Category Archives: 2022 Election

All Minnesota Republicans Have Extremist Anti-Women Positions

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GOP Extremist Erik Mortensen
“Mortensen [invited] Gov. Tim Walz and Attorney General Keith Ellison to his home for a Thanksgiving weekend party last year during the pandemic, in defiance of public health orders at the time that discouraged … gathering to limit the spread of COVID-19.” -Minnesota Reformer
As far as I can tell.

Want me to go over them one at a time? OK, fine.

Let’s start with The Mort.

Republican Minnesota House representative Erik “The Mort” Mortensen (Shakopee area, southeast of the Twin Cities)* wants all civil and legal rights granted to a fertilized human egg. Mortensen only barely won his most recent race, and is running for re-election against Brad Tabke, DFL endorsed**. Marijuana candidate Ryan Martin is also running in this race, and is likely to spoil the election for the DFL as he did last time, allowing a rabid anti-abortion member back into the house (and forestalling the legalization of Marijuana***).

Mortensen has staked out his position on abortion very clearly in legislation he has introduced: He intends to control women’s reproductive choice by using a draconian law, and will do so if the Extremist Republicans running in the North Star state take over the government.

GOP Extremist Erik Mortensen
Mortensen recently got into trouble for doxx’ing a fellow legislator in the Minnesota house. A DFL woman, of course. He has no sense of boundary or respect.
If you want to protect reproductive rights in Minnesota, consider helping out Brad Tabke in this key race. If you want to see Marijuana legalized in Minnesota, do not support the legalize marijuana candidate, that won’t do it.

There are Republicans who will tell you that Mortensen is not so much one of theirs. He has, in fact, been in big trouble with the Minnesota Republican caucus (in the house), but not because of his extreme policy views. Rather, he has complained openly to and about the Republican leadership, and how they handle the process of making sausage, er, laws, from bills. Mortensen, in effect, knows nothing about how the legislative process works, so when he sees something he does not understand, he thinks about it carefully and learns, becomming a better person. Only kidding. What he actually does is to go off the handle and complain. He is not smart enough to figure out what to actually get mad at vs. what to learn from.

The problem with the MN GOP washing their hands of Mort is that Mort is right on board policy wise, and is a leader in the anti-choice movement within the Party of Strong Dislike****. The abiding truth is that the Republican Party has a single position on each issue, and it is easily discerned: Whatever makes liberals cry. In this case, as they see it, taking away the rights from each and every woman and giving those rights to a cell.


GOP Extremist Erik Mortensen
Mortensen drew an HR complaint on his first day on the House Floor when he spoke inappropriately to two DFL women, one of which happened to be Speaker. What an offensive dummy.
*Fort those outside of Minnesota, that’s Erik with a “K,” which goes along with Mortensen with an “en,” and the town is not “Shake -0- pea” (like when you make a veggie smoothie with legumes) but rather “Shock -a- pee” (like when you are shocked about something and have to pee). We also pronounce the K in Knute and Knife. Well, one of those anyway.

** DFL is Minnesotan for “Democratic Party.”

*** Yes, there appear to have been times when a Republican faked being a legalize Marijuana candidate in order to help another Republican win, though I’m not saying this is the case here. But it is. This particular candidate, Ryan Martin, is known to be a Republican and has ties to a known spoiler of this nature who ran for Congress in Minnesota’s second Congressional district.

****(Minnesotan for “hate.”)

Sources:
New House Republican caucus gives Shakopee lawmaker the boot

Shakopee GOP lawmaker doxxes DFL colleague in Facebook post, could face ethics complaint

Freshman Shakopee lawmaker jokes about getting HR complaint on first day

Emergence of ‘Mort’ draws scrutiny of race where pot candidate pulled votes


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We Commemorated January 6th

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And by “we” I mean “they” not “I” because of Covid related issues and childcare. But we all were there in spirit.

