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STAGE – TRANSFORMATION — 3


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STAGE — TRANSFORMATION — 3


DANIEL'S LION: LIVING IN 2 WORLDS
Summer Storms

Researching the increase of wild-fires in 2020, Daniel discovered that Washington state had the first wildfires of the season, which began in April with the Stanwood Bryant Fire in Snohomish County, and the Porter Creek Fire in Whatcom County, burning 70 and 80 acres, respectively. May and June were quiet but then on July 23rd a fire on the Colville Reservation, referred to as the Greenhouse Fire, burned at least 5,146 acres, causing the evacuation of the Colville Tribal Corrections Facility and other structures. July 29th a brush fire in Chelan County burned at least 3,337 acres, triggering another evacuation.

Reading the final statistics for wildfires in the U.S. up to December 18th, 2020 was staggering enough for Daniel, as an estimated 57,000 fires burned over 10.3 million acres, damaging, or destroying 10,500 structures and taking 31 lives. However, breaking the tragedy of the 2020 wildfire season down as Wikipedia did was even more shocking: In Oregon, wildfires throughout the year, with most occurring in September, charred a record of 1,000,000 acres, destroying a total of 4,800 structures, including 1,145 homes, and killing 9 people. Washington wildfires burned 800,000 acres, with 418 structures, including 195 homes burned. California’s 2020 season resulted in roughly 3,300,000 acres burned, the highest ever recorded in a fire season. August burned around 2,100,000 acres from reportedly 1200 lighting strikes, with an additional 1,000,000 acres burning in September. Throughout 2020, the wildfires in California caused the destruction of 4,200 structures and the deaths of 25 people.

A big problem with the 2020 “mega-fires” was air pollution, which for much of the western U.S. and Canada, from Los Angeles to British Columbia was near unbreathable. Alaska Airlines suspended its flights from Portland, Oregon, and Spokane, Washington, due to poor air quality. Some cities in Oregon recorded air quality readings of over 500 on the Air Quality Index scale (AQI), while readings of over 200 were recorded in other major cities. . Writing in his column, “When we consider ‘clear skies’ or ‘Good’ is anything below 50, and that an AQI scale of 151 is deemed unhealthy for everyone, an AQI level of 500 is downright dangerous.

Although smoke from the fires were carried to the East Coast and Europe, fortunately despite causing yellowed skies, it had little impact on their air quality. In western US however, the heavy smoke resulted in several smoke-related incidents. For instance, on September 14th, in the middle of the game at the Seattle Mariners’ stadium, an Oakland A’s player suddenly started gasping for air. It is estimated as many as 1,200 to 3,000 indirect deaths were caused by the adverse effects of smoke inhalation. Wild-fires in 2020 were so violent and unusual that Daniel searched for answers.

US Ddrought Monitor Acknowledging that the problem had been growing for several years, due to Climate change, the reporter found himself watching an animated time-line of moderate to severe drought conditions development over half of the country. In fact, the states dealing with drought were Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming, with as the map shows Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and parts of California and Texas experiencing exceptional drought.

Monitoring the wild fires, Daniel watched as the situation grew much worse in September when Washington and Oregon joined California under a cloud of choking smoke, as fires raged. In fact, even though the 8 Washington and Oregon fires were contained by mid-September, it was well into December before California’s fires were out.

While the West and Southwest struggled with fire and smoke caused by severe drought, Daniel observed that the Midwest was dealing with windstorms, in particular an increasing phenomenon known as a derecho. According to the national weather service, on August 10th “A well-organized and long-lived complex of storms produced widespread severe wind damage across Iowa, northern Illinois, and northern Indiana.” Severe wind, of 75 plus miles per hour resulted in downed trees, with several neighborhoods experiencing at least “some minor structural damage.” Within the main line of thunderstorms, 13 tornadoes touched down across northern Illinois and northwest Indiana. A particular strong supercell produced two tornadoes, bringing the total number from these storms to 15, tying the record held since 1950 for the 2nd highest number of tornadoes to occur in one day in the Chicago area, and the greatest number on a single day in August.

The Southeast of America also had to contend with destructive winds. Hurricanes normally occur between June 1st and November 30th. However, as Daniel recorded in his column, in 2020 Tropical Storm Arthur developed on May 16th. Citing a Wikipedia article on the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season he reported, “30 named storms” became hurricanes, with 6 developing into major storms. Twelve “made landfall in the contiguous United States, breaking the record of nine set in 1916.” 2020 marked the fifth consecutive year that the most damaging level of hurricane, Category 5 developed. Meteorologists report that 27 tropical storms established a new record, with a record 10 tropical cyclones rapidly intensifying, tying it with 1995. Using the catchword of 2020, they state that “This unprecedented activity was fueled by a La Niña that developed in the summer months of 2020.”

Lack of water was not the problem for the Southeast, seen for example with 5 major storms hitting Louisiana, the worst being Hurricane Laura, believed to be as Daniel quoted, “the strongest storm to strike the region in 150 years.” This hurricane’s entry on Wikipedia, states that in the early hours of the morning on August 27th, Laura made landfall in Cameron, Louisiana as a category 4 hurricane. Although it was the tenth-strongest U.S. hurricane in windspeed on record, across Louisiana Laura was devastating. Bringing a nearly 10 foot high storm surge, Cameron and numerous parishes experienced severe flooding and extreme damage to homes. As well as property damage, Laura was responsible for the deaths of 33 people in Louisiana. Even though Louisiana took the brunt of hurricane Laura, unfortunately, it was not the only state, because Texas and Arkansas were also hit by the storm. Consequently, Laura caused the deaths of at least 42 people and an estimated $19 billion in damages on southwestern Louisiana and southeastern Texas near the Gulf of Mexico. In the end, the hurricane is credited with causing more than $19.1 billion in damage and 77 deaths. Areas that were affected by Laura, namely the Gulf Coast, were affected again six weeks later by Hurricane Delta.

Daniel noted that flooding seemed to be an increasingly growing annual problem, so the flooding that occurred in the failure of the Edenville and Sanford Dam in Michigan, driven by heavy rainfall on May 19th was not that surprising. However, the collapse of both dams at the same time was, so he did some investigating. The Edenville Dam was an earthen embankment dam joining the Tittabawassee and the Tobacco Rivers, and after a massive inflow from heavy rains in the area, the eastern side of the dam collapsed sending flood waters ten miles downstream to the Sanford Dam, which overflowed requiring evacuations, and Governor Gretchen Whitmer to declare a state of emergency. This catastrophe caused over 10,000 residents to be evacuated, during the COVID-19 pandemic. It seems the flooding of the Tittabawassee River, which crested at 35.05 feet was so severe that it was visible from space.

However, the dam collapse in Michigan was in the Spring. That summer, on August 10th the same derecho system devastating Iowa, northern Illinois, and northern Indiana, spurred an intense merger of thunderstorms along the I-95 corridor, over and near the Jacksonville Florida metro area. Reporting on the situation, Daniel stated in his column that according to the National Weather Service, “These thunderstorms produced excessive lightning, gusty winds, and heavy downpours leading to flash flooding.” Within two hours a downpour of as much as five inches fell, resulting in the flooding of numerous streets, causing multiple cars to be stranded by a foot of water on the roads.

Registering all the crazy weather and fire events during early August in 2020, Daniel remembered that Sophia had explained in her treatise on Spiritual Evolution how natural events are driven by consciousness. Pulling up the relevant part in his Kindle version, he began reading from the section subtitled Transmuting the Elements that addressed the underlying causes of the Great Dust Bowl during the Great Depression:

Every religion has some kind-of myth to explain the reason for creation. For instance, we find another explanation in the Kabbalists teaching that YAWEH desiring to experience existence poured Himself into a vessel. Not surprisingly, the vessel could not contain the energy and exploded into an unfathomable number of particles. Obviously, this is referring to the Big Bang. Each teaching is saying essentially the same thing; something Divine is trapped within the atoms, elements of the universe.

In both cases, the Gnostics and Kabbalists teach that we free the divine sparks by the conscious actions of the Life-Principle on Earth. For the Kabbalists, it is through good deeds and actions, for the Gnostics it was Gnosis, i.e. knowing our true origins. We see this teaching reflected in Jesus’ instructions on how to live. Even more relevant to this teaching was his insistence that the Kingdom of God was within us. It is important to keep in mind that until we could comprehend how our emotions and thoughts affect our reality, this teaching was essentially unavailable to the majority of us. Now this is no longer the case. So, with this in mind let us examine the Gnostic teachings on transmuting the Elements from an objective point of view.

With the re-discovery of the Gnostic writings or the Gnosis, we have already begun transmuting the elements. Knowing our true spiritual origins, namely that we are spiritual beings having a physical experience, causes ignorance and confusion to disappear. In addition, the subconscious grief of separation from the Divine also dissipates. The key is releasing fear, which is at the base of all negative emotions.

When we consider that the main constituent of all living beings is water, not to mention the photographic evidence of Masaru Emoto, we can see why releasing our fear will change the world. Another way of describing releasing fear is transmutation. Again, we are referring to the spiritual essence of the elements and emotions. To help keep this teaching as clear as possible, we will italicize the emotions and elements whenever we are speaking of the energetic or spiritual properties rather than the literal.

As stated, we need to remember that these spiritual Elements represent the natural emotions that are healthy and designed to assist in our evolution. We see the natural emotions of fear, grief, and anger displayed by the higher animals. It is only when emotion becomes irrational or intensified that they become destructive. Interestingly we can also consider Fear, Anger, and Grief as representing the past, present, and future. Accordingly, Fear would represent the future, as we are only afraid of what might happen, even if that threat is imminent. Naturally, Grief, which is about having lost something, represents the past. Only Ignorance or Anger is completely of the present.

You may have noticed that we did not include the Element of Earth in reference to past, present, and future. This is due to the Gnostics considering Earth a combination of the other 3 Elements. In this way, Earth would equate to Confusion. It would also represent the present. We were amazed to discover that when we re-examined Saint Paul’s teachings from the standpoint that he was a Gnostic, his words took on an entirely new meaning.

Unbeknownst to most of us, by citing the words faith, hope, and charity/love in chapter 13 of the first book of Corinthians Paul gave us the means to counteract Fear or the spiritual element of Water. This teaching also applies to Grief/Air, and Ignorance/Fire. As this is a complex subject, we will encapsulate how we came to understand what Saint Paul was saying in this passage. Using the Gnostic interpretation, the energy, or consciousness of Hope would nullify or cancel out human fear, transmuting the spiritual aspect of Fear and its element Water. Hope is able to do this because like Fear, it also represents the future, and the positive aspect will always cancel out the negative.

Bringing in the lesson that the Mysteries are hidden in the English language, we use the synonyms for grief, which are anguish or despair. Faith connects us to the Divine, which automatically comforts us. When we are grieving and or in despair, logic will not work. We can only escape a suffocating feeling of hopelessness by believing or having Faith that it will pass.

