This Should Be Simple — If You Took Any Russian Money In Order To GET Elected? You Did Not Legally Get Elected

The law is pretty simple: Political campaigns are PROHIBITED from receiving ANY kind of contribution from a foreign national.

That means any political campaign that takes ANYTHING from a foreign national is breaking the law. You cannot break the law to win political office. Breaking the law to win disallows your win. In fact, because you broke the law, you DIDN’T win.

We already knew that Russian money flowed into the NRA for distribution to Republican candidates. That means — any Republican candidate who took one penny from the NRA needs to PROVE that that penny didn’t flow from a Russian source. Can’t prove it? We will now assume that that money DID flow from Russia. And you TOOK IT.

We know that Russian retirees, living in America, saw their retirement check’s from Russia suddenly bumped from mere kopeks a month to thousands of dollars a month. That largesse wasn’t intended for the retirees, it was intended for Republican campaign coffers. The retirees were laundering money Russia wanted to donate to Republicans. Voila — “Mission Accomplished”.

We already knew that Russian money flowed into Mitch McConnell’s PAC — same as it did lots of other Republicans’ PACs. The way those dollars flowed was all within the letter of the law. But the spirit of the law will haunt them. Innocent foreign dollars one moment, Treason Cash the next.

Russia, we keep learning, waged a complex, multi-faceted, multi-pronged attack on our election and election systems. They pounded us with propaganda and disinformation. We don’t know yet if or how Russia flipped actual voting machines. It doesn’t matter. If Russian disinformation (gleaned via proprietary polling data, handed from Paul Manafort to Oleg Deripaska to Russian Military Intelligence for weaponizing back into personalized Facebook ads on individual voters Facebook pages) caused ONE African American voter to stay home when they intended to vote, then Russia changed the outcome of an American election on Donald Trump’s behalf.

One vote is all it takes to be election fraud. I don’t see where the Rule Of Law keeps a score sheet with a threshold.

If The Rule Of Law is back as “A Thing” then every Republican who received money from Russia broke the law. They broke it in order to WIN their elections — which means they didn’t win. You can’t break the law in order to become the law’s protector — that’s a contradiction.

If you steal something, it’s not actually yours. Regardless of how much you like driving around in a stolen car, the car STILL belongs to the guy you stole it from. In the case of election 2016, Trump, the Russians & the GOP stole the desired (voted upon) outcome We The People wanted and stole not only the Highest Office In The Land but every other electoral “win” below it.

If the Rule Of Law is really back then every last bit of Election 2016 must be voided. That means Donald Trump was never actually POTUS. He was never legitimately authorized to do the things he did — like pick judges. Every judge Trump picked was picked by someone unauthorized to pick judges. That means they must be voided — since, in point of fact, Hillary Clinton was the legitimate POTUS.

If we end up doing this right? This shit’s gonna get M E S S Y !

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We Got Donald Trump All Wrong; As Horrible As We Thought He’d Be? He’s Way, WAY Worse

A lot of us anticipated the bad horror movie the Trump presidency would be. It wasn’t exactly rocket science.

Trump was a fraud who was given the maximum benefit of the doubt by a press both in love with Trump’s fraudulent audacity and in fear of his retribution.  Their inability to cover this story – from Trump’s overt racism (FFS, they still want to debate whether or not he even IS a racist) to his overt treason (they still want to go along with Bill Barr’s lie that the only thing in the Mueller Report are empty pages) should be a warning to us.  We see, hear and feel our country literally shrinking.

Trump has never run anything bigger or more complex than a Mom ‘n Pop Money Laundering Shop for the Russian mob.  There’s a reason Trump keeps everything crime family close. 

Fusion GPS noticed this fact while doing their due diligence after The Washington Free Beacon hired them to do oppo research on Trump (the Free Beacon’s owner liked Jeb Bush).  Fusion’s Glenn Simpson testified before Congress that what they uncovered about Trump – getting ahold of books, magazines, newspapers videos from everyplace thy could including the public library – motivated them to hire Christopher Steele, former head of the MI6’s Russia desk.

I remember not so long ago when our constant harping about Russia got annoyed looks even from friends.  It’s hard to get one’s mind around the enormity of this crime. 

