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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 1/9/21

Should Progressives Be Inspired by the DC Rioters?

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In these pages, on January 3rd, Michael Moore asked an important question. He wondered "Why Are We Not Uprising?" His revolutionary issue was the lack of single-payer healthcare so relentlessly highlighted by the worldwide covid-19 pandemic. Why no revolution, he asked, when so many are dying from clearly remediable causes - when the vast majority of Americans want single-payer?

Response to Moore's article showed that he had indeed touched a revolutionary chord.

An Actual Uprising Ignored

But then last Wednesday, when an actual uprising took place, everyone, it seemed, wanted to join hands across the proverbial aisle separating left and right. They jointly lamented the shocking breakdown of law and order. (The "Rising's" Krystal Ball and Sagaar Enjeti provide an example of that shared reaction.)

Think about it, everyone said: the rioters actually "desecrated" the Capitol Building' "sacred" space! They broke some windows. They took selfies of themselves standing at the podium of the House of Representatives. They ransacked poor Nancy Pelosi's office! They forced Mitch McConnell and Co. to run for their lives.

Washington police and Capitol police responded with a wink and a nod.

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Mike Rivage-Seul is a liberation theologian and former Roman Catholic priest. Retired in 2014, he taught at Berea College in Kentucky for 40 years where he directed Berea's Peace and Social Justice Studies Program. His latest book is (more...)
 

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14 people are discussing this page, with 46 comments  Post Comment


Mike Rivage-Seul

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Do you find it possible to see Wednesday's rioters in a constructive light? Are the parallels with BLM justified?

Submitted on Saturday, Jan 9, 2021 at 10:00:01 AM

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Nels Wight

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Reply to Mike Rivage-Seul:   New Content

I learned early, Mike. Judge not that ye be not judged. I'm still allowing myself to apply

salt. We all get righteously indignant at times. Before this gets locked into our shallow minds,

I suggest waiting until we know more, the chance of false flagging touches my fringes,

Oftimes we sense it might be rotten in Denmark.

How goes it in Connecticut, are you still harvesting nutmeg?

Submitted on Saturday, Jan 9, 2021 at 10:34:52 PM

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Mike Rivage-Seul

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Reply to Nels Wight:   New Content

Actually Nels, we're now in Clearwater Beach, FLA till the end of February. Even here, I wish it were warmer.

Submitted on Sunday, Jan 10, 2021 at 2:03:03 AM

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Insightful! Thanks, Mike!

Submitted on Saturday, Jan 9, 2021 at 11:47:12 AM

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Mike Rivage-Seul

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Reply to Meryl Ann Butler:   New Content

Thank you, Meryl Ann. Your endorsement is much valued. I had my doubts about sharing this one even though I believe its content.

Submitted on Saturday, Jan 9, 2021 at 6:36:32 PM

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Thanks Mike. People on the left need to learn lessons from this.

Submitted on Saturday, Jan 9, 2021 at 6:12:56 PM

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Mike Rivage-Seul

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Reply to Rob Kall:   New Content

Your help on this is much appreciated, Rob.

Submitted on Saturday, Jan 9, 2021 at 6:37:09 PM

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Reply to Mike Rivage-Seul:   New Content

So, Mike and Rob, I'm getting a little confused: would those, like Michael Moore, who call for an uprising be, in Rob's words, "seditious terrorists", patriots, or what? I know I'm not supposed to treat these people in a parallel way, but according to Rob's article, it's not people using their first amendment rights to protest that makes them terrorists, it's the extra-legal steps some of them took, breaking windows, unlawful entry, and so forth, that makes them terrorists. So Michael Moore would not be a terrorist if he made sure that those he calls to rise up are careful not to break windows? Exactly how does it work?