The Gnostics viewed Grief as the root of evil and initially we interpreted this to mean it was because the emotion of grief often connects to hatred. Although this is valid, understanding that Grief represents the past reveals the reason why Faith can nullify or transmute Grief. Dwelling on the past locks us into the pain-body’s influence that as we stated, until recently was connected to the Shadow. Faith is wholly of the future and, so it breaks the connection by getting us to focus on the better future. Therefore, Faith transmutes all aspects of Grief or the spiritual element Air. Moving on to the spiritual element of Fire/Ignorance, earlier we explained that today we could interpret Ignorance as rage or intense anger, hatred, and resentment, along with envy and jealousy. However, we may also view Ignorance as anything from irritation to full-blown rage, which results in Hatred. In respect to our discussion, here we should view Ignorance in terms of something Hateful, as it implies to the energy and consciousness of the emotion. Naturally, this Element/Emotion connects with the present and therefore needs canceling out by an energy/emotion that is also in the present. Charity comes from the Latin word caritas meaning selfless or altruistic love. Its use is in the sense of “God is Love.” As every form of the word hate is the opposite to the human emotion of love we can understand how Love cancels out or nullifies the emotion of hate. Like Ignorance/Hate, Love is completely of the present. Moreover, Ancient Wisdom taught that Fire was of the masculine and active energy; so is Love. Think of how you feel when you are in love, not to mention how a loved one can enrage you. Understanding both emotions as passion driven, we can see how the essence of the word Charity or Love will transmute Ignorance or any form of Hate and therefore the spiritual element of Fire.

The last element/emotion is Earth or Confusion, but this is not a natural emotion or commonly seen in animals. Therefore, how does it apply to our spiritual evolution? Although the element Earth is obviously present in animals as it represents all matter, it does not become a factor in spiritual evolution until the human stage. So how do we transmute this last element—emotion. We transmute it by understanding that the Kabbalists considered the element Earth a condensation or combination of the other 3 Elements. Thus, we need to consider the result of transforming the 3 elements of Water, Air, and Fire through deductive reasoning. The presence of fear, hate, grief, and or anguish/despair clouds the mind, making it almost impossible to get a clear thought. Another way to put it is having no clarity. Again, applying the Mysteries we find the key to the answer. A synonym for clarity is lack of confusion; consequently, we can deduce that Clarity is the opposite of Confusion. This is why the Gnostics said knowledge was the way to salvation; the transmutation of the elements—emotions entail gaining clarity of who we are, which leads to wisdom and understanding.

When we understood that Clarity was what nullified the spiritual element of Earth or Confusion, initially we thought Saint Paul did not address it. However, once our deductive reasoning kicked in, we realized that Paul did speak of Clarity in the verse before. First, he spoke of seeing “through a glass darkly”, which could be referred to as unclear or cloudy. Then he says that in the future we would see “face to face” or clearly. In other words, with Clarity, as another synonym for Clarity is “clearness.”

After refreshing his memory, Daniel called Sophia a few weeks later to discuss her theory in relation to what was happening. “Yes, we’ve been wondering if emotions could be behind what is going on too. If we examine it purely from the elemental perspective then it makes sense. Let’s take the wild-fires, Fire represents all forms of anger and resentment, and judging by the number of protests, not to mention President Trump’s rallies, the level of that particular emotion is off the charts. However, I’m inclined to believe that much of the weather phenomenon is driven by grief and fear.”

A little taken aback, Daniel asked Sophia “What do you mean? I thought that grief is represented by air and fear by water?”

“You’re right but if you look at the overall picture, spiritually or energetically speaking, all 3 emotions are involved. First, we must take into account the global warming effect. As you mentioned, droughts have been growing more severe every year, which I believe is demonstrated by Death Valley experiencing the highest temperature in the US ever recorded of 130 degrees Fahrenheit, which alone explains the increase in lightning strikes in California. That said, what interested me was the level of smoke. Washington has experienced wild-fires regularly, in fact, on average the state has over a thousand a year, consequently, pollution from smoke has been becoming more problematic. Oregon is the same.”

Much later, Daniel read that according to an article on Oregon’s website, although the 2020 fires in the state were “unusual” they were not “unprecedented.” The author, Ted Sickinger wrote that the worst fire was caused by a weather phenomenon known as an “east wind event”, which was exacerbated and expanded by “two low-level fires.” Emphasizing the role of wind, he stated wind was the main culprit in making the catastrophic infernos as fast moving as they were. Believed to resemble the dry Santa Ana winds that stoke big fires in California, the reporter writes that the east wind event has been responsible for some of the “largest westside fires in modern Oregon history,” adding that these “wind-driven megafires have shaped the entire ecosystem west of the Cascades over millennia.” Mr. Sickinger concludes with “neither the wind event nor the fires were unpredictable. The windstorm and resulting fire danger were forecast days in advance, but with little appreciable effect. Moreover, scientists have long pointed to the inverse relationship between fire frequency and severity on the west side – that is, fewer fires can mean more intense fires… in the Willamette Valley and southwest Oregon in an age of global warming.”

Reading the article, Daniel remembered how Sophia related “that wind exacerbating wild-fires brings in the emotion of grief, which includes despair. If we couple wind and smoke with derecho windstorm and hurricanes, then grief and despair is the overall driving emotion, which makes sense when we consider the situation because of Covid-19.”

When Daniel asked Sophia about fear, she responded “Yes fear is also a big factor here, as Water and Air combine to produce all storms. Emotionally and energetically speaking, fear combined with grief is beneath all the negative actions of people adding to the situation, those stubbornly denying the virus itself are caught in their fear of change, which incidentally the ancients believed was something humans are hard-wired to do. Grief was not just for losing loved ones, it was grief over losing jobs, homes, and security. Since Air also represents despair, it combined with the desperate fear of losing everything. Then there is President Trump, who although acting as one of the “Shadow’s” demagogues is also driven by fear, only his is fear is not primarily of losing power, his fear is more about him losing attention and therefore relevance. Anyway the Earth is not only reflecting Humanity’s neglect of “Her”, “She” is also releasing some of the unbearable tension so many people are experiencing.”

Asking Sophia how we get out of it?, she reminded him of her treatise that proposed countering or transmuting the emotions by engendering their opposites. Adding that “Fortunately, Joe Biden  is being guided to do just that.” Although Daniel was skeptical, he did not comment and thanking her, hung up.

Daniel was skeptical at the supporters being able to focus on Love, Hope, and Faith, as President Trump’s cohorts generated the opposite, not to mention sabotaging any attempt to stop the virus spreading. A perfect example was when his ally Governor Noem not only allowed him to hold an essentially non-masked packed election rally in front of Mount Rushmore on July 3rd, she allowed 400,000 bikers again mostly unmasked to attend the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally from August 7th to the 16th. During the former, Donald Trump revealed his giant ego, by posing for a photo in such a way as to place his head alongside Abraham Lincoln, implying that he belonged there. Daniel had remarked to Deanna at the time “If he did, old Abe and the other presidents would come crashing down from the mountain.”

Since Governor Noem never shut the state down, she reasoned Sturgis was good for the economy. With Minnesota being next door, so to speak, Daniel dreaded the consequences for his and other surrounding states. Sadly, he did not need to wait long. According to a report by USA, a month later 124 infections in South Dakota were traced to Sturgis, with an additional 12 states reporting that 290 people tested positive after attending the rally. According to a post, “the event had little effect on the spread of COVID-19” because extensive testing of individuals working during Sturgis, as well as residents determined that there were no more cases than the rest of the state, and any cases were asymptomatic. The post alleged that as only 88 people were infected with the coronavirus, a percentage of less than 0.02% infection rate, the bikers were not responsible. That said, and notwithstanding the claim that Sturgis was a super-spreader event because it led to as many as 250,000 cases, the reporter Ella Lee concludes it is 0.09%, not 0.2%. In any case, despite South Dakota averaging less than a hundred up until August 26th, ten days after the end of the rally, as it jumped to over 600 on August 27th, the experts worst fears were realized.

As South Dakota abutted Minnesota, Daniel was not surprised when August 27th saw an all-time high of daily infections in their state, with over 1,550 new cases, a sharp rise from daily cases being in the low hundreds. Their neighbor to the north, North Dakota was also not spared, with a record number of infections, of 374 on August 29th. Even though compared to other states, this seems relatively low, however, before then, their daily new infections averaged around 35.

Apart from Seattle and Portland, and sporadic outbreaks, Daniel noted protests over police brutality and racial injustice gradually died down over the summer. That is until the nation witnessed Jacob Black being shot by a police officer in the back seven times on August 23rd, in front of the man’s children. The incident occurred through a domestic violence complaint leveled against Mr. Blake. Although not killed, he was paralyzed from the waist down.

As Daniel expected, police brutality protests broke out, exacerbated by scenes of the paralyzed man being handcuffed to a hospital bed. Predictably, opportunists used the protests to loot and set fire to cars and buildings. Next day according to an entry on Wikipedia, addressing the protests, “Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth asserted that most of the damage was from individuals with no intent to protest and who were not from Kenosha County.” Nevertheless, when Governor Evers declared a state of emergency for the region, deploying 250 troops from the Wisconsin National Guard to Kenosha, things escalated. As the entry observes, “Significant numbers of armed civilians were also on the streets. Police said that such groups had not been invited and were not helpful.” Despite Kenosha Sheriff Beth describing them as “a militia... like a vigilante group.” The author adds that “cellphone footage showed police thanking armed civilians and giving them bottles of water.” Obviously, when Sheriff Beth learned of this, he firmly condemned the officers stating they were “very wrong…” What was far worse was that these “unwanted militia”, were armed to the teeth. Therefore, predictably, as the protests continued, just before midnight on August 25th a wannabe vigilante, 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse from Illinois shot and killed two, wounding a third. After admitting his crime to police, he was arrested and charged with homicide the following day.

 

“Wow! That was some summer, you must have wondered when it would end. How did you choose which stories to cover?”, asked David.
“Yes, it was pretty hectic; however, apart from the fires and virus, my main focus in August was on the 2020 election, especially when Sophia told me that Joe Biden was a part of the Divine Plan…”

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Tale of Two Campaigns

In early February, Daniel observed that the former Vice President Biden’s campaign appeared to be on life support, when he only achieved fourth place during the Iowa caucuses on the 3rd, and fifth in the New Hampshire primary on the 11th. However, on leap-year day February 29th he appropriately bounced back, when Jim Clyburn endorsed the Vice President three days before for the South Carolina primary, catapulting him to victory on Super Tuesday on March 3rd, where he won ten states primary elections and 458 delegates. Shortly after, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, and Michael Bloomberg dropped out of the race, endorsing Joe Biden.

Once it was clear that Joe Biden had won the Democratic nomination, when Bernie Sanders dropped out and endorsed him on April 8th, Daniel was not surprised when President Trump began his attack on his opponent’s mental competency, labeling him “Sleepy Joe.” This proved to be the president’s strategy, as he rarely if ever addressed their platform differences, which Daniel noted was probably because he and the Republicans did not have one. With the rising number of cases and deaths, President Trump’s approval rating had dropped and the election polls showed Joe Biden ahead by 8 points.

