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founding
May 17Liked by Joyce Vance

From the Times article: "In an email from Jan. 18, 2021, reviewed by The Times, a neighbor wrote to a relative that the flag had been upside down for several days..."

https://www.nytimes.com/2024/05/16/us/justice-alito-upside-down-flag.html

Roberts should, if he has any shred of ethics left, demand publicly that Alito and Thomas should recuse themselves from the Trump cases.

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From ALL cases. They need to be removed. They have violated their oath to office; they have participated in the “vast right-wing conspiracy to overthrow this democracy.” They need to be arrested.

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Agree. They are a disgrace.

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Dawna, alas, we have no good means of holding those guys accountable for anything. As privileged guys, Alito and Thomas will just keep pushing the boundaries and will continue to get away with it. Roberts does not seem to care one bit, in fact, I suspect he is in with them. He has had racist and sexist bonifides for decades, long before his appearance on the SC. And, the 5 guys on the SC seem to be able to cow the women both conservative and liberal, so things will just continue as they have been going, mostly anti everyone who is not rich, white, pseudo-christian, and male with a few crumbs now and then to keep a few people thinking they really are being honest justices on behalf of the American people.

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You nailed it. Insert rude word here.

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Yes. REMOVED and ARRESTED. If Alito and wife and Thomas and wife deny the findings of SIXTY judges who either dismissed or ruled against the “stolen election” nonsense brought to their courts, then they should no longer be allowed the power of SCOTUS. They are clearly traitors to this nation and our rule of law. THERE MUST BE CONSEQUENCES.

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How can we make them accountable, when no one in authority is willing to stand up to them? Letters and petitions don't seem to do any good..

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I’m trying to ❤️ your comment, but it won’t “take.” ☹️

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🤷‍♀️ Let’s just warn people: The Fix is In. The Fascist Billionaires have lined up an alternative financial system of cyber and crypto currencies. They intend to steal this election—their Electoral candidates have said as much . . .

https://www.justsecurity.org/92714/american-autocracy-threat-tracker/

https://ips-dc.org/billionaire-enabler-states/

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/inside-a-secret-society-of-prominent-right-wing-christian-men-prepping-for-a-national-divorce

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics/michael-flynn-is-recruiting-an-army-of-god-in-growing-christian-nationalist-movement

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Flynn is terrifying.

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He is . . .and he is not the worst one. He is like a “Michael Cohen” or a Roger Stone among the Brown Shirts. A low-level operative.

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But he has huge "christian" audiences who are ready to go to war against democracy for their general.

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No he isn't. He's a doofus.

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Thanks for the links, Dawna. I was encouraged to see in the PBS article that Frontline will be running a series in October. Great timing. Unfortunately PBS has a vanishingly small audience. Now that NYT has come out as not intending to defend democracy, we need the “free press” to keep doing its job. This is what corporate ownership of the media gets you.

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I can’t make the like button work. So, I’ll just write “like”

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My like shows up if I hit refresh.

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I had the same issue with ‘like today’ but it seems to be working me.

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read reponse from "commonsense" related to the 2010 ruling with current ruling on CFPB. Your reply is relevant

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May 17·edited May 17

I'm having the same problem, Cathy. Unable to ❤️ Like any comments in any substack this evening. Never mind, the Like button is working now. Or maybe not. Could just be extremely slow.

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I've been having goofy things happen since the big (giant) CME hit the earth the other day. Nothing major, just baffling. It happens everytime we have a CME, and since we are in solar maximum right now, there are many. No, I am not on a conspiracy kick: this is science. See spaceweather.com, which also has a link to the official US gov website about these things- that one is for geeks only, though. Guilty.

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That is so interesting. My like button wasn't working properly either. Now I get it, sort of. Fascinating. In our hubris we don't remember how dependent we are on nature.

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I've been noticing the failure to "take" with the like, too. I'm on a PC, on the website.

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me too...

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I was talking about the like not taking...

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My "like" wouldn't take earlier this afternoon.

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Paul, my "like" still isn't functioning. Ah technology! Ah Science!

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That same thing is happening to me when I click on the "like" icon.

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I wish they could be arrested. They are actually above the law. They ARE the law.

