Socialism: Free enterprise with a conscience.
In April, after cherry-picking a few of “President Donald Trump’s Fabrications and Lies” I pointed out that a Google search on the subject brings up over seventy hits! April 29 the Washington Post’s Fact Checker reported that since taking office the number of President Donald Trump’s fabrications and misleading claims had reached 10,000!
The latest—as of last evening—compels me to revisit the subject. Concluding his recent Korean taxpayer-funded, campaign photo-op Trump claimed that the Obama Administration’s “begging for a meeting” with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un was rebuffed. President Obama’s Special Representative for North Korea, Glyn Davies’s, 2013 testimony before the Senate Committee On Foreign Relations makes clear overtures toward North Korea were never even considered. The Trumped-up allegation is a bald-faced lie!
What makes me crazy is, apart from enumerating Trump’s lies, no one, not Nancy’s Team, no Democrat, not the media, ever challenges him up close and personal, face-to-face, about his unconscionable, relentless assaults on truth! Would someone please look the man in the eye and say, “Mr. President these repeated, outlandish claims have no basis in fact! They are lies!” If he know this—a Roy Cohn (Google him) protégé should—Trump’s lies are calculated and deliberate. If he doesn’t, if our President believes his irrational horse-crap, a mad man is loose in the Oval Office!
I’m okay disagreeing across the board with President Trump’s politics. What fascinates and alarms me is his seeming absolute inability to understand or appreciate basic ethics and morals, the foundations of civilized life and discourse.
Because he was captured John McCain, and by extension in all POWs, is not a “hero.”
Boasts of grabbing women’s “pussy.”
Praises an accused wife-beater, but fails to comment on the victim’s black eye.
Refers to Haiti and Africa “s*** h***” contries.
Mocks a handicapped New York Times reporter, Indian P.M. Modi, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, the Me Too Movement, and Christine Blasey Ford.
Refuses to say a word against Neo-Nazis but calls an American exercising his Constitutional rights to Free Speech and Peaceable protest a “son-of-a-bitch.”
Refuses to tell his pal Vlad to, “Knock off meddled in our elections!”
And on and on . . .
The man is deeply troubling!
Drawing on over five decades combined mental health practice and research psychiatrists Nanette Gartrell and Dee Mosbacher, “call on Congress to act now within (provisions of The 25th Amendment) to create an independent impartial panel of investigators to evaluate Mr. Trump’s fitness to fulfill the duties of the presidency. We urge congress to pass legislation to ensure that future presidential and vice-presidential candidates are evaluate by this professional panel before the general election, and that the sitting president and vice president be assessed on an annual basis.” (The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump, p. 348)
While this call may seem ballsy, naieve and politically absurd, pleased consider:
Within the United States Government:
The Bureau of Consumer Protection, “stops unfair, deceptive and fraudulent business practices by collecting complaints and conducting investigation, suing companies and people that break the law, developing rules to maintain a fair market place, and educating consumers and businesses about their right and responsibilities.”
The U. S. Food and Drug Administration, “is responsible for protecting the public health by assuring the safety, efficacy and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, medical devices, our nations food supply, cosmetic and products that emit radiation.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “works 24/7 to protect America from health safety and security threats . . . fights disease and support communities and citizens to do the same.”
The U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, “seeks to promote the safety of consumer products by addressing “reasonable risk” of injury though [sic] coordinating recalls, evaluating products that are the subject of consumer complaints or industry reports, etc. ”
The National Highway Safety Administration, “(supports) the development of automobile vehicle safety technologies because of their potential to save lives”
The Federal Aviation Administration, “(works to) provide the safest, most efficient aerospace system in the world.”
In the private sectior:
Consumer Reports, “is an independent nonprofit organization that works side by side with consumers to create fairer, safer, and healthier world testing and evaluating services and product from charities to baby mattresses and portable generators.”
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, “(works to reduce) the losses–deaths, injuries and property damage–from motor vehicle crashes, crashing brand new, $40,000 SUVs into a concrete barrier.”
While Mothers Against Drunk Driving, “(works) to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these violent crimes and prevent underage drinking.”