All around the country, people from a wide swath of the political spectrum, but mostly Centrists, Liberals, Progressives and such, gathered in various places but usually near the seats of government, and in various manners memorialized the attempted coup staged by failed twice impeached Republican President Trump and his white supremacist terrorist allies on the street and in the halls of Congress. This coup is still in progress. The roots of the coup go back father in time. We are still fighting it. But January 6th is the convenient date for the opening salvo, the Fort Sumter of the current culture war turned Civil Rift.

The people who went to these event did not break into their government buildings. They did not threaten to murder elected officials. They did not destroy property. They did not beat up police officers. They did not kill or injure anybody. To the right wing, that makes them chumps, but to us, who make up the core of our democracy, that makes them True Americans.

Meanwhile, the Right Wing mostly sat around simpering. The leaders and organizers called for celebration, but no one moved a muscle, no one showed up. Perhaps they are embarrassed. Perhaps the illegality of it all dawned on them, and they didn’t want to make their situations worse. Perhaps their more sensible spouses, friends, parents, kids, told them to take it down a notch and go back out to their porn-decorated garages and pretend to work on their motorcycles. Probably all of those reasons pertain.

We commemorated January 6th with a time honored democratic process. We stood on soap boxes, yelled and sang. (Again, by “we” I mean the great and brave “they” and I thank them.) Later we will work for campaigns and vote. It is undemocratic to physically attack and try to kill those with whom we disagree. That is literally the definition of terrorism. Democracy and terrorism do not mix.

Please consider writing a letter to your local paper that says something nice about democracy, some time over the next few weeks.


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Justice will be slow for the Republican crooks.

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On February 14th, 2018, Nikolas Cruz murdered 17 people and wounded another 17, at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. According to reports. Alleged, not proven. Yet.

The fourth anniversary of this horrific event, which had absolutely zero impact on gun related policy or legislation because we live in a country where the slaughter of innocents is a day to day event that we expect and do not care about, at the level of government (stop pretending that we might, folks, just admit who we are) will occur a few weeks before Cruz’s trial starts.

Filmed, countless witnesses. It happened. He did it (sue me, Cruz). But the judicial process goes so slowly that the dead children would have been in their early 20s (or almost so) had he not killed them, by the time sentence is passed on this murderer.

When we ask why the Department of Justice has not thrown the Trump Gang into prison yet, we might remind ourselves that justice is as slow as molasses. We might also note that this is in large part by design. We are supposed to have expedient justice, but the system allows the accused to put on the brakes at many points. Trump and his gang have the clout to pump the brakes so many times that a simple procedure can take six months. A mass murder suspect apparently has similar abilities. Other trials are started sooner. Duante Wright was murdered by a Brooklyn Center police officer on April 11 2021, and Officer Potter was convicted just a few days ago, all within one year. George Floyd was murdered by police officer Derek Chauvin on May 25th, 2020, and convicted almost exactly one year later, though other defendants in that case still await trial.

So big bad things can take a year to reach a settlement, or they can take 4 years. We are coming up on 2 years for the start of full on investigation of the Trump Gang, which we assume was hampered during the entire period of the Trump Dictatorship. So maybe we should start seeing results (or more results, there have been a few results) soon.

I’m not complaining, I’m just calibrating. Specifically, I’m making this point: When you vote randomly, or vote for the nutbag (like Trump, but there are others) just to “shake things up” or show the people in Washington a thing or two, you help condemn the rest of us to a potentially very long slog of ruination and distress, which does not actually end when the rest of us finally throw the bum out. It keeps going much longer, because the wheels of justice turn slowly.

The Watergate Plumbers, who had been involved in numerous nefarious and illegal activities for years, got caught breaking into the Democratic Party national headquarters on June 17th, 1972. Convictions of key players happened between 1974 and 1975, with court procedings continuing into 1976 (but not convictions). About 20 Republcian bad guys went to jail or were fined. Nixon, the mastermind behind all of it, resigned in August 1974, two years after the break-in but probably six years or so after the first nefarious acts by his gang, but other than a forced retirement he was never punished, but was rather pardoned by one of his Republican buddies. So the time scale of justice for Watergate runs from 2 to 6 years, depending on which illegal act and which act of justice one uses to calibrate.

