place for bigoted nativist extremists. That then made it ripe for embracing fascism as a means to remain in power."

May 17, 2024

What is political leadership?

The ability to lead and guide a group.

What is good leadership?

Leading people in a way that moves people and the country in a beneficial and positive direction. This means appealing to higher angels.

A good leader should have integrity, self-awareness, courage, respect, compassion, and resilience. They should be able to communicate their the vision, and collaborate with others.

Good leaders exhibit honesty, integrity, trustworthiness, and ethics.
And a desire to promote the well being of the organization and people.

Can we think of examples of good leadership?

I would vote for some of my favorite leaders of all time:

George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, FDR, Churchill, Eisenhower.
They exhibited true genius and leadership, with visions that moved
the world forward.

What is bad leadership?

A bad leader creates a toxic environment, blocks growth, and hinders progress.

Their agenda is personal, their decisions are about obtaining what they want for themselves.

They appeal to the dark underbelly of human nature to further their own ends.

They lack transparency, ethics, morality, honesty.

The welfare of a country or people is not important to them. They enjoy division, conflict, violence for its own sake and to further their own personal goals. Usually those goals are about obtaining money and power.

Examples of bad leadership: Hitler, Stalin, Putin, Trump, GOP leaders. World billionaires who desire more wealth and power.

Feel free to list additional traits of good and bad leadership and examples of good and bad leaders.

May 16, 2024

GOP politicians legislate morality for the rest of us, but show up for Trump's trial.

They lecture us and wag their fingers. They insist we are evil.
They intrude into our bedrooms and private lives.

They target various groups for restrictions and punishment.
Punishments which results in jail or death by forbidding medical treatment
to groups the GOP deems evil.

We are bullied, harassed, threatened because we don't measure up to the
standards set by the GOP.

Yes these are the very same people who show up for Trump's trial.

A trial which has proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Trump slept with
a porn star and Playboy bunny while a married man. Committed a number
of crimes to cover it up. Also got the National Enquirer to lie and cheat
by pulling his salacious stories and printing damaging stories about opponents.

Other trials have shown that Trump is a rapist, cheats bigly on his taxes, commits
perjury, constantly lies and cheats.

We also know that Trump is a traitor, insurrectionist, tried to overthrow the US
government. He stole classified documents and harmed our national security.

How many commandments does Trump break on a daily basis?
Trump breaks laws like other people breathe.

So while the GOP vilifies good decent American citizens, they adore and support
one of the most heinous and ruthless criminals in the US.

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