Nick's Journal
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2021-02-15 18:27:35 (UTC)

Taxes, the Impeachment, the News

what better way to spend president's day than to work on your taxes? I've been doing my own taxes ever since I began my first job. thanks to turbotax it's gotten a lot easier. I'm very thorough in my taxes, one thing my undergrad finance professors drilled into me is that you never fuck with the IRS. and I don't. if I'm not sure, I over-report. I try not to take deductions unless they absolutely make sense. this year doing them made me sad. I looked over my 2020 bank account to make sure that I had reported all income and I saw how much I spent on alcohol. so much wasted money. funnelled down the drain for an addiction.

in general today is a blah day. I feel tired and I don't know why. I slept alright. I don't know.

one of the habits I've tried to get into in my sobriety is to follow the news. when I was drunk all the time, the furthest thing from my mind were current events. I mean of course there was the ubiquitous corona virus, but in general, those things that happened around me were just a theory. now, I read the Wall Street journal and the economist. I know they are both slightly conservative, but given that I have a slight liberal bent, I feel it's a good counterbalance.

so about this impeachment. I think that (a) it is constitutional to try a former president and (b) that trump incited the violence. for (a), although there is no precedent, if you believe that it is unconstitutional, then you would have the absurd conclusion that a lame-duck president could wreak all sorts of havoc in office (i.e. impeachable offences) and be able to skirt responsibility simply by resigning or waiting out the term. furthermore, impeachment also allows for further bar against running for office, so that also speaks to the interpretation that it is meant as a catchall for improper behaviour by a governmental official even if that person is not in office at the time. as for (b), trump is not stupid. he knew damn well what that crowd was there for. they were out for revenge. "stop the steal". the psychological manipulation that these people were having something stolen from them, and, oh by the way, those people stealing it are stealing it right now at this very minute just a few blocks down the road. you have the temporal requirement met for incitement under Supreme Court precedent.

what's weird is that I thought that trump shouldn't have been impeached. not because I don't think he's guilty of the impeachable offences (he clearly is), but because there was no way that he was going to get convicted. that is exactly what happened. so what it looks like is that the democrats are playing political games (which they clearly are if they sent the articles of impeachment to the senate knowing full-well that there would be slim to no chance of a conviction). it just looks like political grandstanding (which it was) and the democrats to get one last body-blow in on their favourite punching bag: Donald j. trump.

so why didn't the republicans convict? because they are spineless supplicants who see no further than the next election. they don't care about the good of democracy, it's stability. the ability to finally take a stand against a man who damaged the democratic institution so badly. instead, these sycophants, like Hawley and cruz would rather ride the tide of populist indignation. believe me, there is nothing genuine in their adherence to this cause. they see it like psychopaths see humans, a means to an end without regard of what may happen as they ride the wave.

the rest of the republicans are just scared. they are scared of incurring the wrath of trump's troglodytes. these people, for what they lack in self-awareness, intelligence and common sense they more than make up for in fear, hate and most of all motivation. THEY will be the ones who turn out to vote (or not vote) if their dear leader tells them so. look at Georgia. trump drummed into his fanatics' heads that the system is rigged so why vote anyways? republicans don't have the interest of the country or democracy as an institution in mind, they have their own political self-preservation. they knew that they would incur the wrath of trump's army if they voted for conviction.

out of the 7 that did vote to convict and liz Cheney, whom I deeply admire, they either are more than surely politically entrenched (Romney) or actually have a conscience. they are beacons and what the Republican Party truly stands for.

so that makes me wonder, aside from the near-term political ramifications, didn't republicans, especially smart, savvy ones like Mitch mcconnel not see the opportunity they were presented? they could finally exorcise the cancerous tumor of trumpism. sure there may have been short-term political ramifications but you have a chance to keep your entire platform from being dragged into the dark morass of populistic fanaticism. instead they stepped aside and let their plane be hijacked. that is what is truly sad.

other than that the news gets me fucked all the way up. one more thing that really pisses me off are the teachers unions. everyone is all high and might about equality and equity. they go about renaming schools and taking down monuments, all well and good and timely. but when it comes to the REAL difference maker. where some REAL work has to be done beyond marching or clicking a facebook link, or just getting riled up for shit's sake, people look to their own self-interest. these teachers are doing more damage to racial inequality than a million monuments combined. EDUCATION MORE THAN ANYTHING IS THE PATHWAY TO EQUALITY. the disparity in education is heartbreaking. and now, that inequality is just exacerbated by these entitled teacher unions that just want more and more.

whites and asians are just going to move from public to private schools. it's already happening. and you know what? private schools are open without problems. the rest are just left behind. it just really angers me to see this high and mighty talk about equality and all that and then you have these people who can actually make a difference refuse to do so. but instead of blaming teachers unions we'll blame a high school named after Robert e lee. because that is just easier.

lastly, I got fucked all the way up about the WHO and its investigation into china. man china is just a straight up asshole. they won't let the WHO look at the underlying raw data but only at (Chinese) scientist interpretations of that data? geeee, I wonder why? oh let's also create a straw man argument about how COVID could maybe have been transported INTO china on frozen food. come on. the problem with WHO is that it is in no way independent. it is funded and overseen in a large part by china. some of their lead investigators have close ties to Chinese labs and scientists. ugh.

I don't know why I'm getting all fucked up about this stuff. I mean in the end, it doesn't really impact me. but maybe it's good to care. that was the problem when I was drunk all the time. I just didn't care. and now I do. I want truth and I want equality and I want my leaders to protect the sanctity of the democratic institutions that benefit us all. so I'd rather care than not. because that's called living. giving a shit. that's what spurs change in this world.

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