Our Darkest Hour

January 6, 2021 — A day which will live forever in infamy

2020 sucked. I don’t think anyone will disagree with me on that. But, 2021 has exceeded my worst expectations so far. We are just into the new year and it is already been the worst week of our collective lives barring 9/11.

Ugly Mob
Desecration

Why I am doing this

A lot has happened on & after Jan 6, 2021. This is my contribution as a concerned American Citizen towards the cause of democracy. I am trying to get the truth out, and collecting all the most important information online into one article.

This article is being updated constantly as more information is trickling in from all sources.

I just wish online media were not so obviously biased — the bias is reducing the impact of the truth which have been reported by the media. This is one of the reasons fewer people are reading newspapers anymore, and why a lot of people dislike the media.

I don’t need you to tell me that someone sucks. I am fully capable of forming my own opinions if you could please, please… kindly stick to the facts and get even more “formal” during dire situations like this.

Please don’t tell me what to think & feel.

How the events unfolded

Wednesday began as any other normal, working day for me. While expecting a busy day at work, I was looking forward (with some excitement) to the counting of votes in a joint session of the US Congress, and had marked the time when it was scheduled to begin.

Like any other person who had voted in 2020, I was slightly worried about what was going to happen — we all expected it to be a long day. I expected at the worst — a robust debate, long hours, and a delay in the certification process.

An insult to the core values of this Country

What I did not expect were guns, nooses & confederate flags on the capitol and hiding law makers, with an absent security presence.

Shattered glass showing the violence against democracy

I certainly, certainly did not expect our flag to be removed from the buildings to be replaced with flags bearing allegiance to any one person. I cannot imagine anything more upsetting than that.

Is this the USA?

Ever since the results of the Election had been announced, I was worried about what was going to happen because the president had not conceded and was refusing to do so:

I knew, there would be trouble in the days ahead, but I could never imagine how bad it was going to get. We had all gotten so used to hearing the rhetoric from the president that we had gotten used to it. What happened exceeded anything which I could ever have dreamed of even in my worst nightmares:

I was watching the counting on C Span, so I had no idea about what was brewing outside the Capitol when they suddenly stopped the proceedings. C Span did not do a good job of covering what was going on, so I was confused as to why they had stopped the event.

The first warning sign I saw was a post they showed indicating that shots were being fired inside the Capitol. And it went downhill from there.

Shots inside the Capitol? Rioters banging on the doors? Congress and Senate in hiding? What the hell is going on? Where the hell is security? military?

I think what shocked me more than the desecration of the symbol of American Democracy was the ease in which this had been accomplished. It was a very, very thin margin by which Democracy was saved.

A 750 billion dollar budget, nuclear weapons, aircraft carriers protecting the whole world, but just 4 people with hand guns and a desk keeping rioters away from the United States Congress & Senate?

I still find it very hard to believe that these events actually happened and “it was allowed to happen”.

  • This is the country which won a revolutionary war against the largest empire the world had ever known till that point. We actually kicked the buggers and their king out “at their prime”.
  • We fought a war with ourselves to defeat slavery. We had not one, but many, many great presidents — some of them shining a light brighter than the brightest before them.
  • We are the shining light of Democracy which has inspired every other Democracy which has come up since. The original light which lit a hundred other lamps all over the world bringing freedom & hope to the entire world.
  • An amazing president like FDR who was way ahead of his time, and defeated Hitler, even helping the UK and the USSR with money and materials to turn the tide of the war.

Do you now see how upset our people would be to see this destruction in our temple of Democracy? The people’s house? It is sacrilege in every way, deeply painful, searing to our hearts to see this.

It is unimaginable that the rioters were able to get into the Capitol. From the information I can see online, I have to agree with many that this sort of event could never have happened without support from the Capitol police.

‘Stop the Steal’ organizer says GOP lawmakers helped him with rally

No matter what anyone says about it, it is just hard to believe that there was no inside support. Only a simpleton would believe this.

As of Jan 11, 2021 some capitol police officers have been arrested for aiding the rioters.
  • We have all seen the videos where the police are letting the rioters cross the barriers.
  • We have seen the video where rioters are taking photos with some of the police.

My heart goes out to the men & women of the Capitol police, FBI & other agencies who were on the frontlines, in the line of fire who literally saved our Democracy. The inside job was done by the 1% who betrayed our Democracy, let the rioters go in, did not return calls for help and the leadership who did not prepare adequately and directly or indirectly were responsible for the mayhem.