I bet the folks living at Pearl Harbor felt kinda the same way as bombs exploded all around them.  How do you get your mind around being the unfortunate place where the spear tip punctures the body?  They went to sleep at peace, woke up at war.

Even now – with a shitload of solid evidence staring at us, we STILL refuse to call Trump the traitor he is.  Our news media will give him the benefit of the doubt till there’s no more left to give.  Then they’ll wonder which Democrat is the most “electable” against him.  FFS – a bucket of vomit with a D sharpie’d onto its side could beat Donald Trump.  The problem is, it’s Russia they’re running against.  Take Russia out of the 2016 equation and Trump never makes it past the primaries.

But Russia did make Trump the winner in 2016.  They made a lot of Republicans winners, too.  Those Republicans took a sledgehammer to the Rule Of Law.  That was my blind spot – the degree to which the whole GOP was well and truly complicit.  The Republican Party saw demographic extinction ahead of them.  They’ve had to steal the last two republican presidencies (W’s and Trump’s).  Without gerrymandering, the Republicans would lose the Congress, too.  The only co-equal branch available to them?  The judiciary.  Provided they stole it.

Which (Merrick Garland anyone?) Moscow Mitch McConnell absolutely did.  All those highly rated Obama judges held up and denied hearings, all those Trump Judges shoved down America’s throat. 

The result has been chaotic – of course.  But even chaos has advantages over what we’re being forced to endure.  I never saw children in cages coming. I never saw such blatant lying to Congress coming.  I never saw the love of depravity coming. 

I never saw the attrition coming – the way Trump’s constant lying (now compounded because EVERY Republican now lies) would wear us all down – and undermine our collective will.  Living in Trumpian times is exhausting. 

I never saw that  coming either.

If Brett Kavanaugh Is Still Working As A SCOTUS Judge, That Means The Rule Of Law Is NOT Working

The Rule Of Law is kinda like a soap bubble made of iron. In and of itself, it’s incredibly solid — it’s made of iron, isn’t it? But it’s still got the delicacy of a bubble. There’s no “slightly popped”. There’s popped and not popped.

The Rule Of Law is a radical notion if you think about it — it survives only by our mutual agreement to follow it. The chaos consuming us now flows directly from the fact that while some of us still do follow The Rule Of Law, one of our two political parties has revealed that they don’t (and never really did). The Rule Of Law says if you break it, you pay.

It says everyone gets treated equally by The Rule Of Law. And everyone who breaks it — they, too, will be treated exactly the same regardless of how many zeroes there are on their weekly pay stub. Brett Kavanaugh was NOT treated equally at any point during his confirmation hearing. Brett, rather, was shown extraordinary privilege.

He was allowed to perjure himself in fact — and even get belligerent about it as if HE were the one who’d been sexually assaulted. It doesn’t get more (white) privileged than that.

The Rule Of Law says if you lie, cheat or steal to achieve something, you haven’t achieved it — rather, you’ve broken the law and should be punished for it. If you broke the law, say, to become president — it means you’re not actually the president. How could you be? You didn’t meet the basic requirement of “winning an election”. Cheating does NOT equal winning — EVER.

When we finally get to do a deep, deep dive into Mitch McConnell’s actions leading up to the election (especially Moscow Mitch’s refusal to let We The People in on the secret that Moscow was putting its thumb on our election scale for Trump), we’ll have to pick apart Mitch’s real reasons for denying Merrick Garland so much as a hearing. That unprecedented SCOTUS seat grab was DESIGNED to steal the judiciary as a means to force permanent minority rule down the country’s throat. Was it illegal? That will depend on what we nail Mitch on.

By all rights, Merrick Garland should be sitting where Neil Gorsuch sits. We The People voted for Barack Obama — and part of why we voted for him was so he could — while still in office — choose SCOTUS judges to the liking of HIS voters. Mitch’s bullshit about wanting the American voter to get to choose — one has to wonder if Mitch knew anything about the machinations Russia was gearing up to throw at us.

Then again — in Mitch’s “defense”, he did say that if Hillary had won, he’d have refused to fill any vacancies — even if every single justice suddenly dropped dead.

The Rule Of Law says thieves — after they’re caught, prosecuted and convicted — do NOT get to keep the loot. In the case of Brett Kavanaugh’s SCOTUS seat, you don’t get to gut the “advise and consent” part of the process — lying through your teeth every step of the way — and then KEEP the SCOTUS seat. It sets a terrible precedent otherwise.

