LETS JUST KEEP THE AMERICA THE WAY WE HAD IT TO BEGIN WITH

Despite attempts to keep this for himself  Donald Trump did not invent the idea of making America great again. In fact I believe that in his mind as well as a small percentage of Americans, i.r. the rich and ultra rich, it really means let’s keep America Greedy again.  This is in fact the second iteration of the ME! generation.

Actually Ronald Reagan, and full disclosure I was never a fan of his, but compared to now it was the good old days when Reagan said Let’s make America Great Again.

 

America was pretty much ok at the time. We were behind in terms of energy self-sufficiency because we had been buying cheap oil from OPEC which was made up of mostly state-owned oil producers, many of which were based in the Middle East, but also in Mexico and Venezuela, but under Presidents Nixon, Ford and Carter things were looking a little brighter, though it would take many decades before we reached oil self sufficiency, and coal was being supplied to any comer (as it still is; America exports more coal to asian customers than anyone else, and Trump has not produced any of the promised coal jobs. That money goes to the wealthy mine owners, not the working class).

But let’s examine this a bit closer.

America made itself “Great” not because of rich real-estate manipulators. Its became great because of a lot of immigrants working hard. Even Trumps Grandparents and his mother were immigrants and it was they who gave-yes gave-Donny boy his money which he does a lot to lose.

 

Then there were the grunts down in the trenches–literally- -building the subways, the railroads (which used vast numbers of both Chinese and Irish immigrants), the factories where other immigrants worked producing steel, like my grand-father and father (Scotch-Irish, but immigrants several generations before they worked in Chicago). There were the famous intellectuals and freedom fighters who invented the American system (with the stain of slavery) and asked their lives to make it happen. There were the soldiers in the U.S. who fought to keep the Union rather than allow a few greedy plantation owners the right to sell or own human beings, and the Doughboys of WW I who fought, at great cost-to help bring eventual self-government to large swathes of Europe and then did even more in WW II when the threat of Fascism spread all over the planet, followed on by the Cold War, when Stalin and his minions wanted to rule the world in their own way.

The American way of life and those who have built it and defended not only that but the rights of other people around the world, and gone out of their way to do so, all the while making great scientific and cultural advances, are all the things that make America great.

 

Not great gain. From the start it has been great, even before gaining Independence it was great, and the following generations have all contributed something off their own to Keeping America Great.

 

We do not need to Make America Great Again. We must work even harder now when all of the institutions that made America to begin with are under threat, especially the Constitution and, very particularly the First Amendment.  So a very important date is coming up, and another of the things that has made America Great is under threat-the right of all Americans to rule themselves, the right to vote.

 

Numerous plots and plans are underway to strip, slowly but surely, our right to vote. There are multiple threats to suppress voters from exercising their rights. Many so-called “illegal: or “phony” voter schemes have arisen over the past few years,  all purporting to “prove” that many people are voting illegally, or stuffing ballot boxes by registering in multiple places, etc. The Supreme Court did not rule on a law that would sanction Native American voters and put  difficulties and in places veer I.D. laws that make it difficult for many people to get an I.D. In the one affecting Native Americans the State involved refuses to accept Identification issued by Native American tribes. But others make it difficult to get ID to vote in other states as well.

But Voter id and the American Legislative Exchange Council aka ALEC is the subject of another blog. This is about the her and now.

America is great because it was intended as and developed as a  democratic republic. We elect representatives and executives to run the country the Best Way Possible. To do that everyone must go and vote. Go exercise your right to vote, to free speech, to read whichever newspaper you like or listen to whatever legitimate news you choose. But If you do not vote we are all going to lose and Erica will not be great. Nor will Russia, or North Korea or even China which, in case you forgot, is a one party system, and it’s leader is a dictator.

 

So don’t believe that America even needs to be made great again.

 

America needs to be Kept Great-Always.

FIRST REPUBLICANS v.TRUMP et al

For Donald Trum, Mitch Mc Connel and Ryan, along with their sychophants to claim that they are “the Party of Lincoln” is a disgrace.

The Republican Party that ran Abraham Lincoln was a Progressive party, not a conservative, hate filled party trying to take total control of the U.S. Republic with single party control, and control of the Judiciary and silencing of the press.

That party in fact kept the Union together, made slavery as an institution illegal and-until the advent of the Jim Crow laws-made discrimination, if not a thing of the past at least a thing to be seen as unethical and un-American. There were always problems and we should never look ant the post Civil War era through rose-colored glasses.

