Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘NSA’ Category

Day 73.

I  know you all remember the hoopla about Hillary Clinton’s private email server.  And, I am sure you all remember how Donald Trump said she should be “locked up” for deleting some of her emails.  There have been what seems like hundreds of Congressional investigations into this matter, and Mr. Unethical Chaffetz says he plans on more.

Only, there is something that needs to be looked at too.  Only this time it isn’t about Hillary Clinton it is about Donald Trump.  I know that as usual he made an ass of himself yesterday with all of his lies about the attendance at his inauguration and his despicable performance at the CIA.  But, did president trump break the law yesterday?

At 1157 yesterday, our president tweeted:  “I am honered to serve you, the great American people, as your 45th President of the United States!”   You may notice that he misspelled “honored”.  That isn’t the problem.  The problem and possible breaking of the law came when he deleted the tweet and reposted it with the correct spelling.

You are saying, what does that have to do with breaking the law?   In 1978, Congress passed a law called the Presidential Record Act which requires all communications from or received by the president to be preserved.

Hmmm.  Since the original tweet was “from the president” it is required to be preserved.  Yet, the president deleted that tweet.  On the face of things in a literal manner, he broke the law and illegally deleted a tweet that was supposed to be preserved.  Sound familiar?

Of course this also brings up a whole lot of questions.  What happens if trump in his early tweet rantings says something stupid about one of our allies or enemies?  Can he then delete the tweet and pretend it didn’t happen?  According to the law, no he cannot.

It is bad enough we have a 5 year-old with a twitter account that is not managed very well.  Now that same 5 year-old is going to be the president of our country and his loose lips, or rather fingers, can lead to many problems around the world.

But, if he realizes that he made a mistake and tries to hide that mistake by deleting the tweet, he is violating the Presidential Records Act.  Which means his supporters should start chanting “lock him up”.

The whole point here is that we live in a world that is totally different than the age trump wants us to move backwards to.  In the era before World War II there wasn’t such social media.

Since Watergate we have seen a lot of laws that tend to make the presidency and other elected officials more transparent.  Even though there was no social media and twitter in 1978, the language in the law appeared to predict changes.  That is why it reads all communications sent by or received by the president is to be preserved.

Since our current president doesn’t like to read, maybe he should have someone else read the law for him and tell him he cannot delete tweets anymore.  Maybe, that will make him actually think before his fingers go to work.

This little incident is a prelude of things to come and further exemplifies just how unqualified he is for the office he was elected to.  Mr. Chaffetz has shown his disdain for “deleted emails” and he should show his disdain for deleted tweets, too.

As Republicans have said about Hillary Clinton, the law is the law.  They better hold trump to the same standards and investigate his private twitter account and how many tweets he deletes now that he is president.

Fair is fair.

 

Read Full Post »

Day 60

As usual, the Republicans are thumbing their nose at the American People and the rule of law.  They don’t care what laws they avoid or even break as long as they get their way.  We have seen it before, but not to this level.

Starting tomorrow, Trump’s nominees for his cabinet will begin having their hearings in the Senate to be approved.  The Republicans are going to ramrod through these nominations because according to Mitch McConnell “we won” so suck it up.

I don’t have any real problem with quickly holding hearings, but I do have a problem with the way McConnell is doing business.  First he is going to hold hearings at the same time.  There are actually members of the Senate who serve on more than one committee.  Meaning that they will have to pick which hearing they sit in on.  We will actually have confirmation hearings without having full committee membership attending due to conflict of hearing times.

But, that is the small, what some might say insignificant, part of the problem.  The biggest part of the problem is that not all of the nominees have even completed and submitted their paperwork to the Office of Government Ethics.

The way this process usually works is that nominees fill out a questionnaire and submit it to the OGE and the OGE begins processing the applications to ensure there are no conflicts of interests.

Every President before this president-elect followed the usual practice of submitting the “paperwork” to the OGE even before they made the announcement of their picks.  This gave the OGE and the FBI time to properly conduct their investigations so when the confirmation hearings took place the committee members had a full report they needed to make a reasonable judgement.

