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January 08, 2021

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I didn't dive too deeply into the argument, but considering that terrorism is defined as "using deadly force, or threats of deadly force, against a civilian population in order to coerce political change," it seems to me the insurrectionists, and their enablers in the media, WH and Congress, are just that: terrorists.

They brought guns, knives, bombs, handcuffs, and hanging rope into the US Congress, with every intention of using them. The only reason they didn't succeed was because the MOCs were moved to secure locations.

Unless Congress is not considered "a civilian population"? I thought the distinction was civilian as opposed to military, not civilian as opposed to "any part of the government."

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2021/1/8/2007207/-Gen-Barry-McCaffrey-Goes-There-Trump-Terrorists-Tried-To-Kill-Pelosi-Pence

They are going to be trying to kill all of us for the foreseeable future.

We waited to see as advised.

Now, we've seen.

There is no going back, and this country goes not one step forward until accounts are paid in kind and in full.

Truth.

No reconciliation.

We've been running thru the questions in the category 'Terrorism or not'

Part of the problem revolves around the fact that some terms have meanings in law which are significantly different (usually narrower) than what they mean in common use.

For example, what happened Wednesday was an attack on the fabric of our nation. Which I personally wouldn't hesitate to call treason. But the Constitution says "Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort." And the Supreme Court has put narrow restrictions on what constitutes "levying war."** So as a matter of law, what happened was sedition, but not treason.

Whether it was also terrorism is similar, but in reverse. It pretty clearly meets the legal definition. But in general use (at least up to now) whether something was terrorism depended heavily on who was attacked and who was attacking.

** And "enemies" apparently includes only foreign enemies.

Say it with me: "Radical Republican Terrorism."

Although, in practice I want only those for whom there is clear evidence of something more sinister than trespassing to have any terrorism charges levied against them for the same reason that I don't actually want "Radical Republican Terror" to be the description of choice. Collective guilt and punishment is bad. Being charged with garden variety felonies for specific illegal actions should suffice for most. But I do want their social media interactions pored over and I want anyone who planned and coordinated with any conscious knowledge that there would be an attempt to breach the capitol given all the appropriate trimmings.

And my favorite thing to come out of these shitty times is John Scalzi's characterization of The Honorable Ted Cruz as "a fetid assemblage of moist dryer lint that dares to assert it’s a man." My hat is off to you, Mr. Scalzi, you word goodly.

I do want their social media interactions pored over and I want anyone who planned and coordinated with any conscious knowledge that there would be an attempt to breach the capitol given all the appropriate trimmings.

I know we disagree a lot. But on this one I'm with you 100%!

I'm not sure, however, that I agree with the slur on dryer lint by associating it with Cruz. Sewer plant input seems more like him.

An anecdote from my family history. My grandfather, a first generation Japanese immigrant, thought the attack on Pearl Harbor heralded a Japanese takeover of Hawai'i. He was involved with a group that was collecting money for Japanese troops in Manchuria which involved into a group that after the war, insisted that Japan had won the war and refused to pay his rent. This situation went on for several years, and around 1952 (I have the newspaper clippings) he was taken to court where he laid out his case. It was conducted thru a translator and the judge was pretty amazed, and pointed out that one of his sons had been drafted, sent to Korea and returned home because he was wounded. (I unfortunately don't have the court transcript, but this was reported in the clippings)

Needless to say, my grandfather lost, and family history has it that the judge requiring him to make a public statement acknowledging his error broke him.

So my suggestion is that the people who are judged guilty need to make similar statements. It would be good if these statements were recorded and pinned to the top of their twitter and facebook accounts.

Grist for the think mill: https://www.pri.org/stories/2021-01-08/even-if-coup-fails-it-still-damages-your-government-what-us-can-learn-sri-lankas

Although, in practice I want only those for whom there is clear evidence of something more sinister than trespassing to have any terrorism charges levied against them for the same reason that I don't actually want "Radical Republican Terror" to be the description of choice. Collective guilt and punishment is bad.

Collective guilt and punishment has nothing to do with being an accomplice or an accessory, which everyone in that crowd who intended to breach the Capitol building was. The numbers were helpful to the people committing the terror - they wouldn't have gone in alone.

This ethic of being nice to the misguided people has to stop when they're obviously mounting an insurrection. Maybe some of them have a defense if they prove that they're mentally incapacitated or were coerced into participating.

What would you expect to happen if you were hanging around with a bunch of armed white supremacists who are in the process of storming the Capitol? If you don't want violence and rioting to happen, you turn around and stop participating. Punishing people who made the choice to go with that crowd is not collective punishment. This was foreseeable by everyone, and when that's the case, criminal liability is shared. This is why robbers with a gun all get charged with murder when somebody gets shot, even if there's only one gunman. It is foreseeable, and the law is clear that the guilt is shared in that case.

I don’t agree with how those murder charges are actually used in our justice system, though. It’s usually used to coerce a plea and enough useful testimony to create a narrative that will convince a jury to convict others.

Likewise, hammering everyone with a big sentence doesn’t actually serve our needs. We don’t want martyrs and another source of grievance. What we want is, like lj’s story, an acceptance of one’s actual part in a foolish crusade and some path to restoration. A real path, and real restoration.

Justice must be restorative or division is inevitable.

To all the folks I see on twitter and facebook saying this couldn't have been a coup because it was done in such an amateurish way, I feel like telling them don't worry, I'm sure they will get the hang of it... [/sarcasm]

Collective guilt and punishment is bad.

Collective guilt and punishment has nothing to do with being an accomplice or an accessory, which everyone in that crowd who intended to breach the Capitol building was.

My sense (nous correct me if I'm wrong) was that the group referred to was not member of the mob but Republicans. "Radical Republican Terror" (Although if the group is Radical Republicans, rather than all Republicans, my objection to collective responsibility drops significantly.

Whatever we call their transgressions, I’m perversely amused by all the video and photos these dumbasses took of themselves, while breaking however many laws, as though they were doing cannonballs in their backyard pools.

However lenient the cops might have been generally in the moment, higher-level law enforcement will continue to follow up in a more professional and thorough manner. And prosecutors will have gold-standard evidence dropped in their laps.

Best of luck, patriots!