When the whole point of the exercise is destruction of the judiciary in order to install permanent minority rule? It makes the thievery extra rotten.

As we learned from the NYTimes today, the White House killed the FBI’s investigation into Deborah Ramirez’s corroborated accusations of sexual assault against Kavanaugh. If the FBI had interviewed the 25+ witnesses and filed that report, Brett Kavanaugh would not be a SCOTUS judge today — that had to have been the GOP’s calculus.

If our highest court is tainted by corruption, it ceases to be viable. The only way to make sure it is and remains a bastion of fairness would be to expunge every bit of Trump or McConnell influence. In the end, it should be as simple as this: If Trump cheated to become POTUS — which he absolutely did — then he has no authority to “be” POTUS. Not being POTUS, he has no authority to nominate anyone for anything.

Not a single Trump nominee can stand because the man who nominated was not AUTHORIZED to do it. I know — chaos. I don’t give a shit.

The Rule Of Law is all or nothing.

Each & Every One Of Us Is Making It Up As We Go Along — Every Day; Why Not Own It?

I’ve told this story here before. Three days before Christmas 2016, I came within inches of bullshitting myself to death.

That’s how I thought of it not long afterward — after driving straight to my doctor’s office and pretty much demanding that he write me a prescription for the mood stabilizer I had researched and thought would be my shot at salvation. See, darkness and depression rob you of perspective. I’d lost so much perspective that I believed insurance money would eventually assuage the deep psychic pain I’d cause my family.

That there, friends, is some serious-assed bullshit. That’s why this blog is called what it’s called. I got very lucky with my mood stabilizer. I leveled at the lowest dose within 36 hours and stopped wanting to hurt myself. With the darkness now held at bay — and aware of how close bullshit came to killing me, I began to realize how my bullshit (and most of it was mine but some was the culture’s) had built up in my life like plaque in a vein.

Even though killing myself was off the table, bullshit still outweighed every other component of my waking life. Most of my bullshit was either incidental bullshit or tolerable bullshit — the stuff we do to get through a day. But some was capable of metastasizing. That’s the stuff I turned my focus on.

As I said, depression (very much like bullshit) robs you of perspective. Perspective by the same token is like kryptonite to bullshit — and depression. Regaining perspective put a whole new set of lenses in my hands. Being able now to pull the camera back as far as I could, that was liberating! The first thing I saw with absolute clarity — dealing with my own bullshit was going to be a full time gig. Like it or not, I was going to have to let everyone else’s bullshit go.

The second thing I saw — again, with absolute clarity — the only way to fully negate bullshit’s impact was brutal honesty (to myself about myself within myself). Think of it as confession except you’re the church, the confession booth and the priest. You know where all your bodies are buried — FFS, YOU’RE THE ONE WHO BURIED THEM.

The third thing I saw — clearest of all: I had the power, within me, to overcome virtually every last bit of bullshit’s hold on me. All I had to do was want it. And be willing to work at it every single day.

We live in dark times. Dark forces are actively working to create a permanent state of darkness. That’s not hyperbole unfortunately.

Human beings thinking innovatively is a very recent phenomenon. For thousands of years, human armies fought pretty much the exact same way with very little improvement in technology. Even gunpowder didn’t really change the close-at-hand, colliding walls of humans battlefield strategy that persisted through World War I.

In his excellent book Sapiens, Juval Harrari points out how it really wasn’t until the industrial age that humans even imagined that tomorrow could be better than today. Up until technology became an instrument of commerce, it was generally understood that human beings were living in the fading afterglow of a long ago golden age. No one aspired to be anything other than what they were born as. What was the point?

And then humans realized — slowly — that that way of thinking was wrong. It wasn’t based on anything other than false perception and groupthink. Groupthink that went on for thousands of years.

Think of a subject like marijuana — and how our whole way of thinking of it was colored not by the truth, but by one man’s racist intent. We made up laws to punish people for reasons the people crafting the laws knew wasn’t true. That’s all very deliberate — and every last bit of it is bullshit.

In places like California and Oregon and Colorado, we consciously decided to stop thinking one way and start thinking a different way.