However, this year that isn’t the case.  The OGE sent a letter to Democratic Senators complaining about the quick process and worried that their work will not be completed before the hearings are even over much less begin.

OGE Director Walter Shaub wrote in his letter:

The announced hearing schedule for several nominees who have not completed the ethics review process is of great concern to me. This schedule has created undue pressure on OGE’s staff and agency ethics officials to rush through these important reviews.  More significantly, it has left some of the nominees with potentially unknown or unresolved ethics issues shortly before their scheduled hearings.

He also wrote that this appears to be unprecedented.  He said:  “I am not aware of any occasion in the four decades since OGE was established when the Senate held a confirmation hearing before the nominee had completed the ethics review process”.

Of course Republicans and the transition team aren’t very worried about confirming potentially people with huge conflicts of interest.  Even that mind-numbing idiot Newt Gingrich said we don’t have to worry because all of these people “are hugely successful people”.

Senate Democrats are asking that these hearings be delayed until the OGE and the FBI complete their investigations and/or at least until they nominees complete all of the questionnaires they seem to think are not very important.

How can any Republican honestly state that these investigations are not important and a necessary part of the process?  It is true that as McConnell has said, seven of President Obama’s 2009 nominees were confirmed before the inauguration.  Yet, it was also true that they all filled out the proper paperwork and had their investigations completed before being confirmed.  Big difference.

Other experts agree this is unprecedented.  “This is unprecedented,” Trevor Potter, former chair of the Federal Election Commission, tells the Washington Post.  “This suggests that there has been a real breakdown between the transition and the Office of Government Ethics.”

There are not a lot of reasons for this quick ramrod of the nomination hearings unless the Republicans are afraid they will unveil ethics problems with any of the nominees.  What other sane reason could they give.  Sorry, but “we won” so we don’t have to follow normal rules is just not good enough of an argument for anyone.

If that isn’t the reason, then they must be looking at avoiding normal democratic processes in order to set up a Republican Authoritarian Government.  The one thing we have been able to count on during our history, is the peaceful and almost unheard of transition between the current President and the incoming President.

In all my years following politics, I have never seen so much coverage about the transition as I have this year.  The Republicans seem willing to avoid any common decency during this transition and that is simply unheard of in the past by either party.

This kind of behavior does not bode well for the future.  It seems like we are being told to shut up and do as we are told.  It doesn’t give us much belief that if one or more of these nominees are later found to be in serious conflict of interest, that we can count on the Republicans to do anything about it.

I am beginning to get the feeling that this will be the most unethical, most corrupt, and most radical government we have ever seen in our country.  I am also beginning to believe that our media or more importantly our so-called “independent press” isn’t going to do anything about it either.  They all seem to be eagerly willing to “normalize” Trump and his gang of extremists.  There are a few exceptions, but not enough.

If you have been wondering why Trump seems to love Putin so much, these actions are showing us that is exactly what Trump wants to be as our president.  Trump wants to become America’s Putin.  A person I believe to be a power-hungry corrupt businessman wants his presidency to be like a power-hungry corrupt politician like Putin.

If you look at everything piece by piece, you will miss the full picture.  You have to look at everything as it ties to everything else.  Kellyanne Conway said the other day we need to “look into Trump’s hears and not listen to what comes out of his mouth”.  Maybe she is right.  If we look into his heart, we will then the authoritarian wanna-be that he really is.  Does she really want us to see that?

Do McConnell and Ryan want a real Congress or a Politburo.  We have a Politburo in North Carolina and we are seeing our democracy here being depleted piece by piece.  We will continue fighting our Politburo here, we need to fight it in Washington before it gets to far along. We cannot let that happen to our country.

Read Full Post »

Day 53

Everyone is still talking about Donald Trump and his xenophobic ways.  There have been protests about his being elected.  There is a woman’s march being planed for the day after his inauguration.

Everyone is missing the real disaster that is getting ready to hit us with the full force of a Category 5 Hurricane.  It is the Republican Congress.  In reality, they now have exactly what Grover Nordquist said they wanted in the White House.  That is someone with “enough digits to hold a pen and sign what we put in front of him.”

