President Donald Trump

Summary of Chapters 1-15, published in RAIS, August 2020; and ResearchLEAP, February 2021.

Summary of Chapters 16 - 30, published in RAIS, October, 2020, and ResearchLEAP, April 2021.

 

Synthisophy - Integrating the wisdoms of history into present culture

Roots – Synthesis/History/Sophy

Synthesis - the integration of separate material or abstract entities into a single  
or unified whole

History - what has happened in the past; a detailed description of past events as
relating to a particular people, country, period, etc…

Sophy - Greek root: wisdom, knowledge; an intellectual system embracing
knowledge and truth; study of the real world based on fact and truth, science

As you know, the USA today is a very polarized society. Technology in the Digital Age can be challenging. It can also be an avenue for us to interact despite differences in viewpoints and geography. That is the role of Synthisophy, integrating the wisdoms of history based on fact and truth into present culture. To foster an understanding of the real world, it’s important to learn about points of view which don’t match your own.

Citizens are the crux of democracy, an educated and well informed citizenry is vital for the survival of a democratic republic. As Benjamin Franklin said after exiting the Constitutional Convention and was asked what sort of government the delegates had created, his answer was, “We’ve given you a Republic, can you keep it?” With synthisophy in mind the answer to his question is “Yes, we can.”

Synthisophy
Synthisophy
Synthisophy

"We've given you a Republic, can
you keep it?" Ben Franklin after
the 
Constitutional Convention

"If we falter and lose our freedoms,
it will be because we destroyed
ourselves." Abraham Linclon

"United we stand, divided
we fall." John F. Kennedy
Inaugural speech

"I believe, as I always have, 
that America's strength is in
'We the People.'" Ronald Reagan

Here are the latest discussions:

What do you think?

The wife of Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. told a Washington Post reporter in January 2021 that an upside-down American flag recently flown on their flagpole was “an international signal of distress” and indicated that it had been raised in response to a neighborhood dispute. The upside-down flag has long been a sign of distress for the military and protest by various political factions. In the weeks before and after the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, it had also been adopted by supporters of the “Stop the Steal” movement, which embraced Donald Trump’s false claims that Joe Biden stole the election from him. Some of the rioters who participated in the attack had carried upside-down American flags with them.  WP

In July and August of 2023, the justice's beach house displayed an “Appeal to Heaven” flag, a symbol carried on Jan. 6 and associated with a push for a more Christian-minded government. The “Appeal to Heaven” flag, which, like the inverted U.S. flag, was carried by rioters at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.  Also known as the Pine Tree flag, it dates back to the Revolutionary War, but largely fell into obscurity until recent years and is now a symbol of support for former President Donald J. Trump, for a religious strand of the “Stop the Steal” campaign and for a push to remake American government in Christian terms.  NYT

Alito said in an initial comment that the upside-down flag flew “briefly.” Alito later said it flew for “a short time.” In his most recent account in letters to members of Congress, Alito said “I was not even aware of the upside-down flag until it was called to my attention. As soon as I saw it, I asked my wife to take it down, but for several days, she refused.”  NYT+WP

WP: “My wife and I own our Virginia home jointly. She therefore has the legal right to use the property as she sees fit, and there were no additional steps that I could have taken to have the flag taken down more promptly.” As to the second flag, an “Appeal to Heaven” banner at their New Jersey vacation home, that property “was purchased with money she inherited from her parents and is titled in her name.”  WP

CODE OF CONDUCT FOR JUSTICES OF THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES

CANON 1: A JUSTICE SHOULD UPHOLD THE INTEGRITY AND INDEPENDENCE OF THE JUDICIARY.

A Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States should maintain and observe high standards of conduct in order to preserve the integrity and independence of the federal judiciary.


CANON 2: A JUSTICE SHOULD AVOID IMPROPRIETY AND THE APPEARANCE OF IMPROPRIETY IN ALL ACTIVITIES.

B. OUTSIDE INFLUENCE. A Justice should not allow family, social, political, financial, or other relationships to influence official conduct or judgment.

CANON 3: A JUSTICE SHOULD PERFORM THE DUTIES OF OFFICE FAIRLY, IMPARTIALLY, AND DILIGENTLY.

B. DISQUALIFICATION.

(2) A Justice should disqualify himself or herself in a proceeding in which the Justice’s impartiality might reasonably be questioned, that is, where an unbiased and reasonable person who is aware of all relevant circumstances would doubt that the Justice could fairly discharge his or her duties.


The Supreme Court will be making a decision on Trump’s claim that presidents have absolute immunity from prosecution.  And Jack Smith is special counsel to oversee the Justice Department's criminal investigation into Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election, as well as into Trump’s unlawful retention of national defense information at his Mar-a-Lago estate. Both cases will most certainly appear before the Supreme Court at some point in the future.