But back to the point.

In fact the last of the Republicans of the Party of Lincoln was probably Theodore Roosevelt, though Herbert Hoover made some effort, which didn’t work out real well.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt actually took over when the Republicans floundered and failed at responding to the Wall Street Crash and susequent Depression, and decided to allow the market forces-which had no force left at that point-to reinvigorate the economy. It took a progressive Democrat to do that.

After 20 years of Democrats, Dwight Eisenhower took over as president. But he really was a centrist politically. He probably would have been elected if he registered as a democrat. But since the Democrats had held the White House for so long, he and others figured, correctly that it was time for a Republican, even if he was in essence a Republican In Name Only. Either way, either Republican or Democrat, he would have been the same centrist President.But never would he have been a Libertarian. If he had been we would not have the Interstate Highway System.

Next we had eight years of Democrats followed by a pair of controversial Republicans. The democrats were progressive giving the U.S. citizenry Medicare, the Voting Rights Act, Head Start and much, muchmore

Nixon-I will not go into Watergate here-actually did some ok and some good things. He normalized relations-or at least began normalizing them-with China. He got the EPA started. He initiated détente with the Soviet Union. The Vietnam War is another matter and could easily take up several volumes of hard-copy books, and indeed the internet as well as the actual brick-and-mortar bookstores teem with volumes about that war. Some of the seeming insanity, like threatening to use nuclear weapons in Vietnam, was just rhetoric to let the recalcitrant Vietnamese negotiators know he meant business (even Nixon wasn’t that nuts). Also, unwillingly, he got some oversight and stops in of Presidential Powers, which Congress needs to revisit nowadays.

Speaking of Reagan, why was there no multitude of endless and useless congressional hearings after nearly 250 Marines were killed in Lebanon? Were the Republicans saving their vitriol up for Hillary Clinton when 4 Americans died in Libya (versus over 240 Marines under the Reagan Presidency)?

But that, oddly, was the end. The next Republican President was Ronald Reagan. With his “Government is the problem” speech he made things hard for many people for many, many decades after. In fact we will be feeling his Presidency for a long time. I suppose George H.W. Bush wasn’t too bad.

Bill Clinton was sort of progressive, would have been if it had not been for Speaker Newt Gingrinch who wanted to make disabled children work in the poorhouse for food, with his Contract on America. And yes, I did write that as ‘Gingrinch’ on purpose. But Clinton knew how to get things done, even with the Gingrinch who stole Christmas and Everything Else.

Skip Bush the second, aka George the 3rd. Obama was not allowed to get much done because of McConnell who seems to have been scheming from the start to eventually kill the Affordable Care Act.

And now we have Trump who compares himself to Lincoln. Someone apparently copied the idea of the dogs playing poker painting, and had Trump with Lincoln, Eisenhower, both Bushes, Gerald Ford, Nixon, T.R. and Ronald Reagan sitting or standing around a table and laughing/smiling. I would rather have even Reagan or both Bushes, and for me that is saying a lot.

Every one of these others is spinning in their graves at the thought of Trump as president, and probably would, if they found themselves in the same room as him, would turn their backs to the man who would ruin the Democratic Republic they served and he wants to serve only himself.

Talk about a bad joke and a terrible painting. This is it on both counts.

FOLLOW UP: WAR CRIMES DO’S AND DON’TS

Just a follow up to my earlier post.

Another provision of the UCMJ actually could be interpreted by a potential prosecutor would be that if a person follows an order that he or she knows to be unlawful and in contravention of the UCMJ and the Geneva Accords, that person could be a war criminal also and prosecuted.

But…

In most cases that does not happen, even when something that is clearly a war crime happens. There have been several instances that have been made public, and heaven knows how many took p[lace and never saw the light of day and or the media and public. I am only thinking of three at the moment.

The first is the My Lai Massacre.

I must admit I do not recall the entire story, but to the best of my recollection, at least some soldiers did not actually participate. Many did but were granted immunity to testify. Only one individual was found guilty. And I do recall that many people that I knew thought he had been railroaded. He being First Lieutenant Calley.

