Monday, May 14, 2018

Trump's idiocy kills Palestinians

In December, I wrote that Trump's declaration to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem would ignite the tinderbox of the Israeli-Palestinian hostilities.  It did.

"...soldiers on Monday killed 41 Palestinians demonstrating along the border fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip and wounded more than 1,600 in the bloodiest day in the enclave since the 2014 war with Israel, according to the Gaza Health Ministry"

To add to the idiocy of the Trump move, he got nothing in return from Israel when he moved the embassy.  Every president has promised a U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, IF Israel would freeze or abandon the settlements in the occupied territories.  So, Trump gave it away for free - not exactly free, of course, the cost will be Palestinan deaths. 

For some reason my conservative friends think Trump is a good negotiator.  All he does is give things away for free - just as long as he gets a nice headline for a day. 

But, Netanyahu is happy. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Trump and Iran and war

The man who is sadly our president has just pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal.  Hard to fathom.

First, it does no good.  The deal struck by the U.S. and it's European allies got something and gave something in order to strike the deal.  It got very comprehensive and detailed inspections into Iran's nuclear programs. It gave the release of Iranian monies in return.  So, Iran got what it wanted already.  For the U.S. to pull out of the deal is to have given Iran what it wanted and said that Iran no longer needs to give us what we want.  Hard to imagine dumber deal making.  "The Art of the Deal"?  How about the art of giving away everything and walking away from the return?

It is easy to know that Trump didn't know much about what was in the deal.  He is remorselessly ignorant of almost everything to do with the U.S. government, and his supporters like that about him the most, it appears to me.

Why did he do it?  Primarily to do the only thing that he cares about - undoing everything that Obama did.  Whatever Obama did - environment, education, health care, foreign policy - he undoes.  Because he has no other ideas of what to do.

Why did he do it?  Because Netanyahu told him to and he thinks Netanyahu is tough and Donald wants to be tough like Netanyahu.

Why did he do it?  Because the Saudi royal family praised him mightily and had a very manly sword dance in his honor, and the Saudis are tough and he wants to be tough like the Saudis.  

Why did he do it? Because the Saudis have convinced him that the two warring factions - the Saudi Sunnis and Iranian Shiites - have good guys (the Saudi Sunnis) and bad guys (the Iranian Shiites).  So he does what the Saudis tell him to  do.

Why did he do it? To pull away from Europe, which pleases his xenophobic base who look down upon Europe as a bunch of softie socialists.

Why did he do it?  Because his National Security Advisor John Bolton wants him to, and John Bolton is a tough guy and Donald wants to be be tough like John Bolton.

Why did he do it?  Because he promised he would on the campaign and the crowds cheered and applauded, and he can't live without thunderous applause.

Why did he do it?  Because it grabs the headlines for a day, and distracts from the many headlines of him and his people in the Russian conspiracy investigation. 

Why did he do it?  Because he has taken sides with the Saudis and is waging war against Iran.

Why did he do it?  Because - I hope I am wrong -John Bolton and Mike Pompeo and the Saudis and the Israelis want the U.S. to wage a shooting war against Iran.  They will hold our coats while we go fight and die....

Why did he do it?  Because the only person Trump every cares about or even thinks about is Donald Trump and Donald Trump thinks this is good for Donald Trump.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

The Lynching Memorial in Montgomery, Alabama

I am glad to see that a very important memorial has been opened in Montgomery Alabama - The National Memorial for Peace and Justice. 

"The National Memorial for Peace and Justice commemorates 4,400 black people who were slain in lynchings and other racial killings between 1877 and 1950. Their names, where known, are engraved on 800 dark, rectangular steel columns, one for each U.S. county where lynchings occurred."  

Why do I think this is important?  Because it illuminates the lie that the South has a right to remember its history by erecting statues to Confederate generals and soldiers who fought in the Civil War.  Those statues do not honor the history of the Confederacy.  The Confederacy tried to break away from the United States in order to preserve its "peculiar institution" of slavery.  The South erected heroic statues of Confederate "heroes" in response to Civil Rights movements post Civil War.  

