John J Pershing Rides Again!

Yes, dear friends, once again U S troops must be sent to our border with Mexico to repel the unwashed brown skinned hordes who are surging in caravans (along with their women, children and unborn fetuses) toward our land, our very own pristine perfect white America.

If only John J Pershing were here to command them.

He knows the territory.

In March of 1916, General Pershing led his troops to the Mexican border, then (testing the air and wisely outlining an escape route if that became necessary) crossed the border into Mexico in pursuit of the bandit Francisco Villa, known to his friends and enemies alike as “Pauncho.”

Actually, the bandit’s birth name was Jose Doroteo Arango Arambula but when asked for his name can you blame the man for answering simply “Pauncho.”

Earlier that month “Pauncho” and his men invaded the United States and just over the border in the New Mexico Territory set upon the little town and army post of Columbus. Ten civilians and eight U S soliders were killed (perhaps some 60+ of Pauncho’s men were also killed).

I cetainly agree this naked agression and murder of our citizens could not go unanswered and unpunished. It was right of President Wilson to order General Pershing to bring Pauncho and his men to justice.

The U S expedition stayed in Mexico for eleven months looking for Pauncho.

They didn’t find him.

And in February of 1917, General Pershing and his troops returned to the United States, not becuse of their inability to find Pauncho but because General Pershing and his men were needed in France to help the Allies defeat the Germans in World War I.

In 1920, Pauncho was given a Villa in Mexico because of his help in the Revolution. However, in July of 1923, while riding in his Dodge Roadster seven assassins fired bullets into the automobile, four of which projectiles found their way into Pauncho’s head, a fatal entrance. However, before Pauncho died he asked the lone survivor in the automobile to tell the public he had said something before he died. He did not have time to say what that something might have been…but perhaps it was…

“Yah, yah, Yankees, you cannot win by messing with the Mexicans.”

Words to live by!

And now, I ask forgiveness for making light of Donald J Trump’s demand that U S troops be sent to the Mexican border once again. If I thought that would serve some useful national purpose (other than further antagonizing Mexico which is not “useful” and holding off his “base” which is growing restive at his inability to build a Wall and impose other promised cruelties) I would refrain from making fun of it.

Actually, our current president’s off-the-cuff emotional decisions are nothing to laugh about.

But crying doesn’t help and we must all do something to see this nightmare through and retain our sanity.

If only HE were sane.

Stormy Daniels – Much Ado About Nothing

Kudos to 60 Minutes and to Anderson Cooper and his producers who did a “bang up” job of handling a difficult subject in the most professional manner – I know, I’ve been there.

But if someone thinks Ms. Daniels story will in any way affect Donald J Trump’s future – or the effort by many of us to see him gone from the Oval Office – I certainly didn’t see the evidence for that in tonights’ 60 Minutes Interview.

In the world of Real Politics, and with apologies to William Shakespere for the reference, Stormy Daniels story amounts to “Much Ado About Nothing.”

Oh, I believe her and her most able attorney – clearly any reasonable person would conclude she is telling the truth about a 2006 one time consensual sexual act with the married man Donald J Trump and the Trump people who tried to cover it up.

Trump’s lawyer’s claim that his personal payment of $130-thousand dollars to Daniels was done simply out of “frienship” for Trump to spare him the trouble of having to deal with a false accuation and not meant as “hush money” to silence something that in fact happened is simply not going to be believed by anyone with two grains of sense.

But here’s the rub, like it or not.

There was a time when the revelation that a married man in public life would be driven from his ambition to high office by the disclosure of sexual pecadillos was a given.

Former Senator Gary Hart will tell you about that time in 1987. Even Elliott Spitzer will tell you about that time in 2008. The Honarable Judge Roy Moore in 2017 doesn’t count; I said “consenting adults.”

And disclosure of a sexual indescretion can still be a problem for some, depending not on the fact itself but on the attendant circumstances.

But after Bill Clinton survived Jennifer Flowers, Paula Jones and later Monica Lewinsky, well, the real politics of such things changed markedly and rapidly.

Many do not like that change which no longer cares very much if at all about sexual indescretions; I don’t personally like that change.

But the change is a fact. Sexual peccadilloes between consenting adults regardless of marital status is no longer a sure political game changer.

