John McCain – RIP

There’s not a lot more for me to say – in at least two pervious blogs (look them up if you will) I spoke my piece about this great American.

When Lincoln died, Stanton said “Now he belongs to the ages” or perhaps he said “Now he belongs to the angels,” either way expresses  both the depth and the profound greatness of the loss.

So it is with John  McCain, a patriot, a  hero and a good man. He belongs to us all to remember and to hold up to future generations as an example of what it means to have a “life worth living.” .

When the news came of his death I instantly thought of Shakespeare who said so many things better than anyone.

I had used Shakespeare’s line once before in a blog I wrote last September which was entitled “The Coward vs. the Hero.”

“A coward dies a thousand times before his death, but the valiant taste of death but once.”

Go in peace, John McCain.

 

The Cast Assembles; The Play Is About To Begin

Special Counsel Robert Mueller appears to be assembling a strong cast of witnesses for the case of Donald J Trump vs. the United States of America. And Signs are the play is about to begin.

The growing talk whipped up by Trump and his loyal acolytes, broadcast by  Fox Cable News and other “lap dog” outlets, that the Mueller Investigation is bogging down, going nowhere and must be ended is suddenly quieted by the conviction of Paul Manafort on eight counts of felonias action. A verdict that has strengthened Robert Mueller’s hand.

Why one juror, just one, prevented conviction on the other ten counts is not important – a Trump supporter, a personal grievance against the prosecution’s presentation and appearance, unable to understand the overwhelming evidence of guilt (aka “not very smart”) – does not detract in any material sense from a Mueller victory that further buttresses the fact that this investigation is legitimate, necessary and proceeding in a most workmanlike fashion.

Mueller’s list of witnesses, seen and perhaps waiting in the wings for starring roles, is impressive.

In addition to James Comey and other actors who encountered Trump from  outside of his orbit, let us consider some of the original Trump loyalists we know Mueller has assembled and some we suspect may join his cast.

Begin with Michael Flynn (former National Security Advisor) and George Papadopoulos (former Trump campaign advisor) who both pleaded guilty to criminal conduct and pledged to co-operate with Mueller. It is now said Papadopoulos is trying to find ways to break his bargain with Mueller which, I suppose, would be an unusual sight of a rat running up the hawser from a sinking ship.

But a truly starring witness has emerged in the name of Michael Cohen, Trump’s long time lawyer who once said he would take a bullet for Trump but who now is co-operating with Mueller in turning the gun around. Whereas others may provide Mueller with a drop of water on Trump’s forehead, Cohen is in a position to loose a Niagara Falls on the Donald.

And there are others,  including such former friends as David Pecker, the chairman of American Media, Inc., which publishes the National Enquirer.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Pecker has been granted immunity in exchange for giving prosecutors information about  Trump’s knowledge of  payments to two women who say they had intimate relations with Trump. Before Pecker switched friendships from Trump to Mueller he famously had the Enquirer pay one of the women, Stormy Daniels, a hundred and fifty thousand dollars for exclusive rights to her story so that it would not be published in the Journal or anywhere else.

“Bait and catch,” the technique of buying and thus burying a story is called. But Pecker finds that in his case it is a technique that has caught him.

However, all these other witnesses aside, there are three people I’m particularly interested in just now.

The first is Paul Manafort, convicted, yes, but praised by Trump because so far Manafort does not appear to be co-operating with Mueller.

It is said he is counting on a pardon from Trump. Silly boy. Donald J Trump is not loyal, will not keep his word with anybody, will do only what at the moment his cunning (if ignorant) mind tells him is in his own best interest.

And if it comes to pass that Manafort figures out his hole card is really a worthless Deuce and not the get-out-of-jail free Ace he thinks he has  he will flip, he will flip.

The second person I’m interested in is Donald McGann, Trump’s White House Counsel. What did McGann tell Mueller’s team in thirty hours (count them, thirty) of being interviewed beginning last November?

McGann’s personal attorney says McGann did not “incriminate” Trump in his answers to the questions asked. How could that be true?  MCGann was in on lots of stuff; the truth of the “goings on”  he witnessed may well show Trump to have broken multiple laws?

Did McGann lie under oath? If not, can those two propositions – He saw a lot but nothing he said incriminates Trump – both be true.

Yes.