From the outset, Joe Biden’s campaign was different from President Trump’s approach. While the latter ignored the risk of spreading Covid-19, holding massive rallies, the former adhered to CDC guidelines and restricted any campaigning to small social-distanced meetings. In fact, at the end of June both candidates announced a pause to in-person rallies. However, Daniel was with Joe Biden, in being appalled at the president’s cavalier attitude in holding his “extravaganza” below Mount Rushmore on Independence Day, and credited the former vice president’s circumspection in only speaking to a small crowd. Most of his campaign speeches were in front of supporters in cars, as he tried to set the example.

As the campaigns prepared for their National conventions, Daniel wondered how they would adapt, since Covid-19 was still a problem. Originally scheduled to be held in Charlotte, North Carolina, the GOP cancelled the venue when the state government refused the president’s insistence of holding a normal convention, with a full crowd and without public health measures like social distancing and masks. Deciding to move the convention to Jacksonville, Florida, when the city also experienced a surge in cases those plans were nixed as well. In the end, according to Wikipedia, the Republicans held “small, formal business meetings” in North Carolina, and the other events were split between Fort McHenry and the White House. Following tradition, the incumbent’s convention was held after the challenger’s. Nonetheless, adhering to medical advice the Democrats and Joe Biden had already decided to hold a remote National Convention from August 17th to the 20th, at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with virtual appearances across the United States.

After Joe Biden secured enough delegates, the question turned to who his running mate would be. With the Black Lives Matter movement still strong, it was presumed he would not only choose a woman, as he had promised but also a woman of color. As the press and America speculated over the prospective candidates, one of President Trump’s family dropped a bombshell, in a tell-all book. The book, Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man was officially released on July 14th. However, a week earlier on July 7th Martin Pengelly of The Guardian broke the news of its release, writing that “In this revelatory, authoritative portrait of Donald J. Trump and the toxic family that made him, Mary L. Trump, a trained clinical psychologist, and Donald’s only niece, shines a bright light on the dark history of their family in order to explain how her uncle became the man who now threatens the world’s health, economic security and social fabric.” Following its release, Daniel read Amazon’s description of the book as:

“A first-hand witness” adding that “Mary brings an incisive wit and unexpected humor to sometimes grim, often confounding family events. She recounts in unsparing detail everything from her uncle Donald’s place in the family spotlight… and the appalling way Donald, Fred Trump’s favorite son, dismissed and derided him when he began to succumb to Alzheimer’s…”

An editorial review by Timothy L. O'Brien Bloomberg, in part relates that “…the fact that Donald morphed from huckster to celebrity to president makes her (Mary Trump) account seminal and indispensable. …Everything in her book that I’m familiar with is spot on. There is plenty in the book, however, that I wasn’t aware of, and I suspect that’s the reason the president and his siblings have gone to court to try to halt its publication.”

Curious to how Robert and Sophia viewed Mary Trump’s revelation, Daniel called them on Skype. When Sophia answered, he asked if they had heard about Donald Trump’s niece’s book? “Yes. We watched an interview she had with Chris Cuomo, which explained a lot. Even though President Trump is the “Shadow’s” demagogue, who is possibly unwittingly utilizing the rise in Racism and Fascism to carry out the defunct agenda, as a member of the Baby-boomer generation I had wondered if part of the Divine Plan was to get him to turn around, if not before the election, at least afterwards. Unfortunately, Mary Trump’s diagnosing him as psychologically incapable of admitting failure, or error means he cannot help himself. Moreover, his mental state means he will defend his position, which is always opposite to his opponent, whether he genuinely believes it or not, which explains his defense of Confederate statues, despite the nation’s overwhelming support.” Stating that if we want President Trump to advocate wearing a mask, “all we need to do is have Joe Biden be against it” Sophia reiterated, “He is literally a puppet to his ego, which constantly needs feeding, hence the rallies. Robert’s and my worry is that so many are caught up in his energy.”

Despite the shocking revelation of yet another book denigrating President Trump, he did not miss a step, as he continued to hold in person rallies in front of large crowds of unmasked tightly packed supporters. In reporting this in October, Daniel had to concede that apart from the July 4th “extravaganza” after his rally on June 20th in Oklahoma, he only held one more in June and none in July.

On day two of a devastating derecho wind-storm in the Mid-west, a week before their convention, on August 11th Joe Biden chooses a former rival, California Senator Kamala Harris for his vice presidential running mate. As the first woman of color to be on a presidential ticket, she makes history. Watching her acceptance speech at the convention, Daniel approved of Biden’s choice. He also noted that Joe Biden completely put to bed any notion that the former vice president was mentally diminished in any way, as he succinctly laid out his plans to focus first on getting the pandemic under control before tackling climate change, criminal justice, the economy, education, health care, and immigration. Overall, Daniel saw the platform as ambitious but doable, as he felt that it was high time to level the playing field. Writing his opinion, he laughed saying to himself, “If my grandpa could see me now, he would say ‘about time’”, as when he was younger the budding reporter had many arguments with his Mom’s dad over helping people. At the time, Daniel was a Republican, just as most Mid-western farm boys were.

Denouncing the seriousness of Covid-19, President continued laying doubts about the safety of mail-in ballots every chance he got. got. To the reporter, his warning seemed foreshadowed when on August 13, his recent appointee in June to Post-master General, Louis Dejoy announced that the U.S. Postal Service planned removing hundreds of high-volume mail-processing machines throughout America.

Since Daniel usually voted by mail, as he was often not home for elections, mail-in voting during a pandemic was a no-brainer for him. Nonetheless, with President Trump’s claim that it was ripe for fraud, he decided to investigate the president’s claims. Before the pandemic five states, Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah, and Washington state regularly practiced mail-in voting, with every eligible voter being sent a ballot. Thirty four states and Washington, D.C., did not require a reason from those who wish to vote by mail, while sixteen states required voters to provide an “excuse.” Twenty-nine states and Washington D.C. also offered “no-excuse” absentee voting. Therefore, even before the pandemic, in thirty-four states any voter could request a mail-in ballot without providing an excuse.

With mail-in voting expanded in the 2020 election, the number of people registered to vote increased considerably, and by August Daniel reported that an estimated eighty million were expected to vote by mail. Since the majority of Republican voters preferred to vote in person on election day, while Democrats often voted by mail, the RNC was worried. Alerted to the numbers, the USPS announced that without additional funding the Post office could not guarantee meeting states deadlines for requesting and casting last-minute absentee ballots. Exacerbating the problem were the measures the Post Master General, President Trump’s appointee Louis DeJoy was enacting, such as removing hundreds of high-speed mail sorting machines from postal centers. Solving the problem on August 18th, Nancy Pelosi recalled the House of Representatives from recess to vote on a bill reversing the changes. In response, the Post Master General stated he would halt the changes until after the November election, reinstated overtime hours, stopped service reductions, and halted the removal of mail-sorting machines and collection boxes. To further assist the USPS, Congress voted on an emergency grant of $25 billion to facilitate the predicted flood of mail ballots.

Not surprisingly, President Trump who continually denounced mail-in voting was not happy, and despite acknowledging the need for additional funds to handle the additional mail-in voting, announced he would block any additional funding for the post office to prevent any increase in balloting by mail. Determined to stop mail-in voting the President Trump’s election campaign filed lawsuits seeking to block the use of official ballot drop boxes in Pennsylvania. Demonstrating the president’s concern the reporter noted how his campaign also filed suits to “block election officials from counting mail-in ballots if a voter forgets to put their mail-in ballot in a secrecy sleeve within the ballot return-envelope.”

During the Democratic convention between August 17 and 20th demonstrating in Daniel’s opinion, his un-sportsmanship, President Trump held 4 rallies in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Arizona, and Pennsylvania. Predictably, after what Daniel considered a distasteful and inappropriate convention at the Whitehouse, President Trump upped the number of rallies immediately after the convention, holding another one the day after on August 28th in New Hampshire. Of course, this was in spite of a pandemic raging through the country, adding a million cases to the five million in less than a month.

In early September, the virus appeared to be slowing a little when on September 8th, it was reported that less than 25,000 daily cases were added, the lowest number since June. Still, by the middle of September cases were on the rise again as Daniel observed when California reported the highest number of any state, with 785,000 cases along with over 15,000 deaths. Moreover, two days later on September 22nd the official number of deaths in the US from Covid-19 exceeded 200,000, and on the 25th, we officially passed 7 million cases. While this was happening President Trump held a further non-masked or socially-distanced 14 rallies.

Admitting that even he had become numb to the appalling numbers concerning Covid-19, Daniel equated it to the nation being riveted by the wild-fires exploding in the west, not to mention the shocking revelations about the president. It began on September 3rd when citing four senior staffers, an editorial in The Atlanticby Jeffrey Goldberg, reported the President had disparaged Americans who died in battle. Searching the validity of the claim, Daniel discovered that in 2018 President Trump refused to visit the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery in France, because he regarded the dead World War I veterans as “suckers” and “losers.” The editorial supported the claim by reminding us that while campaigning for president in 2015, then candidate Donald Trump made similar disparaging comments against the late Senator John McCain’s service in the military. Not surprisingly, President Trump and his allies went on the attack, denouncing The Atlantic for using anonymous sources. In an interview with CNN, editor in chief Jeffrey Goldberg defended the report, explaining why the sources remain anonymous, he observed “that’s how the media is able to do its job of uncovering stories that take place behind closed doors. We all have to use anonymous sources, especially in a climate where the president of the United States tries to actively intimidate”, assuring the interviewer that “These are not people who are anonymous to me.”

Although the wild-fires had been ravaging Washington, and California for months, the president had been silent but when scenes of devastation in Oregon began filling people’s TV screens, he could no longer ignore it. Flying to California on September 14th, according to an article by the Huffington Post, surveying the damage in Sacramento, he attributed the fires to forest management. Covering the televised roundtable being held to discuss the disaster, Daniel wrote that the president denied Climate change as a contributing factor. Moreover, after California Secretary for Natural Resources Wade Crowfoot suggested the historically high temperatures and years of drought may have played a part, the president asserted that “It will start getting cooler. You just watch.” Demonstrating his disdain for experts, when the Secretary countered that environmental scientists are saying the opposite, the president’s response caused Daniel to quickly delete his instinctive retort of, “then the megalomaniac had the gall” as he realized the comment could get him and the paper sued. Taking a deep breath, instead, quoting the president verbatim, he typed, “I don’t think science knows actually.”

Thinking that President Trump could not sink any lower in his eyes, just a day after the president’s survey of the wild-fires in the West on September 15th, Daniel reported that President Trump was scrambling to put out another fire, set to destroy his re-election. Despite months of “downplaying” the seriousness of Covid-19, news networks began playing excerpts of recordings of the president’s interviews with author Bob Woodward for the latter’s new book Rage. In these interviews we heard President Trump tell the author on February 7th, the novel corona virus is “…more deadly than even your strenuous flus.”