As to the 130-thousand dollar payment and the trouble Trump’s lawyer may be in for violationg the legal limits of campaign giving, well in this struggle of Trump & his merry band of selfish thugs and enablers against the rest of us, that, as the old expression goes, doesn’t amount to “diddly squat.”

A final note about tonight’s Stormy Daniels 60-minutes Interview.

She did not come across as a likeable person.

Give her all the benefit of not having been schooled in public presentation or the handy cap of being a porn star (an occupation still not accepted by a majority of Americans as laudable), she didn’t give us reasons from listening and watching her to want to be on her side.

The facts, yes, the emotion of why we like or don’t like someone, no.

When she said she came out of the bathroom and found Donald J trump sitting on the bed ready to go and she thought she had gotten herself into something she really didn’t want to do, well,

Laugh Out Loud!

Oh well, there are several other women just “itching” to tell their story about an alleged affair with Donald J Trump, so let’s stay tuned.

Down Eros Up Mars

Now come the Hawks – Bolton, Pompeo, Haspel. Elevated by the “child king” to persue his “America First” policy even if it takes military force to do it.

Down Eros Up Mars!

What a stirring scene that was in the movie Ben Hur when Judah and Messala threw their javelines at the cross beam shouting Down Eros Up Mars.

Here’s the link:

http://fw.to/2x585OM

Well, we’ve seen this movie in real life before when the God of Love gives way to the God of War and the results have been disastrous!

In the immediate aftermath of World War II the United States was indeed the Colossus of the World, the most powerful Country of all time, possessing weapons that could “bomb them back to the Stone age” as Air Force General Curtis LeMay suggested as a way to bring North Vietnam to heel.

Fortunately for us and the world, our immediate post World War II leaders embraced Eros more than Mars.

But the Hawks kept pushing, not in the reactive sense as when Truman used American military force to prevent North Korea’s takover of the South but in the sense of a first use.

Herman Kahn, A Rand Corporation analyst of the Cold war with the Soviet Union, predicted we might lose millions of people if it came to a thermonuclear exchange with the Soviets, but he predicted we would win!

And the Hawks thought it a good idea.

Dwight Eisenhower didn’t

And, when he was urged by the Joint Chiefs to aid the French effort to regain their Vietnam colony with US military force even though it might be necessary to use the atomic bomb “Ike” said No.

But the Hawks were always flying.

During the thirteen days of the Cuban Missile crisis of 1962, the majority of Kennedy’s “wise men” were in favor of bombing Soviet missile sites in Cuba. Fortunately, their choice to hurl Mar’s javeline was not the policy Kennedy chose. And the world was spared the real potential of testing the Rand prediction.

But two of the most prominent of Kennedy’s Hawkish advisors – Defense Secretary McNamara and Chairman of the Joint Chief’s Taylor – were kept in place by Lyndon Johnson who, despite his early fears of plunging into Vietnman full tilt, went along with the Hawks until he was trapped. And the Country has not fully recovered since.

Reagan, first feared as a “cowboy” who might embrace Mars turned out to be most cautious when it came to actually using military force. When 241 US Marines sent to Lebanon as part of a UN peace keeping force were killed by a truck bomber, Reagan and his principal advisors rejected the Hawk’s cry of “give ’em a touch of U S steel,” instead he wisely withdrew the balance of U S forces from a region that had become a human “snake pit.”

Bush # 41 (George Herbert Walker) summonded Mars to repel Iraqi aggression against Kuwait and forstall Iraqi invasion of Saudi Arabia and then after accomplishing those ojectives obeyed restrictions imposed by both the U N and the U S Congress on continuing military action.

The Hawks squawk about that “timidity” in following the rule of law to this very day.

But the Hawk’s time was coming when two men collided -Bush # 43 (George W) and Osama bin Laden. The summoning of Mars in the immediate hunt for bin Laden morphed into two wars that linger still.

Vice President Cheney and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld along with a coterie of fellow Hawks in and out of government began the process of “nation building” in Afganistan (still underway and forever failing)and the Invasion of Iraq, the terrible consequeces of which are still playing out in the middle east.

And now, and now comes Trump and his new band of Hawks threatening war with North Korea and Iran (for starters).

Down Eros Up Mars.

