When Loyalty Precedes Abandonment of Principle

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Make your own judgment. Maybe “cult” is too strong a word (at this point), but when good people accept the outrageous behavior, the lies and obfuscations of this President as “justified,” the cards have been dealt and the hand is in play. Who wins this one? Common decency? Real diplomacy? Humanitarian fealty to our better angels? Or the super-pragmatist who takes the Machiavellian Method to an extreme not ever considered as even possible in our nation. Strength is one thing. Brutality is another. Brutality can take many forms, not just the use of outright physical force.  Brutality and bullying are of the same coin. Brutality can be a sign of weakness, personality deficiency and a penchant for impulsive dependence on the threat of painful consequence “if you don’t do what I say.”
So, when we see who has won this hand (and we will, eventually, know the tally, know whether the ante was worth the play) we’ll be able to evaluate the costs to our moral and actual treasury.
Meantime, Donald J Trump has interpreted his newfound relationship with a bloodstained dictator as a kinship of purpose and understanding. I question this kinship. I would change the spelling just a bit. He is now mired in a web of Kimship.

Did you hold your nose when you pulled the lever?

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 It’s true that I have used strongly critical language to describe the current President and his administration. I have plenty of reliably accurate information to support the reasons behind my postings. I’ve not soft-pedaled Obama, at least in my mind. I’ve not given Hillary a free pass on the roller coaster of her tenure. But my visceral dislike for Trump is based on some pretty good fundamentals.
The decisions by many who voted for him, to elect a “businessman who knows business” has led us to this moment where a sitting President can shape national policy in order to bolster his own business interests. What’s good for Trump’s wallet is not what should drive foreign and domestic policy as best for America’s health.
I understand that most Republicans and even some Independents AND Democrats, have held their noses when they voted for – and still support – many of the policies Trump has championed. But the man in the Office has left so many with a very bad feeling, a feeling that this country is now more divided than ever, that the promises to “make America Great Again” has harkened back to the great divisions of the late ’60s, thereby “Making America Grate Again,” sadly. 
I don’t want to hide behind the Democratic Party as the good guys and the Republican Party as the bad guys. The facts are pretty conclusive; both parties have erred over the years. We are where we are because of ingrained inequities that may never be fully erased.  The fact is; in White America, it is “better” to be White than otherwise. Why? Because as we struggle to accept that the Whiteness of our history has, until very recently, sought to erase the Blackness of our history we still seek to turn away from our continued racial an economic inequities. Whites still hold the power, although to a lesser degree than ever before. I’m White for gosh sakes! I know the benefits of my color in this society. But now, with this misogynistic President in office, a man who uses a “fixer” to pay off his extra-marital partners with hush-money, one has to question whether his tenure will continue to be Whitewashed by his supporters, or the stain of his Presidency will be erased in the next election cycle.
Some of you like Trump. I get that. You applaud his tough talk about NAFTA and the TPP. You like it when he threatens North Korea’s “Rocket Man” with the hellfire of a nuclear preemptive strike. You like it when Trump tells the EU that we don’t really need them if they don’t pay up. You really want a tough guy to take back America’s example as the country you just don’t mess with. I get that. But look at his talk, and look at his achievements. Look at his rhetoric and look at the results. 

He’s a blusterer and he says things you’d like to say (I’d like to say some of them too). But like all big mouths, he’s up against the statements he’s made. They’re on the record. And in contrast to Obama, a man Trump derides at every opportunity, he says he’ll never back away from his “Red Line” in the sands of the Syrian/Iranian/Iraqi/Saudi/North Korean/Yemeni/Israeli/Lebanese/Turkish crises. We’ll see what he backs away from and what he’s forced to carry out (or look like the Vacillator in Chief that he really is). You don’t like the Democrats. I get that. But do you REALLY like Trump, or are you, maybe, just maybe, holding your nose when you support the man?  

Manage

Of devotees and Money, Parting Ways?

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To those of my Trumpian friends

Who hope his era never ends,

Who believe tough talk is a sign of strength

Who’ve supported him, no matter the length of his nose, as he spews his lies…

It grows longer and longer, each passing day,

And now Tariff Wars have got in the way,

Of rising stock values, spawning financial chaos…

Oh, woe is the era that Trump has provided us.

Will he recant, recall his threats?

Is that his style, have we seen it yet?

No.  He blunders along on his hyperactive way…

Throwing friends and allies into the fray…

It’s sad to see him now thrashing about,

This lumbering tycoon, this blustering lout…

He’s shown signs of compassion for children who’ve died

At the hands of firearms sold far and wide

To people who use them in moments of insanity.

But Trump returns to his default Trump vanity…

No, he can’t back away from his frothing base

And the world watches as he continues the disgraceful

Acts of rootless decisions,

Discarded, denied, then restated as visions…

Of measured thought by a man whose measure

Is only weighed against his material treasure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of God and Guns, of Congress and Cowardice

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We pray for the United States.  We say, “God Bless America.”  Yet we cower before the Devil Incarnate, the Power of the NRA to make or break careers amongst our elected representatives.

