Jan. 6 Hearings 4, 5 and 6

UPDATE on June 28 hearing in the comments section.  Included below the Heather Cox Richardson Letters from an American for June 28.  Richardson is ideal for reading every day, if interested in public affairs.


Hearings 4 on June 21, 5 on June 23, and 6 on June 28  were especially powerful.  As with the others, I watched them in their entirety.

I expect to not publicize this post until June 26, specifically related to the Porter item, below.

Here are excellent summaries of June 21: Heather Cox Richardson’s Letters from an American for June 21; Digby’s Hullabaloo for June 22 (this includes several posts).       Here is an additional comment: Lady Ruby

For June 23, also Heather Cox Richardson, for June 23.

For June 28, also Heather Cox Richardson, for June 28.

These hearings, all of them, including those in coming weeks, are the hard evidence of the insanity we’ve had to live through in recent years.  They are ignored at our individual peril.

I have additional opinions, too, but will save them for a bit later.

In the interim: June 21, before the Hearing, I saw an e-mail from a reader who went to the same college as I, at the same time in history.  He forwarded a forward by a John Porter, and I’d like to share it with you, and invite your personal comments to the writing, which is overtly political.

The forward is here: Porter June 2022.  The hi-liting is mine.  At this moment, I have made no effort to find out who Porter is, etc.  I’m sharing it exactly as received.

I’d be delighted to hear your thoughts, which I can share as comments here.  (I have already passed it along to a number of regular readers who seem to have an interest in political matters, thus there will be several comments already received included here.  I will add these comments on June 26.)

POSTNOTE Sunday, afternoon June 26, 2022

Regarding the “John Porter” letter referenced above: June 23, I sent the above to a number of friends who I thought would be interested, and several responded (see below, and at end of the post).  I made an effort to find out who “John Porter” is – it’s a common name, and it’s unwise to accept at face value anything attributed to anybody.  There were some possibilities, but I couldn’t say for certain who the writer really is.  What I can say for certain is the language that is used in the letter is language I’ve seen in various forms, always from people who pretty obviously have been taught to despise the very word “democrat” and its variations, and cherish the opposing word “republic”.  The words are all that is important.  Whether based on fact or fiction is of no relevance.   Examples abound: Just yesterday the Governor of Mississippi praised the recent Supreme Court decision in behalf of the “God-fearing” people of his state; on the same day I received the Porter letter, the Secretary of State of Arizona, at the 4th hearing on Jan. 6, talked about his church’s belief that the Constitution is divinely inspired.  In his case, thankfully, the Secretary of State supported the interpretation of the Constitution about elections.  And I could go on and on.

Here, with thanks, are the other opinions offered on Porter and the issues raised.

from Joyce: This is about 3 1/2 minutes long, and well worth watching; it is an excellent response to those 6 annoying words, “we’re a republic, not a democracy”. Of course we’re a democracy.

from Peter: My reading of Mr. Porter’s statement is: he’s beating a long-dead horse.

“Wilderness continent” was never the case, just as it was never the case in Palestine when it was called “a land without people for a people without land.”

An “economic common market” was indeed the plan. Monarchy was already obsolete as far as the colonists were concerned. They wanted to pursue conquest and and slavery on their own and keep the profits.

It was a long time before the Bill of Rights applied to anybody other than the white landlords. It still does not extend to everyone, and business considerations determine individual rights for huge chunks of the population.

The nuances of language, “Republic,” “Democracy,” “Socialism,” etc. may once have had some meaning. But the present structure of our government is Fascism: government is at the mercy of corporate investment. If any legislator is told an idea will “send jobs overseas,” that idea will go no further. This is called “Capital Strike” (see “Levers of Power”)

This explains why no president or justice or legislator ever considers moving against the colossal war machine that serves the arms, drugs, and energy industries (today’s version of the Triangular Trade system).

The public has been short-changed as to health care, housing, education, and employment, to the point of serious food insecurity at unprecedented scale. We’re starving and freezing in front of our screens, which are blaming this on Russia and China. Momentum in this awful direction is still accelerating. Fixing the public misperception of democracy will make no difference whatsoever.

What will make a difference? This is a deep question with complex implications. For one thing our minds are very different today, now that communications networks have become an attention-extraction industry in themselves. But this was not possible without connecting human beings to each other, while ensnaring us in the behavioral data-mining system.

This enormous expansion of human relationships, across continents and even language barriers, especially with the advent of cheap videoconferencing software, has brought a paradigm change so profound, it’s as if we had driven the car into the canal. We’re stepping on the brakes at this point, while the water rises up the windows, but we may catch on quickly to a new way of being in this new world. Maybe we will return to our real relationship to the biosphere we’re currently destroying forever.

The boundaries of community have exploded, and secrecy (never mind privacy) is about to disappear altogether. We are all about to be rendered naked for all practical purposes.

If humanity is going to survive, the change is already well underway, and nobody alive can possibly comprehend it, because it is not an extension of anything that ever happened before.

