Wednesday, January 1, 2020

2020 Vision?

Welcome to 2020. This is not just another year, and it will not be just another election.

Impeachment has been decided. Regardless of what the corrupt Republican Senate decides on the removal of the corrupt criminal in the Oval Office, American voters will face the ultimate choice.

Will the American voters embrace the neo-fascism and lawlessness of authoritarian white nationalism?

Or will American voters embrace more democracy and decency, with fair and equitable representation? Will the majority finally have a voice over the screaming far Right minority?

In our seriously flawed democratic republic only a supermajority of votes can counter the tyranny of a rabidly cruel, science-denying, dishonest, and treacherous regime. 

Only a supermajority of votes can curtail the party of avarice, bent on coddling their corporate elite owners, while punishing the poor and minorities. 

Only a supermajority of votes can defeat the Government Of Putin and
Greedy Old Plutocrats who have been waging war on our democracy while decimating and selling out our government of, by, and for the people.


Will we pass the final test of our Great Experiment, and reclaim the founders' ideal of consent of the governed? 

Or will we passively allow the nation to embrace the lies and anger of the cold and bitter dark side of the American soul? 

It CAN happen here, and it HAS happened here. But the forces of ignorance and rage will not wield as much power to inflict their destruction on democracy, if there are enough American voters that can still see reason, facts, and decency with 2020 vision.





Friday, December 20, 2019

Pondering Poetry: A Critics’ Symposium



I have to say I'm pleased and excited that my amateurish poetry has drawn some early flattering reviews.

On “Slouching Towards Bethlehem”, KanaW opined, “I think that has to be my favourite poem ever. So evocative.”

I replied.

“KanaW ,
Thank you so much. I rarely write poems. When I do, they just spontaneously emerge from some inspiration or agitation. I think it reaches into how so many of us feel, and how we view these times of peril to truth, democracy and our Constitutional republic.

It is painful to witness corporate personhood unleashed, and the corruption and destruction the ravaging powers of wealth have inflicted on our laws, land, air, water, and people.

It is horrifying to see that corrupt power of wealth requires, and enlists, support from the worst crooked businessmen, racists, white nationalists, religious hypocrites, and every other person indoctrinated by the FOX/Trump cult.”

I also believe it evokes the thoughts, feelings and impressions of many good people in these dark times that try men’s souls.

Reader Mike T. offered his enlightened review as well.

“Well the good news is that Pelosi won't be speaker after 2020 so the lies and hate should abate somewhat. Good poem though. It captures the rage, anger, and lies of the left perfectly. :)”

Such a joker, that guy. I had to express my appreciation.

Mike,

Thank you. You are indeed one of the few who “get it” when it comes to poetry.

Yes, you’re right about the anger, hate and lies from the Speaker. It was so vile of her to question the legitimacy and birthright of a black president. And then she blatantly threatened her opponent with jail in a debate. No wonder you couldn’t avoid seeing the hate and lies from that woman.

I'm sure you agree that time when Nancy told those women of color to go back to "where they came from" was utterly unacceptable from one of our nation's leaders. That raging hatred was expressed in every white racist's favorite attack on minorities. 

And how treacherous was it of her to cheat on our democracy by inviting and welcoming Russian help in 2016? She followed up by obstructing an investigation into over a hundred meetings between her campaign and Russians. And remember how she lied about having “nothing to do with Russia”, as she was secretly negotiating a deal for Pelosi Tower in Moscow? Horrible. 

She then went on to side with Putin against her own intelligence agencies in Helsinki. It was the least she could do, after giving Russians exclusive access to the Oval Office, dismissing their election interference, and bragging about firing the FBI director to end an investigation, while sharing highly classified secrets. Putin must indeed love his puppet Pelosi.

And recall when Speaker Pelosi broke an election campaign law by paying for a porn star’s silence. That must certainly offend your Christian values. It was just as offensive as the time she said there were “very fine people” marching with tiki torches in Charlottesville.

