Belonging to a movement

Anomie in societies or individuals, is a condition of instability resulting from a breakdown of standards and values or from a lack of purpose or ideals. — Émile Durkheim. 

Professors back from secret missions
Resume their proper eruditions,
    Though some regret it;
They liked their dictaphones a lot,
They met some big wheels, and do not
    Let you forget it. — W. H. Auden

Some Germans were perhaps attracted to the Nazi movement because it gave them a sense of belonging. Membership gave them new importance and the ability to smash social norms.

Seyward Darby claims in “Sisters in Hate,” that “Hate can be understood as a social bond, a complex phenomenon that occurs among people as a means of mattering and belonging.” 

Americans may have joined the Trump movement because it gave them a feeling of importance, a chance to smash norms, and a feeling of belonging. These feelings must be strong enough so what the movement professed didn’t much matter, or more likely resonated with preexisting, perhaps shadowy, beliefs.

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Firearm regulation

Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) generally opposes firearm regulation. On Wednesday, March 10, the house considered H.R. 1446 “To strengthen the background check procedures to be followed before a Federal firearms licensee may transfer a firearm to a person who is not such a licensee.”

H.R. 1446 Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021 CRS Summary as introduced in House (03/01/2021)

This bill revises background check requirements applicable to proposed firearm transfers from a federal firearms licensee (e.g., a licensed gun dealer) to an unlicensed person.

Specifically, it increases the amount of time, from 3 business days to a minimum of 10 business days, that a federal firearms licensee must wait to receive a completed background check prior to transferring a firearm to an unlicensed person. (This type of transaction is often referred to as a default proceed transaction.)

If a submitted background check remains incomplete after 10 business days, then the prospective purchaser may submit a petition for a final firearms eligibility determination. If an additional 10 days elapse without a final determination, then the federal firearms licensee may transfer the firearm to the prospective purchaser.

Surprisingly, Tom Reed was one of a few Republicans who voted in favor of certain amendments, which were approved by recorded vote.


1. Burgess (TX): Requires the Department of JusticeInspector General to submit a report to Congress on the number of NICS denials referred for investigation after a firearm was sold to a person who was later found to be ineligible.

2. Levin, Mike (CA): Adds to the GAO reports in the bill,which are to be completed one year, three years, and five years after enactment, data disaggregated by state and the basis for denial in state law.

3. McBath (GA): Amends the domestic violence reportingprovision to require that the effects of the Act on domestic violence, domestic abuse, dating partner violence, sexual assault, and stalking will be disaggregated by state.

4. Neguse (CO), Schneider (IL): Strikes section 4 and replaces it to require the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to make an annual report, which shall be available to the public, that provides disaggregated information on background check denials not made within the 10-day period.

Tom Reed is known to be concerned about sexual assault, particularly when a relative is a victim or a Democratic politician is accused, so it may have been Amendment 3 which caught his eye. Tom Reed may like H.R. 1446 better as amended, but probably not well enough to vote in favor.

Posted in Reed's Views | Tagged , | 3 Comments


Some observations on “The-Presidents-Advisory-1776-Commission-Final-Report.”

Human progress didn’t end in 1776 as the authors of this report would have us believe.

The facts of our founding are not partisan. They are a matter of history. Controversies about the meaning of the founding can begin to be resolved by looking at the facts of our nation’s founding. Properly understood, these facts address the concerns and aspirations of Americans of all social classes, income levels, races and religions, regions and walks of life.

The growing gap between rich and poor, racial discrimination, antisemitism, white supremacy, and religious bigotry are ignored.

Yet, while Fascism died in 1945 with the
collapse of the Axis powers, it was quickly replaced by a
new threat, …

Fascism didn’t die; it is alive and well in America today.

Finally, the right to keep and bear arms is required by
the fundamental natural right to life: no man may justly
be denied the means of his own defense. The political
significance of this right is hardly less important. An
armed people is a people capable of defending their
liberty no less than their lives and is the last, desperate
check against the worst tyranny

That’s what right-wing militias would have us believe. After the events of Jan. 6, 2021, we should reject that notion.

The Civil Rights Movement was almost immediately
turned to programs that ran counter to the lofty ideals
of the founders. The ideas that drove this change had
been growing in America for decades, and they
distorted many areas of policy in the half century that
followed. Among the distortions was the abandonment
of nondiscrimination and equal opportunity in favor of
“group rights” not unlike those advanced by Calhoun
and his followers. The justification for reversing the
promise of color-blind civil rights was that past
discrimination requires present effort, or affirmative
action in the form of preferential treatment, to
overcome long-accrued inequalities. Those forms of
preferential treatment built up in our system over time,
first in administrative rulings, then executive orders,
later in congressionally passed law, and finally were
sanctified by the Supreme Court.

