When All is Said and Done, History Will Tell the Tale.

When All is Said and Done,                History Will Tell the Tale.

April 17, 2020

Today the planet is in the midst of a deadly pandemic, an event that will have a prominent position in World History. It will chronicle the origin of the disease, its spread, and how we deal with a long period of mortal jeopardy amongst the world’s population.

As nations integrated into the global economy, international travel barriers fell giving rise to other global modes of agriculture, artistic expression, politics, sports, finance, communication, recreation, and other activities.  The resulting commerce put many people on “the go.” Hitchhiking on unknowingly infected travelers, COVID-19 spores rapidly scattered far and wide from the virus’s origin. Once ensconced on a continent the sickness spread with no regard for political power or borders. 

Clearly the nations of the world were poorly prepared to combat, control, and defeat this plague in its early stages.  This was despite years of warnings from medical professionals and research scientists that a global pandemic was on the horizon and it wasn’t a matter of “if” but “when” this potential tragedy would materialize.

Now that the pandemic is here, medical experts and politicians advise the best way to be safe and help others be safe, is to stay the hell away from one another for an as yet unspecified period. 

This modern-day plague has already taken a horrendous toll in lives, grief, and psyches around the world. Death statistics are expected to worsen before they peak in several population-dense areas across America. Other regions and nations of the world are wrestling against differing stages of the virus, depending both on when the disease arrived and the local wherewithal to combat it. Timing – as to when leaders grasped the urgency to take steps to control disease’s spread – is another differentiator. 

Shamefully few COVID-19 testing kits are available and breathing ventilators urgently needed by the most seriously inflicted are in short supply. While the virus has been free to blossom everywhere on the planet, its greatest hot spots have been the land of the free and the home of the brave – the single most advanced country in the world.

In hindsight it is beyond any doubt that America’s initial response to the pandemic was woefully political rather than scientific. Having shut down the country’s Office of Pandemic Planning years before, POTUS had no government experts to call on in this time of need. So, based solely on the wishful thinking that fuels his infamous ”gut instinct,” POTUS assured America in no uncertain words that the pandemic simply would never reach our shores.  When his fingers-crossed hope fell apart, he doubled-down on the fantasy with his equally-unfounded assurance that the situation was under control and that the disease would be isolated and defeated completely in a week or two.

Stumbling blindfolded with his pants around his knees he nonetheless proclaimed that his perfect response to the pandemic would be hailed as heroism in history.  

Pure Delusion

Meanwhile, despite the president’s premature proclamation that test kits were available to anyone who wants one, the kits were and are still in short supply. The truth is, he made up this “fact” on the fly; one of many that existed nowhere except in his personal arsenal of FAKE NEWS.  This lie was particularly pernicious because test kits are pivotal to knowing when it is safe to lift a quaranteen in a given area. Rather than taking steps to expedite test kit production it was easier and far less expensive to give short term false hope to Americans.  

His empathy is underwhelming.

Researchers are rushing to invent a safe and effective vaccine against this microscopic killer, but the most optimistic estimates anticipate one will not be available for at least six to twelve months.  In the meantime POTUS continues to stumble around.  One day he proclaims to be Constitutionally all powerful – the King and sole decision maker in the land.  The next day someone apparently pointed out to him that as King he would be primarily responsible for any and all failures in the long road back to normal. Accordingly, he spun 180 degrees and off-loaded the responsibility-laden authority to decide when and how to open the states to their respective governors. 

Now both POTUS and Sargent Schultz can safely say, “I know nothing” when accountability time rolls around.

Not to be left out, long after the fact we learn that the Multi Trillion Dollar Stimulus Package supposedly passed by Congress to help Americans pay for the necessities of life during this crisis, had a hidden trap door built in. Senate leader Mitch McConnell & Co added a provision that showers nearly $200,000,000,000  onto his wealthy but in some way impoverished corporate and personal supporters.  

Americans in mortal crises deserve the truth now more than ever.  How can anyone trust a president who has proven almost daily that he has no qualms about broadcasting convenient, self-serving lies? Likewise, how can anyone stomach a cynical, long time power broker who diverts funds intended for people in need to the contributors who own him?

But Still There Is Hope

At Long Last It’s 2020.

In November Let’s Make Truth & Justice the American Way Again.

 

 

In Deep Jeopardy

In Deep Jeopardy

Trump is acquitted, but he will forever be known as one of only three Presidents ever to have been impeached. He was by no means exonerated, though he was not removed from the White House either.