But when Judah the Jew whose people were held in bondage and Mesalla the Roman Tribune threw their javelins there was no question of which side would win – Rome ruled the world. Sort of like the United States did right after World War II.

But today, Xi’s China possesses nuclear ballistic submarines and Putin’s Russia can quickly re-target its intercontinental nuclear missiles to American cities. The potential for deadly cyber warfare against power grids and other modern national structures also looms large.

Maybe you think these and other new world powers will stand aside if we throw the Javelin.

Do we really want to find out?

Ramming Speed

The Tuesday morning massacre was followed by the Tuesday evening massacre, the first a harbinger of more bad times to come the second a promise of better times to follow.

Now, the watchword is Ramming Speed!

The morning brought news that Rex Tillerson had been fired by Donald J Trump from his post as Secretary of State. Tillerson had many faults to answer for but the trait that got him fired was no fault but a badge of honor – he refused to be a sycophant, a puppet for Trump.

Every president wants and is entitled to have around him (“her” someday) people who believe in the president’s “vision” and help carry it out. But smart presidents welcome and are greatly aided by people who argue another view, point out dangers in a course of action and curb the presidential tendency to use power to shoot from the hip.

Tillerson warned against war with North Korea, argued against withdrawing from the Paris Environmental Accords and the Iranian Nuclear Treaty, pushed for free trade and in other ways tried to speak truth to power. Yes, he was ineffective for the most part but now gone, even the small part is squashed.

And now Trump, moving to drive out any remaining in-house obstacles to his impulse to act the Sampson to the pillars of our democracy, wants Pompeo the tea party yes-man at State, Haspel the smiling torturer at CIA with his sights set on changes at the Veterans Administration and particularly the troublesome Justice Department.

As Trump moves to a one-man rule, Pray that Mattis retains some ability to tame the savage impulses that drive this man to harm the Country and so many people within its borders.

Until the fruit of the Tuesday evening massacre strikes him.

Make no mistake, what happened in the rock solid 18th Congressional District of Pennsylvania was a massacre of Trumpism and a harbinger of better times ahead.

Here was a District that Trump carried in 2016 by 19 points; Tuesday night no matter who finally is declared the winner by a few hundred votes Trump lost it all. Lost many of the voters who took a chance on him and now, with eyes wide open, see the vulgar con-man that he is and want none of it.

Lost the ability to brag that he can do anything he wants, even shoot somebody, and not lose a single vote. There will always be a hard core base that doesn’t know or doesn’t care what he does, but the fear that such a base could keep him and his selfish gang in power is gone.

However, complacency now would be fatal for the movement to rid the Country of this man and his gang of enablers. There are no laurels today which allow resting. Every one of us must never stop aiding the anti-trump forces – money, time and calling out each and every abuse of power and each and every hurt done to people in this country.

The time for Battle Speed is over.

Until Trumpism is totally wiped out it’s Heart and Soul at

Ramming Speed!

Cry Wolf – Democracy Is Dying

Those of us of a “certain age” grew up in a time when the World’s Democracies had defeated the forces of despotism in a bloody war that killed sixty million people.

Freedom was the watchword of the day. The nineteenth century poet Alfred Lord Tennyson’s vision of a Universal Organization to eliminate war, a “…Parliament of man, the Federation of the world” was at hand.

Today, look around; Democracy is dying and Despotism is flourishing – In Putin’s Russia, in Erdogan’s Turkey, in Duterte’s Phillipines, in Xi’s China, in Modi’s India, in Hungary, Poland, Myanmar, Venezuela, Peru, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, a dozen other African Countries.

And in Donald J Trump’s America?

Fortunately,the fixtures of our Republic, it’s Instituitions and the majority of it’s people have been strong enough to turn back the full force of Trump’s Assault on the Bill of Rights and on our Constituional Separation as he dreams of dictatorial power.

But it’s time to Cry Wolf.

Despotism is not yet on us but creeping up and the time to stop it is now.

There is no denying that Trump with his divisivness and vulgarity is changing our culture, our agreed sense of who we are as a people, even to an alarming extent the fierceness of our allegiance to our democracy.

Consider that is a recent poll of Millennials, fewer than one in three said they thought democracy was important. If we can not convince the leaders of tomorrow that democracy and individual freedom are important the Country is truly lost.