We don’t want martyrs and another source of grievance. What we want is, like lj’s story, an acceptance of one’s actual part in a foolish crusade and some path to restoration.

What *I* want is sufficiently severe punishment to get across to these rioters, and any would-be imitators, that actions have consequences. Sufficiently serious consequences that they refrain in future.

I recognize that the efficacy of punishment as deterrence is disputed. (Although how anyone who remembers how their parents taught them what behavior is unacceptable could argue against it eludes me.) But in this case, I think it is worth a try. Not least because I don't see an alternative which has a prayer of success.

It was an attempt to prevent a duly elected POTUS take office, by violence.

Give it whatever name you like, that’s what it was.

I hope and expect that preparations for Jan 20 are more thorough. By “more thorough” I mean an obvious and unassailable show of force. Any assumption that Trump’s base “would never do that” should be off the table.

I’m still trying to get an understanding of how to manage my personal relationships with people I know who still support this guy. It hasn’t come up yet, but I’m sure it will. I’m not sure that “let’s just not discuss it” is adequate anymore.

People need to understand exactly how unacceptable this is.

If there isn’t a strong response, next time it will worse.

I hope and expect that preparations for Jan 20 are more thorough. By “more thorough” I mean an obvious and unassailable show of force. Any assumption that Trump’s base “would never do that” should be off the table.

It may be a blessing that, due to covid (and the fact that Biden, unlike Trump, takes it seriously), the Inauguration won't be a crowd event. Making would-be disruptors more visible. And more readily dealt with.

nous, re: your 11:13, there's a lot wrong with our criminal justice system, but requiring people to own the foreseeable consequences of their actions isn't one of them. If you have a way for people accept that their part in this travesty was unwise, and that they are supporting a cause that's hateful and wrong, I'd join you in going for it.

What I'm not in favor of is what so many people here always do: oh, they're good people, just were led astray, and on top of that, maybe they need a better job!

No. Figure out what to do, but don't let them off the hook for their despicable fascist assault.

And what both wj and russell said. I mean, we don't want martyrs, but we don't want terrorists either. And they are terrorists. They're terrifying me right now.

Let's recall that they support Trump, whose party didn't even have a platform. They don't support policy: they support mindless, empty cruelty.

This is not comforting.

He, Trump

He, Trump, Jr.

Little He, Trump

Rudy!

Ken Paxton, shame of Texas

Mo Brooks, pride of Alabama

These were the scum who incited the riot-turned-invasion, and they did it speaking into a microphone in front of broadcast TV cameras -- on the day of. They were doing it in other public venues for months, of course. Anyone who claims an "investigation" is needed in their case has to be somebody who needs GPS to find his bathroom in the morning. Anyone who argues that these scum didn't really break The Law has to admit that The Law is a ass sometimes. To focus The Law on their dupes and give the instigators a pass is to strain at a gnat and swallow a camel.

Whether the morons who killed a Capitol Hill cop, or got themselves killed, or vandalized the building, or waved Confederate flags or hoisted a TRUMP flag, deserve to be called "traitors" or "terrorists" or "trespassers" is such a microscopically insignificant bit of hair-splitting that I am tempted to despair for the sanity of the nation that calls itself the "United States of America" and piously intones "This is not who we are". Bullshit. The one undeniable classification of those yahoos is: American.

That's true of the instigators too, of course. I think. I haven't seen their birth certificates.

--TP

Following up on my link about Lasorda in the OP, this may be of interest

https://www.theringer.com/mlb/2021/1/8/22221496/tommy-lasorda-dodgers-obituary

I am not saying that people should not be held accountable for their actions. I am saying that they should not be held accountable for the actions of others who were there with them who they did not know and had no communication with.

And sapient, in this I have been thinking specifically about many of the restorative justice practices that were developed to deal with the difficulty of reconciliation in Northern Ireland. I think we are on the edge of something like that dynamic. At some level in this the criminal justice framework has to yield to the political need for setting grievance aside, however real those grievances may be. We are not so far gone in the process that we have to let the principle figures go unpunished, but there has to be a level at which the scales are, not balanced, but forgiven. Negotiating what that point is leaves both sides unsatisfied, but the negotiation has to happen or the feud must be allowed to burn itself out.

George Will goes after Cruz and Hawley

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trump-hawley-and-cruz-will-each-wear-the-scarlet-s-of-a-seditionist/2021/01/06/65b0ad1a-506c-11eb-bda4-615aaefd0555_story.html

I agree with nous. It will be something of an effort, but deal with the each of the individuals individually.

As for the coup attempt, I think this sets it out pretty well.
https://www2.politicalbetting.com/index.php/archives/2021/01/09/lucky-trumps-farcial-self-coup-failed-because-of-little-more-than-the-happenstance-of-his-inadequate-political-awareness/

deal with the each of the individuals individually.

People are usually dealt with individually in the criminal justice system. People's participation in a violent, murderous act of terrorism is itself grounds for prosecution.

And that includes people like Ginni Thomas.

Also, I hope the news media publishes all of their names, not piecemeal, but in one place, so that it's easy for us to refer to it whenever we need to do a background check.

Another anecdote, second hand, but from two different people to show how it works here.

Back when they started a program to bring recent uni grads to Japan to work at local boards of education, while they got some good people, they weren't, to turn a phrase, always the best. And one of these guys (you knew it was a guy, right?) on the other side of the bell curve was posted in the snowy northern part of Japan. Though I imagine it is not as common now, back then, people would often leave their cars running when they went into some place to pick something up. So you could be trudging thru the snow and walk by a car idling with no driver in it. Our young protagonist, who was three sheets to the wind, decided it would be a good idea to get in the car and drive it home. But he didn't make it, he totaled the car.

Because this was a small town and he was employed by the board of education, everything was hushed up. This occurred over the winter break and our hero thought that if they were going to cover it up, he would go back to work because he was now flat broke.

So he got back to the office and did the Japanese thing, which is to say good morning, and receive a choral reply. But instead, there was nothing. Not even a head lifting up from the desk, a fleeting moment of eye contact. He might as well have been a ghost. He went in, sat down at his desk and after a few attempts to speak to someone, realized that no one was going to acknowledge his presence. No dressing down, no anger, just a total absence of reaction.