Iran-Contra happened during the reign of Republican strongman Reagan. The illegal acts started in or around 1981, peaked around 1985, revealed in November 1986. There were subsequent indictments, but in the end everybody was pardoned by other members of the Republican gang. So the time scale on Iran-Contra is: No justice ever, but there coulda been on about a two to five year time scale had the whole thing not been pushed under the Republican Rug.

There have actually been hundreds of federal level scandals, many involving illegal activities, and the time scale tends to be about a few years from discovery to rug-lift-and-sweep, or in some cases, just resolution. Longer if the scandal is made up.

Again: When you vote for a bone-headed right winger, you are guaranteed to be contributing to the start of some nefarious activity or another, followed by much gnashing of teeth and rending of cloth by all of us, all because you are a voting moron. If you vote for the Green Party in a tight race, any third party, or for the bad guy just to show ’em, you are being a voting moron. If you don’t know that the trouble you help cause will go on for years, and may in some cases never be resolved, you are voting moron. And if you defend the voting morons because you can’t do electoral arithmetic, you are worse than that.

The moral of the many stories: 1) Be patient with the system of justice but also 2) don’t be an idiot when you go to vote.


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One Person No Vote: Listen to Carol Anderson et al

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My new favorite podcast is Now & Then, with Heather Cox Richardson and Joanne Freeman (formerly one of the “American History Guys”).

Several issues back, Richardson and Freeman invited Carol Anderson, author of One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy* to talk about voting suppression.

On this episode of Now & Then, “Voting Rights: The Big Picture,” Heather Cox Richardson and Joanne Freeman talk about the history of voter suppression with Carol Anderson, professor of African American Studies at Emory University and author of One Person No Vote: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy and The Second: Race and Guns in a Fatally Unequal America. The trio discuss the concept of the “consent of the governed” during the founding period, the emergence of Jim Crow laws after the Civil War, and the evolution of voting suppression efforts in the modern era. How have politicians justified restrictive voting policies? How do these policies damage American democracy? And what strategies might protect the franchise today?

The podcast is here.

One of the great features of Now & Then is that the hosts spend a lot of time running up to the body of the work laying down foundations and drawing in context. Very Maddowesque. But for this reason the podcast can have a slow start. In this episode, it takes a while for Carol Anderson to get the mic and start her thing, but once she does you will be blow away, even if you thought you knew stuff about voter suppression (and voting rights, not the same thing).


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Yes, CRT is being taught in our schools, if this is CRT:

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Everyone knows that CRT, aka, Critical Race Theory, is a law school or graduate level subject that is not taught in American K-12 classrooms. More precisely, and I quote Wikipedia, “Critical race theory (CRT) is a body of legal scholarship and an academic movement of civil-rights scholars and activists who seek to examine the intersection of race and law in the United States and to challenge mainstream American liberal approaches to racial justice.”

Everyone also knows that when Right Wing Goons, Contaminants, and Bloody Insurrectionists talk about CRT they are not actually talking about the law school class. They are using CRT to refer to things that are actually being taught in KL-12 schools, that they don’t want taught there. Continue reading Yes, CRT is being taught in our schools, if this is CRT:


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Anti CRT? That makes you a racist.

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Sorry, had to say it. Had to say the truth.

There might be some other problems too.

If you are anti-CRT being taught in K-12 schools, you are a moron, because it isn’t. If you are one of the emerging gaggle of goons who now insist that “liberals are denying CRT being taught in schools” then you are a moronic paranoid eejit.

Maybe you don’t really know much about CRT and realize that, but you have been groomed an organized by a right wing think tank to use CRT as a scare tactic to raise money and run a campaign. The Trump Criminals have a word for when you are being used by someone else, a word I don’t like to use but if fits; You are a cuck. At least you might be less of a moron in this case.

