Goodnight Saigon

I am shocked Jerry, SHOCKED! Donald Trump never deserved any praise for walking away from a bad deal when he left Hanoi. He deserves scorn and ridicule for showing up to Vietnam in the first place.

Let’s be clear: Donald Trump has achieved nothing of importance with Kim Un. In fact North Korea’s nuclear activities have only been allowed to further advance and grow without objection by the US for the past two years.

There was no indication North Korea was ever serious about denuclearization. Had The Dotard considered the consensus assessment of our intelligence agencies he would have known this to be the case long before his arrival at the summit. At a minimum he would have had American diplomats learn of North Korea’s position prior to boarding Air Force One. Seems like a basic due diligence would at least require the parties to at least agree to a definition of what “denuclearization” means, prior to putting on an international spectacle.

Instead much like he did with birthers and white nationalists, all Trump has done is legitimize another member who sits on the fringe of civilized society. In this case Kim Un, an unapologetic autocrat who starves his own people, orders the murder of his own family members and opposition members and who routinely threatens America and her Pacific allies.

In actions and words the leader of the free world has condoned all of this. Made clear that the freedom and inalienable rights of all humanity takes a back seat to the potential personal economic and political gains Trump may reap in a deal with “his friend” Kim. Once again we learn that there are good people on both sides.

More so in absolving Kim of any responsibility in the death of Otto Warmbier, an American citizen killed in North Korea custody, our so called President made clear where his loyalties lay. Putin, Crown Prince MBS, Erdogan, and now Kim Un; it seems our Dear Leader has more confidence in the words of notorious dictators and liars, known adversaries of America, than he does over America’s own leaders and intelligence officials.

This is a man who refused to believe the words of President Obama in regards to his own birthplace, but somehow now trusts the word of Kim Un. Keep in mind the former Rocket Man once publicly referred to Trump himself as “mentally deranged” and a man “unfit to hold the prerogative of supreme command of a country, and he is surely a rogue and a gangster fond of playing with fire, rather than a politician.”

On second thought, maybe Kim is trustworthy. Those words seems eerily prescient and a credible way to describe our current American President

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/05/world/asia/north-korea-rebuild-missile-tests.html?smid=fb-nytimes&smtyp=cur

The Ineptitude of No Deal

Donald Trump does not deserve any praise from walking away from a bad deal and leaving Hanoi. He deserves scorn and ridicule for showing up to Hanoi in the first place.

Let’s be clear: Donald Trump has achieved nothing of importance with Kim Un. In fact North Korea’s nuclear activities have only been allowed to further advance and grow without objection by the US for the past two years.

There was no indication North Korea was ever serious about denuclearization. Had The Dotard considered the consensus assessment of our intelligence agencies he would have known this to be the case long before his arrival at the summit. At a minimum he would have had American diplomats learn of North Korea’s position prior to boarding Air Force One. Seems like a basic due diligence would at least require the parties to at least agree to a definition of what “denuclearization” means, prior to putting on an international spectacle.

Instead much like he did with birthers and white nationalists, all Trump has done is legitimize another member who sits on the fringe of civilized society. In this case Kim Un, an unapologetic autocrat who starves his own people, orders the murder of his own family members and opposition members and who routinely threatens America and her Pacific allies.

In actions and words the leader of the free world has condoned all of this. Made clear that the freedom and inalienable rights of all humanity takes a back seat to the potential personal economic and political gains Trump may reap in a deal with “his friend” Kim. Once again we learn that there are good people on both sides.

More so in absolving Kim of any responsibility in the death of Otto Warmbier, an American citizen killed in North Korea custody, our so called President made clear where his loyalties lay. Putin, Crown Prince MBS, Erdogan, and now Kim Un; it seems our Dear Leader has more confidence in the words of notorious dictators and liars, known adversaries of America, than he does over America’s own leaders and intelligence officials.

This is a man who refused to believe the words of President Obama in regards to his own birthplace, but somehow believes we should now trust the word of Kim Un. Keep in mind the former Rocket Man once publicly referred to Trump himself as “mentally deranged” and a man “unfit to hold the prerogative of supreme command of a country, and he is surely a rogue and a gangster fond of playing with fire, rather than a politician.”

On second thought, maybe Kim is trustworthy. Those words seems eerily prescient and a credible way to describe our current American President

The Enemy of My Enemy

Our so called President tweeted that the New York Times is the true “ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!”

So it begs the question. Who exactly are “the people” Trump refers to. A quick scan of his timeline and it’s clear his people does not include socialists, radical democrats, chuck and Nancy, independent minded republicans, Hispanics, blacks, immigrants, LBGTQ+, people from California, Jeff Flake, members of the intelligence community, people from Puerto Rico, women…

In fact, Donald Trump does not represent or speak for the overwhelming majority of this nation’s citizens. The truth is most patriotic Americans find Donald Trump, not a free press, to be the “enemy of WE, the people.”

