Trump, Sessions, The Bible and Jesus

When I was a child I was taught the beginning of a wonderful poem penned in 1862

“Jesus loves me! This I know,
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong;
They are weak, but He is strong.”

The Scripture surely supports this theses, as in Matthew 19:13-15 King James Version (KJV):

“13 Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them.
14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.
15 And he laid his hands on them, and departed thence.”

Now comes the Attorney General of the United States to defend the “zero tolerance” policy in taking children away from their parents who illegally cross our Southern Border.

Donald J Trump says the law requires this terrible, inhuman act, an assertion that is not true (the law allows it but does not require it and former presidents have never subscribed to a “zero policy”).

In defending Trump’s order, Attorney General Sessions carefully does not say the law “requires” the stripping away of children from their parents only that such policy which the law does allow must be followed because Trump says so and God says those who rule should be obeyed.

“Illegal entry into the United States is a crime — as it should be…Persons who violate the law of our nation are subject to prosecution. I would cite you to the apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13 to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the purpose of order.”

And exactly what did the Apostle Paul say?

Romans 13 King James Version (KJV):

“13 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.

2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.

3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same”

So, Paul said Rulers are put there by God to do good (“for rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil”) and to keep us safe from evil.

But clearly, Paul erred in that not all rulers are “good” when they demand obedience to orders that harm their subjects, not protect them.

For instance, Our Founding Fathers laid out their reasons for declaring Independence from  England, charging King George the Third with transgressions against humanity and justice.

Again, In this Country we fought a Civil War to overturn Governors orders that made humans slaves to other humans.

And if the ruler is Hitler or Stalin, should they be obeyed? Would a loving God want them to be obeyed?

The Bible itself argues against a mis-reading of Paul’s words.

Jesus commanded us to “Love they neighbor as thy self” and the Apostle Peter rebuked the idea that rulers should be obeyed when their commands clearly run counter to the overwhelming thrust of Jesus’s teachings,

Acts 5:29 of the King James Bible reads:

“Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.”

Thus our Founders staked their “lives and sacred honor” on the proposition that Jesus teachings, not King George’s commands, ought to be followed.

They labeled the King a “tyrant,” that is by Webster’s definition:

“TYRANT
1 a : an absolute ruler unrestrained by law or constitution
b : a usurper of sovereignty
2 a : a ruler who exercises absolute power oppressively or brutally
b : one resembling an oppressive ruler in the harsh use of authority or power.”

Only one of the above definitions is required to label a ruler a “tyrant,” not all (see 2b, above).

And how should we treat Tyrants?

In the 13th Century, the Catholic Saint Thomas Aquinas answered unequivocally: “to [a tyrant] no obedience is owed”.

Moreover, Our Founders , led by Thomas Jefferson, strongly considered making the national Motto the ancient phrase:

“Resistance to Tyrants is Obedience to God” 

Jefferson went even further in defining to what lengths resistance should go.

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure,” Jefferson wrote in a letter to William S. Smith, a diplomatic official in London, on November 13, 1787.

The Trump policy of stripping children from their parents in the false name of “required by law” is wrong.

Attorney General Sessions defense of that policy in asserting that God requires obedience to it is doubly wrong.

The policy and the men who have commanded it and defended it must be resisted.

They should take care that Jefferson’s Tree of Liberty does not await them if they continue,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peace For Our Time

Donald J Trump has made history. No U. S. President has met the leader of North Korea until now.

Here is President Trump with a warm welcome for his counterpart Kim Jong Un.

Trump said he and Kim have forged “a special bond” and Trump said Kim is “very talented” as demonstrated by the fact “he took over a situation like he did at 26 years of age and run it, run it tough.”

Yes, having your Uncle publicly executed by machine gun fire, your half brother poisoned to death at the Kuala Lumpur airport, your own people regularly murdered and tortured, all that and more is running it fairly “tough.”

After several hours of talk the summit ended with, well, with what?

Once upon a time not so long ago or far way, Donald J Trump said that the de-nuclearization of North Korea must take place immediately, without delay, or, said Trump, he would walk away from a summit with Kim.

But that was yesteryear.

