Showing posts from January, 2017

Greens are On Deck

Green Partiers were not in the audience, but The Charles Koch Foundation CEO Brian Hooks said something that should be very encouraging to them at the Koch network semi-annual retreat last weekend. After describing how Barack Obama's election to President was a backlash against the failures of the George W. Bush administration, and Trump's election a backlash against Obama's failures, he predicted that we could see the same thing amplified after the Trump administration debacle. Hooks said,
“If things don’t get better, then we should expect history to repeat itself. We should expect that the political pendulum will swing with even more force to the other direction the next time. With people even further to the left than Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren! There are people right now who are prepared for the next four years to be a failure, people who cannot wait to be there to address the frustrated American people and introduce them to their own vision of radical hope and …

Stepping Up

All of the foot dragging and civil disturbance by environmentalists over development of fossil fuel infrastructure comes down to one basic demand: stop heating up the planet. Clean air, earth, and water are also quite important, but the issue that has most of our attention is the catastrophic future of our climate. Local and tribal objections are, in a strategic sense, wedges to enable and attract climate warriors to stand in the breach.

A friend of mine, +David Hardy, took the bold step of being arrested for joining a protest which blocked the steps of the county courthouse when the Cove Point Plant expansion approval was still undecided. He may not know it, but I admire his conviction and sacrifice. I wasn't then willing to risk such a fate, but now that I am retired, my old excuse of having to show up at work is pretty flimsy.

If I had a choice, being arrested would be a collateral risk of a bold or daring act, but not one that would place myself or others in mortal danger. For…

Battles Aplenty

Not only was it surprising to see so many turn out for the Women's March on Washington, D.C., but the numbers in other cities across the U.S. were astonishing, too. Many cities then rallied protesters last night over the President's decision to green light two big oil pipeline projects, one of which (Dakota Access) is 90% complete. Then, today Greenpeace acrobats hung a big "Resist!" banner off a crane near the White House. Widespread protests look like they will be a distinguishing characteristic of the Trump era.

There are actually numerous pipeline resistance movements ongoing across the country, some over oil, others over gas pipelines. Aside from these projects' failure to address indigenous peoples' concerns, adding fossil fuel infrastructure would rarely be worth the environmental cost at this point in Earth's feverish condition. If, however, there is an either/or choice between burning coal or natural gas, the decision would be more nuanced. Since…

A Million Joans

On Friday, as the new President was preparing to brandish his clenched fists to the meager crowds
on the national mall, a smallish group of dissenters gathered in Malcolm X Park not far away to listen to speakers, singers, and Native American chants, preparing ourselves for a march downtown and years of resistance to follow. Behind us stood a statue of Jeanne d'Arc on horseback and she was draped in a blood red ribbon that read "Resist!" The lovely spiritual chanting below her statue appears to have beckoned forth her spirit because, by the following day, Washington, D.C. and cities all over the globe were swarmed with women filled with that spirit of resistance.

For a quick refresher, Joan of Arc was a young lady in pre-renaissance France who left her home in the South at the behest of heaven-sent voices instructing her how to lead her countrymen against the British invaders. With great determination and courage she rallied French defenders and saved her country from a …

Days of Shame

Back when Bill Clinton was scrambling to fend off impeachment over the Monica Lewinsky affair, it bothered me that Hillary stood by him rather than walk out like many red-blooded American women would have. Her priority was her future political career, i.e. to be elected President.

Now we are bringing in a new President with a much more sordid history, whose third wife cannot but be painfully aware of her husband's waywardness, but appears to care more for her trophy wife status than for her spouse's devotion. Melania should stand up and prove what she's made of by taking her horny husband to divorce court. Aside from being free to stay with her spoiled, rich, brat of a son in New York, she would be doing us all a favor. TRump would be so enmeshed in divorce proceedings and fighting sexual harassment complaints that his staff and the VP could tend to governmental matters while tRump's job would be to sign edicts whenever required. Oh, and tweet, of course.

At least deal…

District of Dystopia

Veteran politician and civil-rights pioneer John Lewis dealt a masterstroke against the TRump administration going into the Martin Luther King, Jr. day weekend. Remembrances of King and the Freedom Marchers will be magnified today as Americans reflect on Lewis' sacrifices alongside the black Moses. TRump's reflective deficit disorder landed him in trouble when he retaliated against Lewis for passing on the inauguration. +Reince Preibusdug the hole deeper by calling Lewis' decision "insanity." If you think that's insanity, Reince, just wait until Friday.