Yes. It is time to Cry Wolf. History teaches us that despotism does not arrive in a sudden flash, it comes creeping step by step.

Aristotle observed that “Republics decline into democracies and democracies degerante into dispotisms.” He was certainly right about Athens,the so-called “Cradle of Democracy.”

The Roman Senate’s enlighted gpvernance degenerated into hundreds of years of despotic rule (read Gibbons)

Barbara Tuchman, the historian who chronicaled the idiotic slide into World War I warned that “Every successful revolution puts on in time the robes of the tryant it has deposed.”

And it was Thomas Jefferson,author of our magnificent Declaration of Independence, who asked “What country can preserve it’s liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms.”

I urge you to read an excellent article by Brian Klass titled: “Of course it can happen here: Trump’s no despot — but he’s no friend to democracy.” With the subtitle: “I study dictators, and Trump’s attacks on our democratic checks and balances are chillingly familiar.” I have tried to attach the link but the publisher has embedded a “stop” device that prevents it. However, simply google the article as I have described it and you can read it just fine.

When our Continental Congress had finished writing a Constitution for this country A Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?”

Franklin responded, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

Cry Wolf and let’s keep it!

MADNESS

This morning’s lead story in the Washington Post is headlined:

‘Pure madness’: Dark days inside the White House as Trump shocks and rages

The article begins:

“Inside the White House, aides over the past week have described an air of anxiety and volatility — with an uncontrollable commander in chief at its center.

These are the darkest days in at least half a year, they say, and they worry just how much further President Trump and his administration may plunge into unrest and malaise before they start to recover. As one official put it: “We haven’t bottomed out.”

Trump is now a president in transition, at times angry and increasingly isolated. He fumes in private that just about every time he looks up at a television screen, the cable news headlines are trumpeting yet another scandal. He voices frustration that son-in-law Jared Kushner has few on-air defenders. He revives old grudges. And he confides to friends that he is uncertain about whom to trust.”

Read the entire story for yourself:

http://wapo.st/2oN8OvD?tid=ss_mail&utm_term=.1d49f84d9cb7

What does this mean? And if one White House official says “We haven’t bottomed out” what happens at the “bottom?”

Are we nearing the point when a man gone mad from mental illness slips over the brink and follows the path of the Florida boy gone mad from mental illness who took his AR-15 and loosed a frenzy of gunfire that killed seventeen people?

Donald J Trump advocated the other day that guns be taken away from suspected mental patients and never mind “due process.” Take away the guns first, he said, do
“due process” second.

Has anyone looked to see whether Donald J Trump has ready access to a firearm?

Take it away now!

It no longer seems of any benefit to point out the problems with this man’s whims, actions, tweets, etc. in the hope that his enablers will come to their senses and cut him loose.

What good does it do to relate the history of Trade Wars and the unintended consequent costs that result. How about another Great Depression, anyone?

Is it not a waste of time to argue that cutting taxes to profit the wealthy only increases the burden on the middle class when it comes to financing the interest costs for a burgeoning national debt? Say “goodbye” to what’s left of the “middle class” and hello to a plunge toward the poverty line.

“ Let them eat cake,” indeed!

“Pure madness,” read the Post Headline and it came to me in a flash: The Japanese train bearing down on the new bridge constructed over the River by British prisoners of the Japanese under the leadership of the British Colonel who had gone mad.

I pulled up David Lean’s great movie. There it was.

William Holden dying on the River sandbar in an effort to stop Alec Guinness from preventing the commandos from blowing up the new bridge.

And Guinness in a suden flash of sanity asking rhetorically “what have I done” before collapsing on the plunger that sets off the explosives. And the train hurled into the River amid the bridge’s fallen timbers.

And then the British Doctor, surveying the scene and uttering three words”

“Madness” “Madness” “Madness”

Here is the link:

If only Donald J Trump is a flash of sanity would ask himself “what have I done?” But I fear it won’t happen.

In the meantime, take away his gun!

Wayne LaPierre – The Gunfighter vs The Kids

In the aftermath of the Parkland, Florida school massacre, officials of the National Rifle Association (NRA) spent a few days assessing the situation.