Safe to say the enemy of my enemy is my friend. In fact a look at a few of the current stories trending in the Times and you’ll see several involve “the people” who stand with Trump and support him in both words and actions.

My personal favorite is the one about the Coast Guard lieutenant and self-described white nationalist who was arrested in Maryland last week. He was plotting to kill a long list of liberal journalists and political leaders on a scale “rarely see in this country.”

Oddly enough these are “the people” Trump refers to. The ones who often speak in his defense yet never appear on his Twitter timeline. No insinuations or childish nicknames for the racists, bigots and trolls who act in his name.

That’s no accident. It’s one thing for a talented manipulator to get into power. It’s a whole other thing to stay there. Trump knows the only way for that to happen is to reach back to his core base. To empower the fringe 20% of the far 20%. Turns out “the people” are who Hillary defined as the true “deplorables” of society.

You know “the people” who respond to Trump’s call of a national emergency and react to his dog whistles. KKK members, drunks, abusers, people who proudly fly the Confederate flag and hang rubber testicles off their tow hitch. Victims of society looking for someone to blame for whatever insecurities they harbor within.

Trump appeals to and speaks for those made in his image. Those in search of some reason, other their own inadequacy, to explain their sorry lot in life. The New York Times and a free press threaten the cognitive dissonance necessary to exert control of “the people.” It prevents the authoritarian from declaring the loudest voice in the room, is the only voice in the room.

Trump’s efforts to silence and discredit the press pose a clear and present danger to the foundation of our democracy. Without a credible counter narrative to contend with this caravan of corrupt criminals will be free to project their own shortcomings onto the most vulnerable members of our society. They will use sound bites, click bait propaganda and alternative facts to deflect from whatever scandal plagues them and otherwise fear monger, scapegoat and blame shift at whatever the cost.

The truth is Trump seeks to control “the people.” The tighter the noose around his neck the more desperate he grows to scream out to them. To embolden them to act. To draw the swastikas, burn the mosques, shoot the churches and claim our federal lands and parks as their own. To terrorize and deride the press and the Radical Democrats. To silence the opposition through force and accept the narrative offered.

These are the proud boys who the real national emergency, Donald Trump, grows ever more dependent on. To chill the fight of moderates with fear tactics, threats and intimidation. Without them the whole ship sinks, the stool gets kicked out from under him

Where There’s Smoke

What more do our leaders need to see? Are they familiar with history or current events? It is much easier to exert power and influence when you actually hold a recognized position of power and influence.

Don’t believe that? Reach out and ask Putin, Erdogan or one of Trump’s other trusted sources how they so completely took over burgeoning democracies. Turn on the news and see how the opposition party is doing in Barcelona, Syria or even Venezuela.

I’m no scientist but I know when you see smoke billowing all around a fire is most likely to follow. Why get caught in the Reichstag fire? Why get burned while there may still be time to safely reach the fire escape? Let’s at least scan the room and see if we can safely navigate our way through.

A quick look over your shoulder and the neon “National Emergency” sign is barely visible through the dark clouds that surround it. Something is obviously afoul and undemocratic in that direction. Best to continue #forward.

Down the hallway to the right you hear screaming. The rantings of a mad king accusing a private citizen, the former head of our FBI and lifelong Republican, of “treason.”

Let’s ignore the obvious horror implicit when the leader of the free world attacks the patriotism of a private citizen via tweet. Forget that Donald Trump used to proudly donate to HRC and she to the Trump foundation yet both seem to offer pretty independent assessment of the other.

The clear smoke that something more nefarious is afoot by the leader of this caravan of the corrupt and incestuous are the claims into the legitimacy of an FBI investigation into his affairs because of doubts in McCabe’s ability to do his job independent of the influence of a family member, his wife. This should in and of itself give everyone pause for concern. Did Cabinet Member Elaine Chao feed him that zinger or is she incapable of independent judgment outside of her husband. How about Special Advisor and fellow HRC donor Kushner or Ivanka Trump. How impartial is there advice?

Let’s be clear: Donald Trump should be checked for a “Proud Product of Nepotism #PayItForward” tattoo. My bet is it’s just above the sickle and hammer tramp stamp he seductively flaunts.

As our Democratic Leaders are well aware seeing as how they were advised of it, McCabe had clear reason for concern. In fact that the Acting Head of the FBI would have the courage to open a counterintelligence investigation into a sitting President of the United States should scare the bejezus out of all Americans. First and foremost the opposition party that control’s the people’s house.

In fact since the hallway to the right sounds unsafe let’s take a gander down the opposite hall. The one that leads to the US Capital. Surely we can find safe harbor in that direction.