When his impeachment trial was over, some Republican Senators/Jurors openly admitted that Trump was certainly guilty of the charges brought before them, but his misdemeanors were not severe enough to be a cause for concern. 

Extortion must be a petty crime these days.

Everybody not hypnotized by FOX News has seen a great deal of evidence that confirms Trump has broken the law. He’s a bonafide criminal – but he was acquitted. He and his minions, especially a deranged Dershowitz, completely scammed the Senate and created a potential major imbalance of power among the branches of the Federal Government in the process.

Well, that’s not entirely true. In fact it was a foregone conclusion requiring no further scams that Trump would be acquitted. By a margin of just a few votes, he owns the Senate because he owns Mitch O’Connell, a man of lofty convictions and principles who, in 2015, emphatically proclaimed Trump as totally unfit to be POTUS. 

The champaign and beer are free flowing at Mara Logo again.  Who knows? Perhaps now the G-20 will convene there and line Trump’s pockets after all. The presidential extortionist immobilized the Congress – not with his bang, but with their whimpers. 

Are we on the brink of the failure of the Democratic Republic of America?  Has the experiment, crafted so insightfully, presciently and elegantly by the founding fathers, finally been perverted sufficiently to have run its course? Is a cabal of self-serving legislators and executive heads of state shredding the Constitution, the document that defines an American’s rights and the responsibilities to protect them? 

Do we simply not care that :

  • we have a President who can never be trusted to tell any part of the Truth (a pivotal Constitutional responsibility for all)?
  • we have a President who’s had enough reasons to lie more than a thousand times to maintain his own alternate world of “alternate” truths?
  • we have a President who tramples the Constitutionally defined separation of powers among the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of our democracy.
  • we have a President  who will stop at nothing to consolidate his power by preying on law makers’ and administrators’ fear of him and their penchant to protect their lucrative positions of public trust at any cost?
  • we have a President who has alienated America from some of its staunchest allies and embraced and idolizes some of the world’s most autocratic tyrants?
  • we have a President who has been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt to have extorted the newly elected president of an allied nation (under siege by Russia) to actively help his own re-election efforts?
  • we have a President who openly invited America’s two most formidable adversaries, China and Russia, to meddle in US Presidential elections on his behalf – begging them on national TV to be complicit with his campaigns. That is treasonous, plain & simple.
  • we have a President who has cheapened the Presidential Office into a comedy show of infantile insults, blatant lies, and pejorative nicknames of political adversaries.
  • we have a President who speaks in wildly self-centered superlatives lauding every thing he does as perfection unprecedented in history: “the best ever” “there’s never been anything like it” “nothing comes close” etc.
  • we have a President who relies on his regal minions to thwart the release of anything that might expose his illegal actions, lies, or other wrongdoings.

This is not a resume that should be attributable to a President of the United States.

Those who like him because he’s brash, or “he tells it like it is” are swallowing our adversaries’ bait. If telling it like it is includes extortion, undermining our allies, and blind trust in the leaders of China, Russia, and North Korea, we need to fix the world “like it is.”

An unforgiving History will track the series of events and capitulations that have created this ignoble scenario. That’s the perpetrators’ inescapable problem now.

It is what it is, but it should not be.

We need to choose how it will be with the votes that are counted after November’s election. If we look ahead we might realize that Donald J. Trump is assembling the puzzle pieces he needs to become a despot, be it as a dictator, or a King.  Whether he chooses to rule a dynasty or as royalty will be defined by how he bequeaths his position to his family.

I hate that America has been dragged to this brink. I have never before been so distraught over the sickness of our American Democracy.  There are too many greedy capitulators and no obvious brave heroes left in the Republican Party. Apparently, John McCain was the last of a dying breed.

We, the American voters, have to either set things right or prepare to scatter the ashes of our Democracy.

A Feeling I’d Never Experienced

A Feeling I’d Never Experienced

Despite never having a dog of my own until manhood, I’m a lifelong dog lover.  Doris and I adopted my first dog, Brandy, three years after we wed. Brandy was a mixed breed one-year-old that we rescued from the local Humane Society.  She was a sweet dog, gentle with our babies and a spectacular Frisbee catcher who loved going airborne to pluck a disk out of the sky.

We loved Brandy for eight years before she passed away from a sudden debilitating disease.  It was a sad time for all of us.  I felt especially guilty that the poor dog spent so much of her days alone, waiting for one of us to come home from work or school.  It wasn’t fair to her. Like most dogs, she just craved attention but got too little from our family on-the-go.  I vowed not to get another dog until I could give it the time and attention it deserved.