Then, yesterday, at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, Wayne LaPierre, the NRA’s Executive Vice President and de facto leader, mounted a full throated “no holds barred” attack on the NRA’s enemies.

Here is the link:

Now an enemy for LaPierre is anyone who advocates what LaPierre
contemptuously and dismissively calls “more gun control” and when LaPierre defends his position by attacking his “enemies” he spares no one.

Yesterday at CPAC, he began with these thoughts – “As usual, the opportunists wasted not one second to exploit tragedy for political gain…they hate the NRA, they hate the 2nd Amendment, they hate individual freedom…The elites don’t care, not one whit, about America’s school system and school children. Their goal is to eliminate the 2nd Amendment and our firearms freedom so they can eradicate all individual freedom.”

Who are these “opportunists?” Who are these “elites?” Who are these people who don’t care one whit for America’s school children” and want to “eradicate all individual freedom?”

One is David Hogg, age 17, another is Sophie Whiting, age 17, another is Tyra Herman, age 19,students of Parkland, Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. They survived the day seventeen of their class mates were murdered before their eyes.

On Wednesday, one hundred of these young surviving “elites” descended on the Florida Legislature to advocate more control of the purchase and use of deadly firearms, particularly firearms like the AR-15 assault weapon that killed their classmates.

The day before, the GOP controlled House of the Florida Legislature had rejected a move by Democrats to have legislation heard that would ban military style assault weapons like the AR-15.

Ah, the Democrats.

In his speech to CPAC, the NRA’s LaPierre had words for the Democrats.

He said they are “A party that is now infested with saboteurs who don’t believe in Capitalism, don’t believe in our Constitution, don’t believe in Freedom and don’t believe in America as we know it.”

That is a view of the Democrats LaPierre may have a difficult time selling to the survivors of the Parkland high school shooting.

The Florida Times Union newspaper quoted Delaney Tarr, a senior at the high school, as saying of the Florida Legislature’s refusal to debate a bill to ban assault weapons “to shoot down a bill like that is absolutely abhorrent. That disgusts me and it disgusts my peers, because we know what we went through and we know this needs to be changed.”

All across the Country students, young people, and their parents and other adults are mounting protests of the NRA’s monolithic position.

They are calling for “more gun control.”

And the politicians are beginning to listen, understanding that in the face of these continuing gun massacres this movement appears to be gaining strength and speed, no longer sure to be checked by LaPierre’s hard nosed over-the-top rhetoric or the NRA’s political campaign contributions.

For Wayne LaPierre, who has led the NRA for three decades, it is the fight of his life.

The saavy defender of all things Gun vs the surving kids of the Parkland High Scool and their allies, young and old, all across America.

The wily “gunfighter” always before has been able to best his opponents but this time could be different.
This time he could lose to the kids and their idea of “more gun control.”

For it was the French novelist and writer Victor Hugo who once observed:

“Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.”

Destroy Today’s Republican Party – In Order to Save It

Today, Katherine Rampell wrote a column in the Washington Post that struck a nerve for me.
Under a Heading which read: “Don’t Blame ‘Washington.’ Blame the GOP” she began by writing:

“Dysfunctional Washington refuses to work out its differences to solve problems that matter to Americans. So say pundits and policy activists, perhaps hoping that diffuse criticism, rather than finger-pointing, will yield a government willing to govern.

But the problem isn’t “Washington.” It isn’t “Congress,” either. The problem is elected officials from a single political party: the GOP.”

Here is the link to her column:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/dont-blame-washington-blame-the-gop/2018/02/19/f374bf28-15ba-11e8-92c9-376b4fe57ff7_story.html?tid=ss_mail&utm_term=.fc7a52ef7b08

I thought that’s true, but it is not a new thought.
Why haven’t we done something about it?

In 2014, Thomas Mann a senior fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution which is usually identified as a “liberal” Institution and Norman J. Ornstein, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, collaborated on a book titled: “It’s Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With The New Politics Of Extremism.”

And for the first time in a serious way, the authors named the responsible factor: The Republican Party.

They wrote that “Today’s Republicans in Congress behave like a parliamentary party in a British-style parliament, a winner-take-all system. But a parliamentary party – “ideologically polarized, internally unified, vehemently oppositional” – doesn’t work in a “separation –of-powers system that makes it extremely difficult for majorities to work their will.”