Or is it that people on one side of a social-political divide are "freedom fighters" and the other side, the "deplorables", are"seditious terrorists"? If we (the non-deplorables) could just get it straight that it's not what they do but what they think that makes them "terrorists", we wouldn't have to worry about the small stuff, who's breaking into a government building or breaking a window, and we could just go ahead and gun them down when they raise their heads to "engage in violence", as Rob suggested in his article, referring to potential disrupters on January 20. Give 'em a little whiff of grapeshot, as the British colonialists used to say.

Submitted on Saturday, Jan 9, 2021 at 7:32:13 PM

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Mike Rivage-Seul

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Reply to Fred W:   New Content

Fred, I'm not quite sure what you're asking. I attempted to make it clear that both the DC insurrectionists and the BLM protestors are both expressing justified anger at representatives who don't represent, at an entirely broken electoral system, and at a social organization that serves wealthy donors rather than "we the people." Meanwhile those donors and the MSM they control are trying mightily to divide and conquer -- to make us see one another as irreconcilable enemies, lest we unite against them. In that context, breaking windows and setting fires are seen as acts beyond the pale -- as if Americans were generally non-violent instead of a people who sponsor massive destruction of property across the planet in service of the military industrial complex. What I tried to say is that actions like those witnessed during the DC riot and the BLM (even if performed by agents provocateurs) protests are part of the uprising that Michael Moore called for.

Submitted on Saturday, Jan 9, 2021 at 9:02:02 PM

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Thanks, Mike. I guess it's more Rob than you I'm confused by.

Submitted on Saturday, Jan 9, 2021 at 9:55:22 PM

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I encouraged Mike to run it and top headlined it. I agree with a lot of it.

Submitted on Sunday, Jan 10, 2021 at 5:58:45 AM

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Great article, Mike. Below are my observations that I sent a friend the day after the incident:

Final Score: Security State-28, Public-3

The clock's winding down and Trump just took a knee. He won a short skirmish with a field goal just before the two minute warning. But yesterday was the epitome of a Pyrrhic victory. The "mess on the steps" must have seemed too good to be true for the Department of State and the new administration in waiting. They couldn't have planned a better scenario to advance their oncoming crusade of censorship or to insure that the rage of last summer's riots never hooks up with the rage of yesterday's occupation. Despite what the courtesans in the national news media would have you believe, these two sides are at heart antiestablishment - natural born allies. The media is now stumbling over itself in stressing how this was all about race, when it is really all about class struggle and the public's revulsion with the life being forced upon it by the established order. Yet, it's amazing to me how Trump's monstrous ego prevents him from seeing how he once again played right into their hands. He just can't help himself, like a bull who keeps charging the picador despite being lanced each time. Tragic, pathetic, and oblivious to the fact that the real loser, as usual, would be the Public. .youtube.com/watch?v=oTOe1OEg6QM

---

The New York Times has wasted no time publishing not one but two new articles bolstering the narrative that more internet censorship is needed to prevent repeats of today's incidents. Just so we're clear, the policing lesson for today was not that cops should have been more brutal with the Trumpers, it was that they should have been much more restrained during the BLM protests but chose not to be. Don't let them troll you into cheering for police brutality. - Caitlin Johnstone

Submitted on Saturday, Jan 9, 2021 at 7:51:42 PM

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Mike Rivage-Seul

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Reply to John Lawrence Ré:   New Content

Thanks, John. Clearly, you saw earlier than I did what was really happening in DC. Both left and right are anti-establishment. The powers that be don't want us to perceive our natural allies.

Submitted on Saturday, Jan 9, 2021 at 9:04:03 PM

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Reply to Mike Rivage-Seul:   New Content

Exactly. . . . . . .

Submitted on Saturday, Jan 9, 2021 at 9:41:19 PM

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Reply to John Lawrence Ré:   New Content

Ah, John, in vino, veritas (inRome), today "troppo vino" often brings out truth.

With JLR, even without vino - always truth.

Submitted on Sunday, Jan 10, 2021 at 4:09:33 PM

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Where were the voices against the BLM and ANTIFA in large Dem controlled cities during Trumps 4 years? Crickets?