As many who know me are aware, when Doris and I moved to Maine to start our early retirement, we got a miniature Australian Shepherd (a.k.a. American Shepherd) we named Charley.  He joined our lives at eight weeks old, nearly nine years ago. I craved to be a dog owner again and vowed this time I would do it right.  Charley has long been a full-fledged, card-carrying member of our family with almost all rights and privileges attendant thereto (except relieving himself indoors), and is similarly acknowledged by our daughter’s and son’s families.

Charley is my shadow and I’m his. Whenever possible, he goes where I go.  He has a disposition that, if emulated by most people, would make nuclear weapons and the United Nations obsolete.  He is bright, smiley, affectionate, playful, popular, obedient, patient and eager to like anyone he meets. He plays well with other dogs (he has a fascination with licking their ears for some reason) right up until they show an interest in his food bowl or try to be too friendly with me.

Charley is not just smart, he’s really smart. We were living on Orr’s Island in Harpswell, Maine when we brought Charley home from an upstate breeder in Litchfield.  Within less than a week, Charley (an eight week old ball of fur) knew to go to the front door to be let outside when he had to “go.” Our 400-foot driveway was a long and somewhat serpentine hill that ended in front of our house on Long Cove. For exercise (Charley’s, not mine) I would put a tennis ball into the socket of a “chucker” and throw the ball far up the driveway.  Charley would run up the hill, retrieve it, and bring it back to me so I could throw it for him again.  This lasted a few months before Charley changed the game.  One day, after running up the hill to retrieve the ball as usual, he started down the driveway but then stopped.  He looked down at me, tilted his head to one side, laid down on his stomach on the macadam, and rolled the ball down the hill to me. That was the way we played from then on. He figured it out all on his own and after a while had learned where to release the ball so that it didn’t fall off either side of the curves in the driveway.

When we moved from Maine to our present home, a condominium, we made sure we found one with a hill.

We never “crated” him – he’s always been welcome in our room on our bed any time.  Dog trainers (actually dog-owner trainers) ) were surprised at how quickly he learned and responded to commands. I easily trained him to come to me when I called him or whistled two specific notes.  Many folks in our neighborhood of more than 60 condominiums know and like Charley.

In early September 2019 we made our familiar hour-and-forty-five-minute trek to our daughter and son-in-law’s home to help care for three of our grandchildren (our son and daughter-in-law have #4) while ‘mom’ was away for three days.  Of course, Charley was with us.  Our eldest grandchild, four-year-old Maddy, had earlier explained to Hunni (Doris) and Pop (me) that while Charley lived with us, he was our dog, but when he was at their house Charley was their dog.

All went well.  I drove my daughter to the airport on Thursday evening and she returned safely late the following Sunday.  The kids were good all weekend and  Hunni and Pop were prepared to return home after breakfast on Monday. At 3:30 Monday morning, Charley woke Doris with the whimper he uses to let us know he’s got to “go.”  She forced her way from under the covers, turned on the light on Charley’s collar, flipped on the back yard light and opened the door for Charley to go relieve himself.

Our daughter’s back yard is fully fenced in and has three gates. I’d checked to make sure all three were closed when we arrived on Thursday, and found that one was ajar.  The fence is old and the latch on that particular gate doesn’t align well with the fence.  I force-straightened the gate so that the latch could close, gave it a shake to see if it held, and moved on when it did.

After five minutes Doris called for Charley to return, but he didn’t.  She asked me to try so I pulled on some warmer clothes and my sneakers, grabbed a flashlight and went outside to see why he didn’t answer Doris’s call.

He didn’t answer because he wasn’t there.

When I went to each of the gates to check the locks I found that the one I’d forced together had come apart, leaving just enough space for Charley to fit through.  I called for Charley and whistled the two tones from there, confident that he would come running back from wherever he was, as had happened almost always over the years.

This time, he didn’t come.

I felt panic rising from my heart when he didn’t answer my call.  I called louder as I walked beyond the fence and I started what turned out to be a two-day repetitive monologue asking God to help me find him. Aware that it was nearly 4:00 a.m. I tried to temper my calls of “Charley – Come” and started what must ultimately been hundreds of two-note whistles.