The Rule Of Law isn’t just under assault in America, it needs an armed guard to piss in the middle of the night. The Republican Party — especially Mitch McConnell — stopped playing by any such “rules” years ago in pursuit of a project determined to install permanent minority rule. Meanwhile the Democrats have made themselves prisoners of the Rule Of Law.

That’s the fatal flaw at the Rule Of Law’s heart — those who follow it will always be prisoners of those bent on perverting it. Yes, we can prosecute rule-breakers, but when the people charged with creating and enforcing the rules are the ones most intent on breaking them — not much good can come of it.

In my daily life — wanting to get healthy — I cut bullshit from my diet as much as I can. I feel better for it — for real. I walk around most of the time in a perpetual state of bliss. It ain’t the limotrigine, the therapy or the THC doing that — it’s the minimalization of bullshit in my daily diet.

The same way we can set ourselves up for failure, we can set ourselves up for success. It’s all a matter of how you look at it. But you do have to look at it.

Let’s Say We DO Put Donald Trump Behind Us — Okay… What Then?

We want to believe that, in the end, Good will triumph over Evil.  But just because we believe something, that doesn’t make it true.  Humans used to believe the earth was the center of the universe.  Fortunately, enough humans learned (via scientific curiosity and scientific discovery) that we are in fact nowhere near the center of the universe.  Having learned that fact, most of us put ignorance behind us.

Trumpism is Republicanism on steroids.  It’s permanent minority rule meant to bake racism, bigotry, misogyny, corruption and even treason into our culture so we can never escape them.  Mitch McConnell has stated openly that his proudest achievement was denying Barack Obama is rightful SCOTUS pick.  That wasn’t just Obama, Moscow Mitch denied, it was WE THE PEOPLE — the MAJORITY who voted for Obama BECAUSE we wanted HIS SCOTUS pick.

Mitch McConnell is a big part of Trumpism. If Mitch doesn’t blackmail Obama at the September 2016 Gang of Eigjht WH Meeting — insisting that if Obama told We The People that Russia was attacking our election on Trump’s behalf that he’d accuse Obama of politicizing the intelligence — We The People would have approached election 2016 differently.  We’d have known, as we voted, that we were under cyber attack.  I bet that would have changed the conversation going INTO the election and (even with Trump’s cheating) would have likely changed the election’s (stolen) outcome.

I have faith that the massive influx of women into our electoral system and politics will change the culture drastically.  Male, unilateral “I alone can fix it” thinking has brought us to the edge of destruction.  2020 won’t put an end to male unilateral thinking, but it should make it harder for that thinking to dominate ever again.

We can’t just get through this, heave a sigh of relief and get on with things.  That will invite repetition.  We need to deal with this right here, right now.  We need to investigate, indict, prosecute & punish every single person who conspired in any way, shape or form with Donald Trump.  That means almost every single Republican.

This mess flows directly from allowing Republicans to compromise The Rule Of Law.   Having The Rule Of Law back means following it 100%.   That means if someone violated The Rule Of Law, they must be punished.  It means that anyone who KNEW the law was being violated — and did nothing — they also must be punished since their silence was complicity if not obstruction of justice. 

So — to fix this mess, first we have to stop the criminals from doing criminal things.  We have to stop Donald Trump from committing treason as he sits in the White House.  We have to stop Trump and the GOP from obstructing our ability to investigate their wrongdoing.  We have to learn EVERYTHING about what Russia (and Saudi Arabia and Israel and Turkey and the UAE) did and are doing to violate our sovereignty and integrity.

Once we understand the full nature of what was done, we must begin to UN-DO it.  None of it can stand or remain.  NONE OF IT.  That’s not just because I don’t like it — it’s because it has no legal standing to remain.  If Donald Trump did not legitimately WIN election 2016 (if he cheated — relying on Russia to MAKE him POTUS), then he is not now and never actually was president.  A guy sitting in YOUR car in YOUR driveway, honking the horn is NOT the car’s owner no matter how much he says he is.  YOU are. YOU have receipts establishing your ownership.  He has nothing.

Our Democracy cannot survive having the will of the people subverted.  If we do that, we’re not a Democracy anymore; the majority has no power over the minority — no power to see their will enacted, legislated, made real.  When the point of the exercise is to keep the majority’s will from EVER being made real — that cannot be us.

