Truth – Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

06.01.2019

Truth

All politicians lie. Even my favorite ones.

They lie about their intentions, they lie about their motivations, they skew the data to support their position, the promise what they know they cannot deliver.

Such is the nature of politics.

We lie to ourselves when we give credence to them, when we take the hand that we are offered as they lead us down the primrose bath. We slip on the shaded lenses, focus on the technicolor dream, narrow our criticism while they slip on the blinders. We are willing accomplices in all this.

Have we entered a new era? It seems that we have.

Truth itself is under attack, our ability to understand it to predicate policy on it, to cleave to its norms, those things too have seemingly been swept away.

We used to be able to acknowledge and appreciate a difference between the elected (political) leadership in government, and those career bureaucrats who keep the institutions running, year after year, through all of the ups-and-downs in the political fortunes of either party.

The safeguards that protected those structures have been undone.

We are in a dangerous place.

I listened to Mitch McConnell coyly suggest that if a vacancy in the Supreme Court were to appear in the presidential election year he would seek to fill the seat, he laughed as he said it, remembering how he refused to have hearings on President Obama’s last nominee on the grounds that it was a presidential election year, and the voters should decide.

He was lying about his motives then, he gave a deceptive rationale. He overturned constitutional norms to have his way, and now he would gleefully go back on himself.

President Trump nominated men to the highest court who told bald faced lies to the Senate in their confirmation hearings, perjuring themselves before the bar of justice, so that they could ascend to the highest place.

They had no regard for the truth.

The truth is under constant assault.

All politicians lie, but none have ever lied as much as Donald Trump, or dragged so many with them into the morass of lies as he has, just because they fear for their political life, or things they might enrich themselves from the little crumbs that he might drop from the table.

How did we get to this place where a bankrupt TV star, the World’s biggest loser, one Donald J. Trump, conspired with our adversaries, the Russians to get himself elected President of the United States, and nearly half the country does not care.

He get up on TV and lies to the American people everyday, and they do not protest.

They repeat his lies when he says that Mexico will pay for his wall, that China is paying for his tariffs, that he cut taxes for the average people,

They accept his love affair with the leader of North Korea, and the unreciprocated bro-mance he has going with Vladimir Putin.

What has happened here?

Where are the patriots among the republican electorate?

Why don’t they abandon him?

The republican party is anathema to America. They do not want a constitutional government, they are not worthy of the name republican. They do not want to live in a representative democracy, they are afraid of the people and an informed electorate.

They lie, cheat, and steal, because they hate America.

Impeach Him – Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion
03.16.2019

Impeach Him

I am not sure what is going on with the work that congress has undertaken to exercise oversight on the Trump administration, to investigate his lies and crimes, both before he took office and after.

There is a lot of ground to cover, and it makes no sense for the Democratic Party’s leadership in Congress to take impeachment off the table.

Clinton was impeached, though he was not removed from office he was impeached, and that is a permanent part of the record of his presidency.

Trump deserves no less.

Impeachment without removal from office is still impeachment, and the things this man has done, mark him as the most corrupt president in the history of the United States. The house of representatives needs to impeach him, regardless of whether the senate will toss him out of office.

The man has lied, suborned perjury, cheated, stolen, obstructed justice and abused power. He will into be indicted for his crimes while he occupies the oval office. Therefore he must be impeached.

Impeachment hearing must be held, it must be debated on the floor. Every congressperson must be forced to vote on it, and everyone in the senate has to be put on the record, stating unequivocally how much the value the principles of our democracy.

Speaker of the House Pelosi, and the rest of the leadership who are hedging, the just need to learn how to tell the story. Impeachment does not need to end with the Trump being expelled from office.

Impeaching Trump is step one and it is the responsibility of the House of Representatives. Expelling him from office is the responsibility of the Senate. If he is impeached and the senate elects to not throw him out, that is on the Senate. He will still have been impeached.