McGann can testify to what he personally heard Trump say and what he saw Trump do. And when his testimony is weighed against other evidence of what Trump said and did, the contradictions – or support for a case of wrongdoing, even if unintended – may well be damming.

McGann doesn’t have to incriminate Trump directly in so many words but what he said under oath may well reinforce a case that Donald J Trump is, indeed, a “crook.”

My third “person of interest” as the cops say, is Attorney General Jeff Sessions who has pushed back forcefully and publicly against Trump’s latest assault on him. Sessions has “rolled over” time and time again when Trump  attacked and disparaged him publicly for  recusing himself from overseeing Mueller’s investigation because of his own involvement in the matter.

But now, well, here is a portion of the Washington Post’s account of Trump’s latest attack on Sessions and how Sessions responded

“Trump, speaking to Fox News Channel, said that Sessions “never took control of the Justice Department” and again faulted him for recusing himself from the ongoing investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign. “What kind of man is this?” the president asked.

Sessions pushed back hours after Trump spoke, saying the Justice Department will not be “improperly influenced by political considerations. I took control of the Department of Justice the day I was sworn in, which is why we have had unprecedented success at effectuating the President’s agenda….,” said Sessions.

Whoa, horse, could Sessions have had enough?

“Ridden hard” and constantly being “put away wet,” is it possible that Trump’s original war horse would decide to tell Mueller everything he knows? Even at the risk of his own legal jeopardy?

As Sessions surveys his situation he also sees that his Republican “friends” in the Senate who have previously warned Trump not to fire him are beginning to sing a different tune.

Senator Lyndsey Graham says he won’t be surprised if Trump fires Sessions after the fall election since Trump “doesn’t feel comfortable with him” and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, who once pointedly told Trump his Committee would not be able to find time to confirm a new Attorney General, says, in fact. he would have time to do it later this year. Just stating a fact, not giving an opinion on what Trump should do, Grassley  said.

Ha!

Keep pushing and humiliating Sessions, President Trump, please keep riding him hard for not protecting you against the law, against your enemies as you believe any loyal servant of yours should.

Of course, the last Attorneys General who did that – John Mitchell and Richard Kleindienst – were convicted of crimes in the service of their boss.

Richard M Nixon.

Mitchell was convicted of multiple crimes and spent nineteen months in prison. Kleindienst was convicted of refusing to testify accurately before the Senate (what a break in charging when the charge could have been perjury). He paid a hundred dollar fine and was given a suspended sentence of thirty days in jail.

Now, Trump asks contemptuously of his Attorney General “what kind of a man is this?”

Perhaps, Mr. President, you really don’t want to find out.

Yes, the actors for this play are assembling; the producer carefully writing a libretto of devastating impact for the audience of Americans who love their Country and want to see it “Restored Again.”

Curtain about to go up!

Truth Is On The March, Rudy, And Nothing Will Stop It!

Rudy Giuliani (America’s Mayor?), now in the service of Donald J Trump,  explained on NBC’s Meet the Press why his client should not submit to an interview with Special Council Robet Mueller.

He said that  Trump might be falling into a “perjury trap” since, quote, “the Truth  is not the Truth,” explaining that someone’s statement of what is true may not be someone else’s  statement of what is true. Who , then, is to say what is the truth with such conflicting asssertions of the same thing?”

Such as if Trump says one thing and his accusor says another thing, for Trump to testify makes him liable to committing perjury if the other fellow’s statement is accepted over Trump’s by the Special Council.

Here is the link to the exchange with MTP host Chuch Todd:

Breathtakng. Truth is not the Truth?  Is America’s Mayor Crazy?

Like a Fox!

We are in the “end game” phase of all this and Donald J Trump and his band of selfish enablers know the vise is closing. Their last, great hope is to “muddy” the waters to the extent that the Amerian majority will somehow  not accept the findings of the Special Counsel.

So why not suggest there are “alternative” truths  – Trump’s and the Special Counsel’s?

Now really, consider: Did I rob the bank yesterday? I say I didn’t, the police say I did. Are these equal “truth’s” and if I give mine am I ipso facto in a “perjury trap?”

No, the evidence will show that I did or I didn’t, which “truth”  is backed up or not by the facts? And if I comitted perjury in saying I didn’t when the facts show that I did, was that a trap? No, the facts and my own lying tongue tripped me up, not a prosecutor’s “trap.”

