Vulgar Word Usage From Madison Statehouse To Washington

Our politics in both Wisconsin and the nation has roughened considerably over the past decade. While political discourse starting with the Founding Fathers moving forward has always been sharp and at times personal, I have noticed that in recent times it can also be just plain vulgar. Part of the blame, obviously, gets placed on those who use language that is low-brow, but we also must place news reporting when conveying certain phrases responsible for the slide downwards in our political discourse.

The shared revenue bill in Wisconsin has generated much heat in the state capitol.  Not only about the dollar amounts to be placed into the hands of local governing officials, but the attempt by Republicans who control the majority of power in the chambers to place a laundry list of conditions on the money to be spent. Some of the most onerous whims in the bill are directed at Milwaukee, a city with challenges to be faced, but when one of their state representatives spoke to a reporter about the harshness of the proposed legislation his words got in front of the justified outrage working its way through the statehouse.

On WISC TV on May 16th during the 6:00 P.M. local news Democratic Assemblyman Ryan Clancy said the GOP was “polishing a ****” when speaking to a reporter about the shared revenue bill. I was taken aback, I guess in equal proportions, by the manner in which the freshman legislator felt he needed to express himself and to the news reporter who felt that snippet of a sound bite was worthy of being added to the story about this pressing issue in our state.

I woke one morning this week to a story in my news feed from Semafor Principles which reported that Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene wanted more goodies in the debt limit bill that would encourage her to vote for what she described as a “ **** sandwich”.  While that language is on par for defining her character in general it was the coverage she gained from such vulgarity that astounded me.  The much-revered news outlet, The Hill not only reported it but used her expletive in a headline.

Reporters must report the news and newsrooms are professionally required to inform the citizenry about the workings of their government and its officials.  In no way should we want any less than that foundation in journalism.  But it was not so long ago when the language used in the examples above would not have been allowed on the airwaves or in print. After all, in neither case was there news content in their choice of phrases.  That is a key point to make. Coverage could have stressed the issues just as clearly and both elected officials would have been quoted strenuously advocating their positions in language that met a certain standard.  And standards in broadcasting and news reporting matter.

At a time when social media is awash in crude discourse and it is all but impossible to walk in a mall or down a busy street and not hear the F word it then underscores why journalism should at least be one place where proper word usage, style, and professionalism is showcased. Within my arm’s reach of where I write is a reference shelf that contains, among other books, The New York Times Manuel of Style and Usage. It literally examines everything from “A, an, the” to Zoom.  That it does not list how to deal with scatological terms, in and of itself, notes that there are words that are just simply not permitted in news reporting.

Those who wish for unlimited word usage on the airwaves and in newsprint will label this attitude of mine (and others who share such views) likely in some fashion akin to having ‘delicate sensibilities’.  While that Jane Austen-type description is their right, I would counter that having worked in both radio broadcasting and later in a legislator’s office where in each case conduct was always viewed or heard by someone, that words used do matter.  Yes, I can see where the views expressed in this column are more prescribed than others in society.  But it really should not be so.  We all should care about the use of language by elected officials. I contend it should not be hard to conduct ourselves in society with word choices given we have the entire dictionary from which to use when making a point.  If pols can campaign and ask for votes in polite ways at election time surely they can speak to their constituents in the same fashion.  After all, elected officials are always walking a line on how to frame issues and respond to all sorts of inquiries so word usage to them is as basic as washing hands before dinner.

Simply put I believe in standards of good taste. Such a bottom line is not political or old-fashioned. It is not about censorship. It is simply about a firm belief in what should be regarded as an accepted way of behaving in a polite society.

Do Not Forget Cardinal Rule In Politics

A cardinal rule in politics and governing is that one’s opponent on an issue or policy yesterday will be an ally on a different policy or pressing matter today. While we may never really forget that fact, in the heat of politics and the heightened nature of our rhetoric, we too often set aside that working wisdom.  Over the past week, the back-and-forth of working alliances was again clearly demonstrated.

Pro-Ukraine think tankers on Monday brought Johnson to a private lunch in Dallas, Texas, to meet two dozen of the state’s leading conservative figures, including politicians, donors and captains of industry.

The message Johnson was there to deliver was simple: America must stay the course in Ukraine.