With Trump’s short attention span, they now have exactly what they want, and the disaster is within reach.  And, if you think that their top agenda items are things that will help the American people think again.  They plan to dismantle everything that protects the population and/or helps them.

The first item will be to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.  And, since they don’t have any replacement plan, chaos will invade the insurance business.  Without a firm plan to replace the ACA, many companies will abandon the exchanges.  Republicans already have a law suit against the President to stop the payment of subsidies to help poor people purchase insurance, and they plan to revoke those payments.  Without a replacement, they will throw millions of people off their insurance plans.

They plan to gut Medicare.  They want to give seniors a “voucher” to purchase insurance in the private sector.  Medicare is one government service that really works well.  Yet, that doesn’t matter to Republicans.  They don’t like Medicare and therefore it must go.

Forget the fact that most senior citizens have” pre-existing” conditions that would most likely keep from getting health insurance at a reasonable rate or not having to spend thousands out-of-pocket.  No, that doesn’t matter either.  Medicare must go.  If you are currently on Medicare and think you are safe, think again.  Your co-pays will go through the roof if this passes.

Our veterans will be treated the same way.  Instead of the Veteran’s Administration taking care of our veterans, they will also be given a voucher.  Again, since they have a “pre-existing condition” it will be difficult to get insurance.  The VA hospital system is one of the very best in terms of treatment for our veterans according to user surveys.  But for Republicans it costs too much so veterans must suffer the consequences.

Don’t tell them that veterans don’t want vouchers but care at VA hospitals.  That doesn’t matter either.  In order to provide better and quicker care for our veterans, the government would have to build more clinics and hospitals around the country so veterans could actually go to one.  They won’t even consider that possibility.  Republicans in Congress simply want to throw veterans on the trash heap when their usefulness is over.

They are looking at ways to eliminate the Consumer Protection Bureau.  They don’t like the idea that the Government should make sure that private businesses like banks aren’t ripping off the citizens of the country.  They believe that if you get ripped off by your bank, that is your fault and you don’t deserve any protection.

They want to strip away every environmental protection rule that was ever made.  These rules according to them make it more difficult for companies to make money.  If they pollute the environment while making more money, that is okay with Republicans.   They are still trying to tell us that climate change is a hoax, so why “hand-cuff” polluters from polluting?

They want to totally defund Planned Parenthood.  Forget the idea that millions of women rely on the services of Planned Parenthood for things like cancer screening, STD treatment or many other services.  In many areas, Planned Parenthood clinics are the only option for poor women.  The fact that Planned Parenthood, in some clinics not all, they legal abortions without using federal money which would be illegal is enough for the theists to remove their funding.

They want to pass the First Amendment Defense Act which would legalize discrimination in the name of “religious liberty”.  They don’t care if civil rights are based on secular law.  They only care that they hate certain segments of our country and therefore are supposed to be allowed to discriminate against them simply because they want to.

They want to repeal the Executive Order that raised the minimum wage for employees of federal contractors.  They don’t believe that just because you are doing work for the government, you should be paid a livable wage.  You should be at the mercy of your employer so that employer can make higher profits.

The Republican controlled Congress is planning to execute the most conservative agenda since the 1920s.  And what happened at the end of the 1920s?  The Great Depression happened and over 25 percent of the American people were without a job.

That is what we can expect from our next congress and the immature buffoon that will be President.  They are looking for the 5 year-old to sign whatever they put in front of him.  And, since Trump has no interest in actually governing, he will be happy to do what he is told.  It would be nice to see him resist this agenda, but I am not holding my breath.

We are going to see a lot of “laws” passed and none of them are going to benefit the people.  They will all be intended to benefit corporations and the very rich.  They are going to remove civil rights from segments of our population.  They are going to make life in America miserable for many people.

After they get through passing laws to benefit the rich, they will move to their extreme right-wing theist agenda.  I anticipate that they will “monitor” Muslims because we all know that all Muslims are terrorists.  We will tee other religions under attack.  We will see that their narrow view of Evangelical religion will be the only truly accepted version of religion.