This wasn’t the first time Charley had disappeared, but it was the first time he had done it south of Maine.  When we lived in Maine we had three acres of woods of our own and access to trails along the shore that began about a hundred yards from the end of our driveway.  Charley and I used to walk those trails at least once a week.  He never strayed from me there, but on occasion he chased a deer or just followed a scent around into the woods.  Most times, when I bellowed “Charley, Come!” within a minute or two he’d come running to me full blast, with a big smile on his face and ears pinned back.

The few times he failed to come, I’d drive my pick-up within a radius of half mile of home calling for him.  In less than an hour I’d either find him or Doris would call me to say he’d come home.  Each time, though, I had to fight down the fear that I might never see him again.

And now, I was prowling the suburban streets near my daughter’s house in Warren, New Jersey, calling and whistling for Charley in the early morning dark, silently asking God to let me have him back.

I learned a fair amount about Social Media shortly after sunrise that Monday.  While I was illuminating front yards on both sides of the adjacent roads with my flashlight, Lauren had sent an all points bulletin about Charley on her neighborhood’s Facebook page. Later, cruising the roads in the early daylight, I saw a gathering of mothers and children waiting on a street corner for the school bus. As I slowed towards the intersection one of the mothers flagged me down to tell me that she saw the Facebook posting and that she had heard her neighbor’s dog barking early that morning.  She said this was a dog that normally didn’t bark.  I was impressed that this good lady knew about my lost dog and was deeply concerned about Charley.  I thanked her sincerely for the only tip I had so far.

Lauren also Messaged her cross street neighbors, including my tipster, to ask if I might  look in their back yards for Charley.  With 10 minutes all of them had responded ‘yes’ and wished us luck.  I spent an hour or so in those back yards but heard only the high pitched barking of the nice lady’s backyard neighbor’s little dog.

Meanwhile, Doris took up the vigil of waiting outside at Lauren’s to be there if and when Charley returned on his own.  After seeing our two granddaughters off to school, Lauren drove around the vicinity and suggested that I might want to go to the top of the steep mountainside that ended the backyards of the homes directly across the street.  She gave me the driving directions to the backside of the mountain (nothing like the Rockies, but steep nonetheless) to a forested area at its top.  When I zeroed out my car’s trip odometer I measured that the road into the woods was .8 of a mile.  I parked my car and walked about 2.5 miles traversing those woods.  By the time I returned to Lauren’s home I was worn out physically and emotionally. The day was approaching evening and the daylight that I’d hoped would reveal Charley was fading away.

Doris asked me to change places and let her drive around looking for him for a while.  I agreed, so she took the wheel and I took the vigil chair.  There I sat with a blanket wrapped around me like a cape, my arms crossed, head down, and eyes closed.  It was then, because I was alone, that I allowed myself to cry – deeper and painfully. There and then I resumed my monologue to God.  I pleaded through the tears with Him/Her to let me find Charley.

I’d long ago realized my vulnerability to the significant price of grief/pain I will pay if I survive Doris or, God forbid, any of my kids or grandkids.  It is the ultimately high cost of love.  After nearly nine years, I was beginning to feel the leading edge of pain from the present possibility of Charley’s loss – a loss compounded by the likelihood that we might never know how or why we lost him.

One might observe that I’d obviously lost my sensibilities and my priorities in caring for a dog this much. Those who ever had a dog are more likely to cut me some slack on that observation. If they knew Charley they’d probably understand even better. When my neighbors back home heard that we couldn’t find Charley, more than a few of them were moved to tears.  Our closest neighbor told me that her reaction was that it felt like she’d lost her brother.

I am one who believes we have/are immortal souls and love is a product of the mind, body, and soul.  I am convinced that the purpose of life is to carry and reinforce our souls.  The size and capabilities of souls many differ, but they are all immortal.  No one dies completely, not my parents, not my teachers or friends, not even the souls of my worst tormentors totally expire. I am convinced that Charley is also a soul because he is obviously capable of love.

It was in moments of dwindling hope that I might ever see Charley again that I was compelled to find the real reason he was gone.  What had I done to deserve this?  Somehow, I felt totally responsible for his disappearance. I ended that Monday trying to understand what I had to atone for.  I thought of one possible reason for God’s anger.  Despite knowing that God does not negotiate, I tried to strike up a deal with Him/Her over it.  Whether or not I could have Charley back, I vowed to banish that reason forever. I promised.  It was all I could think of to do beyond looking everywhere for him.

By nightfall I was drained, so I slept.