Soliciting foreign help in the 2016 election paid off so well, she decided to cheat again by breaking the law and violating the Constitution by putting the squeeze on the president of Ukraine. This time she openly bribed a foreign leader by withholding military aid, until the Ukrainian president announced a trumped up investigation into her political opponent.

That wasn't all. The Speaker went on TV to invite China to investigate her opponent too.

I’m sure that outraged you as well. But did it outrage you as much as when the Speaker defied our Constitution’s checks and balances by refusing to comply with lawful subpoenas and obstructing a duty clearly specified in said Constitution? I share your outrage, sir.

And no doubt you are furious that the Speaker taunted a recently widowed woman and mocked her late husband at her rally in Battle Creek. Is there nothing too low for her? No wonder good Christians despise her, and the devout Christian president said he would pray for her.

Only our Orange Savior can save America from this evil.

I'm so pleased you completely grasped every nuance of my poem.

I must say you remind me of an old blog buddy who regarded himself a purveyor of Common Sense. I remember he agreed that our dear president was morally unfit for office. That was just before he closed his blog with praise for the president “making America great again”.

By the looks of the anonymously submitted angry poem filled with the president’s insults for democrats and journalists, I see another similarity with the man who loves Common Sense. Just as he did once before, he imitated a post of mine. Last time he copied my entire piece, substituting a few selectively chosen names and terms. I thanked this person for the sincerest form of flattery, and do so again.

If he wants his latest deplorable poem published, I suggest he re-open his blog, but I doubt he would. I suspect he still can’t take the criticism that I welcome.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Me And Gohmert


For once I agree 
With crazy Louie 

Gohmert did say
And may be right

“This country’s end 
is now in sight”

Monday, December 16, 2019

Slouching Towards Bethlehem



Remembering W. B. Yeats and "The Second Coming".


Slouching Towards Bethlehem


Dulled and lulled by lying leaders and platitudes

Numbing us all and clouding our thoughts with

Monotonous tired clichés and trivial drivel

When mediocrity ascends, something worse is sure to follow

Decency and reason are soon cast aside

Deceit, blame, anger and hate are unleashed

And together they rage across the land

Distorted vision darkens souls with resentment

And a stand for truth draws wrath from the believers of lies

Sunday, December 8, 2019

The Second Bill Of Rights


Are there any Democrats left out there? I mean REAL Democrats.

What I mostly see is a decrepit old gang of wealthy, centrist, corporatist insiders, ready to bargain away our safety nets, our healthcare, our labor rights and every other public good the Republicans are bent on destroying. I see “centrists” and “moderates” who believe in compromise, with the uncompromising, authoritarian party of McConnell and Trump. This has only resulted in steering our country ever further to the Right. They have not yet learned that compromise with authoritarians is not compromise. It is appeasement. It is capitulation. It is as compromising as paying ransom to kidnappers is.

Republicans must be defeated, not appeased. They know it is a long game. Most Democrats do not. 

The Republican Party used to be conservative. Now it is a bastion of oligarchic, white nationalist, authoritarian con-servatism, at war with truth, equality, and democracy.

Remember Bush Junior’s speechwriter David Frum’s rare insight. 

“Maybe you do not much care about the future of the Republican Party. You should. Conservatives will always be with us. If conservatives become convinced that they cannot win democratically, they will not abandon conservatism. They will reject democracy.”

Ergo, con-servatism.

Who remains standing against this war on democracy?

By appeasing the Right, Democrats have been following the authoritarian path away from democracy.

Look at how war crimes, torture and lies leading to the Iraq war were not investigated. Nobody was held accountable. Obama “looked forward”. 

Look at the Great Recession caused by Wall Street swindlers that hurt so many Americans, still trying to recover. Most of the swindlers got paid back. And again, nobody was held accountable.

