Archive for June, 2018

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Captain Kangaroo Court

June 30, 2018

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I no longer recognize the country I used to live in.  In the 60’s there was much social upheaval and repression took many forms—illegal wars, violent action on the part of the government, assassinations of our best leaders and political manipulation of the rest.  But today it has been magnified exponentially.

Flagrant and blatant abuse of basic rights and human decency is no longer kept in the shadows or the private offices of corrupt politicians but stands in the light of day embraced by a faux-President and his appointees, surrogates and party enablers. Take for example the latest iteration of madness, the separation and jailing of small immigrant children and the subsequent court proceedings to rule on their asylum. In the most evil and despicable manner Trump is using the “rules” to inflict pain and punishment on the least able to defend themselves.

As we all know by now, immigrant children seeking asylum with their mothers are being separated and transported, in many cases thousands of miles, to “holding pens” cages, being callously spun as “summer camps,” and held by privatized detention entities for extended profits.   Managed as they are, witnesses have testified that often these children are tortured, some by being tied to a chair, ankles, wrists and waist, bound for days with a hood over their head, as if they were in Abu-Graib.  Others are given injections and drugs to facilitate their easy management over their rightful protests and objections.  What’s next? Waterboarding?

No, what’s next is a trial.  Small children and infants are taken into court without any representation (as non-citizens they are not entitled to representation) and without an accompanying adult, often sitting for hours alone in a chair without toys, games, snacks or food, until the judge rules on their asylum claim.  Many are so young they cannot even speak, yet alone understand the proceedings and without a parent to speak for them, cannot represent themselves.  For Trump, the bully, this must feel like a slam-dunk. Deportation is inevitable.  Why bother with the formality of a Kangaroo Court? Is not the outcome as predictable as a Taliban ruling? Guilty! Guilty! Guilty!

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From The Safety of Rocks

June 30, 2018

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In the old TV westerns, the bad guys always hid behind the safety of large rocks to take pot shots at the good guys, cowboys like Roy Rogers, Hopalong, Cisco and The Lone Ranger. It was safe behind those rocks and there was always that quick getaway, horses waiting in the pass behind them.  Nothing much has changed as Sarah Huckabee Sanders so aptly demonstrates time after time.

Using the safety of her podium to take pot shots at the press, the Dems and anyone who questions the Trump administration, never answering a question directly, she is always dismissive, often deferring to someone else not present in the room, while glibly mouthing the rehearsed script of her puppet-master.  These so-called press conferences never amount to much by way of meaningful information or news other than her obfuscation of the events of the day and the administration’s role in them.  As the return fire heats up, and after sufficiently ridiculing the press, she announces “one more question,” pretends to answer it and then abruptly wheels to her right and heads for the waiting horses in the pass just beyond the door to the press room, for her getaway.

After the TV bad guys had their quick getaway, they would sooner or later get caught up with in the nearby town as they tried to go about their regular lives pretending to be normal town citizens. But soon they are uncovered by Hopalong or Cisco with the help of the local townspeople and brought to justice and the waiting jail.

Who says you can’t learn something from TV?  These old-fashioned morality tales used to seem unrealistic, but they have a lot to teach us about managing criminals by banding together as a community. Criminals are seldom caught in the field but more often in their lair and haunts. It’s the diligent public that spots them and focuses the attention on them that results in their demise. In their private lives and in public spaces they are vulnerable.  They have no rocks to hide behind.  While the media cowers in compliance, shackled by corporate policy and corporate lawyers, it is up to us, regular private citizens, to publicly flush them out.  There is force in numbers. If we can’t jail them, we can at the very least put them on the run.

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Cheaters Never “Win”

June 28, 2018

Casino-696x392A card shark travels to Vegas and sits down in a casino to play poker.  Being an experienced cheat he wins big and continues to win.  Now should he be discovered and caught, what do you think would happen to his winnings?  Does he get to keep them?  I think you know the answer to that. The Casino would take them back.  Cheaters are not entitled to keep their ill-gotten gains.

When it is finally confirmed that Donald Trump cheated to win the 2016 election, we must ask ourselves, “did he really win?”  If he cheated to win the presidency, was he truly “elected to that office?”  Is he entitled to all that the office has to offer by way of power and influence, decisions, and agreements?  Any reasonable person would have to say “no.”  If he cheated to be elected then he was not truly elected and therefore has not been the president during the entire time from the inauguration until the day he is removed from office.  He has been a Faux-President not a legally elected President. While certainly there has been corruption in previous elections, smear tactics and foul play, none have risen to these proportions by way of his treasonous methods and alliances.