I don't know how long he gutted it out, maybe one day, maybe a couple of days. But it was clear that the office was going to keep doing this for as long as he was there. So he went to the section head and said that he was resigning and which the section head accepted.

Obviously, this is a Japanese kind of punishment where it is actually common
https://japanintercultural.com/free-resources/articles/oidashibeya-japanese-purgatory/

Probably too much to hope that this sort of thing could be done to Cruz and Hawley, who show no intention of resigning. They still have to be recognized if they are on the Senate floor, but I would love if everyone else had the will power to do what the Japanese office did to that guy.

Call it for what it is, a manifestation of white supremacy.

I would love if everyone else had the will power to do what the Japanese office did to that guy.

Yes. Perfect.

Joaquin Castro

In addition to supporting the impeachment and removal of Donald Trump, I am also preparing legislation that would prohibit any federal building or property from being named after President Donald J. Trump.

...

President Trump incited an insurrection that damaged some our nation’s most significant and sacred federal property.

Most importantly - let us learn from our past.

Donald Trump should never become a future generation’s confederate symbol.

that's the stuff.

https://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2021/01/i-love-a-man-in-uniform

Further to the fact that we all agree the only way to combat fake news and alternate-bubble-reality is critical thinking, this article (which I have not finished yet) seems germane:

http://paulgraham.com/think.html

I got it from the always interesting The Ruffian, on

https://ianleslie.substack.com

which is also where I got the Paul McCartney essay so many of you liked recently.

I appreciate and agree with the idea that we don't want to treat all of these people the same way. I don't think anyone is suggesting treating all of these people the same way.

What's being suggested is that none of them get a pass.

If you forcefully cross a police barricade, you know you're breaking the law. If you get into punch-ups with cops, you know you're breaking the law. If you assault news people and trash their gear, you know you're breaking the law. If you enter a public building when it's locked down for reasons of security, you know you're breaking the law.

If you enter people's private offices and go through their stuff, you know you're breaking the law. If you take stuff from those offices, let alone privileged or secure stuff, you know you're breaking the law. If you vandalize the building and its contents, you know you're breaking the law.

If you drop your trousers and take a shit in the hallways of the Capitol and then smear it around, you know you're breaking the law.

And all of that doesn't even begin to get into the dudes with zip ties, tasers, pipe bombs, molotov cocktails, and firearms.

It also doesn't get into retired and active military and police, whose professional background and training must have left them with no doubt about the legality and consequences of what they were doing.

It also doesn't get into elected public officials, whose position certainly left them with no doubt about the legality and consequences of what they were doing.

None of these people were innocent. Not one. If you can find someone who was, literally, swept along with the crowd against their will and somehow found themselves in the Capitol building, fine. That person gets a pass. But I'm guessing the number of those people asymptotically approaches zero.

Everyone who crossed the police line was engaged in an effort to interfere, by force, with the peaceful transfer of power. Something that has never happened in this country's history, including during the Civil War.

To do that knowingly and deliberately is an extraordinarily consequential act.

I am absolutely certain that many of these people engaged in this from a mistaken belief in the fraudulence of the election. That is unfortunate and to no small degree tragic and pitiable.

It does not excuse their actions, or exempt them from the consequences of their actions. Accurate information about the election is and has been available from a thousand sources.

People - functioning adult people - are responsible for the things they choose to read and listen to, and for the things they choose to believe. And they are responsible for the actions they take based on those beliefs.

We need to find every person we are able to who crossed the police line and entered the Capitol, and work our way up to everyone engaged in vandalism and looting. We absolutely need to identify every one of them who is active or retired military or police. We need to identify every one of the organizers, everyone who arranged transportation and accommodations.

We need to identify every Capitol cop that opened a barricade, took a selfie with a rioter, or otherwise failed in their responsibility to secure the Capitol.

We need to identify the folks who found their way to hard-to-find offices, and find out how they found their way to those places. If that information was provided by folks on the inside, we need to identify those folks.

We need to roll this mess up, root and branch, with no exceptions.

Why?

Because these goons have been threatening this kind of behavior for a generation at least. They've been telling us, over and over, that they are going to forcefully resist anything they don't like. They have the guns, and they are going to use them. They are the real Americans - they are 'we the people' - and the rest of us will have to suck it up.

They've been telling us this for years, and trying it on for years. With the encouragement and blessing of Donald J Trump, they've decided to take this shit out of basement and bring it into the light of day.

These people attempted to prevent the peaceful transfer of power of this country's government by force. Because they considered themselves entitled to do so.

It needs to be made absolutely crystal clear that that will not stand.

I'm not in favor of treating dumb-ass dude with his work badge bumbling around the rotunda the same way that we treat retired Air Force colonel running around the Senate floor with a handful of zip ties.

But I am absolutely not in favor of any of these people getting a pass. Not one of them.

Find them, arrest them, charge them, and exact whatever punishment is appropriate. Follow every connection and root out everyone involved in the organization and planning for this.

This was not a simple case of a peaceful protest gone out of bounds. It was an attempt to overrule and overthrow the Constitutional process of electing and seating the head of government. That is a consequential thing to attempt. If actual consequences - real, tangible consequences - don't follow, then this crap will never, ever stop.

A cost needs to be paid for this. These people need to be confronted with reality.

This.

Lieutenant Colonel Larry Rendall Brock, Jr.

Brock is the guy in combat gear running around the Senate floor with a handful of zip ties.

"I dunno, I just found them. I was gonna give them to a cop." said Brock.

Who knows, it could be true.

I'd say we should call Brock back into active duty and court martial him. Remove his pension. Require him to surrender his decorations, if that's possible.

And then, charge him with whatever criminal penalties are appropriate and exact whatever punishment follows from that.

Because we cannot tolerate seditious fifth column actors in the military, whether active or retired.

That's my suggestion. What think you, nous? Is that excessively punitive, insufficiently restorative?

I'm not trying to challenge you here or stick it to you, I'm trying to understand where the balance between punitive and restorative lies.

The man is a retired senior officer of the USAF. He took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution, and we have a picture of him which appears to show him looking for a Senator to tie up.

What's appropriate?

Not wanting to speak for nous, but I think there is something to be said to treating military and former military way more strictly than civilians. It's a matter of keeping discipline. Active or on reserve, throw the book at them. If they were in the military and they crossed that police line, you bring them back in and court martial them, and make sure you take away their pensions.