If, however, you understand that CRT is a buzzword for curriculum that honestly addresses history, talks about things like slavery, Jim Crow, segregation, and the systemic racism that exists in so many area of our society, then maybe you are a person who does not want the finger pointed at you. Maybe you make the argument that you don’t want kids to feel bad about their past, but that is bullshit. What you really don’t want is for your kids to come home and look at you, listen to what you say, realize what you do, figure out how you think, and realize their daddy is a Nazi.

Kind of a sensitive subject, I know, but if you are working to get CRT out of our schools, you are not a good person. In the old days (ten years ago) you would know to sit down and shut up. Please consider doing that now.

Anti CRT? That makes you a racist, and more specifically, a white supremacist. Not a good look.


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Republicans want to legalize corruption

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Georgia Republicans attack democracy. Texas Republicans want to rewrite democracy in their own interests. Florida … well, Florida is just as dumb as a brick. Republican wise.

Listen to Latosha Brown, co-founder of Black Voters Matter Fund:

The Republicans have embraced full on corruption for the purpose of carrying out their racist agenda. They are not even being pro-petroleum or the suck-asses of big corporations anymore. It is all racism, all hate, all red-eyed, red-hat evil.


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Is it too late for Donald Trump to redeem himself by dying in his sleep?

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For several years after spending the majority of the months of the year, for a few years, living in a rain forest with people who did not speak English, I developed these habits: When I was warning people of an imminent danger (something about to drop, a car about to come too close, etc.) I would say “Keba!” Or, if I was out in the wilds with someone and I saw a snake, I’d say, “Keba, Nyoka!” Neither was effective in the American context, but the reactions were burned in to my head. They were burned in because in the rain forest there was no way to get the kind of help we Americans are accustomed to (like doctors and urgent care facilities and such) and there were some mighty impressive deadly snakes. My brain rewired. “Careful” became “Keba!” and “Look out for the snake!” became “Keba, Nyoka!”

The other day, at the beginning of March, I woke up for the first time in years without a sense of urgency as I grabbed my cell phone to check my email. I woke up and did not check my email even before I was fully out of bed. I checked later, and when I did, I was specifically looking for two or three emails from colleagues, about the HOA meeting later that day, or about a letter we needed to send to a guest speaker at an upcoming forum, or some such.

What I was not looking for, for the first time in years, was a news alert announcing that Donald Trump was dead, for one reason or another.

I stopped caring so much if Donald Trump died in his sleep on January 20th, about noon. I still care. It would still be nice, since he is still a threat to the entire world, and especially the United States. But his dictatorship is over, and the reckoning has begun, and I’m thinking he will have a hard time running an effective campaign for president from within Wallkill Prison.

I think that what I’ve been experiencing could be called PTSD, of a sort. Having experienced PTSD (following acts of terrible violence and/or maiming) I have to say it doesn’t feel just like that, but maybe there are different versions. And, maybe I’m still experiencing it. Maybe we all are still getting over Trump and, likely, that is going to take some time. Or, if not getting over, maybe growing used to the new situation where Trump is not the dictator, but still a boogeyman in the background along with the Proud Boys and other White Supremacist insurrectionists.

I say Wallkill, but maybe it would be Sing Sing. Sing Sing would be good.

Anyway, I’ve only spoken at length to one person who was in the Capitol at the time of the January 6th Republican Insurrection. He is a mild mannered guy in politics who had worked hard to get around party divides, and bring people together around issues of common concern. But after the insurrection, when he realized that it was the Republicans in the Capitol that were hoping for mayhem, destruction, and even death, even helping make it happen, he has had something of a Come to Jesus moment. I was there with the proverbial Jesus long ago. I stopped trusting Republicans way back, and my disdain has only grown, and I have railed against the “independent thinker” meme for years. (That’s, like, “I don’t vote on party lines. I look at the issues, then chose the candidate based on their stance on the issues,” said by someone who usually doesn’t vote.) January 6th did not change my mind at all. This person is, I think, likely to experience some really serious PTSD, having actually been in the building, to hear the screaming, the gun shot, the exhortation to remove identifying pins else be captured by the enemy that has breached the breaches…

I recommend that folks examine their own PTSD or quasi-PTSD — which may be mild and it may be strong, but is likely to be at least somewhat hidden — to see if there are any demons that need to be held down in the bucket until the last bubble floats up.