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I am trying to"Like" your comment Dawna but my "Like" button is not working.These rogue judges have waaaay overstepped their authority and need to be removed from the Court.Their actions are a big middle finger to Americans and the rule of law. Enough!

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Today would be late!

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I blame Chief justice Roberts' apparent disinterest for many items that have been ignored or grossly overdone by this court. It used to be "hallowed ground" but now is a subject for derision. Justice Clarence Thomas was a laughable nomination who should never have been approved, and has added nothing but problems ever since -- to say nothing of his wife Ginni's false sense of entitlement. I yearn for the good old days of Thurgood Marshall.

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Alito and Thomas should be condemned by every former judge in America at every level of the judiciary.

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FRIDAY, 5/17 UPDATE:

+. Investigating Alito's refusal to recuse himself from Moore vs United States.

Question Presented: What is income for tax purposes, among others.

Moore was argued on 12/5/23 by Solicitor General, PRELOGAR.for the United States. Numerous Amicus Briefs have been filed including from the NYU Tax Law Center.

.......................................................................................................................................

+ There are 6 Weeks left for published SCOTUS opinions possibly 7 if opinions and/or orders go into July 2024.

+ In NY vs Trump Trial this afternoon the Judge gave notice to the Parties to be ready for Closing Argument by next Tuesday, May 21, 2024.

+. Yesterday, 5/16 at 8:41 PM Reuters posted the following statement, " The Supreme Court did not respond to a Reuters request for comment from Alioto".

Credit: The Reuters' Team is reporter Dan Whitcomb ✔︎ & edited by Cynthia Osterman. ✔︎.

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In a normal world, in the past, someone in such a position wouldn't have ever dreamed of doing something like this because they'd be subjected to publicly embarrassing consequences. But this Justice feels he can and will probably continue to be as ostentatious about his flags and vacations as he pleases. When Joe Biden wins in November, he won't have to worry about losing a segment of voters if he corrects the harmfully biased SCOTUS with an addition of four (4) Dem appointed justices approved by a Dem Senate majority and I hope he does that. If not, I know someone, or a group, somewhere will figure out some novel, but legal, way to correct the extreme-right assaults to our democracy. Also, I think as time goes on there might be cracks and changes in the conservative SCOTUS bloc. In the past, with the passing of time, some of the Republican-appointed judges/justices became more moderate which led to Republicans deciding to appoint Federalist Society members to the judiciary. I remember Ted Cruz remarking years ago that they couldn't figure out what happened to their conservative appointees once they got onto the Court. I think people gradually change the people they're in contact with day after day and it seems to cause (some) Justices to become more moderated.

So, it was gratifying today to read about the SCOTUS ruling keeping the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in place rather than defunding it, for two reasons. One, that we still have the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ("CFPB") in place despite the extreme-right Fifth Circuit's ruling against having it. Two, that there were surprising changes in the alliances of some of the right-wing SCOTUS justices. Thomas wrote the decision defending keeping the CFPB and Alito clearly, by the language in his dissent, was incensed that the majority didn't strike down the CFPB's funding mechanism and get rid of the agency (felt good to see Alito's views relegated to a dissent). This is the agency, created by the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010, that regulates the financial services sector. That sector wants it gone, so did Alito. Didn't happen. This is a win for the country and, apparently, a hot-loss for Alito. Even if we can't get four additional justices added to the SCOTUS, people change over time and we also find ingenious unforeseen ways to legally balance the scales of justice.

Here's that story: https://www.nytimes.com/2024/05/16/us/politics/supreme-court-cfpb.html

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Thank you for mentioning this significant ruling. I too find it refreshing.

I dated a guy for a while who went to work for the CFPB for a while in its early days. He said it was great, a sense of camaraderie and mission.

And then like feature isn't working for me either.

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I would imagine working for the CFPB would be a rewarding job. Yes, I've also encountered that "Like" button doesn't work all the time, as well. Wonder why that is.

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On Joyce Vance's substack someone pointed out we have a lot of solar events during an additionally very active solar flare period and they're seeing issues w all their devices.

Interesting

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Yes, I saw that. It's really hard to say. Seems like all the other features of the substack were working, like "reply" and being able to sign in. I wondered if we had an unusually large number if people remarking on the various substacks at about the same time. Weird that the malfunction was specifically limited to the "Like" button.

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One possible reason for the "conservative" judges becoming more moderate is that if they have any moral sense at all, they realize the weight of the responsibility that has been placed on their shoulders, and know that they have to support the constitution. This is something that used to happen upon realizing the fact that they have a lifetime appointment. That realization was freeing to them, enabling them to make good, sane decisions.

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I agree!

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You’re asking a lot from a man who has no ethical standards to begin with. If he did, Roberts would have booted the Terror Twins (Thomas and Alito) some time ago. Neither one of them is fit to wear the robe, much less sit in judgement of America. They are blatantly corrupt and when anyone calls them on it, they gather their (figurative) skirts about them and prance away, acting highly offended.

Well, I’m offended. The law is a beautiful thing. But these two have turned it into a mockery of itself.

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May 17·edited May 17

I read the Times story about the Alitos and their flag today and didn’t get incensed. Why? We already know about Alito’s extremism. We also know that the Chief “Justice” in name only will do nothing. He sits on the bench quietly, evincing an air of respectability because he would rather collude with the ongoing coup than try to rein in the corruption of Alito, Thomas, and the other extremist justices seated by Trump who are accomplishing an agenda more to his liking than a liberal one.

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Everyone should be writing the Supreme Court insisting on this. It must not just be business as usual. I am in Europe, and I will write to the court again today. I will write to Dick Durbin too to impeach Alito and Thomas.

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I don’t believe Robert’s has any shred of ethics left

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I totally agree with you, and I believe that Roberts will never do that.

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(Are you any relation to Linda Randazzo? She was my wonderful teacher in Chapel Hill, NC a million years ago.)

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founding

Not that I know of, but thanks for asking. Randazzo is a town in northeast Sicily, so I assume that years ago people from that town adopted it's name as a surname. Cheers.

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But he won't. Too weak.

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Alito needs to be publicly vilified, shunned, and treated with utter contempt by all the Judges who take our Justice System seriously.

There has to be a strong reaction to this. Silence is complicity. As you point out, it is absolutely chilling his neighbors hesitated to report it at all for fear of retribution.

We all know Alito will ignore any such condemnation, and pretend the rules do not apply to him, but the gesture needs to be made by the Judges who believe in America, at the very least.

Public shaming, relentlessly applied, shows he is an outlier.

Anything else and MAGA will be encouraged to do much, much worse.

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Alito needs to be charged, along with the Thomas’s and Harlan Crowe, for treason/insurrection and sedition. He has violated his oath of office and he needs to be removed . . .

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Dawna, it seems the only oath Republican-appointees these days care about is the one Michael Cohen took in a trial, nearly 8 years after the event and he is supposed to remember every move he made while Trump and his lawyers try to trip him up despite the fact that the evidence is in writing. The badly behaved justices attended and graduated from law schools, practiced law for a time before being nominated to the SC, lied in their hearings, and have broken the trust of the American people. The justices have no excuse while as pathetic as Cohen is, he might, after so much time, and the treatment Trump and his crew dealt Cohen (probably deserved to some extent), but Cohen was deliberately hired to do just what he did. What we all should take from that is that Trump cares for no one after their expiration date and everyone who has contact with Trump, has an expiration date.

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Re: “trump cares for no one after their expiration date . . .”

The Village Voice did a series of articles on trump . This is a quote from an anonymous contractor (who was afraid to have his name revealed, knowing of Trump’s vengeance-seeking and Russian mob ties) : “Trump won’t do a deal unless there’s something extra — a kind of moral larceny — in it. He’s not satisfied with a profit. He has to take something more. Otherwise, there’s no thrill.”

I think that is the best insight ever to trump’s psychopathology. A retired FBI agent once noted, “Once mobbed, always mobbed.” Trump has been mobbed with the worst Russian mobster on the planet: Mogilevich. The fact that the FBI under Comey failed to “properly vet him” speaks volumes.

https://allthatsinteresting.com/semion-mogilevich

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Dawna, thanks for that information. I knew some of it, but I needed an additional reminder of just how scummy Trump is and that he has a whole support network to keep him going despite or maybe because of his dementia that is taking Trump over. I am guessing they either like using him the way he uses others or that they like the power and orgasmic pleasure they get from seeing Trump manipulate vulnerable stressed-out people who can't even remember how bad things were 4 years ago at this time. I am not sure which, but both are despicable.

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Curiosity, I am not holding my breath. Trump appointed so many pathetic judges and justices they are OK with such bad behavior from Alito, and I am guessing the 5th Circuit would also have the flags in their yards too if they had thought of it. I guess their wives weren't up on things as Alito's was. I am hoping for an outcry, but silence or denial is what I expect. How sad that good people have to live near the Alitos.

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I'm mad as he'll and I'm not going to take it any more! (auto spell check won't let me write hxxl.)

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Sadly, it won't happen. He has no shame.

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But is this worse than Thomas?

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No. Alito flies the national ensign upside down. Thomas shamelessly takes bribes. At least Alito does his FU in your face. Thomas hides like a timid loser, afraid to put his FU in the face of the nation. They deserve impeachment, but at least Alito is honest about it.

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Ken, they are of a piece, Thomas and Alito. I am not sure about the others but I do wonder about Gorsuch and Roberts.

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May 17Liked by Joyce Vance

Thank you for writing about another upsetting Alito behavior. I imagine that all who treasure and uphold the rule of law are just as dismayed as you, if not enraged, by his breach of ethics and judgement.

I'd like to see the other Justices speak up. It's up to them at this point to uphold SCOTUS's legitimacy and dignity. Even Trump's picks must realize that Justices Alito and Thomas must be kicked off the bench. These two rotten apples are ruining the entire court.

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"another upsetting Alito behavior" UPSETTING??!!! This is TREASON!!!!!

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kdsherpa, I get tired of writing 'disgusting' when commenting about Trump, Alito, Thomas, and their ilk. Ugh. 'Upsetting' is definitely way too kind.

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Got it! "Horrific" is a good word to substitute for "upsetting". :-)

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One thing I found interesting about today's decision on the CPFB. Thomas looked at the wording of the Congressional appropriation grant and found it consistent with his originalist principles. Alito basically said "I don' WIKE it" so therefore the founders wouldn't have either, and therefore it wasn't in their meaning.

Little did I even think I'd look at Thomas and find he made more sense than someone else on the court.

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The Founders also didn't have to figure out a way to protect the general public from avaricious stock market and financial services agents who want to make more and more money and don't care how they achieve it.

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Susan, I did a double-take when I heard Thomas wrote the decision. Admittedly it is a flawed document, so the other justices wrote their own documents too, but I guess someone pointed out to him that you can't be an "originalist" if you don't go along with the founders.

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My thinking is that he did something "good" so that when he comes out and gives immunity to the orange sadist for everything, he can say "But hey! You guys liked it when I did the last thing."

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founding

I just literally read that article and thought the same thing! I thought it had to be a fake. I am beyond words, thoughts and tears…… I’ve always believed that sanity will prevail. I’m going to hold onto that belief. Thank you, Joyce.

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author

My new motto is : Don't Despair, Vote.

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As Allison Gill says, "Vote blue over Q and take everyone with you." Never has an election been so important.

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Amen, Joyce! To quote Allison Gill, "Vote Blue over Q and take EVERYONE with you.

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It’s truly that simple…we vote and get others to vote! I’ve been listening to Tim Miller’s podcast the last few weeks, The Bulwark, and I’m hearing very similar sentiments from moderate Republicans and avowed never Trumpers: We simply cannot allow a second Trump term, especially in light of SCJs disregard for what is right! For goodness sake…I even heard today directly from the horses mouth as a guest on The Bulwark that 😳Joe Walsh😳is voting for Biden and encouraging others to as well! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 He is still conservative on many things that I disagree with, but he is no longer a tea party Republican. They’re truly is hope out there!

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I’m with you, Joyce!

Rather, we’re all with you.

And we are most certainly in this together.

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My motto too!

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SMH over these trying times. The state of the current SC makes me shudder, but I still believe there are more of us that care about our democracy. Hope is what keeps me moving one foot in front of the other.

