BreakingNews: 8/15/2019: Immigration and the two political parties.
Just as the Republicans could easily and without any political courage vote 70+ times to repeal Obamacare knowing Obama would veto it, yet when they had the change to actually DO something lacked “the right stuff” to do it… the Democrats are equally gutless when it comes to immigration. Just as the Republicans couldn’t get together the votes to create a “Trumpcare” which was better and addressed the faults of Obamacare and do something historic, and they used it instead as a political sales tool…today, the Democrats are doing the same thing with immigration.
Fixing “the problem” of illegal immigration is actually very easy. Make it REALLY expensive for an employer to hire anyone illegally. Split the (big) fine with the “whistleblower”. Illegal immigration would come to an end instantly, because nobody would have enough incentive to do it, compared with the deterrent consequences.
Set up an electronic background check system (like they’ve have had in place for decades to do background checks for gun sales- which takes less than a minute to do…) as Trump suggested in one of his early polls but now forgets to mention. If an employer wants to hire someone, they enter the Social Security Number (SSN) (Green Card number, etc) … to verify that it isn’t being used by more than one person in more than one place at the same time are eligible for employment and signed up with the IRS…and when they terminate the employment of that person, they also need to e-verify that the person is NOT working for them any longer. It’s not that hard, but neither of the political parties will go for it. Why not?
Because there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between the two political parties. Both are corrupt to the core, neither is the “lesser of two evils”. The immigration “problem” is just political theater, nothing more. Trump’s Republicans are betting they can control the white vote with the issue, the Democrats think they can control the non-white vote with the issue and keeping immigration a “problem” is more beneficial to them than solving the problem. The children separated from their parents at the border, and abused women seeking asylum from sex-slavery, people seeking refuge from gang violence, etc…are just pawns in both parties game, neither one nor the other cares about them, at all- except how their plight will affect the emotions of voters and the outcome of the election.
Just as the House Republicans were challenged (and failed) to come up with something better than Obamacare, now it’s time for the House Democrats to come up with intelligent reform of the immigration system- and pass it, and challenge the Senate Republicans to pass it, too. Trump would sign it, I’d bet- and crow about it. America needs foreign labor- and Trump knows it. Somebody has to pick the fruit and vegetables, slaughter the livestock, build the houses.
Americans don’t want those jobs – but they still want to eat affordable food and live in affordable houses. We don’t live in a “borderless” world, it’s likely that the future will bring more borders, not fewer. An employer who wants to hire foreign labor could go to Mexico, choose who he wants and get them Green Cards- and give them an advance so they don’t need to go on the dole before they start getting paychecks. Skip the political theater.
BreakingNews: 8/13/2019: Under Attack
“It’s easy to be a gentleman when everything’s going well, but the real measure of a man is how he acts when things are going poorly.” You can quote me on that, if you wish…
It appears I’m under a mild “troll attack”, and the source seems to be mostly Russian- at least the email return addresses are mostly @email.ru… perhaps zombie accounts used as launching pads for bots? Perhaps stolen identities? They usually send me long gibberish e-mails-snippets from medical journals, joined together non sequitur. I get about 20 each day. But occasionally I get something which (almost) makes sense in which someone tells me I’m being targeted because I “…hit the nail on the top…”, among other things. I’m trying to figure out what they want, and why (if my column is so much “on target”) they might think it benefits them to harass me.
I don’t have any beef with Russians, so the only Russians which should find me offensive are the ones who find my message (peace, liberty, justice, civil rights, environment, education, etc…) offensive. I think Americans and Russians are pretty much the same. We get up in morning, have coffee, go to work all day, come home to a beer to celebrate another day, eat supper, relax with our wives and families until we go to bed, get up and do it all over again tomorrow. Our governments might have some problem with each other, but it’s not that important to me. I think both the Russian and the American governments have more to worry about for our populations see how little which is substantial we have which divides us, and so they’re willing to go too great lengths conjure up boogymen to convince us otherwise.
So, I have to conclude that if this actually comes from Russia, it probably owes its origins to the government. But, maybe it doesn’t. Maybe it comes from our own government, wanting it to look like it’s Russians. I don’t speak, read or write Russian. I’m pretty good at English, can survive in Spanish… and that’s it. So, if someone writes to me in Russian, I can’t read it. About 1/4 of these e-mails are in Russian, so I don ‘t know if they’re also gibberish or not. When I find someone who knows how to read Russian, I’ll him.
That’s it for today. More later.
BREAKING NEWS: 8/5/2019: Apology II: I’ve been negligent in my duties. Sorry
A lot has happened which deserves comment. Our president has three absolutely loyal (and not particularly bright) core constituencies- the “pro-gun”, the “anti-abortion” one issue voters and the White Supremacists. Today, following two mass shootings in as many days, he proposed to the Democratic-controlled House to support universal background checks in return for his anti-immigration agenda- thus showing he’s willing to sacrifice one of his core constituencies, which actually has a sound Constitutional argument for another -which doesn’t. A very bad move, perhaps symptomatic of too much stress and a limited ability to deal with it. I hate to say “I told you so.” but it’s been plain to me from the beginning that Trump doesn’t care about the Second Amendment, or abortion, or even much about immigration. He cares about “The Donald”, and that’s all.
I think Americans voted for Trump for the same reason we voted for Obama- we want to see real changes made to American politics. Obama promised to end the “dumb wars”, and so did Trump. We believed an outsider could change the corruption-driven model of election finance- which controls everything else government does. Trump claimed to be “very rich”, and promised to “Drain the Swamp” and Obama claimed to control the support of the “little people”. But it was all a lie. The wars and the corruption continued seamlessly from Bush to Obama to Trump, with Congressional supermajorities both ways. The simple fact is that neither the Democrats nor the Republicans are going to change it.
Every “entitlement” the government offers disproportionally benefits the long-lived rich at the expense of the die-young poor. Every new tax is more regressive than the last one.
Hillary lost because everyone knew she wasn’t going to change anything about war, corruption or catering to the wealthy. Libya was her war, the Saudis bought her outright through the Clinton Foundation. Neither will Biden. Bernie and Elizabeth Warren might, but he’s an old Jewish “socialist” whose Democratic Party loyalty is iffy and she’s a woman. We watched Hillary lose, and Obama be unable to lead a racist nation so a woman and/or a minority (like Booker or Harris) don’t have a chance.
I expect Trump will win the election in 2020. Putin and Trump have a corrupt connection which benefits both, and Putin could do something “problematic” on the eave of the election which could guarantee Trump’s reelection. If that happens, “I told you so.”
Speaking of Putin, my e-mail is under attack from multiple addresses which all end in “.ru”. Why would the average Russian citizen want to attack me? Don’t we all want the same thing? Peace, liberty, fair trade, security, prosperity, health, education, decent nutrition and housing and an end to government corruption? I try to always read and answer my e-mail but if you e-mail me and I don’t answer it’s because I’m snowed under in a blizzard of incoherent junk likely sent by someone who can’t do English… and I missed it. So, if you write and I don’t answer don’t feel badly about it. Don’t send me any attachments or links, either- because I won’t click on anything. If you want to send me something, include it in your e-mail text. I’ll be back soon. Chris
BreakingNews: 5/15/2019: Apology
I’ll apologize for being a flaky correspondent. A proper apology is an explanation, like Plato’s Apology. I’ve been working hard on my schoolwork, this is finals week and last night I turned in the last of my “Databases/SQL” work and now I’m done with it until fall, when I’ll take the “PHP” course I need to put the whole thing together on the internet. The website will be called AvatarPoll.com. Don’t bother looking for it, yet. I’ll announce it in this column and via e-mail to my “user list”.
I’ve been trying to create an experimental poll I can send to the 6500 good folk (you might be one of them) who have sent me their e-mail addresses. I hate junk e-mail… I get a lot of it. I get one from Trump every day, sometimes two. I get one from Bernie almost every day, too… from a dozen other “pols” less often…also three political parties target me, several political action groups…so I understand not to waste people’s time with phony polls and constant solicitations for money.
My plan is to sell you something you’ll feel is worth the price and we’ll snowball this little enterprise into something game-changing, world-changing. I visualize it as a combination of Match.com and Wikipedia.com, with a political purpose. Something personally interactive like Match.com that’s devoted to the truth- like Wikipedia- founded on my core belief that people have a lot more in common than they have in difference, and political conflict is artifice created for the purpose of “divide and conquer”.
My goal is to “unite and conquer”- to “throw the moneychangers out of the temple”, create direct democracy worldwide over the internet. It was Ross Perot’s best idea, he called it the “Internet Plebiscite”- but when he ran for president in 1992 the technology and infrastructure simply wasn’t there. But now it is. Stay tuned. Chris
BreakingNews: 4/21/2019: The Passover Plot
Two millennia ago the Romans and the Temple in Jerusalem prepared for the biggest Jewish festival of the year, Passover. Jews from everywhere assembled for the extravaganza. If they wanted to play by the rules, they had to get there a week early to get ready. Jerusalem became a city of two million people ready for a party. Roman soldiers- 3000 of them- were brought into the city to direct traffic, keep the peace.
If we imagine Walmart on Black Friday at 5am, and multiply it by a thousand- and it lasts for a week. All the shelves were stocked, all the tills were full of change, there were the sounds and smells of thousands of people, doves, chickens, sheep, goats and even (according to John) oxen for a week-long orgy of blood sacrifice, merchant and priestly enrichment, and a big party.
The money the pilgrims carried was Roman. The coin bore the “graven image” of Caesar, so it had to be changed to the Hebrew coin- and there were moneychangers on the front steps to do it before the lucre was carried into the temple.
Jesus sent a disciple to get a couple of horses- a mare and a foal- tied up at a house in small town on his way with the simple instructions, “If anyone asks you anything about it, tell him The Lord needs them.” It came off without a hitch.They joined the “throng” of men, women and children in its march to the temple. Jesus rode the foal for the familiar “Palm Sunday” story.
When they got to Jerusalem, the horde went straight to the temple, and assaulted the moneychangers- Jesus had a weapon, a big stick- dumped out their coin-boxes. One can imagine thousands of coins bouncing down the stone steps, through the crowd. They released the sacrificial livestock, so there were panicky birds, sheep, goats.. oxen..squawking, baa-ing, moo-ing, running, flapping, slipping, tripping and falling on the stone steps, fleeing through the crowd, knocking people down- and they made the pilgrims inside drop their packages, their purchases. To an unsophisticated observer, it might have looked quite like a premeditated armed robbery of the temple on its most lucrative day of the year. People may have been injured- too. Maybe even badly enough to die of their injuries.
That’s conjecture, of course. There were no reported injuries. But, there were certainly a lot of very rich, pious and important people who were deeply offended- not only by material losses, but also being called out as being vipers, hypocrites, a “den of thieves”. If you want to make a priest really angry, call him a hypocrite in front of a crowd.
The rest of the story we all know by heart, and we each carry our own vision of the trial, torture, crucifixion and resurrection. The media preachers usually neglect the incident in the temple as an important part of the story, in an effort to suitably cleanse the narrative for popular consumption and keep the focus on the simple and bright merchant holiday, not stray into the abyss of the human soul.
Today, as we anticipate Easter and the chocolate bunnies and egg-hunts on the White House lawn, we should also think of Tax Day, the Mueller Report-and the hypocrites, vipers, thieves in the temple, and what needs to be done to cast them out.
BreakingNews: 4/11/2019: Investigate the Investigators
This is a very big deal. AG Barr says he wants to open an investigation to trace the origins of the surveillance of the Trump campaign, which lead to the Mueller Report. It’s very, very big. The American People have the right to know everything in the Mueller Report as well as all the contents of this one- as yet unnamed- too.
Congress-our most basic elected representatives, which we can replace every two years- needs to be able to read every single word of it with no “redactions”. Quite simply, Americans need to know who we can trust- if anyone. And our public servants need to know that corruption WILL be uncovered, and the “Terrible Swift Sword” WILL fall on the wicked and unrighteous.
The reason for a “trial” is because there’s conflicting testimony about an event which has occurred which has legal consequence- and somebody has to find the facts, determine who’s lying and who’s telling the truth- and make a judgement. When that “judge” is corrupt- there has to be a way to discover that, too- and there ought to be severe consequences. Severe enough to be a deterrent.
Although I’ve a long been an opponent of the death penalty (precisely because “judges” ARE corrupt) I think some crimes rise to that level. Being a corrupt judge, cop, politician, military commander, FBI agent, schoolteacher, priest…rises to that level. “Treason” is a capital offense, and that is what best describes corruption.
The Democrats are furious about this as yet “unnamed investigation” , just as Trump is furious about the Mueller Report. In my opinion, nobody has been “exonerated” about anything. They might all be guilty as hell, and we need to know NOW, not “after the election”, but BEFORE the election. Not 50 years from now, when we can’t do anything about it.
On another issue, if I were Joe Biden in his current predicament, I’d say, “I’m 72 years old, I’ve made politics my life’s work and I’ve been fairly successful at it.” Then I’d stretch out my arms, and I’d rotate my body 180 degrees, and I’d say, “This is MY space. If you stick your hand into MY space, I’ll do my very best to shake your hand- because I assume that’s what you want me to do, and that’s what I want to do. I wouldn’t be a politician if I didn’t.” Then, I’d stretch out my elbows, repeat the 180 degree movement. “If you get THIS close to me, then I’m going to assume you want me to put my arm around you and hug you. I’ll want to hug you- and I WILL hug you. If you don’t like MY rules for MY space, then stay the hell out of MY space!”
“You WILL get the opportunity to accept or reject me in the primaries, and maybe in the general election- by voting. Please learn all you can about all your choices- and VOTE in this election. 2020 is the most important election in recent American history- if not ALL American history- and YOUR vote WILL determine its outcome. Thank you, God Bless You, and God Bless America!”
BreakingNews: 3/23/2019: The Fix is In
I thought it a bit premature for PBS to run their special documentary about the Mueller report, when all we know about it is a couple of pages of summarization by a recently appointed AG who has written many (many) more pages recently proclaiming the president to be above the law. I expect their reasoning was that for a short moment the audience was paying attention, and the episode might have the most value it’ll ever have right now before the issue sinks to the bottom of the nation’s priorities. I would recommend to everyone to watch it, preferably with close captioning and the sound off- if they show it again. The smarmy tone gets tedious, but the evidence is clear. They might not, and you might have to find it and stream it.
Quite simply the American president was put in place by a foreign power in 2016. Not just any foreign power, but by America’s most dangerous enemy. Most of Trump’s top campaign people, including his own family members, met with Russian government agents multiple times. Why? Serious crimes were uncovered, plea bargains driven, convictions achieved- and some of these people are going to jail on multiple felonies- no doubt expecting to be pardoned when the public attention turns elsewhere- as long as they keep their mouths shut, probably sometime in December 2020, after the elections. Then, they’ll be in Candyland for ever after, they think. If Trump wins, that is- but at least they’ll be free and available for the next corrupt scheme, having made their bones. Trump will say, “The witch-hunt is over!”, issue the pardons- and nobody will object. The hot new House Democrats will be knuckled under by then, Nancy will see to that.
Today the Democrats “demand” the full report be released, along with Trump’s taxes and financials. But, they can count the votes and see that the Republicans can (and will) stonewall past the elections. In the mind of the political class, the universe has a two year cycle. Campaigns begun, campaigns done- and new campaigns begun. That’s how they make their money, and that’s what matters to them. That American elections are corrupt is old news to them, nothing to be concerned about. Money is the mother’s milk of politics, what’s new about that? What matters is that they can use the issue to gain an advantage in 2020, put their own puppet in the White House- and “Happy days are here again!” So, the seedier the outcome, the better it is for the Democrats.
This is what needs to happen. The American People need to demand ALL the documents be released- to everyone. Every page, including any which might be “redacted” for one or another corrupt reason. No more waiting 50 years to find out we went to war in Vietnam, more than a million people died- on a faked “Tonkin Gulf Incident”. WMD’s in Iraq? Another million or so dead on that one, and it’s still expanding.
Everyone involved needs to be questioned about it, under oath- in full public view. What’s the chance of that actually happening? Jeff Sessions needs to answer the question, “Why did you recuse yourself from the Russia investigation?” The obvious answer is that he was involved, along with everyone else- and could be forced to perjure himself. What other explanation can there be? Isn’t it obvious that Kavanaugh and Barr owe their appointments to their “expansive” views on presidential power?
The fix is in.
BreakingNews: 3/15/2019: The Ides of March
In Shakespeare’s version, Julius Caesar had been warned by a blind beggar, “Beware the ides of March”. Fearless, on his way to the Senate he passed the beggar and said, “The ides of March have come.” The beggar answered, “Aye, Caesar, but not yet gone.”
The Wall Street Journal today (3/23) was a “Domino Day”, the house of cards (sorry for the mixed metaphor) is starting to come down. Mueller’s report has been delivered to the recently appointed attorney general, whose integrity is now on the line. The Democrats demand full disclosure of the whole report, as they should. Americans need to know exactly what happened, and the millions who voted in 2016 need to ask themselves, “Was my vote affected?”
Mine might have been. I originally intended to hold my nose and vote for Hillary Clinton. I simply couldn’t vote for Trump- I already knew his story (being from New York, and having done business with him…) like everyone I know who actually knew him. His support came from those who didn’t know him- or knew him and were crooked as he is and went along for the ride. Some (good people) voted for disruption of the status quo- which needs disruption. And others (not such good people) voted for him because he was “enemy of the enemy”- not friends to anyone. Before he was even nominated I predicted he’d be impeached. Why? Because people who refuse to stop at stop lights eventually get pulled over. It is inevitable. It occurred to me that he might actually be working for the Democrats, his intent being to destroy the Republican Party. He insulted everyone. The Republicans- like a woman called a whore- then bent over. He was surprised as everyone else when he actually got elected! Once elected, why should he change anything?
I voted for the Libertarian, safe in the knowledge that he had no chance. But if Comey hadn’t announced the resumption of Hillary’s e-mail investigation, I might have voted for her. My vote might have been compromised, I’ll admit it. How about yours? How much smoke can you see and still deny there’s a fire?
The rest of the news today was the same. Behind the scenes manipulations making fools of everyone who ever trusted anyone. Corrupt Ivy League colleges, faked Bitcoin trades, opioid lawsuits, even faked veterinary x-rays of race horses! Failed medical trials, people buying gold fleeing corporate cooked books… even former Enron boss- master chef of cooked books- Skilling, looking for money to make a comeback in the energy business after 12 years in the pen!
Who, in America, can you trust? Can you trust the priest alone with your son or daughter? Can you trust your doctor, your pharmacist, your broker, your lawyer…to give you good advice? Can you trust your representatives in government to represent you? Or the big donors? It’s the 11th hour of the Orgy of Corruption. Nobody’s even trying to hide it any more. They just want to get all they can while they can- with no fear of consequences. I feel tomorrow’s big headache coming on.
BreakingNews: 2/15/2019: Trump, Trump and more Trump
The Wall Street Journal today was almost entirely devoted to Trump and Trump’s disruptions. Some of them I support- at least in principle. Secure the southern border, even if he has to declare an national emergency to do it. He tried to do it the usual way, but failed. It still needs to be done.