I have taken solace, and kept some degree of strength and sanity, with a particular idea. First, an idea that I don’t like, by way of contrast.

This is the domino or Ponzi idea. You and I decide that the best thing to do is to vote for a particular candidate. So we each get ten people to agree, and then, they get 10 other people to agree, and so on. If I do this with a particular idea here in Minnesota, within fewer than 7 iterations, I’ve convinced twice as many people as actually live here (including babies) to vote for my candidate! That won’t actually work, wont’ actually get past the first iteration.

A version of that is the domino effect. I push over one thing, it pushes over the next thing, and so on, until finally all the things are pushed over (figuratively). That doesn’t even work very well with actual dominoes. The reason why there are YouTube videos of it actually working with dominoes is that if you get this to really work impressively, of course you take a video of it!

Here is what I do instead. Imagine a heavy ball, like a bowling ball, suspended on a long chain from some object high atop the thing. It is motionless. Now, stroke it with a strip of 34 pound (heavy weight) paper. The ball will hardly move. But if you wait for it to ever so subtly move back to where you stroked it, and a little beyond, where it is about to swing once again in the away direction, and stroke it then, the next swing will be a tiny bit father. If you keep doing that, the heavy ball on the long chain will eventually be swinging so far that it will be hard to stop, certainly unstoppable with a strip of paper.

And that is what I do every single day, and it is what I’ve been doing every single day since Trump was elected. I was doing it a lot before, but every single day, sometimes multiple times, since then. Probably 5,000 strokes since November 2016.

Of course, I do things like send an email or make a call to an elected representative, or give 50 bucks to a candidate, or spend an hour on a phone bank, etc. But I like to do somewhat bigger strokes when I can. Like write a letter to the editor for my local kitchen-stop paper, that might get read by, I dunno, 100 people. I employ messaging skills to make that letter a little more effective, and I make sure it gets around on social media. Stroke, stroke, stroke, right there. Or I help organize 100 people to write an email or make a call. Or I recruit or help train a new volunteer who is going to go at that suspended ball in their own way. Tonight, three of us spent a couple of ours on a zoom with a hundred folks helping them craft excellent comments in support of a regulation that will increase the use of electric cars.

It is very important to pay attention to the timing and direction of each thing. Just doing something to feel good about it may not be ideal. Doing just the right thing at the right time can move the bowling ball. Real live activism requires less precision than the actual bowling ball stroking, of course. At the same time, we can calculate the exact effect of the paper stroke but with real live activism we are often shooting in the dark.

Anyway, every day since the day Trump was elected, through his inauguration and eventual departure, I have been pushing the heavy weight just a little bit at a time, enough that I know that I’ve moved it. I can not say that every act has had an effect, but I’m certain that several thousand, together, have.

Oh, and I should say this: There are a few million of us.

Of course, there are always the federal prisons. I hear Yazoo City is nice.

Anyway, this is not done. The future is dangerous and must be paid close attention to. Keba! Kazi yetu haijakamilika.


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What is Treason, Exactly? (And has it been committed by anyone you know recently?)

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What is treason, exactly?

I recently asked on major social networking platforms, “Did Donald Trump Commit Treason,” and got two well argued and often detailed answers: “Yes!” and “No!”

Then, I read On Treason: A Citizen’s Guide to the Law by Carlton F.W. Larson.* I discovered that both positions are wrong. And right.