Then, and sadly, to some extent, now, the South is dedicated to the terrible and ridiculous idea of white supremacy.  Our current president is dumb enough to overtly pander to the "alt-right", neo-Nazis, KKK, and white supremacists of all labels as a political tactic to get elected, and perhaps re-elected.  

Trump has often overtly referred to his "good genes" or "superior genes" to account for his spectacular success - an overt message to white supremacists that he is one of them - and they respond with admiration and loyalty.

So, the Lynching Memorial is a fitting companion to statues of Confederate military glory.  The continuation of Jim Crow, including many forms of oppression and abuse designed to keep blacks "in their place" continued well beyond the end of the Civil War.  And it could well be that the giant prison industry today is little more than a continuation of Jim Crow into today's sad world.

Indeed, I would like to see statues of whipping posts, auction blocks, and slave women being raped put next to these Confederate statues so that everyone would see for themselves what the Confederate "heroes" were actually fighting for.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Enough of the nightmare, where is the dream?

I am tired of writing about Trump and the Republicans.

Let it be stipulated that I think Trump is a dangerous and childish nitwit.

Let it be stipulated that I think Republicans have turned into uncaring and often cruel ideologs.

Let is be stipulated that I think the Democrats are over-reacting to the Republican fierce independence by becoming fierce advocates of entitlement.

Let it be stipulated that I think the right wing nutcases have overtaken the Republican Party, much to the detriment of the Republican Party and our Republic.

Let is be stipulated that the left wing nutcases are threatening to overtake the Democratic Party and our Democracy, but are not yet in control of the Dems.

Let it be stipulated that an unfortunately large percentage of conservatives are in the thrall of the right wing propaganda bubble and have sadly turned their backs on actual news.

Let it be stipulated that even though I fully endorsed our military invasion of Iraq I now see it as the biggest mistake our country has made, even more than the disastrous war in Viet Nam, because we have increased, not decreased jihadist threats in the world by doing it.

Let it be stipulated that the country and the world is in an unprecedented state of upheaval and both the Republican and Democratic Parties are trotting out worn out dogmas that address times long gone by, not today's chaos.

I look at WWI, WWII, the Korean War, the Viet Nam War and I am extraordinarily grateful that we do not have hundreds of thousands and millions of our children dying overseas.  

Let it be stipulated that pretty much everything I can think of to make the world a better place probably isn't going to work, because I keep thinking in terms of politics, but politics itself is broken and becoming useless in the face of today's chaos.

The world is in a crisis - a political crisis - an economic crisis - an intellectual crisis - but mostly a spiritual crisis.

I can understand why the Muslims and the Christians are trying to answer this spiritual crisis by retreating to fundamentalist teachings of their dogmas, the dogmas of the past, both of which are moves to harsh and punishing crack downs on the perceived sins of the modern world, and a return to an imagined glorious past of a world of purity and piousness. 

But... the future is not to be found in the past.  I wish I had a better handle on how to bring the brilliant and loving and caring and abundant future that I am certain is waiting for us into existence.  

So far, I have mostly only been able to illuminate the nightmarish mistakes that are relentlessly before us.

I do not despair.  I choose hope and trust that our nation wide and world wide spiritual crisis is moving toward emotional, intellectual, political, and spiritual resolutions - to a world that both the Right and the Left, that both Christians and Muslims, that both sophisticated and unsophisticated are dreaming of.   

It is being created as the old is being destroyed.  I hope I can start writing about the New rather than just register my disgust of the nightmare before us all.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Trump initiates and escalates a trade war

Our president, who seems to be willfully ignorant of the history of the link between protectionism, tariffs, and trade wars as triggers to the Great Depression, has decided to escalate the trade war he started by imposing more tariffs on China.

One of the terrible problems with a grandiose ego is that it is a bottomless pit that can never be filled.  I am sure that this little man can only see retaliatory tariffs imposed by China as some sort of challenge to his manhood, so he is compelled to escalate – playing a game of chicken – with the U.S. and world economy.

When he imposes tariffs on goods coming into the country, that is just a tax on those goods that we consumers pay for.  Republicans are so proud of their disastrous tax cut, and then their fearless leader adds taxes to goods in the form of tariffs.

Plus, of course, the tit for tat tariffs being placed by China on our exports will shrink those exports and hurt those industries – mostly those in the areas of the country that voted for Trump.

But, the Trumpster cult will support anything this guy does.  ???? 

Just another day in Trumpland.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Stormy Daniels photos? of what?

Stormy Daniels says that the non-disclosure agreement she signed is void because Donald Trump didn't sign it.  Reading an article by a lawyer with some experience in such cases, Jay Michaelson in The Daily Beast, says:

"I’ve reviewed dozens, if not hundreds, of non-disclosure agreements in my life. Pretty much all of them become voided once the confidential information becomes widely known. That’s true even of agreements like this one, which is unusually constructed, outrageously slanted toward one party (guess which one) and intended to keep Daniels silent throughout all eternity and the entire universe no matter what. In this case, when the Wall Street Journal revealed the details of the contract on January 12, 2018, that information stopped being confidential." 

So, the contract is already void.

He goes on to speculate that the reason for the particular strategy that her lawyer is using is to let Donald Trump (aka "David Dennison" or D.D." in the NDA document) know that she has photos or other evidence of their sex. (You can read the legal reasoning by clicking through to his article)

Is it just me, or has anyone else noted that the name used to identify her in this NDA is "Peggy Peterson" - whose initials are P.P.?  (remember the alleged sex tapes that the opposition research man referred to in his infamous dossier?)  Does she have the same Trump secret that the Russians do?  

I am  noticing that Trump never says a bad thing about Putin, or Daniels, aka P.P.

Doesn't bother me much, but it apparently bothers "D.D."

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Trump's disgusting cruelty

Seems that every day Trump sets a new low in behavior.  A couple of days ago he fired former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe 24 hours before his retirement, stripping him of his earned full pension.  Just a disgusting cruelty. Decency demands allowing the man his pension before firing him.  Decency? Trump? Two words that cannot fit side by side.

I understand that Trump wants to discredit the Mueller investigation by discrediting one of the investigators and witnesses, Mr. McCabe.  But this is just sadistic.  I suppose his fans see Mr Trump as being Strong by being cruel.  But I think he is just showing his weakness and sickness by being cruel.  

We have many examples of Trump's cruelty.  His endless humiliation and demeaning of almost all of his staff and cabinet, trying to drive them out rather than manning up and talking to them directly or firing them face to face.  He shows himself to be cowardly and very unmanly in my opinion.

The first time I was shocked by Trump's astonishingly personal cruelty was when The Daily Beast published an article reporting that his first wife had claimed he had raped her in a fury when he blamed her for a bad result on a hair transplant surgery.  His attack dog lawyer, Michael Cohen sent this unbelievable threat to the reporter:

“I will make sure that you and I meet one day while we’re in the courthouse. And I will take you for every penny you still don’t have. And I will come after your Daily Beast and everybody else that you possibly know,” Cohen said. “So I’m warning you, tread very fucking lightly, because what I’m going to do to you is going to be fucking disgusting. You understand me?”

“You write a story that has Mr. Trump’s name in it, with the word ‘rape,’ and I’m going to mess your life up… for as long as you’re on this frickin’ planet… you’re going to have judgments against you, so much money, you’ll never know how to get out from underneath it,” he added."

To add some credibility to this threat of personal destruction he also said:

"Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen bragged to the Daily Beast about the time he “destroy[ed]” Monnin’s life. Attempting to intimidate a Beast reporter, Cohen said: “Do you want to destroy your life? It’s going to be my privilege to serve it to you on a silver platter like I did that idiot from Pennsylvania in Miss USA.”

Cohen was referring to a $5 million lawsuit against a beauty contestant that complained that the contest was rigged - an amount a normal person like her, Sheena Monnin, had no chance of paying in her lifetime.

This guy thinks he is in a Godfather movie - The Godfather Goes to Washington. 

Someday Republican lawmakers are going to have enough of this and throw him out - but they will first have to know that he is hurting them personally.  It can't come soon enough.