To right our Ship Of State, we have to batten down the hatches.  We have to acknowledge that we are at war — under attack by a hostile foreign power bent on destroying us.  We must see that our crisis is extra-Constitutional; just as the Constitution fails to anticipate a treasonous POTUS, We The People will have to look outside the Constitution for our remedy.

This has never happened to us before.  There is no precedent.  The only thing close to it is slavery.  We continue to pay for our Constitutional compromise with slavery.  We cannot make a second such compromise and survive.  In order to guarantee ourselves that “this” never happens again, We The People must:

·  VOID Every Last Election 2016 Result if won by a candidate who cannot account for every penny of their campaign’s financing; if any money from any foreign power found its way into their coffers? They’re gone.

·  VOID every single judge Donald Trump nominated (and every judge Mitch McConnell shoved through the Senate). As Trump never had the authority to nominate those judges, they have no “authority” to sit.

·  VOID every last piece of Republican legislation enacted since Trump was sworn in. That includes his tax cut for the rich.

·  VOID every last change to every federal agency. We reset the meters to the moment before Trump was sworn in and start rebuilding and legislating from there.

·  CREATE STRONG, BINDING, IRONCLAD LEGISLATION that makes it flat out ILLEGAL to “steal data, traffic in stolen data, buy stolen data, sell stolen data or USE stolen data. Same goes for receiving ANYTHING from ANY foreign government.

·  QUICKLY CRAFT & ENACT LEGISLATION that overrides Citizens United and removes as much money as possible from our politics. We blow up the revolving door that sits between government work and lobbying.

·  ENACT TERM LIMITS on Congress. 3 or 4 terms for Congress, 2 for the Senate.

·  LIMIT THE POWER OF THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH.

·  ACKNOWLEDGE that WE ARE AT WAR WITH RUSSIA.

·  We aggressively PURSUE restoring every relationship with every ally.

·  We SANCTION the shit out of Vladimir Putin & Russia.

·  We AGGRESSIVELY PURSUE every asset Donald Trump & his family own or have a stake in. We PROSECUTE Trump & his family to the very fullest extent of the law. Wherever possible, we seize Trump’s property either use it for the American people or sell it — and use the funds to begin paying for the giant bloody mess Donald Trump has created.

That’s just for starters.  The more we learn through investigating these scumbags, the more, I’m sure, we’ll need to investigate, prosecute and punish.

If we really want our country back, it’s incumbent on each and every one of us to do everything WE can to MAKE it happen.

America’s Love Affair With STUPID: Part 4 — We’re ALL Stupid & That’s A Fact

The sign of a really stupid person is they’re convinced they aren’t and have never been stupid. Boy, are they wrong. And stupid.

America is filled with people — almost all of them men — who are completely convinced that 1) they have never been wrong because, 2) that would be stupid and, 3) they are not stupid. Let’s all promise to try and NOT be like them, okay? It’s just a fact. We’re all stupid. We’re all less smart than we think because, the fact is, we’re a lot less aware than we think. More now than ever.

Quick — go to your front door (or a window that looks out onto the street). Throw it open. Count to ten. Now close the door (or turn from the window). Tell us everything you saw. E v e r y t h i n g . Don’t leave out a thing. What — too much to remember? All that information was available to you. It’s on you that you could only take in so much. Even if you could have spit back a good list of obvious things — houses, cars, trees, people — how much detail could you have gone into about each? Zilch, I bet.

Don’t blame yourself. You’re human.

And, being human, we only observe certain kinds of light. We only hear certain frequenciess of sound. Never mind the information available to us that we miss — there’s a veritable shitload of information flying at us to which we are operationally blind. Our original equipment is incapable of perceiving it.

I bring this up because that is so directly analogous to our current effing mess.

On the one hand, loads of information says Donald Trump, his crime family, his associates, his whole freakin’ political party ffs are, to a man, criminals who’ve given up on the Rule Of Law. That information has been staring at us for almost 3 years now. Yet here we sit… A big whack of corroborating information sits inside the 448 page Mueller Report, out more than a month now for all to see. Yet most Americans — including all but one Republican in Congress — still haven’t read it.

All this information — important information, too — it’s there, ready to be absorbed like aloe into dry skin. And yet… What part of that ISN’T stupid? You have the knowledge you need to solve the problem in front of you — but you resist taking in the knowledge? I almost can’t get my head around the fact that such a thought exists. That so much stupidity exists.