It appears that there was some aiding and abetting among the Capitol Police, directing them to offices and such. However, some of the interactions when trying to clear the building could be argued as deescalation and so you'd probably have to have a pretty high standard of proof.

They should all have their social media accounts gone over with a fine tooth comb. It is something that they can expect if they were on active duty so complaints about privacy and such don't really hold water.

Lastly (for now, from me, anyway) I am 100% in favor of impeaching Trump. Again.

Take away his $200K/year pension.
Take away his $1M/year travel allowance.
Take away his lifetime secret service detail.

Prevent him from ever holding federal office again.

Let him leave office in humiliation and utter failure.

My two cents.

wrs

It needs to be made absolutely crystal clear that that will not stand.

I'm not in favor of treating dumb-ass dude with his work badge bumbling around the rotunda the same way that we treat retired Air Force colonel running around the Senate floor with a handful of zip ties.

But I am absolutely not in favor of any of these people getting a pass. Not one of them.

This. And everything else in russell's 11.11

"I dunno, I just found them. I was gonna give them to a cop." said Brock.

seditious sponge-brained traitor says what?

arrested: Adam Johnson, the guy who carried-off Nancy Pelosi's lecturn.

heh. turns out, 'lecturn' is actually a valid but obsolete variant of 'lectern' and not just a dumb typo on my part!

And while we're at it, perhaps we can reestablish the fact that when people are required to testify in the house or senate before your elected representatives they actually have to do it (notwithstanding if there are security concerns they might have to do it in camera).

arrested: viking man. testified to the FBI that he came to D.C. "at the request of the President that all 'patriots' come to D.C."

Probably too much to hope that this sort of thing could be done to Cruz and Hawley, who show no intention of resigning. They still have to be recognized if they are on the Senate floor, but I would love if everyone else had the will power to do what the Japanese office did to that guy.

It's a cultural thing that only works if essentialy everybody is on board. With Hawley and Cruz, there are enough of the same mind that the force just isn't there.

As for recognizing Hawley on the Senate floor, there's a solution for that. Both the House and Senate have the power to find their members "unqualified." In Powell v. McCormack the Supreme Court limited that to refusal to seat based on constitutional eligibility (age, citizenship and residency). But the Senate could try for a new test case. Suggest to the court that sedition, for example, or other failure to honor one's oath of office would also be grounds.

What russell said (at 11:11)

Happily, the FBI has made clear that they are working, nationwide, to find and arrest the perps.

identified: Zip Tie guy. he's a bartender in Nashville.

Sigh.

McConnell is circulating a memo detailing how a second impeachment trial would go. According to that, proceeding before 19 January would require unanimous consent (all 100 Senators). Give Hawley, not to mention Cruz, that seems unlikely.

Everyone who crossed the police line was engaged in an effort to interfere, by force, with the peaceful transfer of power.

Does that include John Sullivan, the guy who, reportedly, was there shooting video of what happened?

McConnell was ID'd some years ago as the true destroyer of Democracy. His crocodile tears Wednesday are meaningless.

McConnell's continued electoral success is possibly the sin qua none example of how you can grind the people of your state down into the dirt and still get their votes by deflecting blame onto people they already hate.

Brock should be put on trial for whatever crimes there is evidence to support, and our national intelligence community should do whatever is in their legal and ethical power to find and analyze his private communications to determine if he did, indeed, coordinate and plan any of this. They should do whatever is within their legal and ethical power to find out how and when he came into possession of those ties and continue to prosecute there as appropriate. And, yes, he should probably have his rank and honors stripped and be drummed out at a minimum.

I don't think there is anything to be gained by putting Elizabeth from Lexington in prison for ten years as a terrorist or seditionist. She should probably be charged with criminal trespass based on self-incrimination and she should absolutely be put through a trial (not a plea bargain).

I don't say this for Elizabeth's sake. I say this for the sake of all the would-be Elizabeths who identify with Elizabeth's sense of fear and desperation. I understand wanting those people to be scared straight, but they are where they are because they have been terrorized by their own media into this, and conditioned to see a crack-down against them as the validation of the totalitarianism they believe they must oppose with their own blood. We have to break that fear and that image somehow without looking either impotent or like we are punishing them out of proportion to their crimes because of their beliefs.

This is how you always have to deal with a bloodfeud or an insurgency. You have to make it a priority not to radicalize the family and associates of those who have broken the peace while insisting on the terms of the peace.

The alternative is to let the grievance burn until the grievants are all dead or too fatigued to continue. I don't want to be a character in an Icelandic saga or in a story of The Troubles if that can be avoided.

McConnell's continued electoral success is possibly the sin qua none example of how you can grind the people of your state down into the dirt and still get their votes

What does it say about Kentucky that they repeatedly choose McConnell and Paul as their senators? Even Alabama has shown better sense than that.

(all 100 Senators)

All Senators present at the time the request is made, I think. IIRC, a motion is made and the presiding officer asks, "Are there any objections? <pause> Seeing none, the motion is adopted." The Senate is holding pro forma sessions every few days so that recess appointments can't be made. The next one is Jan 12. Might be interesting if a quorum was present. Although I assume McConnell has made sure the designated presiding officer is "safe" and would make an objection.

Does that include John Sullivan

Sullivan was apparently not trying to stop the electoral vote count. So, no.

I also don't have a big problem with Sullivan being arrested and charged with trespass or whatever charges are appropriate for his presence there. FWIW.

What does it say about Kentucky that they repeatedly choose McConnell and Paul as their senators? Even Alabama has shown better sense than that.

I guess it depends on how you measure "better sense."

Tuberville is probably too utterly, flamingly stupid to do the kind of damage McConnell has done, I'll give you that much.

identified: Zip Tie guy. he's a bartender in Nashville.

this somewhat undersells it...

he's actually a bartender at "Kid Rock’s Big Ass Honky Tonk Rock N Roll Steakhouse" !

I don't think there is anything to be gained by putting Elizabeth from Lexington in prison for ten years as a terrorist or seditionist. She should probably be charged with criminal trespass based on self-incrimination and she should absolutely be put through a trial (not a plea bargain).

I think you mean Elizabeth from Knoxville.