Long story short. He hand his company had been sent out on a search and destroy mission, looking for a battalion of VC. They did not find them. Following up on the Search and destroy idea, they started burning the village, then dragging civilians into ditches and shooting the, Lt Calley is alleged to have done so personally, shooting women, children and the elderly. No VC was there and no shots were fired at the americans. It is estimated about 500 civilians were killed. A soldier of the 11th infantry brigade heard of this and wrote to the President, officials at the Pentagon and to members of Congress. Eventually, getting no response, he got the story to Seymour Hersh. His reporting got the story out, 2 years after the incident.

The only person to try to prevent or stop it was a helicopter pilot (a Warrant Officer) who landed between the victims in waiting and the soldiers and threatened to open fire on the U.S. Troops if they did not stop. He and two crew members were give Soldiers Medals for this actions, but not until more than 20 years had passed.

That was an illegal order by the Lieutenant. Why didn’t the NCOs stop it? They should have. Then why didn’t the superior officers punish the Lieutenant instead of covering it up? They should have, and their failure to do so should have earned them Courts Martial also, but fourteen officers, though charged were never punished. They should have been. and so should every soldier who willingly participated. ( give some slack to the green newbies, but the veterans should have known better, especially NCO’s.

Abu Ghraib. Stupidity prevailed there. “Poor Training” was no excuse. Just common sense should have told everyone involved that it was not just wrong, but illegal. The worst part though was that the General officer in charge was not prosecuted. She should have been on the command principal of The Buck Stops Here.

That actually exists by the way, though under heaven knows what military principal with a snazzy sounding name. But yes, the commanding officer is ultimately responsible for the actions of the Sad Sacks under his or her command. If you are unaware of who Sad Sack Is, Google it. I am sure you can find an illustration “Sad Sack”, created by Sergeant Major George Baker. It is a civilianized prettification of the phrase “sad sack of shit” and refers to the lowliest form of inept life to be found anywhere, but especially in the military or naval forces.

Ahem.

Back to war crimes. Then there was the group of marines who took a video image of themselves urinating on the corpses of some Taliban: War Crime and crime of severe stupidity. Do not desecrate the dead-
even tyhe non-military fighters. And for heavens sake don’t stand there grinning like loons and post the resulting photograph on the internet. If stupidity is both grounds for a bad conduct discharge, it should be and this would qualify. That’s a group of Sad Sacks if there ever was one. Every large command has some unit for the foul ups to go and spend their days picking up trash. Why these guys weren’t there to begin with is a mystery.

The whole point is this: If it sounds like it should be illegal. or at least questionable, then likely it is a crime or should be considered a crime until proven otherwise. So do not do it.

Period.

I guess they don’t Have Sad Sacks in expensive “military type” prep schools. But if they did I know who would qualify.

(Don’t write and tell me to stop, or cuss me out. Most of you have ben no closer to the Army than a G.I Joe, whereas I have been in, as were my father, my brother and two uncles, and aother in the WW II Merchant Marine In fact I am from a long line of veterans going all the way back to the Revolution. So no nasty self satisfied or Holier than Thou e-mails or comments!)

BAD NEWS, DONNY BOY

In the Thursday night playground fight,Teflon Don said “the military will follow whatever orders I give them” (that is a paraphrase).He was of course referring to things he had said about torture, et cetera. And of course he would be Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces if elected, and they would have to follow orders. (Where have we heard that before?). But, that’s right isn’t it?

Hold everything. Not quite.

The UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice), which is written by congress and signed into law by the President, just like civilian laws, doesn’t say that. In fact it says (as do a lot of civilian laws now, after the Bush Baby years and the flouting of international conventions) that some things, like torture, are illegal. Also, the UCMJ makes things like humiliating prisoners and desecrating body’s of dead enemy combatants and so on and so forth, specifically illegal and subject to prosecution under the code.

What all of this means is Teflon Don can order all he wants, even order illegal acts, but the military not only does not “have to” obey them, the UCMJ makes it a crime to willingly carry out an order that the person subject to the UCMJ knows or has reason to believe is illegal. It also makes it illegal to issue such an order to subordinates, or to take punitive action against anyone who refuses to carry out an order he or she knows to be illegal.

But wait! Doesn’t the soldier/sailor/marine/airman swear an oath to obey the Commander In Chief? No matter what?

Not quite. Yes, you are expected to obey an order even if you don’t like it, or it doesn’t make sense to you. Or you are momentarily unaware of the reason for the order.

For instance, once ( really more than once) while the writer (third person for I) was at Ft. Gordon Georgia many,many years ago, one day our company commander decided he would personally take the column of about 300 male soldiers (I know it was a very big Company) on the afternoon march back to the Signal School. When about 1/4 mile from our destination the writer (me) heard his distinct booming order “Eyes…RIGHT”.