Ultimately, it can not be argued that Donald Trump violated the treason clause of the US Constitution in his dealings with Russia, even if the worst that has been suggested is true. (Larson’s book came out before 1/6, so it is silent on the events of that day.) When people in the US use the term “treason” in a sentence like “Trump committed treason, lock him up!” they are (inadvertently, most of the time) referring to the Treason Clause in Article II, Section 3, of the US Constitution, which says:

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

First, I’d like to point out the use of the plural in referring to “The United States.” This is how the United States were/was referred to prior to the US Civil War. After the war, it would have been “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against it.” But I digress.

Some of this is obvious, some of it not, but I learned from Larson’s book that treason must involve giving aid to an enemy of the US, in the sense that we are in a state of war. However, we have been and are now at war with multiple entities with no formal declaration of war, and haven’t been since World War II. Why war has not been declared since then is a bit mysterious, but I hear it is because it would make the US a war criminal country, since it is against convention of international law to go to war against anyone. But again I digress.

The point is, if someone adhered to (helped) the Hanoi government during the US period of involvement in the Viet Nam war, that act would be considered aiding a country at war with us, because everybody understand that a war is a war even if Congress has not declared it.

But, there are enemies, to which Larson and other legal experts apply the highly technical legal term “frienemies,” that are countries with whom we are not getting along at all, but avoid using the “w” word because we would all die in nuclear holocaust. Such as Russia. Trump did not commit treason in his dealings with Russia not because there is no declared war with Russia, but because we don’t want to openly admit we are in some sense at war with Russia. A treason charge against Trump for aiding Russia by the US Attorney General would be tantamount to declaring war against Russia, and then, we would all die in the nuclear holocaust.

If you think that Trump still could be considered to have committed treason against the United States by aiding Russia, then you would be absolutely correct. Maybe. But if you think that the US can or should charge Trump with treason based on his dealings with Russia, then you would be absolutely wrong, but NOT because we are not technically at war with Russia (see above) but because we won’t admit to being in a state of hostility against Russia. (By the way, if you want body counts, you can have body counts. Many have died in the cold war, Russia had seen to the killings of US soldiers, putting Trump in place as US President to disrupt our country has resulted in countless excess Covid-19 deaths, and so on and so forth).

In my personal opinion, the so-called “insurrection” was treasonous, even in the narrowly defined Constitutional sense. Why? It was an attempt to put an unelected dictator at the head of government, using a violent attack on a major US governmental facility. But with whom are we at war you ask? Well, the group of terrorists who carried out that attack. According to the legal arguments discussed in Larson’s book, the major terrorist groups such as ISIS and the US are functionally at war. A person who aids ISIS can be considered committing treason, if certain other things are in place.

But wait, hold on. If these insurrectionists are “at war” with the US, then they are not really committing treason, they are in essence soldiers. They can’t even be charged with criminal activity and would have to be treated as prisoners of war. That would require their immediate release because hostilities are over. But, what about those who aided them but were not with them? What about those guys??? Treason would apply.

But what does the Civil War say about this? The southern soldiers and generals who were captured during the war were treated as prisoners of war, yet the North never considered the southern states as separate. The northern legal attitude towards the south, in the eyes of Europe was (ideally) “this is not a war between belligerents so don’t aid or recognize the south.” Yet southerners were treated as soldiers. This contradiction was sometimes the focus of much attention at the time, and sometimes ignored. It never, however, went way. So, when the war ended, why weren’t the generals and soldiers and such charged with treason? Because it wasn’t really a war? No. Mainly because of the terms of surrender supplied by General Grant, and the political approach preferred by Lincoln. But what about Jefferson Davis? Why was he not charged with Treason? For that, I’ll let you read the book.

Clearly, little is clear. And, to me, one of the most interesting things about Carlton Larson’s treatment of treason is the degree to which relevant legal arguments are made, to help define treason, in settings where there was never a successful (or in some cases, even unsuccessful) prosecution. One would think that treason law would emerge as a combination of what the US Constitution says and what high court decisions include. Well, there is some of that. But a large amount of the legal conversation, opinions that help us to understand treason law in the US at the Federal level, come from decisions made, in some cases to NOT pursue a case, by US attorneys or other prosecutors, and by lower court judges wrestling with the problem.