While I am an absolute and staunch supporter of the brave men and women of Ukraine and know Russia must be repelled from attacking a sovereign nation, my views of Johnson are, let us say, not very charitable. His lies that led to Brexit and his caddish personal lifestyle define the man.  But when it comes to the international goal of defeating Russia, we all can stand shoulder to shoulder with those who share our values against military aggression.  

“I just urge you all to stick with it. It will pay off massively in the long run”. 

The former U.K. prime minister flew to Texas as a growing number of conservative lawmakers, candidates and activists have started to question the size of the U.S. support package for Ukraine as it attempts to fight back against the invasion launched by Russian President Vladimir Putin in February 2022.

But Johnson told Texan Republicans on Monday: “You are backing the right horse. Ukraine is going to win. They are going to defeat Putin.”

The lunch was not the first time Johnson has lobbied U.S. lawmakers on Ukraine’s behalf. He visited Washington in January, where he publicly urged the U.S. administration to give Ukraine fighter jets, and privately met Republican lawmakers on the same trip.

This weekend I read that Russia wants to arrest South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham following his comments related to the fighting in Ukraine. Following his meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy the conservative Republican described the U.S. military assistance to the country as “the best money we’ve ever spent’.

Photo via Reuters

There are many examples of Graham coming unglued and acting less than polished in the years following the death of his very good friend, John McCain, but once again the cardinal rule of governing applies concerning his work in Ukraine. On the matter of steadfastness with a policy to remove Russia from a sovereign nation the words and understanding from the senator allow us to be part of a larger group for a most justified conclusion.

The ever-moving series of alliances and working relationships in politics are often overshadowed by the bluster and desire to play to the base where money is raised and votes in elections are secured. That is easy enough to understand. But the work of governing demands that personal regards be put aside for the betterment of the people or the advancement of a policy. The cardinal rule of politics must always prevail. I am deeply pleased to see it working on behalf of Ukraine.

Wisconsin GOP Assemblyman Rob Brooks vs. GOP Talking Point About Personal Responsibility

Many readers of this little site on the internet highway (a term that now sounds old-fashioned and dated) will recall when the Republican Party continually lectured about personal responsibility (a talking point that now also sounds old-fashioned and dated). If we are silent for just a few seconds, we can almost hear President Reagan talk about how leaving people alone so as to rise with their own abilities was the path the nation needed to take.  America just needed to unleash the notion of personal responsibility.

The words and tone from Reagan came to mind as I read the news report about Wisconsin State Assemblyman Rob Brooks and the bar he owns in Saukville.

Police in Wisconsin say the fentanyl-laced drugs that killed one person and caused three more to overdose in a village north of Milwaukee were bought at a state lawmaker’s tavern that has been the subject of multiple calls to police in recent years.

Republican Rep. Rob Brooks has owned the Railroad Station in Saukville since 2007 and said he was aware of issues with drugs at the bar shortly after purchasing it but thought they had been addressed.

Brooks has not reached out to the family or responded to their calls and did not publicly comment on the recent death or answer questions about the bar until Thursday.

“It ticks me off. It seems like he doesn’t care, like he doesn’t care about the community,” Joe Hamilton said on Wednesday.

When asked about other incidents police have responded to at the Railroad Station, Brooks said, “We’re a bar, and there is alcohol served.”

I was taken aback by Brooks’ cavalier tone about the problems at the bar that he has owned and operated for 16 years.  The level of irresponsibility and unaccountability runs counter to the rhetoric that comes from his party about how there need to be fewer regulations and rules for businesses to follow.  Equally troubling are the GOP talking points on the one hand about why law and order must be maintained and respected when facts clearly demonstrate on the other hand there is an obvious problem with criminal activity taking place inside the bar. When police are overburdened with too many social ills which they need to contend with, it is concerning that they need to be called repeatedly to an establishment run by a state representative.

“We’re a bar, and there is alcohol served.”

Brook’s words really struck me as a cop-out (pardon the bad pun) as it totally undercuts the GOP push about personal responsibility. What he said was there can be no personal responsibility. How can he be held responsible, after all, there was alcohol being served?  That sounds like examples used by Reagan and his fellow pols when talking about why there was always a reason given by people for something bad happening.  Socio-economic reasons were responsible for inner city crime, or a lack of birth control was the reason for teenage pregnancies.  How can Brooks be responsible, after all, alcohol was being served?