When I awoke on Tuesday I immediately checked the open garage and the back yard. My hope that he might have returned during the night was erased.

I knew that time was my enemy.  The longer Charley remained lost the less likely it became that we would find him.  Since failing to come home was against all of his characterized behavior, I could only think Charley was unable to come to us for some reason.  Had he been stolen?  Possibly, but who could have tried to take him at 3:30 in the morning? Had he been run over by a car or truck? Had he run down a deer and been kicked when it tried to defend itself?  This was a more plausible reason, but still not likely. Earlier in the year a bear was seen loping around my daughter’s neighborhood. The sightings were confirmed when the animal’s visits were caught on several home security cameras.  Had Charley fallen prey to some other animal in the woods?

With each click of the clock the situation became bleaker. My hope of finding him was dwindling as my despair was ramping up.  After another morning in the woods, this time armed with his squeaky toy, I returned to Lauren’s house having had no luck. In the privacy of the basement bedroom Doris and I used, I lied down and prayed to God to keep Charley safe.  Then I berated myself for wasting what time I had left to find him before returning home to Connecticut.  The idea of leaving without Charley was horrible, so I got out of bed and grabbed by car keys and the squeaky toy to continue my search.

Tim and Lauren’s home is on a dead end road. A 20-foot wide deer run separates the end of the street from the back yards of new houses under construction on another street. The deer run is perpendicular to the dead end of the street. I hadn’t yet ventured up that steep slope so I climbed half way up the hill and called for Charley while squeezing the toy for a half-hour, all to no avail.  By this time my mind and soul were just numb.  I had spent two days with the ugly notion that I might never see Charley again. Doris, Lauren and I had covered almost all of the territory where he might have been if he was not dead or dognapped.

As I drove my car back to the house, I noticed the neighbors’ houses and back yards where I had begun my search. At that moment a small hopeful feeling broke through the numbness and whispered that I should look there again.  This was the area described by the young woman who said her back yard neighbor’s dog had been barking in the early morning hours of Monday.  Her’s was the only lead I had, so I parked the car, picked up the squeaky toy and walked to the area I had traversed on Monday morning.

The back yards of the home of the barking dog and of my tipster faced one another, because the front of each house faced one of two parallel streets.  The yards were separated by a swathe of unattended foliage covering about 50 feet between the back yards of both houses. That area was a jumble of thick, waist-high vegetation.   When I waded into it I literally could not see my feet as they plodded through the territory.  All the while I continued calling for Charley and squeezing his toy after each call.

And then I heard his bark.

I squeezed the toy rapidly and told Charley to keep barking, which he did.  My adrenaline pumped the squeeze toy as I slogged in the direction of his wonderful barks. Soon I came upon a structure hiding in the sea of foliage.  It was an old, eight-feet square, seven-foot deep dry well, constructed of cement blocks.

I looked over the rim and saw Charley on its dirt floor, running in circles, yelping for all he was worth, and reaching up with his front paws as high as they could go to try to reach me!

Never before in my life had I encountered a moment when my psyche immediately sling-shot from deep despair to magnificent elation in the blink of an eye.  I cried tears of joy while laughing hysterically at the same time.  I shouted to the world and skies,“I found him! Dear God, I found him. I can’t believe it, I found Charley” It felt almost as though Charley had returned from the dead.

All this time he had been less than 300 yards from Lauren’s house.  I sat on the edge of the well and called her on my cell phone. “I found him!”

I told her exactly where we were and asked her to tell Doris and to bring a small ladder so we could get Charley out of that hole in the ground.  When I ended the call, I jumped into the well to pet him and hold him and share in our excitement of his having been found.  Charley was thirsty and hungry (in that order) but otherwise unscathed from his ordeal.  When I scaled the step-stool ladder and lifted him to Lauren, Charley was yelping and licking her face.  When he saw Doris coming across the yard he sprinted to her with a similar greeting.

Doris had brought one of our three grandkids with her. When two-year-old Goldy saw Charley running at top speed to get to them, she said, “Hunni (Doris) look! Charley loves me!”

She was right.

Epilogue

Since then:

I have an overwhelming feeling of gratitude that I found my shadow again.  My gratitude is not limited only to the Heavens; it involves much more somehow. That moment of going from despair to joy was a gift that nudged my cynicism further away from my core, my soul.  Being so near to hopelessness and then having my most urgent supplication granted is an event beyond description.  The townspeople who were so wonderfully aware that Charley was missing and actively looked for him as they went for a run, or to the store and the like, gave me comfort and hope and reminded me what a real community can do.  Charley and our family are fully recovered from our ordeal.