Submitted on Saturday, Jan 9, 2021 at 7:54:35 PM

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Reply to Lee Beacham:   New Content

Lee, BLM didn't even exist for the first 3 years of that pre-pandemic time. As far as Antifa, they mean, and have meant, very little during the 2019-20 campaign. Antifa was a straw man for the Right, including most prominently Trump, who aggressively declared, at the second Presidential Debate, that all the trouble was being caused by them, after he ordered The Proud Boys to "Stand down and stand by."

Unless you count the fellow who was shot by a loner who declared himself (with no evidence) Antifa, and was then mowed down by police without so much as a declaration of Miranda Rights, Antifa has never killed anybody. The Left has not been responsible for any murder since a person was mistakenly killed by the Weather Underground in 1971. The Right has killed hundreds, including with the OKC Bombing in 1995 and the Olympic Bombing in 1996.

Submitted on Saturday, Jan 9, 2021 at 8:56:30 PM

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Mike Rivage-Seul

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Reply to William P. Homans:   New Content

You're right, Watermelon. Where's the evidence for Antifa's widespread presence or influence? Many of us are anti-Fascist.

Submitted on Saturday, Jan 9, 2021 at 9:07:19 PM

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Reply to Lee Beacham:   New Content

It's not clear to me why you're suggesting that any of us should have been against BLM and/or Antifa.

Submitted on Saturday, Jan 9, 2021 at 9:05:10 PM

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Reply to Mike Rivage-Seul:   New Content

I think he is pointing out how our force-fed political identity branding has clouded our perceptions and triggered the reactionary responses the establishment wants. As you wrote, the establisment's goal is to prevent a coalition of antiestablishment forces. They will write, say and do anything to prevent. Immediately after John Sinclair's White Panther Party was founded, the mere specter of it becoming a unifying symbol in the class struggle led to his arrest on pot charges. Many leftists are now walking back their ill-conceived reactioanry statements regarding last week's occupation with desperate attempts to paint those who don't agree with them as racist, seditious traiters. Funny that the accused feel exactly the same way about their accusers. And as long as that food fight continues, the shackles of censorship will tighten. Time to back off and recognize the true enemy. And it's not a bunch of scruffy working class stiffs from flyover-ville or a harmless band of fraternity dudes like the Proud Boys. We need to stop buying MSM's hype and stop crawling under our bed and yelling for help.

Submitted on Saturday, Jan 9, 2021 at 10:01:10 PM

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Reply to John Lawrence Ré:   New Content

You get it. Politics have different goals than what's right for all Americans under our Republic.

Submitted on Tuesday, Jan 12, 2021 at 4:32:56 AM

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I think progressives should be concerned because Republican money is drying up and becoming scarcer due to the stigma of supporting an insurrectionist. This leaves the Dems in the position of being in a monopoly having no loyal opposition. They will try to run roughshod over the American people and destroy what is left of any opposition. Some,thought to be independent media sources, have received large amounts of money and it has influenced their opinions momentarily, until crucial votes are concluded, and then they switch back into sounding progressive. Once, it was known that these sources could be bought by changing their tune temporarily, and were safe for capitalism, the hosts were considered safe to promote their ideology to places where Bernie Bros gathered to dilute the socialist message. What I think is happening is that large rich Dem donors are feeling threatened and are willing to pay to promote the capitalist message with loans, grants, and plain simple money to maintain their monopoly position. I personally strongly want opposition to the Democratic Party.


Submitted on Saturday, Jan 9, 2021 at 9:46:50 PM

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"Some,thought to be independent media sources, have received large amounts of money and it has influenced their opinions." Directly on point. Just look at the fat slob Cenk Ugyr and his anti-Gabbard troll, Ana Kasparian. Or look at what happened with The Intercept. The big Hollywood agncies like CAA are deeply involved in this process. It's called "Controlled Opposition." AOC is its poster child.

Submitted on Saturday, Jan 9, 2021 at 10:09:11 PM

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I'm so surprised by what's evidently happened to TYT. Jimmy Dore is unrelenting in his denunciation of what he describes as a sell-out.