In the summit’s closing statement agreed to by both sides the nuclear issue is dealt with thusly: “…the DPRK commits to work toward complete denuclerization of the Korean Peninsula.”

To put it bluntly, in agreeing to “work toward” Kim is saying not now, perhaps someday in stages and in putting it in the form of “denuclarization of the Korean Peninsula” Kim is saying he wants U S military presence gone as part of any deal.

Donald J Trump achieved the same promise that North Korea has given four times since 1992, only to break its word each time about “denuclearization.”

Trump got nothing substantive, nothing specific as to actions necessary to achieve the goal of “denuclearization,” in fact he even gave ground in the iece of paper he grandiosely waved to reporters.

Just consider what Kim got from the Great Dealmaker.

-Elevation on the world stage to a place alongside the President of the United States. Moreover, gushing praise poured on him, a murderous dictator, by said president.

-The promise of a visit to the White House in Washington and more summits whenever necessary (as PR props).

-Perhaps most important and most dangerous, a public statement from Trump that the U S will no longer participate in military exercises with South Korea. These routine exercises meant to ensure preparedness if the North strikes are “very provocative” according to Trump. Why those are the very words the North has used for years in protesting those exercises.

For Kim Jong Un, this summit was a wild success.

However, Trump wants the World to believe he has achieved a “breakthrough’ of unprecedented importance. As usual, his self-congratulatory  rhetoric is over the top. You would think he is proclaiming “Peace for our time.”

That is an eerie phrase from yesteryear which was accompanied by another picture of warm friendship.

Hit this link and take a look (then return to the page using the back arrow button at the top):

Peace In Our Time

The smiling man with the mustache on the left is Neville Chamberlain who was then the Prime Minister of Britain. The man on the right with the swastika on his arm band, well who doesn’t know who he is.

Chamberlain returned home from a summit meeting in Munich asserting the signed paper in his hand meant “peace for our time.” Actually, peace was not ensured until some sixty million people world wide had died.

But let us not end on a note of suspicion and pessimism on the subject of peace as a result of the Singapore summit. Let the last word come from its architect Donald J Trump, who tweeted from Singapore:

“The fact that I am having a meeting is a major loss for the U.S., say the haters & losers. We have our hostages, testing, research and all missle (sic) launches have stoped (sic), and these pundits, who have called me wrong from the beginning, have nothing else they can say! We will be fine!”

Let us hope so.

The Great G-7 Trumpicide

There in a word in English to describe the act of a parent who kills his/her own child. The word is “filicide.”

In the aftermath of the train wreck of the Ottawa G-7 summit let us replace the word filicide with a new, more descriptive word..

Trumpicide

The President of the United States, one Donald J Trump, engineered a murderous act against this Country’s own child.

It was the United States after World War II which put together a world order for the democracies. After all, it was the United States which worked to restore the shattered nations including Germany and Japan.

It was the United States under the leadership of every president since that war whether Republican or Democrat which led alliances against democracies enemies and led organizations that worked out rules for trade and the settlement of international disputes.

But all the hard work and capital that this and other countries have poured into making our world safer, richer and easier in which to live (as against Hobbes view that life is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short”) this poor excuse for a man, let alone for a president, worked hard in Canada to destroy.

There in Canada he met the other six having already renounced the Iran Agreement, the Pacific Trade Agreement, the Paris Environmental Accord, the North American Free Trade Act and having imposed trade sanctions on traditional friends of the U S while favoring China and continuing to compliment Russia (he proposed in Ottawa that Russia which had been expelled from the group for good cause be re-admitted).

He met these traditional U S allies reluctantly (he didn’t want to go) and there in Canada he insulted them to their faces and in his various tweets and after agreeing to sign the final communique which was drafted in a forlorn effort to show some, a little, unity, he then two hours later tweeted that he wouldn’t sign it after all.

When Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau reiterated his objections to U S tariffs on certain products from Canada, Mexico and the European Union, the same Donald J. Trump called Trudeau “weak” and “dishonest” and one of his henchmen said Trudeau had “betrayed” Trump on the eve of Trump’s historic meeting with Kim Jong Un.