I live in TrumpWorld. I need to get over myself. I’m being stupid otherwise.

How Bad Is It? For The First Time, I’m Not Entirely Sure How This Shit-Show Turns Out…

I’ll own it: I over-bet on Robert Mueller and the Mueller Report. I over-bet on his reputation as a soldier and as a law enforcement professional. I over-bet on a career spent inside the box thinking outside the box.

None of that’s on Robert Mueller. It’s all on me. Instead of filling the silence with despair like a Bergman movie, I filled it with hope. I thought all the clear criminality I could see (well, me and a lot of the twittersphere — the detail-oriented, back-it-up-or-it’s-bullshit part of the twittersphere) was sitting there like a ball on a batting T. All Team Mueller had to do was pick up a bat.

Even that was a problem apparently. Robert Mueller felt hemmed in by that Department of Justice memo meant to keep Spiro Agnew from pardoning Richard Nixon. We’re riding the leading edge of an historical ripple effect — an unintended consequence of tragic proportions. Unable to charge a sitting president — and reluctant apparently to anger Trump by charging his children (and risk his work product being destroyed), Robert Mueller pulled his punches. He tipped everything in Congress’ direction.

But — here’s where I over-bet again — Mueller didn’t count on his good friend Bill Barr betraying him by completely mischaracterizing his work product — by telling America that he, Robert Mueller, had just let Trump off the hook. Mueller didn’t count on Bill Barr being there for the express purpose of obstructing the very justice Robert Mueller had just spent 2 1/2 years pursuing. Mueller has raised his voice and complained. He even broke ranks — a little — to insist that we all read his report.

He’s right. Everyone should. A lot of very painful truth sits inside those 448 pages. It defies explanation that the Truth sits there — right in the middle of us — yet the villains of the piece continue to walk free — as if they’ve bamboozled not just us but logic itself.

Personally, I don’t care if Robert Mueller says he’ll only repeat what’s in his report if called before Congress. He’s a private citizen now. No special privileges. You get called, you answer. The questions we have won’t necessarily concern just what’s inside that report. There’s the relationship with Bill Barr that needs looking into. Mr. Mueller will have to answer those questions. He’ll be under oath.

But why should it come to that? Why isn’t Robert Mueller demanding an hour of prime time to speak directly to the American People?

Yeah… I over-bet big time.

I’m an optimistic person by nature. Never Say Die. That’s me. I believe there are enough good people to overcome this shit. I’m not sure what will be left when we get finished pulling it back from the career criminals that used to be the Republican Party. I appreciate that Nancy Pelosi wants to do this by the book. The Rule Of Law is or it isn’t.

Great thought. Noble as hell. But the Rule Of Law takes time — and I’m not sure that time’s on the schedule. Sometimes, you have to work with what you have. If time’s short, Madame Speaker — you need to improvise a little. Just sayin’.

Today, Donald Trump outed himself completely. He must know that Donald Trump Junior is about to get nailed for knowingly taking info from foreign sources. Trump and the republican party are blasting away the obstacles that say that’s not just unacceptable, it’s illegal. Not anymore it isn’t, not anymore.

Rachel Maddow said something tonight that got me thinking. We expected that once all this got out into the light, nature would take its course. Law enforcement would “happen” because that’s how the Rule Of Law works. Except the Rule Of Law’s gone missing.

Today, watching Republicans not respond to Trump’s inviting every foreign country on the planet to have a go at our elections, it struck me how screwed up we are. From the moment it became clear that Trump was going to be the republican nominee, I’ve been yawping that Trump would be the end of the republican party. He absolutely has been.

I didn’t for two seconds imagine however that Trump would be the end of the Republic, too.

A bad outcome isn’t written in stone. But the republicans made it crystal clear today just how ugly this is going to have to get before there’s any chance of it getting better. Trump knows for a fact: the instant he stops being POTUS, his legal nightmares begin. He will go to prison — IF he ever stops being POTUS. The same now applies to the whole damned republican party. They, too, have thrown all in. (Shriveled, old) balls to the wall.

We are going to be subjected to a Bond Movie ending that gets bigger and bigger, louder and more complicated with a Teflon villain who just won’t go down. We The People are the majority. We WILL get to the other side of this.

I just worry about what-all will still be here to save.