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Caseythoughts It's a holiday weekend, and I've had a week off from one of my favorite tasks, which is writing this column. The one-week respite might have made me a bit lazy, or perhaps it's the fact that I have been gladly called back to a five-day work week, following pandemic-shortened work weeks. Or, perhaps I want to keep this week's musings short because I'm getting into a fine mood to scream.

Let's start with the Chest Thumper in Chief telling a crowd in North Carolina (in Wilmington to celebrate the 75th anniversary of V-J Day) to make sure they vote twice. Now, maybe there are a few who thought that was funny, but considering the same fool has questioned the legitimacy of America's birthright of freedom, this was lunacy on a grand scale.

Then, the lunacy was explained by White House sycophants as just a way to test the system. If you voted by mail, then attempted to vote in person, the system should catch you… Well, if not, then that proves that skullduggery is the name of the election game. Great. You know, I think that testing a system by breaking the law can be a really fun enterprise: let's call 911 just to see if it works. Or, let's get the family buggy up to 100 miles per hour to see if any troopers are around.

I've got it! Let's fire a handgun it the air in Ithaca tonight. Just a few rounds, ok? Let's see if the Ithaca police show up, or actually arrest someone. Tell 'em you were only testing the system.

Let Trump stay on his high horse. If the pronouncement of vote twice is not inducement to a crime (and voting twice is a crime, even if the Head Hangman Barr says he isn't sure), then nothing is a crime. If he does win in November, we may have prima facie evidence of a high crime and misdemeanor. That would beat even the rap on Nixon: at least Nixon didn't tell the plumbers to break into the Watergate.

Thought number two: the protest in front of the Ithaca police department. I wonder why there were no traffic blockades that day at South Aurora or South Cayuga Streets. A roadblock to protect the protest would have prevented an 80-year old couple from driving slowly into the crowd. Even the mayor stated that it must have been a misunderstanding that the couple drove down Clinton Street. No harm was intended, but the confusion came close to tragedy.

I was thinking of the song, "For What It's Worth", with Stephen Stills singing about the free speech demonstrations in Berkley in 1965: "Nobody's right if everybody's wrong… Young people speaking their mind, getting so much resistance from behind."

Luckily, tragedy was avoided there on Clinton Street, and I think I have a simple solution. You know the painted bicycle/rider on some streets in Ithaca? That's called a sharrow. How about a stick figure holding a protest sign painted on a few select streets in the city? It will be a share the road indicator to motorists, to be aware of approaching or marching protesters. I can't believe Ithaca never thought of this – everybody wins.

Finally this week: a Pulitzer Prize winner claims Trump has called our dead World War I heroes buried in a French cemetery "losers". That's the same word the Commander in Chief used to describe Captain John McCain. It's not the first time Trump has shown disrespect for our military. His interference in military judicial matters is a slap in the face for all of us who wore the uniform, but it shouldn't surprise us. A guy who avoided military service during the Vietnam era due to bone spurs and a resulting deferment should be careful about characterizing someone who wore the uniform a loser. It's about time America came to its senses about lunacy and losers.

I believe Trump actually said those words, as reported, for the only respect he has ever shown has been for himself. America treated its veterans like losers in the 60s and 70s, but we regained our respect for the men and women in uniform when Ronald Reagan attained the White House. Trump is no Reagan. Our military will hopefully reclaim its respect after this loser is sent home in defeat November 3rd. If anyone votes twice in North Carolina, it may be the troopers at Fort Bragg ("All the way!"), who resent their fallen heroes being called losers.

Take care of each other. Thanks for listening.
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