Elizabeth was there, by her own words, to storm the capitol and engage in revolution. I doubt she has any clear idea of what her "revolution" encompasses. But it's pretty clear she was there to try to prevent Joe Biden from becoming POTUS.

Does that assumption seem fair? Should Elizabeth be asked to explain what, exactly, she was there for?

If she was there purely to express her displeasure with the outcome of the election, and got caught up in it all and found herself joining the throng who broke the police line and entered the Capitol, then criminal trespass seems reasonable. And I don't really care all that much if she goes to jail or not.

If she was there intending to prevent the electoral count from proceeding so that - by some mysterious means - Trump would continue to be POTUS, then maybe stronger charges are warranted.

they are where they are because they have been terrorized by their own media into this, and conditioned to see a crack-down against them as the validation of the totalitarianism they believe they must oppose with their own blood.

Yes, I get that. And I'm not lacking in sympathy for people who find themselves living in a constant atmosphere of doom and paranoia.

But people are not without agency. They own some responsibility for what they embrace.

Don't you think?

Somebody has been telling them that the election was rigged, that Trump really won but cabals of bad actors in all of those corrupt big cities (especially the ones full of black people) have manipulated election law to tip the scales, that all of the recounts and court rulings - all of them - were somehow compromised. Basically, that the whole world has engaged in a conspiracy to deprive them of their chosen leader.

Do people have any responsibility at all to think twice about crap like that?

And if embracing all of that drives them to engage in mob violence, are they somehow not responsible for their own actions?

We have to break that fear and that image somehow without looking either impotent or like we are punishing them out of proportion to their crimes because of their beliefs.

I agree. And I think that is going to prove to be really hard to do, because these folks appear to be very, very attached to their beliefs, no matter how outre or fantastical.

And in the meantime, while we're all trying to talk these folks down off the ledge wherever that is possible (and it won't all be possible), we need to make it clear to them that they do not have the right to behave this way.

They have no such right.

I can't make these people stop lapping up the crap that the likes of QAnon and OAN and similar puke fountains spew on a daily basis. I can't. There is not one damned thing I can do about it.

I wish there was. There isn't.

What I can do is expect and require them to not engage in the kind of crap we've seen this week. And, unless we're pretty damned lucky, we are going to continue to see. Because these folks aren't done with this bullshit yet, I can promise you that.

A blood feud implies that there are two parties involved. There aren't two parties involved. Nobody is threatening these people, nobody is taking their rights away, nobody is preventing them from voting or engaging in public and civic life.

Nobody is doing a damned thing to them. It's in their fncking heads.

There is no feud. They fill their own heads with poison and it makes them insane.

I am 100% on board with trying to persuade them that none of the shit they believe is real. But I'm not sure how to go about doing that. We have a very liberal reading of freedom of speech in this country, and I completely support that, and that means the QAnons and the OAN's and all of the social media goons can say whatever they want to say. And I neither have nor want any control over what people choose to read or hear.

If you have a good idea about how to wean them off the toxic bullshit, all good. I don't.

But in the meantime, I by god am not going to accept the idea that these people can threaten the rest of us with violence if they don't get their way. Which they do, on a daily basis.

It is not acceptable. You can rant all you want, but when your rants turn into actions, the rest of us get to draw a line.

It's long past time to do that.

I understand that these folks are living in some weird paranoid universe. It's up to them to change that. Not me. Them.

Tuberville is probably too utterly, flamingly stupid

That's my take on Tuberville as well. And they managed (in, admittedly, special circumstances) to elect Doug Jones. Not a stellar record certainly. But better than Kentucky's.

Somebody has been telling them that the election was rigged, that Trump really won but cabals of bad actors in all of those corrupt big cities (especially the ones full of black people) have manipulated election law to tip the scales, that all of the recounts and court rulings - all of them - were somehow compromised. Basically, that the whole world has engaged in a conspiracy to deprive them of their chosen leader.

Do people have any responsibility at all to think twice about crap like that?

And if embracing all of that drives them to engage in mob violence, are they somehow not responsible for their own actions?

Allow me to suggest a thought experiment. How would these people react if it was black people, or just liberals, who had been wound up by the media they frequent and behaved similarly?

That doesn't necessarily justify coming down on them like an avalanche. But it limits my sympathy if that's what happens.

Basically, that the whole world has engaged in a conspiracy to deprive them of their chosen leader.

the story they get from the President, from their Representatives, from their Senators, from all the media they consume, possibly from their church, and probably from most of their friends and family is that the election was stolen and that "mainstream media" lies to them. (and they've been getting these kinds of stories their entire lives - generations have grown up in the current right wing mythology.

Do people have any responsibility at all to think twice about crap like that?

sometimes you'll read stories about people who break out of cults, and how hard it was for them - to deal with that first doubt that couldn't be assuaged, to start peeking out of the bubble, to consider what it would mean to break away and leave everything they know behind.

they need to get out. but it's not easy.

Look, I think we all need to be clear about what exactly was going on on Wednesday.

This wasn't a protest that got out of hand and turned violent. It was an attempt to prevent the peaceful transfer of power, following a legitimate election, conducted according to Constitutional requirements and according to law. An election which afforded ample opportunity to review and challenge results, and in which those opportunities were pursued, in great number, to their lawful conclusions.

There was an election, their guy lost. They weren't having that, so they were gonna fnck sh*t up, knock heads, and tell the rest of us how it was gonna be.

I have no idea how these people thought their actions were going to create the result they wanted. I don't imagine many of them thought it through to that level of detail. I guess they thought the rest of us would just stand down and accept it, and life would go as if it was 2016 all over again.

There was an election, they didn't like the outcome, so they were going to go fix it. With their fists, or more than. That's what the agenda was.

That makes this a category of action quite different from, for instance, the violent protests of this past summer. Horrible as they were.

It's much closer to, for example, the Wilmington Massacre of 1898, where a bunch of white vigilantes engaged in mob violence to forcefully overthrow the elected government and replaced it with their own.

I'm not really calling out the racial aspect of that, I'm calling out the coup d'etat aspect of it.

Folks seem hesitant to refer to the actions of Wednesday as an attempted coup or putsch, mostly because of (a) the comical half-assedness of most of the participants, and (b) how utterly unrealistic it is to imagine it achieving the result they were interested in.