And that is what the Trumpsters are so desperately afraid of, that the  facts as shown by evidence will pin Donald J Trump to the “Wall of Justice.” That is why Rudy Giuliani spews nonsense in the desperate hope that enough people will believe it.

Forgedda about it, Rudy. Give it up. You can’t win.

Emil Zola said it best in defending French Army Captain Alfred Dreyfus, who was falsely charged with treason. As a jew , Dreyfus had become a target in a time of extreme anti semitism.

Pointing to the mounting evidence of Dreyfus’s innocence, Zola said:

“Truth is on the march. And nothing can stop it.”

Dreyfus  was exonerated. And you, Donald J Trump, what will the unstoppable truth do to you?

Revoke my security clearance, too, Mr. President

We are no longer amazed when, after months and months of outrageous conduct, Donald J Trump sinks to a new low.

But it never occured to me that in a “fit” of anger he would have the audacity, really the supidity to move to revoke or threaten to revoke the security clearances of some of our Country’s most fervent patriots who have guarded us and our secrets so ably because they have openly criticized him and his policies.

This isn’t just another example of his “thin skin.” Or his stupidity. It is taking an action that hurts our Country and its standards of fairness, one that says citizens do not have a 1st amendment right to critcize him free from punishment.

Plato said Justice is giving each man his due. John Brennan’s “due” was not to have his security clearance revoked in a moment of narcisstic “fit,” but to be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his service as CIA Director and in other important government posts.

Retired Admiral William McRaven, the officer who oversaw the raid that killed Osama bin Laden,  has written a letter  to Trump which was also posted in the Washington Post.

He told Trump what he thought of Brennan and made a fierce, personal  request:

“He is a man of unparalleled integrity, whose honesty and character have never been in question, except by those who don’t know him.

Therefore, I would consider it an honor if you would revoke my security clearance as well, so I can add my name to the list of men and women who have spoken up against your presidency.”

Here is the link to Admiral McRaven’s full article.

https://wapo.st/2OG8gCS?tid=ss_mail&utm_term=.af27662d4a0

Of course, there are some who disagree with Admiral McRaven. One is Senator John Kennedy, Republican from Louisiana, not to be confused with the president who bore the same name.

This Kennedy, upon learning of Trump’s “fit,” called Brennan a “butthead” who doesn’t need the clearance.

I invite you to google Senator John N. Kennedy and upon reading of his latest antic in attempting to derail prison reform decide who it is that deserves the noble slam of “butthead.”

So, let me join Admiral McRaven and ask that my security clearances be revoked. There was a minor one when I was an officer on active duty in the U S Army for two and a half years in the mid-fifties. And there was another minor one when I held a White House press pass in the seventies, eighties and nineties.

I’m sure my clearances were revoked routinely long ago but if not, kindly add my name  to the list of those who would join McRaven in his protest over Brennan’s loss.

Lord knows I’ve criticzed and will continue to criticize Donald J Trump enough to qualify for his wrath.

When I contemplate what has been done to Brennan in this instance and to so many others through cruel and hateful actions and policies and by whom, a line from the movie Quo Vadis comes to mind (you know how I love old movies).

The scene takes place  in the time of the Emperor Nero – an insane ruler who not only burned Rome but murdered his mother. A Roman Senator who opposes Nero is about to take his own life in order to deprive Nero of the pleasure of killing him.

The senator dictates a letter to Nero letting him know how he feels about him as tbe “physician” cuts a vein in his arm.

And the line I like best is this one: “To be born in your reign is a miscalculation; but to die in it is a joy.”

 

 

 

 

Blowing In The Wind – 2018

Listening to music tonight (it soothes the savage  breast), I stumbled on a song from the sixties.

A time when the Country was being torn apart by the Vietnam war and the insistence of Lyndon Johnson, our president, to press on despite the mounting evidence that we were embarked on “a fool’s errand” and worse, a killing field for us and countless other human beings.

It is against this background which I lived through – In Washington and in Vietnam – that the song has resonance. Perhaps, for you who may not have lived in that area,  it may ring a cord for today.

 

Yes, indeed, and today, if that is possible,  is more frightful. The “wind” is more terrible.

In the 1960s, Lyndon Johnson following his two predecessor’s policy, sought to prevent Communism from overtaking South Vietnam.