Political rhetoric is cheap. What matters, of course, is the behavior of any politician both in terms of keeping campaign promises and living in accordance with the values the majority of one’s constituents believe are essential to have if holding office.

Shame Is Lacking In Our Politics

My dad’s nephew robbed a bank when a young man.  Had he been better as a criminal that first line might have been written in the plural. He took the loot and stashed it under his bed at home, which made him a fast catch by the authorities and more a family story than a lingering series of headlines for the public to read.  As a boy, I wanted to know more about the events and wished to talk about them at the annual family reunions.  My parents always firmly reminded me how far it would be to walk home if I started a conversation about that forbidden topic with the larger family.

In later years, his ‘youthful adventure’ as it came to be termed by the older family members at a small town bank, would rank up there in the family tree with the man who slept in a car in the driveway of his home while the spouse lived inside their home. People knew the stories, but the propriety of the reunions made people somewhat circumspect in their conversations.  When as an adult I had long chats with the man who robbed a bank, and there was nothing holding me back from getting insight into the day it happened, I was held back by that sense of decorum, that cloud of shame if you will, that still was hanging about overhead.

I thought of that now departed man when reading a story in the Wall Street Journal today where it was reported Donald Trump’s close associates are bracing for his indictment concerning his criminal behavior of handling classified materials. They “anticipate being able to fundraise off a prosecution.” It seems hard to fathom if one takes a step or two back and reflects from a longer lens view, that a former president who repeatedly denied a return to the federal government of classified documents, once caught and indicted, would seek to make money over the criminal charges.

What happened to the people in our nation—and I can use my larger family tree to ask the question—where talking about the how and whys of a bank robbery were off limits—but the acceptance of the behavior of the likes of Trump and George Santos are accepted and abided?  Some of the reasons have to do with how public relations experts package the awful behavior along with the fact there seems to be a growing segment of politicians who harbor no sense of shame.

Decades ago, former Wisconsin State Senator Robert Welch, when seeking a primary nomination to run for the U.S. Senate spoke at a ‘porky-pancake’ breakfast in Hancock, my hometown.  Dad was involved with the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the ones flipping the pancakes, and so much of our family was in attendance.  Welch talked about how shame as an ingredient for how people operated, or the lack of it, needed to be again a more visible force in society.  I was not aligned in any way with his views or politics, but these many years later recall that small portion of his longer presentation. I think he had a point worthy of attention.

I tend to think on the issue of shame the current barometer of decency might be Utah Republican Senator Mitt Romney. The line from his encounter with a reporter regarding Santos seated at the State of the Union Address this year points to the values we once had in this nation about shame. “He shouldn’t be there and if he had any shame at all, he wouldn’t be there.” It is a sentiment that does not get voiced often in the nation anymore. After the outrageous behavior by Trump since 2015 and what we now know is acceptable to a certain segment of the electorate we might even conclude shame is dead.

But we know shame is a useful tool as it prods people in the larger context to act in accordance with values. We know slavery was our nation’s original sin, and the tug and pull to own up to that stain has produced an ongoing series of policies that still provokes and arouses passions. Shaming the federal and state governments and institutions to act for a better outcome has proved to be effective. How might leaders in our nation now arouse a sense of shame to counter the growing absurd behavior from the likes of Trump, Santos, and the far extremes in our politics?

GOP Hostage Taking With Debt Limit In Washington Costs Diplomatic Efforts By President Biden On World Stage

Beijing’s artificial island bases in the South China Sea

I lamented online Tuesday the loss to international efforts to deal with a growing threat from China due to Republican hostage-taking moves over the debt limit increase. President Joe Biden said he would end his overseas trip early to fly back to tend to the manufactured crisis from Congressional Republicans who think they can defy the rules of acting like grownups on this matter.  Had he stayed with his itinerary meetings with India, Japan, and Australia would have been held and a strong united message would have emerged in regard to threats ranging from shipping lanes to China’s bellicose military maneuvers.