But I'm not sure what else you call it.

It was an attempt to prevent the peaceful transfer of power. An attempt to usurp and overthrow the Constitutional process for electing and seating a head of state.

That is actually a big fncking deal, to coin a phrase.

What I am consistently struck by in all of this is the bizarre and detached-from-reality sense of entitlement that the folks involved all express. They are 'we the people', the 'real Americans'. The patriots. And they are therefore entitled to reverse the expressed will of everyone else in the country.

That IS NOT ACCEPTABLE. And will not be accepted. I don't know how to state that any more clearly or forcefully.

It will not stand.

I'm sorry these folks have filled their own heads with toxic paranoid fantasies. I'm sure all of that plays a huge part in their actions.

But they are responsible for what they did. And what they did was attempt to thwart the Constitutional process of electing and seating the head of state.

If that isn't answered forcefully, if it is allowed to stand, then we are in for a world of trouble.

I'm not sure how else to see it.

He, Trump and his capos can count on consiglieri Jonathan Turley to defend them in any 2nd impeachment trial:

The author Franz Kafka once wrote, “My guiding principle is this. Guilt is never to be doubted.” Democrats suddenly appear close to adopting that standard into the Constitution as they prepare for a second impeachment of President Trump. With seeking his removal for incitement, Democrats would gut not only the impeachment standard but also free speech, all in a mad rush to remove Trump just days before his term ends.

Democrats are seeking to remove Trump on the basis of his remarks to supporters before the rioting at the Capitol. Like others, I condemned those remarks as he gave them, calling them reckless and wrong. I also opposed the challenges to electoral votes in Congress. But his address does not meet the definition for incitement under the criminal code. It would be viewed as protected speech by the Supreme Court.

Turley is silent on whether Rudy, Paxton, Brooks, and the Trump boys also said nothing that isn't protected by the 1st Amendment. The only culprits are apparently the dumbasses who invaded the Capitol, and not all of them either.

It goes without saying that Alan Dershowitz agrees with Turley.

Protect the Don, blame his dupes, seems to be the needle these exalted shysters want to thread.

--TP

And why would so many people conspire to pull of this multilayered ruse when they could just vote?

russell - I have never said that what happened was not an attempted coup. I am not asking anyone to minimize what Trump, or the people who showed up and acted in violence, did to provoke, plan, execute, or justify that attempted coup. At no point in any of this am I asking that we lie or paint a picture of events that flatters any of the people involved or that legitimizes their beliefs. I am with you on that hard line.

I have been fighting against false equivalencies all week with people I care about but no longer trust.

But I cannot plead for clemency for the angry young man who torches a police car or the wall of an empty federal courthouse (which the right has argued to be a sort of sedition) or who avails himself of a convenient brick in the midst of unrest if I treat Eizabeth from Knoxville the same as I treat Brock.

Slightly tangential question, but one that I think needs to be tackled...are the (clearest of the) seditionists criminals or political prisoners?

A blood feud implies that there are two parties involved. There aren't two parties involved. Nobody is threatening these people, nobody is taking their rights away, nobody is preventing them from voting or engaging in public and civic life.

Blood feuds are rarely symmetrical, but they are still feuds, even if most of the impetus comes from one side and the other side spends most of its time suing for peace.

There *shouldn't* be two sides here, but there manifestly are. And the other side will invoke the names of David Dorn and the five officers killed in Dallas by Micah Johnson as evidence that our side has no regard for the peace.

Blood feuds are not mutual agreements.

But I cannot plead for clemency for the angry young man who torches a police car or the wall of an empty federal courthouse (which the right has argued to be a sort of sedition) or who avails himself of a convenient brick in the midst of unrest if I treat Eizabeth from Knoxville the same as I treat Brock.

I don't want the left to get a pass for arson either. I wouldn't argue for clemency. I'd tell that person to stop setting fires.

are the ... seditionists criminals or political prisoners

They're seditionists, but we can just charge most of them for their underlying crimes. People can think whatever they want. As cleek stated, that's been going on for a long time. It's what they did here that is actionable.

We are not Northern Ireland. We are not Yugoslavia. These people are Nazis. They have no platform (literally none), and their "grievances" are fantasy. Their purpose is hate and destruction. What they did is terrorism, not politics.

Blood feuds are rarely symmetrical, but they are still feuds, even if most of the impetus comes from one side and the other side spends most of its time suing for peace.

We have nothing to offer them.

I'm not saying that we should ask for clemency for arson. I'm asking if we should label the arsonist a seditionist and accept the view that BLM is a terrorist organization because they organized a protest and someone else came with plans to attack a courthouse?

And if we do decide to throw the arsonist in federal prison for 10 years as a terrorist, what does that do to his trajectory? Prison radicalizes more than it reforms and it often adds more trauma into the mix.

This is the sedition statute. It has to be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/2384

It's instructive too to look at the other crimes in this chapter: https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/part-I/chapter-115

We have a country. We owe it to each other to preserve its democracy as best we can, and make it more so by enforcing voting rights and free and fair elections, and by working to change institutions that are anti-democratic. We have a template in the Constitution for human rights in case the majority of our citizens turn into people who just want to oppress the rest of us.

Obviously, our democracy is flawed, but there are shining examples of people trying and succeeding in making it better. The crime of sedition is not applicable to a mostly peaceful protest where some of the crowd either infiltrates, or sabotages the peaceful members of the protest. It's about the intention of the people attending. The entire purpose of the riot in Washington was to subvert the democratic process. I have no time for both sides do it.

FWIW, I wouldn't argue for treating Elizabeth from Knoxville the same as Brock.

Like a lot of people, my opinion about the BLM protests is tempered by my empathy for the anger that a lot of black people in this country feel. Anger which is justified, in many ways.

That doesn't mean I think that people who loot, or commit arson, or pick up a brick, should be exempt from the consequences of their actions.

For that matter, my opinion about Trump supporters is in many cases tempered by my empathy for the things they are angry about. Anger which is also justified, in many ways, although my understanding of all of that likely differs from theirs.

And, likewise, they aren't exempt from the consequences of their anger.

I am not the enemy of Trump supporters. I refuse to consider myself as engaged in a feud with them, whether they want to construe my thoughts about them or my relationship with them in that way.

I have little to no control over what they think of me.