Submitted on Saturday, Jan 9, 2021 at 10:30:52 PM

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Reply to Kenneth Hundzinski:   New Content

In my opinion it's far too soon to bury the Republicans. I've been reading for years of their definitive demise. I'm worried about the midterms if Biden simply presides over a return to Obamaism.

Submitted on Saturday, Jan 9, 2021 at 10:40:17 PM

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Reply to Kenneth Hundzinski:   New Content

I agree. I prefer Politicians enable freedom and responsibility for self and family. The Left believes they are required to support Politicians who promise what they can't or won't deliver.

Submitted on Tuesday, Jan 12, 2021 at 4:41:03 AM

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Michael Dewey

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"When shall it be said in any country of the world, my poor are happy; neither ignorance nor distress is to be found among them; my jails are empty of prisoners, my streets of beggars; the aged are not in want, the taxes are not oppressive...when these things can be said, then may that country boast of its constitution and government."~ Thomas Paine"
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I do hope all the frogs feel the heat and jump out of this crowded boiling melting pot-we all know something is wrong with.

Its hard for me to understand how back in 2008 and 12 that more people didn't like Ron Paul and or Dennis Kucinich? Their Foreign Policy and Monetary ideas still make so much sense. Ron calls Liberal Dennis a very good friend saying their differences could easily be worked out.

Right now, can't understand how people say, "Its either Trump or get out of America." I'll never see that, or building a wall being what America is suppose to be about.

Will still keep planting seeds of firing a few more shots of Liberty and Thanks Giving out of Massachusetts. Calling on all the States to select people for an Article V Convention holding a Continental Congress-in spirit of Alamo-at Pine Ridge for Pow Wow with the last 14 Lakota Sioux, I hear are left there holding out for white man to come to his senses.

Submitted on Saturday, Jan 9, 2021 at 10:24:51 PM

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"When shall it be said in any country of the world, my poor are happy; neither ignorance nor distress is to be found among them; my jails are empty of prisoners, my streets of beggars; the aged are not in want, the taxes are not oppressive...when these things can be said, then may that country boast of its constitution and government."~ Thomas Paine"
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Reply to Michael Dewey:   New Content

Got to throw in there, have felt the way that crowd felt the other day. But was just alone sending snail mail to Govts,,,cities states and bars-churches too-Union Halls and Jerry Brown mail lists stuff. That Alien movie had just come out in early 90s and told them I had wished for them Aliens coming to destroy Congress. That was mid-1990s. Personally was glad to see beginning of week 2 RR GOP Sentaters lose Georgia. If "The Church" understood its calling people wouldn't be bitching about the Govt having to do their social stuff.

Submitted on Sunday, Jan 10, 2021 at 1:45:07 AM

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Mike Rivage-Seul

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Reply to Michael Dewey:   New Content

That's sort of what I was trying to say too, Michael. I can truly sympathize with those demonstrators, with so many of their issues, and with scaring the hell out of people like McConnell and Pelosi.

Submitted on Sunday, Jan 10, 2021 at 2:08:28 AM

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Tom Calarco

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While I can identify with their dissatisfaction with the government, I can't identify with these people. I can't condone the violence and irrationality of these people. I can't condone their support of a false narrative perpetrated by a repulsive individual who is a compulsive liar and a dangerous psychopath. This is not the way to change our nation. Violent revolution is not worth it and we cannot win a physical confrontation. The end seldom justifies the means and in the end it is self-destructive.

Submitted on Sunday, Jan 10, 2021 at 2:39:44 AM

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Mike Rivage-Seul

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Reply to Tom Calarco:   New Content

I'm sympathetic with the sentiments you express here, Tom. However, the silence and apathy of us Americans seems to send the message that we're fine with the institutionalized violence of perpetual war, nuclear weapons, baby jails, vile prison systems, torture, houselessness, a broken economy, and a government that serves the 1%. In the light of all that, the breaking of windows and property destruction in the offices of our oppressors seems like very small potatoes. It's good to make those oppressors scared of us; it's not good for us to be afraid of them. They are our employees. But you'd never know it.