Reading the description on Amazon to Deanna, Daniel tried unsuccessfully to remain unbiased. “Woodward, the No 1 international bestselling author of Fear: Trump in the White House, has uncovered the precise moment the president was warned that the Covid-19 epidemic would be the biggest national security threat to his presidency. In dramatic detail, Woodward takes readers into the Oval Office, as Trump’s head pops up when he is told in January 2020 that the pandemic could reach the scale of the 1918 Spanish Flu that killed 675,000 Americans. In seventeen on-the-record interviews with Woodward over seven volatile months - an utterly vivid window into Trump’s mind - the president provides a self-portrait… At key decision points, Rage shows how Trump’s responses to the crises of 2020 were rooted in the instincts, habits and style he developed during his first three years as president…”

Astoundingly to Daniel, the president’s re-election campaign was barely affected by any of the revelations as his supporters unfathomably accepted his excuse that he was “trying to avoid a panic”, completely ignoring the fact that his calling it a hoax most likely cost lives. As the husband of a medical professional, it appalled Daniel, as it was a slap in the face to all the health workers risking their lives every day. Even worse, after the release of Rage, the president continued holding reckless, unmasked packed rallies, and continually mocked Joe Biden for wearing a mask.

When the news broke that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had lost her fight with cancer on September 18th, Deanna broke down in tears and even Daniel choked up. He was not surprised when Republicans reversed their decision to hold up the nomination of a new Supreme Court Justice in the year of an election, as they did with President Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland. To Daniel, hypocritically and tellingly the Senators who blocked President Obama’s choice for eight months, leaving the Supreme Court short of a judge, just six weeks before the election, these same senators argued that the Supreme Court needed 9 justices to adjudicate any disputes in the upcoming election. Forebodingly, a mere five days after Justice Ginsburg’s death on September 23rd, President Trump refused to commit that he would peacefully transfer power to Joe Biden if the president lost his bid for reelection.

Reigniting the outrage over police brutality, on September 23rd, Daniel wrote that a grand jury in Kentucky deemed that the officer who shot Breonna Taylor six times did not warrant any punishment for killing an unarmed woman. However, they did hold the officer responsible for placing Breonna’s neighbors at risk, indicting him with three counts of wanton endangerment for the bullets that went into a surrounding apartment. Not surprisingly, Black Lives Matter activists did not receive the verdict favorably and organized protests throughout the country.

In all of the shocking revelations and remarks President Trump made in September, what Daniel found most shocking was the reaction to a New York Times article on over 20 years of the president’s taxes, reporting that he paid under $1000 for 2016 and 2017, and nothing at all for 11 years. Of special note were reports of a scandalous $72.9 million income-tax refund and receiving funding from foreign sources. According to the article:

“In 2010, Trump received a $72.9 million tax refund that is being audited by the IRS. He received the sum after claiming heavy losses, but if he loses his appeal with the IRS, he will have to pay over $100 million to the federal government… Trump made millions of dollars as the star of NBC’s “The Apprentice,” but revenue streams …are waning. Within the next few years, he will have to cover $300 million in loans.. Even with his shaky finances, Trump has still lived an opulent lifestyle, declaring tax deductions on personal expenses, including a litany of residences and expensive airplanes. He also wrote off more than $70,000 for payments to style his hair during ‘The Apprentice’.”

After the article was published, Daniel noted how two days later on September 30th, President Trump held another rally at Duluth International Airport in Minnesota, attended by thousands of unmasked faithful supporters. That evening, turning to Deanna he asked, “Does nothing stick to this man.”

Shrugging her shoulders Deanna replied, “I’ve given up trying to understand Trump supporters. No matter how high the case numbers go, or how many die, they keep on doing whatever he says. It baffles me, as everyone has heard Trump say in his own words that Covid-19 was more deadly than the flu.”

As the election loomed, Daniel observed how President Trump appeared more desperate, not only claiming that mail-in voting was ill-advised but also spending money on over 200 election-related lawsuits. As many of them concerned mail-in ballots, it was obvious to the reporter that because Democrats are more likely to mail in their ballots than Republicans, this was more about suppressing the vote.

 

In 2030, Daniel declares, “I was no novice to voter suppression and had been appalled when the Supreme Court weakened the Voting Rights Act in 2013. Like their penchant for gerrymandering districts, Republican led states were quick to take advantage, closing polling stations and enacting stronger voting laws in pro-Democratic districts, which in my opinion violated every citizen’s right to vote by mail.”

 

October 1st, just five days after Judge Amy Coney Barret was nominated at a garden party on September 26th that was mostly unmasked and packed together, it was announced that the President, first Lady, and a number of guests had contracted Covid-19. Hearing the news Daniel and Deanna, plus thousands of doctors, nurses, and healthcare workers across the country breathed a sigh of relief, even more so after the president was rushed to Walter Reed Military Medical Center a day later. Not to say they were happy the president was ill, just that everyone hoped he would stop playing down the virus. Alas, all hopes were dashed when three days later after touching down on the Whitehouse lawn, and climbing up to the balcony, the president defiantly removed his mask and saluted the helicopter. Then in a tweet, President Trump proceeded to tell the American people, “Don’t let it dominate you. “Don’t be afraid of it. You’re gonna beat it. We have the best medical equipment, we have the best medicines, all developed recently.”

Of course, as Deanna noted to Daniel, “the President failed to mention the fact he received treatments and drugs that were not available to most Americans. For instance, I understand he was given the steroid dexamethasone and an antibody cocktail.” Watching President Trump’s return to the White House Deanna observed as he defiantly removed his mask, “He’s struggling to breathe.”

In his weekly report, a few weeks later Daniel wrote, “As President Trump remained in the Whitehouse until October 12th, when he relaunched his ill-advised mega rallies, no one can say how long it took for him to get back to full strength, if in fact he ever has.”

Deanna was livid when she was proved right months later, after The New York Times broke the story that when he was admitted to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, then President Trump’s condition was far ‘more worrisome’ than his doctors had conveyed in press briefings. Deanna had commented at the time, “the president’s physician fudged the data when asked if President Trump’s blood oxygen levels had fallen below 90. The doctor’s reply that ‘they are below 94 but are not in the low 80s’ was a deliberate misdirection. We know this because the Times article reported that ‘X-rays found lung infiltrates’, which could indicate an acute case of the virus. However, what was the most telling for me, was the statement that his doctors ‘considered putting him on a ventilator at one point.’ This means he was in real trouble.”

Notwithstanding President Trump metaphorically “sucking out all of the oxygen” in America, as he once again lied to the country, not to mention the dire straits of millions, his opponent was there to help. In what Daniel and many others call his best speech ever, on October 6th the nation was comforted and given hope when emulating Abraham Lincoln, Joe Biden spoke at the site of one of the most deadliest battles during the Civil War (1860-1865), Gettysburg Pennsylvania. The reporter was so impressed that he included the excerpt below in his weekly report for the Minnesota Advocate, which he was delighted to see included in his column:

“There’s no more fitting place than here today in Gettysburg, to talk about the cost of division. About how much it has cost America in the past, about how much it is costing us now, and about why I believe in this moment; we must come together as a nation. For President Lincoln, the Civil War was about the greatest of causes. The end of slavery, widening equality, pursuit of justice, the creation of opportunity, and the sanctity of freedom. His words would live ever after. We hear them in our heads. We know them in our hearts. We draw on them when we seek hope in hours of darkness; “Four score, and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” Here on this sacred ground, Abraham Lincoln, re-imagined America itself. Here, a president of the United States spoke of the price of division, and the meaning of sacrifice. He believed in the rescue, redemption, and rededication of the union. All this in a time, not just of ferocious division, but of widespread death, structural inequity, and fear of the future. And he taught us this, a house divided could not stand. That is a great and timeless truth. Today, once again, we are a house divided, but that my friends can no longer be. We’re facing too many crises. We have too much work to do. We have too bright a future to have it shipwrecked on the Shoals of anger and hate, and division.

“As we stand here today, a century and a half later after Gettysburg, we should consider again, what can happen when equal justice is denied, when anger and violence and division are left unchecked. As I look across America today, I’m concerned. The country is in a dangerous place. Our trust in each other is ebbing. Hope seems elusive. Too many Americans see our public life, not as an arena for mediation of our differences, but rather they see it as an occasion for total, unrelenting, partisan warfare.

“Instead of treating each other’s party as the opposition, we treat them as the enemy. This must end. We need to revive the spirit of bipartisanship in this country. A spirit of being able to work with one another. When I say that, and I’ve been saying it for two years now, I’m accused of being naïve. I’m told, ‘Maybe that’s the way things used to work, Joe, but they can’t work that way anymore.’ Well, I’m here to tell you they can, and they must if we’re going to get anything done.

“I’m running as a proud Democrat, but I will govern as an American president. I’ll work with Democrats and Republicans. I’ll work as hard for those who don’t support me, as those who do. That’s the job of a president; the duty to care for everyone. It was a lot of Democrats and Republicans to cooperate with one another is not due to some mysterious force beyond our control. It’s a decision. It’s a choice we make. And if we can decide not to cooperate, we can decide to cooperate as well. That’s the choice I’ll make as president. But there’s something bigger going on in this nation than just our broken politics. Something darker, something more dangerous. I’m not talking about ordinary differences of opinion, competing viewpoints give life and vibrancy to our democracy. No, I’m talking about something different, something deeper. Too many Americans seek not to overcome our divisions, but to deepen them, we must seek not to build walls, but bridges. We must seek not to have our fist clenched, but our arms open. We have to seek not to tear each other apart, we seek to come together. You don’t have to agree with me on everything, or even on most things, to see that what we’re experiencing today is neither good nor normal…”

 

“My column noted how Vice President Biden’s speech was a staggering and refreshing difference from President Trump’s rallies. Unfortunately, for many the candidates speech fell on deaf ears, as I watched the division deepen.”

 

While the President was under quarantine, Daniel noted how the consequences of the rhetoric revealed itself, when on October 8th the FBI reported that 13 men were charged for planning to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. President Trump’s response was to criticize her for rebuking his comments concerning the kidnapping plot, when he said he condemned all forms of “extreme violence.”

Nonetheless, President Trump also reiterated a false claim in his earlier tweets calling for Governor Whitmer to reopen her state, as Michigan’s schools and churches were closed under her orders. In response the governor said it “tells you everything you need to know” about the difference between him and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. Three days later, on Face the Nation the governor stated that extremists like the Wolverine Watchmen are “finding comfort and support in the rhetoric coming out of Republican leadership from the White House to our state House.”

In his weekly column, Daniel recorded how reacting to President Trump’s remarks about governor Whitmer’s narrow escape, on October 16th Joe Biden condemned the president’s response, saying the “failure to condemn these folks is stunning.”

As the election race was in its final month, expectedly President Trump was chomping at the bit to resume his rallies. Following his disastrous performance in the first debate on September 29th, and because he was down with Covid-19, the second debate was doubtful. Nonetheless, as Daniel noted in that week’s column, Donald Trump craves an audience and although the scheduled debate for October 15th was cancelled, he was back on the trail three days earlier on the 12th in Florida.

Daniel and Deanna took the time to watch the one and only Vice Presidential debate between incumbent Mike Pence and challenger Kamala Harris. As they expected, she was more than able to hold her own with the seasoned politician. The Vice President had lost the couple’s respect when he failed to call out President Trump on any of his policies. Still, the final straw was when despite being the head of the Novel Corona Virus taskforce, he went along with everything the president was saying, and did not deny him calling Covid-19 a hoax, among other things.