They appear to believe things that are not true, and those beliefs have incited them to take actions that are not just illegal, but actually seditious. Some of them surely don't see it that way, and would be horrified by the idea that their actions could be considered that way. Others seem fine with the idea of a fascistic putsch.

So, treat them differently. But nobody gets a pass.

I'll probably end up saying this a million times before all of this is over with, but it bears saying IMO.

The kind of action we saw on Wednesday will not stand.

I'm quite sure we haven't seen the last of it. I'll be both surprised and pleased if we get through the inauguration without further violence.

But it cannot be accepted. It cannot be allowed to go without a response.

Prison radicalizes more than it reforms and it often adds more trauma into the mix.

I applaud you if you're working on prison reform.

... So, treat them differently. But nobody gets a pass.

I'll probably end up saying this a million times before all of this is over with, but it bears saying IMO.

The kind of action we saw on Wednesday will not stand....

Agreed - my common ground with nous is that you don’t label all of these idiots terrorists (though there’s an argument to be made for that).

And Trump has to be impeached.

I bet Turley doesn't realize Kafka put that in the mouth of a judge who was overseeing a penal colony. What a wanker.

And The Hill is a recycled right wing shit pressed into the form of articles.

Apologies if this has been posted, but Marina Hyde points out anothern conspirator hiding a plain sight.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jan/08/us-chaos-britain-fox-news-trump-presidency

And Trump has to be impeached.

On the other hand, everyone could just stop making Trump the center of the story.

Plus, you know, there is also crap like this.

Some people just want to see the world burn. They love violence, they love to make other people fear them. They love causing other people pain. They think it makes them strong. It's like catnip to them. It gives them pleasure.

Think I'm exaggerating? I don't think so.

You know what else? They love Trump, and Trump loves them.

There needs to be no room for them. None.

On the other hand, everyone could just stop making Trump the center of the story.

Nobody's arguing that Trump is the whole story. But he really is, in point of fact, the center of it.

Without him, and his actions and words, this doesn't happen. You could drop out anybody else involved, and events go forward essentially unchanged. But drop out Trump, and it just doesn't happen.

A slight detour, an observation too slender to make a post, but something I want to write.

It's morning here, but what Campos wrote at the end of his post linked above has been bouncing around in my head
https://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2021/01/i-love-a-man-in-uniform

I will add that while I understand dark humor is a way of dealing with stress and anxiety, and that it’s generally good to laugh, it’s unfortunate that so much of the commentary about Wednesday’s events ends up making light of them via jokes about look at these fat old white guys cosplaying an insurrection. They weren’t joking, at all.

Obviously, we have all been talking about what should be done, but while much of the identifying of the clown-like aspects is black humor, I don't think that is the only thing that drives it. I can't give you any specific examples, seeing all the reactions is like drinking from a firehose, but some of those 'geez what clowns' seems less akin to black humor and more a defensive reaction. 'I couldn't have been responsible for this, because if I had done it, it would have been a lot better organized!' I guess that the thinking is this is obviously not me, so by pointing out the clown aspects, I am distancing myself from any responsibility.

These threads then move to liberals expressing their anger (often I see this in a FB and twitter), you get this well this is just a crazy minority and no opinion I have ever had could be connected to what they did. Call this othering by insanity quotient. In a couple of them, they then say that the problem is that liberal condescend, though I'm not sure why calling them clowns isn't condescending.

Questions of punishment aside, I draw a line from the constant denigration of the government to these Red Dawn cosplayers. Who is punished is perhaps treating a symptom of a bigger illness.

The Capitol rioters certainly need to face justice.

And, upon conviction of the felonies that MANY of them committed, lose their right to possess firearms or to vote.

FOR LIFE.

Fines and jail time are okay too, but the punishment should fit the crime.

FWIW I'm still trying to get my head around Elizabeth from Knoxville.

She travels from TN to DC to participate in "storming the Capitol" on the day that Congress is confirming the electoral vote for Biden.

Because "it's a revolution".

And she's astounded that, having tried to forcibly cross a police barricade and enter the Capitol - the freaking Capitol of the United States, while the electoral vote for POTUS was being counted - she was pushed and sprayed with pepper spray.

WHAT THE EVERLIVING F*** ARE THESE PEOPLE THINKING?!?!?!

Really, WT actual F?!? What freaking planet do these people live on?!?

I got nothing.

Does she understand that what she was engaged in was insurrection? Does she understand the magnitude of that? Does she understand how lucky she is not to have been imprisoned, or seriously hurt, or killed?

What the hell are the Elizabeths of the world playing at? Do they think this is some kind of game?

Go home, Elizabeth, and godspeed. You're in over your head.

My guess is that nothing whatsoever is going to happen to Elizabeth from Knoxville. It's not unlikely that somebody with a badge will have a conversation with her, and I'm pretty sure that the outcome of that, if there's nothing more to Elizabeth from Knoxville than what is apparent from the famous video, is that Elizabeth from Knoxville will be sent on her way. With, one hopes, some strong words about the advisability of revolutionary stormings of the Capitol in the future.

And TBH I'm fine with that. On a scale of 1 to 10, the actual threat to the republic that Elizabeth represents registers somewhere around 0.001.

These people are like some kind of bizarro world right-wing nutjob version of the folks who thought they would levitate the Pentagon.

Pro tip: the Pentagon was not levitated. And those folks at least had the excuse of intensive use of hallucinogenics.

Go home, Elizabeth, before you hurt yourself or somebody else. Get your head out of the puke funnel and find a constructive way to channel your desire for a better world.

sm freaking h

And, upon conviction of the felonies that MANY of them committed, lose their right to possess firearms or to vote.

Call my cynical. But I really do wonder how many of these folks didn't actually bother to vote in November. Whether because they were so sure that their guy would win ("everybody I know, everybody I see on TV, is for him") that they didn't think it was necessary, or for some other reason.

I don't have a guess as to how many. But I would bet it's significantly above zero.

What the hell are the Elizabeths of the world playing at? Do they think this is some kind of game?

My same thought about the 147 Republican congresspeople who voted to overthrow an election just because they didn't like the result.

Fines and jail time are okay too, but the punishment should fit the crime.