And, don’t think that little bothersome thing called the Constitution will prevent them from passing their theist agenda, either.  They will simply ignore it like the Jim Crow era did.  According to conservatives, that Constitution is only a suggestion if you are talking about minorities anyway.

After their theist agenda is passed they will go after the American people as well.  They will allow NSA to spy on us through hacking our emails and monitoring our cell phones.  They will do this in the name of stopping terrorism.

Public education will be at least curtailed if not outright eliminated.  The voucher happy Republicans will ensure their “Christian” schools get the vast majority of our tax dollars for education.

Workplace safety rules will be eliminated or watered down.  Your safety at work is not as important as profits.  Safety rules make it much too hard for companies to make higher profits and ensure you don’t get hurt on the job.  So it must go, too.

If you notice there are no “jobs” creating bills that they are looking to pass in the first year or two.  They don’t care about you or your jobs.  They only care about profits for their big donors.  Trump will never get his “infrastructure” bill through the Congress.  Not because of the Democrats, but rather because of his own party and the so-called “Freedom Caucus” of conservative wackos.

The last “Constitutional Crisis” we faced as a nation was under Richard Nixon.  But, at that time we actually had reasonable adult leadership in the Congress and were able to avert the crisis.  This time, we don’t have reasonable adult leadership in the congress.  Which means anything goes.

To everyone who voted for Donald Trump for “change” I am afraid you are going to be seriously disappointed.  The “change” we are going to get is more dangerous than anything we have faced in almost 100 years.  Because while you were all distracted by the Donald Trump mania, you also voted for a very dangerous ideological Congress that does not have your interests at heart.

The storm clouds are gathering on the horizon.  The Category 5 Hurricane that is called Ryan-McConnell is gaining strength and is getting ready to come ashore and destroy our entire country.  There are very few people left who lived through the Great Depression.  Unfortunately, we are looking down the barrel of another Great Depression and the unfortunate side is it can be avoided.  But, Republicans won’t avoid it, they seem to want it.

Donald Trump is the puppet they have been waiting to have in the White House.  Now that they have him, it will be a great show of leadership if he resists their orders.  But, no one ever accused Donald Trump of being a “great leader”.

Shutter the windows, batten down the hatches and get ready for the big blow.  The Hurricane Ryan-McConnell is coming and it won’t be pretty.  The recovery next time will take at least a decade.

 

Read Full Post »

Day 51

The hacking during our election by Russia has shown just how people look at being hacked.  If the other side is hacked, that is okay, but if your side is hacked it is not okay.  That is what really has come out of this whole episode, and it is really sickening.

Additionally, it goes well beyond that.  When is hacking actually helpful, if at all?  If a foreign country can hack into emails and the party not hacked says that it is okay, we wonder if that party thinks it is okay to hack private citizens as well?

We have had issues with the NSA and other intelligence agencies claiming the need to hack into emails or cellphones to “discover” terrorists.  That may even sound like a good thing, but where does it end?

I am asking these questions because of a statement made by Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) about the election hacks.  On MSNBC yesterday he said:

There’s no suggestion that Russia hacked into our voting systems or anything like that.  If Russia succeeded in giving the American people information that was accurate, then they merely did what the media should’ve done.

Is this guy actually suggesting that the media should have hacked emails and cyber systems of the Democrats?  Is he suggesting that it is okay to hack emails in general?

Let us be clear.  Hacking is a crime both at home at abroad.  Plus, there is that little annoying thing called the fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution that protects our privacy by denying unreasonable search and seizure.

Is Franks suggesting that the Fourth Amendment does not include emails?  Is he actually saying that the media, foreign countries, or even our own government has a right to hack into your emails?

For years now, hundreds of thousands of people have their identity stolen over the internet.  They have their entire finances stolen from them.  If that were to happen to you it will take years to fix the problem.

The other day Trump said the hacking is no big deal and said “we should just move on.”  So, let’s ask another question.  If Russia had hacked the GOP in an attempt to sway the election to Clinton, would he have the same view?  I seriously doubt it.