Color blind laws generally leave people of color at an unending disadvantage.

States and school districts should reject any curriculum
that promotes one-sided partisan opinions, activist
propaganda, or factional ideologies that demean
America’s heritage, dishonor our heroes, or deny our

The report is contradictory–it says education should be up to local communities, then recommends standard as quoted above.

Universities in the United States are often today
hotbeds of anti-Americanism, libel, and censorship that
combine to generate in students and in the broader
culture at the very least disdain and at worst outright
hatred for this country.

At my first full time job, my supervisor told me that the engineering professors at my university were all communists. I knew better. The above is similar nonsense.

Americans yearn for timeless stories and noble heroes
that inspire them to be good, brave, diligent, daring,
generous, honest, and compassionate.

If only it were so.

The final report goes on to discuss and promote religion, disparage “identity politics,” and promote “proper education.” There is much there to accept or reject.

Posted in 2020 | Tagged | 4 Comments

As i read all these comments from you moronic idioms.

Betrayed by spellcheck, possibly.

  • As i read all these comments from you moronic idioms.
  • Marshall law.
  • Traders to our country (like Benedict Arnold).
  • Where was the outrage in Washington state along with other states who were under seize.
  • Impeachment dilutes The Constitution.
  • I’m grateful to the ten Democratics who voted in favor.
  • Black listing has begun.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Has Nancy Pelosi offered the GOP another chance?

How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and how hard it is to undo that work again!” — Mark Twain

Christian Schneider writes:

But by bringing an article of impeachment against President Donald Trump for his role in inciting the U.S. Capitol riots, Pelosi could hasten her opponents’ renewal. If she is successful in not only removing Trump from office but also barring him from ever holding elective office again, it would allow the Republican Party to shed the cement boots pulling it into the abyss.

Republicans should have removed DJT a year ago. If they had, Mike Pence might have been reelected in 2020. They muffed that chance, because Sen. McConnell wanted to keep confirming right-leaning judges. Now they have a second chance. Their alternative is to stick with Trump, the albatross around their necks.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

A brief sample of comments on Tom Reed’s Jan. 4 tele townhall

What are you doing to make me confident that there is zero fraud in the next election??? Because I don’t feel that way right now. Every illegal vote out there lessens my vote and my say and that’s a problem.

You lost my vote, I’ll vote DemocRAT just to get you out of office. Thanks for not standing up for America

Back the President !!! Thats why i voted for you. Will be Last term if you don’t. Illegal immigrants driving and voting in N.Y. election compromised in your backyard

Your job is on the line !

You lost my vote buddy. To think I put a sign in my front yard for you and then you turn around and betray us all by selling out. The greed is disgusting.

If Tom Reeds answer is not an astounding yes to voter fraud, than I will run against him next election.

Posted in 2020, Campaigning, Constituents | Tagged | 10 Comments

Needed laws and amendments

We have seen what needs to be fixed; this is the time to do it.

Make clear that a president may not pardon him or herself. Perhaps limit the power to pardon a former president to an elected president.

Make sure that a state legislature or individual electors can’t ignore the popular vote.

Make sure that the PO will deliver mailed ballots in time to be counted.

Restore the voting rights act to hinder election cheating.

Discourage the widespread use of interim appointments.

Strengthen protections for whistleblowers.

Disallow diversion of funds from an authorized program to another.

Ensure timely authorization of transition planning.

Strengthen auditing and regulation of campaign funds.

Strengthen enforcement of the “Emolument’s Clause.”

Discourage nepotism.

What else?

Posted in Campaign Finances | 6 Comments

What’s next for Donald J. Trump?

Contributed by Arthur Ahrens of Branchport, NY.

We should consider what will happen with Donald Trump once he leaves the White House. Some former presidents have taken up painting, some build houses for charity. What will Trump do? What will happen to him?

Before leaving office, will he self-pardon?

Will he be involved with the Republican Party and in what capacity?

Will he start campaigning for President in 2024?

Will he flee the United States for a sympathetic country that has no extradition treaty with the US?

Will Cyrus Vance be trying Trump for bank fraud, insurance fraud and tax evasion?

Will Trump be prosecuted for obstruction of justice, violating the Constitution’s emoluments clause, federal tax evasion?

Will Letitia James prosecute Trump for tax fraud re the Trump Organization?

Will Trump stand trial for the alleged rape of E. Jean Carroll?