But wait…is that smoke you smell emanating from the House” of late term abortion, high taxes, Open Borders and Crime!”.” Perhaps you won’t remain safe at Chuck and Nancy’s, after all. From what you hear the majority of the rooms are now occupied by a socialist majority who petrify the other occupants. The house of Democrats a dysfunctional mess and radicalized eye sore. A nut house of sorts. If it drifts any further left it will most likely be designated for destruction, deemed an official health hazard and bulldozed into extinction.

There is little security to be found taking refuge in a party that is “vicious” and acts with “hatred and scorn?” A party that the only man who somehow knew he would win in 2016 has already said “cannot legitimately win!” in 2020. Smells to me like a set up to wipe the house up. Paint them as dangerous to our national security, declare emergency powers and start fresh. Best too avoid that direction.

One door remains up ahead. You can make out the noise of newsstands and cacophony of the main stream media on the other side. As you reach for the knob you practically feel the heat and withdraw. “Fake fact checkers” and the “ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE.” You suddenly realize they await on the other side ready to ambush anyone who enters their embrace.

It’s time for Pelosi, Schumer and our opposition leaders to realize that all traditional exits are blocked, unsafe or too far away to be safely navigated. Survival dictates that the time to take bold action, creative and unconventional means is upon to us. Smash a window, pull down the fire escape and scream,

“Our President is the national emergency.” The smoke is everywhere. We must put on hold legislative affairs and place all focus on a presidential shutdown.

The Long Con

Another day, another bat shit crazy tweet storm. Like all bullies this administration’s plan is to marginalize, belittle, conflate, delegitimize and, when necessary, squash dissent and opposition.

Doing so allows this caravan of corrupt criminals and enablers to continue presenting alternative facts, only now without the alternatives. Lies then become truth, and perception reality.

All Americans need to carefully consider their next move. Reflect on your history. Get informed. Ask yourself; when has the leader who ruled through fear, intimidation, propaganda and slogan been on the right side of history?

I’ll spare you the research. The answer is never.

Love and inclusion has and will always trump hate in the end. Compassion and empathy win the day over oppression and ethnocentric behavior. Do not be blinded by the short term.

History is unkind to those who resist change. You can engage and choose to help make AMERICANS great again! Or you can hold on to a past that will never return and choose appeasement.

Progress only knows one direction, and it doesn’t look back. Barack Obama has over 100 million twitter followers. Hillary Clinton received 65,844,610 votes in the presidential election. Despite what Melania may say, sometimes size does matter.

Choosing to believe perception, fake emergencies and alternative facts, doesn’t change the reality. The Electoral College does not change popular opinion. We are the majority. We will not be silenced. We will not be intimidated.

It’s either appeasement or resistance.

Choose wisely. History has its eyes on you

A Call To Action

“Danger, Will Robinson,” “Beware the Ides of March,” “Perhaps extinct animals should be left extinct,” “The British are Coming,” “Beware Greeks bearing gifts,” “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US,” “Winter is Coming!”

So many famous stories, whether rooted in science fiction or history, past or present, are built on the premise of future danger. Stress a need for the protagonist to act proactively to avoid an impending catastrophe. To anticipate what the enemy will do next and take actions to prepare for, mitigate or prevent the intended outcome.

Sometimes those in power heed the warning; rally the troops, fortify supplies, prepare countermeasures. Other times they fall on deaf ears; tragedy ensues, civilizations fall, buildings crumble.

The situation America faces today is no less dire than those above. Donald Trump poses a clear and present danger to the American dream and democracy as we know it.

Unfortunately instead of memorable rallying cries, for the most part our leaders offer deafening silence. An occasional stern warning about lines Deranged Donald dare not cross. A nice sound bite or tweet from an individual representative, but as a whole, crickets.

My fellow Americans, “winter is coming!” We are rapidly accelerating towards the point of no return. We cannot afford to sit back passively and wait for something as obvious as a Reichstag Fire to recognize a real national emergency exists.

We cannot be so naive as to place all our trust in 2020, that free and fair national elections will solve this crisis. The stakes are too high and the future too nebulous. We believed the polls in 2016 too. Only Donald Trump, a man obsessed with polls, believed his election was guaranteed despite most indicators. Only he knew his election to be a fait accompli. One so inevitable that he promised to protest the election results only in the event he lost. It makes one wonder what he knew that nobody else did.

The point is we can’t put all of our eggs in one basket. We need to be more aggressive. The best way to defeat a bully is to bring the fight to him. We need our citizens to engage in bold and direct action. National strikes, sit-ins, DAILY demonstrations and other disruptive but non-violent methods are required.

We need our leaders to take to the steps of the Capital EVERY DAY. Bullhorns in hand they should be leading the crowd. Listing all of the misdeeds being committed by this den of corruption. Publicly read pages from “The List” by Amy Siskind that painstakingly details the weekly actions taken by this caravan of corrupt criminals that pose a threat to our democratic norms.