Stop the Chinese state-run corporations from stealing American technology, make them trade fairly. That’s not going to be easy, as connected as the world has become via the internet. He can only do what he can do, and the Chinese will have to do the rest- or we’ll have to exclude them from our markets until they figure it out that they’re better off playing by fair rules than not being allowed to play. It won’t be quick, or fun. We can use the opportunity to rebuild America’s economic independence.
McCabe has come out with a book about the Russia Investigation, Trump’s attempts to contain it. I don’t think they’ll be able to impeach- let alone convict- Trump, for that. Putin had his own good reasons for doing it, and Trump has plausible deniability- whether he was complicit, or not. There was one thing Trump and Clinton agreed about during the 2016 campaign- our election system is corrupt to the core and the only way to succeed is to be better at corruption than the competition. Trump won.
Most of the rest of today’s news has Trump component to it. Bezos’ decision to skip Queens. Venezuelan oil disruption, and likely higher prices to come. Even the Vatican sex scandal. We found out he’s gained weight -4 lbs, enough to make him technically “obese”- and upped his cholesterol meds. Perhaps the stress is getting to him.
I launched this website ASAP after the election, because I could foresee a Constitutional crisis would be inevitable- because Trump would instigate one. I predicted Trump would be impeached, and maybe even convicted- before he was even elected. Actually, I predicted it before he was even nominated. The only questions would be by whom, when and for what?
Why should he follow the Constitution religiously when none of his predecessors did? The problem for Trump is he has no real friends or allies, and he’s a newcomer to the Washington corruption and he’s making it more difficult for the “old hands”- and they’re lining up against him. We all predicted it, the only question was how long would it take for the hounds to corner him?
I personally think Trump is good for America, the same way an alarm clock is good for a lazy school-kid. We need to wake up and get to work fixing America- particularly the corruption which underlies all of our current government- or we’re going to regret it.
BreakingNews 2/7/2019:State of the Union
Trump’s State of the Union Speech made things look pretty rosy. The problem is some of us know we always have to wait for a fact-check before we can believe anything he says. We’ve seen the “big lie theory” in practice long enough to know. As Maverick used to say, “You can fool some of the people all of the time, all of the people some of the time- but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.”
Of course, there are still plenty of “low-info” voters who made their decision years ago and no longer question any of it who believe it and feel vindicated in their choice- and can keep their heads in the sand awhile longer before they have to think again. In addition, the Democrats are playing their cards (very) foolishly- so there’s no real alternative vision the electorate can see as a better way forward. In 2020 everyone expects to have to choose “the lesser of two evils”, and the incumbent always enjoys the advantage- “The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know.”
Not everyone rooting for Trump’s success is a deplorable idiot. We really do need better security on our southern border, and a physical barrier will make it more difficult for the employers of illegals to get the low wage, no problems employees they need to give us cheap food and housing and still make their profits. This might lead to pressure for a better immigration policy, a legal “guest worker” program- because the vegetables still need to be picked, houses built, chickens slaughtered by somebody- and Americans still don’t want to do it, and others see it as an opportunity for a better life. If you don’t believe it, try building (or even renting) a house in California, today- with an average $50,000/year income.
Many Americans are quite happy not to have to argue with their spouses at tax time, as they prepared their “filing fiction” for the IRS. It isn’t just the small respite from the taxes- they will get charged that some other way, or their grandkids will be locked in poverty to pay them. It’s the big relief from the unconstitutional self-incriminating paperwork hassle- and the fear of the IRS gestapo knocking at your door.
Tariffs are the means to the end of no tariffs. Farmers who are suffering now because of them understand that. The Chinese and other trading partners need to play the game by fair rules. Energy independence is a good thing, too- we’ve fought too many wars, supported too many dictators and genocides in our insatiable quest for oil around the world. Why should the Chinese pollute the world’s air burning our coal to fuel their economy, when we can burn our gas and build our economy instead- and so much cleaner?
It’s too easy to spend somebody else’s money. If NATO members think they need military power, they need to pay for it. The American taxpayer has better use for that money than supporting rich foreign freeloaders. I cheer Trump’s efforts to bring our soldiers home, it’s about time we disengage from these futile wars supporting corrupt puppet governments which will eventually fail anyway. It’s interesting how much bipartisan support the political class can muster for their patrons in the military industrial complex, but little else.
The problem isn’t so much what Trump does, as how he does it. And, as anyone who’s read “Mein Kampf” and “Rise and Fall of the Third Reich” knows, that can make ALL the difference. Luckily we live in today’s America, not in 1933’s Germany. I still have confidence that enough Americans in the right places understand our Founding Documents. I wish the electorate understood them, too.
Mueller’s investigation will show us that the fault lies with us- our addictions to social media, our intellectual laziness, our deficient education, our negligent parenting. Of course the Russians meddle in our elections- we meddle in theirs too. The corruption of elections is standard practice, worldwide. Everyone does it. I’ve been remiss in my duties with respect to this column because I’ve been studying database building. I have an idea I think might address that problem, which I hope soon to announce.
PS. A day later reading about the State of the Union in the Wall Street Journal I learned the “designated survivor” was ex-Texas Governor Rick Perry. Since everyone important in the government was in that room, if some terrorist got in and set off a bomb and killed everyone there- someone from the president’s cabinet needed to be designated to survive. Perhaps the least competent member of the RoguesGallery of Trump appointments, he was a good choice. “Forgetful Rick” probably wouldn’t remember any of it, anyway. I tried without success to find a transcript of the speech in the blizzard of commentary. My next column will report on the fact-check…
BreakingNews: 1/1/2019: Happy New Year.
Things have been happening at mind-bending speed on the political front. The Democrats seem on course to blow their 2018 success at the polls, and find themselves back out in the cold in 2020- with an emboldened Trump free from Mueller’s investigations, with an impregnable fortress of justices in the Supreme Court to rubber stamp his agenda, reelected with a House and Senate majority to go along with it.
After promising to make big changes in the way they do things, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer and the corrupt Democratic Party are still in control, they’re still trying to sell Hillary Clinton, still preoccupied with the #metoo movement, and the gaggle of “game-changing” new Democrat representatives are falling in line with the corrupt status quo- and likely to fall right back out as immediately as the “Blue Dogs” which came in with Obama went out- just as fast.
Back in my construction days I employed a “Green Card” Mexican who also became a good friend. We lived together, ate together, watched TV together. We spent many hours together in the truck, me trying to improve my Spanish and him correcting it- explaining the idioms of the language, talking about the differences in our cultural heritage. He’d “wade the river” when he visited family because it was quicker and easier than going through the red tape at the border. His wife was a college professor- but he made more money than she did as a laborer in the U.S. He was the best employee I ever had.
Together, we watched a Saturday Night Live skit where “Bill” spanked “Hillary” and exclaimed, “I should have done this years ago!” At least half of Americans thought it was funny. That was then…
“You have no idea what a great country you live in…” he said, “…if anyone did that in Mexico on Saturday night, they wouldn’t be in church on Sunday morning.” Later, he became a U.S. Citizen.
I don’t think it’s dumb to devote $5.5 billion to make it harder to “wade the river”, and to hire the extra judges to make immigration decisions more quickly, create a viable “guest worker” program, and to improve detention centers to make them more humane- at the same time not just “catch and release” illegal immigrants back into the “dark economy”. They can get the money from the military budget- just quit fighting a few of the hundred plus wasteful and futile wars we’ve got going on. The Democrats have an opportunity to show what they can do better than the corrupt and infantile Republicans did when they had the power, but not the nerve- to change things. It looks like the same old shit- pardon my French.
Breaking News: Christmas 2018: Promises
Trump has delivered on his biggest promise- disruption. Although I didn’t vote for him, don’t like how he does things and feel America’s “separation of powers” needs to re reinvigorated to keep him in bounds- I have to admit it’s been masterfully done. I even approve of much of what’s happened, for what it’s worth.
Trump is finally rid of the exmilitary brass he immediately surrounded himself with when he took office, and he’s bringing home troops from Syria and Afghanistan. It’s about time, in my opinion. But the right wing media, till now acquiescent to anything Trump says or does- is starting to chant “impeachment” when he does something which might cost money and power to the military industrial complex. Hopefully we’ll leave the rest of the 100 wars we’re currently fighting behind, too.
We’re taking on the Russians, the Chinese, the North Koreans and the Iranians which have been attacking our gullible electorate in their social media addicted dreamland with troll-delivered propaganda, data hacks and other internet based miscreant behaviors with the only weapon which works- tariffs and sanctions which cost them money and power. Big money doesn’t care how many cities are destroyed, how many millions of people are killed, starved and maimed. If you want to get their attention and make them sweat- call off a war or two.
“Hang ‘em high”, Jim Crow prosecutor Jeff Sessions is gone, and criminal justice reform is underway. Tariffs have brought back American manufacturing, and China’s tech thefts and sanctions violations are finally being addressed. Corrupt Chinese state subsidized businesses are being shut out of big projects and their executives find themselves worried about traveling in the free world previously safely available for full exploitation.
A lot of the rogues in his cabinet are gone (and good riddance) along with the Republican House and their ridiculous attempts to “repeal” and defund the Affordable Care Act. They got the corporate tax rate competitive with the rest of the world (where it should be) and now the Democrats are poised to shift some of the burden of taxation to where it belongs- on the rich, which derive the most benefit from the status quo and need to pay their fair share to support it. If they don’t, their own corruption will be exposed. Perhaps they will be forced to do the right thing, for a change.
Trump might even give them a shot at real reform of the healthcare system, something I’ve advocated from the beginning. I call it “Medicaid for All”. Medicare is too corrupt and inefficient to apply to the whole population, but a well crafted new lean and efficient Medicaid, where everyone pays the same price for everything- and the rich can pay (or buy insurance to pay) for their special treatment currently subsidized by the taxpayer, deprived to the poor- which pay taxes at the highest rates, just as they pay the highest prices for everything else they buy, too.
The overinflated stock market is getting corrected, and the “virtual” values of the high-flying “virtual” FAANG stocks and BitCoin are being reevaluated by classic measures of value, hopefully preventing a really painful bust. We’ve got full employment, and the illegal immigration issues are being addressed. They might even decide to build an effective barrier on our porous southern border, together with an effective “guest worker” program to address labor shortages, when they happen.
Trump could get impeached, and he certainly will be threatened with impeachment- but I think he’ll start playing ball with the Democrats, and they’ll decide to “wait and see”. He might even get a second term, perhaps as a third party candidate. Wouldn’t that be interesting?
In my opinion, the biggest new area open to improvement is America’s public education system. If I were a newly elected House Democrat looking to make a name for myself healthcare, education and infrastructure is where I’d focus my attention. “America First” makes sense to me. Lead by example, not by coercion. Solve our problems first. Stop the waste and wars abroad, and get back to work at home. If people want to live in a “shit hole”, let them. If they don’t like it, they can fix it. We can’t fix it for them- and certainly not by bombing them and corrupting their leaders. That doesn’t work.
For political junkies like me, 2019 looks like a banner year in the making. Lots to debate, think about and talk about. Merry Christmas! Nothing focuses the government’s attention like a budget shutdown- everyone blaming everyone else. Government at its best! Fun, fun, fun…
BreakingNews : 11/23/2018: Election Results
For the Democrats to take the House after the midterms was predictable enough, and the Republicans keeping the Senate was predictable, too. I was ready to write a column saying there will be no impeachment until after the 2020 election. But Trump has outdone himself, and could have started the gears turning to his hastened demise. Trump’s support of the Saudi prince orchestrating the murder of a Washington Post journalist, ostensibly to protect hugely inflated billions of weapons sales and a problematic “ally” (remember 911 was almost entirely Saudi ex-pats…) has infuriated not only ALL of our allies (to the delight of ALL of our enemies)- but a few important Republican Senators, as well. They have to be looking at themselves, and each other- and asking, “How much more of this are we going to take?” Getting impeachment though the Senate might not be as impossible now as it looked only a few short days ago.
Meanwhile, Facebook’s top echelon is on notice that the company is “at war” with regulators in the EU, and when Mueller’s (unprotected Facebook data, Cambridge Analytica, Republican Party, Russian Bots posing as Facebook Friends delivering Russian propaganda to machine-chosen susceptible voters…) story finally gets told (soon, following the midterm hiatus) they know there will be a big push for more of the same- here, at home, in America. Added to that Zuckerberg being the source of the “fake news” propaganda campaign against George Soros…it’s no wonder that all stocks over-evaluated on the prospects of future profitable data-mining are dropping like a rock. Democrats used to like Facebook. It was “connecting the world”, right?
Trump also possibly added another to his list of impeachable offenses by sending the U.S. Army to the southern border (posse comitatus- if anyone’s interested) which might be unconstitutional- and his daughter, Ivanka, is being investigated for e-mail indiscretions remarkable similar to those which bedeviled Hillary Clinton during the campaign. She might have known better.
James Comey and Loretta Lynch have been subpoenaed to testify in a closed session. Comey say’s he’ll do it only if it’s open to all eyes and ears. Trump’s lawyers have sent in their answers to Mueller’s questions, but refuse to let their client testify in person. A lot of interesting news portending more of the same. Stay tuned.
I can’t see much sunshine on the horizon for the Trump presidency.
BreakingNews: 11/5/2018: Election Day
I’ve held my absentee ballot until today, and I’m sitting in the coffee shop prepared to vote. It has to be delivered before noon, today. I wanted to show the youngster barristas I see here most days how rich, old white people vote by passing around my unmarked absentee ballot- as something of a civics lesson for the disenfranchised in our society.
Election day is the “Moment of Truth” in American politics, and most Americans skip it. I don’t wait in line four hours to vote, like most poor people must- and don’t. If I did it a few days ago, I could have done it with fifty cents postage (which the election committee would provide, if I’m short…) but today I get to go to the election center and drop off my ballot, get my “I Voted” sticker. It took less than a minute from when I parked my car to save the fifty cents.
At the same time I voted, I learned that I can get a free lunch at the same place, every day! (or, I can “donate” $4.00…) People who don’t vote might not know that.
“If you don’t vote, you don’t matter.”
Our society benefits voters most- voting matters. So it’s no wonder that rich, old white people get the best deal. They ALWAYS vote. Republicans try to suppress the vote, so that rich old white people get more “bang” for their votes cast. Rich, old white people tend to be conservative- why would I want to change anything if everything’s set up to benefit me already?
Republicans can take rich, old white people for granted- but there aren’t enough of them to win an election with their votes alone. They have to motivate poor people- especially poor white people, young and old- to vote like rich, old white people. They use fear and loathing- of people of color, people of strange dress, customs and religions, people from other countries- to make them feel threatened, to bring out the poor white people vote by making them angry and fearful. It’s little wonder that Republicans are willing to evoke hostility of white people for minorities at election time- it’s what they’ve got which works best.
Democrats try to encourage their “core constituencies” to vote, and to vote Democrat. So, their tactic is to make everyone feel “discriminated against” by the rich old white people – women, especially. They’re over 50% of the vote. If the Democrats can make women feel like a “minority”, make them resent the power of rich, old white MEN, they think they can make them angry at the Republicans- and can win elections.
I’m disgusted with both political parties, so this year I’m going to vote “Contrarian”. When I have the option, I’ll vote for the “Third Party” candidate. In Montana, where the Republicans control the State House, I’ll vote Democrat. At the national level, where the Republicans control everything- I’ll vote Democrat. Trump needs “guardrails”, and the Republicans won’t provide them. Trump will finish his first term, perhaps with impeachment- but with no fear of conviction. That would require some Senate Republicans to put The Constitution ahead of corruption- and that is very (very) unlikely.
The Democrats think they’re headed for a big win in 2020, another supermajority. They’ll use their 2018 House win to harass the president, make political points with each of his foibles- and think they’ll win it all in 2020. Then THEY can go on a spending spree. I think this economic “boom” will “bust” by November, 2020. It’s a “bubble”- printing and spending money they don’t have, everyone assuming regressive taxation of the next generation will (miraculously) pay it off. It won’t, unless fundamental changes are made to our economic structure. Neither political party will require the rich to pay fair taxes, because the rich vote and supply the money to the political process. Both parties love to spend future generations’ money.
Everyone needs to vote, because everyone needs to matter. “No Taxation without Representation?” Guess what… even if you don’t vote you still have to pay taxes! If you won’t do it for yourself, do it for your children.
BreakingNews: 11/1/2018: Montana Libertarian US Senate Candidate Quits on the Eve of the Election.
The absentee ballots have been in our hands for better than a week already, and many of my friends have already voted…some for my friend Rick Breckenridge, on my recommendation. I intended to vote for him, too- but I held my ballot to the last minute and now I’m glad I did. He dropped out today, endorsed the Trump sycophant Republican Matt Rosendale, for whose candidacy Trump has made three trips to Montana to “rally the base”. I’m sick about it. I’ve asked Rick to read this column, and respond. When he does I’ll put up his response in its entirely, verbatim.
I believed that Rick was the only honest candidate in the race. When the Senate has to decide about Trump’s impeachment -which it likely will- I believed he would decide on the merits of the evidence and the U.S. Constitution. The Democrat will vote “Yes”, the Republican will vote “No.”- no matter what the evidence is, or what the Constitution says. The Libertarian ought to have “Liberty of the Mind” enough to make a free and rational decision, and enough respect for the U.S.Constitution to make the right one.
I don’t disagree with everything Trump does. I have to ask myself, “If I were president and 10,000 “refugees” were marching on the US southern border- what would I do?” I’d do what I had to do, what my responsibility was to do- enforce the law- and probably the same thing Trump’s doing. I don’t see he has much choice. It’s the same with Chinese trade practices. If you can’t get them to do fair trade by being nice, then put them in a corner. Force them to do the right thing. Cutting the corporate tax rate to parity with the rest of the world to stop the exodus of corporations(and jobs) from American shores- that makes sense. The alternative is sanctioning our own corporations, making them pay tariffs- a ridiculous idea.
I also think people have the right, guaranteed by the First Amendment, to free speech. It doesn’t have to be “nice speech, polite speech, politically correct speech, intelligent speech, safe speech…” to be protected by the First Amendment. I think expressing racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, partisan religious, denial of science and history in word and print are Constitutionally guaranteed free speech. They’re also ignorant and when someone expresses them, ALL his other views are discredited with them. It’s better to know someone’s not worth listening to or voting for- than not to know. But, ANONYMOUS “free speech” is not protected, in my opinion. And corporations are corporations- something created by the government, given special privileges for a purpose which (presumably) benefits the people as a whole- but they’re not “people”, and certainly have no right to ANONYMOUS “free speech”. “Citizen’s United” was a 100% corrupt decision, by an illegitimate Supreme Court. The Kavanaugh appointment was anti-constitutional, too. America is in trouble, and we need good leadership to emerge… but from where? I hoped the Libertarians would step up.
Everyone who uses Facebook should watch the PBS two part special about “Facebook’s Dilemma”. I don’t think they’re responsible for what people post, and people should be able to post anything…absolutely anything. That’s why I’m a Libertarian. But people should also understand what’s going on, that there are people and computer algorithm’s which know more about them than they know about themselves- and aren’t constrained by any kind of morality in deciding what to do with that information. They have to make a profit, or they’ll go out of business. Facebook’s dilemma is that their profit model is under worldwide attack by sovereign national governments- the EU in particular. They’ve lied and obfuscated about it for too long, trying to minimize the public perception of the problem- figuring we wouldn’t understand it anyway- and it’s just got worse and worse, bigger and bigger- the longer they’ve lied about it. Now they’re a public company, perhaps “too big to fail”? And people all over the world are addicted to their product. Facebook could cause the next Great Recession, just like AIG did the last one- exactly the same way. They created something too big to handle, and it got out of hand.