I got to agree with a lot of what Rep. Jayapal mentions here. I had the exact same thoughts before I watched this video. I was very surprised and dismayed to see that she feels the same and it does make sense.
  • How can they be surprised that this happened? Everyone knew for weeks that disruption was planned. There is no excuse for there not being enough security around the Capitol during this event.
Why was permission not given for help to arrive sooner?
  • Why was permission not given to send the national guard from nearby states to the Capitol?

Not being able to reach the person who can give the permission to get help ASAP in this dire situation reeks of treason. What the heck was the person/ people in charge doing when senators and congress women/ men were calling out for help?

From all the information which I have seen from reps in the congress, it seems to me that they were told that everything was under control — but there was very, very light security on the day of the event. Way less security than was necessary. Almost like a deliberate thinning of security, to allow these goons to ransack the place.

I think every American feels attacked by what happened on this dark day. And we need to make sure this never happens again.

How did Democracy Survive this day?

I don’t know whether it was luck, foolishness/ lack of planning by the rioters or the fact that this was not planned and orchestrated by the president. This worries me a lot.

The sum of all our darkest fears. This tells how bad it could have gotten, and how lucky we all were.
  • I saw this video on Jan 9, 2021 and this makes me feel better because it looks like they did everything they could, but our defenses held — though barely.
  • It is very disheartening to see men & women who used to work for our armed forces participating in this madness. I believe they took an oath to uphold our Constitution?
  • Make no mistake this is because of the profit driven social media company brainwashing driven only by the greed for making money at any cost. This is the reason it is time to regulate social media companies who have opened a Pandora’s box.

From everything we have seen, it looks like it should have succeeded because there was no security and the Capitol was “wide open” for the mob to take over. That is a scary thought. That’s it — that is how unprotected democracy is.

We all know that did not happen. The mob did reach the Capitol, and did desecrate it, but it does not seem to me that it was a military style operation which was well planned and executed to take over the Govt.

I hope it was our backup plans that prevented a Govt takeover or a hostage situation. I truly pray it was that.

I pray I am right that the president never thought that the mob would do what it did — even so, I believe he should be impeached by Congress as soon as possible for inciting them to begin.

Words have consequences. The person responsible for inciting the mob should be brought to justice.

The real danger here as I see it is that the Capitol is too easy a target to take over, and there seems to be enough people in the Govt/ Police/ Security forces who sympathize with the president. It is a real danger there which should not be underestimated at all. Even with “only” a 1500 member police force, there should be technology available which can prevent breaches in the future, and even handle the situation better if a breach still occurs.

She is right to be worried. I also believe that she did the surprising but very correct thing by asking VP Pence to take over the reins of Govt.

We truly do not know what tomorrow may bring. I would not underestimate the president or his followers:

The only things which seem to have stopped him from doing something appalling so far seems to be the fear of law & punishment and staying right there on that fine line “in between”. I really worry about what he would do, if he did not worry about that.

VP Mike Pence brought “balance to the force” — one of the Constitutional Firewalls which actually worked. This maybe the only thing he was born to do — this is his contribution to history, the culmination of his career. He maybe the reason we still have a democracy now. This could all have gone sideways very badly for our country. I want you to imagine what it would have been if the VP was Rudy and not Mike Pence. Our democracy would have been damaged very badly in that case.

In spite of:

  • The failings of the electoral college which ratified his election result
  • The GOP in the House which mostly supported the president through both impeachments
  • A toothless senate which “thought he would change” over & over again.
  • Judicial nominees which were pushed through by “reverse” court packing.

Each firewall created painstakingly in the Constitution was breached in these horrible 4 years living in this alternate universe & twilight zone - It is to the amazing credit of the U.S. Constitution that when almost everything else failed, the VP & the non-partisan judicial system became two of the final firewalls which barely held the nation together. Just Barely. It could easily have gone either way. We should learn from this experience.

I do not necessarily think that “going after” these people maybe a good strategy unless it is planned out well — what if they try to start a civil war because the Govt went after them strongly? It worries me a lot to be honest. They should reap what they sowed — but it should be done without causing a civil war.

How did we get here?

We basically broke all the firewalls on the way to this dark day. I distinctly remember this video from the day of the counting in 2016. I remember the strong feeling that people would regret that not one senator stood up to object on that day.

I will never, ever be able to understand how a decent person could vote for this president.

We are all to blame here that we thought that inspite of every signal we had seen till that point:

  • The wrong person won the Republican primary.
  • We knew he was bad.
  • We knew he had zero capacity or capability to be a good, just and moral leader of this country.
  • I will never understand how anybody could vote for him.
  • I do agree the Electoral College is useful. And we broke it by not rejecting him at every opportunity we had to do it.