As we know, federal law requires Congress to authorize the government to borrow any money that is needed to pay for the programs that Congress has passed.  Congress has increased or suspended the debt limit 78 times since 1960. We also know that Republicans voted to raise the debt ceiling three times when Donald Trump was in the Oval Office. (As they should have.) Making it now a political football for the basest of reasons is a tactic the GOP has latched onto, and one that must be rejected if one is interested in the process of how government operates.  We do not accept hostage-taking as a means for anyone on the world stage to extract what they wish, and we must not entertain that concept for domestic purposes, either. Raising the debt limit is the only path forward, and anything less is both reckless and irresponsible. 

Not doing so has undermined our nation on the world stage.

As we are aware there has been a strong and consistent theme from the Biden Administration, one that has also been promoted and advocated by key foreign policy hands over the years, of countering China’s growing influence across the western Pacific.  One of the problems from Washington over the years has been not paying attention to the needs and concerns of many countries. Beijing did take notice of that troubling matter and set up a variety of programs and funding to insert themselves into international equations. It is the use of that soft power that has been of great concern in the West to foreign policy thinkers. Rather than have an American president step foot in the next few days, and for the first time on a Pacific Island country, Biden instead needs to head back to Washington to hold Speaker McCarthy’s hands. The world is watching and saying things this family-friendly blog will only infer.

Forget that in Papua New Guinea, the host nation for this meeting scrambled to mobilize 1,000 security officers and invited the leaders of 17 other countries but that was then upended due to conservative members of Congress not understanding what the debt limit is, or the significance of unifying national interests against Chinese desires at usurping supply lines and attempting to expand their territory with the creation of islands. People who deal with these growing issues and confront them in their countries daily wonder what must be wrong with the Republican caucus to not be able to see real-world geo-political threats and not grasp they are of more importance than the whims of raising campaign money from a letter to the base about thwarted efforts at stopping an increase to the debt limit. The theatrics of the debt limit from the GOP is generated to garner campaign cash.

The Republicans play partisan games through their demands about paying for America’s debt.  Meanwhile, the international community looks at this absurd attempt at blustering, undermining a president on a foreign trip, and the damage it does to the actual policy needs requiring Washington’s attention and wonders what has happened to the powerful nation they once knew.  Republicans use their dysfunctional nature to make our nation look unreliable and weak on the world stage.  That must be called out and shut down.

President Biden should invoke his constitutional authority under the 14th Amendment to raise the nation’s debt limit without having to pass legislation through Congress.  There can be no hostage-taking if the would-be-victim refuses to be tied down or forced to kneel. Meanwhile, as this partisan mess spins and spins in D.C. we know there is growing evidence, as reported by U.S. surveillance, that some of China’s artificial islands in the South China Sea are now “fully militarized”.

Wisconsin Republican Congressman Mike Gallagher Stands Up For Human Rights In Our Foreign Policy

Congressman Mike Gallagher at a rally for Tibet

Though the news story about Wisconsin Republican Congressman Mike Gallagher did not make waves in media broadcasts Wednesday evening, the fact he stood up for human rights in our foreign policy-making as a nation is most important.  The statement about a fundamental value for shaping such policies was made following a Washington event where the British son of jailed Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai criticized Britain and the Vatican for failing to speak out strongly against the crackdown on dissent in the Chinese territory.  Gallagher was equally solid in his remarks about the human rights situation in the former British colony.

Sebastien Lai said self-censorship in Hong Kong was the anticipated result of the national security crackdown there, but the “hypocrisy” of some governments trying to trade with China was unexpected.

“We are incredibly grateful that the Americans have been a lot stronger on these values that we all share … than the UK government. The UK government has been incredibly weak,” said Lai, who like his father is a British citizen.

Lai said Britain had not called for the release of his 75-year-old father, who founded the now shut pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily and faces charges under Hong Kong’s security law and a colonial-era sedition law.

“It’s very sad to see a democratic government being afraid – or asking permission even – to speak on behalf of one of its citizens that is in prison for freedom of speech,” said Lai. “It’s just ridiculous.

U.S. Congressman Mike Gallagher, chair of the House of Representatives select committee on China’s Communist Party, slammed the Vatican for not standing up for Jimmy Lai, who, like him, is a Catholic.

“The silence from the Vatican on China’s human rights abuses and Jimmy’s case, in particular, is deafening,” he said.

As a high school freshman in 1976, I recall being drawn to the argument made by presidential candidate Jimmy Carter that human rights had to be a central feature of our foreign policy.  Now decades later I am still a staunch believer in that point of view.  If anything, recent history has proved the correctness of the ‘Carter Doctrine.’