Hacking cyber systems is a very serious problem.  We cannot have an incoming government and its officials blow off this problem simply because the other side was the one targeted.  We must do more to protect our cyber systems from hacking.

The problem is that you cannot come up with a defense for a virus or other form of hacking before it actually happens.  Hackers change their programming all of the time, and new viruses come up all of the time.  Until the defenders see it, they cannot defend against it.

It is possible to build firewalls that will delay a hack long enough to attempt to stop it, but they aren’t foolproof either.  Besides, normal people with their laptops, tablets, and cell phones are not capable of building such intensive firewalls.

This issue is one thing that has upset both sides of the aisle.  When President Obama announced sanctions yesterday, even Paul Ryan backed them.  Sens McCain and Graham said the sanctions were not tough enough.

And then, we have the Trump camp not saying much about it at all.  Trump said we should “move on” but then said he would meet with the intelligence community to see their evidence.

Both the CIA and the FBI have said more than once that the evidence points to Russia and that the intent was to influence the election towards Trump.  Trump has yet to accept this simple fact.

Then, his spokesperson Kellyanne Conway suggested that the sanctions were only put in place because Obama wants to “hurt” Trump.  The President doesn’t need to do anything to “hurt” Trump on this issue.  His bromance with Putin has shown out way too much in the past year and a half.

His bromance is so strong he refuses to accept information from what will be his own intelligence organizations that says Russia was involved.  But, it is comments like the ones from Franks that should make you nervous.

When someone like Franks makes comments suggesting that hacking the other side is perfectly fine, then we all should raise our eyebrows.  That is an open invitation for our own government to hack into our emails just because they want to.

You really need to look at this objectively.  Your own privacy is at stake.  If the country refuses to make a foreign country pay for interfering or hacking into our cyber systems, then what is possibly going to slow them down?  If foreign countries are allowed to hack into our systems, what will keep your government from hacking into your system?

In case you are wondering, I would be saying the same thing if the other side had been the one hacked.  This is a very serious problem and it is not a partisan problem.  Hacking is a threat to our democracy, our businesses and our privacy.

If you are treating this issue in the same lackadaisical manner as Trump, don’t cry when you are hacked.

 

Read Full Post »

Day 37

Wow, it is already beginning and it isn’t looking pretty.  We are over a month away from our SIC taking office as President.  Of course, he had to tweet out about a magazine because he didn’t like a review of his café in his tower.  Actually it was a really scathing review of the food there.

Then he tweeted another lie about the Russian Hacking saying it was “never brought up before the election”.  If that is true, how come he talked about it during the debates and said he didn’t believe that Russia was involved?

We have the Politburo in the Soviet Socialist State of North Caroline trying to pass laws that will remove powers from the Governor since Chairman Pat lost his reelection bid.  State Constitution be damned, if the Chairman loses an election, just change the laws in the middle of the night so his replacement can’t do his job properly.  Maintain power is the model for the Soviet Socialist State of North Carolina’s Republican Politburo.

Then there is the whole thing about Freedom of Religion.  Or at least the Republican version of the definition of Freedom of Religion.  Their version says that only Christians and some Jews are allowed to have Freedom of Religion.

Representative Steve King from New York had an audience with his highness our SIC today.  For once it wasn’t someone trying to get a job in his administration.  No, he was arguing for the Republican version of Freedom of Religion.

He wanted this meeting to make sure that Donald Trump knows that we need to monitor Muslims.  He said:

The main issues I discussed were what we have to do to have the Justice Department and the FBI be more leaning-forward when it comes to investigating Islamic terrorism.

I suggested a program similar to what Commissioner Kelly did here in New York, and that we can’t worry about political correctness.

After 9/11 the New York Police department under Commissioner Ray Kelly, conducted surveillance and undercover operations against Muslims based solely on religion.

Officers in the since-disbanded Demographics Unit infiltrated Muslim student groups, kept track of Muslims who changed their last names, eavesdropped on conversations between Muslims, spied on Muslim-owned businesses, recorded Imam’s sermons, and put undercover officers and informants inside mosques.