Why did he act as engineer of the Ottawa train wreck, why does he commit “Trumpicide” on what the United States created to the benefit of the world’s democracies?

I can do no better than the Washington Post Op-ed writer Jennifer Rubin who explained it this way:

“…our allies see an incoherent, irrational president who cannot grasp the fundamentals of the international system that works for the benefit of all Western democracies. To him, none of the benefits of the post-World War II international architecture matter. It’s about his pride, his demand for attention, his ability to create havoc — and if he needs to take a wrecking ball to the Western alliance to convince himself he’s smarter than all his predecessors, he’ll not think twice about it.”

Yes, wreck again Donald J Trump, wreck away until you are stopped. And you will be stopped.

This Country that Washington and Adams and Jefferson and Madison and other truly great men and women put together will survive you.

And what of you Donald J Trump? What fate awaits you in the end?

Just hope that you do not pay for your “Trumpicide” and other sins in the awful manner that John Milton described in his epic poem “Paradise Lost”as the punishment that befell the fallen angel Lucifer:

“Him the Almighty Power
Hurled headlong naming from the ethereal sky,
With hideous ruin and combustion, down
To bottomless perdition ; there to dwell
In adamantine chains and penal fire…”

We leave such fates if there be such to God.

We mortals do not seek physical harm for you – live a long life “conning” the rubes, beating your chest like a demented Gorilla and dispensing your particular brand of ignorance.

But we will redouble efforts to use constitutional and legal tools to stop you as soon as possible from doing it from the Oval Office.

Reichsmarshall Donald J Trump

I was thumbing through Michael Korda’s brilliant book about the Battle of Britain titled “With Wings Like Eagles” the other day when I came across a startling passage that described Reichsmarshal Herman Goring, Hitler’s right hand man who was in charge of the German Luftwaffe.

In the summer of 1940, when German forces had swept victoriously through Western Europe, Britain which was still holding out was the last obstacle to Hitler’s winning World War Two right then and there.

Hitler’s only course was to invade and occupy the British Isles but to do that successfully the Luftwaffe first had to gain air superiority over Britain’s Royal Air Force (RAF).

Air Chief Marshall Hugh Dowding was the man who led the RAF’s Fighter Command which would have to prevent the Luftwaffe from succeeding.

Dowding knew that his smaller force could not actually turn back the mighty Luftwaffe but he designed a strategy that would keep the RAF strong enough to deny the Germans the air superiority they needed at least until the fall when the English Channel weather would make invasion impossible.

However, clearly with their much larger force the Germans appeared to have the power to checkmate Dowding and overpower the RAF.

But they failed.

Why?

Here is that startling passage written by Michael Korda in 2009 which explains why, among many factors, the blame for the Luftwaffe’s failure rests primarily with its leader, Herman Goring:

“Of course the most important culprit was Goring, whose self-indulgence, short attention span, arrogance, overconfidence, and failure to institute (or respect) a disciplined and well-organized chain of command, rather than ruling the Luftwaffe by a combination of cronyism and a calculated policy of divide and conquer, doomed the air attack against Britain from the start.”

Why that is a perfect description of Donald J Trump and the frightening thing is Trump in his attack on reason, American Values and Institutions if unchecked is dooming the America we know, that “Shining City on a Hill” that Ronald Reagan described as:

“… a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here.”

That is an America the World used to respect.

Perhaps we should be grateful that Trump is like the Herman Goring Korda describes or the damage he has done so far might be far worse.

On the other hand, if left unchecked the damage Trump could do in the future might be catastrophic.

That is why we must never stop working to end and reverse Trumpism.

We must never become complacent or accepting of this man’s warped leadership and vulgar conduct.

We must strongly oppose his efforts to tear down the safeguards around our democracy – the Courts, the Law Enforcement agencies, the Constitutional rights of all Americans no matter from what direction his attack comes.

Above all, we must work to increase the majority which votes against Trumpism in federal elections this fall and in two years and in local elections whenever held.

Like the Battle of Britain the Battle of America can also be won.

And what of the men who led the desperate air battle in 1940.
Any casual student of World War Two knows the name Herman Goring. Comparatively few ever heard of Dowding.