Do it now.

Destroying the Truth – Editorial, The Week in Review

Analysis, Commentary, Opinion
09.12.2018

Destroying the Truth

Twenty years ago the Republicans in the House, many of them, like South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, still serving in congress, impeached President Bill Clinton, for the crime of perjury.

They impeached him for lying under oath. They failed to convict him in the Senate, but all of the republicans in the Senate at the time voted to convict, many of them are still there now, like the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Chuck Grassley, the Senator from Iowa.

These hypocrites pretended that fidelity to the truth was so important that they would throw the duly elected President out of office, because he lied to federal investigators, under oath, in the context of a hyper partisan investigation that began by looking at some real estate deals and ended up focusing on a consensual sexual relationship between him a white house intern

The Republicans in the Senate do not care for the truth, not one jot, the truth is a thing to be parsed for political advantage, they themselves are sworn to uphold the law and to protect and preserve the Constitution of the United Sates of America, now they are willing to turn a blind while Judge Brett Kavanaugh, lies to their face, not once or twice, but repeatedly.

My opinion is not the judgment of a court of law, I do not have hold back from expressing it until I wait for evidence to be presented that convinces me beyond a reasonable doubt.

I am just a private citizen, and I have seen enough from this guy and his apologists in the Republican Party, the President and the Senate, the members of the house and all of their paid pundits, to know that this man lied in his testimony before the senate.

He lied in these hearings related to his candidacy to sit on the Supreme Court, and he lied in his testimony when he was first made a federal judge.

He lied.

He lied about his activities in the Office of Legal Council for President George W. Bush.

He lied about his receipt and use of stolen e-mails from the Democratic members of congress.

He lied about his connections to the law firm of the current President of the United States.

Now he is lying about his sexual assault of a fifteen year old girl when he was in high school.

Everyone knows he has lied about these things and is lying. The President knows, the Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky knows, every member of the Judiciary Committee knows.

Everyone in the world who has paid any attention to his nomination hearings knows that he is willing to commit the crime of perjury, the crime they impeached Bill Clinton for, he is willing to commit that crime over and over again, just so that he can get a life time appointment to the Supreme Court.

He knows he is a lying liar, and he just does not care. For him, and everyone who is supporting him, the adherence to the truth is a matter of convenience.

They are like the old man in Tom Wolf’s novel, Bonfire of the Vanities, who tells his son, “If the truth won’t set you free…then lie.”

I prefer the wisdom of Merlin, who tells King Arthur when he asked what the greatest quality of knighthood is, Truth he says, it is Truth, “because when you lie, you murder a part of the world.”

Step back for a moment and have some perspective. I know we are not going to stop the lying liars from lying, and every politician lies, republicans have not cornered the market on it, and the democrats in office, even the most virtuous of them prevaricate.

This is different, there are nine members of the Supreme Court, the sit there for life, they have the power to interpret law in such as way as to make sweeping changes in our culture. They are no elected, they are nominate and then confirmed by the Senate.

This conservative Republican Party can find someone else to take the seat on the highest court. They can and they should find someone who does not have to lie to get past his hearings, who isn’t guilty of the things he is guilty of, and he is guilty of them.

He is guilty of sexually assaulting that girl when he was in high school, and he is guilty of lying about it now.

And that is where we are.

May You Live in Interesting Times ~ Ancient Curse (Part Five)

Editorial, The Week in Review – Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

09.17.2016

 

May You Live in Interesting Times ~ Ancient Curse

 

Part Five

 

The campaign for the presidency stayed interesting this week, and dismaying.

 

Former 1st lady, former Senator, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton returned to the campaign trail after taking a few days of rest to recuperate from a bout of bacterial pneumonia. She had to take some time off to rest and recover, even in the midst of republican conspiracies that have been circulating about her health, her physical strength, the limits of her endurance, and her stamina.