Why, I wondered, were we being given an order that was typically given when marching in a parade formation and passing by the reviewing stand?

The answer soon presented itself-or perhaps I should say herself-in the shape of a young SP4 clerk on her way from one part of the campus to another, and distinctly red of face. (In those days they were all sort of generically Called WACs, for Women’s Army Corp, unless they were Nurses in which case they were referred to as-you guessed it-nurses. WAC was eliminated quite a long time ago). This order would today probably be in contravention of the UCMJ (and I can assure you if that were the case our CO would not give the order-he was a stickler). But in those days it was perfectly legal. It happened 2 more times and he was called on the carpet and told to stop. And he did.

Next point is that all military and naval personnel swear an oath to obey the president, don’t they?

The answer is yes, they do and in fact that is even in printed form and not just in the ‘raise your right hand” swearing in. But there is a little catch. Actually a big catch.

You only swear to obey lawful orders.

And that is a dual catch here, because the United States is a signatory to the Geneva Accords making most of what Mr. Trump has said he would do illegal, and Congress finally got around to passing our own laws making all that nice stuff like torture illegal. Therefore it would be an unlawful order and all of the generals and all of the generals men and women could legally say “stuff it”.

Issuing orders like that would fall under High Crimes and Misdemeanors. (When the Bush Baby did it, it was not specified in the U.S. Code, though they still could have gone after him. International Court of Justice had no jurisdiction because the U.S. has never signed on, recognizing any Jurisdiction of the court. If it had quite a few Bush administration officials would be in jail cells in Brussels awaiting trial. Quite a downfall eh Dickey? Rummy?

Presumably even giving such orders, even if they were refused by the military and the CIA would be grounds for impeachment.

I do have to admit it has been quite a few years since my last indoctrination class on the UCMJ, but for the most part it has been expanded by congress to encompass more of todays issues, especially when we are fighting in parts of the world where our western values and customs don’t fit quite so easily as they did in, oh WW II Europe. The wars in Korea and Vietnam started waking people up, as did posting millions of personnel in Europe during the Cold War (cultural differences there, too).

But I remember enough of the UCMJ to feel on safe ground even though I am not a lawyer. But I swore that oath at least eight different times over the years (about ten years total) and I remember quite well I only had to obey “lawful” orders.

A final word to Donny Boy. Being President and Commander in chief does not forgive stupidity. And you are stupid if you believe you can just start issuing orders and all the peons-especially the military ones-have to kow-tow and obey your every whim. You do not rule by fiat. In fact, you do not rule. You govern. At least Sanders and Clinton know that from the start and don’t need months of preparatory lessons.

And one more final word, to that young lady Spec at Ft Gordon, (in the unlikely event she sees this) although you were awfully cute, if I hadf been leading that column that day (or the 2 other times he did it) I would not have ordered eyes right even if I had wanted to. And I understand how acutely uncomfortable it made you. So, sorry bout that, and the Captain deserved the chewing out he got. Even if it was, at the time a lawful order.

TRUMP: THE BUCK STOPS SOMEWHERE ELSE

Just heard trump whining about being blamed for ejecting students (not protestors, students) from a campaign rally.

“Oh it wasn’t me, I was in my plane. I didn’t do it. Poor me they blame me but I wasn’t even there”.

Gee Mr Trump. What a leader you would be. I
I’m running for president, but I won’t take responsibility for anything.”

That is not what a president, or even a candidate does.

It isx your campaign. It was a rally for you. Therefore it is your responisibility.

Stop whining and stand up like a man. Not a little boy. Quit yer whining.

BERN, BABY, BERN!

Sorry, but had to say it. It was after all the mantra of social change in the 1960’s, and is just as relevant now.

Just don’ use real matches or molotov cocktails. Literal destruction is not the point. It is the figurative that has meaning.

This time the matches and bombs have to be votes.

So be sure you are registered. Vote early if you need to. Help out by giving rides to people who need then to get to their polling place, then take them home.

See that big guy over there, with the funny hair? That is the RMS (Real Massive S**t) Donald J Trump.

We are the iceberg. and just remember the iceberg won.

Once we figure out what the GOP elephant (poor abused creature) will do, our next task will be to see to it that only democrats, independent Democratic Socialists and centrist or left leaning Republicans are elected. And never ever forget the state legislative races! They are important too.