Submitted on Sunday, Jan 10, 2021 at 4:01:35 AM

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George King

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Reply to Tom Calarco:   New Content

Tom you are not listening, there is a common enemy but yet you attack your common allies. I might be mistaken but the article was exactly about the common enemy and the allies by cause and enemy demonization deserved or not. I probably could dance around this but you project your anger of the one being demonized Trump (or who ever person or country serves their interest they choose) by painting a broad brush over at least 75 million voters whom most of all despite previous assumptions of that broad brush who as Michael Moore said "Trump is the Americans giving the biggest FU to the the rotten establishment of both parties". Bernie and entourage was castrated by the DNC as were his populist donors and voters, it was easy for them and the courts agreed. We all heard the released outings of truth and all its ugly self portrayals of the power seekers and vile actions. It must all be my lying eyes as someone here said.

Submitted on Sunday, Jan 10, 2021 at 7:33:37 AM

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Mike Rivage-Seul

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Reply to George King:   New Content

Obviously, you were listening, George. Good clarifications.

Submitted on Sunday, Jan 10, 2021 at 8:16:27 AM

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Nels Wight

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Reply to George King:   New Content

You are too kind, George, overwrought 'with empathy.'

Submitted on Monday, Jan 11, 2021 at 12:50:04 AM

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ron ridenour

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Mike, you are a revolutionary not a progressive. You have understood the ties among working class people regardless of being misguided by rightest racists neo-fascists like Trump, and phony "progressives" who, like all Democrat presidents and Bernie Sanders, support imperialist wars, and create Banana Republics.

The fact that the US can now be seen as its own Banana Republic is great, and should be a real eye opener for millions, even billions of people.

Mike, as an antheist and socialist revolutionary, I appreciate your being a liberationist theologist. I learned from them in Latin America, men and women such as Ernesto Cardenal. He wrote a loving commentary to my book, "Yankee Sandinistas".

A reader mentioned Denmark, which is a European vassal state. One of its Washington DC reporters, called the US a Banana Republic with anger and tears in her voice as she was forced out of the way by a goon. See why Denmark is one of US's more "sophisticated" Banana Republics Article: Committing War Crimes to Please U.S. Politicians: The Case of Denmark | OpEdNews

What we need to do is stop being beguiled by the Democratic party and start our own peoples popular front to prepare for a real revolution based not on capitalism-imperialism profiteering by murdering millions of people, rather based upon cooperation and peace anong all nations.

Thank you for making this vision more visible to many who read opednews.

Ron Ridenour

www.ronridenour.com

Submitted on Sunday, Jan 10, 2021 at 12:11:01 PM

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Mike Rivage-Seul

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Reply to ron ridenour:   New Content

Thank you, Ron. I agree that revolution rather than progressiveness is what we now need. However, I'm not sure what form it would take in our particular context. What a privilege to have Cardenal write a commentary to your book. I spoke with him once at a Sandinista convention of some sort; I forget exactly when. I also appreciated his exchanges with Thomas Merton. I still maintain that liberation theology is the most important theological development of the last 1500 years. Our government, military, John Paul II and Ratzinger all recognized that as well when together they waged war against it during the 1980s. So many lives lost. Now the chickens are coming home. I'm glad we're here to witness it all. Painful, however.

Submitted on Sunday, Jan 10, 2021 at 2:10:05 PM

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Michael Morrissey

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"Denial ain't just a river in Egypt."
       -- Mark Twain (?)

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Terrorism against the terrorist United States, unfortunately for the wrong reasons. Today I heard a theory about it being staged. Well, I wouldn't go that far, but the police response was obviously intentionally inadequate, Cui bono? Well, let's see how this helps to fight the next "insurrection" (Jan. 20?) if there is one.