Anyone with a heart, with a sense of moral outrage, is appalled by the constant murder of innocent school children, college students, churchgoers, nightclub attendees, concertgoers.

We look to our elected representatives to DO something to close loopholes in gun control legislation (oh my, a dirty couple of words, “gun control”).  But the House, in particular, quavers in fear that Wayne LaPierre and his NRA publicity machine will stop the money train that these cowardly representatives ride each election cycle.

And they are, yes, they are, accessories to murder.  They are facilitators in the horror and mayhem that our nation must endure as the NRA “defends” the Second Amendment rights of citizens to bear arms.

Murderers!  Liars.  Cowards!

And they call themselves Christians?  Well, Christians-in-Congress who beg at the altar of La Pierre’s NRA, what would Jesus do?

You disgust me, you lily-livered cowards!!!

So keep praying and doing nothing.  Just count the dead, maimed and scarred amongst those American families who looked to you all, and still look to you, to STOP THE CARNAGE!

What Would Teddy Roosevelt Say About This? Would He Walk Softly, or Use The Big Stick???

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A small verse,
Tight and terse,
Pointed at those
Named in this prose.
When the unbelievable becomes believable,
When we destroy the planet that’s our only home,
The criminals who do it
Are Trump and Pruitt,
And we’ll pay for their evil for years to come.
It is so very sad, so awfully depressing,
These men who hold the future in their hands.
They want to mine and drill, no matter the spill
On our treasured, protected Federal lands.
They’re willing to rape and pillage our earthly village,
With no concern for the cause and effect.
They abandon the future, their responsibility to nurture,
The lands they’ve been charged with the job to protect.
And why do they do it?
Old Trump and Scott Pruitt?
There’s little to hide their ultimate goal…
It’s all about money,
That’s their milk and their honey…
And to hell with the future, if the truth be told.
Gerry Manning
January 30, 2018

Liking the Gains But Wary of the Pains They Portend…

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Here’s what I am REALLY concerned about.

The stock market boom is wonderful for me too. Gosh knows, one has a hard time complaining about one’s increasing assets even as the world teeters toward various confrontations, possibly catastrophic.

And, it’s been deemed unpatriotic to point at the America First concept, with all of it’s appeal to nationalism,  and say it’s a flawed concept. But indications point unwaveringly to the construct being flawed in actuality.

We’re in a worldwide withdrawal of participation in international trade alliances. We’re pulling up our shores and girding ourselves into separatism in many areas. We’re heading for inflation. Tariffs on one set of products invite retaliatory tariffs in a trade war that can become really punitive for our own citizens.

No question but that technology and robotics will permit home-spawned manufacturing in many sectors, thereby increasing output in the USA.   But this technology won’t necessarily bring massive new employment. We’ve seen this in the auto industry’s recovery. Doing more with fewer humans on the factory floor is good for the bottom line, but it brings fewer job opportunities in the production lines.

So, while right now we are sitting high on the hog, we’re going to pay for Trumpism in ways we don’t fully understand – or want to understand, not as long as we’re making money, sitting on our duffs and watching the stock market rise (those of us who’re fortunate enough to have stock portfolios).

And, of course, the Mueller investigations are not based on fantasy, and the Right’s desire to discredit American hero FBI lifers is, well, unpatriotic to say the least, and treasonous to say the most.

When fantasy-slander is repeated throughout the Rightwing and Russian Bot media, and people hear it in spite of their desire to get on with their day to day lives, the droning slander becomes ingrained.

Many want to believe Trump is the Savior. Many want to believe he’s The Answer. But I don’t.  I think Trump is the socio-political equivalent of a plague of locusts; eating everything in its way, devouring and stripping away all manner of life.  After it passes, new life can grow in its wake.  So, if this is a reasonable metaphor, Trumpism’s severe cutting of regulations, or departments, or trade and other alliances, will bring a rebirth of healthy new life after it passes.   But for now? we (I) have a hard time in turning down the rising paycheck.  In that, I am an enabler. 

When do we hold the truth to be self-evident?

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If one has moderate political views, shaped by the national debate over a lifetime, one should be very concerned now that the Trump style of political subterfuge may again win the day.  Democrats and Independents, moderate Republicans BEWARE!  The worms are in the wood now.  The termites are eating the structures of our nation’s home.  Trumpism is a well-honed weapon, targeted against our Democratic norms.  It loves absolute power and it persists in weakening any systems that are not directly under the control of the President.

Remember the statement  made by the British historian, Lord Acton: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

But we know this.  We know it and we do (almost) nothing to prevent the damage from bringing our house down upon all of us.

Vilify the Press.  Claim that national elections are “rigged.”  Claim that news, critical of Trump is “fake news.”  Consort with dictators; admire their control of their countries; stack one’s cabinet and all appointments with people of little experience and a strong directive to disassemble their particular posts, cut back on environmental protections, feed the financial juggernaut of fossil fuel interests, remain in direct charge of one’s own business empire and give special attention to those who want an audience with you the nod, but be sure they know to stay at one’s real estate properties, paying to play.  And, of course, lie.  Lie early and often, and intimidate anyone who opposes your actions, statements or deeds.  Yes, that is President Trump.  All hail the President!