In some cases, a treason charge was not made, or failed in court, because of the “two witness” rule or for some other technicality. But, the legally framed conversation that happened among the participants still informs us of what treason might or might not be. Not mentioned above is the idea that the treasonous person must be a citizen of the United States. Turns out, that is not strictly true. Why? Read the book. This part is really fascinating. Generally speaking, the most common outcome of a possible consideration of treason, in US history, has been to not make that charge because it is so difficult. The second most common outcome, possibly (I did not keep count) is to fail in court for similar reasons.

And, I should note, that Larson affirms that very few US Federal treason cases have been brought, and among those that were, few have succeed, because the requirements of the provision are intentionally hard to meet.

I discovered an interesting Reality vs. Wikipedia rip in the chronosynclastic continuum. According to treason expert Larson, only one person in the US has ever been put to death on a Federal treason charge, and he was not a US citizen, and did not commit treason, it was not really in the US but in a recently acquired territory, and perhaps he was not even tried in what would ultimately be considered a legal court. Nonetheless, he was hung by the neck until dead after being convicted of treason. Larson notes that nearly all discussions of treason don’t mention him, and I checked Wikipedia: Hipolito Salazar is not mentioned. However, there is a second person that Larson is mum about who was executed for Treason in the US under apparent Federal authority: William Mumford. Wikipedia says he is the only person so executed, and gives details. I suspect Mumford doesn’t count because he was tried and convicted under Martial Law by a military tribunal, which would be different than being charged with Treason under US jurisdiction and Article II, Section 3, Clause 1. If so, I say, “stand there in your wrongness and be wrong, Wikipedia!” One can argue forever as to whether Mumford was legitimately convicted of this or that law. The statement was made that he was charged and hereby convinced of Treason and he was then executed, right or wrong. But if the law that applied was not Articla II, Section 3, Clause 1, then he does not count, while Salazar does count.

In On Treason: A Citizen’s Guide to the Law Carlton F.W. Larson, a widely recognized expert on Treason law, describes and analyses every case of treason, or almost case of treason, or case of almost treason, in the US (and several cases outside that purview). The history of treason law, also covered in detail, is full of interesting (and sometimes necessary) contradictions. The origin and history of the Constitutional article itself is fascinating.

So the other day, a neighbors house was entered by hooligans, things stolen, and when the neighbors returned (they were out) they found that lots of their stuff had been trashed. Right there in broad daylight. Do you think that the perpetrators should be charged with robbery? If you have a degree in Facebook Law, you will probably swoop in on that statement and say, “why, no, it is not robbery, burglary! They can’t be charged with robbery. Burglary!” But you would be wrong in some states. What you call burglary by you is, in some states, called “housebreaking” if it happens during the day, and this happened during the day. Gotcha.

Treason is a little like that. The concept is centuries old. Most or all US states have treason laws and they vary. As noted above, the definition of Treason is not easy, since it relies on citizenship and a state of war, and also, an understanding of what “helping” the enemy was. All three of these things are tricky concepts.

I think that if you read this book, and you see someone say “so and so should be charged with treason” your immediate response will no longer be (if it was before) either “right, obviously!” or “no, that would be insurrection!”

Donald Trump committed treason in his dealings with Russia, according to me (but Larson says no) but he can’t be charged with Treason because we are not at a sufficient state of war with Russia. Both yes and no are valid answers to the question posed above, in my opinion. Not only is the answer “yes and no” more correct as a response to the question, it is a heck of a lot more interesting, if you bother to find out why. And to do so, read On Treason: A Citizen’s Guide to the Law.

While you are waiting for the book to arrive, have a look at: Treason, the Death Penalty, and American Identity also by Carlton F.W. Larson.


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