Submitted on Monday, Jan 11, 2021 at 3:17:14 AM

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Mike Rivage-Seul

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Reply to Michael Morrissey:   New Content

I'm thinking that it may help those in power to criminalize protesting of any kind. That's what I think you're suggesting.

Submitted on Monday, Jan 11, 2021 at 8:21:15 AM

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Michael Morrissey

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"Denial ain't just a river in Egypt."
       -- Mark Twain (?)

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Terrorism against the terrorist United States, unfortunately for the wrong reasons. Today I heard a theory about it being staged. Well, I wouldn't go that far, but the police response was obviously intentionally inadequate, Cui bono? Well, let's see how this helps to fight the next "insurrection" (Jan. 20?) if there is one.

Submitted on Monday, Jan 11, 2021 at 3:17:41 AM

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Michael Morrissey

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"Denial ain't just a river in Egypt."
       -- Mark Twain (?)

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Terrorism against the terrorist United States, unfortunately for the wrong reasons. Today I heard a theory about it being staged. Well, I wouldn't go that far, but the police response was obviously intentionally inadequate, Cui bono? Well, let's see how this helps to fight the next "insurrection" (Jan. 20?) if there is one.

Submitted on Monday, Jan 11, 2021 at 3:17:49 AM

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Michael Morrissey

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"Denial ain't just a river in Egypt."
       -- Mark Twain (?)

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First, sorry for the repetitions above. Haven't posted here for a while. It is clear that if the rioters were black or "leftist" the response would have been very different. It does make sense that this was a LIHOP (Let It Happen On Purpose) op so as to prepare for a massive military response next time. I saw no black faces in that crowd, many confederate flags. When they talk about "taking their country back," they mean from the blacks, Latinos, immigrants, refugees and "commie/socialists." There will never be a coalition of these with the fascist self-proclaimed "patriots." What is needed are clear voices of non-violent revolutionary reason. There are none among the Democrats, nor even the Greens. Pelosi tried to blame it on the Russians, but I can't find the quote so she must have buried it. Where are the demonstrations for Julian Assange? You can be sure the Fascist Pats wouldn't fight for him. He is us.

Submitted on Monday, Jan 11, 2021 at 1:02:20 PM

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Nels Wight

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Reply to Michael Morrissey:   New Content

Hi and good wishes for the new(?) year, Mike! You described this quite satisfactorily.

We still worry about Assange and even yet hope for Donald's hand on the bible 1/20.

Gruss Gott, brudder! Only 3 weeks to GroundHog Day, midwinter.

Submitted on Monday, Jan 11, 2021 at 1:28:02 PM

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Michael Morrissey

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Reply to Nels Wight:   New Content

Hello Nels, and best wishes to you also. If you mean you are still hoping for Trump to take office, I do not share that opinion. I admit that I had hopes for him at the outset, 4 years ago, but he has turned out to be worse than the Democrats, which is saying a lot.

Submitted on Monday, Jan 11, 2021 at 3:00:20 PM

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Reply to Michael Morrissey:   New Content

Michael, when one fishes in new waters, there's no way of naming the new fish. I voted for

Trump once, not twice, but learning the game while opposed by nearly every one/& nation

left him no time to practice being president, it seems.

Submitted on Monday, Jan 11, 2021 at 4:14:51 PM

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John Lawrence Ré

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Reply to Michael Morrissey:   New Content

Actually, Michael, when Tulsi Gabbard for a pardon for Snowden, not a single democrat backed her. . . only Republicans.

Submitted on Tuesday, Jan 12, 2021 at 6:41:42 AM

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Michael Morrissey

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Reply to John Lawrence Ré:   New Content

Who else, besides Gabbard and Sarah Pahlin? Here ns Germany there is a cross-party working group on the initiative of the Linke (Left) but including all parties except the extreme right (AfD) who are calling for his release. The fed govt should do more, but everyone is afraid of the big bad wolf in Washington, as usual.

Submitted on Tuesday, Jan 12, 2021 at 7:53:12 AM

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