Irrespective of the real danger Governor Gretchen Whitmer was in, Daniel noted how President Trump resumed his criticism of her. Citing an article on Wikipedia, the reporter wrote that on October 17th while at a rally in Michigan, he again attacked her response to Covid-19. Then when the crowd of supporters began chanting “Lock her up!”, he joined in with “Lock’ em all up.” After the president was called out for it, his daughter-in-law Lara Trump defended her father-in law, saying he was just “having fun.”

As Daniel observed, obviously Governor Whitmer did not see any humor in it and later told NBC’s Meet The Press interviewer that the president’s rhetoric was “incredibly disturbing”, because it was “inspiring and incentivizing, and inciting this kind of domestic terrorism.” Disputing President Trump’s false claims that she should relax the “statewide restrictions” she issued to mitigate Covid-19, she affirmed that lockdowns in Michigan “were removed in spring.”

Incredibly to both Deanna and Daniel, despite the pandemic, from the 12th to the 31st of October, President Trump held 35 rallies with thousands of unmasked supporters packed shoulder to shoulder. Not surprisingly, Daniel learned later that according to a study released on October 30th by Stanford University, over 30,000 cases of COVID-19 and 700 deaths were directly linked to the President’s campaign rallies.

Weeks before the election, with people lining up to vote early, Daniel realized he had never considered that people don’t all vote on November 3rd in a general election. With a little research he discovered that most states allow early voting, with forty-one states and Washington, DC allowing no-excuse early voting, meaning that a voter could vote early for any reason without needing to provide justification to do so. Interestingly, the time for early voting varied considerably.

Covering the election, in Daniel’s opinion, the spread of Covid-19 was not the most dangerous aspect of President Trump’s rallies. For the reporter, it was what he was telling his audience. Since August, the president was preparing his supporters to fight the election if he lost. Daniel found excerpts from an article posted by Kevin Liptak on August 17th on Az Family.com, provided the perfect example of the repetitive lies and dangerous vitriolic language the president was spewing for months. Remarks made by President Trump in Wisconsin, in Daniels opinion were truly concerning. Such as “warning” of “fascist Democrats with a “Trojan horse’ candidate…” It went downhill from there with him building on his increasingly desperate attempts to prevent the outcome of the polls, showing Joe Biden clearly ahead, by limiting mail-in voting by denying new funding for the post office. As bad as this was, even more troubling to Daniel was Kevin Liptak’s report that President Trump was making racial and sexist attacks on Kamala Harris. He also, as the report noted, proposed a new conspiracy from the so-called “deep state”, who would deliberately delay announcing a vaccine against Covid-19 until November 4th. Supporting Daniel’s suspicion that Donald Trump intended to have a third term like FDR, he read in Kevin Liptak’s article that:

“Trump said he should be granted a ‘redo’ on his first term… And …joked that he may remain in office for ‘16, 20’ years. Though made in jest, those remarks only fuel the impression that Trump is preparing, at a minimum, to challenge November’s results if they do not show him winning. Taken together, the remarks suggest Trump is actively working to undermine the results of an election that polls currently show him losing… ‘Do you want to be ruled by the radical left-wing mob or do you want to stand tall as free men and women in the greatest country on Earth?’ Trump asked, echoing equally pessimistic remarks earlier Monday in Minnesota. ‘We’re going to have an election that is all about the survival of the nation…’”

To Daniel, President Trump’s remarks would have been almost funny if they were not so dangerous. Reading that the president referred to the Left as fascists revealed to the reporter just how ignorant he was when he claimed that “Joe Biden is the puppet of left-wing extremists trying to erase our borders, eliminate our police, indoctrinate our children, vilify our heroes, take away our energy, to replace American freedom with left-wing fascism.” Daniel was tempted to write to the Whitehouse to tell whoever was writing the president’s speeches that Fascists and Leftwing are the exact antithesis of one another, as Fascism is aligned with the extreme right, Nazism, and White Supremacy, whereas, the far Left are Communists, such as the regime in China.

In late October, Deanna pointed out an article online to Daniel that reported President Trump had once again attacked Governor Whitmer of Michigan. What was worse, he did it at a rally in the capital Lansing, the cite of an armed insurrection back in May. According to the report, on October 27 the President “downplayed the alleged plot” reiterating his attacks on the governor, engendering the chants of “Lock her up!”

 

“The closer we got to the election, the worse the president’s hateful and dangerous rhetoric language got. By the beginning of November, he was calling all Democrats enemies, declaring that they were all out to steal the election and the country from his supporters. At this point, President Trump lost all restraint, because he had fired everyone who had the guts to stand up to him. He’d already enlisted William Barr the Attorney General’s support in the mail-in conspiracy as early as June. Still, when the president accused doctors of being incentivized to drive up the death count, claiming that ‘doctors get more money if someone dies from COVID,’ I thought your grandmother was going to lose it, she was so angry.”

“What I don’t understand is why so many people still listened to the former president”, commented Steve. “Afterall, as you’ve pointed out, he was caught in thousands of lies.”

“That perplexed Deanna and me too,” agreed Daniel. “However, as Sophia explained to me, we were dealing with energy, which was being promulgated 24-hours a day, 7 days a week…”

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Red vs Purple or Violet

 

{Author’s note: Some readers may wonder why we did not use Blue in the title. The simple answer is that Red and Blue denote separation and duality on so many levels, as in Republican and Democrat, Conservative and Liberal, or even Right and Left, meaning Fascism and Communism. However, in Spiritual evolution, red and blue refer to masculine and feminine as representing active and passive, since Life’s purpose is for us to learn how to balance and harmonize them, hence the color purple. Here, we look how political and historical decisions of the Republican party have changed but this is not a political discussion. Instead, we want to examine the energetic and spiritual repercussions of Republican politics, in particular the change from Abraham Lincoln to Ronald Reagan. We focus on this period because the latter’s election is when the Shadow of Deception gained the upper hand for 30 years, especially as “its” defunct agenda plagued the world long after it was neutralized in 2010, and played a huge part in the events of 2020/2021. We should state that we do not believe any person or politician is a willing participant in promoting the “Shadow’s” agenda. On the contrary, we view all “players” involved as victims, which includes Donald Trump and his supporters.}

Although Daniel stopped being a political correspondent in 2006 with the appointment of Ruth Hawthorn as managing editor of The Minnesota Advocate, he had still followed politics. Over the years, his opinion changed, especially after meeting Robert and Sophia Staples, who showed him a different way of looking at how we govern and are governed, by helping him to see things from an energetic, consciousness, or even spiritual perspective.

Growing up in Wisconsin, for most of his life Daniel was a proud supporter of Republicanism, as advocated by Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt. After Newt Gingrich became Speaker of the House in 1995, he began to sour on the Republican party. Still, if he was honest his disillusionment with the GOP began when Ronald Reagan removed regulations protecting the environment, as well as cutting spending on social programs, while giving huge tax breaks to the wealthy. Daniel always felt that the Republican claim that “Trickle-down economics”, where resources go to helping wealthy corporations, helps the poor because it eventually “trickles down” to them, was a crock.

Researching the overall impact of Reganomics Daniel found an entry on the US History website, which reported that During his 1980 campaign Ronald Reagan claimed Americans were under an undue tax burden, which together with excessive government regulation, and massive social spending programs, was hampering growth. The candidate’s solution was a 30% tax cut. Yet, he was also in favor of spending trillions of dollars on the military, which would be financed by cutting government programs. In the end, the entry recorded Ronald Reagan’s “trickle-down” economics resulted in tripling the national debt from one to three trillion dollars, which future generations would have to pay, “and yet”, as Deanna observed when Daniel told her, “he is heralded as one of the greatest presidents.”

One thing the reporter liked about President Reagan was his decency in dealing with his opponents, which Daniel noted had deteriorated to the point of being non-existent, especially under Newt Gingrich and Mitch McConnel. When Newt Gingrich became Speaker of the House in 1995, Republicans in Congress became more about “gotcha” politics than working for the benefit of the country. Despite being no fan of Bill Clinton, Daniel considered the speaker’s unrelenting pursuit of President Clinton, for foolishly trying to cover up a marital indiscretion, was beyond the pale. Moreover, modern Republicanism seemed to lack compassion, demonstrated by Speaker Gingrich’s promotion of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act, which in effect restructured the welfare system, by providing states with the power to administer how they distribute help, at the same time diminishing Federal responsibility. The most controversial aspects of the act was placing time limits on how long a person/family is helped, tighter restrictions on food stamp eligibility, and reducing help to immigrants, requiring they work for help.

President George W. Bush’s administration in handling major crises and embroiling America in the Iraq War, under the pretense of Sadam Hussein’s complicity in 9/11 and holding WMDs, which was proven false, only added to Daniel’s disillusionment. Nonetheless, it reached an all-time high when the Republican-controlled Senate under Mitch McConnel did everything they could to stop Barack Obama’s effort to help the country. Thinking the GOP could not go any lower, Daniel’s residual support for his child-hood party of Lincoln evaporated, when they not only knowingly nominated a supporter of white supremists, and a misogynistic ego-maniac but proceeded to support everything he wanted to do.

 

A decade later in 2030, Daniel confided that “Deanna cried when Donald Trump was elected in 2016, because she reasoned it meant that large numbers of the American people agreed with him. As a former Republican, I soothed her by reminding my then soft-hearted fiancée that most voters simply vote their party, as I had done for many years. It helped for a while but when photos of children in cages after being separated from their parents at the Mexican border surfaced, I thought she would never stop crying.”

“At the time, although I was appalled at President Trump’s callousness, I was more concerned with what his economic policies were creating for America. I’d discussed this with Robert and Sophia and they had pointed me to the history of taxation based on 2005 taxes, which they covered in one of their books. When taxation was first introduced in 1894, the personal exemption amount was $4,000 (equivalent to $80,000 in 2005). Its form in 2020/2021 began around 1913 with a personal exemption amount of $3,000 and $4,000 for married couples, which equates to $57,000 and $76,000 in 2005. However, demonstrating the growing disparity by adjusting for inflation, those same exemptions of $3,000 and $4,000 in 1913, in 2020/2021 should have been $78,142.20 and $106,268.28, respectively. As Robert and Sophia wrote: ‘The first lawmakers considered the sharing of wealth an important part of America’s development. In this way, the 1913 Congress felt that only those individuals who were comfortable should contribute to the expenses incurred for running the country.’

“So what happened, how did they go from taking care of the poor to someone earning $78,000 a year being considered a member of the middle class, and falling into the third tax bracket of 22%. Moreover, someone earning as little as $9,875 was liable for 10%. Of course, there were all kinds of exemptions, yet it was nowhere near what the Founders envisioned. As Robert and Sophia explained, ‘Spiritually, the creation of such disparity in circumstances that began in the 1980s caused the spiritual consciousness to plummet, which led to even more regression in spiritual development. This is because on the human level, the consciousness of greed resulted in an increased lack of compassion. Sadly, this way of thinking has not lessened, as can be seen in articles complaining that the rich are paying more taxes than the poor. Such writers complain that a very small percentage of the population pay the bulk of taxes. Apparently, this is not their main gripe though. No, there main gripe concerns the fact that every year more and more people are removed from the tax base, “escaping” paying their fair share.’