Mann and Ornstein in speaking truth to the Country were path finders who were ahead of their time, but as their title suggests, and as Katherine Rampell explains, it’s now even worse than they said.

Now, it is “crystal” clear that the majority of Republican members of Congress don’t care whether majorities can “work their will” as long as they get their way.

If huge majorities of the public want stricter gun control measures in the wake of the terrible gun massacres (80 to 90-percent majorities), why these people don’t care.

If a large majority of the public wants Federal Government Assistance for poor Americans to afford Medical Insurance, why these people don’t care.

If large majorities of the public don’t want severe cuts in Social Security, Medicare, Programs for the poor, why these people don’t care.

And let’s be clear who they are: They are today’s Republicans, a shameful rabble of greedy men and women who do their evil work under the banner of what once was a Grand Old Party.

We are truly at a “tipping point.” Are we a Government, “of the people, by the people, for the people” as Lincoln said or shall we perish from the earth in the hands of today’s Trumpified Republicans?

We must destroy these modern “Philistines” at the ballot box. We must encourage citizens to vote this November, in the off year elections, and in 2020.

We can and we must return our system to a functioning democracy, a Republic, actually, in which the majority’s will is reflected in our laws and in our government’s programs.

Perhaps, when the Trumpified Republicans are destroyed like the Phoenix of Greek Mythology which rose from the ashes, the new Republican party will be the party of the old GOP, a party that seeks to put its ideas into practice through persuasion and compromise.

We need that GOP.

So, in the spirit of the explanation by a U S Major during the Vietnam war of why the South Vietnamese village of Ben Tre, a stronghold for the communist Viet Cong was bombed and shelled into oblivion with the loss of many innocent civilian lives, “We had to destroy the village in order to save it,” let us destroy this parasite of a Republican party in order to save it!

The Civil War – Our Brother’s Keeper

The New Civil War – Our Brother’s Keeper

For some time, we in the United States have been engaged in a new Civil War. This time it is not a contest between the States but between attitudes of what kind of Country we want and how our society should be organized.”

Today I want to talk about one of the overriding issues that divide us as a Country. The issue of our “Social Contract” with each other.

What do we owe each other?

In the 17th & 18th Centuries, three philosophers –Thomas Hobbes, John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau – developed differing outlines for a Social Contract, a rationale and framework for society to band together with rules for the common good.

Simplified, a Social Contract defines, among other things, the issue of how much we are “our brother’s keeper,” and Government’s role in enforcing the answer.

Before Franklin Roosevelt’s “New Deal” life in America was pretty much a reflection of individual struggle – the phrase “dog eat dog” comes to mind – and those who could not prevail had little help in surviving.

Leaving out the crooks and cheats, people became prosperous through hard work, family heritage or tribal connections, practicing current societal mores of acceptance and luck.

For those who didn’t “make the grade,” their only recourse was to fall back on the help of family and friends or public charities (which were inadequately funded for the need).

It was a time which calls to mind Scrooge’s retort in refusing a request for a contribution for the needy at Christmas time.

“Are there no prisons…and the Union workhouses?” Scrooge asked.

Told they were still in operation but that “many can’t go there; and many would rather die” Scrooge replied “if they would rather die they had better do it and decrease the surplus population.”

Now a Union workhouse (Poor House) of that day was a true “hell hole.” It housed the sick, the orphans, the elderly, the poorest of the poor and living conditions were, in fact, unlivable.

For example, “tasteless food” as described by one observer of the times “was rationed and the poor were always hungry. All the food had to be eaten by hands as there was not cutlery”

The facilities were not sanitary and no medical care of any kind was available. I thought of Scrooge when in 2012, at a Republican Party primary debate, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked a candidate who was resisting the idea of Government provided medical care what he would do with poor people who had no insurance, “let ‘em die?”

Immediately, from the audience came a number of loud, unabashed shouts of “Let ‘em die!”

Fortunately, the candidate said he wouldn’t do that and I think those shouters are a decided minority of Americans.

Still where is the majority today on the central question of what do we owe each other, meaning “how much are we our brother’s keeper”…and how much should Government be the instrument to enforce the answer.