 

Hillary Clinton did not want to show weakness; this is both understandable, and forgivable. However, her flagging health fed directly into the rumors her opponents had been circulating against her.

 

She responded by taking her rest, releasing an update to her health records, and the coming back to the campaign in force. Meanwhile her opponent, Donald Trump, T-Rump, issued a new health summary that lied about his height, his weight, and in his typical macho-man fashion, his testosterone level. Because he lies so much, the entire report may well be false.

 

It is the middle of September, and there is only slightly more than one and a half months to go until election day, and at this late point in the campaign the media is finally figuring out that they have a responsibility to call T-Rump on his lies, or at least some of them. They did not call him out on the obvious lies written in his health summary.

 

Many journalists have however called T-Rump out for lying about Hillary Clinton, lying about the role her 2008 presidential campaign played in promoting the conspiracy theory that our President; Barrack Obama, is not a citizen, and therefore not eligible to be President of the United States.

 

T-Rump was himself the chief promoter of that conspiracy. He promoted it arduously, for many years, while at the same time promoting the idea, that he is secretly a Muslim, secretly in league with the terrorists who threaten our citizens, and our interests around the world, secretly not a graduate of Harvard University, and so forth, and so on.

 

This week, with one sentence, T-Rump tried to escape responsibility for that, and blame Hillary instead. It was sad, it was pathetic, it was obvious, and utterly false.

 

The man is a shameless liar.

 

The media seemed to catching on this week. The began to call T-Rump out for these obvious lies, and they have begun to talk openly about his habit of lying. The question remains, can they keep it up? Will they be able to challenge him and his people whenever they lie? Can they investigate his pattern of fabrications? Will they be able to hold him accountable?

 

T-Rump ended his week by suggesting that Hillary’s Secret Service detail be disarmed, musing about what would likely happen to her if they were not armed, feeding into a pattern of his, wherein he suggests possible avenues of violence that could be directed toward her, and seeming to delight in it.

 

T-Rump will not be satisfied if he does not win. He would rather see his opponent killed than lose, and if he does win, he threatens to lock her up, to silence any possible avenues of dissent coming from her, her camp, or her supporters.

 

They are interesting, sad, and doleful times.

The Brexit…Exit Common Sense – Editorial, The Week in Review – Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

06.25.2016

The Brexit…Exit Common Sense

We are in a place that our culture has not occupied in my lifetime. By our culture I mean, our American-Western-European culture.

We are in a place of nonsense, of anti-intellectualism, of abject denial, of absurdity.

We are in a place where the average person knows nothing about their government, economics, science, and they imagine themselves as being wiser than people who have studies these things their entire life.

  • The masses are shouting that the earth is flat, and the universe less than 10,000 years old.
  • There are no such things as greenhouse gasses-global warming is a myth.
  • Nicotine does not cause cancer – go ahead and vape.
  • Walt Disney faked the moon landing.
  • My religion is better than yours (even though no-one can ever know the truth).
  • My book is more authentic (even though it is all mythology).
  • My Christian witness more faithful (because I hate in the name of Jesus).

This week the people of The United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union because they had been fed a lie about how their membership in that international organization was holding them back. The majority of those voting to leave were old, poor, uneducated, rural voters who were being told that their future prosperity, their retirement security, their access to health care depended on their “going it alone.”

The following day global markets plunged, the English pound fell to a fifty year low. The people that were lying to them about how much money would be freed to flow into the health care system, came on T.V. and admitted that those claims were false.

Millions of those who voted to exit the E.U., for Britain to leave, to “brexit”- broke it, finding themselves bereft of common sense – they want their vote back, but there is no redo.

Their Prime Minister; David Cameron called for the referendum as a gamble. He never wanted to leave the E.U., he called for the vote because he thought he would win, and thereby silence the critics of globalization and modernity.

He lost and now he has resigned.