In fact, the Vietnamese had been separated by us – by our own Secretary of State John Foster Dulles at the Geneva Treaty of 1954 – when the French had to give up their attempt to reclaim their Vietnamese Empire of pre-WWII existence.

Dulles divided the Country between the communist North and a new entity in the South, which we called South Vietnam. And Lyndon Johnson, coming to office after Dwight Eisenhower and John F Kennedy,  did his best to prevent a Northern communist takeover of South Vietnam.

But the Vietnamese were one people and they wanted to live together. And so, after all our efforts, after all those “How many, Times,” they did.

Lyndon Johnson, no longer president, gone to ground on his Texas ranch with long white unkempt hair, died in 1972, of a final heart attack.

Broken.

He was a good man who perused a terribly flawed policy (read Robert McNamara’s apologia).

But today?

Today, the President of the United States is not following his processor’s flawed policy.  He is making up his own terrible policy – to border immigrants, to our NATO allies, to our neighbor friends Mexico and Canada, to our global trading partners, to our fellow citizens in need, and to so much more.

For Donald J Trump there is no excuse that he is following U S policy. There is no excuse that he is trying something new for the benefit of all his fellow citizens.

But what will be Donald J Trump’s excuse?

I can’t imagine he will offer one.

Blowing In The Wind!

 

 

 

 

 

 

A “Nothingburger” And Other Oddities

In reviewing my Posts, I discovered that one I had written weeks ago never did get Posted but was lodged in my Draft file.   But why waste Copy?  And besides, it is practically Trump free, something that until we are rid of our Presidential man-child you may never find on this website again!!!

From out of the past, read on:

In talking to a young friend today about the Trump-Kim summit I said it is my view that the meeting produced little more than a spectacular theatrical bust.

“You mean it was a “nothingburger,” he replied. He said the word “bust” has lost its impact in describing failure or something less than advertised. The word is “nothingburger.”

Which got me to thinking about all the other ways English usage has  changed since I was a lad.

At the breakfast counter the server asks “Did you want another cup of coffee” and I feel like answering the question asked, as in “Yes, I did want another cup and I still do” or “Yes, I did want another cup but you didn’t come by quick enough and now I don’t have time for one. The check please.” Once I did try “no, but I do now” which only confused my server and I never got it.

Why ask about my past desires? Why not make it what it is, the present, as in “do you want…” or “would you like…”  I  suppose the answer is that for some people it sounds more polite to be less direct.

Well, usage changes, like it or not. And so does other ways and customs.

I hate it when a sale clerk, restaurant server, other people I go to for services greets my wife and me with a cherry “how you guys doing today” or “just a minute, you guys, I’ll find you a table,” etc.

I’m a guy but my wife isn’t. And besides, there is no need to address us with any salutation. A simple “good evening, may I help you” will do.

But I suppose the person thinks calling us “guys” sounds friendly. But at a restaurant I’m not looking for a friend, I’m looking for a meal.

Which brings me to the awful use of over cordiality in what is at heart a business transaction.

When I approach the check-in desk at a hotel and the  clerk greets me with “Hey, good to see you, how you doing today, did you have a great trip coming in, where are you from, are you here for the Buck’s game (?)” I grit my teeth to keep from snarling “None of that is any of your business, here’s my credit card (and driver’s license) just give me my room key.

The point is,  we, the clerk and I, are not “friends” although each of us should be courteous in handling our business transaction.

But cut the small talk, the “touchy feely” talk. They must teach clerks, servers, and others who wait on the public to make it personal, to make me feel special, to make me feel, well, befriended.

What I feel is often tired and out of sorts. But I try to hide it, particularly when a stranger approaches me at, say, an airport because I look familiar to them  having spent fifty two years in the television news business. They were once my customers and you want to always treat the customers with respect.

Often they think they know who I am and address me as “Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw, Ted Koppel…” to which I reply “No, I’m not him” and move on quickly. When they try “Peter Jennings” I reply, “No, he’s dead” and move on quickly.

Sometimes they actually know my name and use it immediately which surprises me since for years now I have been a “nothingburger” when it comes to TV exposure.

But more often than not they aren’t sure who I am and employ various techniques in an effort to find out.

For instance:

-“Are you somebody I should know” and “Are you a celebrity?”  To these I answer a polite “no.”

