An Act of Tyranny in Our Midst


This will be short, and not filled with data and factoids. It reflects my deep concern for the future of the United States.

The events of January 6, 2021 will go down in history for all time as one of the darkest days in history of the United States. A mob of ten thousand or more angry supporters of President Trump gathered in Washington, DC, and marched on the Capitol to protest the election of Joe Biden.

This was an organized mob, dressed in various ways including aggressive combat and protective gear as well as other assorted crazy paraphernalia. They responded to a well-planned and orchestrated effort to disrupt the congressional session scheduled, per the Constitution, that day to accept the votes of the Electoral College. After some sixty or so legal challenges and lawsuits, none of the claims of illegality have been supported by judges, many if not most of them appointed by Republican presidents.

The “protest” had been planned on various web sites and the invitation was coordinated with a speech that morning by President Trump in which he encouraged the group to correct the wrongs, in his words, that “stole the election” from him. He stated that he had won, “by a lot,” and that “everyone knows it.” Other than an echo chamber that repeats and reflects vapid claims of wrong, there is no information by anyone that supports any illegalities of any meaningful size. Mr. Biden won by seven million votes, a percentage win of 51.3% to 46.9% (there were votes of 1.8% for other candidates) and “flipped” the following states from Trump wins in 2016 to Biden wins: MN, WI, MI, PA, GA, AZ, VA, CO, and NH. Georgia was the closest with only 0.2% separating the two candidates. Th Georgia vote, in particular has been recounted several times and numerous legal challenges have confirmed the results. The vote and the recounts all have been conducted under the auspices of Republican leadership of the state, elected Republicans who have been besmirched numerous times by President Trump, in his own words, because they did not “go ahead and give me the votes I needed.”

The mob marched on the Capitol after hearing the President ask them to “make things right” and “get angry” and swarmed over, around, and through security lines. They turned violent as they entered the Capitol building. They broke windows and forced the small security forces back. They entered the Senate Chambers and at least one ruffian sat in the Vice President’s chair with his feet on the desk. They entered the private offices of Nancy Pelosi and others and some carried off pieces of furniture. They strewed papers and trash around. This was the first occupation and malicious damage to the Senate and House buildings since British troops in 1812 occupied and burned the capitol! This will be a day that joins Pearl Harbor as one that goes down in infamy. And it all was conjured up by far-right conspiracy theorists who have no connection to the facts and reality and who are egged on by a delusional and increasingly mentally unstable President.  The President at least condoned the actions, if not tacitly assisting in the planning and organization. This is an act of Sedition. No doubt!

As the dust settles (literally) and as we can assess what happened, it is much more dangerous than first reported. Yes, it was an attack on our democracy, of the first order. But it could have been much, much worse. The attacking mob included people with explosives. It included people who had “zip-tie handcuffs.” Some could have held U.S. representatives and/or Senators as hostages. Can you imagine the dilemma of “Make Donald Trump President or we execute Nancy Pelosi as an enemy of the state?” This country might have come much closer to that than we ever want to imagine.

Trump’s legacy, which has actions and decisions both positive and negative, popular and unpopular, now will be remembered as the President who led a futile and brazen attack on the U.S. Capitol. The people in this mob were, and still are, dangerous; they are not going away. They have convinced themselves that some illusory and invisible, omnipotent movement, led by … this varies ... Jewish wealthy people … “deep state,” or whatever - forces they mention at times, now are layered into an existential threat. Now a 20% group of Americans refuse to recognize logic. Nothing can convince them. Their members include totally insane elements like Q-Anon which posit Hillary Clinton led a child pornography ring centered in a pizza parlor’s back room on a main street in Washington, DC. One of these members now is an elected Republican member of Congress from Georgia! Elements of this group previously had planned to kidnap and perhaps execute the governor of Michigan because she, in their opinion, has not followed their vision of government. It is hard to write this material without laughing, or crying, but the dark side of this insanity persists. The web now allows conspiracy theorists of all sorts to amplify and distort anything they want to support lunacy. The danger is inside us now.

Hopefully, security will be increased to prevent future actions along these crazy-thinking lines. The Inauguration must be held w/out organized mob threats. It will be both necessary to hold those accountable, and also deal with the underlying insanity that apparently is embedded within a sizable element to the population, mostly Republicans. Will the Republican Party survive as a responsible force? Will the Democratic Party be able to handle their own elements who want drastic changes, and now? At the time, the major threat to the future stability of this country is from within.

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Enjoy life; it's the only one we will get.