Republicans have gotten away with so many crimes and scams, they are no longer accountable under a system of so-called checks and balances. Bush Junior saw the Constitution as just a “damn piece of paper” and acted accordingly. 

Now the entire Party of Trump is regurgitating Putin’s propaganda and condoning foreign interference in our elections. Since the breakup of the Soviet Union, the US is becoming more like Putin’s oligarchic Russia than Russia is becoming a democracy.

Khrushchev told us, “We will bury you”. Putin kept that promise, by extorting and owning Trump and now the Republican Party.

At long last House Democrats are impeaching the corrupt criminal in the Oval Office. But does that make them real Democrats? Hell, real Republican patriots would support the impeachment, but they are extinct. It is now the Party of Putin. The GOP is the Government Of Putin.

Putinism has essentially become the Republican ideology. Putinism is a rancid mix of white nationalism, authoritarianism, intolerance, and epistemological nihilism. Putinism is destruction of journalism and truth. It is denial of science. It is a pseudo-populist thuggery on a massive scale, infecting Europe and the Americas

Who opposes it? Who stands for a democratic republic?

There is no party of real Democrats, any more than there is a party of real Republicans anymore. Both parties owe their allegiance to the CEO oligarchs of Wall Street, Energy, Pharma, and Health Insurance. Corporate lawyers have been writing our laws. Their company insiders and lobbyists have become top level Cabinet secretaries, and are their own “regulators”.

The oligarchs are beyond regulation and accountability to the public. They are avoiding taxes, while reaping our tax dollars in socialized corporate welfare subsidies. They have been dismantling our Constitutional Republic and replacing it with a neo-liberal corporatist oligarchy.

Constitutional taxes are being eliminated. Constitutional regulation of commerce is being eliminated. Constitutional provision for the general welfare is being eliminated.

Who stands athwart this grand corporate coup? Who defends our Constitution? Who represents “we the people”?

This is why we need from real Democrats.

You may be wondering, “So just what is a REAL Democrat? Who are they?”

There are a few. Bernie is a real democrat, but not a member of the Democratic Party. This fact itself is telling.

There are a few more. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan are real Democrats.

The “Squad” of young women of color are still representing the heart and soul of what used to be a Democratic Party. Now these real Democrats are scorned by corporate media and corpo-dems as “too far left” and out on the “fringe”.

They are neither. In fact, they represent the preferences of most Americans.

64% of Americans support stricter gun laws.

70% support Medicare for All.

61% support a woman’s right to choose.

75% believe humans burning hydrocarbons are to blame for climate change.

65% believe the winner of the popular vote should be President.

They are not “too far left”, and we are not the “fringe”. We’re the majority.

Time for a history lesson, kids.

Back when the US was actually becoming greater, emerging from a Great Depression, new and better ideas were implemented in Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal.

People went back to work in public service jobs, building infrastructure and planting trees. Unions were growing and workers found representation at the bargaining table. They were getting better pay and benefits, while working conditions were improving. Social Security was established.

Of course Republicans and oligarchs hated this “power to the people” concept. This resulted in their flooding media with lies and propaganda intended to subvert and demolish the Constitutional general welfare of the public. They are destroying everything real democrats have built.

But we had real Democrats working for the people back when America was becoming great.

It’s time to remind our fellow citizens and our representatives and senators what a real Democrat stands for:

From FDR’s State of the Union Message to Congress.

January 11, 1944

It is our duty now to begin to lay the plans and determine the strategy for the winning of a lasting peace and the establishment of an American standard of living higher than ever before known. We cannot be content, no matter how high that general standard of living may be, if some fraction of our people—whether it be one-third or one-fifth or one-tenth- is ill-fed, ill-clothed, ill housed, and insecure.

This Republic had its beginning, and grew to its present strength, under the protection of certain inalienable political rights—among them the right of free speech, free press, free worship, trial by jury, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. They were our rights to life and liberty.

As our Nation has grown in size and stature, however—as our industrial economy expanded—these political rights proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness.