Closer to home, consider buying a car. After minimal research, I shake hands with “Fairly Honest John,” a dealer in “Pre-Owned Vehicles.” Despite being a decent enough fellow, friend John is, in the end, a used car salesman. Between a wife, six, nine, and thirteen-year-old to equip and feed and a $1295 mortgage payment due, Fairly Honest John is compelled to sell this “Low Mileage Beauty” under the balloons and banners today(!) never divulging that the transmission whines above fifty-miles-an-hour and the brakes are shot. Now a wise buyer–as I’ve proven time and again not to be–would ask brother-in-law, Jake-the-mechanic, to tag along, fiddle under the hood, take ‘er for a spin, and hopefully smile–or frown.
Leaders generally gain power by one of three means. Emperors and kings ascend to the throne by the luck of heredity. Alexander the Great, Genghis Kahn, Vladimir Lenin, Adolf Hitler, and Mao Zedong amassed minions and money to wrest control over the lives of millions with minimal or no consent of the governed. In a Representative Democracy, leaders are elected by a, not necessarily “popular,” vote. That’s where the selling come in.
Like his cousin Fairly Honest John, candidate Rarely Honest Don and his acolytes are salesmen. It’s about getting the guy elected. It’s about balloons, banners, speeches, and slogans. Above all, getting elected is about burying the facts that candidate Don is a misogynist, spouse abuser, and embezzler with motives and vales wholly at odds with his constituents’ needs, wishes and expectations.
As wise buyers, it’s time to gave as much thought to hiring The President of the United States of America as to buying an ’09 Hyundai. Is Rarely Honest Don the “OLD RELIABLE” underneath the banners or a nineteen-thirties VW whose steering could come unhinged in a sharp curve at the brink of a cliff? That’s where Jake and Jane, mechanics of human thought and behavior, come in.
Over the past century and a half science has discovered more about the mechanics of human thought, emotion and behavior than in all of history before. Over the past few decades electromagnetic imaging has exposed the human brain as previously unimagined. Like a wise car buyer, why on earth would we not ask the experts to check on political candidates’ and office holders’ mental status? Common sense dictates that when it comes to electing of our leaders, ask mechanics of human behavior, Jake and Jane, to pop the hood, kick the tires and smile–or scowl.
In The United States of America a majority of adults may own a gun, breed offspring, and vote. The vast majority of us exercised these privileges with little or no appreciation for the duties and responsibilities attached thereto. With agencies and organizations investigating, testing and advising us on products from lipstick to locomotives, arguably the most powerful person on earth takes office on the basis of balloons, banners, and slogans–if not balled-faced lies. Some Jerk with a gang and big money can become President of the United States of America with the interests and lives of not only Americans but life on planet Earth at the whim of an irrational Nuclear trigger finger.
Arguing politics is like teaching a pig to sing. It’s a waste of time and it annoys the pig. Still, considering the current state of the Oval Office I feel compelled to speak. Please consider sharing this and read The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump.
Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind always.
Anon. (Please let me know if you know who?)
The older I get, the more I understand it’s okay to live a life others don’t understand.
Someone wiser than I observed eyes see, ears hear, minds think. Thoughts are like our shadow. In the light we’re stuck with a shadow. Awake it’s thoughts, sometimes both.
It took President Obama much of one term to clean up Cheerleader George’s—in fact Cheney’s–disaster. How long will it take Liz, Joe, or Bernie after this guy?
Like infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and middle age, I couldn’t appreciate how Old Age would feel ‘til now. Still, despite the feeble body and befuddled mind I hope to hang around a couple more decades.
Understandably, and perhaps just as well for the rest of us, folks in wheel chairs, nursing homes, hospitals and hospice seem evolved into another species. I don’t want to die, but I don’t want that either! Secretly knowing if a heart attack, cancer, drunk driver, or some fool with an Assault Rifle doesn’t take me out, if I don’t kick the bucket first, that’s the best can hope for, I “whistle past the graveyard.”
Dr. Murray Banks points out that seeing aged bodies, slouched, asleep, a school principle who doesn’t know his son, a brain surgeon drooling onto a bib–Life’s survivors, the lucky ones!–some might may say, “I don’t want live past ninety.” They’ll say that until they’re eighty-nine. I don’t want to die, not today, not now, not ever! But grow old, silly, sick, senile?