But history tells what happened in the end.

There is a statue to Hugh Dowding at Clements Danes Church in London whose inscription reads in part:

“His wise and prudent judgement and leadership helped to ensure victory against overwhelming odds and thus prevented the loss of the Battle of Britain and probably the whole war. To him, the people of Britain and of the Free World owe largely the way of life and the liberties they enjoy today.”

As for Herman Goring, he committed suicide while on trial at Nuremberg for the war crimes with which he was charged. His body was cremated and his ashes were scattered into the Wenzbach/Conwentzbach, a small stream in Munich.

Mr. Kim Does Not Go To Washington (and the plot thickens)

When President Trump jumped at the chance to have a summit meeting with Kim Jung-Un, predicting it would bring a lasting, de-nuclearized peace to Korea and a Nobel Peace Prize to him – “everyone’s saying I deserve the Nobel Peace Prize,” Trump twittered – not everyone was predicting either.

I wrote a blog titled “Mr. Kim Goes to Washington” in which I said unlike the time Jimmy Stewart (Mr. Smith) went to Washington whose movie ended just fine, this idea of an instant summit with Kim had just the opposite potential.

It wasn’t that I’m so smart. Much more informed experts on the Korea problem predicted the same. It was that the Kim family does not give up power and hostility toward the South and the United States in a flash of traveling on the “Road to Damascus” but instead it seemed obvious that young Kim was “playing” Donald J Trump, seeking the lifting of sanctions and U S Billions while perhaps promising to give up nukes in some staged, lengthy process. After all, the Kims had promised to do that four times before only to break the promise.

And I reminded readers that tigers do not change their stripes and leopards do not change their spots – this young Kim who learned from his grandfather and his father, who, once come to power had his Uncle killed and his half brother murdered had not turned into a democrat despite the smiles and clinking of champagne glasses with the President of South Korea.

Then, when Kim journeyed to China twice to confer with President Xi it was clear the two were agreeing on the strategy of exactly how to “play” Trump. not on how to give in to him. Just look at how Xi is “playing” Trump on Trade.

Trump had been demanding that North Korea agree at the summit to de-nuclearize immediately. In return, Kim had made it clear he has no intention of giving up his nuclear weapons “presto presto.” He and his colleagues lashed out at Trump over Trump’s demands. So Trump, brought to the realization that his Nobel prize had slipped away still born and he was looking like a “patsy” to his base, cancelled the summit blaming the cancellation solely on Kim.

In a letter to Kim, he said in part: “Based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I believe it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting…Please let this letter serve to represent that the Singapore summit, for the good of both parties, but to the detriment of the world, will not take place.”

Trump, the bully, has always tried to get the best of people by blustering and threatening and it often works. But in the game of International Diplomacy with nations that in today’s world are not without power of their own (and smarts) that usually doesn’t work.

Look at Trump’s record with North Korea. First he threatens to destroy the entire Country with “fire and fury” and calls Kim names. Then, when Kim offers to meet and smiles and clinks the champagne glasses, Trump impetuously jumps at the offer and labels Kim sincere and says he is “nice.” Moreover, it apparently did not occur to Trump that by demanding in advance of pre-summit negotiations that Kim give up his nukes immediately, the answer would be “no.”

One of the North’s statements Trump disliked the most was one from a close aide of Kim’s that came Thursday morning which called Vice President Pence a “political dummy” for making “ignorant and stupid” remarks. Now that would be highly defamatory except that truth is a defense against a charge of defamation.

Pence had further angered the North by referring in a television interview to the strategy that convinced Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi to give up his nuclear weapons. Subsequently Gaddafi was killed in an uprising of this own people. Now certainly that was a reassuring example to use on dictator Kim.

But one shouldn’t blame Pence too much since he knows next to nothing about foreign policy. No, Pence was parroting the view of John Bolton, the new hard core, ultra nationalistic White House National Security Advisor who has assumed the role of the administration’s Darth Vadar. Bolton has been recommending the “Libyan” strategy to use on Kim.