I think we need the 2nd Amendment today more than ever. That’s Libertarian, too. But that doesn’t mean that a lovesick teenager should be able to take his mother’s credit card into Walmart and buy a machine gun and 1000 rounds of ammunition and go shoot up a school- and have nobody “responsible” for it.
In my opinion, Trump has exceeded the Constitutional limits to his power- and needs to be constrained. That’s why we have “separation of powers”- three branches of government, each with their own powers. The People elect the US House every two years, and they can unelected them in another two years. That’s what we need to do this year, un-elect the ones we elected two years ago.
BreakingNews: Score two more mass murders
….to the politics of division. We listen to the talking heads on the news bemoan the divided state of America, and conclude (depending which side of the divide they’re on) that the problem is the Democrats (or the Republicans). I think I’m the most misunderstood person on the planet. The Democrats and the Republicans are not “divided”- they’re in collusion. “What do they agree about?” you ask, incredulously. They agree about everything big, and when they don’t want to find a solution to a problem- they turn it into a big argument, put the issue into partizan gridlock, blame each other- and they make their donors happy. Their biggest donors give to both sides, twice as much to the incumbent as the challenger, and the challenger knows if he wins the election- in the next one he’ll get the lion’s share.
The reason I recommended voting Democrat in 2018 is not because I think the Democrats are better than the Republicans. They’re not. They’re both equally corrupt, and they agree about all things corrupt. War, Regressive Taxation, Police State, Prison Nation, the Rich (especially themselves) getting richer, the poor getting poorer. They both mislead, misinform, manipulate- to benefit themselves.
WAR. JFK and LBJ- Democrats- started the Vietnam war. Nixon-the Republican- said he was going to end it,(“Peace with honor…” remember?) but he didn’t. It was only after we “lost” that war, Vietnam almost immediately became our “ally”. Bush II-the Republican- started Iraq, Afghanistan. Obama said it was a “dumb war” and promised to end it. But he didn’t. Instead, he spread it to first Libya…and then around the globe. From Nigeria on the Atlantic, across Africa, Egypt, through the middle east, Pakistan, on to Indonesia and India on the Pacific. It now includes more territory than WWI, the Roman Empire- and it’s caused mass migrations of millions of refugees, millions of casualties hundreds of destroyed, uninhabitable cities. Trump claimed to want to end it, too- but now he’s just turned it over to the military and said, “Have fun, boys.” Russia joined in, why let the Americans have all the fun? War is (always has been, always will be) good for the rich, and it is always most at the expense of the poor.
REGRESSIVE TAXATION. Who will we get to pay for these wars, police, prisons? We’ll happily agree to mortgage the future of our children and grand children to pay for it. If the rich have their way, they’ll be rich, too- and the mortgage will fall on the poor in their era, too. Every new tax proposal is more regressive than the last one. The so-called “Fair Tax” is a National Sales Tax, the most regressive tax of all! Why not tax assets? The Average American pays taxes which approximate 30% of his assets every year. A 1/2% tax on ALL assets would pay ALL the bills. The Average American would have $1500/month more to spend. What’s wrong with that idea? No politician will propose it, because his corrupt financing would dry up instantly. There’s no difference between the Republicans and the Democrats on taxation, however big a show they put on at election time.
POLICE STATE, PRISON NATION. The politicians want us to fear our neighbors. If Adolf Hitler had at his fingertips the resources Trump has, we’d all be speaking German. Trump knows that, thinks it might be OK- so he’s using Hitler’s playbook. That’s why I oppose him, and the Republicans in power. They won’t do anything which might disrupt the profits of Big Pharma, so America has become an opiate addicted nation. Educated people are dangerous to tyrants, so we don’t want Americans to be educated- especially not the poor ones. Their answer? More laws, more police, more prisons. Who’s going to pay for it? They’ll cut funding to schools, hospitals- why not? See ABOVE…
DISPARITY OF WEALTH. If Trump and the Republicans can blame people of color, immigrants, other religions, other nations for the problems of America’s poor, sick, unemployed and uneducated- his Plutocrat pals will keep him in power, glorify him. The Plutocrats own the Democrats, too- but their act requires them to appear to want to benefit the poor. They’ve riled up the #metoo women, for the purpose of controlling their votes- but they have no answers to the real problems which have destroyed the American family, forced women from into boring and degrading jobs. They don’t care about the American family, or America’s future, or the health and happiness of Americans. They care about themselves, today. What’s the answer to DISPARITY OF WEALTH? Education for the intelligent, equality of opportunity- “meritocracy”, jobs for those not so intelligent doing work which needs to be done, the ability of a family to survive on one income, and have one parent free to be a parent. They can’t do an infrastructure bill. Why not? Because they don’t care about Americans having decent, good paying jobs. Poverty serves both parties.
We need to unite Libertarians, Greens, Reform Party, Independents and everyone disaffected with the “two-party collusion” into a UNIFIED THIRD PARTY, and break their stranglehold on American politics. We reject the age-old politics of division- “Divide and Conquer”- we want to “Unify and Lead” America and the World to a better future for everyone.
BreakingNews: 10/25/2018: Apology
I apologize to my readers for having been a flaky correspondent lately. This 2018 election is very frustrating, and I haven’t been exactly certain what to say about it. More than anything, I hate to be wrong. I especially hate to claim to be an authority on a subject I don’t know anything about. (…also, I had to give a presentation about Blockchain to my computer class- full of students who know more than I do, less than half my age- and my mind was lost in cyberspace the last week…) Sorry.
I read the Wall Street Journal every day, some days every article. I listen to NPR in the morning (after 2am) and PBS is sometimes on the TV while I lie in bed in an old man’s in-and-out sleep. If I’m asleep at 2am, it’s sometimes still on in the morning. I watch the PBS NewsHour, sometimes more than once. I love Nova. I know WSJ is old-people Republican Party propaganda, and Public Radio and TV reflect the youth, progressive Democratic Party view (which I pretty much share) but the WSJ gives me the grist for my mill. The WSJ is a wide open window into the corruption which rules our world, especially when it comes from the Democratic Party.
Business leaders read it because it gives them opportunity to profit from the corruption- but often the reporting is intended to influence the markets, and those led to believe they are “reading the trend” are the “marks” for a con game. So, there are the “real trends” and the “fake trends”, and telling them apart is the challenge in reading the WSJ. There is only one completely reliable “real trend”, and that is that our political/economic system is getting ever more corrupt- and those who benefit most are those at the top, the “insiders” who create the “news” which gets reported (“spun” is a better word, perhaps…)
Also, the WSJ is completely, reliably and 100% Republican propaganda. You would never, ever find anything (not one word) positive about Obama on the op-ed page for the entire eight years of his presidency. According to the WSJ, Obama was 100% consistently wrong about everything he said and did, and his words and acts were consistent. The WSJ could always oppose Obama, print a reasonable article- and never worry that they might get egg on their face.
But Trump’s constant and errant Twitter Feed is a big problem, especially for those who write the propaganda intended to influence the minds of people who know how to read, have an attention span in excess of 10 seconds, and remember some of what they read and hear. Most of the those who insist that Trump never lies, and they believe whatever he says about everything- whatever it is-(about 40% of the American voters, sadly) don’t bother to read the WSJ, instead watch Fox News. So, while I read the WSJ in the morning, I watch Fox News in the coffee shop where I write this column- enabled by the fact that propaganda is light on reason and complexity, heavy on emotion and simplicity.
For the simpleminded, who reduce all things to “Good” and “Bad”, “Love” and “Hate”- and Republican is one, and Democrat the other (or visa-versa) and vote according to their chemical response to the propaganda- Fox or CNN- knowing how to vote is easy. For those with a somewhat more nuanced view, not so much.
I hate to say it, but I think this is the year to vote Democrat, simply because there aren’t enough Independents, Libertarians and Greens ready for prime time to make a difference and the Republicans have had their turn at the feed-trough (and made a big mess of it), and for their opposition is the best place to put our votes this year. We can vote them out (with Trump) in 2020, but Trump needs some “guard rails” NOW, and the Republicans won’t supply them- but the Democrats can, might , and will if we insist.
BreakingNews: Colorado slavery vote
Every once in a while I learn something about America which makes my hair stand on end. Colorado voters are about to decide whether to continue to permit slavery in Colorado 150 years after the end of the Civil War- which was presumably fought to end slavery and caused more American casualties than all of the rest of our wars combined. Lest anyone think Colorado is a primitive backwater..it turns out only one other state has done this, to date!
Today, in the era of mass incarceration of minorities, the unemployable who have no other option to survive, the developmentally disabled, the drug addicted, the emotionally disturbed (many of whom are military veterans, who acquired their afflictions protecting us) for non-violent crimes (selling drugs, which is why 75% of the incarcerated are..), the time has come for America to leave “The Cave” and be dragged kicking and screaming out into the light. There are so many (3 million) “convicted felons” (most of whom were entrapped, railroaded, deprived of council, and subjected to other unconstitutional law enforcement tactics- torture, violence, degradation, isolation) which are or will one day be walking the streets with our children every American needs to know that subjecting prisoners to the abuses of slavery results in ever more slavery, and ever more crime. Slavery is evil. Those who perpetuate slavery are evil. Slavery was the greatest mistake our nation ever made- and we continue to make it.
Today we argue about a “living minimum wage” of around $15/hour. Prisoners work for 30 cents an hour, and it costs them $5 to make a phone call. This leaves them nowhere to go, nobody waiting for them when they get out. This is why 80+ percent are re-encarcerated. How long would YOU endure that before you grew an irreconcilable hatred for “The Law” which inflicted that on YOU?
Changing this is “enlightened self interest” for America. The “War on Drugs” is little more than the vain attempt to protect corrupt politically connected Big Pharma- profiteers from the opioid epidemic- from their little competitors, who will always re-emerge from our disadvantaged classes to undercut their exorbitant prices for lack of other opportunity. The answer is education and opportunity in our ghettos, not ever more and bigger prisons.
When you go to the polls this year, remember the Libertarians. There is no difference between the Democrats and the Republicans when it comes to mass incarceration for victimless crimes.
BreakingNews: 10/12/2018: Trump prepares for mid-term defeat.
It would always be a mistake to underestimate Donald Trump. A survivor, he knows the Democrats are just as corrupt as the Republicans- and he’s getting his table set for a whole new group of hogs at the feed-trough. He’s kept Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Vice President Mike Pence around for the core constituents which elected him- but once their “conservative” base is in eclipse he’ll start looking for more “progressive” appointments to appease the Democrats, and take some of the wind out of impeachment’s sails. He’s a better sailor than any of them, and he knows the basic truth of politics- it’s all theatre. That’s his specialty.
Today, the Wall Street Journal reports Trump is actively seeking AG Sessions’ replacement. “Hang’emHigh” Sessions pandered to his southern/rural nativist authoritarian “conservative” core constituency, and has been useful as long as the Republicans are in control and impeachment isn’t going to happen on their watch- but his being recused from the Russia Investigation is inconvenient for Trump, who would prefer to hand-pick someone (like Kavanaugh) committed (and able) to protect him.
Once he has a Democrat-controlled legislature, Trump will be free to return to his basic instincts. He was once a Democrat, remember. Democrats are willing to heartily endorse a Leviathan State, and if Trump can remain president- his powers will be even more enhanced by Democrat “statism” than it was by the core constituents which elected him as an “outsider”. We might even see “single payer” under a “reborn” Donald Trump! Politics will get even more interesting in the coming months, I predict.
When you vote in the 2108 elections, remember only the Libertarians fully respect the Constitution and the Bill of Rights before you simply flip the coin over and give it all to the Democrats.
BreakingNews: 10/9/2018: Nikki Haley Quits
Nikki Haley was Republican governor of South Carolina the night they “drove old Dixie down” from above the Capitol- which made her a hero for some (mostly Democrats) and a traitor for others- many of whom are Trump’s core Republican constituents. She criticized Trump in the 2016 elections, too- but then he won.
Then she went to work for Trump, perhaps because being elected for anything Republican in SC after doing that was iffy- as America’s voice in the UN. Most people seemed to like her. I know I did. She speaks convincingly on behalf of Trump’s often controversial foreign policy, and seems to be a big asset. Now she’s announced she’s quitting, just before the elections of 2018. Why? She is unusually successful in performing a very important- and difficult- job, for a difficult boss.
Trump may be described in pejorative terms, but one of them isn’t “stupid”. He knows the power of persuasion of a beautiful woman, and how to use it. HopeHicks, his quiet companion in his darkest hours, quit her job in the White House and is now going to work at Fox News- which always has a good job for an attractive woman with Republican credentials. Nikki could always fall back on that.
The Wall Street Journal hints at two answers. She told Trump she was going to quit when he picked MikePompeo to be Secretary of State, the job she most wanted. They also mentioned that she was in debt, and might need to leverage her current position into something more lucrative, while she can. We’ll see what she does in January- when the new legislature is sworn in and the party balance of power is (perhaps) shifted and her “liberal” Republican brand might have more value in the political marketplace.
She says she doesn’t intend to run for anything in 2020, but I’d bet money she’d accept the VP slot on the Republican ballot, especially if the elections of 2018 are a “blue wave” which flushes out both houses. Trump won’t need Mike Pence as much in 2020 as he did in 2016- he has the evangelicals in the bag already, and Pence’s repertoire beyond seducing them is limited. Like Trump, Nikki Haley is a survivor. American politics will get very interesting, I predict, when Trump has to do his deal-making with a Democratic legislative majority. Trump can find another cute girl for the UN, he has bigger fish to fry.
BreakingNews: 10/3/2018: An Illegitimate Court
“CARLABFAD: Character, Associates, Reputation/Responsibility, Loyalty to the United States, Ability to do the Job, Biases, Financial Responsibility, Alcohol Use, and Drug Abuse.”
When the FBI does a background check to vet a nominee, the rules they follow in their investigation (which presumably insulate them from political pressure) are pneumonically memorable with “CARLA B. FAD”.
The investigation into Brett Kavanaugh is focused on an alleged high school sexual indiscretion/crime involving alcohol which included Mark Judge, an alcoholic and drug addict…which would indicate Kavanaugh has issues with Character, Associates, Reputation/Responsibility, Alcohol Use.
From his tirade about the Democratic Party (“The Clintons”, etc) we can see it’s also likely he harbors a political Bias against almost 1/2 the American population.
There’s one avenue of inquiry which has been ignored in previous CARLABFAD style investigations…and is likely to be ignored in this one, too. Loyalty to the United States. In particular, Loyalty to the Constitution of the United States. The Constitution wasn’t written for the convenience of law enforcement, and the FBI has its own natural anti-constitutional bias in that respect. They are less likely to find fault with an authoritarian judge.
The Constitution makes their job more difficult, not easier. It limits their powers, doesn’t enhance them. Mark Judge can tell them to “shove it”. They can’t (Constitutionally) torture him to get the information they might want. They can threaten him with jail for “contempt of court”, but everyone (including Mark Judge) knows it will all be over in a week or two. He can always claim (like Ronald Reagan) that he is “cooperating” but “doesn’t remember anything about it”- and there’s not a damn thing anyone can do about it.
Even if somebody else remembers him brag about it, he can still insist he remembers nothing. He was a drunk and a drug addict, after all- he has an excuse (like Ronald Reagan) for having a bad memory. He doesn’t have to take a lie detector test- and neither does Kavanaugh. And they won’t.
There are plenty of delving personal questions they’d need to ask of everyone involved in the story, and get answers in order to get a clear picture of what actually happened- but they can’t, and won’t.
We need to face the fact that we’ll never get a clear picture of what actually happened at that party 36 years ago where Christine Ford claims she was assaulted by Brett Kavanaugh and Mark Judge.
Kavanaugh will get confirmed, and roughly half of Americans will believe there’s another corrupt judge- at least two, on the Supreme Court-and most of the big cases are decided 5-4, by one vote. Both corrupt justices will vote on the same side of every case. It makes the U.S. Supreme Court completely illegitimate, and their decisions illegitimate, and the history of their decisions (the venerable “stare decisis”) also illegitimate.
It’s a very big deal. As Americans, with respect for our Constitution- we shouldn’t stand still for it. We deserve better than that. A Supreme Court Justice should get 60 votes in the Senate, or they should find someone else who can. Americans should reject partisan judges and the process which chooses them. Judges should be non-partisan, or they’re illegitimate. Today, we have an illegitimate Supreme Court. It’s that simple.
BreakingNews: 10/2/2018: Now we wait
If there was ever a time for a fast and thorough FBI investigation, now would be that time. Because the impending 2018 elections are so close, and the credibility of both political parties, their leadership, their candidates and their incumbents so much on the line- the American People deserve answers we can believe NOW. Not two months from now.
They’ve been given a week. Now the politicians need to get out of the way and turn the FBI loose, and roll the dice. We need to treat this with an urgency we didn’t feel prior to 9-11, and didn’t prevent that disaster, and the resultant chain of disasters which followed. Millions have died, and they’re still dying as the result of that failure. This one is potentially even worse.
The pivotal power to instruct the FBI in it’s work is in the hands of Jeff Sessions and Rod Rosenstein. If it weren’t for Sessions recusal from the Russia investigation (and, perhaps his own involvement in that and other potential 2016 Republican campaign “problems”, which could lead to Trump’s impeachment, and possibly a key part of the Kavanaugh story…) the decision and responsibility would be in his hands alone. Instead, it’s Rod Rosenstein’s moment of destiny. Will he stand up and be The Man…or will he fold over? What did he and Trump discuss last week? America needs to know.
A whitewash now won’t do it. The questions raised are too big, too important- to be “smoothed over” with an unconvincing micro-managed pseudo “investigation” to a foregone conclusion. What if Christine Blasie Ford is a Democratic Party patsy, conscripted to serve as a “suicide bomber”- now handcuffed to the steering wheel of a truck-bomb headed toward its target? Why did Pelosi sit on it so long? Is it just a “dirty trick” on the eave of the election? If that’s true, then it needs to be immediately exposed and stopped and there needs to be severe consequences to deter more of the same in the future. The voters need to know the answer before they deliver their “Blue Wave”, and the power to the Democrats.
If Trump & the Republicans are trying to stack the Supreme Court in an effort to thwart prosecution of “high crimes and misdemeanors” of the President- and that’s the reason Kavanaugh’s been chosen- the American People deserve an answer to that question, too. If Sessions tries to hog-tie the FBI, we need to see that, too. If Trump tries to bully Rosenstein, we need to know that, too.
If we get unsatisfactory answers, what will we do? Will we have confidence in our leaders and our mission as a nation? It’s THAT important.
BreakingNews: 9/29/2018: Truth and Justice- postmortem unanswered questions.
In the middle of his tirade, Lindsey Graham asked Brett Kavanaugh if he’d “been through Hell” at the confirmation hearing, and he answered “…worse than Hell”. That, in my opinion, is speculation…sloppy speculation. Of Hell, he hasn’t seen anything yet.