Will he be able to have enough speaking engagements to cover his $420 million dollar debt?

Will he leave office silently and gracefully?

So many possibilities!

Has anyone any thoughts?

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 7 Comments

We Got Lucky With Trump

Contributed by Arthur Ahrens of Branchport.

Luck comes in two forms, and we got both!

Trump’s four year rampage through out democracy was certainly bad luck. His unrelenting attacks on the press (FAKE NEWS), his terrible foreign policy (will NATO ever be the same?) (will America ever be trusted again?), his open adulation and support of authoritarians, his racist support of “very good people”, his fascism (exhibited most recently by his unfounded, warrantless attacks on the electoral process) ….all have shaken the very foundations of our Republic.
And yet….

He’s nothing more than a fraud and a grifter, interested only in money. Everything he has done had one ultimate end, to increase his petty pile. He was a politician by accident, running an initial campaign for president that was primarily about putting dollars in his pocket. No one was more surprised that he won in 2016 than he.

He was a terrible candidate, who in 2016 managed by luck and feral cunning to eliminate much better qualified Republican candidates in the primaries and then had the good fortune to compete against a candidate who had 40 years of negative baggage and whom many Americans intensely disliked. Comey’s surprise was the final gift to Trump.

He was a terrible president. Itemizing cases would make this post prohibitively long.

And yet….

In the 2020 election nearly 50 % of Americans threw their vote to this incompetent, fascist, racist, lying sociopath. A more competent politician would have easily won. Trump’s political incompetence was our good fortune. An undeserved and certainly unappreciated gift of good luck.

Now we can all breathe a big sigh of relief. And once the pandemic is over, go back to our pre-Trump lives. Democracy works!

But consider-populists have risen to power throughout the world: Narendra Modi in India, Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, Viktor Orbán in Hungary, Vladimir Putin in Russia, Jarosław Kaczyński in Poland, and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Turkey. These people win elections but subvert democratic norms: by criminalizing dissent, suppressing or demonizing the media, harassing the opposition, and deploying extra-legal mechanisms whenever possible (Putin’s opponents have a penchant for meeting tragic accidents). Orbán proudly uses the phrase illiberal democracy to describe the populism practiced by these men; Trump has many similarities to them, both rhetorically and policy-wise, but he was incompetent and petty.

For all his incompetence, Trump gave the Republican Party some successes: The Supreme Court is solidly in their corner; they will likely retain control of the Senate; House Republicans won more seats than they were projected to; and they are looking at significant gains in state Houses as well, giving them control over redistricting for the next decade. Even better for their long-term project, they have diversified their own coalition, gaining more women candidates and more support from nonwhite voters.

Which is bad luck for us. Trump prepared the way for the next authoritarian. After abandoning traditional decades long Republican values such as fiscal responsibility and free trade, Republicans have embraced the doctrine of “Unrestrained POWER.” Their next candidate will leverage that knowledge. That candidate is out there, now. And we will certainly see a populist/authoritarian candidate in 2024.

We will need to be prepared. The Democrats need to shed their Keystone Kops strategy, and fast.

Trump’s defeat is not the end of the war, it’s simply a fortunate victory in a small battle in a much larger conflict.

Posted in 2020, Campaigning, Constitution, Education | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Wither the Republican Party

Contributed by Arthur Ahrens of Branchport

I am as surprised and upset as everyone else. And looking deeper, I am become even more upset. On the theory that misery loves company, I offer the following:

Trump has received at least 68 million votes in 2020, or five million more than he did in 2016, meaning that despite his myriad failures, scandals, self dealing, corruption, etc., he received the support of 48% of Americans. Further, the Democrats lost seats in the House and were unable to take control of the Senate.

In a development that seems to have flown under most people’s radar, an abysmal showing by Democrats in state legislative races on Tuesday not only denied them victories in Sun Belt and Rust Belt states that would have positioned them to advance their policy agenda — it also put the party at a disadvantage ahead of the redistricting that will determine the balance of power for the next decade.

Locally, Tom Reed whomped Tracy Mitrano 63.1% to 35.8%. To put this into perspective, Reed in 2012 Reed won with 49.2%, in 2014 with 57.8%, in 2016 with 57.6%, and in 2018 with 54.2%. NY 23 Democrats have actually lost ground over 8 years.

I will leave assigning blame to others. I’m merely pointing out a trend, which would seem to indicate a problem with Democrats’ strategy on a local, state and national level.

Would anyone care to comment?

Best Regards,

Arthur Ahrens

Posted in 2020 | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments