Saturday, January 01, 2022

2021: A Year in Retrospective and a Look Forward

 I think most of us hoped for the best but expected the worse for 2021. We weren't disappointed. Starting the year with the continuing Covid Crisis, a looming withdrawal of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, an aggressive China, and a highly contested presidential election, 2021 was one for the history books.  

January 6th Protest: Trumping Justice?

2021 came in with a roar and we're still hearing its echo. It began as a protest in Washington on January 6th over the contested results of the presidential election. It devolved into an all out protest over a broken political system. Protestors stormed Capitol Hill, flags in hand, and entered the House and Senate Chambers where, as Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said with her usual sarcastic seriousness, the "People's business" was conducted. If by "people" she meant corporations, she was right.

Windows were broken, laptops and other "mementos" were stolen as legislators fled rather than face the angry voters they were supposed to represent. Many officials hide under their desk behind lock doors to wait things out. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez claimed to have been there and terrified by what might happen next when in reality she was over a block away and in no danger.

Immediately members of the House and Senate blamed President Trump, who was as surprised by the magnitude of the protests as anyone, but bedeviled by his ill-advised texts of support for the protest. By the time it was all over, one unarmed protester, 35 year old Ashli Babbit, lay dead on the Speaker's lobby floor, having been shot and killed by a Washington police officer.  Four others died of natural causes. Two were heart attacks, one was an overdose, while the other, a police officer, had a stroke.

Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, deeply spiteful toward Trump and his supporters, has tried every way possible to impeach Trump a second time and bar him from ever holding office again. The Department of Justice has sought out anyone involved with the protest (which the corporate media terms as a "riot" and "insurrection" as opposed to Antifa's and BLM's "peaceful" looting, vandalism of public and private property, random assaults, and arson of the previous Summer).

Thus far, 727 protestors have been charged by the DOJ. 50 have been tried, convicted, and sentenced (one person, who stole a beer from Pelosi's office, got 20 days. Good thing he left the bourbon alone!).  Most of the 50 arrested were charged with misdemeanor crimes. Of those, 19 received jail time. Four were charged with felonies and sentenced from 8 months to 3 1/2 years in prison.

Democrats and Leftist activists are demanding lengthier sentences while those on the Right are outraged at any sentencing (especially in lieu of the Antifa and BLM protests and violent riots over the summer and faced little or no legal repercussions), calling the convicted "political prisoners".  

Meanwhile, at year's end, the DOJ and other federal agencies are still conducting investigations into whether President Trump or anyone in his administration were involved or had any prior knowledge of the protests. It's seems that the Democrats (and a few Republicans) are determined to insure that Trump doesn't ever run again for any office. Establishment Republicans want to be rid of any and all Trump supporters.

The protests of January 6th was an explosion of emotion by the Right who've, up to that point, had largely held back their anger and frustration at what they saw a stolen election by the Democrats and the further destruction of America; egged on by the media. It's an example of not just how divided we've become, but also how the Right wasn't going to set back and take it any longer.  

Biden's Year One

The protests of January 6th and its aftermath marked the beginning of Biden's Administration. Perhaps too, it should be seen as a warning of the depth of our divide and anger. The Biden Administration started off by quickly overturning many of Trump's policies, especially regarding illegal immigration along our southern border. One of his first order of business was stopping the construction of the border wall and removing what had already been erected. 

Meanwhile, the Biden administration reportedly had indicated the families "separated" under Trump's "Zero Tolerance" policy were to received $425,000 each according to a Wall Street Journal story. According to the story, the ACLU had filed a lawsuit on behalf of the families affected despite the fact that the actions of the immigrants being in violation of section 212 of the Immigration and Naturalization Act and section 275(a) making it a crime to enter the country illegally. The lawsuit would be like a burglar suing a homeowner for injuring them self while robbing their house. 

However, in a November 3rd press conference, Biden angrily denied there would be any payments when asked by a reporter. The executive director of the ACLU, Anthony Romero, quickly refuted Biden's statement and suggested that Biden might want to discuss the matter with his Justice Department regarding the settlement negotiations, which apparently Biden is unaware of. Meanwhile, the crisis on the southern border keeps growing as illegal immigrants pile up.

COVID and the Continuing Pandemic

By the end of 2020, most Americans had begun to breathe a sigh of relief...without the masks. After being assured of a short 14 day shutdown which turned in a nearly yearlong quarantine, shortages, and constant "doomsday" reporting by governors, the CDC, Dr. Fauci, and the media, Americans had reached a breaking point when, out of the blue, three vaccines appeared...just like magic.

Again, Americans were assured that the vaccines; these magical elixirs would save the day. All we had to do now was "take the jab", and many did. However, several things happened. First, we were told we could still get the virus, except the symptoms wouldn't be as bad (but people could still died). Second, we should continue wearing our masks, use sanitizers, and take all of the previous precautions. Third, we were to continue to "social distance" just like the previous (election) year. Just saying.

Then the other shoe dropped. Reports started emerging from highly reputable doctors, professional medical associations, and others that the vaccines, which were produced, approved, and released within four months (a process which normally can take years or decades) weren't a safe as promoted. Then we started hearing from those who "got the jab" and about their reactions to the vaccine, including development of other health issues, some of which were serious or potentially deadly.

The CDC, Biden Administration, and media immediately jumped in to delete the reports, discredit the doctors and testimonials, while social media overtly started censoring any content contrary to the Status Quo. As an aside, social media platforms had previously been censoring, labeling, or removing any content which it regarded as not in compliance with its "community guidelines" (ie: conservative).

A large segment of Americans, mostly conservative or independent, began opting out of the "jab", along with wearing a mask or social distancing. They also refused to censor their speech. This resulted in Biden issuing a "mandate" telling Americans to comply. Never a good idea. This "mandate" also directed all government employees and "encouraged" all businesses to require workers to get the jab and provide proof; reminiscent of the Nazi Era "Kennkarte" or identification cards. An even worse idea.

As the mandate took effect, companies quickly found themselves in serious trouble. No employees. This mushroomed into unstocked shelves .Trucks and ships not being unloaded. No one to operate checkout counters, take orders at restaurants, or staff offices. With shortages came higher demand for products, resulting in higher prices; inflation has now raised its ugly head, thus creating a new economic crisis on top of the 2020 quarantine which forced many small businesses to close for good.

War and Rumors of War

Another hallmark of 2020 was the "withdrawal" of U.S. and Allied forces from Afghanistan. President Trump had intended a slow withdrawal of troops while continuing to work with Afghan forces based on the advice of his generals. Biden, however, opted for a immediate and full pullout, leaving a unstable government under President Karzai in a precarious situation.

The Afghan Army and security forces was never that good. While its equipment (mainly American and British) were superb, it's training adequate, it's dedication and willingness to fight was pathetic. It reminded many of the South Vietnamese Army in the 70's as America withdrew from that war. 

Many called Biden's decision "ill advised" or "dangerous", which proved to be right. Within 30 days of U.S. exodus, Karzai and his regime were gone (along with billions of dollars). The Taliban was back in charge and now in possession of state of the art American and British equipment. Al Qaeda, the reason for our invasion in the first place, was back in business along with ISIS.  Our 20 year war was a failure. Thousands of Afghans, many unvetted, were evacuated mainly to Europe and the U.S.. Let's hope no terrorists were among them. Meanwhile, Biden was the Taliban's new "Man of the Year".

As if that wasn't enough, China has been flexing its economic and political muscle. The pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong vanished under the cloud of Covid; Taiwan has been increasingly threaten, as China has invaded the territorial fishing waters of its neighbors and staking claim over the South. China Sea while skirmishing with India over the disputed Sino-Indian border region known as "South Tibet".

Given America's perceived weakness by China and other nations, Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Indonesia, India, and Australia  have begun to work together as a buffer against Chinese expansion and to safeguard Taiwan's sovereignty.  China has already issued stern warnings that any interference would result in serious consequences. Is that muscle or mouth? We may soon find out.

Meanwhile, Biden claims that according to his intelligence reports, Russia is preparing to invade the Ukraine, a claim which President Putin strongly denies. The Ukraine has petitioned to join NATO, which would allow NATO missiles, troops, and other military hardware to be stationed directly on Russia's border. Other former Warsaw Pact nations have joined NATO. Thus, a threatened Putin has stated that while no invasion is intended, NATO missiles and military in the Ukraine would not be tolerated.

Who's In Charge of This Circus?

Lastly, there's the matter of Biden's health. Ever since the presidential debates, there's been questions concerning Biden's health. He's already had two surgeries for brain aneurysms and appears to have memory trouble. He's shown repeated odd behavior, like getting lost, unable to properly read speeches on teleprompters, understand issues or questions, even with ear piece he tries to conceal.  

His latest physical (first since becoming president) was good for someone 79 years old, at least that's what we were told. However, a lot of people, both in and out of politics seriously question his ability to hold office. Foreign leaders seem to agree, and see America as weak and potentially vulnerable. His approval rating is in the low 30's, which is one of the worse of any president, while his Vice President, Kamala Harris, has the lowest approval ratings ever for a VP with 28%. 

All of this raises the question, who is actually in charge, and what does it mean for America? We all know America is in the decline as a world power. The ruling Oligarchy and the media has sought to divided us up ever way from Sunday. It makes us easier to control and manipulate, but as the "anti-vaxxers" and the January 6th protestors have shown, their grip is slipping.  Even those on the Left outside of the Establishment, know something is wrong. We feel it our souls. This is not our America.

As we've learned over the past several presidencies, neither intelligence, experience, or even character are essential to be president. It seems that only the right connections (especially money), and the ability to look good, sound good, and have some a medicorum of charisma are required. Everything else can be faked or manufactured. Of course, the one ironclad quality is to maintain the Status Quo, no matter what you tell or promise the people. The empire must be maintained.

Getting Out Alive: We're All Americans

We need to do more than "hope" 2022 is better. We must ensure that it is. We must acknowledge who the real enemy of our freedoms really are, and it's not each other. It's not black vs. white vs. brown, red, or yellow, nor is it pro gun vs. gun control. It's also not pro-choice vs. pro-life any more than it's straight vs. gay, or conservative vs. liberal. Party registration means nothing either.

When you get down to it, there's little difference between the two. They both serve the same corporate masters. Perhaps that's why the majority of Americans have chosen to become Independent.  We need to find ways of coming together, starting at the local level, and finding solutions with or (preferably) without government's "help" which always comes with strings, and take action. "Sheeple" need not apply. Labels and hyphens mean nothing. We are Americans first, now, and last. 

If you want to know more, please take a look at the links below. If you enjoyed the article, please consider subscribing. It's free! Lastly please be sure to "like" us on Facebook or whatever platform you use to read A/O. It helps with the algorithms and keeps our articles in circulation.


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