It’s surprising to me that nobody asked Christine Blasey Ford why, at age 15, her parents let her go to a drinking party in a location nobody can remember? My parents always needed to know where I was going, even in those “wild and woolly” days of the 1960’s. Was it because high school drinking parties were so common then and there that who could remember one from another? Were those who owned the home there? Where were they? Did they know their home was being used in this way? Who was the “responsible” party? Today they might get in big trouble for “contributing to the delinquency of a minor”, if the victim was the daughter of people rich and powerful, they got a lawyer and pushed it.
Did she lie to her parents about where she was going? What was her purpose in going? Was she hoping to warm up to one of the scions of the rich and powerful- like Kavanaugh? Was her real complaint that her encounter with Kavanaugh was spoiled by the intrusion of one of his buddies? Why did she wear a one piece bathing suit under her clothes? Did they have a swimming pool? Why was the only other witness- the buddy she named, Mark Judge – absent from the hearing?
I understand Mark Judge wrote a book in rehab about his besotted and addicted life, even mentioned Judge Kavanaugh by (misspelled) name in his account as one of its characters- and described him in detail. Mark Judge was known for “walking in” on people in compromised circumstance, perhaps hoping to be invited in? Somebody needs to read this book, and give us a book report in time for the 2018 mid term elections. Better still, put it online for all of us to read for ourselves, and subpoena him to testify. A crime is alleged to have been committed, for which there is no statute of limitations. We need to get to the bottom of it.
Now I expect to learn the whole story, as the result of a full FBI investigation, however long it takes. Those of us who don’t live the privileged life of these characters deserve a clearer view of those who are chosen to govern us. This event should throw open a window into the lives of the pampered elite for the rest of us not quite so lucky to see and decide about what we want for our leadership, and decide about the process which chooses it.
If it’s a false accusation, Pelosi’s “dirty trick”, we need to know that, too.
I expect Kavanaugh will withdraw, because his whole class of people will prefer not to be so exposed, and will demand it. I hope he doesn’t, and I hope the whole story gets told. I’d prefer to see him rejected. But I’d rather seem him confirmed than quit, and have it all swept under the rug.
He needs to know- to feel it in the pit of his stomach- if he had black skin and did what he allegedly did (and even if he didn’t actually do it, but didn’t have the money for lawyers to prove he didn’t)- he’d probably be in jail today, a wasted life like millions of others not so fortunate- rather than be the nominee for the Supreme Court.
What if they’re both telling (half) the truth? What if the real story is that she went to the party hoping to meet Brett Kavanaugh, they found their way to a bedroom together, Mark Judge walked in on them…and Kavanaugh was too blotto to remember it, or her? How can anyone claim to remember everything that ever happened in his life? Brett Kavanaugh even claims to know what it’s like someplace he’s never been…in Hell! If you’re a believing Catholic, believe in Hell- unless you can remember being dead and being resurrected- how would you know what it’s like in Hell, and be able to speculate that being in a partisan Senate confirmation hearing is worse than that?
If that’s the real truth, then I don’t think being too drunk as a teenager and doing something stupid and not recalling it makes him any worse than anyone else. What do we expect from a Supreme Court Justice? He’s human, too. He just has to realize that. I can also understand why she’d be so wounded by it, too. She remembers him, even if he doesn’t remember her. “Hell hath no fury,” it’s said, “like the wrath of a woman scorned.” This could be a teaching moment for everyone- him, her and all of us.
Then, he might actually become a good justice. In my opinion, the best justices in recent times have been nominated by “conservative” Republican presidents- but they didn’t always deliver on their “rightist” expectations. Their humanity grew over time, perhaps as the Founders intended when they designed the system.
One more tiny observation…49% of Americans are Protestant, 24% Catholic, 1.8% Mormon, 1.4% Jewish. But the Supreme Court is 6 Catholics, 3 Jews, no Protestants. Interesting… why?
I heard a good line at the hearing…I can’t remember who delivered it…
“Truth first, then justice.”
BreakingNews: 9/28/2018: Thumbs down
Everyone prejudges. We accumulate a lifetime of experiences, of education, parenting- we even inherit prejudices in our genome. If I told you I’m not prejudiced, I would be lying.
There was no doubt in my mind going into the Kavanaugh confirmation hearing that the Democrats planned to throw a monkey wrench into the machine at exactly the right moment- when it was in high gear- and waited for that moment so as to do the most damage, with the smallest monkey wrench.
I also believe the Democrats don’t care about anything but winning. For all their “protestations too much” to the contrary, they don’t care about women’s “rights”- or a woman’s trauma, the environment, world peace, the safety of children in school, etc. Those are just their “talking points”- their script on the stage of the political theatre. Just winning, that’s ultimately all they care about. They know their corrupt Republican brethren are going to confirm Kavanaugh- no matter what. All they care about right now is the 2018 election, and making the Republicans look bad.
They’re not concerned about overreaching presidential power, because next time it will be “their guy” with that power. Harry Reid invoked the “nuclear option” which the Republicans now exploit to stack the Supreme Court to their advantage. Nothing’s going to change about guns or abortion because of Kavanaugh. It’s all about protecting Trump, and Republican Party corruption. Exposing that corruption benefits the Democrats.
Plus, I’m a 70 year old male (as the result of my genome, accident of birth and luck) who remembers how things were in the 1960’s. Times have changed, and the way men behaved then is no longer acceptable with a large majority of today’s women. Back then, that’s how we were expected to behave. I can’t change the past, and I’m too old to change my thinking. I just know I have to be very, very careful.
I still believe men and women are different, and that men need women more (and in a different way) than women need men- and it’s always been true and it will always be true- in the human species, as well as in all other species. Whether we’re willing to admit it, or not- it affects how we think, and what we do. Denying it is a lie, in my opinion.
So, I’ll admit I went into it skeptical of the one and only woman in the man’s entire history who could play the “#metoo card” whose complaint was that he “touched her inappropriately”. She wasn’t raped, beaten, left to die in a ditch. Millions (billions, perhaps) of women have had the same (or worse) experience and brushed it off- even laughed it off- but weren’t “traumatized” forever by the memory of it.
I was looking for two things in the Kavanaugh hearing, yesterday. I was looking for pre-planned political intent in Ford, and I was looking for a lie from perfect “Altar Boy”” Brett Kavanaugh. What’s important is the character of the man getting confirmed to the Supreme Court- not some woman’s hurt feelings at a drunken high school party 30 years ago. As we all come to learn, being a Catholic priest doesn’t guarantee you’re not a child molester, also- and willing to lie about it.
Then, when the man breaks into tears and swears on the lives on his parents, wife, children and GOD that he’s innocent, and sniffles for the next half hour… and then cries it’s ruined his family, and he’ll never get to coach girls basketball again… and says he may have drunk too much on occasion- but still remembers EVERYTHING he ever said and did….and claims to have been a virgin in high school, and for MANY years after…I think he’s guilty of something which should prevent him from being entrusted with a seat on the Supreme Court- or any other court. I think he’s a liar. Either that or he’s the returned Savior, so much unlike the rest of humanity he shouldn’t be forced to judge us mere mortals… and, of course, we should remember what Jesus said (Matt.7) about judging…
(PS Today Trump chose the perfect word from his limited vocabulary to describe the testimony of Brett Kavanaugh…”Incredible!!!” Flake and Murkowski say they want an FBI investigation prior to voting by the full Senate…so, will Mitch&Co still try to ram it through…or will they have to wait, maybe till after the elections…and then, what? Stay tuned!)
The Democrats were successful. Now we’ll most likely have two obviously dishonest and corrupt Republican-nominated judges on the Supreme Court- and that will help the Democrats in the upcoming mid-term elections, especially to motivate their #metoo core constituency.
We’re indebted to Christine Blasie Ford for her courage and self-sacrifice in allowing herself to be used that way. She exposed the truth, and -like Jesus- she’ll pay the price. She will be left behind in the ditch- an abandoned tool- by the corrupt and amoral Democrats who used her, and be a thousand-fold more traumatized by that abandonment than she ever was by anything Brett Kavanaugh may- or may not- have done to her.
That’s my view.
BreakingNews: 9/27/2018 Kavanaugh Hearings:
We should all watch this very carefully, paying close attention to what everyone says. I’ll give a full report tomorrow, after I’ve watched it myself and read what the Wall Street Journal has to say about it. The argument -“Boys will be boys.” – carries more weight with me than it does with the “politically correct” partisan politicians- all more terrified of the #Metoo movement than they are even of the NRA.
Boys in the past had twice the sperm count that today’s boys have (which, like everything, has a cause…) and having grown up in another era myself and being observant of today’s youth (I attend a community college, studying tech with classmates less than 1/3 my age) I can see that kids- boys especially- ARE different, today. Perhaps we might consider it problematic to harshly judge people of another era by today’s standards.
My objection to Kavanaugh is not that he misbehaved in high school, but the corrupt motive and process which has placed him where he is- poised on the brink of determining the majority opinion of the U.S. Supreme Court- and being confirmed by a very close totally partisan vote based on the expectation he’ll serve as “protection” for a likely criminal president by his party partisans. The Supreme Court should have bipartisan support- 60 votes in the Senate, or it’s illegitimate. It’s a very big deal, a Constitutional issue.
The Democrats don’t care about The Constitution any more than the Republicans do. All they care about is winning the 2018 elections, and getting a better seat at the feed-trough. This sexual assault hearing is likely Democratic Party political posturing- a “dirty trick” aimed at the 2018 and 2020 elections. Pelosi sat on it too long, I think, and her excuse is pretty flimsy.
The Republican argument that it is “appropriate” for a Republican president to nominate a “conservative” is pure political theater (crap, more precisely)- in my opinion. I think Trump is trying to “stack” his jury, and the Republicans are the “Party of Trump” doing their part to protect him from justice. It’s just one more on a long list of “high crimes and misdemeanors” which will ultimately lead to his impeachment and conviction.
That’s what I think now, if I change my mind I’ll let you know tomorrow.
BreakingNews: 9/26/2018: Rosenstein Quit?
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein shouldn’t quit. He should force Trump to make the decision- to fire him, or to let him do his work defined by the U.S. Constitution. Trump’s fortunes have passed the point of no return, he can see his dominos falling and he’s desperate to hang on- and those around him who (like Rosenstein) inherited their positions of responsibility because their former political bosses got “fired” (or quit, as in the case of Sessions’ recusal which put Rosenstein in charge of Mueller’s Russia investigation) should do their jobs until they get “fired”, too. There will still be an America, and a world after Trump and his cowering sycophant Republicans are gone- and there will still be work to do, then. Cowards quit and run when they’re under fire, heroes stand their ground. Trump knows sycophants always turn and run, eventually… the only question is when.
I wish I could encourage everyone to vote with the Libertarian, the Independent, the Green- in 2018. Sadly, in the interest of preserving our Liberty and our Constitution, I think we need vote for “The Opposition”- the Democrat- in 2018, and then make sure we have a viable third-party choice on our ballots in 2020.
10/17/2018 An old joke, vintage 1969
John 8.1. Jesus came upon a crowd of people, who were about to stone an adulteress. They were going to kill her, by throwing stones at her- a gruesome death, hateful. It was the prescribed Old Testament punishment for adultery in those days. Jesus reportedly stepped in, said “Let he who has never sinned cast the first stone.”… and saved her life.
It’s a really good story. In those days, women were property. If either party were married, the “adulterer” would be the woman, who had “tempted” the man. Moslem women wear burkas to avoid being blamed, today. Jesus treated women a lot better than his contemporaries did, perhaps because of his own mother’s story…
But in the joke version of the story, a rock whizzed by the girl’s head…Jesus turned, looked into the crowd for the one who threw it, and exclaimed…”Mother!!!” People don’t tell that joke any more. I heard it from a Classics professor in another era.
I went to college 1966-1970, and times were different then. Sometimes a sexual encounter didn’t require even an exchange of names. We were sometimes in a state of inebriation, too- and our judgement wasn’t always unimpaired. Hemingway famously said, “What’s good is what feels good, after.”
I hope I remember all my sexual encounters in my three score and ten years of life (and there are other jokes like “If you can remember the 1960’s, you weren’t there…”) and I remember all of them fondly- but I do have some regrets. People were hurt, disappointed, saddened- everyone was, at times-including me…but rarely, I hope. And never intentionally.
There were times I did things which didn’t feel good, after. But if I ever wounded someone, hurt their feelings, or if they felt taken advantage of, misled- I would get down on my knees and beg forgiveness for the hurt I caused them and do my very best to convince them I had love in my heart for them then, and now.
I wouldn’t lie and say, “It never happened,” no matter how high the stakes. It would be wounding her all over again- but this time intentionally, for my own selfish purpose. That’s what I think is important about this Kavanaugh story. Not that he did it, necessarily- but that he denies it. If it turns out that he did it, and denies it- then he shouldn’t sit on the Supreme Court…at least not with my endorsement.
This story could mark the “reversal of fortune” in the Trump Tragedy. It’s been all success up until now, he’s weathered the mounting storm and kept his ship on course. He promised to shake things up, and the American People elected him to shake things up- and he’s shaking things up. A lot of people don’t like it. In many ways it seems to be working, too. It’s too early to tell where things will end up. I personally would like to see the disruption go on a while longer, but not at the price of giving Trump unchecked power. He has plenty now, perhaps even too much.
Every American should pay close attention to this Kavanaugh story, listen and watch what everyone says and does. The Republican Party has become the Party of Trump, and their destiny rides with him. Trump’s destiny may ride on Kavanaugh’s “expansive view” of presidential power, and the Republicans know it. I think that’s why they want to ram him through as fast as they can, with as little discussion as possible.
This story could be a Democratic Party “dirty trick”, too- saved for the last moment- for the purpose of “throwing” the 2018 midterms. I wouldn’t put that past them, either. If that’s what it is, everyone should know about that, too. We need to hear what this woman has to say, what the other witnesses have to say- and we need to hear what Kavanaugh has to say about it… NOW, so we can decide- not just about Kavanaugh- who will likely be confirmed no matter what. But also, and more important- about how we’ll vote in November.
The elections of 2018 are Tuesday, November 6- forty eight days from today. What will We,The People of the United States decide? Don’t skip voting this year, please.
BreakingNews 10/17/2018: I was wrong.
I was wrong
”Everyone makes mistakes”, the old carpenter said. “The difference is that a good carpenter knows how to fix them.”
When an honest person is wrong, he admits it. He doesn’t stonewall, double down on a lie, claim to have been misled or misspoken… Two articles in the Wall Street Journal today made me reconsider my recent statement that Roberts and Kavanaugh are fit to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, and will likely do “the right thing”.
The reason I thought Roberts was an honest man was because he voted to confirm the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act- on the basis that the government has the constitutional right to tax. No matter that Obama&Co. declared it was not a tax- it IS a tax. That took courage, and I respect that. I also think that the clause in the Preamble to the US Constitution, “…to promote the general Welfare…” makes health care access for the working poor a legitimate province of the government. As long as the government subsidizes the health care industry with tax dollars, it should be available to all- not just the rich.
But, today I learn Roberts stayed a lower judge’s decision that “dark” political money should be transparent as to its source- an obviously (at least to me) politically corrupt decision. It means anonymous “dark money” can keep flowing in 2018, and likely 2020- too.
I can’t fathom how the “right to free speech” of a corporation (something which I think is a bit of a stretch, anyway) needs to be guaranteed anonymity. Anonymous “free speech” is the source of “fake news”. Liars need to be exposed and clearly identified, in my opinion. Then, they can say whatever they want, and nobody intelligent will listen to them. People DO have the right to boycott businesses which use profits derived from their purchases to promote political causes, and they DO have the right to know about it. At least that’s what I think.
Kavanaugh’s case is different. Teenagers in “love” have as much sense as an elephant in “must”, or an elk in “rut”. But, unlike elephants and elk, humans need to know the difference between consensual sex and rape.
Yes, it is a gray area. No one person can read the mind of another, and alcohol does affect judgement- and teenagers have limits to their adult responsibility. But, this story needs to be heard before he’s confirmed. Just as Anita Hill’s was…and it led to a “black mark” (pun intended) on the Republican Party, the Supreme Court- and the President. Partisan “originalist” (my backside) ClarenceThomas should never have been confirmed. What he did he did as an adult… and then to take the seat of Thurgood Marshall- a titan of the Civil Rights movement! It was a travesty.
This shouldn’t be swept under the rug in partisan haste to stack the jury to protect a criminal president. If the Republicans do it, we all should know what they did. Then We,The People can decide what to do about it, just as we did when Bush I came up for
reelection. Clinton was just a corrupt governor, a “good old boy’” from a backward- bottom of the list- segregated, southern state. Bush I was a good president, better than Clinton…in my opinion. He won (!) the Gulf War, and knew what to quit.
It should take 60 votes in the Senate to confirm a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court. It is America’s Jury- the final word about where we stand as We,The People. That’s where the real corruption is- in the process. It enables the two political parties and their puppets to evade responsibility for what they do- because they can always blame each other (i.e. “someone else”) for whatever happens.
BreakingNews: Kavanaugh’s hearing cont’d
I think guns, abortion, prayer in school, gay marriage and most of the rest of what Democrats and Republicans fight about during elections are just “red herrings” to distract the electorate. They’re settled, and they’re not going to significantly change. Sure, there might be a little “nibbling” around the edges, to great fanfare to reward “core constituencies” for their loyalty- but there are much bigger issues the Democrats and the Republicans DON’T want to fight about.
America is rapidly becoming a Police State. Trump would love to be The Leader (Der Fuhrer?) of a Police State, so he wants to hasten its progress. He admires the power of Putin, Xi, even Kim Jong Un- they all have more of the kind of power he’d like than he has. They simply assassinate their opposition, plunder the treasury, scoop up all the assets and enjoy their wealth and power for life. Too many (white) Americans aren’t worried by that, believing selective enforcement of the laws would exempt them and enable the persecution of others they don’t like, or feel threatened by- like people of color. Jews are particularly complacent, especially with regard to the Second Amendment- the one the Gestapo fears most. They are lulled by the Religious Right’s temporary alignment with Israel into thinking that Christians and Jews are united in holy matrimony. It’s just a temporary marriage of convenience, they’ll one day learn. Germany’s Jews in 1933 thought Hitler was just fine- “Law and Order” -until Kristallnacht.
If I were on the Judiciary Committee I’d want to ask Brett Kavanaugh where he was when the Bush White House decided “waterboarding” and other “enhanced interrogation” wasn’t torture, explicitly prohibited by the Constitution in the 8th Amendment. I’d also ask about the other half- the part about “excessive” fines and bail. Thats just one of ten in the Bill of Rights. I’d want to know about “stop and frisk”, Rudy Giuliani’s trademark, Trump’s pardon of Joe Arpaio and myriad 4th Amendment abuses routinely employed by the US “law enforcement” Gestapo. Most Americans don’t know their Civil Rights, and don’t miss them- and that’s a damn shame. The Bill of Rights is just 275 words- fewer than this column. Have YOU ever read them? Kavanaugh will decide how it’s interpreted for the rest of his life. It’s a big deal.
Trump nominated Kavanaugh for one reason. Kavanaugh believes the president is immune from criminal prosecution, and Trump is a criminal who wants to use Presidential Power to protect himself, his wealth and his family from the consequences of a lifetime of haunting the gray area between legal and criminal- using lawyers as weapons to rob people without the means to defend themselves. Now he claims to be above the law, thinks he can pardon himself for whatever he does- and Kavanaugh seems to agree. Kavanaugh helped persecute Bill Clinton for his dalliance with Monica- two consenting adults “fooling around”- not exactly a “high crime”. In my opinion that was nobody’s business except Hillary’s, and she had no objection. I think Trump will be the first ex-president convicted and jailed in American history. If he doesn’t flee to Russia, that is… Trump hopes Kavanaugh will protect him from having to do that.
The Democrats don’t really care. Soon the president with that power will be a Democrat, they think. Their histrionics are just political theatre to motivate their base. Until American politics can reform, divided government seems to be the best option. In 2018 I hope the Democrats get (very) slim majorities in both houses of Legislature, and a few Libertarians/Greens/Independents can be the “swing votes”. It should require 60 votes in the Senate to confirm a Supreme Court Justice, as it was before the party corruption took over.
America is in a civil war orchestrated by the two corrupt political parties for control of the huge government budgets, and The People- the tax payers- need to rise up. Everyone who can read should read the U.S. Constitution, and particularly the Bill of Rights- and then be sure to vote. It’s OK for those who can’t read to skip it.
BreakingNews: 8/31/2018: Kavanaugh’s nomination:
In my opinion, the Republicans, desperate to hold on to their super-majority through the gauntlet of the midterms, want to confirm Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court because of his “expansive” view of Presidential Power, especially when it comes to impeachment. The Republican Party has become the “Party of Trump”, and their own fates ride with his. Abortion has nothing to do with it. And nor does any of the rest of the “Republican Values”- free trade, for example. The Democratic Party (in spite of all their “protestations too much” to the contrary) don’t care one way or the other about abortion, either. What they care about is getting back in the primary position to reap the benefits from corruption as soon as possible. But they all want to make his confirmation fight be about abortion, because it hardens the resolve of important (female) political core constituencies- and will get them to turn out and vote. The Democrats don’t care that much about impeachment as some people think.
What the Democrats want is to see what kind of a “deal” they can make with a weakened Trump- one who doesn’t have a legislative majority. Might the “real” Donald Trump, desperate to survive, revert to being a Democrat? At one time he was for socialized medicine. What might he agree to, now? Now that he can say, “The People have spoken.”
This midterm is crucial. Much more important than any other. I think Trump would like to be another Hitler- an absolute monarch- but that’s unrealistic in America in 2018. The big question is “How much longer do we want this to go on?”
BreakingNews: 8/27/2018: John McCain, cont’d
When I ran for State Representative in 2014 I did a little informal survey. I asked every politician I met on the campaign trail- most of them Republican- if he could recite the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution. Not one of them could do it- even if I started it for them. “We, The People of the United States….?”
Silence. “…in order to form a more perfect Union…?” They’d shake their heads.
The Chairman of the Montana Libertarian Party suggested a line from Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. Every one of them claimed they’d die to defend the Constitution, but few had any idea what they were “defending”.
When every elected official takes his Oath of Office, he promises to defend the Constitution. The Preamble is the 52 most important words ever written in the English language, and it sets down the mission of the U.S. Government. It’s basic information everyone (especially politicians) should have- on the top of their mind, on the tip of their tongue. It’s short, well written. It’s not just something you keep in your pocket on your smartphone- it’s something to live by, fight for, die for…every minute of every day. It’s worth it.
Everyone knows the Pledge of Allegiance, we’ve all been reciting that since kindergarten. Never mind it wasn’t written for the American Flag, had nothing to say about God…and its purpose was indoctrination of children to be Christian Socialists. Google it. I’m moving on.
Senator John McCain (R-AZ) died recently (yesterday when this was written..) and he is remembered for being a strong advocate of half of the EighthAmendment- the Constitutional prohibition of “cruel and unusual punishment”…torture. He knew what it was like to be tortured, because he’d been shot down over Hanoi while bombing the city. He was captured by an angry mob, interrogated, imprisoned…and tortured, for five years.
The other half of the Eighth Amendment, the part about “excessive bail”, is routinely ignored in America. John didn’t know anything about that, personally- so it wasn’t that important to him. The second most recognized Republican in Arizona was Sheriff Joe Arpaio, whose trademark was to defy the Sixth Amendment…and most of the rest of them, too. All politicians know that you can only “push” the Constitution just so far.
McCain is remembered for defending the Constitution, and rightly so. He is unusual in that respect. Most politicians don’t care about it, at all. But what about the rest of it? Is defending ALL of the U.S. Constitution too much for one mind to comprehend? It’s not. The average American can read 100 words per minute, and the whole thing can be read in less than one hour. It’s written in plain English, for eighteenth century American colonists to be able to read and understand.
Today, we have a president who likely…allegedly… committed (at latest count) nine impeachable offenses under the U.S. Constitution. We’re going into a crucial election, the outcome of which will determine what happens- and it won’t have anything to do with the U.S. Constitution. The Republican Party won’t impeach the president, because he’s Republican- the Constitution be damned. Keeping their majority is all that matters to them.
The Democratic Party might, but they won’t say so. They want to win the elections, and they want Trump’s base to stay home and they know that conviction in the Senate is a long shot, anyway. They’ve counted the votes. They expect they’re going to have to live with this president until January, 2021.
Their goal is to have Democratic control of the Presidency, as well as majorities in House and Senate in January 2021. They don’t care about the Constitution, either. The more Trump “screws up” and the Republicans continue to support him, the better it will be for the Democrats in 2020. So far, so good. Their immediate goal is to prevent Brett Kavanaugh from getting on the Supreme Court before the 2018 election, because he takes an “expansive” view of Presidential Power. Any impeachment attempt will end up in the U.S. Supreme Court, and Trump and the Republicans want to “stack” it in his favor, and the Democrats want to get votes making a stink about it.
Today, the Democrats oppose expanded presidential power, because the President is Republican. In 2020, who knows? It might not be so important to them, then. So, maybe it’s better not to make too big a deal out of it now.
“Never speak ill of the (recently) dead.” I liked John McCain, and admired his attempts to address the problem of corruption- money in politics, never mind the Keating scandal. If you don’t get elected, you can’t serve. He was willing once he saw his days were numbered, to stand up against his Republican colleagues in rejecting the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, without a suitable replacement. He was as good as a politician gets, today- in my opinion. It’s good to lionize John McCain for defending the Constitution, if only because we hope more Americans in the future will see that as a good thing, the right thing to do.
BreakingNews: 8/25/2018: John McCain dies
As a Libertarian, I’m not idolatrous of the military,or the police. There are too many thugs, not enough heroes who wear the uniform, carry the gun. But John McCain was one of the heroes, and a gentleman to the bone. They called him a “maverick”, a domestic animal gone wild, one who wouldn’t be herded- a pain in the neck to cowboys who would herd a nation of frightened cattle for profit. He followed a star, instead. He was a real man, a good man- a vanishing breed. He’ll be missed.
8/24/2018: Breaking News: Sessions in the News, Again
The Attorney General, beady-eyed weasel Jim Crow prosecutor Jeff Sessions is the perfect foil for Donald Trump. Appointed AG for all the worst reasons, there’s perfect justice in the works for both of them. They deserve each other, and now they’ll each get what they deserve from the relationship. Libertarians like myself eagerly anticipate the upcoming drama, and we hope the rest of the nation is paying close attention to it, too.
Most Americans are Democrats or Republicans, because they’ve been duped into choosing sides. In simple minds, there are two kinds of people. There are Democrats who hate Trump, and there are Republicans who love Trump. If you’re reading this, you are likely asking the question, “Which side is he on?”
I’m on the side of Liberty, “American style”- something which is defined in the Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. It is an ideal, a dream for the future of an eternal nation- the first of its kind in history. By fits and starts, two steps forward and one step back- America has been making progress towards that lofty goal. Equality, Union, Justice, Tranquility, Safety, a Better Life and Liberty. Not just for ourselves, but also for future Americans in a future America. It’s a living thing, which can be injured, heal and recover stronger than before. We’re a battle hardened nation. Evil vanquishes evil, and good hopefully emerges triumphant, and it’s that hope which defines us as a Nation.
Trump is like King David of the Old Testament. Daring, ruthless, self centered, amoral- willing to do anything to get what he wants, even defy God- in God’s name! He’s the perfect champion to send out on the battlefield to face Goliath. Jeff Sessions commands the Philistines, and he has a hundred Goliaths. David wants to command those hundred Goliaths. What’s going to happen?
8/23/2018: BreakingNews : Sex, Sex, Sex
As a 70 year old man who went to college in the late 1960’s, when the music was legendary, the drugs were fun but not addictive, the girls were free-loving, the fashions were beautiful- I miss the old days. We played sports, hunted and fished, hiked and canoed, there was music and art in the schools, everyone was hopeful- expecting an even better future. Technology was advancing leaps and bounds. People looked outwards- explored new people of other races, religions, cultures and ethnicities, made new friends of different ages, from different walks of life, from other countries… and we loved Liberty, Equality, being Inclusive. We were more than just Tolerant- we indulged in each other’s passions, made them our own. We were excited about life.
Everything was new, fascinating. We landed on the moon! WOW! We “Voyagered” into the far reaches of the solar system. Computers were being developed which would be able to read our genome, like a book! We could see unimaginable things through the electron microscopes, radio telescopes, MRI’s… we could see and measure things, predict things…everything. Huge new worlds were opening up everywhere. The Internet, satellites, communications… we could predict the weather! We had pictures of ourselves (selfies!) taken from space!
We weren’t slaves to student loans, car loans, cell phones, high rents, addictive drugs, boring and sedentary dead end jobs. We bought homes, started families, liked simple food. We weren’t obese, depressed, suicidal. We didn’t want to shoot up schools and churches. If there was something we didn’t like, we protested. And protests were effective at creating change. The police respected the Constitution, because Americans knew what was written there and the ACLU was there to defend it.
Today it’s a different world. Donald Trump would never have been elected president back then. Hate wasn’t fashionable. then. We wanted to know the truth- lying wasn’t fashionable then, either. People weren’t proud to be ignorant, then. If a politician was corrupt, we got rid of him. Priests and teachers could be trusted not to molest children. Everyone wasn’t looking for an opportunity to sue everyone else- they’d just start something new.
Today we have a president who is being sued by three prostitutes who think they weren’t paid enough for their services. He could get impeached over it, too. I’ve always felt sorry for people who had to pay for sex. I think it degrades the buyer more than the seller- but it shouldn’t be a crime, and certainly not a “high” crime. What’s happened to America?
BreakingNews: 8/15/2018: Betrayal Rules
Everywhere we look today we see lies and betrayal. We see it at the FBI, we see it in the White House, we see it in the cryptocurrencies, we see it in the foreign leaders, the news, the Congress, the priesthood. Nobody anywhere seems bound by any desire (let alone necessity) for honesty, decency or (it seems) intelligence. Omarosa Manigault Newman (AKA “The Dog”) says Trump is losing his marbles. Duh. Some people couldn’t see Reagan losing his, either. They were too busy worshipping him. She signed a non-disclosure agreement that she would never (ever) say anything disparaging about The President- and now she’s promoting a book doing exactly that. Trump’s “twit” response is to call a her a “dog”. Is that all the better he can do? I wonder if he’s trying to help her sell books by proving her case…or just lost his marbles?
I’d hate to see Trump brought down by a “Reality TV Star” just as much as I would by an “Adult Film Star” when it’s the job of Congress to decide if the President is fit to govern, or not- and the evidence is increasingly overwhelming that he’s not. I’m as supportive of disruption to the corrupt status quo as anyone, and I agree with quite a bit of what Trump’s doing- but I’m not happy having a nut-case in the Oval Office, and I’m even less happy with the idea of “pious” Mike Pence as President. Those hundreds of Catholic priests who molested thousands of children were “pious”, too.The idea of Madam President Pelosi doesn’t thrill me, either- any more than Madam President Clinton did. What in hell’s gone wrong in this country?
If I were running for U.S. Congress this year (and now I regret I’m not) I’d campaign for not only The House, but also for Speaker of the House. As a Libertarian I could break the partisan gridlock simply by saying that any issue which could pass with a majority would make it to the floor, for debate- and a vote. No more party stonewalling- by either party. The first thing which will come up in the new 2018 Congress is impeachment. Corruption is the problem. Our government is corrupt, from the bottom to the top. It’s especially corrupt at the top. Emoluments is the right issue to address it with this president. It’s not sexy- but Trump would have to divest, or resign. I think he’d resign. He knows he can’t handle it. Then Mueller could set his sights on Pence- who is up to his neck in “the Russia swamp”, too- and guess who would be next in line, then? My first executive order would be for a special election…
The American People need to elect the president in a fair election- not one manipulated by the Russians, the political parties, or the corrupt multinational corporations which own all of them. The 2016 fiasco needs a one-time do-over with a popular vote, and then we need to clean house.
BreakingNews :8/3/2018: The End Game
As Trump frantically tries to keep ahead of the Mueller investigation into Russian (Putin, more precisely) interference in the 2016 elections which are snapping at his heels, today he called on Jeff Sessions to put an immediate end to the Mueller probe- using Twitter. As in a classic chase-scene where the fugitive is running through the market overturning fruit, flower and vegetable carts to delay his pursuers- Trump attacks everyone in his path to distract, delay and enable Russia to help him in the 2018 mid-term elections as well. It’s his only desperate chance, his last card to play short of engaging America in some big foreign conflict to unify the nation behind him, perhaps even declare an “emergency” and suspend the Constitution.
Sessions can’t do that, of course, because he’s “recused” from the Russia investigation- but a new Attorney General could. However, all those sitting at the head of the big-player agencies (FBI,CIA, Defense Department, Department of Justice, Homeland Security, FISA…) agree that Russia (Putin…) is hard at work to interfere in the upcoming 2018 elections, and are doing everything they can to protect American democracy short of calling for Trump’s resignation. Every day Trump can delay, every new episode in his soap-opera he can open to distract and absorb attention is a tactical victory of sorts- which he hopes he can turn into a strategic win in November.
So, what will the American voter do in November? That’s the big question. We have some suggestions…
BreakingNews : 8/1/2018: Pence steps up
As Mueller’s Russia probe gets closer to Trump, and Trump prepares for the battle royal of impeachment over his cooperation with Russia’s inserting itself into the 2016 elections on his behalf, casting doubt on the legitimacy of the election…Pence wants to disconnect himself from the Russia Scandal and cut off any attempt to implicate him, too. In my opinion, Pence’s claim that Mike Flynn “lied” to him about his “Russia involvement” is ludicrous. The whole campaign was based on the strategy. Trump, Pence and everyone high up in the campaign knew it, too. Especially Paul Manafort, the chairman, who had deep Russia connections of his own. Attorney General Jeff Sessions “recused” himself, immediately- because he was smart enough to see the inevitable outcome- and wanted to keep himself in place and safe as long as possible. Pence and Sessions ducked out when Trump tried to coerce FBI Chief Comey into “going easy” on Flynn, at a moment when Trump needed credible witnesses if he ever wanted to discredit Comey’s direct testimony. Paul Manafort is going through Mueller’s wringer at this moment, looking at life in prison- no doubt expecting a pardon in return for stonewalling to the very end. That will put a big squeeze on the president. Things are getting very interesting… the clock is ticking, Captain Hook!
The 2018 midterm elections are less than 100 days away. If the Democrats win back both houses, Trump’s presidency’s days could be numbered. It will be up to The People, at the ballot box- just as the Founders intended it. What will we do?
BreakingNews: The beginning of the end
I got a robocall from Greg Gianforte (R), Montana’s only US Representative who represents more people than any other member of the US House of Representatives, and he’s my Representative. He was having a “town hall meeting”, on the telephone, and he would take questions- he said. During the “meeting” he asked his audience questions, and recorded responses and immediately gave the results. If you had a question, press star3. So I pressed star3, got a pencil, and paper and wrote my question.
“I believe the biggest issue which will face the next Congress will be the impeachment of President Trump. If the Mueller investigation concludes there is due cause under the US Constitution to impeach the President, would you consider voting to impeach?”
The guy at the other end of the phone asked my name, and the town I come from and said, “That is a good question,” but I was 100% certain Gianforte wouldn’t answer it. Trump won Montana by over 20 points. He could have answered it many different ways. If I were he, trying to hold on to a Republican House seat, I’d say “The U.S. Constitution is what makes America different from Iran, North Korea, Russia, China, and all the other dictatorships and abusers of human rights and liberties which compete with America across the world. I take an oath to defend the Constitution when I’m sworn in as your representative… but…”
Then he could have said (and made a big impression, at least on me) that the Mueller investigation might be an extreme abuse of power of the “Deep State”- and so they would have to make a very clear-cut, and indisputable case in order to get me to vote to impeach the President. That was the “right” answer. Instead, he didn’t address the question-predictably.
As I listened through the “town hall meeting”, waited for my question to make its way through the cue- one of his questions was, “Would you rather have an in-person town hall meeting, or a telephone town hall meeting?” 75% (according to him) would prefer a telephone town hall meeting. I voted with the 25%, since it’s real easy to screen calls and only take the ones you think benefit you. My call, of course, never came up.
I considered hanging up. I have better things to do than waste my time listening to a scripted Q&A. But I also have a column to write, and it gave me something to write about.
BreakingNews : 7/21/2018: The Moment of Truth
America is divided between those who are Pro-Trump, and those who are Anti-Trump. It’s clearly divided along political party lines. Those who are Pro-Trump will dismiss any Constitutional “problems” he might have as “Fake News”. Those who are Anti-Trump want him out of office immediately (if not sooner) and they don’t care how or why. Their minds are made up.
I’ve never met a Democrat who is pro-Trump, nor many Republicans who are anti-Trump outside the political class. Those Republicans inside the political class who oppose him do so knowing their short term political future is in jeopardy. They may hope one day to be able to return, vindicated- but they realize it’s a long shot, at least in the short term. The vast majority of Republicans are Pro-Trump, and their minds are equally made up.
Very few people I’ve met and spoken with see things as I do. Just as an agnostic is unsure about the nature and existence of God and the relevance of religion- I’m unsure about what I’m supporting or opposing about Trump. As with God, his ultimate purpose is unclear to me. If Trump’s ultimate purpose is to be worshipped and promote some “chosen people, master race” theory (like Adolf Hitler… with predictable consequences)- I’ll oppose it as contrary to American ideals, and would promote the Constitutional remedy. If his purpose is to “Make America Great, Again”- really- and to “Drain the Swamp”, then I’d like to see that project progress more before it’s brought to a halt. I’d like to see free and fair trade, even if getting there requires the threat of tariffs and sanctions. I’d like to see equality of opportunity and responsibility of all people- even if it means disrupting privileges enjoyed by powerful political core constituencies, especially for the rich to pay their fair share of taxes. I’d like to see other nations provide for their own defense, rather than rely on the American taxpayer. I like seeing the financiers and profiteers of wars targeted with real economic sanctions.
I don’t “like” Trump, but I didn’t “like” Cassius Clay either- in the beginning. But over the years I came to respect and admire Muhammad Ali, not only as a great fighter but also as a moral leader, a husband, a father and a good human being. Like Cassius Clay, Trump is disruptive, sometimes even impolite. But sometimes disruption is needed, and it’s not easy to be polite and disruptive at the same time.
As I predicted before Trump was even nominated- he’s almost certain to be impeached. Like a driver who doesn’t stop at red lights, he’s sure to be pulled over-sooner or later. It could be for a lot of different reasons- he ignores all the rules. The Constitution gives the president immunity to most of the rules which confine the rest of us, while he’s president. He could be our first president who goes directly from the White House to a Federal Penitentiary, or escapes into exile- perhaps to Russia. If I were Trump or Putin having a “one on one” chat with the other on a mountain top- I’d ask what his plans are when his time in power comes to an end? For Putin, that might be 20 years from now. For Trump, it could be in six months.
BreakingNews: 7/15/2018: Putin Summit.
I’ve studied Trump. I read three of his books, follow the news and launched newlibertarians.com because of his election. Vladimir Putin is Trump’s most admired living person. Trump is the most powerful man on the planet, for the moment- but Putin has enjoyed the privilege of being in the top three most powerful people on the planet for the last 20 years, and he expects to continue to be so for another 20. He’s also the richest man on the planet, as the result of that huge and enduring power. Trump especially admires that.
Xi Jinping of China is the third of the top three, and while his reign over the second (and likely soon to be first) largest economy- one which dwarfs Russia’s- has been made permanent, and his power could exceed Putin’s…but he’s not white. Trump is a white supremacist, and being of another race lowers his value in Trump’s eyes. In Trump’s mind, he’s about to have the most important meeting of his entire life, in a life which has been defined by important meetings.
First thing Trump will want to do is thank Putin for getting him elected. Without Putin’s help, he couldn’t have done it. Trump knows it, Putin knows it- and when Mueller’s case is done, everyone will know it. It’s been a wild ride, and both men have been greatly thrilled and enhanced by it. For Putin, it’s payback to the U.S. for having engineered Boris Yeltsin’s corrupt and ineffective regime, humiliating Russia on the world stage- which brought him to power. The two men’s destinies are intertwined, and the result is now becoming fixed in history. Geopolitically, the two leaders of the Caucasian world need one another to prevail over an expanding China, and the non-white invasion of immigrants which threaten to overtake white supremacy from within. For Trump to publicly trash England, the EU and NATO ( a small indignity) on his way to the big summit sets the stage for political theatre which could cause a historic realignment of world power. It’s a very big deal.
I’d love to be the fly on the wall at that meeting.
BreakingNews: 7/14/2018: Trump insults everyone.
This, of course, is hardly “Breaking News”. Trump has always insulted everyone. He’s saying, simply…”Sit down and shut up! I’m the one everyone should be paying attention to.” He does the same thing wherever he goes. This week it’s Europe, England- and the next stop is Finland. It works for him. And when they do what they’re told, his fans feel confirmed in their belief that he is, in fact, the one to pay attention to. And it will last as long as he’s President- which might not be for much longer.
We should enjoy it while we can. He’s right about a lot of what he says, and his confrontational approach has catalyzed long needed changes in how everyone does things, in domestic as well as foreign policy. Like his predecessor, he was elected by those who wanted change. By contrast to his predecessor, he’s a whirlwind of change- and the establishment’s corrupt defenders of the status quo don’t like change. Trump commands respect. Obama couldn’t. But Obama lasted eight years, and Trump likely won’t.
Mueller is closing in fast. On the eve of Trump’s hastily planned Putin summit, Mueller indicts top Russian intelligence officers in the Russia election tampering probe which has ensnared Trump’s campaign manager, his lawyer, his national security advisor, and the circle is closing in on Trump’s family, and soon the President himself. The Republicans up for election in 2018 are looking at one another nervously while they cling to the listing ship, headed for an iceberg- trying to decide whether to help the captain or look for a lifeboat. Mueller will give them one. His investigation will reach a hiatus, and they’ll hold back for the elections- on the theory that they could be unfairly disruptive. So, he’s got to get as much of it out now- while he still can- so that the electorate will be as fully informed as possible, and he’ll avoid being accused of withholding information voters need to make an informed vote.
An inspired person with a new idea for a solution to a local problem thought it would be fun and interesting to run for office.
He could join one of the two major parties, work for a few years on party campaigns, prove himself a devoted team player comfortable with party ideology, make some wealthy friends, make some secret promises – and then, maybe, after waiting for a seat to become vacant he might get a chance. That’s the usual way it’s done, and that’s why the status quo doesn’t change.
Imagine– instead- he could go online to newlibertarians.com and enter an online primary for a Libertarian Party spot on the ballot. He could express his new idea to a wide audience, interact with others in the primary in online debates- see his idea debated, defend his view and attract a following, raise money without needing to make deals in return.
Imagine he could learn online what his constituency wants and needs, and pledge to support it- because he has a powerful interactive WebTheme. Imagine his constituents knew before they voted for him they would be able to hold him accountable once he was in office, and make it difficult for him to become corrupted- and if he did know he did immediately, and instantly recall him.
This website is designed to make that possible. There will be Rules, and one of them will be to Register with us, as well as to Vote. This website is under construction, we can’t take your registration data, we can’t process the polls, you can’t enter the blogs or even donate…yet. We hope to be fully functioning by 1/1/2018 in time for the 2018 primary. At this point I’m looking for suggestions how to make this website better. You may e-mail me at:
I appreciate your suggestions. Thank you, Chris
The New Libertarians
The New Libertarians is a grass roots effort to reform American politics standing on the foundation idea that the Constitution and the Bill of Rights provide the remedy. Both can be read by the average American in less than one hour. They’re written in plain English intended for an 18th century American colonist to be able to understand. Along with the Declaration of Independence, these are our Founding Documents. The elections of 2016 demonstrate that the current system doesn’t work. Corruption is rampant. We’re at war all over the world- and the wars are expanding. The rich are getting richer as the middle class is shrinking. Taxation is regressive. Other nations have better healthcare and education- at a much lower price. We imprison more people than any other nation- and at a higher rate than any other nation. The nation runs huge deficits, while the wealthy pay few taxes. Many Americans are underemployed and unemployed, despite crushing education debt. The money in politics is overwhelming, and corrupting. There are so many rules, regulations, prohibitions, taxes, fees and red tape written to benefit the few at the expense of the many- Americans are beginning to forget we live in a Free Country. The People are starting to become aware that the Republicans and the Democrats don’t offer any good options. They argue about Hot Button Issues which never change- but divide the electorate in half- into two fiercely loyal teams. The result is Gridlock, and no change to the status-quo. This is not unintentional. We are expected to choose between the lesser of two evils, and have no expectations they’ll serve us. And they don’t. Some of us wonder if the differences between the Republicans and the Democrats are real or just Illusions. In the election of 2016 we had a choice between one presidential candidate, a unapologetic Republican Plutocrat- who bragged about corrupting politicians- claimed he knew all the rules and how to cheat… and another-a Democrat who defends her own corruption saying, “I play by the rules of the game”. Both claim to want to change them, but they’ve both prospered under the rules- as they are. Each asks us to believe that they will change the rules of the game which has made them so successful- IF they win the election. Many of us think they’re lying. The winner will get a chance to prove us wrong- but won’t. Then what will we do? In 2016, 45 years since they were founded- the American Libertarian Party now has ballot access in all 50 states- and most of it goes unused. The classic Libertarian values of Peace, Limited Government, Non-Coercion, Non-Intervention, Non-Prohibition, Prosperity, Civil Rights, Equal Opportunity, Free and Fair Trade, Fair Taxes, Choice, Individual Liberty and Responsibility are widely shared throughout America. We seek to grow the party and make our candidates viable in all elections. We intend to begin at the bottom of the political structure- the State Representative. We want to be a Libertarian, grassroots, “bottom-up” organization, not an authoritarian “top-down” structure like the Republicans, the Democrats- and too many of the current Libertarians. We’ll actively recruit candidates and give our candidates the Candidate Website tools they need to learn what their constituencies want from them- and then encourage them to Pledge to represent their Constituency and the Constitution – not the Party, the Party Ideology, or the Big Money behind the Party. We will be inclusive of all types of people and their ideas- men, women, married, single, minorities, youth, elderly, centrists- including Democrats, Republicans, Greens, Reform, and others- and we’ll enable debate about everything, including the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights. We intend to be 100% unbiased- and without an agenda except to protect the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, enable the electorate to make Informed Choices , and change-enabling ballot Referendums when they vote- and to vote! We encourage everyone to call us on any bias- real or perceived, no matter how small- and we’ll address it. The computer and the Internet make REAL Democracy possible today to an extent the Founders could never even DREAM of. The US Constitution gives us the power to change things peacefully- by voting. Half of Americans rarely vote and they are a huge untapped resource. We can turn the government upside down every two years, if that’s what we choose to do. Our next opportunity to change things will be the elections of 2018, and we intend to be ready- with YOUR help.
Please don’t take this poll yet! It’s still under construction.
I’ve posted it because I’m soliciting comments on it during construction, so when it’s launched it is what it needs to be. Its purpose is for me to see who is interested in the newlibertarians.com idea, what aspects of it interest you most, find people who want to be part of it and contribute to the effort.
Everything worth doing costs- in time, effort, thought and money. This project is going to have to progress beyond the “one man band” it currently is- or it’s just a hobby to entertain myself at my own expense. Limited by my own meager resources, it’ll never amount to anything.
Using internet polling to fathom the Will of the People is intrinsic to our idea, but doing it right takes time, skilled work currently beyond my own abilities… and money. I don’t believe in “donations”. Quid pro quo, “something for something”, is the basis of all honest commerce between people. I’m going to ask you to invest in our enterprise, and this poll is to identify who you are and what you want us to be.
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
Please Take Our Informational Poll So We Can Better Serve You.
BreakingNews, 6/5/2018: Election Day
I tell everyone they must vote- it’s an important responsibility- and today I had to vote myself. I could have skipped it, easily. I usually vote the Democratic primary ballot, and there were no choices to be made. All the action was on the Republican side. I have a Republican pal running for US Senate, so I thought I might cast a vote for him- just so I could say so. He has no chance (because he has no money) but at least my ballot would be worth something. Maybe he’d buy coffee the next time I saw him at the coffee shop.
Then I noticed there was also a Green Party Ballot in the absentee ballot envelope. Never saw one of those before. So, I googled the candidates. Saw one I liked, a one-time Libertarian running Green for US Senate. “OK,” I thought.”The Greens got on the primary ballot, but the Libertarians didn’t. Maybe I’ll vote the Green ballot.” So I did. I’ll vote Libertarian in the general- but Green was the best action today.
The only interesting issue on the primary ballots (all of them) was about a guy who wants to sell bottled water from his artesian well, and his neighbors want to prevent his doing so- by rezoning his land without his consent. They claimed to be “protecting our water”, but his water comes from a deep well from a different (and huge) Canadian aquifer- so (in my opinion) that argument is disingenuous. They just don’t want a bottling plant in their neighborhood. Plus, if you wanted to vote “No” on the bottling plant, you had to vote “Yes” on the initiative. I can’t see anything wrong with selling water, if someone wants to buy it. I don’t buy bottled water, myself, but it might be good advertising for the community, and could lead to more (relatively clean) jobs, by comparison to the mining, logging, ranching we’re historically used to. So, I felt I couldn’t skip it. So, on that issue I voted “Libertarian”, but not necessarily “Green”.
On my way out I signed a petition to put extra environmental requirements on new hard-rock mines. That would be “Green”, but not “Libertarian”. “Too bad they didn’t do that 100 years ago,” I thought. Montana has some horrible toxic waste from past mining, which the taxpayer is stuck paying to clean up- and can’t afford to.
November will be a big- I definitely won’t skip that one.
7/10/2018: BreakingNews: Trump nominates Kavanaugh
As “progressive” Democrats like Cory Booker (D, NJ) decry the nomination as an affront to Civil Rights (to unionize, and to seek “abortion care”, freedom from “gun violence”etc…) and “conservative” Republicans aren’t happy because his determination to overturn Rowe v. Wade isn’t zealous enough. I think abortion is a red herring, anyway- useful to the corrupt political parties to “divide and conquer” the electorate, rile women up. The Court has a lot more important issues to deal with. Nothing big is going to change about abortion, or guns. Arguing about it is only political theater, a distraction from the real issues.
In my pea brain, the purpose of the Supreme Court is to determine if a State or Federal law is Constitutional, or not. I think the U.S. Founding Documents elaborated a very progressive ideal- emphasizing liberty, first of its kind in history- which two centuries later remains unrealized. Jefferson could write “…self-evident truth that all men are created equal…” but it took centuries to evolve the definition of “men” to even begin to include black people and women in that definition. They’ve always been “men”, even before that fact was accepted. Republicans think I’m a “radical”, Democrats think I’m a “reactionary”.
I’m a Libertarian, and the Constitution is the Libertarian guidebook. I like it when a Supreme Court justice cares more about the original intent of the Constitution than the layers of corruption piled on it over years of “precedence”… because I think that’s their job. Merely following precedence, determined by centuries of corrupt party politics, isn’t- in my opinion.
BreakingNews: 7/6/2018: Trump Rallies Montana
If I hadn’t got a Media Pass, I would have been one of the thousand people turned away from Thursday’s Republican rally in Great Falls, MT to oust Jon Tester (D) and replace him with Matt Rosendale (R) as U.S. Senator from Montana. It was a happy, excited and friendly crowd, everyone was dressed in bright colors. There were lots of red hats and shirts, and the spectacle reminded me of a kid’s birthday party. The music- old feel-good favorites- put the crowd in a festive and happy frame of mind. In spite of Donald Trump, Jr, Greg Gianforte (House candidate) Steve Daines (Senate incumbent) and Matt Rosedale’s clumsy efforts to incite anger and hostility, and convince a crowd which knew better that they represented “real” Montanans- the overflowing throng insisted on having a good time, anyway. The only ugliness we saw came from the (very) few protestors, who called me (little old me) FAKE NEWS and the would-be Gestapo assigned to “keep the peace” strutting in their brand new uniforms with their shiny, black fresh-out-of-the box-guns and scowling faces trying to look menacing.
The only people of color we saw were black hucksters selling Trump shirts, hats, other paraphernalia outside. Inside that job was done by white women. I grabbed a “Drain the Swamp” sign. There were lots of women with young children brightly dressed for the party, and the crowd played along with a little “bison stomp” of the stands and mild “boos” on cue when the “Democrat Party” and their minions were derided. I throughly enjoyed myself, and took as many pictures as I could. I went there to shoot the crowd, knowing others in the professional media had far better equipment than mine and so I tried to shoot something different, not better, than they did. I’ll have some up in the next days.
President Trump was by far the best speaker- the others did themselves and the GOP no service with their “pep rally” blather and their inane attempts to appear “local”- and his recurrent themes (no Russia collusion, Mexican crime, Fake News, villainous Democrats…) were joyfully anticipated and the suspension of disbelief was adequate to guarantee everyone there had a fine time. I learned a new word, from Donald, Jr…. “gophering”. It’s a good word for what out of state hunters do when they come to Montana to eat, drink and party in hunting camp- they “gopher” elk. If they want to shoot off their magnum guns, kill something, and come home with a purple shoulder to show their wives… it’s usually at gophers. Hunting elk is too much like work for most people who don’t need the meat.
People laughed good naturally when he brought up his “fake news” inauguration crowd. He certainly had a nice crowd- more than any local venue could handle in Great Falls, or likely any other town in Montana- and would have done better to talk about that.Trump’s biggest blunder was bringing up Pocahontas … in his world it’s Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, someone he hopes will be his 2020 Democratic opponent. In Montana, her name brings to mind another Indian woman who helped white people survive and prosper, Sacajawea- who made the Lewis and Clark expedition successful- by serving as translator and diplomat with the tribes they met (and didn’t kill them…) and a big part of Montana history- especially for the white people Trump wants to represent. Trump senior, Trump Jr., Gianforte, Daines, and especially Rosendale proved only that they haven’t a clue about what it means to be a “local” in Montana.
I’d like to think he talked to somebody from Montana besides Ryan Zinke, and learned how much Montanans care about our public lands and waters… and that caused him to call up rogue Scott Pruitt and tell him, “You’re Fired!”.
I’d like to mention here that Rick Breckenridge is running for U.S. Senate from Montana, too. He’s a good man- a surveyor, with a good reputation for honesty, precision and fair prices… and a Libertarian, too. You don’t have to choose between the lesser of two evils- Twiddle Dum and Twiddle Dee. There’s a Libertarian on the ballot and you won’t go wrong voting for him this year.
BreakingNews: Obrador wins Mexico
Tired of the corruption, the murders, the drug cartels and the impotence of Mexican law to keep domestic tranquility, The People of Mexico chose to do the same thing America did when we elected Trump, Britain did when they elected May and did Brexit… they voted to “throw the bums out”. Although Obrador is promoted as a “Progressive Populist”, and Trump was promoted as a “Conservative Populist” the reasons for their election were the same- to upset the status quo, the bureaucracy, the corruption.
Nobody with a straight face can claim Mexico’s government to be anything less than completely corrupt. I feel the same way about the American system, as it was when Trump was elected – and as it still is. The difference is that there is so much money available to grease the gears in America, that fewer people can hear them grind. In Mexico it’s obvious to everybody. I hope he seizes the opportunity- as Trump has- to shake things up. Then we’ll see where the dust settles back down.
As most of you know, I’m very critical of President Trump- I’m particularly distressed about the lies and the conflicting and seemingly irrational tweets. But it could be a calculated strategy to “herd the cats”. The Facebook/Cambridge Analytica/Russian bots story unfolding in Mueller’s office points to a well thought out strategy to do exactly that. It’s hard to know where his disruptions will lead. But, I’m starting to see a pattern emerging which is very interesting to me, and it could be exactly the right thing at the right moment.
There ARE big problems in the world America should address.
China DOES steal American intellectual property- as much as they can by theft, but also often by outright robbery. Trump’s targeting ZTE was a surgical move, a strike in the right place. The Russian oligarchs who back Putin’s “kleptocracy” are getting targeted sanctions (aluminum, for example) which might actually accomplish something. North Korea now knows we (and everyone else) know their promises to “denuclearize” were simply lies- and so if more intrusive sanctions follow as the result- nobody will be surprised or be able to claim Trump didn’t give them a fair opportunity to do what they said they would.
The elections of 2018 will call for a New Congress to step in to back Trump when he’s right, oppose him when he’s wrong. One man can’t do it alone, hard as he may try. What we need is a truly independent Congress of honest representatives of their constituencies- not party partizans protecting their corruption and their Plutocrat sponsors with engineered gridlock. Progressive or conservative, male or female, black or white, Protestant, Catholic, Jew or Moslem, queer or straight… we need to throw all the bums out, put in new people with a mandate to serve the people, with the promise to throw them all out if they don’t- in 2020.
BreakingNews: 6/30/2018: Trump Rallies Montana
There’s been a lot of news in the last week, but it’s hard to say if much of it is important as some people think. Supreme Court Justice Kennedy’s retirement and Trump’s being able to appoint his successor is seen by some as a catastrophe- but I think Trump will nominate someone like Neal Gorsuch or John Roberts- who won’t be a corrupt party patsy like the rest of the Court, and (like Kennedy) will be an independent mind who’ll judge on the arguments, and the Constitution- not bound to follow the “party line” to benefit core constituencies. The “Anti-Muslim Travel Ban” isn’t going to change anything much, either. The big game is the upcoming 2018 midterm elections, something most Americans will skip for lack of interest.
President Trump, however, will be in Great Falls, Montana, on July 5 for a rally to support the Republican Senate candidate in his bid to unseat the two-term Democratic incumbent- Jon Tester. For Trump and the Republicans, this is a key race to keep control of the Senate. Trump won Montana in 2016 by a wide margin, but we have a long history of splitting our ticket. Our governor is Democrat, one U.S.Senator from each party. The State House is dominated by the Republicans, our one U.S. Representative (who represents more people than any other) is Republican. Montanans are very independent, and our political alliances shift. For Trump to come to Montana to influence the Senate race is a wise move, since we have just as many Senators as New York, California, or Texas- with a lot fewer people electing them. In this mid-term election, this rally could be crucial to Trump’s political survival- let alone his agenda. I think it will be exciting.
Montana has a proud political history. We had the first woman U.S. House Representative, Jeanette Rankin. Butte is the birthplace of America’s Labor Movement, Joe Hill’s Miners’ Local #1 is in Butte. Mike Mansfield helped LBJ push through the Voting Rights Act. Max Baucus spearheaded the Affordable Care Act. Montana passed legislation to make it difficult for the Copper Kings to buy elections, which held almost 100 years until Citizens United overturned it in (perhaps) the worst decision the most corrupt Supreme Court ever made.
Montana is roughly 1/3 Democrat, 1/3 Republican and 1/3 Libertarian. We’re the most Libertarian State in America, and where a Libertarian future for the USA has already begun. Bernie Sanders won the Democratic Primary in 2016, for Libertarian (not “socialistic”) reasons. Montanans are used to enduring and persevering in tough jobs, a tough climate, a tough economy- and tough politics. We’re not afraid of disruption, or change. We’re hard-nosed, realistic and resilient. I’ll be there in Great Falls 7/5/2018, with my camera, another photographer- and will come back with a full and colorful report.
BreakingNews, 6/21/2018: Immigration Debate
Trump is right, the Congress should do its job and address the issues of borders, immigration, migrant labor, smuggling, sanctuary, naturalization. Problem is, the Congressmen are too busy pandering to their donors, and trying to avoid controversy (which might lose them votes) to perform their function required by the Constitution. Instead, they’d rather let the President make the decisions, and then decide how they feel about it.
Libertarians have historically opposed borders which inhibit the free flow of commerce, people and money, as well as tariffs and sanctions. They also oppose prohibitions, especially ones as counterproductive as “The War on Drugs”, but also prostitution, pornography, “hate speech”- as well as coercions, like mass incarceration, curfews, vagrancy laws, “stop and frisk”, and military conscription to fight unnecessary wars between nations. Libertarians see international free and unrestricted trade as the road to world peace, liberty, human rights, democracy. Some of their beliefs seem untenable-“frisbetarian”- or at least unrealistic at the present time.
Today’s world involves borders with legal and economic systems which change at the border, prohibitions which change at the border which offer opportunities and incentives in smuggling and human trafficking, as well as millions seeking sanctuary and opportunity across those borders. Then, those borders must be defended against crime (terrorism, etc), spread of communicable disease… and the futility of it becomes increasingly apparent as the flood of moving people threatens to overwhelm all defenses.
We create and spread war worldwide- the U.S.Army is engaged in conflicts in over 100 nations, to protect the assets of the international Plutocracy. War creates refugees, and then we have to fortify our borders against this “refugee problem” which we have created. But the Plutocracy wants the working people of America to pay for it, in addition to all the rest of the taxes they pay for everything else, too- and they end up borrowing from the future of the children of American workers to be able to spend what they can’t collect in taxes. This can’t last forever- and America is starting to figure it out.
The previously strange Libertarian ideas are taking on a new sense of inevitability as our world becomes increasingly interconnected, and police and military efforts to suppress liberty and increase taxation on the poor worldwide are becoming increasingly futile. Tariffs, sanctions, and prohibitions are found to serve corrupt purposes rather than their advertised ones, and a real labor shortage in America together with cultural changes which have led to declining birth rates below replacement have made immigration an important need to the American economy, and made Libertarian ideas relevant to the debate, today.
Our goal at New Libertarians is to substitute reason for emotion, reality for ideology- in making these difficult decisions. We have to live in the world as it is- but we have to have plans for the future, too.
BreakingNews, 6/13/2018: A picture’s worth a thousand words.
The flag of the National Sheriff’s Association, before which Jeff Sessions invoked the authority of the Bible to justify his “No Tolerance” policy, wresting children from their mothers and sending them off to separate jails, depicts the Roman “fasces”- the symbol of Authority of the Emperor. Fasces is the base word of the better known word-“Fascism”- something some sheriffs may not be aware of- or they might have picked something else, lest freedom loving Americans think they do the dirty work of tyrants.
Did you ever notice when right wing “Christians” quote the Bible, it’s never the words of Jesus? I’d suggest to Jeff Sessions he reread the synoptic gospels -Matthew, Mark and Luke- the story of Jesus, told three times…and take special notice of Jesus’ words often displayed in italics. Or shut up about the Bible.
BreakingNews, 6/13/2018: The virtues of lying.
I was raised to believe that lying was a character defect. For my father, there was little trouble I could get into which was worse than lying about it- whatever it was, that I’d done. It made sense to me. If I had a good reason to cut down the cherry tree- or even if it was a stupid reason- it taught me there needs to be a reason for whatever you do- and you needed to be able to defend that reason with a rational argument. Lying about it only breaks the bond of communication with someone who might guide me to make better decisions, removes an opportunity to think about and explain why I did what I did.
But then I grew up, and learned that most people are raised differently. If a lie gets you an advantage, and that advantage helps you get what you want- then people are willing to let your lies slide. They lie, too- and like it when others let their lies slide. “Caveat Emptor”,they say- “let the buyer beware”- is the admonition to expect to be lied to, and be prepared to protect yourself.
A “good” liar can defend his lie, make an argument that it was a “white lie”, something which might be done for a good reason- like not to hurt someone else’s feelings, or as a means to a good end. In “Game Theory”, deception is part of the strategy- and anyone who is bound to the truth is at a substantial disadvantage in the game. People differ about whether there is a difference between the truth, and The Truth- some claim that a lie can actually be a “Higher Truth”.
Trump lies continually, faster than the “fact checkers” can follow and correct. For people like me, it’s excruciating to listen to Trump lie, lie and lie. I find it amazing he gets away with it- that so many of those we elect to represent us tolerate it, even try to use it to their advantage. It’s frightening, because it reminds me of another famous liar/leader who led his nation to its ruin- Adolf Hitler- and killed 70 million people and destroyed half the world in the process. Trump has at his fingertips power Hitler could only dream of.
Liars usually run out of believers, sooner or later. People quit listening, the liar loses his credibility and his influence. I think It’s time for America to demand an end to the lying, and if the only way to accomplish that is to be rid of the liar- so be it. Sadly, the second in the line of succession, Mike Pence, is also a liar- albeit a weaker one, and is neck-deep in the same scandals. The third in line-Paul Ryan- just quit, without a good explanation. Only two years ago he wanted to be President, now he wants to retire. There is a potentially dangerous leadership vacuum which ironically protects Trump from impeachment. Who’ll take over after he’s gone?.
I think Trump’s lying and Republican House acquiescence to it should determine the midterm vote of 2018. All House seats are in play. All candidates who defend Trump’s lies should be replaced by others, for that reason alone. If they don’t perform, they can be replaced in 2020. Borrowing money to go on a spending spree makes you look good- for awhile, but not for long.
BreakingNews, 6/13/2018: Voting Rights Decision
The Supreme Court made an important decision about voting rights, strictly politically divided on party lines. The Republicans, the “Party of the Rich” want to restrict voting rights because wealthy, well educated people ALWAYS vote (usually absentee, so they can vote at their leisure)- because they know how important it is. But most Americans aren’t rich and well educated- so more difficult, restricted voting favors the Republicans. Long lines at the polls in poor neighborhoods discourage poor voters, too- so they vote irregularly. The Democrats want to make it easier to include the poor, uneducated, even the undocumented- because they more often vote Democrat.
So, the Republicans got the upper hand this time. States can pass laws which create problems for infrequent voters- essentially purging them from the voting rolls if they fail to vote. It is what it is. We can wring our hands about it, or we can do something about it. Democrats should make it their business to register voters (absentee if possible) amongst their constituencies if they want to compete with the Republicans.
Both parties are really “Party of the Rich”, competing for the spoils of corruption. They just pander to different constituencies. The decision was a good one (in my opinion) for several reasons. First, it shows how politically corrupt the Supreme Court is. Second, it motivates the Democrats to encourage their constituents to vote, absentee when possible. Third, it gives marginalized groups of people a real motive to organize to agitate against the corrupt status quo. Fourth (and most important to us at NewLibertarians.com) it shows everyone there needs to be a political rearrangement which wrests loose the stranglehold the Democratic and the Republican parties have on America’s political process.
BreakingNews, 6/8/2018: Canada to Singapore
Those of you who read this column know I regard Trump with a mixture of admiration and derision. I admire how he managed to go from 5% in the first Republican primary to President, running an apparently nonsensical campaign on comparably little money, telling continuous boldface lies, offending almost everyone along the way- and then winning! I hate the lying, consider it an insult to my intelligence- and I have a hard time understanding why more Americans aren’t equally offended by it. But it’s been effective, I must admit. As the story unfolds, Trump’s election was no fluke. It was masterful use of all available resources- domestic and foreign, and especially data and the Internet- to accomplish an almost miraculous feat.
I’ve compared Trump to Adolf Hitler. His agenda was no secret. He planned his path to power for a long time, and took some big gambles with long odds along the way- and suffered setbacks but kept coming. The “Big Lie” was his trademark. Hitler could have stopped after Austria and Czechoslovakia, and maybe even Poland- and survived a national hero forever for reuniting a Greater Germany. But he kept pushing, gambling, doubling down- overreached, and fell. And took Germany down with him. Had he not persecuted the Jews, and the likes of Einstein stayed and worked for him- we might all be speaking German.
What Hitler did was huge, and his legacy is the American Century. He caused the death of 70 million people, the destruction of much of Europe, Japan, China, Russia and the aftermath of the war made America the only healthy nation left standing in a deathly ill world… Russia and China formed huge “communist” dictatorships from their ashes. What will be Trump’s legacy?
If I were Kim Jong Un I’d be terrified going into this meeting. As Trump spoke with China’s Head of State -Xi- leader of the second largest economy and rising world military power for the first time, he attacked Syria and Afghanistan as gratuitous party favors- to show what power he has and what he’s willing to do, just for effect. Neither attack accomplished anything, except to make it clear to China that Trump is a loose cannon- and it’d be wise to lay low. At G7 Trump arrived late, left early and offended all our best allies- the leaders of the seven richest nations in the world. What’s he going to do to impress the ” fat little rocket-man” from tiny, starving North Korea just to shake things up?
Trump knows his time is short. Presidents usually wait until the end is in sight to start using their Power of Pardon, and he’s using his like a child’s Magic Wand to sprinkle Pixie Dust around everywhere it seems fun. Trump’s unpredictability has become predictably gratuitous, soon America will tire of it. He’ll go down when he’s not fun to watch any more.
I think Mueller will be the party-pooper.
BreakingNews, 6/3/2018: Trump pardons himself?
Some Republicans are beginning to wonder if now is the time to abandon the sinking ship. Trump’s on-again/off-again gyrations on trade, foreign policy, immigration… attacks on his own agencies and appointments… his mounting scandals and accelerating legal problems are beginning to cause fatigue amongst his once avid supporters who never know day to day (hour to hour) what they are actually supporting, and worry that their leader might have a screw (or two) loose, and could do something REALLY unpredictable as the pressure on him builds and he becomes ever more detached from reality… like pardon himself- for what? For everything?
The Democrats seem to think this will be a landslide year, but they’re being cautious not to appear too confident. They have their own corruption to protect, and might prefer to have a lame-duck Trump willing to make a deal to keep his “dream job” over a pitched battle which could cause some casualties on their side, too.
Trump promised to disrupt. He promised to end the wars, quit trying to police the world, take care of the veterans. De-corrupt the bureaucracy. Restore meaningful work to American labor, via fair trade. Rebuild the infrastructure. Fix the health care system. Restore American prominence on the world stage… and what’s he done? The wars are widening, and we’re losing. We’ve alienated our allies, enhanced the influence of Russia, China, Iran and North Korea who’ve filled the vacuum. The bureaucracy is more corrupt than ever, the worst offenders are his appointments, his family, insiders. No infrastructure progress, no health care progress. We have “full” employment- with no wage gains, no new industry. Homebuilding, marriage, children, health and longevity on the decline. A big tax cut for the international rich, paid for with debt for working Americans- is all he has to show, so far, besides chaos.
The question is where the new equilibrium will settle. Will it just be another circus of corruption, Democrat style- with Trump still ringmaster? Or will something actually change in the 2018 election? If the past is any indication of the future, nothing will change. Looking at my absentee ballot I need to mark, and send off- I can’t see much hope for anything different.
BreakingNews, 5/30/2018: Big Day in the Supreme Court, corrected
You can read the original, below. I hate to be wrong, or do an injustice to anyone- even to someone I consider to be an enemy of all I hold dear. When Bush I put Clarence Thomas into civil rights champion Thurgood Marshall’s vacant seat it was immediately apparent that the only thing they had in common was black skin. Calling himself an “originalist”, he sided with the right wing mindlessly on every decision. Taciturn to an extreme, I’ve wondered what might be in that “black box” besides darkness.
There are two black men in high positions of government I’d love to be able to mind-read. Clarence Thomas is one of them, and the other is Colin Powell. Are they just “token negros”, given privilege in return for having black skin and doing what they’re told to do? That’s a good reason for silence. Nobody wants to admit to that. Or, are they under some kind of duress, which coerces them to knuckle under like “good” slaves. How could Thomas possibly be an “originalist”? At the time the Constitution was written, he would have been property. Does he think he should still be property? He personally benefitted from “affirmative action”, how could he be so solidly against it?
As it was originally reported on NPR (which I listen to in the night, sometimes half-asleep) the decision was 7-2, with Thomas and Alito dissenting. Today, I see it was 8-1, only Alito dissenting. There’s no hope for Alito, he’s not even worthy of comment except disparagement. Perhaps he’s just the “token Republican authoritarian”. But I’d like to know the “rest of the story” about Thomas.
Colin Powell’s book was all fluff, there was no insight into his mind. The military is known for dealing with incompetents by “kicking them upstairs”, giving them a glittery uniform, ceremonial duties, an office, a secretary and a big paycheck for keeping quiet and staying out of the way. But the Supreme Court is something altogether different…
BreakingNews, 5/30/2018: Big Day in the Supreme Court
Editor’s note: This was written on the basis of Public Radio news last night, and there was no Wall Street Journal at the coffee shop this AM to back up my story… so this might not be 100% accurate, but I’ll fix it tomorrow,,,,CC
The Constitution wasn’t written for the convenience of law enforcement. The encroaching Police State has been eroding civil rights typically, as politicians claim to be “tough on crime” and help the profits of their political donors at the same time. Most people value safety over liberty, and it’s easy to forget (or deny) realities like The Holocaust which happen when authoritarians get too much power.
7-2 the Supreme Court upheld the FourthAmendment which limits (prohibits…) warrantless searches. Alito and Thomas were the only judges who couldn’t read the plain words of the Constitution. Bravo for Gorsuch, he’s turning out to be the “originalist” I hoped he’d be. Shame on Thomas.( Note: I might be giving Clarence a bum rap on this…) Thurgood Marshall would roll over in his grave. (he’s done a lot of that since Bush I gave Thomas his seat on the Court….)
In my view, the decision didn’t go far enough. Today, with the instant communications available 24/7/365 via the internet, there is no longer any good excuse for a warrantless search of anyone’s property- not even an automobile. It’s an important safeguard to our liberty. I know it’s an uncommon view. I’m happy for what we got. (less than I thought, I’m afraid…)
BreakingNews Memorial Day, 2018
Memorial Day is a sad day for Libertarians. Devoted to liberty, peace, justice, equality, prosperity there are few (if any) parts of human experience less conducive to Libertarian ideals than war- unless it be the other Apocalyptic Horses- disease, famine, pestilence, geological, weather and other natural catastrophes which everyone would agree to prevent- if we could.
Only war is glorified as something which somehow elevates individuals and humanity. Once a year we perform solemn ceremonies to convince spouses, parents, children their loved ones were maimed and killed and lost to them forever for a purpose, and were not just as sacrificial pawns in an international power and money game engineered by people who would never consider taking that risk themselves.
When was the last president who served in a legally declared war, one authorized by Congress to defend the Nation- Bush I? Bush II was a play-flyboy. Obama never considered it. Reagan played soldier in the movies. Clinton and Trump were draft dodgers. Trump even put down John McCain as a “loser” for having been shot down in Vietnam. Bush II managed to come off as more heroic sitting safely on the sidelines than John Kerry who was wounded in combat on his swift boat. Money talks.
We should honor our war dead by ending the wars, and taking care of our wounded veterans. They sacrificed their lives, health and happiness for us, and we owe them our appreciation with action- not just ceremony.
BreakingNews 5/30/2018: Trump Cancels?
Most Americans are Democrats or Republicans, and so they assume everyone is either one or the other. It’s the same about Trump, either you like him and his agenda, or you hate him and his agenda. So, I’m pretty sure everyone reading this is trying to decide whether I’m Democrat or Republican, “Pro Trump” or “Anti Trump”- and then they can decide if I’m credible or not…depending on whether I’m one way or the other.
At the same time I predicted before he was even nominated Trump would inevitably be impeached, I’ve also said that electing him was the best thing which has happened to America since FDR. Yes, his “Make America Great Again” strategy is so uncannily (or transparently…) similar to Hitler’s “Make Germany Great Again” program ( a la Mein Kampf) from the 1930’s that there’s plenty to worry about, especially if you’re a racial or religious minority, poor, addicted to opiates, LGBTQ… but the USA of 2018 is very different from the Germany of 1933. The biggest difference is that we have a two and a half century old Constitution, which the vast majority of Americans believe in, a legal tradition to interpret it- and enough of our elected officials have (at least) read it.
What Trump’s greatest accomplishment will be (in my opinion) is that he will reawaken America to the value of our Constitution, by way of his entertaining theatrics (to get our attention) and their inevitable legal consequence- to teach us the important lessons. What is “Separation of Powers”? “Emoluments”? “Establishment clause”?”Reconciliation”?”High Crimes and Misdemeanors”? “Obstruction of Justice”? “Nuclear Option”?
Trump isn’t afraid of impeachment, because he’s certain he won’t be convicted- it’s not easy to remove the president. It will keep him in the spotlight, where he likes to be- and make everything he does seem more important. The history books will love retelling the story, because it will sell more history books.
BreakingNews: 4/4/2018 : Stormy days ahead
Before Trump was nominated, I predicted were he to be nominated, and win the election- he would be impeached and convicted before his first term was up. The only uncertainties were who would do it, when it would happen and what would be the formal “excuse” for doing it. You can find plenty to read about “Stormy Daniels” story in all the papers, but I think it would be a shame if this turns out to be the “excuse” the anti-Trump forces have been waiting for. There are so many better reasons.
Now I have to add “Stop and Frisk” Rudi Giuliani to the RoguesGallery.
BreakingNews 5/29/2018: Trump Cancels North Korea Summit
The North Koreans got one thing right. Pence is a “dummy”. Living up to his description as “ignorant” and “stupid”, Pence threatened Kim Jong Un with the same fate as Muhammar Khadaffi, who having conceded his nuclear weapons in an attempt to normalize relations the U.S. would create, finance and give military back-up to an insurgency which would ultimately end up shooting him trying to hide in a drainage culvert. Avoiding that is exactly why he felt he needed to develop nukes in the first place. Trump saw the big mistake, preempted Kim in cancelling first- but it was Pence who blew it.
The best argument for not impeaching Trump is that Pence would become president if he’s convicted. Trump, for all his faults, at least isn’t a “dummy”. JFK’s choice of LBJ as his running mate was a wise one, as was FDR’s Truman and Reagan’s Bush. Had Hillary Clinton chosen Bernie Sanders as her running mate, and welcomed him as a partner in her administration, I think she would have won the election in a landslide.
BreakingNews: 4/11/2018 : John McCain speaks
When John McCain ran for president against Barack Obama in 2008, I was still of the opinion there was a real difference between the Democrats and the Republicans. I didn’t always agree with him, but I admired him for his courage and his independence. I’d have voted for McCain had he been a Democrat, but I was concerned about his health and I didn’t want Sarah Palin to become president. I voted for Obama even though I was worried his presidency might be a failure- because of the color of his skin, not the content of his character. But, all in all, I was confident whoever won that election we’d have a good human being in the Oval Office.
In today’s Wall Street Journal, the Review section is McCain’s narrative about Vladimir Putin. It’s very good reading, I recommend it to everyone. In his final days, as his brain cancer threatens to bring his life to an abrupt end, I’m glad to hear his voice still strong. He lays his case on the table, for all America to see.
BreakingNews: 4/10/2018 : The Trump Factor
The American People elected Donald Trump because he promised to disrupt the “status quo”, and he’s delivering on that promise. I didn’t like (and still don’t like) the issues he focused on during his campaign. I think he rode a tide of hate, fear and ignorance to the White House, the same way Hitler did in 1933, focused on the same points- white supremacy, religious bigotry, xenophobia, anti-intellectualism, authoritarianism- to appeal to the masses, inspire thugs to be Brown Shirts, and they to want to be SS- but built and kept his power by pandering to the corporations and being careless of the well being of his People, and tyrannizing them.
But this is America 2018, not Germany 1933. America has a better designed political system with a longer history with The People for Trump to even imagine that the American People might vote 99.6% to give him permanent dictatorial power- as Hitler achieved. He must know that he can huff and puff, but he won’t blow the house down- no matter what he says or tries to do because the Constitution provides Separation of Powers. That gives him the liberty to bloviate as much as he wants to energize his base, knowing that the Courts will in a short time abort whatever he tries which is Unconstitutional. He has to know his time is short, that his impeachment will start in January 2019, and will reach a conclusion which will make him a one term president- maximum. I think he never planned to serve two terms, was never concerned about being re-elected.
BreakingNews: 5/19/2018: Abortion Debate
First, the facts. 40% of all children born are accidentally conceived, not planned. 2/3 of divorces are filed by the woman. Over half of children born are born out of wedlock. 90% of those who use Planned Parenthood are impoverished. 90% of those in prison come from one parent families, 95% of which are headed by women. The birth rate is declining, especially among the affluent. Young people aren’t getting married, buying homes, raising children- they’re watching porn on their cell phones. The family, as an institution, is deteriorating. The opioid epidemic, the outsourcing of jobs, the deteriorating education system, illegal immigration, corruption in all three branches of government- and in business… all contribute to the deteriorating American Dream. Few dispute the facts, or the need for change.
The Libertarians believe that free markets will solve everything, and they think government interference is the problem, and hate paying all taxes. The “Freedom Caucus”, which owes its origin to the post-schism/collapse Libertarians (when the progressives defected to the Democrats and only the “Hayek” conservatives remained and then they gave up on the Libertarians and became Republicans…) became the new face of Jim Crow and the KKK. They champion “State’s Rights”, as if The States were somehow less corrupt and oppressive than the Federal Government.
The Democrats promote the abortion debate as a “Women’s Rights” issue, pandering to women. Their main talking point is that a woman should have complete sovereignty over her own body. The Republicans couch it in “Religious Rights” language, pandering to the religious. Their main talking point is that an embryo/fetus is an innocent child whose life can and should be saved. Both are good arguments. In reality, however, the politicians don’t really care about abortion at all. Their goal is the spoils of political power, and they’re just dividing up the electorate into core constituencies devoted to “hot button non issues”. They know that “gridlock” preserves the “status quo”, and nothing big is going to change.
I personally believe that Trump would be delighted for all poor black women to abort (or contracept) all their children- in America and everywhere else, too- and Planned Parenthood is designed to enable poor people to get contraception and abortion -among other things… but his political calculus, as a Republican, requires bloviation on the other side of the abortion debate, knowing nothing is ultimately going to change. It’s all just political theatre, playing to “The Base”, most of which is southern, fundamentalist, white supremacist, fearful and resentful of blacks, Mexicans, “liberals”, Muslims, homosexuals and foreigners (which includes northerners)- which they consider to be evil…criminal. Never mind that Trump is a northerner, doesn’t give a damn about religion…that’s Mike Pence’s job. Trump does piety ineptly.
New Libertarians propose the Original Libertarian (pre-schism/collapse- 1972 style) position that the person (male and female) have sovereignty over their own bodies -and minds, too. That means The State shouldn’t have the power to require any woman to have an abortion, nor any man to go to an undeclared war- for the same reason. However, if religious people refuse to pay taxes for health care for the poor which provides access to abortion, then those who despise war and police state should refuse to pay taxes for the military, prisons and police by the same logic. The truth is, we all should pay taxes to support our government- fairly. The only fair tax is on assets. The rich own the political parties, and increasingly regressive taxation is a fundamental goal of both corrupt political parties. But they don’t want to discuss that at election time.
Religious arguments are precluded by the First Amendment’s “Establishment Clause”, which prohibits Congress from passing laws which give religion political power. The New Libertarians are concerned with the future of America, beginning with the family- the health, education, nutrition, housing, opportunity, Rights and Liberties of our Posterity, the success of the American System. More children who are planned by healthy, educated, secure parents committed to each other and to creating a successful family which are willing to sacrifice their own instant gratifications for the long term viability of the family, community and the nation are best for the long-term viability of America. How best to enable that should be the debate, and that’s what we should be talking about. Skip the political theater.
BreakingNews: 4/28/2018 Pompeo confirmed.
It’s time for me to update RoguesGallery now that “master of corruption” Rex Tillerson is moved from “rogue’s list” to the “sacrificial pawn list”, and CIA spook/torturer Pompeo is taking his place at State as USA’s lead diplomat, and Pompeo’s assistant -also complicit in the torture/secret prison scandal- steps into his shoes. At the same time, I have to add to the “rogues list” someone I forgot to mention the first time around- Scott Pruitt- quickly, before he gets sacrificed and he escapes the honor. Michael Cohen came into the spotlight and left the stage before I could list him. This job keeps me busy.
BreakingNews: 5/18/2018: Trump’s Reversal of Fortune
Most of them Democrats, but also enough Republicans to turn the tide against him are looking at each other in panic going into the 2018 elections trying to decide what to do. Trump fights fire with fire, and as problems heat up across the globe those whose fortunes ride on the preservation of the status quo are starting to worry there might not be enough fire trucks around to save their asse(t)s. Trump, for his part, is filling up the water trucks with gasoline so as to be ready. It will be interesting.
Mueller’s Russian election interference investigation faces a deadline, and soon the impending elections will demand a gag order on his progress, lest it “interfere” with the election. But Mueller knows that after the election his investigation will become irrelevant to its main purpose- to give the electorate the information it needs to make a wise choice at the polls. So, he’s going to be in a hurry to get as much of it out as he gan before the deadline, but not make any big mistakes which could cast doubt on his competence and the validity of the investigation altogether. It will be interesting, too.
Trump’s threatening Kim Jong Un with a rerun to Muhammar Khadaffi’s story, that the USA will overthrow his government and he’ll be shot hiding in a culvert, or hung like Saddam Hussein after being dragged from a “spider hole” to the gallows. Ebola is out in a city of over a million people. There’s a trade war with China. Cholera is overwhelming Yemen. Syria just gets worse, and worse. Food Stamps are in jeopardy, Gaza is a bloodbath following US Embassy plans in Jerusalem… there’s a lot to watch on Trump’s “Reality TV”.
Soon the camera will be on him, I predict.
BreakingNews: 4/3/2018 : Cambridge Analytica Folds
Newlibertarians.com aspires to be the “bright side” of data analytics, “The Force” behind political change in America and the world. The Engine of Democracy…
4/1/2018: BreakingNews: Resurrection day.
People who are fearless of death are terrifying. Whether it’s Jihadist suicide bombers, Kama Kazi pilots, or even an old man like Socrates who, when given the choice of behaving in an “acceptable” manner, or going into a comfortable exile- chose death, instead. Achilles could have sat out the Trojan War, too. He made a choice. Jesus probably could have survived, too- had he chosen to. After he fled The Temple to the wilderness- after throwing out the moneychangers- he could have just kept going. But he didn’t.
A year ago I launched newlibertarians.com. Donald Trump had just been inaugurated president, and it seemed to me he was following Hitler’s playbook, “Mein Kampf”, a book I read as a teenager. Like Hitler’s, his agenda is no secret. He wants to Make America Great Again the same way Hitler wanted to make Germany great again- with authoritarianism, focused on “The Leader”- “Der Fuhrer”. And his campaign rides the same “zeitgeist” as Hitler’s- race and religion, and has the same scorn for democracy.
Obama was a weak leader, through no fault of his own. He had black skin, and many Americans simply will not follow a black leader. After eight years of ineffective leadership, ever widening and more confusing losing wars abroad- America was hungry for a leader. Like Hitler, Trump has been seeking the presidency for decades. When he felt his moment came, he struck. The Republicans were splintered, and he stepped in to unify The Party around Republican principles. Some people are superior to others, and deserve to lead and deserve privilege. White people and Christians, especially. Jews are OK, for now. Democracy is weakness, it doesn’t work. The biggest fear of the ruling class is that the poor will unify and set up the guillotine. Use “divide and conquer”, the age old way a privileged minority rules the majority. The Army and the Police are the saviors of civilization. Women and men argue, blacks and whites argue, Judeo-Christians and Muslims argue. Keep them arguing, and confused. Do not let them understand politics, lest they see who their real friends and their real enemies are.
Both my parents were veterans of WWII, my mother taught history (and did diplomatic research at the State Department, trying to understand Pearl Harbor) and my dad was a psychologist. My first love was a Jewess, and her parents were good to me- and I loved them, too. I was made very aware of the historical, political, religious, racial and psychological origins of WWII and the Holocaust. I saw how WWI created the Bolsheviks and the genocides of Russia, and WWII created the People’s Republic of China and their millions of deaths. Authoritarianism is not the answer. It’s never been the answer, and it will never be the answer.
Yes, it seems to work for a while- but (like the “Thousand Year Reich”) it doesn’t work for very long. It always ends up with a Lost War- lost because of corruption. Eventually “the many” oppressed unite to depose “the few” oppressors.
The U.S. Constitution is the answer. The Preamble states the Purpose. The Rule of Law- not men, to which everyone agrees, and the Social Contract which binds us to it is the answer. Liberty, guaranteed by the Bill of Rights is the answer. Education is the only way Americans can inherit our precious birthright. Anyone who tells you you need not understand-only to obey- is your enemy. America has drifted away from our moorings, and the “Divine Wind” will blow us on the rocks unless we regain the helm and guide her to safety.
BreakingNews: 3/12/2018: Filing Day
Today’s the deadline to file to run for office in Montana. I got two calls asking if I was running, so that’s progress. One was a Libertarian, the other was a Democrat. At this rate I might have enough support to consider doing it again in 2030…if I’m around. I told them both I’m not going it alone any more. If somebody wants me to run, they need to let me know at least a week before the filing deadline.
The political process is kind of like the yearly fall roundup on a Montana cattle ranch. There are two big bidders at the auction.What they buy goes off to the feedlots on the same train- and there’s just one train. Unless you want to play the game the way they’ve arranged it- you’re on your own. Part of the purpose of newlibertarians.com is to offer an alternate route, the other part is to enable voters to vote wisely in their own best interest inside the system as it is.
The first thing a voter needs to know is that where the most money goes is what arguments are going to me made loudest and most often. For those who invest in elections (“the 1/2%”) it’s a great investment. Each $1 they invest in elections returns $900 in government spending, and they control it. As a bonus, they get to write all the laws -especially the tax laws- and control foreign policy. They give money to both sides of every important race- whichever candidate wins always gives them what they want. If you don’t want to be one of their puppet-politicians, you don’t get to play on their field.
Now that the election of 2018 is under way, we’ll devote our efforts to what we each can do inside the election system, corrupt as it is, to reform government with our votes.
BreakingNews 3/13/2018: The Kickoff
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson got canned with a tweet, so I’m going to have to rewrite RoguesGallery and move him from the “Rogues” list to the “Sacrificial Lambs” list and add a few more “Rogues” to the list. It’s been due a rewrite for a while, now. This job keeps me very busy.
The political political season has kicked off, all the players are on the field- and the ball is in the air. The Democrats are encouraging the Libertarians- to pick off Republican votes. The Republicans are encouraging the Greens to subvert the Democrats. The big race is that for the Senate seat held by Democrat Jon Tester.
The Libertarians are running Rick Breckenridge for that Senate seat. I know and like Rick. We don’t agree about everything-but no two people agree about everything- and I plan to vote for him, and encourage others to do the same. He won’t win, but he’s a personable, intelligent, fair-minded guy with a nice wife, a son who works with him- and good reputation. He’s a surveyor- an honorable profession. George Washington was a surveyor. Doing it right is a surveyor’s trademark.
For my part, I’m going to put up a new website… UnitedThirdParty.com… (don’t click on it, it’s not up yet) to attempt to unify the opposition to the corrupt “two party” collusion. It will link to this website, be a separate “cover page” to entice those who think they’ve made up their minds about the current Libertarians to give us another look. I’ll approach the Greens, Democrats and Republicans to see if any of them would like to embrace the New Libertarian idea, too.
4/7/2018: BreakingNews: Tariffs, Sanctions, Dow drops…
Great article today in the Wall Street Journal by Pat Buchanan, remembering the politics of 1968 from the Nixon camp. I was there, too. In 1966 I’d given a speech at my high school graduation against the Vietnam war. The local paper wouldn’t print it. In 1968 I was an East Coast college anti-war activist, but the mood of the nation was still pro-war. In 1970, after graduation, with a draft lottery draw in the low 50’s, and then being rejected at my pre-induction interview and free to choose, I decided to move to the mountains of Montana- “Back to the Earth”- as they called it, then.
In 1972, the American Libertarian Party was founded- anti-war, anti-draft, anti-police state, anti-prohibition, anti-taxes, pro-choice, pro-free trade, pro-civil rights, pro-equality.. they represented the new center of a changing America. The Democrats and the Republicans were worried they could lose their place at the feed-trough. Then came Watergate, in 1973- just before the elections.
In August, 1974 I was felling big, gnarly old-growth timber up in the granite rock piles SW Montana is famous for, trees the old timers left because they were too hard to get, too many knots, too steep, too dangerous to log… and on my truck’s radio I heard Nixon was about to resign. I climbed my truck up onto a knob where my radio got better reception to hear his speech. For the record, I was glad to see Nixon fall and for Gerald Ford to decide that Vietnam was lost. Thankfully Spiro Agnew quit first. I had a hard time understanding why it took them so long to figure it out, why they invested so much in such an obviously losing enterprise.
Pat Buchanan told the story from the Republican insider point of view, but it was amazingly evenhanded. Both sides of the “culture wars” have good people, patriots who love America- they just have different views of the same thing. Somehow the Democrats- who started it, thoughtlessly- and the Republicans- who kept it going to defeat- had to quit when America decided we couldn’t believe them any more about why they were doing it.
Here we are, 2018, in the same place America was in 1968. Fifty years ago Nixon became president, Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy were shot… and in 2016 America elected Donald Trump hoping he’d alter the trajectory of the nation. He didn’t. The wars are widening. The deficits are expanding. The police state is growing. Civil rights are shrinking. Drug addiction is pandemic. The rich get richer, the poor get poorer and the middle class is still being taxed into poverty. The protests are growing. We know we can’t trust the government to let us know what’s going on. Trump doesn’t even try to tell a straight story. The media is bought off. The corruption is everywhere, impossible to hide. As with Nixon, it’s just a matter of time before Trump falls. It’s obvious to me he’s becoming increasingly desperate and erratic as Mueller closes in on him, his allies quit and midterm elections loom.
I think it’s time for the Libertarians to get moving, again. Just rotating the corruption back to the Democrats isn’t good enough any more.
BreakingNews: 3/9/2018: The real issues
Today is a good time to talk about the real issues facing America, the ones the politicians don’t talk about at election time. What makes today the day to start is that Trump is doing something no other president has dared to do- he immediately and without hesitation agreed to talk face to face with Kim Jong Un, North Korea’s panicky young dictator. We’ll see how that goes and comment later. Today’s column is about the OpioidEpidemic.
BreakingNews: 3/23/2018: Facebook Problems
The problem with Facebook isn’t that they are promiscuous with people’s data. Anyone with sense knows that there’s no free lunch. People love the Wild West aspect of the internet. The Internet- like guns, drugs, sex, money- offers people a frontier to explore. Yes, it can have its dangers. But the answer isn’t to turn the primordial wilderness into Disneyland, safe and sanitized.
BreakingNews: 4/21/2018: Pregnant Stories
The Wall Street Journal had several interesting stories today. Hundreds of molested gymnasts, a sudden thaw in North Korean relations, Comey’s release of (after the fact) classified documents, DNC suing Russia, Wikileaks, others for having lost the 2016 election. Two articles about bank fraud, one about the VW emissions fraud.
What do they all have in common? They’re about hiding facts from The People because somebody is making money keeping them swept under the rug. Money, and the power of Money. How about this? If somebody “classifies” something which The People have the right to know- there should be the risk of a criminal penalty as a deterrent.
Over a million people died, and our nation’s future has been irreparably damaged by LBJ’s fraudulent “Tonkin Gulf Incident”, the facts of which were kept secret 50 years! Somebody could have and should have said something THEN, when it could have made a difference.
Justice Brandeis famously said, “Sunlight is the greatest disinfectant.” There should be immediate penalties for lying to The People, for everyone… especially presidents. The more power you have, the greater the damage you do and the greater the penalties you should face. It’s preposterous that Trump can lie on average at least once every day- and nobody can do anything about it. Trump lies faster than the truth-checkers can check him.
The biggest difficulty the impeachment process has is trying to decide which offense is worth focusing on when each new day there’s another one more outrageous than yesterday’s. Trump is toast. Pence is equally implicated. Ryan’s announced his resignation. Who’s fourth in line? The next speaker, appointed by Ryan? Pelosi? Someone needs to grab the tiller before the Ship of State crashes on the rocks.