On July 16, 2018 Donald Trump claimed that what Vladimir Putin says is more truthful than whatever is said by America’s entire intelligence community. He endorsed a leader, a nation, and an international viewpoint that no American president or government has ever endorsed. No American government has ever viewed Russia as an ally, a friend, a co-equal, or a friendly force in world politics. In fact, for the past 80 years America and Russia have been diametrically opposed, often at the threat of open military hostility.
Unlike Belgium, Norway, Holland and France, who were directly and almost immediately swallowed up by Hitler’s armies, the Soviet Union entered a 1939 non-aggression pact with Hitler that swung open the doors of Eastern Europe. The Soviets have to share some of the blame for the outbreak of WWII and total blame for the eventual invasion of their homeland by Hitler’s forces.
Recently my wife and I were re-watching the 2009 blockbuster movie, Avatar. First time we saw it was with our entire family at an IMAX theater. Avatar on the huge screen is certainly candy for the eyes. But in reality it is just another retelling of the age-old tale about man finds paradise, paradise inhabited by nice but different beings, nice beings have something man wants, man rationalizes killing nice beings and taking their stuff, man destroys paradise, end of story.
The part of man is played by the owners of profit justifies anything big corporations and their army of highly paid, massively armed, and highly capable mercenaries. The part of nice beings is played by beautiful creations who live idyllic lives and are in perfect harmony with their world.
Recently my wife and I were watching a TV segment about a child with extreme emotional problems and was a genuine threat to his siblings. It was part of a piece about the shortage of psychiatric hospital beds for children in America. When the piece was over we put the TV on pause and began talking about our youth in the 1950s.
Neither of us could recall any examples of such children in our small hometown. Our local hospital was nothing more than a large two-story house and our doctors carried most of what they needed in leather bags and regularly made house calls. Few people knew what a pediatrician or psychiatrist was.
Regarding Trump’s view of those wanting to come to America he seems to put them all into one big bowl and then plaster that bowl with a variety of labels. He likes calling them rapists, criminals, drug dealers, violent gang members, terrorists, animals, infestations of vermin or whatever demeaning term that should slither out of his forked tongue. . He does however, have a number of labels he likes to use. To Trump they are either rapists, criminals, drug dealers, terrorists, animals, or whatever demeaning label that falls off his slithering forked tongue. There does seem and exception. Trump likes very white people, preferably those from the nation of Norway. He much prefers Norwegians over people from “shit hole” countries.
I took an afternoon nap, watched a little news, and found myself angry enough that I just have to hold a little American History class. This nation is not and has never been perfect. But our basic documents give us goals and a purpose to believe in. The Declaration of Independence addresses the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of liberty. It also speaks to all men being created equal. The main document, the US Constitution speaks in its Preamble the reasons we formed a government. It clearly states that one reason is to create a more perfect union. While we at times have made great progress with all these things, we have also failed miserably. Mixed in with all that is bright and shiny are some pretty damned dark and shameful events.
Donald Trump cannot accept defeat. If he can’t get what he wants one way, he’ll try another. After getting his butt nipped with the child-parent separation nonsense he’s decided to go another direction. While being chauffeured to his Virginia golf resort he tweeted that illegal immigrants are not entitled to Constitutional protections and should be immediately be sent back over the border without a trial or any other legal protections. Trump, and I’m sure his minions in tow, believes the American legal system owes them nothing. Well, they are incorrect. Going back to James Madison, the Father of the Constitution, there have been numerous Supreme Court cases and reams of case-law supporting the idea that Constitutional protections apply to all in America, including those who are not citizens.
I recently posted a Facebook criticism of the Trump administration’s zero tolerance policy and how it was separating children from their parents as leverage to force congress into building his fecking wall.
As of this writing the number of incarcerated immigrant children is approaching 3,000 and whatever federal agencies have a hand in this none seem to prepared to handle the numbers, offer appropriate housing, medical care, psychological counseling, or have any system to prevent parents from losing track of their children
This zero toleration policy and the separation of so many innocent children is almost without parallel in American History. It is the creation of extreme political ideology and supported by xenophobia and the inherent racism of too many Americans. To justify the separating of parents and children the administration has even resorted to inaccurately citing cherry picked passages from the Bible.