HOPE > OUTRAGE(S)💥

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I have a banana flag flying at my house..........been up since the sup court delayed the immunity hearing for trump.

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May 17·edited May 17Liked by Joyce Vance

Someone correct me if I am wrong but I have always understood that flying the flag of the USA in that position was a signal of distress. Back in the Viet Nam war era my parents flew that flag to indicate their displeasure with sending American troops into a war that was clearly politically motivated and unwinnable. In this particular instance no member of the US Supreme Court should be publicly displaying any symbol that would indicate they are taking sides.

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Yes, but the Times story explain that this general “distress signal” meaning has been overtaken by the current MAGA big lie meaning.

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Mitchell Zimmerman, it seems to me that MAGA has taken over the American flag itself. I ,fly mine on Memorial Day, Flag Day, the Fourth of July, Veterans Day and other significant American days. Nowadays I wonder if people who see it think that I am a Trumper.

P.S., I have a Biden-Harris sticker on my bumper. I always wonder if I will be rear-ended one of these days either in a parking lot or when I am at a stop sign.

It all makes me so sad. And deeply concerned and fearful.

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"Whose flag? Our flag!" might be a good chant.

I've tried to fight back against the fascist appropriation of the American flag by including it in the photo of myself I use for my op-eds published by OtherWords.org.

Such as this one: https://otherwords.org/civilian-casualties-in-gaza-are-no-accident/ (scroll down for the author headshot).

These reactionaries already have a flag or two -- the Confederate flag they love so much and the Nazi flag. They can leave the American flag for those of us who still believe in the Constitution and revere democracy.

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In my small Alabama town, you'd get shot over a B-H bumper sticker. I fly the flag of Ukraine at my house. It's been up since the war started, and it's not coming down.

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Fly OUR (yes emphasis on OUR!) American flag on your flag pole then below it a Biden-Harris flag, then LGBTQ and any other flag (Ukraine) below those.

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Yes!!

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Fly your flag EVERY day! We do! Don’t let MAGA take over our flag!

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Cynthia Cromwell, I would fly it every day but it’s too difficult for me to put it out every morning and bring it in every evening. I do the best I can!🇺🇸

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Hijacked better describes it 😊

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Maybe the flag put itself up that way in front of a's house.......

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You are correct. I wrote this in another comment but the 2007 Tommy Lee Jones film "In The Garden of Elah" features such a flag for much the same reason

.https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0478134/

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May 17·edited May 17

"There are a lot of weighty issues on the ballot in November. We do ourselves and our future a disservice if we do not include the Supreme Court as one of them."

How can we include them as part of the election? What or who can ever hold them accountable? It would appear they face no consequences; their own form of immunity such as that sought by Trump.

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A Supreme Court Justice can be impeached, so the composition of Congress matters, although it would take more than this election to have enough in the Senate.

But if Trump is elected, Thomas plans to resign so Trump can choose a younger replacement with the same rigid politics. And if anything happens to any of the justices, it matters that Biden be President, not Trump, and that there be a Democratic majority in the Senate.

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Impeachment is not a remedy. It takes a two-third vote to remove a federal judge, so that is just not going to happen.

As I write in a comment of my own below, because three justices -- Roberts, Alito and Gorsuch -- don’t belong on the court, if Biden wins and the Dems take Congress, the size is the court should be increased to offset these illicit justices.

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Impeachment is a remedy. The Senate probably would not convict, but there is a lot of evidence that would be brought out in public, much more real evidence of corruption, abuse of power, and betraying their oath to the Constitution, than in any of the Republican impeachments. There could be a referral to the DOJ for corruption. It might get embarrassing enough to get two or three of them to resign.

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Agree!

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How we include SCOTUS is by making sure 45nis not re-elected. Giving him the opportunity to name more justices - and you know Alito and Thomas would resign in a heartbeat - would be a travesty.

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When I saw the photo this afternoon I thought to myself we’re so screwed.

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Same. And it is beyond repair. I am irked that everyone is under the impression that “if we vote blue, we win.” There are public plans afoot to deny the election! Members of Congress are saying it out loud: they will not uphold a free and fair election but rather only consider a win by Trump. If it doesn’t happen, they will make it so. What are we going to do when we watch the Capitol under siege again in Jan 2025 only this time from the Magats within?