Now that the government shutdown is averted Nancy Pelosi should be entirely focused on ensuring a Presidential shutdown. If necessary the Democratic majority should refuse to advance the people’s business until legislation is brought to the House and Senate floor protecting Mueller and his investigation.

“A storms a-coming!” “Stop playing Russian roulette with our democracy!” “BASTA!” None may have the ring of “the British are coming,” but the stakes are no less important. The resistance needs a rallying cry, a call to action. Something that will stir people to leave our comfort zones and make proactive sacrifice. To understand that the time to act is now

The 3-D Painting

When I was a kid 3-D computer generated pictures were quite the fad. The ones you would stare cross eyed at for hours on end. Bits and pieces of the big picture coming in and out of focus. Your frustration builds with the knowledge that something epic awaits if you could only get your eyes to focus the right away. Then when you’re about to give up and your eyes start tearing up from exhaustion; voila! It all comes into focus.

It was almost always some type of exhilarating scene. A dinosaur chase that featured a T-Rex reaching out to grab you in the foreground. A school of dolphins seemingly leaping out of the pixelated water and into your living room. The payoff always worth the effort.

As I try process the actions of Donald Trump and this den of corruption I feel like I’m back in high school staring at one of those pictures. I concentrate on all that’s been done these past few years and bits of the real picture, the hidden agenda, slowly comes into focus.

Look to the right. A bunch of middle aged smirking white men seem to be looking away from the rest of the picture. They shake hands and pat each other’s backs in a sense of accomplishment. A few appear to have their heads buried in the sand and others have their arms raised upright in a rapturous pose.

Behind them you can make out the dreams of the GOP establishment. Billboards line a pot holed highway. One advertises the end of entitlements and social welfare programs. “Say goodbye to your healthcare, food stamps, social security, and public benefits but hello to your temporary $200 tax cut,” it reads. Through a thick smog you make out the words of the next sign, “Regulations! We don’t need no stinkin regulations!” it says. “Koch Brother’s Toll booth ahead – $40” reads the last.”

Is that Jesus moving into the forefront? A tear falling from his eye as he poses triumphantly on his Jerusalem throne. His foot resting on the throats of Muslims, Hindus, and a host of other non-believers as he takes in his heavenly kingdom.

Now close your right eye. Off to the left! Is that a shirtless Russian man riding on a horse? Standing in his shadow a seemingly endless line of workers doing hard labor. Rolling oil barrels directly into the Kremlin. Working with heavy machinery a pile of weapons of mass destruction amassed in the forefront. Ordinary looking people laying steel pipeline and rail. A massive red army on the march westward.

Open both eyes again and all you see is buckets of money falling from the sky like rain. Gold, silver and jewels piling up on the ground. International currencies from around the globe floating into focus. Shekls, rubles, dollars, euros, pounds, yens, even whatever they use in China all accounted for.

The middle part of the picture is the hardest to make out. Your eyes consistently distracted by the cheetoh orange swirls at the center of it all. The details that do emerge so horrible one must look away in horror from time to time. Military choppers fly through the sky. Major US cities lined with national guard as skyscrapers burn. Armed sentries sit in surveillance towers standing watch over the whole of America. Our borders encased in a wall of barb wire and chain linked fence give off the appearance of a giant prison yard.

Other random visions appear so quickly you are barely able to make sense of them. Is that a throng of young protestors with their hands cuffed behind their backs? Many appear bloodied, their placards and signs of dissent scattered and trampled in the streets. Others look defeated. A single marijuana joint hangs from their lips as they are loaded into a paddy wagon. A line of police cars queues up outside the overflowing prison.

Large ships packed stern to stern with disheveled and scared looking minorities and immigrants. Men in hoodies. Women in hijabs. The Statue of Liberty a small dot in the distant horizon as the boats move further away from America’s shores. A real national emergency unfolding

You look away blinking back tears. Your concentration broken. What the hell does it mean? These disjointed images that flood your brain. You realize you have a choice. Start anew and try to make sense of it all. Recross those eyes and keep staring until the entirety of the big picture reveals itself, or walk away. Grow apathetic with the hope that someone else comes along who is able to see it for themselves. An independent arbiter so to speak who may or may not tell you what it is that’s really there.

For me the choice is clear. There is no option but to refocus and keep looking until it all makes sense. The entire picture emerges. I’ve invested too much to choose otherwise and walk away now. No, much like I did in high school I’ll keep searching for that final payoff.

There’s another funny thing about those pictures that motivates me to keep me looking. Sure you initially spend hours staring and talking about them, but once you figure them out and you “see it,” you quickly lose interest in them. Pretty soon after that they get taken off the walls. Relegated to the far reaches of the garage or attic, frame cracked, forgotten.