Rivers found that TV was reality last week; watches an insurrection live.

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

January 13th, 2021



It seems that watching TV is about all there is to do during this lockdown.  I was looking for something exciting to watch on the channels last Wednesday and boy did I find it.  In fact I could swear I was only picking up one of those action movies on Netflix.

insurection 1a

Americans had never seen anything like this before.

It was pretty fast moving though I kept thinking that I could probably have done a better job on the script and with the staging.   Those police characters were getting walked over by the mob.  Where was the army?  After all, the last time the US Capitol got attacked it was by invading British troops in 1814.

And the invading squad seemed pretty authentic except for that nutter with the bull horns costume on his head.  And where was the superhero who also shows up at times like these?  I almost expected to see an Adam Schiff or Nancy Pelosi grab those invading bums by the scruff (or horns) and single handedly Sock!!! Pow!!! and Wham!!! them until they cried out UNCLE.

horned man

Rioter seen frequently on TV screens. Will be seen in a Court House in the near future -minus the horns.

And the script was America classic.  I mean by the time the army (National Guard) showed up, dressed to the nines in riot gear with gas masks, and everything you’d expect but armoured personal carriers, it was all but over.  Some of the clowns hung around thinking there might be a second scene to this movie – or maybe to give out autographs, but this movie, ‘insurrection’ was over.

The reality is that this attempted coup was far more serious than it seemed when sitting two metres from the TV screen.  For one thing it’s pretty clear it had been premeditated.  For his part Trump had primed his fans and this particular mob for weeks with his lies about the election.  He and his pal Rudy actually told them to march to the Capitol building and fight for him.  And there was something fishy about how long it took for federal troops to arrive.

The rioters were prepared for a serious occupation of the legislative building.  They brought an assortment  of assault weapons, Molotov cocktails, pipe bombs for distraction, wrist-tie straps for the hostages, and instruments to enable breaching the entrances.  This had to be a planned invasion of the Congress, a takeover of the government and a plan to capture the political representatives as hostages – or did they always carry this kind of weaponry with them when they travelled.

These people – the Proud Boys, Q-Anon and other right wing extremist and conspiracy theorists – were looking for trouble.   They were violent and aggressive.  Four people died in the melee including one police officer and a rioter whose laser weapon accidentally nuked his family jewels.   How do his kids explain to their classmates how their daddy died?


The troops were not on hand at the beginning.

The capital police force was outnumbered eight to one and over 50 officers suffered serious injuries and beatings.  Their call for assistance from the DC National Guard was ignored by Trump’s hand picked military leaders until the fighting was pretty much over.   Members of the Senate and House of Representatives had to be sequestered for safety in a crowded room and mostly without face masks.  One 75 year old congresswomen has since been diagnosed with COVID as a result.

There was something about what I saw that made me think it could be a 1950’s movie.  Most of the folks on the screen were white, especially those in the mob.   Recall the way which the mostly peaceful Black Lives Matter (BLM) demonstrations last summer were handled by the authorities.  There was no shortage of military uniforms and tear gas on parade back then.

Of course the BLM protesters were neither armed nor were they trying to occupy the Congress.  They were just asking not to be killed wantonly by the police.  If ever anyone doubted white privilege, they’d just need to review the tape of the assault on the US legislation by the president’s men.

trump flags

Trump speaking to the rioters before they marched on the Capital

Trump tried and he failed.  Whether he is impeached or not, his future in US politics is over, and so is that of his family.  The House of Representatives is charging him with inciting an insurrection against the legislative branch of the US government.   It is very likely that he will have to face judgement in the US criminal system as well.

Trump may yet avoid judgement for this sedition or his tax evasion and other crimes.  Perhaps he’ll seek asylum somewhere in a nation more friendly to him.  There was an unsubstantiated report that a rioters who was arrested had requested a Russian translator – that should make anyone wonder about who this mob really was.

The FBI has warned more violence is likely on the way for inauguration day.  One can only wonder what Trump really meant when he promised to make America great again.   It certainly hasn’t improved television viewing.

Rivers hand to faceRay Rivers was born and raised in Ontario and earned a degree in economics at the University of Ontario.  He taught at a university in New Zealand for a period of time and then earned a Masters degree in economics at the University of Ottawa.  His 25 year stint with the federal government included time with Environment, Fisheries and Oceans, Agriculture and the Post office.

After leaving the federal government he consulted for private sector and government clients.  Ray became Executive Director for an organic farm certification organization and then executive director of Clean Air Canada, an environmental emissions trading company.

Rivers completed his first historical novel The End of September in 2012.  This story about what might have happened had Quebecers voted for sovereignty association in that first referendum in 1980 is set in Ottawa and Montreal.

He has been active in his community including ratepayers groups, a food bank, environmental organizations, community journalism, policing and community associations and service clubs, churches, boy scouts, and community theatre.

Background links:

Capital Police –   White Lies Matter More –    Trump Limits Guard Role

Trump Lies     Trump and White Males 

Russian Translator –     Trump’s Team –      Trumps Incitement

National Guard and Trump

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2 comments to Rivers found that TV was reality last week; watches an insurrection live.

  • Thank you, Ray, for another elegant and insightful perspective. I agree with all your points though, as you know, I would have gone further.

    In the coming months, even years, we will see many in the U.S. fall into the trap (likely designed for this) of laying all the blame on Trump. But, while there is not a shred of blame he does NOT deserve, it must be said and discussed that he, like Hitler, was merely the front man for a very well entrenched cabal which has been seeking dictatorial power at least since the days of Franklin D. Roosevelt. This cabal is already going back underground and will rise again as it sees the next chance.

    One example of the cabal’s activity is the utter failure at the federal level in the administration of the Covid vaccine. The cabal has tried since its inception to eliminate Medicare and Medicaid. Now, when Medicare for all is introduced again they will blare out that one has only to look at the failed federal response (which they engineered) to see that government run health care is a disastrous choice. A major source of the cabal’s funding is the private health insurance industry. This is so obvious, but it will be missed by many, as evidenced by the 74 million fools who voted to reelect this criminal syndicate.

  • Fred Pritchard

    You are correct. This was a combination of a failed tin pot dictator whipping up a crowd, racism by those in charge of security who thought white people would behave, and the traitors that trump appointed to lead the dod to prevent the national guard from restoring order.

    Now reports that very right wing republicans gave a tour to terrorist leaders of the capital prior to the riot. This rot goes deep into the right wing to hold power at any cost. From elected members, to incompetent people appointed by trump, to enablers who want to suck on the tit of the 400m trump slush fund, to the outright lies put forth by the fox network.

    Everyone who conspired to this needs to be jailed. New laws to regulate the difference between news and entertainment pretending to be news must be brought forward. More needs to be done to disband racist right wing hate groups that infest the republican party in the US and the Conservative party here in Canada.

    It is time for the conservatives to boot these types from their “tents”.