We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. "Necessitous men are not free men." People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.

In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all regardless of station, race, or creed.

Among these are:

The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the Nation;

The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;

The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;

The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;

The right of every family to a decent home;

The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;

The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;

The right to a good education.

All of these rights spell security. And after this war is won we must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and well-being.
~~~

There you have it, from our first Anti-Fascist and first real Democrat. Now let's take back our party. 



Wednesday, November 20, 2019

"Our Donald Ivanovych"


While gathering quotes from Republicans for my previous piece, I came across this snippet from last year:

July 11, 2018: Association for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation President Tatyana Parkhalina told the Russian State TV “60 Minutes” news program, “I never thought I’d live to see this! Neither the USSR nor Russia, who tried many times to drive the wedge between transatlantic allies, but Washington is doing everything to break down the foundations of transatlantic alliance and unity.”

It certainly seems like the Russians have been celebrating a spectacular victory over the last few years.

Turns out, they have. In fact, Russians have been as deliriously giddy over there as Trump’s fanatic cult of followers have been over here. We may also observe Russian State TV looks, and sounds, amazingly similar to American FOX(R) State TV.

Imagine that.

Out of a perhaps not-so-healthy sense of curiosity, I thought I’d break out the vodka, pull up a chair, and look in on the festivities over on the other side of the world. 

I cordially invite everyone else with a not-so-healthy sense of humor, or healthy liver, to take this in with me.

I’d like to dedicate the remaining space here to share some of the high spirited, euphoric, Russian squat dancing kind of good times they’re having.
~~~~~~~~~~~~

From:
"Russia Laughs: Is He Their President Or Ours?"

“Have you lost your minds that you want to remove our Donald Ivanovych?” asked popular talk show host Vladimir Soloviev

Olga Skabeeva, host of that Russian 60 Minutes show, is quoted making a confident prediction: “A Republican majority in the Senate won’t allow the president whom we elected, wonderful Donald Trump, to be sent off. It’s impossible. He has 90 percent support in the Republican Party.”

Karen Shakhnazarov, who frequently appears on Russian TV: “They say Trump is making Russia great. That’s basically accurate. The chaos brought by Trump into the American system of government is weakening the United States. America is getting weaker and now Russia is taking its place in the Middle East. Suddenly, Russia is starting to seriously penetrate Africa … So when they say that Trump is weakening the United States — yes, he is. And that’s why we love him … The more problems they have, the better it is for us.”
~~~~~~~~~~

From:
"Russian politician: US spies slept while Russia elected Trump"

Vyacheslav Nikonov, a member of the lower house of the Russian parliament, the Duma, made the snarky reference to Russian interference in the 2016 US election on Sunday during a weekly political show called "Sunday Evening with Vladimir Solovyov."

"(To achieve world dominance) the US overextended themselves," Nikonov said. "Because the most recent tendencies, economical, military, even tendencies in the intelligence (services) which slept through while Russia elected a new US president."

"It's just ridiculous, what kind of intelligence in the USA one can even talk about?" he added. "The US sagged in all these aspects for the past two decades. This superpower is losing its ability to define the world."
~~~~~~~~~~

From:
"Russian TV boasts about electing Trump ahead of summit with Putin"

Russia 24, a government-funded network covering domestic and international news, criticised the issue of cyber security being included in Mr Putin’s planned discussions with American officials. In the same segment, Russian news analysts also derided CNN and one of its shows, The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, for its coverage of the election hacking. 

"Cyber security is a topic for this summit because what are the main accusations that we hear in the past years from the American side?" A Russia 24 analyst said. ”That our great and terrible Russian hackers invaded the American space."

The analyst went on to say Americans viewed the alleged hacking as “aggression against the country” and believed the Russian government “caused some trouble there.”