-“I know I used to see you on TV news, but can’t think of your name – what is it?” To this I reply “Sam Donaldson.” Usually that does it although once when I gave that answer, the person said sharply “No, that’s not it” and demanded that I try again.

A few timid souls who  know my name are so afraid they might have it wrong that they try the following:

“Excuse me, but has anyone every told you, you look like Sam Donaldson?” For the longest time I couldn’t figure out how to answer that – “Yes, No, I can’t remember?”

Finally I decided to respond with “Yes, my mother did. When I was born she told me ‘you look like Sam Donaldson, so that’s your name. Remember it’.”

But no matter what a stranger says, if he or she wants  a “selfie” I throw my arm around them and put on a big smile.

As we squint into the camera I hope when the “stranger” is convicted of being the biggest drug dealer on the East Coast or an ax murderer in the style of “lizzie” Borden, the newspaper picture will read “Here  (the convict) is seen with his/her good friend Tom Brokaw!”

Time to go – See you guys later.

 

Our Fellow Americans?

Jennifer Rubin’s column in the Washington Post of August 1, 2018, has energized me to blog again. It has been some time since my last blog only because of the fact of summer vacation and other pressing matters.

But Ms. Rubin struck a nerve of mine that has been twitching for some time.

https://wapo.st/2M7J1Zk?tid=ss_mail&utm_term=.22bd322865c0

At first glance this column  appears to be about Trumpsters treatment of the press but it soon reveals itself to be about the hard core Trumpsters themselves.

Early on, I wrote a blog about Americans who had voted for Trump. Exempting the Nazis and those dedicated to refighting the civil war in order to reclaim their former slaves, I said these voters are our fellow Americans and we must help redress their grievances that caused so many to believe erroneously that Trump would be their champion for a better life.

You know, the usual “claptrap” from a “lilly livered liberal.”

But as I’ve watched the hard cored Trump supporter  remain unwilling or  unable to spearate lies, cruelty and failure from the facts and truth and decent moral values which have been the bedrock of our Country, I have come to the conclusion that many of our “fellow Americans” are not reclaimable, can not be brought back through a calm recitiation of the evidence and personal help.

Like all of us, they have “made their bed” and must now lie in it (a helping hand extended is simply bitten off) but the rest of us are not obligated to lie in it with them.

Whether through willful ignorance or calclated malevelance, they are beyond redemption. That does not mean they should be deprived of their right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” or Constitutional and Legal safeguards, only that in their twisted “pursuit of happiness” they must be resisted, not coddled and cuddled, but resisted with every legal means at our disposal.

Voting and shunning come to mind.

Enough of this “let’s respect the other fellow’s point of view and accomodate it” when that view is one of know-nothing, unthinking  hatred of the methods and values that guide our democracy and civil life.

Throughout our history, there has always been a body of Americans who march to a different and false “drummer.” We have survived them and we will survive the ForeverTrumpsters.

Resistance to Donald J Trump and his hard core band of followers, fueled by never ceasing outrage at their attack on the rest of us, is the key. And our non-Trump majority of Americans must follow Benjamin Franklin’s advise rendered on the occassion of the first crisis of our new Nation: ”We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.”

The Valkyries Ride Again

Now comes the child king, the infant terrible, forced by those around him to attempt to dial back his remarks, clean up his act, talk as if he were the president of the United States instead of Vladimir Putin’s great friend, benefactor and protector.

Trump had clearly said  (the video tape of his remarks leaves no room for ambiguity) that while U. S. Intellgience agencies insisted the Ruissians had tired to interfere with our elections President Putin had made a very strong statement that they had not and, said Trump, “I have confidence in both parties.”

No, Donald, there are not two parties, only one – the facts, the truth.  Russia either did or didn’t.

And you, the President of the United States, said you couldn’t decide whether the Intelligence chiefs (unanimously) whom you had appointed to their positions were correct or not.

The communication networks – commerical, social, pubic and private lighted up with outrage. And, never wanting to give ground even when the ground on which you stand is quicksand, you decided to “walk back” your statement and view.

Did you do that in humble apology, contrite admission of error, promising to do better in the future?

Don’t make us laugh.

Of course not.

The report in the Washington post of how Trump did it is classic. It reads, in part:

“As he began to read his statement reversing what he’d said in Helsinki, Trump, who started his appearance with less formal comments about his European trip, made a show of demonstrating to the TV audience that he was now reading from a script.