And I do thank God everyday for life, love, family, friends, and Charley.

 

Ah, America. We Have A Problem…

Ah, America. We Have A Problem…

Okay. It’s Official. Donald Trump and his Banana Republicans have rhetorically incited their base to outright hate their Democratic opponents. Whether he acknowledges it or not, his preposterous radical lies are strategically intended to demonize his political rivals and to “stir up his base.” Now some of them are a serious threat to the heart of Democracy in America.

Trump may or may not have specifically intended to prod one or more of his “base” to terrorize the nation via package bombs addressed to his detractors, but in reality that is exactly what he did.  Like the leaders of Russia, China, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, etc., he refuses to accept that he has any responsiblity for his actions, in this case his irresponsible acid rhetoric.   It is very important to point out that well into the second day of this continuing saga, his condemnation of these heinous acts has been perfunctory at best.  His immediate instincts are not to bring folks together under the banner of Democracy, but to find a way to be able to blame someone else.  Not at all surprisingly, if it’s not his fault (it never is), the “media” must be to blame.

His strategy is reprehensible, but not new. History tends to repeat itself.

“Baby Boomers” like me, were fathered by American soldiers after they returned from their triumphs over Germany, Italy and Japan in World War II.  Those with first-hand memories of that war and what America and our Allies fought for, are mostly gone by now.  Those who remain are few in number, long in years, and honored, but have little voice left.

We Baby Boomers by default have become the most heavily invested keepers of the lessons taught by those who survived the effort to put down the aggression of Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany and Italy. It’s up to us to remember what was learned in the single largest global event in the lives of our parents.  Their generation paid a heavy price to defeat narcissistic, autocratic bullies, drunk with power and ideas that their supposed superiority gave them a mandate, not to govern, but to rule.  (Sound familiar?) It now falls to us and our progeny to preserve American Democracy’s dedication to the ideals of truth, mutual respect, civil discourse, and to the notion that we are a nation of diverse people who share in equal rights to life, freedom and opportunities for happiness and prosperity.

Unfortunately, that is a very tall order in the context of the polarized politics in America today. The middle ground between the two major parties is now a wide no-man’s land in the middle of an intensely hateful battleground.  Personalities and personal agendas now “trump” fundamental Democratic Ideals of respect for contrary opinions, empathy, and (God forbid) compromise.

In less than two years since taking office, a blustering, malignantly egomaniacal, pathological liar of the highest order has driven a stake into nearly all that Democracy stands for, and opened a huge chasm in American politics.  He clearly incites “his base” to deeply hate Americans who oppose him.  He lies prolifically all the while charging professional journalists, who take great pains to verify all that they report, with creating fake news.  He occasionally admits his lies (Surprise, he finally fessed-up that Middle Eastern terrorists are NOT among the Hondurans’ caravan of would-be immigrants in Mexico. April fools.  Note, however, he has not yet conceded that his ridiculous claim that the caravan was funded by a wealthy Democratic fundraiser was another lie, just a part his harmless little “game.” No harm, no foul. So what.. the fundraiser was sent a pipe bomb.. big deal.

And can you believe it, two weeks before the mid-term election he announces he’s about to roll out an additional 10% tax break for middle class Americans.  Seriously now, can you believe it?   

Yeah.. yeah.. a middle class tax break.. that’s the ticket!

Evidently, no one in Congress or any other corner of the government is aware of this beneficent plan.  His own party, (having further bloated the national debt by enriching corporations and the financial elite with this year’s tax reform) is in the midst of fleecing Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid to pay for the emoluments they made to their masters.  And now Trump is dangling another tax break instead.

But they’re not really worried.  We and they know the whole middle class tax cut idea will whither away after the Mid-Term elections are done.  Bring on the April fools again.

Trump figuratively slaps the nation across the face when he boldly justifies his lies by saying, “hey, they worked” (e.g., fooled you suckers again). When anything goes seriously wrong in his administration, which is most of the time, he always, without fail, finds someone else, preferably an enemy, to blame.  He calls this “counter-punching.”  I call it the automatic reaction of a bully when he’s caught out.

The “unbelievable,” has become the norm.  Even when he admits his lies to his base, they love him for it and ask for more.

The snake is selling snake oil and the swamp has fast become a cesspool.