Since Roosevelt’s reforms and Lyndon Johnson’s reforms and Barack Obama’s attempt to make medical insurance available for millions who were without it, the so-called “Safety Net” for Americans has been strengthened.

And over the years, even before FDR, “Reforms” in wages and worker benefits such as paid leave and company provided medical insurance, child labor laws, work place safety conditions, community standards of sanitation, environmental protections and many other reforms that help people have been emplaced.

But today, the “Safety Net” and the “Reforms” are under truly savage attack.

Today’s Republican controlled Congress, following a modern GOP playbook, empowered by a vain, self-absorbed, ignorant president, is in the process of:

-repealing many of those “Reforms” and the Regulations enforcing them

-degrading in a continuing effort to destroy Government provided medical insurance and medical care

-proposing to cut Federal benefits under Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (food Stamps) and Public Housing for low-income families, the elderly and persons with disabilities all in the name of frugality (while conferring huge tax benefits on the wealthy)

-weakening environmental regulations, thus denying science’s warning that we humans are destroying the earth’s atmosphere and living space

-hamstringing consumer protection agencies and programs

-and in so many other ways attempting to roll back the clock on the “Common Good “ in the service of the “Selfish Good.”

Regardless of how much one concludes we owe “our brother,” the three philosophers – Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau – differed on Government’s role in enforcing it.

Hobbes argued for a Monarchy, a single ruler, because he said to be safe in what he described as a life which is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short” people must do what they are told and someone must tell them.

Locke believed mankind was essentially good and ought to have freedom to live under a government which had the consent of the governed and was both limited and liberal (in the classic definition).”

Rousseau believed in a collective Government of the whole body of citizens. A Countries’ people should band together to make the laws while a “legislator” enforces the will of the people.

He argued “a country cannot subsist well without liberty, nor liberty without virtue.”

Our Founders followed Locke and Rousseau, not Hobbes, and our Constitution, as amended, guides us to this day.

But we get to decide the fundamental questions of our own Social Contract.

We are clearly approaching a “tipping point” in deciding how much we should be our brother’s keeper.

So, who wins on this important issue if our new Civil War?

Do we go forward in strengthening our sense of obligation to each other, to our brothers? Or backward toward an individual struggle toward survival?

Our Constitution can not give us the answer, only our own sense of moral purpose and what I believe is an enlighted philosophy far older than outlined by Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau.

You’ll find it in Matthew 7:12

“They Are Laughing Their Assess Off In Moscow” – Donald J Trump

In a remarkable series of tweets this weekend, Donald J Trump has ranted and raged about his political enemies – The FBI, The Special Counsel, The Democrats, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Adam Shiff, General McMasters (his own National Security Advisor) and CNN.

Example:
“Donald J. Trump✔
@realDonaldTrump
If it was the GOAL of Russia to create discord, disruption and chaos within the U.S. then, with all of the Committee Hearings, Investigations and Party hatred, they have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. They are laughing their asses off in Moscow. Get smart America!
6:11 AM – Feb 18, 2018”

Perhaps the Russians are laughing. But at you Donald J Trump and at us for having put you, a crazed fool, at the helm of our State.

If they are “laughing their assess off in Moscow” we are crying our hearts out in America.

Here is the link to the Washington Post article which details the madness of our own poor “Kurtz:”

http://wapo.st/2obuy4P?tid=ss_mail&utm_term=.0db57989408f

Yes, our own poor “Kurtz.”

Straight from Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness or, later, Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now, we tremble at the sight of our own mad man holed up not in a jungle hide-a-way but at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Of course, there is a profound difference between “Kurtz” and Trump.

Coppola’s “Kurtz” was driven mad by the horror of the atrocities he had witnessed in Vietnam. And what happened to Trump? What events or medical mishap in his brain shaped his madness?

It doesn’t matter.

What matters is that we take his advice to “Get smart Ameria” and remove him from power by legal and constitutional means – We do not want a Captain Willard to play any part in this scene!

He can go away to lead a happy life continuing to “con” the rubes and harrass the women content that in his mind he remains forever a winner…as witnessed by the last sad tweet quoted in the Post article:

“The Democrats, lead by their fearless leader, Crooked Hillary Clinton, lost the 2016 election. But wasn’t I a great candidate?”