“What trouble did we cause?” he asked. “We just elected Trump, that’s all.”
~~~~~~~~~~~
From:

"Russia’s Fingerprints Are All Over Trump’s Ukraine Whistleblower Scandal"

Russia's state TV names Joe Biden as "Trump's most dangerous rival," host Dmitry Kiselyov says Trump should keep digging in Ukraine for "the sweetest" kompromat of all: "proving that Ukraine—not Russia—interfered in the U.S. elections." 
— Julia Davis (@JuliaDavisNews) September 15, 2019

Russia's state TV host Olga Skabeeva says that since Ukraine took the money from the U.S., it is now obligated to deliver the kompromat on Biden.
Panelist asks her: "Are you on Trump's or Russia's side, Olga?"
Skabeeva responds: "We elected him!"

Sergei Markov, an analyst close to the Kremlin, appeared on 60 Minutes and publicly directed Trump to pressure a specific official within the U.S. State Department—Deputy Assistant Secretary in the European and Eurasian Bureau George Kent—to extract the elusive Biden kompromat.

Pro-government experts on the nightly television show The Evening with Vladimir Soloviev have been openly rooting for the supposed scandal in Ukraine to “kill Biden” politically, and allow Trump “to disprove” Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. elections, and destroy the heart of the Democratic Party in the process.
~~~~~~~~~~~~
Oh, my...

They certainly don't need to ask our president twice for help on that front.

To aid in the final triumph over our elections and opposition party, the Trump Cartel has embraced and promoted Putin’s propaganda narrative that blames Ukraine for the 2016 election interference. At an economic forum in the Russian capital, Putin expressed gratitude to all his loyal Republicans who parroted his discredited conspiracy theory. Some even did so at the public impeachment hearings, no less.

For the last word, we quote the man behind the curtain, the KGB’s puppet master who won the greatest victory ever over American democracy, security, reputation, and stability, Vlad the Victor.  

“Thank God, no one is accusing us of interfering in the U.S. elections anymore; now they’re accusing Ukraine."

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Welcome Republicans and Veterans

A month ago I concluded a piece with, “Please note, apart from a cartoon dog, I’m only quoting FOX News, Republicans, and the military in this post. How about that?”