J.K. (Jim) George


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29 Responses

  1. SEA
    Accurate analysis, Jim. The president has engaged in multiple acts of sedition, defined as: . SEDITION: Incitement of discontent or rebellion against a government. Any action, especially in speech or writing, promoting such discontent or rebellion. 18 U.S. Code § 2383 - Rebellion or insurrection Whoever incites, sets on foot, assists, or engages in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States or the laws thereof, or gives aid or comfort thereto, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States. 18 U.S. Code § 2384 - Seditious conspiracy If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both
  2. The Republicans, like Lindsey Graham, who finally said words to the effect that "This is enough." were late to the table. The others, who take comfort in the votes they get from right-wing nut-jobs who believe the conspiracy theories aren't worth courting IMHO. The lack of integrity in much of the Republican Party has caused me to change my registration to Independent. I won't go to the Democrat Party as I don't agree with much of what they say is there platform. Once again, although worse than 2016, we were left for poor choices regarding our Presidential votes. I would describe them as "not good" and "terrible." I hope for better in 2024, but am not optimistic. I want to see a deep and serious investigation of what happened this week. There is a lot of blame to go around, especially regarding the apparent ignoring of readily available intel and the dismal performance, for the most part, of the Capital Police Department. I expect prosecutions of all those who broke the law and hope to see an Impeachment of what amounts to the worst President this nation has ever suffered! I realize there will be no trial, but Impeachment has its "benefits" and is greatly deserved in this case. I pray Trump will not do anything more to harm our nation and its reputation. Republicans need to reform their Party, desperately so! More importantly, we need those with integrity, and especially the mainstream media, to expose the conspiracies for what they are--nonsense! Follow the money.
  3. I understand Mr. George's felt-need to document his feelings about the very recent move on the US capitol. However, I must have missed his condemnation of the year-long rioting that has taken place in major cities throughout the country.
  4. SEA
    Accurate assessment, Jim. The President has engaged in multiple acts of sedition, which is defined as: SEDITION: Incitement of discontent or rebellion against a government. Any action, especially in speech or writing, promoting such discontent or rebellion. And the U.S code describes the penalty for such actions as: 18 U.S. Code § 2384 - Seditious conspiracy If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both 18 U.S. Code § 2383 - Rebellion or insurrection Whoever incites, sets on foot, assists, or engages in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States or the laws thereof, or gives aid or comfort thereto, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.
  5. Good commentary, Jim. I agree with you completely. To me, what is especially worrying are the millions of people in America who let themselves be manipulated by demagoguery and swayed by false, evidence-free assertions. Those of us in higher education often tout critical thinking skills as a goal for our students. Unfortunately, it’s clear we are falling down on the job.
  6. I was saddened but not surprised by the events that unfolded this week. The hateful rhetoric that spewed from Trump's finger tips has been sowing and the fruits of his harvest was on full display when dogman with horns planted the stars and bars flag on the Senate floor. This deplorable behavior has been on display going back to the chant of "Let them die" during the Republican primary and the constant vilifying of one ethnic group over another. Red states, blue states, I thought we were the United States? Erosion of the public education system and electing inept people equates to bad public policy. The government should be and can be a force of good for ALL citizens. These traitors should get off of tweets like sheep and think for themselves, but that maybe asking a lot. It's a sad day for America!
  7. Jim! I didn’t realize that you were an author. Good for you! I completely agree that the mayhem in DC was outrageous. Blame lies totally at the feet of Trump. But.... Media portrayed last summer’s riots in Portland, Seattle, and Minneapolis as “mostly peaceful” protests. Really? The far Left anarchists were just as lawless and far more destructive than the morons in DC the other day. Interestingly, last summer the Left insisted on defunding police. Yet, Capitol police are now being criticized for an “inadequate response” to the rioters. Which is it? My point is this: the extreme wings of Right and Left are dangerous, malignant entities that would willingly destroy America, just as long as their side prevailed. As long as people refuse to acknowledge this mutual responsibility, nothing will get better. IMO, those that deny it are either not fully informed or are so partisan that they continue to be part of the problem.
  8. JK James George
    From Anon-1: Jim, the current post is very well stated. I am (aligned well with you). It still disappoints me that some of our colleagues in radio—contesters who have the ability to design, construct and operate complex stations, highly educated engineers, attorneys, professional executives—are members of this insane group of believers in Trump’s fictitious world of lies, told over and over and over. I watched hours of live television on Wednesday with my eyes and mouth wide. Impeachment or not, I hope after Jan. 20 Pres. Biden will use the benefit of his control of Congress to unwind the horrors that Donald Trump has left him. Be well,