 

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Hunter Biden was convicted Tuesday of all three felony charges related to the purchase of a revolver in 2018 when, prosecutors argued, the president’s son lied on a mandatory gun-purchase form by saying he was not illegally using or addicted to drugs.

Hunter Biden, 54, stared straight ahead and showed little emotion as the verdict was read after jury deliberations that lasted only three hours over two days in Wilmington, Delaware. He hugged his attorneys, smiled wanly and kissed his wife, Melissa, before leaving the courtroom with her.

President Joe Biden said in a statement issued shortly after the verdict that he would accept the outcome and “continue to respect the judicial process as Hunter considers an appeal.”

Hunter Biden faces up to 25 years in prison when he is sentenced by U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika, though as a first-time offender he would not get anywhere near the maximum, and there’s no guarantee the judge would send him to prison. She did not set a sentencing date, but that date will be within 120 days

In a written statement, Hunter Biden said he was disappointed by the outcome but grateful for the support of family and friends

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Sources: AP, CNN

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Mifepristone:

The Supreme Court unanimously rejected a lawsuit challenging the Food and Drug Administration’s approach to regulating the abortion pill mifepristone, allowing the drug to stay on the market.

The court ruled that the doctors and anti-abortion groups that had challenged access to the drug did not have standing to sue. Though technical, the court’s reasoning is important because it might encourage other mifepristone challenges in the future.

Medication abortion accounts for nearly two-thirds of all US abortions, according to some estimates. The FDA approved mifepristone in 2000 as part of a two-drug regimen to end a pregnancy and it has been shown to be safe and effective. The pill is also often prescribed for miscarriage treatment.

 

Bump stocks

The Supreme Court on Friday struck down a federal ban on bump stocks approved by former President Donald Trump. Justice Clarence Thomas wrote the opinion for a 6-3 court. The court’s liberal wing, led by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, dissented.

Trump had pushed for the ban in response to a 2017 mass shooting that killed 58 people at an outdoor music festival in Las Vegas. Bump stocks allow a shooter to convert a semi-automatic rifle into a weapon that can fire at a rate of hundreds of rounds a minute.

Thomas wrote in his opinion, “A bump stock does not convert a semiautomatic rifle into a machinegun any more than a shooter with a lightning-fast trigger finger does. Even with a bump stock, a semiautomatic rifle will fire only one shot for every ‘function of the trigger.’”

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Source: CNN

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A bump stock modified firearm can fire 400 to 800 rounds a minute. Competition shooters can empty a 6 shot revolver in a bit over 5 seconds giving them a theoretical rate of 72 rounds per minute.

A Republican senator blocked a Democratic-led attempt to pass legislation Tuesday that would have restored a Trump-era ban on bump stocks, an accessory that enables semi-automatic weapons to shoot at a very rapid pace, after last week's Supreme Court decision striking down the ban.

Sen. Martin Heinrich, a New Mexico Democrat, requested that his Bill banning bump stocks be brought up for a vote under unanimous consent, a procedure in which a measure passes so long as no lawmaker objects. Nebraska Sen. Pete Ricketts objected for Republicans, blocking a vote on the Bill. He called the legislation a “gun grabbing overreach” that could be interpreted to include other gun accessories beyond bump stocks. “This bill will not pass,” Ricketts said. “It won't pass because enough people in this building still believe in the Constitution, and the Constitution affords Americans the right to own a firearm.”

Heinrich said Tuesday on the Senate floor that there's "no legitimate use for a bump stock. A bump stock-equipped semi-automatic rifle is a machine gun and it should be banned, just like machine guns have been banned for nearly 100 years now. Even still, within the Supreme Court's majority's ruling, they gave Congress, they gave us, clear direction on the only way for us to protect Americans from these deadly devices. Congress needs to act."

In rising to object, Ricketts said it was "another day in the Democrat summer of show votes" and argued that the bill "is about banning as many firearm accessories as possible."

The Supreme Court's conservative justices found that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives overstepped its authority in prohibiting the devices, concluding that a semi-automatic rifle outfitted with a bump stock is not the same as a machine gun because the trigger still must be released and reengaged to fire each shot. Machine guns, which are banned under federal law, can fire continuously by a single pull of the trigger. 

The ATF ban, which went into effect in 2019 under President Trump, came after a gunman, who used semi-automatic rifles equipped with bump stocks, killed 60 people at a Las Vegas music festival in one of the deadliest mass shootings in modern U.S. history. Over 1100 rounds were fired in 10 minutes.

"A bump stock does not convert a semiautomatic rifle into a machine gun any more than a shooter with a lightning-fast trigger finger does," Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in the majority opinion.

In a concurring opinion, Justice Samuel Alito said the Las Vegas massacre strengthened the case for changing the law to ban bump stocks.

"There is a simple remedy for the disparate treatment of bump stocks and machine guns," he wrote, saying that "Congress can amend the law."

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Source: CBS