“Needless to say, I wholeheartedly agreed with Robert and Sophia’s assessment. President Trump added to this division with his Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which according to The New York Times editorial board adds to income and wealth inequality. As it reports: ‘Most Americans know that the Republican tax bill will widen economic inequality, by lavishing breaks on corporations and the wealthy while taking benefits away from the poor and the middle class. What many may not realize is that the growing inequality helped create the bill in the first place. As a smaller and smaller group of people cornered an ever-larger share of the nation’s wealth, so too did they gain an ever-larger share of political power. They became, in effect, kingmakers; the tax bill is a natural consequence of their long effort to bend American politics to serve their interests… Moreover, there were other consequences, as not only would the corporate tax cuts mostly benefit wealthy executives and shareholders, putting it in perspective, the lowest ten percent would pay an average of $50 less a year in taxes, while the top 1 percent would get a $34,000 tax cut.”

Letting the figures sink in, Daniel scanned his young audience before saying, “I’m sorry to say that this is why 74 million people voted to re-elect Donald Trump.”

Amidst the shocked gasps, Steve spoke up. “Let me get this right. Am I to understand that despite being caught in lie after lie, completely screwing up the handling of the pandemic resulting in hundreds of thousands of deaths, supporting white supremists, disrespecting veterans, and just plain abandoning any modicum of decency, 74 million people still voted for him!”

“Sadly yes. Unfortunately, even though Donald Trump was defeated, things got much worse, primarily because of right-wing media…”

As a reporter, Daniel kept abreast of all media outlets and observed in his reports that there was a distinct divide between main-stream news, which he included CNN, and fringe news being spread by social media. Unfortunately, a major network purporting to be a legitimate conservative news source, to offer an alternative to what they called the “Liberal media”, became the mouthpiece for President Trump. Due to the president labelling all main-stream news, who did not propagate his misinformation as “fake news”, his supporters were only fed a steady diet of classic Donald Trump propaganda by his chosen network Fox News. After its launch in 1996 Daniel had kept an eye on the network. However, it was not until he and Deanna watched the 7-part HBO Mini-series The Loudest Voice, with its founder Roger Isles being played by Russel Crowe that he realized how truly dangerous it was. With President Trump’s rhetoric becoming more inflammatory by the day, concerned, Daniel pitched a story to his editor Ruth Hawthorn about hi-lighting Donald Trump’s relationship with the media, entitled Donald Trump’s Media Accomplices. Cognizant of her seasoned columnist to get to the facts behind the events, and as the mainstream media were warning of possible violence during the election, Ruth gave him the go ahead for a 2000 word feature.

Donald Trump held a special relationship with the media most of his life. However, one of the most influential friendships he courted was with the CEO of a large publishing company, David Pecker. Quickly proving himself a loyal friend, Pecker not only promoted the Trumps business interests by producing Trump Style, when Donald confided that he was running for president in 2014, he offered to use his magazine, The National Enquirer to “catch and kill any allegations of sexual affairs” aimed at the candidate. A perfect example was in 2015, when David Pecker squashed a story by having The National Enquirer’s parent company, American Media Inc. (AMI) pay the doorman at Trump Tower $30,000 for a story about Donald having an illegitimate child with his family’s housekeeper.

Not only did David Pecker’s magazine enthusiastically back Donald Trump for president in 2016, The National Enquirer demolished the candidate’s opposition, first in the primaries and then in the general election. For instance, accusing Ted Cruz’s father of being connected to Lee Harvey Oswald, the acclaimed “patsy” of JFK’s assassination, before November 22nd 1963. Or applying his “catch and kill” practice again in 2015, quashing Karen McDougal’s alleged affair with Donald in 2006, by Pecker paying her $150,000 for the “exclusive rights” to her story. That November when another whistleblower backed up Donald fathering an illegitimate child, Donald’s friend paid another thirty thousand for the story, which he again quashed.

Once Donald Trump won the nomination, David Pecker set his sights on Hilary Clinton. The tabloid’s attacks were relentless, and as we saw at times down-right dangerous; remember Pizza gate! The National Enquirer, often helped by the candidate suggesting stories to Pecker, failed to fact check reports that supported Donald Trump or attacked his rivals. Alternatively, when an Access Hollywood tape from 2005 recording Donald having a vulgar derogatory conversation about women, two days before his debate with Hilary Clinton, David Pecker ignored it.

Clearly demonstrating how Donald Trump viewed his actions, on the tape he bragged that he could kiss and grope women, because he was “a star”: “…I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it, you can do anything ...grab them by the p...y. You can do anything.” Most lawyers consider this sexual assault but as usual, nothing happened, as he excused his statements as “locker room talk”, apologizing for the crude language. However, as he had essentially gotten away with sexually harassing or assaulting at least 29 women, including many beauty contestants, he was not bothered because he knew David Pecker had his back. In an interview with Howard Stern, Donald Trump brazenly admitted to walking into the contestants’ dressing rooms unannounced while the women were undressed: Bragging, “I’ll go backstage before a show, and everyone’s getting dressed... I’m allowed to go in because I’m the owner of the pageant. And therefore I’m inspecting it. ...Is everyone OK? You know, they’re standing there with no clothes. And you see these incredible-looking women. And so I sort of get away with things like that…”

As far as David Pecker was concerned, everything pertaining to the candidate Donald Trump was funneled to the candidate’s then loyal attorney Michael Cohen for approval. Shockingly, according to The Washington Post, this practice has continued throughout his presidency, as seen in the porn star Stormy Daniels’s scandal that broke in 2018, which purported that the lawyer arranged payment of $150,000, to prevent her from disclosing an affair she had with Donald in 2006. This time David Pecker was involved, not as a protector but as a potential co-defendant, because Michael Cohen asked The National Enquirer’s parent company AMI to perform their usual “catch and kill”, which Pecker had declined to do. Investigating Cohen for violation of campaign finance laws, Federal prosecutors subpoenaed AMI. Consequently, David Pecker’s catch and kill scheme to protect Donald Trump was under investigation, because it represented “in-kind” campaign donations, which was illegal under Federal Election Commission rules.

Unfortunately, The National Enquirer continued to publish conspiracy theories, which were being spread through Social Media. However, the biggest media support for Donald Trump came from Fox News but how did this happen? To answer this question, we need to investigate the man behind its first iteration, Roger Isles. According to CNNs docufilm The Loudest Voice, after being compelled to resign from CNBC in 1995, he cunningly bypasses a “non-compete” clause in his contract to team up with Rupert Murdoch to form a 24-hour news network to challenge CNN. Quickly making Fox News his own, he successfully proposes targeting conservatives. Bent on sensationalizing the news, he recruits people who will be loyal to him. After overcoming many problems, Fox News goes on air in October 1996. At its launch, Roger Isles reveals his plan to make conservatism, “the loudest voice”, hence the title.

When the World Trade Center is hit on September 11th, although initially stunned by the unprovoked horrific attack, Roger Isles soon employs the shock value of showing people jumping from the fiery inferno. According to the docufilm, Mr. Isles is contacted by a member of the administration suggesting the attack presents a reason to declare war on Iraq. In favor of this, he commits to promoting this action. Portraying themselves as patriots, Fox News presenters start using the rhetoric of the proposed war as a fight between good and evil. As the network is propelled to number one in ratings, as a key instigator Roger Isles cements his position in the administration, when George W. Bush declares war on Iraq.

An out and out racist, Roger Isles was determined to stop the election of an African American at all costs, and begins to refer to the candidate as an “enemy of the people.” Around this time, his relationship with Rupert Murdoch begins to sour when the latter snubs the former during the launch of a new business venture. Foolishly, Roger Isles goes after his former ally’s wife, denigrating her in the media. After failing to stop Barack Obama’s election, the head of Fox News is invited to the Whitehouse. However, after keeping him waiting for a considerable time, conveying his utter abhorrence with the network, the President “refuses” to meet with him.” It seems that because Rupert Murdoch did not feel the same way about Barack Obama as Roger Isles, it destroys their relationship. Nevertheless, the latter wins the day when after threatening Rupert Murdoch, he obtains full “editorial control over Fox.” Interestingly, we hear President Trump’s mantra of “make America great again”, long before the 2016 election, in Warren, Ohio from Roger Isles. An open enemy of Isles, President Obama responds to the former’s using his wife’s local paper in Garrison’s editor Joe Lindsley, a staunch conservative, to attack him by going after Fox News for being biased. Roger Isles goes on the attack through anchor Glenn Beck, who astonishingly accuses the president of “racism and corruption.” Even so, it seems that Joe Lindsley has integrity and is uncomfortable when he sees for himself just how far his boss’s husband is prepared to go, in manipulating false reports and fake news to “benefit the conservative movement.” When the Garrison editor confronts Roger Isles over this, the latter dismisses it with, “History is written by the winners and we are winning.”

Donald Trump first enters the picture when Roger Isles urges his friend Roger Stone to locate an ideal Republican candidate. At this time, Mr. Isles is unwell, necessitating Rupert Murdoch’s sons, Lachlan, and James to take a more active role in the running of Fox News. Furious at his denigration and flouting tradition of being unbiased, he conspires with Trump. Consequently, when Trump announced he was running in 2016, he gets Fox News to back his candidacy. Not surprisingly, candidate Trump advances in the election through using the same tactics as Fox News.

Roger Isles career ends ignominiously when after sexually abusing his assistant Gretchen Carlson for years, and trying to humiliate her after not renewing her contract, she finds other victims of Isles willing to go on the record and join her lawsuit. When Lachlan Murdoch investigates the claims, he discovers that several women were silenced by threats. As a result, the Murdoch family force Roger Isles to resign. After Donald Trump is elected, the disgraced former head starts to collaborate with the newly elected President. However, as the docufilm ends with the death of Roger Isles in 2017, his influence is curtailed. Alas, although Roger Isles departure ends his influence with President Trump, the man’s influence in Fox News remained and they were firmly behind the new president.

With the similarity in Roger Isles and Donald Trump’s attitude to women and racism, one would have to conclude that the two men were birds of a feather. Yet we are left asking what or who molded the man who became our Commander in Chief? Mary Trump, a clinical psychologist, and Donald’s niece would say we don’t have to look far to find where President Donald Trump learned his politics and tactics. In her new book, Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man, she lays the blame squarely at the feet of her grandfather, Fred Trump (1905-1999).