So now it’s back to Trump the Original Korean expert. After the cancellation, Trump warned North Korea that the U S military is “ready if necessary” to take action if the North engages in a “foolish or reckless act,” adding that South Korea and Japan are willing to shoulder the costs (if not, maybe he can get the Mexicans to pay for it).

But Trump also sounded wistful when he also said he hoped North Korea would change its position and the summit would get back on track.

Of course, that is always possible. In the North/Chinese strategy to “play” Donald J Trump, Kim could always make “nice” again, flatter Trump in some way and having proved he can get the upper hand maneuver Trump back into a summit where the President of the United States loses his (our)shirt.

You say, but surely Trump has learned from this episode and next time will with expert help from seasoned American diplomats prepare the table so as to avoid traps set and/or an embarrassing public failure.

Are you kidding?

Remember tigers don’t change their strips and leopards don’t change their spots. That applies to Kim.

But it also applies to Donald J Trump.

Which would leave us in an even more dangerous position as against North Korean belligerence than we were in before Trump was elected President.

But then, what else is new.

The U S and Iran: From Ajax to Trump

The results of our United States policy toward Iran in modern times was forecast long ago. Actually, about 2,750 years ago by Hosea, a prophet of the Kingdom of Israel.

Of course Hosea knew nothing of us, or of our times. His words were directed toward his own people when he warned them if they did not repent of their sins….well… this was his warning: “For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind (Hosea 8:7 King James Version).”

So let us see how we have “sowed” the relations between the United State and Iran and consider the “whirlwind” we have reaped and may reap again thanks to Donald J Trump, a truly ignorant and dangerous man as he has proved yet again today.

In the early 1950s, an Iranian reform politician came to power as the Prime Minister of Iran, first by appointment and then through a democratic election of the Iranian people. His name was Mohammed Mosaddegh.

Talk about Reform.

Mosaddegh introduced Social Security, Unemployment compensation, sick benefits for workers and more (think Franklin Roosevelt)but his biggest reform was the Nationalization of the Iranian oil industry. Iran had lots of high priced oil but the Iranian people weren’t getting the profits. No,a British oil company with a long lease got the lion’s share of the profits. Until Mosaddegh acted on the post World War II view that the earth’s natural resources belonged to the Country in which they were located, not to Belgium or Portugal, or Britain.

The British Oil company and the British Government were furious and set about reversing the situation. By offering a new lease that gave the major profits to Iran?

Oh, no, by devising a plan to overthrow Mosaddegh with the aid of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and get their “profits” back. But the British needed help and guess from where they got it.

From the United States Government headed by President Eisenhower and more specifically, from the U S Central Intelligence Agency. Yes, the CIA was in charge of the operation to overthrow Masaddegh which was code-named Ajax

Ajax consisted of mis-information about Mosaddegh (today we just say “lies”), destabilization of the Prime Minister’s reforms (think whittling down the Affordable Care Act), pay-offs to Mosaddegh’s political opponents and whatever else might work to destroy the Prime Minister’s popularity with the Iranian people.

Ajax, whose CIA action officer in this was Kermit Roosevelt (his father had been a Reformer named Theodore) worked brilliantly. Finally by August 1953, Mosaddegh had been so dis-credited that the Shah felt bold enough to dismiss him and install a government that promptly gave the British back the oil. Many of Mosaddegh’s main supporters were executed. He, himself, was kept under house arrest until he died.

Now, you ask why when the charismatic Ayatollah Khomeini made a revolution that overthrew the Shah and we then gave the exiled Shah medical treatment the Iranian people seized our Embassy and chanting “death to the great Satan (us)” shouted their hatred of the United States to the world.

Ah, Ajax, we certainly “reaped” that one. But let us move on.

It is true that Iran under Khomeini and later has followed a course of hatred in the mid-east that had nothing to do with the United States. Iran is an implacable and perhaps mortal enemy of Israel. It has aided and encouraged attacks on Israel. And in Iraq and Syria has sowed its own ill wind.

And it is true, the Iran of today must not be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons.

Which brings us to the present “sowing” by that master tiller of the soil Donald J Trump.