  9. JK James George
    From Anon-2: I hope that you and your wife are doing OK and holding up through this really unbelievably strange time in our lives. Had I told you about, or maybe sent you, the Snyder book, On Tyranny? How naïve I was to think that this wouldn't really happen in the U.S. I can't wait for January 20, 2021, but, like you, I know that Trump's supporters are not going to go away. I always appreciate your perspective and commentaries on the issues of the day. I suppose that is because yours align with mine, but you are so thoughtful and seemingly grounded in your messages. I tend to get more emotional than I would like to be and so my discussions/ debates lose impact because of that. My daughter and her husband (and sons) are very much on the conservative side of the spectrum and have been Trump supporters. In the meantime, please keep sharing your good messages with all of your followers. I'm happy to be one of them. Happy New Year - may 2021 bring us some much needed calm and peace.❤
  10. I'm astonished that anyone like the anonymous Hokie '64 would try at this point to draw an equivalence between what happened Wednesday and other, regrettable and universally condemned acts of violence occurring around the country. Saying "there are bad people on both sides" is nonsense when the bad people on one side are lied to, egged on, and applauded by the temporary occupant of the highest public office in the land. The Hartford Courant's leading Republican columnist penned a blistering condemnation of Trump and his enablers that was published this morning. For there to be any healing across party lines more Republicans need to do the same.
  11. JK James George
    From Anon-3: For months, the numerous riot, burning, assault and murder by BLM and Antifa was acceptable and praised by quoting Dr Martin Luther King that riots are the language of the unheard. We're you equally appalled by this insurrection? and then Anon-3 added the following in an additional comment after I took issue with his comment in a private email exchange: How can you possibly justify the actions of BLM and Antifa based on lies and something that occurred 150 years ago? Your knowledge of "slavery" is minimal. I suggest you read the book Black Rednecks and White Liberals by Thomas Sowell. Dr. Sowell is a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institute, Stanford University. My favorite author and he happens to be black. BLM and the hands up movement glorifies a black who robbed a store and tried to kill a cop. Regarding slavery, blacks were sold into slavery BY OTHER BLACKS! Dr. Sowell approached Alex Haley with this fact and Haley said ROOTS was intended to give his people a myth to live by. One other point, there were more white. Slaves in this country's history than blacks. Please read the book.
  12. JK James George
    From Anon-4: As always, Jim, I enjoy your writing.
  13. JK James George
    From Anon-5: First, your article is well crafted and reflects the views of the majority of Americans from both political parties. Your 20 percent estimate is far from correct. I would guess that the number of die-hard Trump supporters who rioted is closer to one percent. Many who rioters were delusional as evidenced by their dress and actions. All those who entered the Capitol should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Best wishes for a Better 2021. Sign me as an Independent , moderate fiscal conservative.
  14. JK James George
    From Anon-6: Mr. George, Agree with (Anon-5's) comments except I don't know about percentages but my feeling is any are almost too many... The attached article is testament to disillusionment and radicalization. (which comes first, the chicken or the egg?)
  15. JK James George
    From Anon-7: Your Blog was so perfect in every way. Every time I read it I learn something new. I’ve read it so often I almost have it memorized ! Today I’m going to start sending it to as many people as I know. Thank you for your hard work and intelligent and caring way you write. You have a special talent and it helps many of us understand and deal better with this awful tragedy.
  16. JK James George
    From Anon-8: Hi Jim, I hope you are well. Thank you for your well thought out blogs. Here’s my two cents on the insurrection in Washington. The longer term story here may not be the Trump or even the radical right. Extremists will come and go. That goes back to dawn of civilization. What is different now is the internet. First, I digress a moment about the internet. I have read that the largest organism in the world is the aspen tree forests in Colorado because within each forest all of the aspen trees are connected by their roots. I think the human population in the age of the internet is analogous. Pre-internet we were relatively independent. We have become increasingly connected via radio, telephony, TV, mobile phones. Even going back to the printing press. But the internet is a quantum jump compared to these. Essentially EVERY human capable of accessing the internet is connected. All people, everywhere, all the time, and for whatever reason. The technology is in place to do text and voice translation making the internet a global means of connectedness. What it means to be a human has changed by something of our own device. In a science fiction novel, the machine has become the next human. As I said, there have always been extremist driven by pure fiction. Take the Puritan persecution of “witches” in Salem. Or more recently the Branch Davidians and Jimmy Jones' cult in Guyana. One key difference between those radical movements and the radical right in the U.S. (and the Islamic radicals) is the earlier movements were more or less confined to one geographic