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  • Bill Wayne

The state of our country

I have lived in this country for a long time, perhaps too long. I have seldom seen such division as there is now. And worse yet, there is no apparent intention on either side to resolve problems and do what is best for our country.

Our country has changed and unfortunately, not for the better. We now have, or at least have learned we have. secret courts. American citizens can be spied on if they have international phone calls and flimsy reasons presented can convince the court to issure a warrant. Political research that is not verified or that the creator cannot confirm is truth can be used to get permission to spy on people, even if the political research is not about the person spied upon. When did guilt by association become a basis for warrants?

Our FBI, once our most trusted law enforcers (at least since J. Edgar Hoover), has disgraced itself by lying, by forming groups to “protect against a candidate they do not like for President” and by leaking information to the media. We are returning to the days of McCarthyism.

Even our Supreme court, whose members should NEVER give even the slightest inkling of supporting one presidential candidate over another, had a member that came out and denigrated one candidate. It began during the 2016 election campaign, when Justice Ginsburg broke the “politics-what-politics?” stance usually favored by Supreme Court justices, speaking out bluntly about her concerns regarding Trump.

“"I can't imagine what this place would be -- I can't imagine what the country would be -- with Donald Trump as our president," Ginsburg told The New York Times in a July 2016 interview in her Supreme Court chambers. "For the country, it could be four years. For the court, it could be -- I don't even want to contemplate that." Ginsburg doubled down on those comments in a subsequent interview with CNN, calling Trump a "faker," and adding: ""He has no consistency about him. He says whatever comes into his head at the moment. He really has an ego." John Jay and John Marshall must be turning over in their graves.

Even the most important premises of our judicial system have been attacked and violated. The presumption of innocence until proven guilty has been attacked during Supreme Court confirmation hearings. Presumption of innocence was thrown out as opposition to the candidate was accused without credible evidence of guilt, denying the concept. Cruel and Unusual Punishment as banned by the 8th Amendment is no longer being followed. Paul Manafort, a man who admits he deserves to be in prison and has been convicted on multiple counts in August has been placed in solitary confinement and will remain there for several more months. The excuse used is for his safety, the real reason is so it will be more convenient to meet with him and try to extract additional information. After 8 months of being alone in a cell 23 hours a day, who knows what the veracity of his comments will be.

Most threatening of all is the adoption of the processes of Lavrentiy Beria, the most ruthless and longest-serving secret police chief in Joseph Stalin’s reign of terror in Russia and Eastern Europe. He bragged that he could prove criminal conduct on anyone, even the innocent.

“Show me the man and I’ll show you the crime” was Beria’s infamous boast. He served as deputy premier from 1941 until Stalin’s death in 1953, supervising the expansion of the gulags and other secret detention facilities for political prisoners.

Beria targeted “the man” first, then proceeded to find or fabricate a crime. Beria’s modus operandi was to presume the man guilty and fill in the blanks later. This is directly opposite the United States Constitution, there’s a presumption of innocence that emanates from the 5th, 6th, and 14th Amendments, as set forth in Coffin vs. U.S. (1895). Yet this is the procedure now being used by the Special Democrats.

Our political leaders have managed to create an environment where hate and violence thrave. This started with the election of President Trump and the unwillingness the Democrats to accept the loss or to work with the President in any way. Granted, President Trump is different than most Presidents before him and rattles cages. But that does not justify inspiring violence such as the attempted assassination of Republican Senators and Congressmen. Nor does it justify a US Senator calling on US citizens to harass and, in at least one case, assault the members of the government in charge and their supporters.

But not since 1861 has the opposition party made defying the President their only goal. That resulted in the Civil War where at least 620,000 Americans killed, more than World War II, World War I, Vietnam and Korea combined.

We need to get our country back in control, not create more areas of dissension and hate.

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