Arrested at a Ku Klux Klan march in Queens when he was only 21, Fred Trump’s racist tendencies and his penchant to lie and cheat were deeply ingrained in his business practices. In 1954 he was investigated by a U.S. Senate committee for profiteering, and again in 1966 by the State of New York. Growing up in this atmosphere, Donald entered the real estate world under his father Fred Trump’s watchful gaze in the late 1960s, becoming the president of Fred’s real estate business in 1971. Just two years later, Donald and his father were sued by the U.S. Justice Department's Civil Rights Division for being in violation of the Fair Housing Act. Later in 1975 Donald acquired a substantial loan of over $14 million from his father, which he curiously appeared to forget when campaigning for president claiming he was a self-made man, building the company’s fortune of ten billion from a “small loan” of a million dollars. As usual, investigative reporting by The New York Times on the Trump Organization, determined that before his death in 1999, Fred Trump had given his “favorite” son the equivalent of $413 million, with at least 25% being in loans, which Donald never repaid.

In 2020, President Trump faced charges on tax evasion from the District Attorney of the Southern District of New York. This too was learned from his father, who becoming a billionaire and suffering from Alzheimer’s transferred the majority of his buildings to Donald and his siblings in 1997. As a result, Fred Trump’s heirs made a killing when they sold the properties in 2004 for more than sixteen times their estimated worth when transferred, avoiding paying hundreds of millions in taxes.

As we know from his niece Mary Trump’s book, her uncle is “incapable” of admitting he is wrong. So what does that say for those who choose to support him. It’s beyond this reporter how his behavior has not turned off every woman. Nonetheless, as the media, experts and the late Stephen Hawking has determined, he is a demagogue but what does that mean? As I discovered “Demagogues overturn established norms of political conduct…” Worse still they appeal to unacknowledged prejudices, which incite racial, religious, and class division. Unfortunately, demagogues overcome reason by stirring up a large segment of the population, attacking moderate and thoughtful rivals by accusing them of being weak. The most frightening aspect of identifying President Trump as a demagogue is that when elected to high executive office, they tend to unravel constitutional limits on executive power and attempt to convert their democracy to a dictatorship. This makes Mary Trump’s warning that her uncle threatens the world’s health and economic security, even more serious.

Daniel Bruin

Watching the election on November 3rd, Daniel was not surprised that President Trump initially pulled ahead, because he knew that the states would not count the mail-in ballots until after the polling day numbers were calculated and released. Deanna was disheartened when the couple retired to bed, and was not comforted by her husband’s assurance that it was too early to declare a winner. With the usual partisan Red and Blue states determined, the country’s eyes turned to the purple or battleground states of Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia, Arizona, and Nevada. Due to state election rules, these states only began counting mail-in ballots after the polls closed.

Regardless of the pandemic, Daniel recorded how unbiased observers stated that the 2020 election was the most successful election ever conducted, although to listen to President Trump and his Republican cohorts, you would think it was the most corrupt and fraudulent election ever held. President Trump and his Attorney General William Barr had railed against mail-in voting for months, and as they were counted the president began to see his lead fading. In an attempt to stop the counting, when after midnight he saw that he won Florida by more than three percentage points, President Trump declared he won the election. However, Joe Biden did not agree and responded at 12:30 am, encouraging patience among his supporters because he believed that when all the votes were counted, he would emerge victorious because he was “on track to win this election.” Not deterred, two hours later President Trump addressed a large group of his supporters again declaring victory, and demanding the counting of votes stop, as to continue amounted to “a fraud on the American people.” Backing this up he announced and that he intended to “go to the U.S. Supreme Court.” Obviously, this was unacceptable as the action was a “naked effort to take away the democratic rights of American citizens.”

Daniel was pleased to note that despite all the shenanigans, a considerable number of Americans successfully voted by mail, which meant the election result was delayed by several days. Just as the country reached the ignominious marker of 100,000 cases of Covid-19 on a single day, on November 4th, President Trump doubles down on his effort to stop the vote count, with millions of mail-in votes still outstanding, joining lawsuits to stop vote counts in Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Michigan. Surprisingly, in spite of their loyalty even Fox News does not confirm his victory.

Due to President Trump’s constant warnings that the election would be stolen, Daniel was unsurprised at his refusal to concede, as the reporter expected him to legally challenge the election. However, what did surprise him was the Republican party’s actions, who even when Brad Raffensperger confirmed Joe Biden’s win after a third recount in Georgia on December 7th, the Majority leader Mitch McConnel refused to call him President Elect, claiming that President Trump has the right to exhaust all legal challenges. In fact, the Republican Majority leader did not formerly recognize Joe Biden as President-elect until December 14th, when the Electoral College confirmed he received 306 Electoral votes to President Trump’s 232. Even more surprising to Daniel was that it took two weeks for the head of the General Services Administration, Emily Murphy, to allow Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to receive the federal resources to start the formal transition process.

When Joe Biden officially addressed the nation as President-elect on November 8th, when he reached 290 Electoral votes with Nevada, Daniel and Deanna celebrated with a glass of wine. Unfortunately, although the former Vice President Biden ended up beating President Trump by more than 7 million votes, the latter refused to give up, appealing to judges and Republican state lawmakers in the purple or battleground states to disregard voters’ choice and re-elect him.

Even after his Attorney General William Barr failed to find any evidence of widespread voter fraud on December 1st, President Trump refused to accept his Attorney General’s findings, and continued to file lawsuits. In an interview Daniel saw why he would not give up because a few days earlier on November 29th the president confessed on Fox News that “it’s very hard to get a case to the Supreme Court”, to which Daniel concluded was Donald Trump’s endgame. Having placed three Justices on the Supreme Court, he was obviously confident that they would feel obliged to rule in his favor. However, Supreme Court Justices may lean towards certain ideologies but that does not mean they will ignore the law. Consequently, when Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, joined by over a hundred members of Congress sued the states of Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin in order to invalidate the results of the presidential election in those states, on December 11th the Supreme Court, which included all three President Trump nominees, denied the case. In the end, by January the Trump campaign had lost sixty lawsuits.

On the day that Joe Biden was confirmed President-elect by the Electoral College on December 14th, America started vaccinating front-line healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities. Moreover, Daniel was pleased to report that Majority Leader Mitch McConnel, along with several senators and most World Leaders also congratulated Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

Once Mitch McConnel acknowledged Joe Biden’s win, Daniel thought the argument of the legitimacy of the election was over, however, President Trump and his supporters continued to fight. Planning for the Holidays a few days later, Daniel mused over the persistence of the detractors still claiming the election was stolen to his wife. “You know Deanna, if Democrats had won across the board, I may have considered the claims but by God, the Dems lost ground everywhere, so it is illogical to think that there was some great conspiracy to only remove Trump and Pence’s names, while reducing Dems in Congress.”

“Yes. That’s how I feel too,” agreed Deanna. “Yet I can’t wrap my head around so many people still voting Republican after their support for Donald Trump’s handling of the pandemic. How on earth could Joe Biden win by more than 7 million and the Republicans control pretty much every state legislature. It’s beyond me.”

“In this election, I think the reason Republicans in general did better because although many voted for Biden, they still voted predominantly Republican down-ballot. But the sad fact is the Republicans usually win, despite being in the minority in the country because they know how to manipulate the Electoral College through Gerrymandering.”

Not that familiar with gerrymandering, Deanna enquired, “I’ve heard that term used before but have never really understood it. What exactly does it mean and where did it come from?”

 

1st gerrymandering districtDaniel relates that “Surprisingly, the origin of the term gerrymandering comes from someone who didn’t even approve of it. Not only was he one of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence, Elbridge Thomas Gerry was also Vice President to James Madison, the acknowledged Founding Father of the Constitution from 1812 to 1814. However, Gerry became associated with gerrymandering while serving as Governor of Massachusetts from 1810 to 1812.

By Elkanah Tisdale… Originally published in the Boston Centinel, 1812.
Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6030613

“Gerrymandering began in Governor Gerry’s second year, when the Republican legislature creatively manipulated electoral district boundaries, intended to enhance their party’s control over state and national elections. Their manipulation was so ridiculous that it led to the Boston Gazette printing”, taking out his cell-phone Daniel scrolled down the screen, then holding the phone up to Deanna said, “this caricature (above) of what they called a salamander, hence the name ‘Gerry’ for Governor Gerry, and ‘mander’ for salamander. Apparently, although the governor signed it into law, a family member later reported him calling the law ‘highly disagreeable.’ Nonetheless, rightly or wrongly his name is still associated with this unfair practice.”

“That’s really interesting, especially as Massachusetts is firmly in Democratic hands now”, noted Deanna.

“Yes it is. Yet a book by Brent Tarter called GERRYMANDERS: How Redistricting Has Protected Slavery, White Supremacy, and Partisan Minorities in Virginia points out how insidious it is. Not only does he assert that gerrymandering exists and plays a role in our elections, he tells us that its history goes far deeper, and its impacts are far greater than most people realize. Listen to this description.“ Again scrolling through his phone Daniel reads:

“Using Virginia’s historical practice of gerrymandering, the author Brent Tarter reveals how the practice greatly influences who controls not only the state but also the nation. This outdated colonial procedure, set in place to nprotect ’lad and slave owners interests’ it needs to be exposed for how it is used to give power to the minority. The problem is that it unfairly determines representation in Congress, as one of the reviewers sums up, ’Tarter creates a powerful narrative of exclusion using the intersections of race, class, and gender to demonstrate how discriminatory manipulations within representational government have grown like a disease, impacting not just racial minorities but all citizens except those who directly benefit from gerrymandering. His narrative poses the question as to whether or not the benefits for a powerful few are really worth the price of sacrificing voter trust in representational government. In short, Tarter blazes a gutsy path that other historians should follow to shed more light on this important subject.’”

As Christmas approached and every day the claims of a stolen election grew louder, with lawsuit after lawsuit being dismissed, Daniel wondered if it would ever end. It seemed to him that America had split into two realities, one where people faced the facts, and one where people made them up. Remembering Sophia’s statement that people were caught in the energy of demagoguery, the day after Christmas he called Robert and Sophia’s home. When Robert answered the phone, after apologizing for interrupting them during the holidays, and exchanging pleasantries, Daniel asked if they were available to Skype. Expectedly, the couple said “Yes.” Then hanging up, a minute or so later, Daniel heard the familiar tones of a call coming in from Skype on his laptop nearby. Opening it, and clicking to answer, Daniel and Deanna watched as the swirling icon dissolved into the two smiling faces of Robert and Sophia. Almost immediately, Sophia encouragingly asked, “How can we help?”

Feeling welcomed and reassured that he was not intruding, Daniel reminded Sophia of her statement that QAnon and people denying the virus were caught in the energy of demagoguery. Nodding her head she affirmed Daniel’s recollection saying, “Yes, unfortunately it is compounded by the energy being generated at this time, which was pre-planned by the Shadow. Like we told you although it was neutralized in 2010, its agenda was already in play and still is. Interestingly, the Major Arcana of the Tarot actually conveys the energy behind this and how to deal with it.”

Intrigued, but wondering how fortunetelling Tarot cards could be involved Daniel said, “Tell me more. Did you do a reading?”