Mockery, mimicry and parody, being the most offensive types of personal bully humor, are top among Trump’s favorite tools in the stand up comedy shows he calls “political rallies.” Trump rallies are where his base comes to re-confirm their baseness.  Members of his own party who he demeaned with derogatory nicknames and relentless ridicule have figuratively crawled on their knees to surrender all semblances of their pride, honor and patriotism before Trump’s Throne.  This is what he thrives on. He wants blind loyalty far more than real integrity from his sycophants.

Wow, what a leader: heartless, cruel, arrogant, degrading, disgraceful, lecherous, amoral and uncivilized.  Is this what defines American Democracy at its best?  Or is this what my father’s generation went to war to defeat?

This last full week of October 2018, in an ugly turn of events, America heard the news that a terrorist or terrorists sent bombs to prominent leaders of the Democratic Party. Coincidentally, all of the bombs’ targets had been specifically named by Trump as his enemies at his hate rallies.  In that event at least one sicko crossed a line that may shift our president from despicable to fatally dangerous.  The escalation of the animosity encouraged by Trump was only a matter of time.  A bunch of lies, innuendo, and grade-school comedy was bound to light a fuse like this.

The survival of our Democracy from enemies from within has been laid on the table.

A certifiably deranged egotist is in the White House.  Now that John McCain is no longer with us, who among Mitch McConnell’s merry band of spineless racists in the Banana Republican Party will step up for Democracy, real Democracy?  Don’t count on many Repugnican legislators, administrators, or judicial officials to step out of line and fight for the rights of all.

Apparently, true Democracy is just not in their DNA.

 

James C, Ash – October 26, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who’s Fooling Who?

Who’s Fooling Who?

It is now beyond doubt that Vladimir Putin’s cyber troops contaminated the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election.  Under any other Presidential Administration that would have been treated as nothing short of an Act of War against the United States.

Under the ironic banner of Make America Great Again Americans who were poisoned by Russia’s undercover propaganda campaign refuse to accept the fact that they were caught up in a cyber-Pearl Harbor attack executed by Comrade Putin. The result of that invasion was that it installed a shady, greedy, lecherous businessman, who is deep in both financial and (now) political debt to Russia, as President of the United States. What could be better for Vladimir?

After great subterfuge involving social media, the attack triggered classic shock and awe on Election Night.  America never expected the results.  The coordinated attack was so surgical that it took aim at Electoral College votes rather than the popular vote, which Trump still refuses to concede he lost by millions of votes.

Now, nearly a year and a half later, the truth has pretty much surfaced, the President and his followers remain in denial, and America has done virtually nothing to retaliate for these attacks or to defend against them happening again.

Just ask the Director of the Defense Department’s National Security Agency:

“Adm. Michael S. Rogers, the head of the National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command, made some pretty blunt statements to the Senate Armed Services Committee. Rogers acknowledged that Russian President Vladimir Putin probably believes he’s paid “little price” for the interference and thus hasn’t stopped. He also said flatly that Trump has not granted him any new authorities to strike at Russian cyber-operations….

Summarizing what he’d heard in Roger’s testimony, Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) said, “ …essentially, we have not taken on the Russians yet. We’re watching them intrude on our elections, spread misinformation, become more sophisticated, try to achieve strategic objectives that you [Adml. Rogers] have recognized, and we’re just essentially sitting back and waiting.”

Washington Post:  February 27, 2018

 Why is President Trump still doing nothing about the Russian cyber incursion?

Undermining a presidential election is no minor offense. Many of the best military minds in the country predicted years ago that our next major war would be a cyber war.  Our military has prepared long and well for that; all the President has to do is release the hounds.  In light of that, Trump’s “leadership” on this issue makes absolutely no sense, in fact, it is probably a serious dereliction of his presidential duty.  We are already a year-and-a-half behind in terms of what should have been done. Why has Trump virtually sabotaged our military’s mission to protect America?

Either The Donald is afraid of the Russians or he owes his allegiance to them. He’s incredibly self-serving, but I don’t think he’s a coward.  Even if, as he claims, he wasn’t in collusion with Valdimir before the election, it looks like he is now.  Why else would he ignore the Russian attack by tying back our military’s hands?

Let’s add another log on that fire.

Against the strident advice of nearly all in government and commerce, Republicans and Democrats alike, Donald J. Trump, the President of the United States, unilaterally announced that he will place a substantial trade tariff on imported steel and aluminum, ostensibly to fulfill an ill advised “America First” campaign promise. The tariff may breathe life into this manufacturing sector for a while, but it is sure to raise prices on steel and aluminum that will inflate the operating costs of American and global businesses that use these products.  They in turn will pass on those price increases to consumers – you and me.