The American people and our courts have rejected the proposition that some people’s rights can be suspended arbitrarily; to do so violates the very core of our democracy. Hopefully, those working to establish democratic practices and institutions worldwide will seize upon this development and convince their own fellow citizens that democracy and human rights are worth the struggle.

The human rights component of President Carter’s international policy must be a centrality to how we continue to view international affairs. With the same focus, President Biden understands the role that human rights and human dignity plays as a part of what constitutes a democracy. I cringed and was highly embarrassed for our nation when Donald Trump proved to be nothing more than an enabler or apologist for thugs. How the brutal murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi was handled was a very dark period for our country as the world watched.

It offended me to high heaven to have Trump and his administration demonstrate a flippant attitude regarding foreign policy. It was continuously conducted in a transactional manner. Great for the tyrants and autocrats who have favors to trade, and deals to strike for their own ends. But woe are the ones sitting in jails in Saudi Arabia and China and Turkey. Human rights never were going to fare well in that administration, one dominated by a transactional view of foreign policy.

That is why it is refreshing to have strong forceful voices from the GOP standing up against repression and brute force from tyrants on the national stage. Earlier this year, Gallagher did that very thing in recognizing the courage of Tibetans in fighting for their freedom and culture. He described Tibetans as victims of a “cultural genocide” by the Chinese Communist Party.

These expressions of solidarity with those who are suffering and need to have their concerns lifted up so the world can be better aware of what is happening is vital. Human rights must be a cornerstone of our foreign policy. On both counts, Congressman Gallagher has placed himself on the correct side of history.

Clarence Thomas And Nikki Haley Try To Deceive With Numbers…Numbers That Do Not Lie

Sir Walter Scott may have arrived in 1808 at the best line for the conservative Republican Party in 2023.  He penned “Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!”   After reading the newspapers this weekend it appears both Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and Nikki Haley have taken to heart the old quote and striving mightily to implement it in their daily lives. Thomas has been in the news lately for his severe lack of ethics and principles as a judge, namely for acceptance of hugely expensive trips from Harlan Crow, a major Republican donor for more than two decades. His lack of honor echoes when acting lewdly with his behavior regarding Anita Hill decades ago.  Meanwhile, Haley created a headline-making story that underscores what happens when detail-oriented work is tossed aside to chase a delusional case of Potomac Fever.

“Over the last two decades, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has reported on required financial disclosure forms that his family received rental income totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars from a firm called Ginger, Ltd., Partnership,” the Washington Post reports.

“But that company — a Nebraska real estate firm launched in the 1980s by his wife and her relatives — has not existed since 2006.”

“That year, the family real estate company was shut down and a separate firm was created, state incorporation records show. The similarly named firm assumed control of the shuttered company’s land leasing business, according to property records.”

“Since that time, however, Thomas has continued to report income from the defunct company — between $50,000 and $100,000 annually in recent years — and there is no mention of the newer firm, Ginger Holdings, LLC, on the forms.”

As if that slick numbers game was not enough for news readers on this cloudy, rainy, soon-to-be snowy day came a news story that is most telling about the GOP efforts at saying anything as they will believe it.

This morning it was reported that “The former U.N. ambassador’s campaign said it had raised $11 million between her mid-February launch and the end of the quarter on March 31. It got that figure by saying Haley’s campaign had $5.1 million in receipts, along with $4.4 million for Team Stand for America, a joint fundraising committee, and $1.2 million for Stand for America PAC, a Haley-launched leadership PAC.

“But after Haley filed her first-quarter report to the Federal Election Commission late Saturday, an altogether different story has emerged. Her campaign’s math didn’t add up.

“What Haley’s campaign and two affiliated groups actually raised was about $8.3 million. The discrepancy between the Haley campaign’s public statements and the numbers on the filings appear to be a case of double-counting.”

Haley got to $11 million by counting $2.7 million twice — once when it was taken in by her joint fundraising committee and again when it was transferred to two of the other committees.