If we agree that cheaters are not entitled to keep their spoils and that Donald Trump was not fairly elected, then we must call into account the legitimacy of all his actions and policies during his administration as illegal.  Every single policy needs to be reversed.  Every executive order killed.  Every appointment terminated.  And without doubt, all Supreme Court nominations voided. The winnings of a cheater must be returned to “the house.”

Every expense he has taken from the taxpayers needs to be repaid… all the secret service protection, all the travel expense on Air Force One, and on and on.  These are privileges he was not entitled to by way of cheating.  They should be repaid.  Ah, but there is no precedent for that, no protocol to follow.

When that day comes, and it will, will we have the courage to demand justice or will we wither under the pressure to not be seen as a failed democracy?   Are we willing to suffer the next 40 years in the shadow of his appointments to the Supreme Court, his policies on health care, taxation, the environment, education and the notion that a narrow religious ideology can pre-empt basic human rights?

This is where the game gets very tough.  The Dems are boxed in by their own wish to return to power and are immobilized with the fear of GOP criticism at making the wrong move (which is any move.) I heard an idea floated today on the news.  If the Dems didn’t show up to work and the Senate did not have a quorum, then there could not be a vote on a Trump SCOTUS appointment. They would need to keep that up for months and the heat would rise above anything we have ever seen.  It would be extreme.  The fear that it would turn the midterm elections against them would be ever-present, but this would be an act of courage and faith that the American people would have their backs.  I just hope somebody is listening.  This is radical stuff, the kind of fight required when backed into a corner.

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Safe Life in the Rat-holes

June 26, 2018

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Each and every day, Trump and his cronies, his cabinet and appointees, his proxies and pundits, cross the line of civility and crawl back into their rat-holes expecting a life of normalcy and peaceful regularity, a personal life insulated from the effects of their numerous misdeeds and insulting taunts, expecting no personal consequences for their very public and profane actions. As several recent incidents have demonstrated it’s time to end that assumption and put them on the run and keep them there. Lacking the guillotine, the consequences of their actions should be at the very least public humiliation and shame.

To claim that a restaurant owner asking Huckabee Sanders to leave his establishment in the most polite way, or that protesters loudly shouting “shame” at a cabinet member is a lack of civility on the level of Trumps insults, is really a false equivalent.  Take Trump’s personal attacks such as insulting Maxine Waters intelligence by saying she has a low IQ or Corey Lewendowski’s recent insensitive “Womp Wah” on-air comment, and compare them with the actions of individuals protesting the policies of an executive branch out of control by seizing an unexpected moment to give personal voice to America’s need to be heard.  This is no lack of civility, it is an honorable American tradition.  We should not provide cover for these criminals but call them out and expose them and their actions for what they are, and then drive them back into the holes they came from to experience the fear and hopelessness they have created.

The Democratic party should have realized by now that when their constituents are compelled to voice their dissatisfaction in this way, they have not adequately been doing their job.  They have shied from their responsibility and while taking the high road have become yet another casualty to the Trump bulldozer as he clears the scorched earth he set ablaze.

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Kidnapped

June 25, 2018

kidnap noteKidnap:

verb (used with object), kid·napped or kid·naped, kid·nap·ping or kid·nap·ing.

“to steal, carry off, or abduct by force or fraud, especially for use as a hostage or to extract ransom.”

You’ve all seen it on TV and in movies.  A villain kidnaps a child and demands money in exchange for the release of the child. Today we watch as this scenario plays out in real time by one of the greatest TV villains of all time and in numbers far above any previous television or movie moment.

Approximately 2500 children, infants and babies were taken from their mothers and families and held for ransom in exchange for funding of a border wall that will cost in excess of 25 billion dollars.  Call it what you want, but it’s kidnapping plain and simple, children held hostage in return for money.  Let’s not be confused by the political issues.  This is not about whether the wall is a good or bad thing, or whether the wall will be effective or not.  It’s about the moral and ethical policies of a tragically flawed and psychotically ill, immoral and corrupt media personality who rose to power by appealing to the worst in human nature and forming alliances with other powerful figures of the same bent.

Donald Trump’s style has always been to attack on a personal level. He vanquished all the opposing primary candidates the Republican party had to offer, 16 in all, by simply engaging in name-calling and by lying.  He toppled “Crooked Hillary” in the same way, with the added help of his corrupt associations. He has bullied everyone who opposed him in the same manner, including political figures, judges, the media, the Pope, Gold Star Families, a bonified war hero, the disabled and infirmed, foreign leaders and allies, and allied himself with other liars willing to support his policies for their own personal gain and political goals.

Together, we the American people have finally crossed the Rubicon and understand that this battle is not only political but also personal. We are being personally attacked and we have realized that we must unite to fight back on a personal level.  At D.C.’s MXDC Cocina Mexicana protesters made the first move by chanting “Kirsten Nielsen, you’re a villain, locking up immigrant children” forcing her to flee her table at the restaurant. Days later, a restaurant owner asked Sarah Huckabee Sanders to leave his establishment.  Wow… small victories, but the message has been sent. Everyone who has fallen in the path of the Trump bulldozer has done so by “going high when he went low” and yet unlike the Obamas, it has failed. Trump established a new game and as much as we disapprove we must engage on his terms to defeat him.

An argument is being made by Trump supporting pundits and proxies that this type of reaction will only further drive support to Trump by inflaming voters, but this is false reasoning.  Trump’s support may never waiver, never fall from his 30% base, but it will surely not increase by converting objective and reasonable minds to his cause because fighting back on a personal level is out of bounds.  It has never been out of bounds for Trump the counterpuncher.  As the GOP fades into extinction, the American people are doing what those gutless wimps have failed to do, from the primaries forward, we are counterpunching the bully and his gang.

Glenn Beck recently faced off against Brian Stelter in a CNN interview and failing to deliver anything but a muddled cry for unity and calling for an examination of media guilt in creating divisiveness by reporting the stories of Trump’s part in creating and inflaming it, and lacking any substantive answers to his questions, had to walk off the show, grandstanding rather than engage in meaningful discussion.  Once a bully himself, Beck now masquerades as a unifier.  As these snakes, the many swamp creatures Trump has introduced us to, crawl back into their holes, we must know that we are changing things in such a way as to unify our cause.  We must realize that we cannot bridge the gap with racists, fascists, and liars any more than a battered wife can re-unify with an abusive husband. No, it’s time for the divorce.

Now, as Maxine Waters loudly proclaims that we must continue in this fight and praises the protesters who are making it personal, we must not accept the argument that she is divisive, she is rejecting unity.  There can only be one kind of unity, moral unity.  Unity with the immoral is not possible, it is placating them and enabling future transgressions, which as we have seen exceed our expectations and beliefs in the impossible on a daily basis.

 

 

 

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Choosing Profanity With Respect

June 22, 2018

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Finding the appropriate profanity to express my extreme contempt for Donald Trump is becoming ever-increasingly more difficult.  I must pause and determine just what do the words I instinctively use in reaction to his many subversions of our democratic process really mean.

“Cocksucker” was one such word, but in deference to and in solidarity with my many gay friends and recognizing the universal use of fellatio by women in heterosexual relationships, just what is wrong with a good blow-job that I should use it to describe Donald Trump?  No, I have discontinued the use of that phrase.

“Motherfucker” is another such popular and oft used phrase, but what does it mean to be a motherfucker?  Is that so bad a thing?  I have five daughters, I guess that makes me a motherfucker. No, in the context of a Donald Trump, that is not what it means. Nevertheless, I no longer use that phrase to express my contempt for him and his cronies.

“Douchebag”, “scumbag,” “piece of shit,” “ass-wipe,” “asshole,” “butt-lick,” “shit-for-brains,” and the many combinations that end with “lying bastard,” “moron,” “idiot,” “crook’” “criminal,” “traitor,” and so on all have clear meaning and are appropriate but somehow do not rise to the level of contempt I require.  It was easier to call him a cock-sucking motherfucker.

In this country, we elect people to office.  We do not elect senators, or presidents.  The people we have chosen to elect only become such as they grow into their role in office.  The title “President” does not make Donald Trump one, but as a person he is already a “douchebag”, “scumbag,” “piece of shit,” “ass-wipe,” “asshole,” “butt-lick,” “shit-for-brains,” and a “lying bastard,” “moron,” “idiot,” “crook’” “criminal” and “traitor.”  Funny, I still feel unsatisfied. He has never become a president.

Donald’s policies and his management style are inconsistent with a democratic president and reflect his vision of autocratic rule in the dictatorial style preferred by the very “strongmen” he admires like Kim Jong Un and Vladimir Putin. His praise for the Klan, his racist policies, his lack of compassion, his attacks on the checks and balances provided by our founders in the constitution, his propaganda network, his collusion with our enemies, his disdain for our allies, his attacks on the media, his misleading of the American people with constant lies to reinforce his own “greatness,” his lack of accountability, his appointment of family members into his highest staff advisors and his profiting personally from the system he and they control.  No, he is no “president.”  He’s a lying cock-sucking motherfucker…  oops… I meant he’s a “douchebag”, “scumbag,” “piece of shit,” “ass-wipe,” “asshole,” “butt-lick,” “shit-for-brains,” and a “lying bastard,” “moron,” “idiot,” “crook’” “criminal” and “traitor.”  There I got it out.  Why don’t I feel better? Donald, I know you know what this means and it’s not good… Fuck You, you greedy lying narcissist!  Eat shit and die!  That’s not a death threat, just a wish for my own eternal happiness.

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The Power of Words

June 2, 2018

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Seems like all the Twitter-verse is abuzz about the firing of Roseanne Barr over her racially charged Twitter comment, “Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby = vj.”  VJ is Valerie Jarrett, former senior advisor to President Barrack Obama. It’s important to understand that Roseanne was not fired because of her Tweet but because her Twitter comment revealed her true nature as untenable to support an association with a network and their advertisers, considering that she is at heart, a racist. Racism transcends politics.  It should not be confused with politics and it cannot be made to form a legitimate political movement no matter how hard someone like Roseanne may try, nor how much support is offered to validate her position especially if by a corrupt and lying administration favoring bigotry, bullying, name-calling, and misogyny. No democratic society can appear to support racism. That is why she was fired.  Roseanne Barr is a racist. No amount of apologies can correct that lifelong defect. Furthermore, Roseanne’s Tweet was deeply personal, ridiculing an out-of-the-spotlight individual, she singled out as a political opponent, labeling her as the product of terrorists and apes by virtue of her skin tone and features.  Why does this surprise us?  The environment for such attacks as hers has already been set, and the blame for such liberties as she has taken belongs elsewhere.

 

Now enters the fray, Samantha Bee, calling Ivanka Trump a “Feckless Cunt…” Oh no, not the C-word. My delicate sensibilities can hardly withstand such an assault on a feckless C-word Twit without a swell of compassion for the poor little Barbie doll foisted to the political summit by her billionaire daddy. She’s been called it all.  There’s not much left that can be said to reflect our dissatisfaction, contempt, frustration and sense of helplessness regarding all that she and her father represent except the C-word.

 

The political Right wants to create an equivalency between Roseanne’s Tweet and Samantha’s rant but there is no equivalency.   The difference between the two remarks is that the former lacks any legitimate substance and the latter cuts precisely to the core.  Now, Ivanka’s Daddy is rising to her defense calling for the firing of Samantha Bee on the basis of an equal response, a balancing of political corrections.  But these two comments are not the same, are not equivalent, and the true motivation of Daddy Donald is not his concern for the hurt feelings of his virtuous daughter but the elimination of an opposing political voice with a substantial following. Brian Stelter commenting on CNN got it wrong. It’s not the difference between racism and anger.  It’s the difference between a vulgar lie and the vulgar truth.

 

Samantha Bee established her vulgar style of comedic reporting long ago on The Daily Show under John Stewart’s mentorship, an environment that interpreted the news of the day in the most critical comedic terms, and like John Oliver and others, has spun it off into a solo act to continue her assault on broken institutions.  She was simply doing what she has always done, merely playing to her long-established audience and it should come as no surprise to anyone who has ever watched her show that language such as the C-word has a long history of flowing from her lips. Her rants are shtick not unlike Louis Black’s, just more vulgar.  Her audience has long been comfortable with it. Her vulgarity is a device like the profanity used by spoken word poets, a shock of cold water to waken an audience and demand their attention.  The real issue is not her use of the most egregious vulgarity but does her rant have merit? Does her style reflect the truth of her position? Is it an accurate and fair assessment of Ivanka Trump or not? A lot of people think so.

 

There can be no such thing as a measured response to all that Donald Trump and his proxies represent. It was he who said that when attacked he punches back twice as hard. He fights not by the Marquis d’ Queensbury rules but with a complete lack of all rules as a streetfighter.  One by one, he has felled every opponent and turned the once Grand Ole Party into a simpering puppy-dog.  We pull out a knife, he pulls out an atomic weapon.

 

No, Samantha Bee’s use of expletives is more aligned with Richard Nixon as an expression of disdain, somewhere philosophically closer to Lenny Bruce and far from Lisa Lampanelli.

 

And as for the media with their timid self-righteous reportage every time they use such expressions as “the C-word”, “the N-word”, “the S-word” and the “F-bomb” they may as well have said the original word because we all understand these proxy expressions to have the same meaning.  In so doing they give the origin words more power by defining what is polite and what is not.  In that context, Samantha Bee has chosen the right word, the one with more power.