What countries will be most adversely affected by the import tariff?

Russia ?      No.

How ‘bout China?     No.

Well if not them, who are the targets of Trumps tariff?     In a nutshell, that would be most of our largest trading partners, a.k.a. our allies.

Canada?    Pardon in 11th hour might yet be revoked. Damage to our relationship done by melodrama nonetheless.

Mexico?      Ditto Canada.

What about the European Union?       Oh yeah, they’re really ticked off.

Australia?        Definitely!

South Korea must be exempt, right?       They’re not, at least not yet.

Analysts and other folks with brains predict that if not altered before imposed, Trump’s Tariff will ignite a Trade War, not with our enemies but with our allies! (e.g. Putin’s enemies).

Brilliant Donald.  You ignore malicious and damaging cyber attacks from Russia and then declare war on our allies.  Your Vietnamese-manufactured red hats should have read “Let’s Destroy America’s Leadership of the Free World.” Apparently that’s what your America First mantra has been about all along.

Could it be that the antics of the current President’s Administration are more aligned with Vladimir Putin’s objectives in America than with American best interests and (dare I bring them up) ideals?

Certainly Putin has never been happier.  He ought to have forgiven at least some of Trump’s personal/business loans by now.

The Red Hats will never accept the truth about whose national interests Trump really serves.

But the rest of us know.

Make America ADT Again

Make America ADT Again

Donald Trump disappointed the world once again on February 27, 2018 with his announcement that he will run for re-election in 2020.

The cheers of the nation were inaudible.

Of course, we all understand Trump still needs to get Vladimir Putin’s permission to run again and that’s not a sure thing, but it’s looking good right now. According to reliable sources Comrade Putin is overjoyed with Trump’s undermining of the US military, intelligence departments, and law enforcement efforts to retaliate against the Kremlin for its indisputable and embarrassing cyber attacks on us. You remember them, the social media tricks Putin used to put his yellow helmeted puppet in the White House. [Coincidentally, Putin with an extra space is Put in as in, “Putin put in Trump.” It’s easier to remember the core problem this way.]

Everyone in America was sucker-punched when, with or without Trump’s complicity, Russia  contaminated the Presidential Election of 2016 to make The Donald The President.  “They ate our lunch,” one former US intelligence agent said, “and now the President won’t let us fight back.”  The unspoken next question is: “Who’s side is Trump really on?”

The answer is headline obvious.

Never in the history of the United States of America has a President been so blatantly corrupt as Trump. Abusing his office as President, he has tied the hands of our cyber soldiers while our nation remains under direct, relentless, and quite effective cyber attack by Russia.

Is America’s true Public Enemy #1 Chuck Schumer or Vladimir Putin?

Deceased former presidents are rolling in their graves. Trump, The Traitor in the White House (the title of his upcoming biography), owes Russia way too much money and political capital to even consider getting in Putin’s way. Doing nothing to retaliate, Trump is willingly paving the way for our worst enemy to divide our nation by undermining our faith in our government and in one another.

Trump is the most egocentric, self-serving, greedy and insolent head of state since Caligula (who was, coincidentally, also sexually depraved).

After his announcement, the buffoon king of hubris told reporters on camera that he was sure that, given the opportunity, unarmed he would surely have run into the school (presumably with his red cape fling behind him) to face down the latest assassin of students and heroic teachers. So ridiculously easy to say, so incredibly impossible to believe. How Trump-ish: after the fact, he to claims to have the courage, love and human regard that inspired the truly heroic teachers who sacrificed their lives to protect their students. What really happened was he saw the opportunity to dump another load of BS, this time to try to share the mantle of heroism. His incredibly asinine off the cuff speculation was offensive and degrading to the dignity of every genuine hero. Throughout his life Trump has displayed no interest in protecting anyone but his sorry self.

It’s not just Trump’s hair that is yellow.

And so, for all these reasons and many more, I am proud to announce that, if he’s not impeached beforehand, I will vote against Donald Trump and any who support him in 2020, assuming I am still alive and Putin doesn’t cancel the election.

I encourage all who are Against Donald Trump (ADT), to find a way and to announce your intentions for voting in the elections in 2020.  Let’s make ADT a badge of honor for the two plus years before the next Presidential election.  He has to go.