Although he’d been speaking for several minutes, he abruptly changed to a more formal tone of voice, and said, “So I’ll begin by stating that I have full faith and support for America’s great intelligence agencies.”


Trump, seen here in a file photo, likes to toss aside the script to signal to his audience that they should believe what he says off the cuff, not what he has been required to say. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

He read from the paper: “Let me be totally clear in saying that — and I’ve said this many times — I accept our intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election took place.”

Then he looked up. Change of tone, to the casual Trump, the voice his followers know conveys his true feelings. And he interjected: “Could be other people also. A lot of people out there.” (bolding added)

Ho, Ho, Donald, the “dog whistle” to your faithful followers has been sent. And he knows that the rest of us know what he did. But that is not important to him.

What is important to him is that his “base” understands that what he said in Helsinki standing besides Putin is what he means and this “sop” to the critics around him means nothing. He is still their strong champion against the Establishment Elites and the more he sticks it in the eye of those “elites,” the more they love him!

Later, in a second attempt to wiggle out from under the great rock of outrage under which he had placed himself, Trump tried telling us that he had “mispoken” when he said the following, as heard on the video tape, as written in the official transcript:

“My people came to me, Dan Coats came to me and some others and said they think it’s Russia. I have President Putin. He just said it’s not Russia. I will say this. I don’t see any reason why it would be…But I have confidence in both parties.”

Trump now says he meant to say “I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be(bold added)  rather than what he actually said.

“Would” turned into “wouldn’t” and that makes it all right?

Again, don’t make us laugh.

How will he try to clean up the truly daming  line that follows whatever word is there, the line that he has “confidence in both parties,” meaning U S Intelligence agencies… and… Vladimir Putin?

Oh, as the old saw goes, “what tangled webs we weave when first we practice to deceive.” 

So, why does he go to great lengths to keep the lie alive that our Intelligence agencies have it wrong? Because the same Intelligence assessments he tries to undermine also say the Russian efforts were aimed at helping Donald J Trump win the presidency. And if you follow that string to a logical conclusion you may find he and his friend Vladimir Putin were working together on this project.

And that, my friends, would bring the Valkyries down on him with a fury (Odin’s maidens who flew to a battlefield to decide who would live and who would die). Trump would be buried, his memory to live forever only in the anals of histories most comtemptible figures and biggest losers.

Ride, Valkyries, ride!

delenda est Trump(ism).

 

 

 

A Date Which Will Live In Infamy

Listening to the joint news conference in Helsinki as Donald J Trump and Valdimir Putin stood side by side in blossoming solidarity and friendship with our president taking Putin’s side continually against the facts and finding it impossible to render even the mildest of complaints against Putin’s evil actions, I heard a voice from the past play through my mind.

I heard the voice of Frankline Delano Roosevelt.

“Yesterday, December 7, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy – the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.”

And I thought –

Today, July 16, 2018 – a date which will live in infamy -the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by the President of the United  States of  America, Donald J Trump.

Then our nation faced  mortal danger from large, foreign military forces arrayed against us.

Now  our nation faces  mortal danger from a President and his domestic allies who work to destroy our Institutions,  our world wide alliances, our inherited values of comity and humanity and our pre-eminent place  among nations.

And today, instead of defending our country, Trump in the presence of a clear enemy of our country attacked it!

As I listened, Roosevelt’s words on that other day of “infamy” took on new meaning –

“Always will we remember the character of the onslaught against us. No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.

I believe I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost but will make very certain that this form of treachery shall never endanger us again.

Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory and our interests are in grave danger.

With confidence in our armed forces – with the unbounded determination of our people – we will gain the inevitable triumph – so help us God.”

Pray that the victory after  December 7, 1941, will be joined by a victory after July 16, 2018 – that Donald J Trump and what Trumpism stands for will be excised from the fabric of our nation and that we will then have  the same “new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth” which Abraham Lincoln wished for in 1863, at Gettysburg.

Lincoln’s wish was fulfilled.

But if Trump and Trumpism is not defeated, it may well be that this nation as we know it shall indeed perish from the earth.


Footnote – In 1945, July 16 produced another “day of infamy” if one considers that the weapon born that day within weeks had killed 120 thousand people instantly and eventually many tens of thousands more. And by now has multiplied in the stockpiles of many nations to the extent that if fully used it can kill us all.