Death Card“No. My book is an anthology on the Tarot carrying The Mysteries. For instance, as I wrote about card 13 Death, which incidentally is about transformation, not physical death. At the top of the card, apparently signifying the boundary between what is referred to as the “known and unknown”, are Towers in front of a Sunrise. I saw this as the established and undiscovered because the Towers signify our known world, namely, what Physics has determined. Even so, the group states that although 20th Century science used intuition to “push” back these Towers exponentially, we are also obliged to do our part using our intuition. Primarily we need to expound the truth of reincarnation, and that death is not the end. Fortunately, they tell us that at some point life after death will be proved, as well as the potential immortality of the human body and how we achieve it.”

“Romans 8:22 that has, ‘For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together…’ is telling us that All Life is waiting for us to begin cooperating with Nature as co-creators. On some level humans have already started this important work, as seen in the sciences of Botany and Biology that created new species of plants and domesticated wild animals. All that is needed now is to discover the region beyond the Towers, represented by the Rising Sun in card 13, by transforming our mortal bodies into immortal ones, intended to be achieved in the Age of Pisces.”

“Surely immortality is a pipe dream? Didn’t black magicians and alchemists try to achieve it for centuries,” reasoned Daniel.

“You’re right. Black magicians and alchemists did strive for immortality but in the case of the former, their motives were selfish, whereas alchemists used The Mysteries as their guide. This is because human beings were always intended to discover the secret of eternal life. The next step in human evolution is developing our higher senses. Already we see individuals capable of this, as well as extraordinary actions through TV shows like Superhuman. These individuals are merely forerunners of human potentiality. Science cannot explain why we grow old and die because every cell is capable of renewing itself.”

“Unfortunately, Jesus’ teachings on eternal Life, which is the backbone of Christianity, were misinterpreted. He wasn’t saying that eternal life was just about believing he was the Christ, it concerned spiritual evolution that also follows physical evolution. The ‘Truth’ that sets us free involves giving up the self. In that I mean we need to see ourselves as part of a whole, which is why Jesus spoke of Love and forgiveness so much. It is this mentality that raises our consciousness, and enables us to evolve into the next level of evolution, superhuman. Eternal life is not just about life after death, as in reincarnation. When we give up separation and unite we will transform our consciousness, which will give us access to the knowledge of immortality.”

Asking Sophia how card 13 Death teaching us about potential immortality, could possibly help with what was happening in 2020, Daniel heard her sigh before answering. “The imagery and symbology of card 13 points to the end of the Age of Pisces, because its symbol is a fish which connects it to the card representing the sun-sign, card 18 The Moon. Considering that Aquarius is the next Age, it is very telling that as the card representing Aquarius, card 17 The Star’s symbol is a fish-hook. Card 18 has the color Violet-Red, which obviously is a combination of Red and Blue, with Red being dominant, however, Aquarius and The Star is Violet.”

“Astrology can also help here, as the astrological glyph ‹ and symbol for Pisces makes the sun-sign the poster-boy for duality.

Pisces symbolConsider the fact that Pisces symbol is two fishes swimming in opposite directions, it shows Pisces is all about taking sides.”

“Granted duality is a key part of existence, because without it we would not have the Universe. Nonetheless, over the millennia we have taken duality to the enth degree. In Spiritual evolution, Red and Blue represent masculine and feminine or active and passive, respectively.”

“The most important conflict Humanity faced was between Fascism/Nazism and Democracy, however, as we all know the Allies were not fighting an ordinary enemy, because Adolph Hitler was the embodiment of the “Shadow.” As history has shown, conflict does not always lead to War, it can be just as rancorous in political parties, which is demonstrated by the colors Red and Blue representing political parties of Republican and Democrat. Unfortunately, in 2020 the energy of conflict is stronger than ever. The Law of Reincarnation is that everything has to be addressed. In 2020, we were all forced to address racism and injustice. The problem is that the Shadow manipulated the Republican party. When Abraham Lincoln as the first Republican president had to fight a Civil War to unite America, he was in line with the Divine Plan to make this country the New Jerusalem of the world. Evolution is essential and although the Bible appears to condone slavery, it was never intended to last forever. As we evolve, we learn just how connected we are and the necessity to cooperate with each other. Considering what we saw in 2020, it would be hard to see the Republican Party as a part of that. However, in the second volume of my Treatise on Spiritual Evolution, I discovered a Republican president who epitomized this principle. Do you have a copy of my Treatise, I believe we sent you one.”

“Yes. Let me get it.” When he returned Sophia instructed him to turn to the bottom of page 118. Reading along with her, he and Deanna heard:

“Once he took over as president, Theodore Roosevelt continued his policy of battling all forms of corruption. As a Republican president with a Republican majority in both houses, one would think he could do whatever he wanted. However, due to Albert Pike’s corrupting the Masonic order, the Republican party was not the same party of Abraham Lincoln, it had taken on the principles of Conservatism supporting the corporations. Consequently, Roosevelt needed to wait until he was elected in his own right in 1904. Until then he put his energy into foreign diplomacy and setting up the National Parks, which he would achieve in 1906 after he was elected to his second term.

“We get a pretty good idea of President Roosevelt’s platform and desire for America through excerpts in his inaugural address after taking the assassinated McKinley’s place. I found the transcript of the address on the Avalon Project from Yale’s website. Unfortunately, due to space I could not reprint the entire speech, but was forced to choose the most relevant passages:

“My fellow-citizens, no people on earth have more cause to be thankful than ours… To us as a people it has been granted to lay the foundations of our national life in a new continent. We are the heirs of the ages, and yet we have had to pay few of the penalties… We have not been obliged to fight for our existence against any alien race… Under such conditions it would be our own fault if we failed; and the success which we have had in the past, the success which we confidently believe the future will bring, should cause in us no feeling of vainglory, but rather a deep and abiding realization of all which life has offered us; a full acknowledgment of the responsibility which is ours; and a fixed determination to show that under a free government a mighty people can thrive best, alike as regards the things of the body and the things of the soul.

“Much has been given us, and much will rightfully be expected from us. We have duties to others and duties to ourselves; and we can shirk neither. …we must behave as beseems a people with such responsibilities. Toward all other nations, large and small, our attitude must be one of cordial and sincere friendship. We must show not only in our words, but in our deeds, that we are earnestly desirous of securing their good will by acting toward them in a spirit of just and generous recognition of all their rights…We wish peace, but we wish the peace of justice, the peace of righteousness. …because we think it is right and not because we are afraid. No weak nation that acts manfully and justly should ever have cause to fear us, and no strong power should ever be able to single us out as a subject for insolent aggression. Our relations with the other powers of the world are important; but still more important are our relations among ourselves. Such growth in wealth, in population, and in power as this nation has seen during the century and a quarter of its national life is inevitably accompanied by a like growth in the problems which are ever before every nation that rises to greatness. Power invariably means both responsibility and danger.

“Our forefathers faced certain perils which we have outgrown… Never before have men tried so vast and formidable an experiment as that of administering the affairs of a continent under the forms of a Democratic republic. …Upon the success of our experiment much depends, not only as regards our own welfare, but as regards the welfare of mankind. If we fail, the cause of free self-government throughout the world will rock to its foundations, and therefore our responsibility is heavy, to ourselves, to the world as it is to-day, and to the generations yet unborn… though the tasks set before us differ from the tasks set before our fathers who founded and preserved this Republic… We know that self-government is difficult. We know that no people needs such high traits of character as that people which seeks to govern its affairs aright through the freely expressed will of the freemen who compose it. But we have faith that we shall not prove false to the memories of the men of the mighty past. They did their work, they left us the splendid heritage we now enjoy. We in our turn have an assured confidence that we shall be able to leave this heritage unwasted and enlarged to our children and our children's children. To do so we must show, not merely in great crises, but in the everyday affairs of life, the qualities of practical intelligence, of courage, of hardihood, and endurance, and above all the power of devotion to a lofty ideal, which made great the men who founded this Republic in the days of Washington, which made great the men who preserved this Republic in the days of Abraham Lincoln.”

“In his article, Professor Cooper provides an impressive list of Theodore Roosevelt’s achievements as President: A main accomplishment of Roosevelt was in controlling trusts… In 1902 he persuaded the Republican Congress to create the Bureau of Corporations that had the authority to inspect businesses operating commercially across state lines. The same year he resuscitated the Sherman Antitrust Act, which had been shelved and was almost obsolete. He did this by having the White House legal advisors successfully bring a law suit ‘to break up a huge railroad conglomerate, the Northern Securities Company.’”

“Also in 1902 President Roosevelt interceded in the anthracite coal strike that endangered the most vulnerable by cutting the power to heat not only homes, but also schools, and hospitals. Following on from reviving the Sherman Antitrust Act, the president pressured Congress to confer on the Interstate Commerce Commission the power to control interstate railroad rates. Apparently, his request was granted, known as the Hepburn Act of 1906, giving the commission the power, and resulting in the first US government’s official monitoring agency. President Roosevelt also tackled the problem of contaminated food, by getting two bills through Congress: the Pure Food and Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act. These acts also resulted in the creation of agencies to protect the public by monitoring food production.”

“Roosevelt had two primary crowning achievements. One was in protection of the natural environment through the creation of national parks. I knew that he was responsible for Yellowstone, but I had no idea to the extent of his success. As stated he created the Forest Service to oversee the parks, choosing Gifford Pinchot, to lead it. Apparently, Roosevelt designates 230 million acres as public lands, which 150 million was set aside as forests. The other achievement was facilitating a passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific through the Panama Canal…”

Impressed Daniel commented, “That’s how I see government acting. What happened to change it?”

“In a word the Shadow. Even though as I have repeatedly said, it is no longer manipulating people, its individual remnant, the counterfeit-spirit, or Eckhart Tolle’s pain-body still is.”

Mulling over what Sophia had said Daniel admitted, “What troubles Deanna and I are the white supremists connected to Trump. These people are dangerous, and together with QAnon are swallowing everything he says.”

“Robert and I have discussed this very thing and see it from a different perspective. Even if we just consider it from a secular position, from Mary Trump’s interview with Chris Cuomo we know that Donald Trump is emotionally impaired due to his childhood. Apart from being unable to admit he is wrong, he is literally incapable of empathizing with any suffering, which explains why as president he was able to ignore the thousands dying of Covid-19. We suspect that many of his aides and senior Republicans know this but have chosen to use it to their own political advantage. However, they too are victims here, as they are caught in the energy of demagoguery surrounding the former president.”

“As we know, President Trump did not back down, and everything came to a head on January 6th. At the time, I was under quarantine in New York, with Elizabeth.”
“Why were you in New York”, asked Julie.

“Before Christmas, Deanna’s panel was asked to attend a conference in New York on January 2nd and 3rd with healthcare experts on dealing with developments in Covid-19. Since it was so close to New Years’ Eve, a New York health official invited the members to watch the Ball drop in Times Square, along with health-care workers across the country. Due to restrictions, the Mayor and Governor invited a select number to Times Square. Although due to her Asthma, Deanna received her first dose of the vaccine a few days before Christmas, as experts were warning that both doses were required, and I was not scheduled to receive my first dose until January the 10th, we decided not to risk flying and chose to take our time and make it a road trip. When I told my editor Ruth about my plans, she suggested I used the trip to check out the situation on the way, seeing how restaurants and hotels had adapted, sweetening the pot by adding that the paper would cover our expenses…”

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