We cannot say we did not see this coming. We just “wished” nothing bad would happen. We needed to fight the good fight harder.

It is a shame. Actions have consequences. Not one senator stood up during this time — I know it would not have mattered for the results. But, atleast we could say that we tried everything we could at the time.
I agree with this video. They staged demos for the Capitol Assault all over the country, and we did nothing.

And this started as President Obama mentions when the GOP realized that they need to do whatever is necessary to be done, no matter how bad it is, just to gain power. It is sickening to read some of the things in this book as to the extent to which people will go just to hold onto power, at any cost.

This article will blow your mind. What I find interesting is how similar the ideas are which are mentioned here to President Obama’s book. Almost like this is the undercurrent to many things which are not fully elucidated in the presidential memoir:

I found this article online which explains these ideas in much more detail. It is a very interesting read:

The Social Media Monster

It is an inherent part of our universe that it tends to go from order to chaos. This is called Entropy. That is what came to my mind when I think about how technology somehow has ended up amplifying lies and creating chaos from order.

These companies had a good start and they did good… to begin with. We all admired them for “changing the world” and “bringing people together”

What happened next was “Capitalism at any Cost” as AOC puts it. They cared only about making money, and amplifying “anything” to get engagement was what really opened Pandora’s box.

All these social media companies had gotten so large and so influential with almost everybody on them. It was inevitable that bad actors would eventually try to peddle conspiracy theories and lies on them.

The problem is that they did nothing to moderate lies and conspiracies on their platforms. They need to pay for that.

This is the root cause of a significant amount of chaos in our world today. Once they reached a certain number of users, given how well they worked, they should have started moderating from the get-go to prevent anyone, anywhere from creating whatever group they wanted to create, saying whatever lies they wanted to say — in fact, even paying these platforms to market their lies and amplify chaos.

My question to you the reader is that, no matter how much $$$ they are offering, do you really want to work for these companies or do business with them? Is it not time to boycott them at every level?

Instead of focusing purely on user engagement, they should have focused on “doing what is right” as well. User engagement is great — but not at “any cost”. And I would say that all the websites enabling this kind of behavior should pay legal penalties and be regulated by the Govt. the saddest part about this is that there was no reason to do this to begin with — they would have had the same numbers in user growth and engagement maybe at a slower pace, if they had just done the right thing, and moved forward in a trustworthy manner.

It is not just that they wanted to get bigger, they wanted to get bigger faster & faster — they could not be satisfied no matter how fast they grew, or how much money they made. This is nothing but greed.

Even in Ayn Rand’s hyper-capitalistic world, they would be referred to as greedy, blood sucking, “moochers”. There is nothing here to admire, or look upto. They are engines which are driven by the basest instincts of human kind. They see people are numbers, and they would let society collapse to get the last penny out of the last cent in the last dollar ever printed from the US mint.

Social Media companies are directly responsible for this chaos, by providing a platform enabling liars, cheats and hostile Governments to sow chaos and destruction resulting in a direct loss of life and destruction of property along with a direct attack on our Democracy.

So, I have to agree 100% with Rep. Jayapal on this. She is right. Regulation is overdue here. We need to prioritize regulation over “ease of use”. We can wait for a tweet/ FB post to be published if it is being posted to a large audience. Let it be moderated, let us remove liars, cheats and conspiracy theorists from our online discourse.

Conclusions

The Aftermath

Update from FBI: Jan 12, 2021
Sadly, Mike Pence put party & politics over Country by not invoking the 25th amendment.
The only time in history that a US president has been impeached twice. What a shameful day!

How do I feel?

I think this video sums up my feelings the best. And this is from a former GOP Governor:

Next Steps

For everyone who wants to “do nothing”, including the GOP enablers in the Congress & Senate, I think this photo from Twitter says it all:

I agree with these next steps. I think our goal should be to get all these things done:

  • He should be removed
  • He should never be able to run for office again
  • He should not be able to pardon himself.

I think these additional articles of impeachment should also be considered to “cover all our bases”. We have to make sure here is no loophole left from the guilty to escape:

Let us hope that Speaker Pelosi can stay firm on the path laid out here (this is the complete playlist of the 60 minutes interview):

Jan 12, 2021: This should have been done a long time ago.

Stress Busters

This article has been stressful enough. Here, is some light stuff which improved my mood courtesy of Twitter:

“If you see something that’s not right, not fair, not just, do something about it. Say something. Do something.” — Rep. John Lewis

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