Experiencing a eighty-two-year-old carcass, I’m convinced anyone past the allotted three score and ten hurts. When an old woman or man appears slow and stiff she or he is not faking. It’s said some oldsters are, “Sharp as a tack.” No one past seventy is mentally as quick as they were thirty, twenty, ten, even five years ago. We who appear “sharp as ever” fake it. Trust me.
It’s Biology 101: Like car engines, gears, transmissions and tires, human muscles, organs, joints, and skin wear out. Worn-out cars are recycled or go to the junk yard. Physical bodies end up in the crematory or marble orchard. For me, acknowledging, if not really feeling comfortable with the facts of Old Age, provides as much consolation as anyone can ask for.
There’s something about the State of Nevada. Something about the of gnarled hills the relentless sagebrush flats, the Ghost Towns, Caesars, MGM, the neon, the noise. It feels like the state of Nevada has something to teach me, something important.
When I think of Nevada I think of prospectors and burros, gold and silver, boom and bust, Eureka, Pioche, Tonopah, Carson City, Virginia City, the Comstock Lode. I think of a false-fronted Emporium with empty window frames, sand blowing through doorways, snow drifting over boardwalks. I think of tumbleweed rolling down empty streets, biting winter, scorching summer and the sweet pungency of sage after a thunderstorm.
When I think of Nevada, I think of an islet of light and gas pumps beside Route 50, “Loneliest Road in America.” A sadly heroic outpost hunkered down in the drab, silent land, a shameless spark of life impossibly far from anywhere else on Earth. I think of Corollas, Mercedes, Harleys and semis racing past grimy windows where “Budweiser” flickers and chrome-faced slot-machines beckon like prostitutes.
When I think of Nevada I think of “The Biggest Little City on Earth,” “The Strip,” the Mob, “Bugsy” Siegel, con-artists, and hit-men. I think of the Flamingo, Stardust, Dunes, Sahara, MGM, Caesars, green felt, Blackjack, Roulette, Craps. I think of Lounge Shows, Extravaganzas and bare-breasted show girls. I think of the mawkish kerchunk of slot machines and the clatter of nickels in tin bowls. I think of a million lights winking all night every night, of giddy winners and suicidal losers, of mechanical dealers and bionic pit bosses and the Eye-in-the-sky.
When I think of Nevada I think of Sodom and Gomorrah, the Mustang Ranch the Cottontail Ranch, pimps and whores.
As if feeling overwhelmed by hills rolling on like gray-green velvet over mounds of mashed potatoes, carpets of sagebrush hung hammock-like between decaying stony spines, shimmering heat, killing cold; as if intimidated by the boundless sapphire dome, the Bigness, the Stillness, to buck up our courage, to fool ourselves into believing we matter at all, we turn on the lights, turn up the volume, raise a ruckus. Secretly knowing all the while, the neon, the noise, the clatter, the glitter, the ten million dollar jackpots, the Extravaganzas, bare-chested beauties, the ninety-nine cent ham and egg breakfast, the five-ninety-five steak and lobster dinner, are apparitions in the window of a sad cafe in a lonely outpost beside I-15, I-80, an evanescent fairy-dust mirage in an empty silent land.
The Desert nurtures and consoles me. I absorb the dirt, rock, sage, the jackrabbits and wild horses, the shimmering heat, the stunning cold, the vast dry land, the endless robin’s-egg blue, the stillness. Alone. Emptiness, silence are vital.
Then, suddenly, I yearn for an oasis, the indecent clatter of nickels in a tin dish, the garish light, the noise and motion. I crave a hot shower, air-conditioning, steak and lobster, green felt and One-armed Bandits, pimps and whores, cons and hit-men, Pen and Teller, bare-chested showgirls. I need music, laughter, curses and tears. To survive, to exist, I demand people! Without a café and gas station beside the Freeway I can not survive.
For me the State of Nevada is Yin and Yang, paradox, diametric opposites inconceivable without the other. Think about it, light without dark, summer without winter, noise without silence, solitude without community, male without female, life without death. Inconceivable.
The state of Nevada’s emptiness and glitter fascinate me. Without The Strip, The Biggest Little City on Earth, the lonely parched land feel hopeless. Without the lonesome desert Vegas and Reno are absurd.