That morning before dawn, J.Robert Oppenheimer and his fellow Los Alamos scientists, huddling in the New Mexico desert, suddenly saw a brilliant burst of light as if from the sun and heard the giant thunder clap of a mighty explosian.

It was not Roosevelt’s Pearl Harbor speech that came to Oppenheimer’s mind.

He said what he thought of at that moment was Vishnu’s terrible line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad Gita, “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”

The Queen and Donald J Trump

Your first thought in reading the title of this little piece is that once again I’m going to “hammer” Donald J Trump. If you’ve read any of my past blogs that would be the logical assumption.

But in this case, that would be wrong!

I see that many on social media and columnists in some newspapers are taking our president to task for “walking in front of the Queen.” the lady whose title in England is”  Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas Queen, Defender of the Faith.

When Trump met the Queen the video shows that he was somewhat ackward and looked somewhat uncomfortable (but who wouldn’t in a first time meeting  the Royalty of Royalty)?  But it appeard to me from what I could see in watching the video that he was trying hard to do the right thing. I know, I know, that thought is indeed foreign to almost anything connected with this man but that’s what I think.

At the moment that has “lighted up” the gadflys, they have been walking mainly side by side but have reached the point where they must pivot to walk in front of the royal guard to troop the line and inspect the guard.

The Queen is seen to gesture to Trump and indicate he should pivot to the right. He clearly hesitates not sure of how he should do that but it looks to me like his hesitation springs from a desire to do it right rather than from some country bumpkin feeling of disrespect.

The Queen persists in gesturing him to move on. He does but in so doing necessarily moves ahead of her and since she has not sprung forward (she’s 92, you know and not given to the spritly girlish sprint) for two or three steps he is walking directly in front of  her (since she is only 5 feet 4 inches she almost disappears).

Now, we might imagine that the Trump we know and do not “cherish” would, having found hmself in the “cat bird” seat, move forward smartly to inspect the troops by himself. But no, realizing he is alone, he stops. And the Queen comes round from behind to his right and then the two march forward.

In sum, I yield to no one in my criticims of Donald J Trump, a truly ignorant and dangerous man who “by the grace” of a minority of the voters landed in the Oval Office. Others may disagree withe me, of course, but I am prepared to defend my criticisms with facts and logic.

But in this instance I have explained why the facts (as I know them) and the logic is on the side of defending him from the awful crime of “walking in from of the Queen.”

In the spirit of full disclosure, I tell you of an incident involving the Queen from which much criticism was heaped on me by the British press and some portion of the British public.

One time when President Reagan and his wife Nancy visited the Queen, I was a member of the press pool that was taken to a room in the palace where the three of them were to meet.

The Queen and the Reagans faced the cameras and began a “photo op” chit-chat.

I spoke up with one of my “rude, mad dog, gotcha questions.”

“Your magesty,” I said ( addressing the Queen although I thought Nancy twiched a bit), “is it good to see your friends the Reagans again?”

The Queen smiled faintly, for a moment stared into space, then led the Reagans from the room with nary a word.

The British press present jumped on me, I received a number of invitations to appear on local television shows to receive additional plummingly as “the ugly, disrespetful American.”

You see, I had forgetton that one does not speak first to Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas Queen, Defender of the Faith. 

One speaks to her only after  she has first spoken to you.

Under the rule, then, it was no wonder that the Queen did not reply to my  viscous question with something like “You ‘betcha britches,” they are wonderful kids, such fun people and I’m looking forward to “dishing the dirt” with them over a few glasses of good port” or reply at all.

I’ve confessed my error and you may think I am supporting Donald J Trump in the present instance because I want to get back at the Queen for throwing me “under the (British) bus.” I assure you that is not the case.

I thoroughly enjoyed joisting with the British press, replaying Yorktown, the Burning of the White House, and other moments in our two countries history. Moreover, I like and admire the Queen and believe she has throughout her long reign conducted herself with dignity, propriety and humanity.

Okay, there was the time when she seemed to want to ignore the death of Princess Di until Prime Minister Tony Blair convinced her if she didn’st snap to she was in danger of losing her throne.  But, hey, we, Donald Trump and I, have demosntrated  anyone can  make a mistake and understanding and forgiveness is a big part of the Chritian faith.

I’m not sure how the Muslims and the Mexicans feel about it.