I never had much use for Ronald Reagan and in my mind my reasons were justified. When he became governor of California he set about destroying some of the best things living in California had. At the top of my list was essentially access to free college education. The junior colleges cost $7 a semester plus books and the state colleges just $47 and books. The result was the state becoming one of the most educated citizenry in the nation which played no small part in California eventually developing the worlds 5th largest economy.
Elected to the presidency in 1980 he didn’t travel abroad until two years later when he visited several European nations working to strengthening the bonds between them and the US. While in the UK Reagan very eloquently addressed the English Parliament and last week I got to see some of that film footage. The contrast between that man’s seasoned political and communicative skills was incredible when compared to what currently occupies the White House. Reagan knew who America’s enemies were and spelled it out in very clear terms. Trump doesn’t seem to have a clue about who’s threatening this nation and seems hell-bent on climbing into bed with those who threaten us the most.
My brother owned a custom home building business in Raleigh, NC. He had his own crew for certain jobs but for most he relied on subcontractors. As the years passed the subs began hiring more and more immigrants because they couldn’t find enough willing, reliable, and skilled Americans. The next thing that happened was the immigrants figured out what the sub business was all about and started their own subcontractor businesses. Because they couldn’t find Americans to do the work they too turned to relying on immigrants. It’s like I said, we’ve always needed immigrants. We needed the Irish and Chinese to build our railroads. We needed Italians to mine our coal. We needed Poles to make our steel and other East Europeans to butcher our beef. And we needed Mexicans to harvest our fields and orchards. Most of these people assimilated, gained citizenship, and eventually prospered and added to the diversity and strength of America. Just think what life would be without the gastronomic influences of the Mexicans and Italians. No tacos or pizza. Just go ahead and kill me!
I lived in Southern California in the 1960s and went to college and taught for a year in Orange County. At the time the word on the street was, Orange County is the most conservative in America. We didn’t have Google back then so I really didn’t know but much of what I witnessed agreed with common beliefs.
California is having their primary elections today and in recent weeks much has been said about the Democrats being able to flip conservative Orange County. Out of curiosity I did a little snooping and found more than one article refuting the conservative claims.
Joe Biden spent decades in the US Senate and much of that time was dealing with foreign relations. He came to the vice presidency with an enormous knowledge of government and diplomacy yet he is just one more person of wisdom Trump has chosen to ignore.
By whatever name they’re called there are 3,142 counties in the United States. Every single county in the U.S. registered an increase in drug-related mortality between 1980 and 2014. And that rise was statistically significant in 99.8 percent of counties.
The tragedy of these facts and figures is that the obvious failure of what has become known as the War on Drugs can be traced at least back to the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act of 1914. The war got heated in 1971 under Nixon and again in the 1980s with Reagan.
For at the past week life has been like an emotional roller coaster. At one moment I find myself elated and confident about my nation’s future, followed by my cart roaring out of control down the steel tracks and I am screaming at the top of my voice.
On the down side the nation’s pseudo president hires an ideological war hawk, John Bolton, to head a department charged with providing for our security. Bolton has a life’s track record of favoring war over peace. He has openly called for the unilateral preëmptive nuclear strike by the United States against North Korea and Iran. Seeming ignorant of the cost in human lives to our allies in South Korea and Japan. Also of the loss of tens of thousands of American military person stationed in Asia.
I remember being one of those loyal Democrats who for a short time tried to support Bill Clinton getting blown and enjoying a fine smoke afterwards.
When the red sphinctered Republicans accused him of having sex with that woman I pointed out that even Eisenhower got his socks knocked off a few times while overseas. There’s a long history of presidents having sex in places other than the second floor of the White House.
There’s also a long history of men lying about their sexual exercises to keep their wives happy and in the dark. When the GOP finally got down to asking him if he had engaged in sex with Monica, Clinton messed up by saying it depended on how one defined sex. That’s when I stopped supporting Clinton and the aroma of family valued impeachment heat wafted over the great DC Swamp. Well, the self-righteous impeached, the wise men of the Senate refused to convict, and William Jefferson Clinton became member two of the Andrew Johnson Boys Club.