These two cases are just the latest in a long list of what can be proven to have created the erosion of credibility that faces the Republican Party. Where once the GOP could be a place of think tanks and policy wonks (Jack Kemp) it has become nothing more than an exercise of ruthless power, both in attempting to amass it and then keeping it. As such, we can say the GOP is not only morally-adrift but also lacking in values. It is not news to my readers that the acceptance of lower standards from conservative Republicans is on the rise as many need to shape and morph their own moral and ethical beliefs to reduce differences with Donald Trump since 2016. Just another of the damaging consequences of Trump, which in and of itself is a topic on Caffeinated Politics, as the undermining of our political culture matters in a democracy. The longer-term problem, however, regarding lack of virtue as evidenced by the actions of Thomas for literally decades, to the recent out-right attempt at deception for a political narrative by Haley are glaring examples of what has befallen the party that once viewed Ronald Reagan as a model for pols. Or the decency of George H. W. Bush. That has now all been relegated to history books.

Jack Teixeira Rooted in Christian Nationalism And White Supremacy

Jack Teixeira gets grouped with Bradley Manning (my second cousin) when it comes to the unacceptable act of releasing government documents. An online chat group site was where the Massachusetts Air National Guardsman placed highly classified material that very well might undermine war efforts in Ukraine regarding our efforts to thwart Russia. When I wrote about Wikileaks and before knowing Manning, (now Chelsea) was involved I stated, “it is imperative that candid assessments of political leaders and political movements in other countries not be open to the general public in this manner.”   When it comes to the national security of a far higher order in the midst of war there can be zero tolerance given to anyone who releases such documents.  Governments have secrets and should have the ability to secure those they deem important.  (One can make that clear statement about military documents and still rightly argue that government often uses classified markings to secure too many facts from the general public, but that is another topic.)

What we are learning of Teixeira, 21, is troubling and begs the question of how he ever received clearance for having access to highly classified military documents. It is reported he would sometimes show up to class at Dighton-Rehoboth High School wearing camouflage and carrying a “dictionary-size” book on guns and tanks.  The New York Post reported that students recalled that Teixeira displayed some alarming behavior in school, including making purportedly racist remarks, and once showing up to class in a T-shirt emblazoned with an image of an AR-15 a day after the deadly Las Vegas mass shooting in 2017.  

Leaking hundreds of sensitive documents about the war in Ukraine is astonishing in and of itself, but having access to such documents by one who, as the Washington Post reported, posted a video of himself wearing protective glasses and ear covers at a shooting range as he “yells a series of racial and antisemitic slurs into the camera, then fires several rounds at a target” is beyond the pale.

Jack Teixeira seems mired in a racist swamp where one can find many young white men, who then act dangerously. In his case he provided online group information and data about the war in Ukraine, the very type of documentation our government strived to keep away from the eager eyes in the Kremlin. That he is white and strongly associated with Christian nationalism and white supremacy (in his own words) fits a broader profile that is one which this blog often notes to be a problem in this nation. When we think of anti-Jewish rants the names of the Proud Boys or the Oath Keepers come to mind. The video of Teixeira in this regard is most telling.

Many have discussed how the racism and listing of grievances on right-wing media are aimed at the easily led demographics. A large segment of Fox News’ viewer base was lulled into Tea Party politics and then further down the hole with Donald Trump, autocratic actions, and even supporting the undermining of a presidential election.  So when we see the anger—and yes, releasing military secrets and documents is a very visible act of anger—the nation is looking at it with the knowledge that white males in America have lived on a rainbow, but still are angry.  The entire power and governing structure of the nation were designed, from the drafting of the Constitution, to accommodate white males. And yet they are angry.

Trying to figure out what spurred Jack Teixeira will doubtless take us to right-wing media, a source of vitriol where President Obama or Vice-President Kamala Harris are scorned, mocked, and far worse. While there is a long list of cultural issues or economic matters such as large banks and past bailouts and COVID funding and now of all things, (drag shows!) that stir the rage of these people, the heart of it is always about race.

After all, a white majority population in America is not the future.  The world is brown, and the trend lines have this country moving in the same direction.  And quickly.  There is nothing wrong with that.  Embracing what makes us diverse has always been the way to social progress, and it also allows for personal enrichment.  But it also allows for a certain segment to lash out and act in ways that society, or a democracy, cannot abide by.

The world of Jack Teixeira is about to be investigated nine ways to Sunday, as my folks might have termed it back home, and sadly, I suspect one of the legs of the stool will be racism that fed his hatred and then his treacherous actions.