The word "inauguration" originates in the Latin inauguratio or "installment under good omens." Rest assured, there will be no such inauguration for TRump. Other than the no-shows by Democratic officialdom, other omens bode ill for the 45th President. The groundwork is already being laid with marches that began last Saturday and will continue through the week. VIPs coming from out of town th…

Lowlight of the Transition

A limited command of the English language is helpful to trump's political career. With minimal ability to express himself definitively and a tendency to limit his remarks to 140 characters, it is hard to pin trump down on his promises or intentions. When he blasted the reports of his alleged hidden dealings with Russia as "fake news," it landed like a foul ball outside the chalked lines of consensus on the meaning of the phrase. That's alright though. trump can have his "fake news." I'll revert to using the term "propaganda" despite the cold war overtones. In this case, neither term applies.

The thirty-five page dossier detailing instances of trump's miscreancy, with implications of treason, was not from an open news source, but from covert intelligence sources. It wasn't made up by news organizations, it was obtained under much higher stakes than typical investigative journalism demands. The fact that the lead private investigator, fo…

Truth Seeking

It seems disingenuous that so many liberals cling to RT and other sources distorted by Russian propaganda when there are many liberal homegrown options that don't have the ulterior motive of sowing chaos through disinformation. One might conclude that adopting such a post-truth stance, whereby you can pick a narrative arbitrarily and ignore any evidence to the contrary, betrays an unprincipled intent to destroy the existing economic and political structure in order to replace it with one that is more socialistic. Maybe this expedient to promoting revolution stems from affinity to socialist ideals which Russia tried and then corrupted, as opposed to capitalist ideals which are flawed at inception. The latter motivation is more noble, but there are surely news sources with more integrity that align with socialism.

Much fuss has been made over The List of over 200 websites that turned out to be Russian stooges, but, as much as I hate to banish sites like "Assassination Science&q…

Fake President

Allowing The Donald to adjust to his new upcoming role as POTUS by giving him the benefit of a honeymoon period is tempting; something we would do for most people in the early stages of a new relationship. In this case, since we've been through the courtship stage already and ended up in an unhappy forced marriage, we aren't going to reward the lout with a happy honeymoon. We are going to make him crave an annulment.

Multiple grounds exist for annulling his illegitimate claim to the Presidency.

He was elevated to that office with the help of a foreign adversary with whom he has business and political ties.His tax returns over several years may show that he has evaded his responsibility to the U.S., but he refuses to disclose them to the public.His foundation was caught abusing the system and failing to report truthfully to the IRS.He personally dishonors American military heroes by disparaging their sacrifices.The elections were rigged, by his own admission.His conflicts of int…

No Time for Apathy

It is noteworthy that the PEOTUS dictates his tweets. Donald Trump is chomping at the bit to assume executive power over the U.S. His recent history on Twitter - decrying the UN vote against Israeli settlements, praising Vladimir Putin, calling for federal help to fight Chicago's crime spree - match the persona of a proactive boss. After his twittervention in Congressional attempts to loosen oversight of internal unethical behavior, @RealDonaldTrump looks more like a tool for dictatorship than merely a bully pulpit.

Just wait 'til he becomes President! Once in office, his tweets will be augmented with executive orders, backed by the weight of Trump's rabid fan base. It is this daily end-around with populist support that gives Trump extra leverage over the already Republican-led Congress, and consequently, unprecedented executive authority. His railings and boasts are reminiscent of the constant bombardment of mass media bullets in Orwell's '1984.'

Following a f…

Happy New Year! but Curb Your Enthusiasm

Donald Trump's promises to voters during the campaign were, for the most part, encouraging and even plausible. On the other hand, of the 282 Trump vows collected by Jenna Johnson for the Washington Post, there are many that I abjure (mainly regarding capitalism, the environment, and localism), to a degree that I actively oppose the PEOTUS. Rather than rehash those dividing lines, I picked out the statements from the long list that are just a bit too over the top and comment on why I predict that 2017 will not include or lead to these accomplishments:
9. Make the auto industry in Michigan “bigger and better and stronger than ever before.” Trump plans to return to the state each time a new factory or auto plant opens. - This presumes long-term economic growth, but the U.S. is stuck with low or no growth due to financial and resource issues.
10. Bring the coal industry back to life in the Appalachian Mountain region. - The tide is running strongly in favor of growth in renewable and na…