One thing is certain. Congress, the Judiciary, and the Executive in their present form have been dysfunctional and obsolete for years. We have already moved on.

from Fred: Good to see James Reed’s [below] studied reaction to this fallacious drivel. I would add that the founding fathers were not in fear of the terrors of socialism and the mob when they created the Constitution. Monarchs, as they well knew, had pretty tight reign in Europe. Socialism didn’t really gather steam until the French Revolution broke out in 1789. French patriots overthrew their ruler, wrote a Constitution and established the nation’s First Republic. American leaders, at least the landed gentry, might have been pretty nervous over the later Reign of Terror, but they had already agreed on a Constitution.

 French lost their Republic to Napoleon. The flame of freedom flared into mid-1800s revolutions against European monarchies. Those uprisings didn’t work out, but the US got more than a few new immigrants and some revolutionaries after the failure to overthrow monarchs.
And the French eventually got rid of Napoleon and Second and Third Republics came along. Hitler finished off the Third Republic, then came the Fourth Republic (post-WW2 govt.) and today’s Fifth. The French are big on being part of a Republic. All this proves, through undeniable syllogistic logic and to Mr. Porter’s joy, that US and French have exactly the same form of government.

from Jeff: The gun decision will be probably overcome in states that are supportive of sound gun safety by new legislation defining places that concealed guns are not allowed.

The big news of course is the overturning of Roe v Wade.  Interestingly TFG thinks that this decision will be bad for Republicans in Swing and Purple states as suburban women will rebel against Republican candidates… you might see this as well in statewide places like Montana, Alaska, and Kansas where personal independence is a big deal….the hard red states are mostly secure.
The danger in this remains the whittling away of the 14th Amendment…though Alito’s majority opinion says this only applies to abortion,  Clarence Thomas’ concurring opinion clearly draws a direct line to allowing states to set their own rules on same sex relationships and marriages, contraception, and by extension I dont see how a state couldn’t logically ban interracial marriage if it wanted to…it isn’t any different in theory as these are all personal privacy issues.
So on Thursday the same majority took away the rights of states to some extent to make their own rules on gun safety, whereas on Friday it returned the right to discriminate against women’s control of their own bodies back to the states.  Clarence Thomas may be black ,but this is another step in the white patriarchy dominionist movement.
It will be interesting to see how the Catholic Church in America reacts… I mean the institutional church. Will this make the more conservative bishops more emboldened to deny communion to politicians and public figures who support choice in their states?

from Norm: I scanned Porter’s diatribe against representative democracy and have no interest in commenting beyond saying that is disappointing and a bit disillusioning to read that tripe from a fellow American.

Clearly, he agrees with the man child who would be king in thinking that American should be governed by an authoritarian cabal of some sort no doubt to make sure that “those” people with “those ideas” about self-government are not in charge and/ordo not have any say in how the government is run.

Porter sort of meets the description of some of the Proud Boys and others made by someone regarding the January 6th attempted coup hearings That is, that they are just little boys who cannot get girls!

Not worth my time to comment any further!

Again, knowing that thanks to the man child who would be king, too many people seem to agree with that kind of thinking and are ready and willing to give up on democracy!

Very disillusioning!

from Dick: The above comments were individually and independently made.  Additionally I had commented back to the person who forwarded the Porter piece to me in the first place.  I appreciate receiving the Porter piece.  It is very much the same as many other forwards I used to receive (not so much any more).  “Facts” were often not facts at all, just an exercise of someone’s creative writing.

I will correctly be identified as an active Democrat, “moderate, pragmatic” as I self-identify.  Everyone who knows me well, especially politically, [knows] that my political hero and indeed mentor was lifelong Republican and former Governor of Minnesota.  He died a dozen years ago, and he would absolutely be horrified by the current state of affairs in what passes for todays Republican Party.  I knew him well.  Todays Republicans are not Republican in any historical sense.
The words in Porter’s column were very obvious: Republicans are the good guys, men, founders of the Republic, God-fearing….  Democrats most relate to [are equated with] socialists, mobs, even Communist and Marxist, mobocracy.  You can read it in his column.  Democrat, symbolized by the Clintons, is the government mob.
I know lots of Democrats for lots of years.   If the labelling were not so horrible, it would be funny.  I know this myth has been cultivated for years, and believed, even if ridiculous.
POSTNOTE June 28, 2022:  I watched the two hours today.  The only witness was Cassidy Hutchinson, a young but obviously highly competent and loyal republican staff member who, in the time period of Jan. 6 and before, was officed in the West Wing near the Oval Office and the office of Mark Meadows.
Jim Klein (comment below) is critical of the made-for-tv aspect of these hearings.  I disagree.  For one thing, what is being established by the hearings themselves is a permanent public record which will last far beyond the hearings themselves, and regardless of what’s done or not done by the Department of Justice.  More importantly, the hearings are specifically designed to attract and hold the interest of the public who, in these times, is addicted to TV programs and communication by tweet.  In my opinion, the format, etc., is designed for todays audience.  It would not have been available in the 1970s, and not understood by the then-public.