Good Luck Tomorrow Bernie!

More on the way

Please keep your eyes her. This is now a political site. Should be loads of fun for the next few months regardless of who is nominated for however many parties and/or independent runs>

Welcome Back!

Trump guilty of Animal Cruelty?

As pointed out in my post of a minute or so ago, the GOP is Whiging Out.

Not since the gestation of the Republican Party has there been the break-up of a major political party. To whit: the Whig party. The last Whig president was Millard Fillmore and he ran for another term, after refusing to run for a succeeding term when he replaced the deceased 12th president, good old Zach Taylor. Fillmore did not get nominated for another term by the Whigs, but was drafted to run again (while out of the country) in 1852 by the Know Nothing party (Native American Party). They called themselves that because they were strongly, perhaps virulently, anti-immigrant and anti-Catholic.

The reason the whig party broke up is pretty topical. Absolute, total fracturing within the party, mainly over the issue of slavery. But there were other issues, mainly in that the Whig’s were pro business and paid little heed to the needs of the common man, mostly farmers in the 19th century. In other words Big Business and ignore the dirt farmer and the shop clerks in the big city.

Donnie’s sin is that no one in the GOP wants him as president. They are pretty much afraid that all of his foolishness about walls and anti-Muslim Know-Nothingess will cost them everything. The House of Representatives, the Senate and the White House. And frankly it probably would. Not to speak of all of the State Legislatures they now control. They can’t lose those because then the Democrats come back and repeal all of the anti=voting rights laws that the Republicans have been using to try and make this a one party system-
Republican, and preferably white working class and rich class (no middle ground here).

Right now, the day before Super Tuesday they are in a panic. So much so that there is now talk of a third party candidate. And according to the experts, they have to decide within about two weeks to do that- no waiting until the convention in July.

Apparently there is a Constitution Party they could use to get on the ballot in enough states to have a viable third party candidate. Apparently they could choose a sacrificial lamb.

And all of this is caused by a businessman who talks about how successful he is (I would be too if I had (a) inherited millions of dollars; (b) bilked thousands of people out of their savings by making promises he never intended to fulfill and rewarded then with a photo of them posing with a cardboard cutout of him and (c) when he ran out of money borrowed first 10 million then 20 million dollars from his siblings. I don’t know if he paid them back.

Oh yes. During one of the bankruptcy proceedings he had to be put on an allowance. Personal allowance. And, despite his assertions that big companies file for chapter 11 bankruptcy “all the time” the facts belie that. In the last three decades, according to CNN Money,
fewer than 20 percent of public companies with assets of $1 billion or more, have filed. Those statsd come from Bankruptcy.com and S&P Capital IQ.

More recently, like over the weekend, ilDuceDonald screwed the pooch several times. Doesn’t know David Duke? He mentioned him in an appearance on the today show three years ago. And the KKK? Those initials are foreign to him? prevaricated and see=sawed on that, too.

But the best was the tweet quoting Mussolini. That was a set up. That specific one went out via a bot and Donald got suckered and re- tweeted it. And the tag on the original tweet that he re-tweeted?

#ilDuce2016. How obvious can you get. But he didn’t notice.

Appears that fancy education at military school and so on didn’t do much good if he didn;’t know il Duce was ther title Mussolini went by. Suppose he likes Der Fuhrer, too?

No wonder the Republican party is coming apart at the seams. Some candidates want to ride his coat tails while the other (smarter maybe) are abandoning that ship like fleas on the backs of the rats heading for the USS Constitution Party.

Meanwhile that poor GOP Elephant is just being torn to bits. All because of a narcissist with bad hair and no idea of how to run a country.

Final notes: 1) that famous scowl. Probably copied from General Patton. He had such a squeaky, high pitched voice that he figured the troops would not take him seriously. So he developed his trademark scowl, which he practiced in front of a mirror. He called it his “war Face” or “War Scowl” and put it on when needed.
2) He hates the press, in an form so much that he has from the very beginning penned them off, usually in the middle of the crowd of his supporters. This is obviously meant to intimidate them. Don’t try to intimidate the Fourth Estate Mr. Trump. They will take revenge. There is undoubtedly lots of dirt to dig up.
3) Do we really want him sitting across from Vladimir Putin ? Ever? If that ever happens I hiope it is a direct hit where I am. Don’t much savor the idea of a slow death from radiation poisoning.