I thought I’d repeat that theme with some more quotes from current Republicans and former Republicans who left the cult. And to commemorate Veterans Day, I include patriotic high ranking members of the military. Of course this rules out a certain general named Flynn.

~~~~~

“Never let yourself be persuaded that any one Great Man, any one leader, is necessary to the salvation of America. When America consists of one leader and 158 million followers, it will no longer be America.”

"In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist."- Dwight D. Eisenhower
=
“Maybe you do not much care about the future of the Republican Party. You should. Conservatives will always be with us.If conservatives become convinced that they cannot win democratically, they will not abandon conservatism. They will reject democracy.”– David Frum
=
“It's said if you're not a liberal when you're twenty, you have no heart; if you're not a conservative when you're forty, you have no head. I'd add, at least in my case: If you're not rethinking some conservative orthodoxies in your sixties, you haven't been learning from life.” - Bill Kristol
=
“I’m a conservative, but I have no doubt that Donald Trump’s actual authoritarianism is a much bigger threat to this country than any of the Democrat’s hoped-for socialism. Put another way: I’m way more afraid of a dictator than I am of a guaranteed jobs program or free college.” – Former Rep. Joe Walsh
=
Trump: “Read the Transcript!” Justin Amash: “Read the Constitution.”

“Libertarians, constitutional conservatives, and classical liberals believe in protecting whistleblowers to expose government corruption. Trump Republicans believe in exposing whistleblowers to protect government corruption.” - Justin Amash
=
“There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump.” Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)
=
"These are, in today's Republican party, spineless politicians rotten to the core without virtue, without any level of human integrity, devoid of self respect... Without courage and without the moral compass to recognize their own malevolence"- Former Rep. David Jolly
=
How can we not include Lindsay Graham representing the Republican Party's politically-corrected, reformed, and enlightened views on Trump?

2015: "Here’s what you’re buying: He’s a race-baiting, xenophobic religious bigot. He doesn’t represent my party. He doesn’t represent the values that the men and women who wear the uniform are fighting for."


2018: "He’s not, in my view, a racist by any stretch of the imagination. I have never heard him make a single racist statement. Not even close." 
=
“...I could remember a time when Republicans thought about ideas and enjoyed those good-spirited and consequential debates. It seems that time is gone, replaced by a race to the bottom to see who can be meaner and madder and crazier.

It is not enough to be conservative anymore. You have to be vicious. ... But in the election of 2016, our side outdid itself. It helps if you ascribe the absolute worst motives to your opponents, traffic in outlandish conspiracy theories, abandon reason and any old-fashioned notions of the common good, and  have an unquenchable appetite for destruction.  But Donald Trump is not the source code for our obsession for the politics of personal destruction. Our crisis has many fathers. Among them is Newt Gingrich, the modern progenitor of that school of politics.” From Jeff Flake’s “Conscience of a Conservative”:
=
“If our promises are meaningless, how will our allies ever trust us? If we can't have faith in our nation's principles, why would the men and women of this nation join the military. And if they don't join, who will protect us? If we are not the champions of the good and the right, then who will follow us? And if no one follows us — where will the world end up?

They have seen our leaders stand beside despots and strongmen, preferring their government narrative to our own. They have seen us abandon our allies and have heard the shouts of betrayal from the battlefield. As I stood on the parade field at Fort Bragg, one retired four-star general, grabbed my arm, shook me and shouted, 'I don't like the Democrats, but Trump is destroying the Republic!'

Those words echoed with me throughout the week."  From "Our Republic Is Under Attack From the President" by Retired US Navy Adm. William McRaven.
=
"I was concerned by the call. I did not think it was proper to demand that a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen, and I was worried about the implications for the U.S. government's support of Ukraine. I realized that if Ukraine pursued an investigation into the Bidens and Burisma, it would likely be interpreted as a partisan play which would undoubtedly result in Ukraine losing the bipartisan support it has thus far maintained.This would all undermine U.S. national security. Following the call, I again reported my concerns to NSC's lead counsel." 

"I am a patriot, and it is my sacred duty and honor to advance and defend OUR country, irrespective of party or politics." - Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman


(For a special blast from the past, showing how the worst authoritarians never evolve:)

“Don’t confuse me with the facts. I’ve got a closed mind...I’m going to stick with my president. (Nixon, 1974) – Rep. Earl Landgrebe (R)IN 
 ===
And for laughs, let’s hear from the psychotic Cult 45 peanut gallery:

“I see it as harassment, quite frankly,” Gail Sonatore of Middletown, New Jersey, said of the House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry. “I don’t think he’s done anything. I understand his tone — nobody likes that tone. But when you’re dealing with Marxists, what are you supposed to do? Just take it? Republicans have for a long time been called racist, fascist, sexist and greedy. And I think that’s why they support Donald Trump.” 

(Don’t you love that victim card and inadvertent admission of their true nature?)
=
"Trump is highly biblical, and I would say to your listeners, we will in all likelihood never see a more godly, biblical president again in our lifetime.” Michele Bachmann, R-Minnesota
=
“Donald is funny, playful, and colorful, but most of all, he is honest.” Jon Voight
=
“I have every right and authority to declare the White House as holy ground because I was standing there and where I stand is holy.”  Shyster preacher Paula White, “spiritual adviser” to the Big MAGAt
===
On second thought, maybe this mass madness is amusing only to those of us with a sick sense of humor.

Last, but not least, I quote the Big MAGAt (BM) himself on his ‘victimhood” and his chilling, sinister, and absolutely Orwellian declaration:

“There's never been a time in the history of our country where somebody was so mistreated as I have been."

“What you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening.”
~~~~~~~

In conclusion, I refer the reader back to Eisenhower, the last honest Republican president.