area where people shared radical ideas face to face. Before the internet, wackos were tamped down because most of the people around each of them were of sounder mind. Now there are no such bounds. It’s like they are all neighbors. Once there becomes mass hysteria it infects people that are not wacko. Those people, largely in rural areas in the south and mid-west, obey the human need of feeling like part of a community (and not sticking out) To be sure, the current threat to our democracy has very specific roots. The blue collar class has been disenfranchised - they have lost jobs principally by automation and China. This trend started long before Trump. Racism is also a large factor. The radical right wants to “Make America Great Again” by putting blacks back in their place, were they were in 20th century and before. There was the tinder for a fire waiting for a match. The match that came along was much more powerful than people thought - in fact a flame thrower. So in the near term we have to deal with Trump and more importantly the radical right. Politicians, commentators, activists, academics, clergy, etc. will have volumes to speak about that. In the longer run, the human population, and for us the American people, need to think about how we can soften the ability of the internet to turn radicals into a mass movement. I don’t know how the genie can be put back in the bottle, if it even can. Maybe one way is to call on the titans of technology to help. Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, and Elon Musk. (Together they are worth over $600 B!) I think Bill Gates gets this. He understands the downside of technology (For example, he said that every time a company replaces a person with a robot it should have to pay a special tax that would go to helping the displaced worker find new work). What will the next “radical” movement be? Maybe global climate change. There are many people that believe in pure fiction about global warming. They have a means to congregate on the internet to exchange those lies. Maybe it is another religious movement. And I’m not sure that the next example of mass hysteria based on lies and enabled by the internet will not come from the left. There a lot of delusional liberals out there. When I entered (university) in 1982 I didn’t start in the Mechanical Engineering program. I started in the Technology and Policy program - a program intended to understand the impact of technology on society and guile public policy to maximize the benefit and minimize the downside. At that time I was focused on the environment, the energy crisis, and the threat of nuclear war. I had no clue that there would be another technical creation that would have such a profound negative (and positive) impact on society. Of course the internet and technology more broadly have been largely positive, but the negative impacts can be just as large. I view, in a way, man’s alternation of the global environment is more profound than the use of fossil energy too fuel the industrial revolution. I would not say the national dialog should shift to technology. There is an existent threat to our nation - the radical right based on lies. - that must be addressed immediately.
  17. JK James George
    From Anon-9: YOUR BLOG WAS RIGHT ON.
  18. JK James George
    From Anon-10: Jim, your blog says Biden flipped VA, CO and NH but I think Hillary won those in 2016 also. I may be misinterpreting what you wrote though.
  19. JK James George
    From Anon-11: Very insightful and intelligent comments! Even better, I could feel your controlled frustration seething underneath your words! I’m sending it to everyone I know! Thanks for going the extra mile in keeping people like me informed in a competent and thoughtful way.
  20. JK James George
    From Anon-12: A Shocking Act of Insurrection. Agreed Jim, totally shocking, saddening. But I saw a poll last night said 45% of Republicans agreed with the assault. How can our country have come to this?
  21. JK James George
    From Anon-12: Jim, the efforts of the Right-wing pundits aren’t to be dismissed... and they persist! This is a bad situation with human nature at its worst!
  22. Jim: I am glad you had the presence of mind and skill in writing to present the views that most of us share. I’m still in shock as are most in my circle of friends. Hoping this will be a wake up call that will lead to a smooth transfer of power and subsequent calming of the “waters.”
  23. JK James George
    From Anon-13: I am perfectly willing to accept that lots of people have lots of crazy ideas about life. Look at ISIS. Their beliefs are moronic and surely life or death. But I am just at a standstill when no rules of logic or fact comparison I have ever known in my life can be utilized to understand where these folks are coming from. We should have really paid a lot more attention way back at the start of Trumps administration when Kelleyanne Conway said, well we have “alternative facts”. “You are entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts” has died a sorry death.
  24. JK James George