"the most frustrating part was how unsurprising it all seemed, how predictable it was that police officers would not face charges in Kenosha and how White rioters who ransacked the U.S. Capitol largely walked away unscathed."


Equal justice under the law might be nice. Including for Elizabeth from Knoxville.

Including for Elizabeth from Knoxville.

To be completely transparent, as the management lingo of the day would have it, I'll say that my first reaction to all of this crap is that the feds should round every damned one of them up and have them up on charges of sedition.

Including poor deluded Elizabeth of Knoxville.

Just fucking crush them like bugs. Every one of them. Arrest them, jail with no bail on grounds that they are a menace to society, try them for sedition and insurrection, and let the chips fall where they may.

And if they want to respond to that by bring their game up, the rest of us will do the same. Want a war? We'll give you a damned war.

You think you're funny, building a gallows across from the Capitol? Think you're a tough guy?

Maybe you'd like to hang from it.

Upon reflection, that seems perhaps a bit extreme. So I'm open to a more measured response.

But these jerks are really trying the patience of the rest of us.

This shit needs to stop, and I do mean like yesterday.

No more of this. No more. It stops, or it will be stopped.

Dream on McDuff

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2021/01/09/kentucky-patriot-rally-armed-protesters-capitol/6610891002/

They left peacefully, but

https://www.wsaz.com/2021/01/10/kentucky-house-forming-panel-to-consider-impeachment-petition-filed-against-gov-beshear/

We've talked a lot about Western states here so some folks may want to comment on these two articles

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/jan/09/us-capitol-attackers-violence-rural-west

https://www.earthisland.org/journal/index.php/articles/entry/the-road-to-capitol-went-through-bundy-ranch

So I'm open to a more measured response.

But these jerks are really trying the patience of the rest of us.

This shit needs to stop, and I do mean like yesterday.

Part of the reason it keeps going, in my opunion, is that past responses have been TOO "measured." Experience has taught them that their actions, legal or not, mostly won't have significant consequences. So why not keep acting out?

Think about the series of events with the Bundys. In 1993, Bundy stopped renewing his permit to graze cattle on BLM land in Nevada. But kept grazing them there. It took 5 years, until 1998, to get a court order that he stop. Which order he ignored.

In 2013, because the earlier order had become "stale," a new court order was obtained. And, of course, ignored. In 2014, BLM started rounding up the illegally grazing cattle. There were armed confrontations, leading to . . . BLM suspending the round up. And Bundy's cattle were returned, to "de-escalate" the situation. At last count, Bundy owes well over a million dollars in unpaid grazing fees.

Bundy claims he doesn't even recognize the US government's existance. Given his experience, perhaps not surprising.

Sorry, one more link

https://www.npr.org/2020/10/22/926279072/militia-leader-known-as-the-bundy-ranch-sniper-seeks-a-new-title-senator

Since he's running in Idaho, he'd likely have a good chance. Except for apparently being insufficiently extreme.

Back to the Capitol with this article

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/emmanuelfelton/black-capitol-police-racism-mob

The officer even described coming face to face with police officers from across the country in the mob. He said some of them flashed their badges, telling him to let them through, and trying to explain that this was all part of a movement that was supposed to help.

“You have the nerve to be holding a blue lives matter flag, and you are out there fucking us up,” he told one group of protestors he encountered inside the Capitol. “[One guy] pulled out his badge and he said, ‘we’re doing this for you.’ Another guy had his badge. So I was like, ‘well, you gotta be kidding.’”

If they identify people who are police officers from elsewhere from camera footage, I've got no problem firing them for cause, even if they were just going to the rally to see their man.

wrs

I am increasingly convinced that there is no way forward as a country unless we get rid of these treasonous, insane, violent, murderous, shit-smearing, mindless, delusional douchecanoes.

Staring with their Dear Leader, all of his enablers, and working our way down to Nazi Viking or whatever the hell that horned clown was supposed to be.

Crushing them like bugs sounds good to me.

Ask and it shall be given?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2021/01/09/investigating-police-rioters/

And, upon conviction of the felonies that MANY of them committed, lose their right to possess firearms or to vote.

FOR LIFE.

Fully agree to the first but strongly object to the latter. The right to vote should be sacrosanct. Millions already get disenfranchised because they got into the mills of justice with or without just cause, and it is a favorite tool of voter suppression. On this point I am an absolutist. Clinical insanity or dementia (closely circumscribed)should be the only exceptions.

Since I just stumbled over the number in a different context: About 5.1 million US citizens of voting age were banned from voting due to felony convictions in October 2020. 1.5 million of those in Florida.

The explanation for Elizabeth from Knoxville is similar to the explanation for many of the Trump actions during his presidency: ignorance. Ignorance of the law, ignorance of what words mean, ignorance of how things work, or are supposed to work. And that last takes you back to the Bundys, who have also been much on my mind. Interesting how the right's zero tolerance of crimes or breaches of the law is so inconsistent.

Yeah, Hartmut, but felonies that involve attacking the integrity of elections should result in loss of voting privilege.

And that's what these MAGAts were doing, bigly.

It would be abused by the usual suspects, same as with 'material support for terrorists'.

What I am consistently struck by in all of this is the bizarre and detached-from-reality sense of entitlement that the folks involved all express. They are 'we the people', the 'real Americans'. The patriots. And they are therefore entitled to reverse the expressed will of everyone else in the country.

they don't believe Trump lost, because every source of information they trust says he didn't.

By now I assume all of you have read this. If not, please do so.

And, upon conviction of the felonies that MANY of them committed...

Most of them are probably thinking, "I'm white, they'll plea bargain it down to a misdemeanor, the fine won't be any more than what I spent on the airfare and hotel." After the Malheur trials, I'm not sure but what that's accurate.

By now I assume all of you have read this. If not, please do so.

that was great.

i've been toying with the idea of an NYT subscription. that might have done it. (plus my sister in law is now as associate editor in the food section!)

"I'm white, they'll plea bargain it down to a misdemeanor, the fine won't be any more than what I spent on the airfare and hotel."

i suspect Biden's DoJ won't be eager to bargain with them.

Upon reflection, that seems perhaps a bit extreme. So I'm open to a more measured response.

Even at this point? Perhaps.

However, we are dealing with incipient fascism, and how do we deal with fascists? Here's some rather prescient advice.

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