Trump has now pulled the United States out of an agreement meant to slow down the Iranian effort to build atomic weapons, an agreement signed by the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council—China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States—plus Germany),and the European Union.

Despite the pleas of the other Countries who had signed the agreement, Trump promised not only to pull out but to immediately impose punishing sanctions again and to the extent possible get other countries to respect and enforce the sanctions.

After an arduous two years plus of negotiation, Iran had agreed to the following.

-Beginning in 2015, it would not move forward in any way toward building a nuclear weapon

-Iran agreed to dismantle most of its centrifuges used to produce nuclear fuel reducing the number from 20,000 to 5,060

Iran agreed to give up and send out of the Country 98% of its’ stockpile of uranium, reducing the amount held to 660 pounds.

-Iran agreed to inspections of its major nuclear facilities by International IAEA inspectors who say that so far Iran has not violated the agreement.

-At the end of the fifteen years, in 2030, Iran would be free to restart a nuclear program but only for peaceful uses of atomic energy.

In return for this agreement, Iran got punishing sanctions lifted and it’s money that had been frozen in foreign banks returned. When Trump implies (says) that U S taxpayers have now given Iran billions of dollars that is simply not true (surprise, surprise), Iran is getting its own money back.

Alright, the agreement itself does not strip Iran forever from being able to pursue atomic weapons but when that Country was working “pell mell” to build atomic weapons now, fifteen years is a long time and many changes in geo politics that would be favorable to the U S and the other countries that signed the agreement can occur.

To say that the agreement is “flawed” and not perfect is correct but the “flaws” are minor compared to the overall accomplishment and if Trump had been willing the other Countries were ready to help strengthen the Agreement.

Instead, Trump simply tore it up, saying: “We cannot prevent an Iranian nuclear bomb under the decaying and rotten structure of the current agreement.”

However, we could have delayed it for a significant period of time. But not now.

Our allies are busily trying to build support for a strengthening, not abrogation, of the Agreement. And Iran has said it will talk, negotiate, for about two weeks but if the Agreement is not restored it will feel free to resume work on atomic weapons.

Trump, of course, believes his forceful, tough action will make Iran quake and come to the table willing to give it all up.

In a “pigs eye,” but then most bullies think they can force others to do what they want. And if Iran won’t be bullied, what then? Does Donald J Trump have a plan? To send in the U S marines?
To drop bombs on Teheran? To force other nations to withhold food and medical supplies to the Iranian people and starve them into submission? Oh, that would make us popular around the world.

No, the son of Ajax is come again and I fear the Whirlwind could follow.

But Trump remains defiant and cock-sure of his action, saying today that the Agreement he has shredded was “a great embarrassment to me as a citizen and all citizens of the United States.”

No, President Trump, you are the embarrassment to us all.

May your reign of ignorance and terror end soon.

PS – By the way, of course we know why Trump hates this Agreement so – it was negotiated by the Obama Administration.

Comedy, Humor – Michelle Wolf???

Was Michelle Wolf “funny?” Was she there at the White House Correspondent’s Association Dinner last Saturday night as a comedian, or what?

She was hired to be funny (I suppose) – and, clearly, in the Washington atmosphere of today, to poke “fun” at the warring tribes that make up our body politics.

The oldest Press Dinner -the Gridion Club – has a working rule: that in “poking fun” at politicans and the like, the Girdion “singes but never burns.” That is, put on a good-natured ribbing of the politiicans, the powerful, the Washingto “elite’ but nothing that suggests “going in for the kill!”

In a modern sense, comedy (from the Greek: κωμῳδία, kōmōidía) refers to any discourse or work generally intended to be humorous or amusing by inducing laughter, especially in theatre, television, film, stand-up comedy, or any other medium of entertainment” (Wikipedia).

So, I ask again, was Michelle Wolf humorous, funny?

NO, she was almost never “funny” in a sense that both Republicans and Democrats, Trump Supporters and Trump haters,everyone could laugh at her jokes(?).

She played to a divided room with a vengence. No “bring us together” for Michelle.