    From Anon-14: (This is heavily edited, but too good to omit completely) To start, I had been a strong supporter of Trump. I am a lifelong Republican and believe that their agenda (assuming they have one) is more in line with what I believe to be correct for this country. I believe in working for what you get, I believe that our country belongs to us and to be here you need to come here legally and live within our laws and ethics. Regarding 2nd amendment. I believe strongly in the right to keep and bear arms. The BLM activities underscored the fact that our law enforcement system will not protect you from harm. Our community is rural. Half this area has no cell coverage. My wife is in a business where she is in very rural locations. She carries a semi automatic pistol She took all the classes and has a Concealed Carry permit. I have had a CCP. I also carry a semi automatic pistol. Bear in mind, I am not the type that seeks to hurt anything or anyone. I actually detest hunting. I fish, but use barbless hooks and release everything. The summer, I was infested with chipmunks. Could have shot or poisoned them, but chose to use peanut butter and live traps (actually moved over 25 chipmunks into a new chipmunk condo development in the national forest, they are all happy with their friends up there). That being said, I tend to agree with you about some of the extreme weaponry. But in reality it's not the guns that kill. It is the warped mind behind the gun. That being said, Trump came to the game as a businessman, not a politician. Professional politicians tend to be in the game solely to extend the time in the game. The endless debates that go on in the House and Senate between majority and minority sides proves the point that they generally just want to hear themselves talk. I am sorry, but believe that neither side truly has the interests of the country over their desire to stay in office. Trump bought the appearance of "Making America Great" again. Read Brokaw's book to know what he was presumably leading us back to. Trump defeated himself in this election. He began in the first debate by looking a bit like what he turned out to be, self centered and overbearing. Some of those traits undoubtedly came from his professional career and experiences. That debate turned the lights off for some of his supporters. I was equally unimpressed with Biden. I candidly don't see him as a strong leader, he is/was mouthing the rhetoric of his party's agenda, playing to the voters. When the results of the election were in, I was disappointed, but held out hope on two fronts. One was if there was truth to some improper activity in the election in the swing states. That, of course, knowing our legal system would have tied things up for half a year. Trump overplayed the game. From the leader of the Country, he became a leader of a revolt. His actions created an environment of protest from his supporters. Regardless of what side you choose to believe in, there will never be peaceful protest. The BLM protests digressed into looting the personal property damage to individuals that didn't deserve those things to occur. The (recent Trump mob) protest in Washington was vigilante justice in its finest hour. . The second hopeful front was to retain some balance of power in the Senate. I fear what will happen to our liberties when you have all the cards held by one side. Doesn't matter which side has all the cards (as both Republicans and Democrats approach being mirror images of each other), losing that balance gives me concern. Trump's actions lost that race in Georgia. He lost it in two ways. His personal agenda to retain his office. The second way was the misguided loyalty that was given to him by one or both of the Republican Candidates for those seats. The Democrats won it by promising that two Democratic seats will guarantee the high Stimulus payment. What a short term, myopic reason to vote for someone. So here we are. The game continues with this and that politician trying to burn Trump at the stake. Instilling more dissension in the populace. Individuals will have to again take up sides, defend their turf. The once American philosophy of working hard to provide for yourself and your family has turned into Graffiti on the garage doors of McConnell and Pelosi demanding "where is MY money". Not sure why I wrote this. I guess to get it off my chest. I voted for Trump. It scares me in a way. Perhaps had he won, the next four years would have been like the last four and we would never have seen his colors. I wonder whether I should feel guilt for my vote, but I don't. In my mind, I wasn't so much voting for the man as I was voting for what I believe to have been best for the country. Return us to the kind of country we were when the world came down on us in WW2. Return us to the county we were after the 911 assault, where we were proud of being American. Return us to a country where people like professional athletes were respected for their skills, not their anti-America beliefs. Trump and his followers have destroyed the Republican Party. Personally, I remain a believer in the philosophies of conservatism. I will remain that way, regardless of the party name on the ballot. I fear what will happen in the upcoming term. My worst fear is that Biden won't make it to the end. I also believe this is the beginning of the end of this great nation. I am not sure you can heal the wounds. I am not sure that you can rule out some sort of civil insurrection. I am not sure that you can rule out the things we see in other countries where governing bodies are removed by physical force.
  25. JK James George
    From Anon-15: Reading your blog and all of the replies, of course reinforces what (my wife and I) and believe to be true. The last one (Anon-14), though well spoken and well intentioned, was in the end, disappointing because it attempted to rationale away why some still voted for the man. It's like, when will some of our well educated friends wake up and call the spade the fucking shovel it really is, or, something like that?
  26. JK James George
    From Anon-16: Very impressive. You summarized it well. Thanks,
  27. JK James George
    From Anon-16: This blog was one of the best summaries I've read of this President and the sad situation. Well done.
  28. JK James George
    From Anon-17: I've read a number of your recent blog posts including the most recent one about the January 6 attacks on the capitol building. Wow. Thanks for your work to document the times we are living through.

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