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May 17·edited May 17

I agree, 'their' plans are distruction of our country, especially when they loose. At least by the Elected Representatives. I often wonder whether the public feels they same way the GOP Representatives do. Regular people have been convicted and gone to jail while the GOP Elected Reps are still mouthing off and calling for Chaos.

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My husband used a different word!

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How the hell can he AND Thomas, still be able to make judgments in regard to any Trump issues?

It’s so infuriating that we have no recourse.

We HAVE to reform the court! Biden will have no choice but to add more Justices. I don’t see any other way.

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If I lived in or near DC I’d be in front of the court regularly with a sign denouncing the unethical, illegitimate court.

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Me too! I don’t understand why people aren’t. Maybe because we hear all the time that they are basically untouchable.

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The Supreme Court seems to me to be as near a fascist group as we have. Our freedoms that have been attained by people of good will are being are being yanked away at an alarming pace. Right now, as a woman, I feel I have less rights than I did when i was a child in the 1930s.

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Any one who is above the law, untouchable, will soon be fascistic, tyrannical. We have one last chance to preserve a semblance of democracy. Women especially should understand these fascists have come for us already.

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May 17Liked by Joyce Vance

At the beginning of your essay, did you mean to say "January of 2021", rather than "January of 2017"? The insurrection did not happen in 2017.

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author

Yes, a kind friend pointed that out and I've corrected the permanent online copy. My apologies for the error in the email. It has been a week!

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I came here to point out the same.

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Agree. Dates don’t seem to be correct.

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It’s been corrected

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Today, Margaret Marshell, the former Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Court was on the radio locally. She was the head of the court when the equal marriage act was passed twenty years ago. She made it clear that she feels betrayed by the current Supreme Court. She feels that his should be a major issues in the election, but it should not wait until the election. She feels that people need to make their dissatisfaction public. It’s time for major demonstrations and “Good Trouble.” She made it clear that many of the current members totally and arrogantly ignore the Constitution, and seem ready to join the MAGA coalition.

Something needs to be done. I do not have the skills of Bayard Ruskin who organized the March on Washington in 1963, but I am willing to support anyone who does.

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May 17·edited May 17

I’m not sure that there’s anything we can do to remove Alito from the USSCt as a practical matter (impeachment will never happen) but we can at least condemn him vociferously and often. Justice Roberts likes to pretend he cares about the Court’s legacy but the legacy of the Roberts Court is corruption and partisanship at every.

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We may need to begin a campaign to ignore scotus opinions when they are motivated by anything other than their original mandate. And perhaps march to defund them.

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Maybe he can be “bought off”!

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Time to reverse the stealing of three seats on SCOTUS, Time for term limits on SCOTUS, time to pack the court

and/or time to have ethics applied to SCOTUS. No one, not the President nor SCOTUS is ABOVE the LAW 😡🤬🤯

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Definitely ethics applied to SCOTUS - that should have been done a very long time ago!

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Yet who would enforce such rules?

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May 17·edited May 17

There would need to be a clear structure in place defining how the rules would be enforced and by whom. Above my pay grade, but it should be solve able.

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Agree!

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So incredibly sad and disheartening

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Not even bothering to pretend that he’s a legitimate, ethical justice 🤬

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There is a Libertarian Fascist overthrow of this democracy in progress. The RNC is an organized crime syndicate run by Libertarian Fascist Billionaires; every last Republican is an installed puppet AND A TRAITOR, answering to the traitorous, Libertarian Fascist Puppet Masters. Alito has openly declared his intent to participate in the destruction of this democracy with his flags and his baseless court opinions and his BS hypotheticals.

We already know of the Thomas’s participation in the Jan6 coup attempt and their ties to Harlan Crowe—a traitor, a Neo nazi Fascist billionaire. Now Alito has openly declared his alliance with the Fascists.

This country needs to get serious about treason—round them up now, because that’s exactly what they intend to do to us shortly when they steal the 2024 election. The Fix is in.

Put them on a prison ship and let them await trial from there. Treason, sedition, insurrection—we need to get serious about these criminals.

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