Those who laughed at her “nothing off limits” assault on All Things Trump were simply giving vent to their dislike of him. And those who sat silent were simply suppressing their resentment at her attack on him and his. Yes, a few in the middle – a precious few – simply goaned at what was supposed to be a joke but lacked any humor no matter who the listener.

Michell Wolf, in commenting on the furor her “act” has caused says there is nothing, not one word, one “joke” that she regrets.

“I wouldn’t change a single word that I said. I’m very happy with what I said, and I’m glad I stuck to my guns,” she told Terry Gross. She added that before her performance, a friend handed her a note that said: “Be true to yourself. Never apologize. Burn it to the ground.”

Ah, yes, Michelle, “Burn it to the ground…Never apologize.”

Did you see your moment in the Washington Sun as a test of your courage, of your womanhood?

You knew you were not talking to a single issue room in which only poltical partsans of one side were present. You knew you were being watched outside the room by millions of Americans with sharply divergent views.

Morever, you knew your venue was that of a group of journalists who are fighting to retain the respect and trust of a pubic being pulled hard by an Administration and its supporters bent on destroying America’s free press.

So, how did you see your mission, what did you think the Association had hired you to do?

Clearly, you came to “whip it on, tell it like it is, pin the infidels to the ground” and humiliate them through “humor” as a punishment for their wicked ways.

You saw yourself as Tomas de Torquemada not as a comedian hired to make eveyone laugh.

I understand the temptation.

In these “blogs” of mine, I’ve been super critical of Donald J. Trump, of who he is, what he stands for, how he is adversely affecting our Country, it’s people, and the World. I’ve tried not to call him vulgar names but, Michelle, I understand how you feel. He and his band of selfish thugs must be turned back lest we lose all that is good about America.

But I’m not delivering my diatribes against Trump under the guise of comedy before the White House Correspondent’s Association.

Speak on, Michelle. Take to the stump, speak from the stage of your nightclub, write to your friends and twitter to your followers. But if you have no use for subtely as in Swift’s Modest Proposal for ending the Irish potato famine do not cloak your feelings to a general audience as “humor” or “comedy.”

And demonstrate a modicum of humility,as in “in retrospect I could have made the same point about Sarah Huckebee Sanders without stripping her of every last shred of decency and humanity.”

People will like you more if there is a sense of compassion in your work. But, perhaps, more important to your cause, you will be more effective in persuading others to your message.

Preaching to the choir which will tell you “Oh, you were wonderful, you were so great” may be momentarily satisfying but the choir alone never converted a sinner, never built a church.

I’m not askng you to be Bob Hope or Don Rickles or Lucille Ball or Gilda Radner or other of the past, great non-political comedians. Be sharp in your politicl humor when the occassion is right if you must.

I’m just asking you as a self-described comedian to remember your first and most important priority:

Above all, be funny!

Where’s the Outrage?

In today’s Washington Post, the Post’s Digital Opinions Editor James Downie wrote a piece under the headline: Trump was outrageous in Michigan. So where’s the outrage?

Downie outlined how on the same night as the White House Correspondent’s dinner Donald J Trump held a rally in Michigan at which he made mis-statements, uttered vulgar denounciations of his enemies, played one of his favorite ethnic cards “Latinos” and once again further demonstrated his total unfitness for the Office which, unfortunately, he holds.

Downie then pointed out that Trump’s speech resulted in minisclue news converage as compared to the White House Correnspondent’s dinner and Downie asked with obvious diaspproval of the neglect of Trump’s performance:”Trump was Outrageous in Michigan. So were’s the outrage?”

Here’s the link to Downie’s full piece:

https://wapo.st/2HE7OC7?tid=ss_mail&utm_term=.3703a8b38d84

And here’s my response to Downie.

James, you’re right to seize on the disparity between the two news converages but wrong to worry that it matters. I believe my own experience over the life of the Trump presidency explains why.

The “outrage” is there, alive and well, seething, ready and waiting for events that will demonstrate (such as elections) to its potency.

Once upon a time (how long ago was that) I leapt forward with each new “outrage” visited on us by this Egomaniacal Vulgarian Ignoramus. The new ones came daily, sometimes hourly and I thought “no, not “this,” not after that” and the mind reeled and staggered with the effort to keep up without insanity setting in. And then I finally realized my “outrage” bucket was full, like my voicemail that uncleared could not accept another message.