Millions of young, college educated, urban voters have been left out in the cold. They are facing another decade of recession, they are no longer free to travel, to work, to go to school, to develop new relationships, to find spouses, to raise families anywhere in Europe. They are holed up on their island; in despair.

Now Scotland wants to leave the U.K., and Northern Ireland, and France is talking about “frexit,” the Netherlands are talking about “nexit,” generations of work to make Europe a safe and inclusive place, to set aside war and conflict in favor of open borders, and free trade. That work is gone, set aside, undone.

There in Europe, and here in America, those masses of people our speaking from a place of fear, and imagined insecurity. They are afraid of immigrants, they are afraid of education, they want guns to protect themselves from the “other”, and to win the lottery. When they have more to fear from the gun in their own home, and their possibility of being struck by lightning is greater than the chance that they will pull the Powerball.

Wake up America…

Wake up and vote…

The Deal with Iran – Editorial, The Week in Review – Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

01.23.2015

The Deal with Iran

The United States of America; our government did something good this week. We entered into a fundamentally new, and different relationship with the nation of Iran. Iran which has been our “enemy” for these past thirty-seven, the theocracy of Iran, Iran took our people hostage in 1979 and held them for four hundred and forty-four days, Iran who leaders refer to America as the Great Satan, Iran who we name as the world’s chief sponsor of terrorism, Iran whose people gather to shout in ritual “death to America” and “death to Israel” our ally; we struck a bargain with Iran, and we are keeping it.

The United States of America, together with the United Nations asked the Iranians to give up their program to develop atomic weapons. Their pursuit of those weapons had brought severe economic sanctions to the Iranian people, locking them out of trade and commerce, and locking us into a mode of antagonism with their government that to many observers seemed intractable.

In the United States Congress there was united opposition among republicans, together with some opposition among democrats, those office holders did not even want us to talk to Iran, let alone make a deal.

Our ally Israel lobbied vigorously against the deal once the structure was in place. Their prime minister came to America and spoke directly to congress urging them to oppose it, threatening unilateral military action against Iran, and cheered on by the bellicose right wing in our country.

Nevertheless, the wheels turned, diplomacy prevailed, the bargain was made, and the initial terms of the agreement were met by Iran, this week. Allowing the United States and all of those other nations who came with us to the bargaining table to announce an end to those sanctions, providing relief to the Iranian people, freeing billions of their assets, and creating a basis for future cooperation between them and us.

The first fruits of that new relationship came the first day, as the Iranians released a number of United States Citizens from prison, allowing them to return home, and we did the same for them. This exchange of prisoners was not formally built into the agreement on nuclear weapons, but most people believe that it was “baked in.”

What is best about this deal, as far as I am concerned is the prospect of having normal relations with Iran. “Normalizing” relations is a long term goal, no one our government will even use those words, but with these steps we are moving in that direction, whereas one year ago, we were still drifting apart.

This is what we should all hold in mind. Iran is Persia. All of the Iranians I have ever met refer to themselves as Persians. Persia is a civilization stretching back in time for thousands of years, they are cultured, they are modern, they have split the atom…of all of the nations in that region, they are our natural ally, more so than most of the Arab states, more so than the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, whose tribal societies are so corrupt they may as well be lawless.

The Islamic militants that we are struggling with in the Levant come from that lawless Arabian culture. There backward interpretations of the Qur’an come from the fundamentalist madrasas funded and operated, exported to the Muslim world by the House of Saud.

This is not to say that the Iranians are free from the coercive forces of rightwing militant fundamentalism, they are not, they are a theocracy. The United States is not free from the forces of rightwing militant fundamentalism, there are many in our country who believe we are a “Christian” nation, and that have a sacred obligation to wage war on the enemies of Israel (as they perceive them to be), or the enemies of Christ (as they perceive them to be), even though Jesus himself had no enemies.

What Iran does have, is a society and a culture that is thousands of years old, that is rooted in law, and order, and science and technology, which is something that our other, so-called allies in the region are not.