Consider if a criminal is caught and the evidence is at hand to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the individual has murdered one hundred people. And someone rushes in shouting “Look, we’ve found another body – and this same person is responsible!”

So what, one can only shrug. Does the 101st body finally produce the “outrage?”

No, James, do not fear. A mighty surge of “outrage” is waiting to be loosed, erasing the Johnstown flood from the history books.

Months ago I blogged that Justice was closing in on Trump, that the forces of Law and Justice were coming toward him with “ramming speed.” I had momentarily forgotten history, the history of Watergate a story, an event I covered for ABC News. At times it would appear that Richard M. Nixon was about to be undone, cornered. And then it would appear he had slipped the noose. The back and forth, cutting and filling continued apace. And one day it all came together and all came crashing down on the “crook.”

Of course there are differences between than and now, him and this one. But the System is working and whatever setbacks in the effort to bring Donald J Trump to the payment block for the crimes, legal or societal and institutional he has committed, in the end he will have to pay the price.

Remember this, James, and savor it when the time comes:

“Outrage” like “revenge” is best served cold.

Mr. Kim Goes to Washington

Kim Jong-un is on his way to Washington, a reformed man who has awakened to the desperate needs of his people and is determined to give up the losing ways of his family.

Whereas, like his father and grandfather he had been steadfastly adhering to a policy of confrontation fueled by threats and murders, Mr. Kim has come out of the shadows and walked, nay trotted, into the sunlight of reunion, fellowship and peace.

Never mind that he had his Uncle put to death, his half brother murdered in an airport, American student Otto Warmbier tortured in a North Korean prison cell before releasing him to die in America, never mind all the threats of nuclear destruction of his neighbors and, of course, the United States. All that has been erased with the clink of Champaign glasses and wide smiles of good natured fellowship.

“I know the Americans are inherently disposed against us, but when they talk with us, they will see that I am not the kind of person who would shoot nuclear weapons to the south, over the Pacific or at the United States,” Mr. Kim was quoted as telling South Korea’s president. Only recently Mr. Kim was making such threats including to explode a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific but we must understand he is a changed man.

Meanwhile, all Mr. Kim will ask is the lifting of economic sanctions imposed by the world community on his nation, a few billion (actually, perhaps many billions) of American aid for his impovrished country and its people, a peace treaty to officially end the long Korean war and the promise by the United States not to invade his Country.

That agreed to when the historic meeting between the North Korean dictator and the American president occurs, it is said Mr. Kim will make good on his promise to end his nuclear program and give up his nuclear devices although, naturally, the process of doing that will take place in “stages” and over a period of time.

Skeptics will note that North Korea signed agreements to end its nuclear program in 1992, 1994, 2005 and to an extent in 2012.

And broke every one of them.

But this time it is different. Mr. Kim is not his father or grandfather and younger and bolder wants something new and better for his people. He even dreams of reunification with the South.

Under a democratic system wherein the president of the reunified Country is elected (which might mean Mr. Kim no longer holds power)? We swoon with the thought.

Further, Mr. Kim will be dealing with an American president of unprecedented ability to make “deals” that last and work. If others argue that Donald J Trump is an ignorant, unpredictable and impulsive business and deal-making failure, well, Mr. Kim does not know that.

As President Trump’s fans tell us, Mr. Kim has come to this new understanding because he fears the mighty wrath of President Trump and is cowed by the thought of engaging with him. Certainly, Mr. Kim understands he could never get the best of Donald J Trump (certainly the banks never did) and therefore will not even try.

Well what can I say?

I can say that things that seem too good to be true are usually not true.

I can say that Leopards do not change their spots and tigers do not change their stripes.

I can say that a pell mell rush to cut the Korean Gordian knot with Trump’s sword is a “fools errand” and a dangerous one to boot.

And, of course, I can say that I could be wrong.

Finally, I can say I’d feel a whole lot better if it were Jimmy Stewart making this new trip to Washington.

His first one turned not just fine!

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.