King thinks this is forward-leaning.  King added that:

Kelly’s surveillance program, which unfortunately the civil liberties union and The New York Times didn’t like … were very effective in stopping terrorism and they really should be a model for the country.

Like his hero our SIC, King isn’t telling the truth.  See, after the New York Times revealed the surveillance program and people sued the Department, they were forced to admit in court that their surveillance program resulted in absolutely zero leads into criminal or terrorist activities.

In October 2015 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit reinstated a law suit that had previously been dismissed about the surveillance in a very powerfully worded decision.  It compared the NYPD Muslim surveillance program to some of the very worst civil liberties violations in our history.  It wrote:

What occurs here in one guise is not new.  We have been down similar roads before.  Jewish-Americans during the Red Scare, African-Americans during the Civil Rights Movement, and Japanese-Americans during World War II are examples that readily spring to mind. We are left to wonder why we cannot see with foresight what we see so clearly with hindsight—that “loyalty is a matter of the heart and mind, not race, creed, or color.”

During the campaign our SIC called for a Muslim Registry, a ban on Muslim immigration, and surveillance of Mosques.  After the attacks in Orlando Trump said:

We need justice, we need vigilance, we need great intelligence-gathering systems, which we don’t have.   We had them in New York City, as an example, probably the best in the nation, and the new mayor just broke it all up and disbanded it, he thought it was inappropriate … that was unbelievable, that was one of the best of all systems. We need intelligence gathering like never before.

Funny, but what good would it do to have great intelligence gathering?  Trump doesn’t take the daily intelligence briefings now.  He says he doesn’t need to listen to them everyday because he is “a smart guy”.

King was asked how Trump took to what he was saying.  King said “I was talking and he was nodding”.  Hopefully, our SIC was nodding off to sleep and ignoring this clown.

Of course if Trump doesn’t act according to King’s request, he will probably introduce a bill in the House to make it so, and Ryan’s lackies will blindly pass the bill.

Remember the next Intelligence advisor, Mike Flynn, doesn’t believe Islam is a real religion.  So, in his mind, and in the mind of our SIC, this surveillance program would be just fine.  You can discriminate against someone if you won’t recognize their religion.

Constitution be damned.  What “we” want is what counts not what the Constitution says.  In the meantime the American Authoritarian Party (GOP) will continue to erode our civil liberties and our democracy.  Just look at the Soviet Socialist State of North Carolina.  They are writing the handbook on how to do it.

Read Full Post »

Day 29

“I know more about ISIS than the Generals do.  Believe me.”  “The Generals have been reduced to rubble.”  “The Generals leading our military are losers.”

Those are just three direct quotes from our Slanderer In Chief (SIC), Donald Trump during the campaign.  I have decided to start calling him by his real title since he can’t help but slander people who say things against him like he did the other day with the Union Leader at Carrier.

So, now that he is filling out his cabinet who is he appointing to key positions?  Generals.  Why would anyone who thinks that our Generals are losers want them on his team?  Why would anyone who thinks he knows more than they do place them in positions that deal directly with our security?

I cannot say I know any of the three Generals so far named to his administration,.  However, I do know people who worked for Flynn and they absolutely hate the man.  It says something to me when the next President picks a conspiracy theorist as his Intelligence Director.  I thought that position required someone with actual intelligence.

A lot of people are concerned about the “over militarization” of the cabinet.  Especially in the positions they are being earmarked to fill.  There is a lot of concern about Mattis being the Secretary of Defense.  Our Constitution says that the military is to be under “civilian” control.  A retired four star General isn’t exactly what most people consider as “civilian”.  But, considering some of his other picks so far, Mattis may be the only adult in the room.

Now it is being reported that our SIC is going to announce his third General to head up the  Department of Homeland Security.  That choice is General John Kelly.

I don’t know a lot about Kelly except that our SIC picked him because he was in charge of U.S. Southern Command which includes Latin America.  Other than that, he really has no experience heading up a department of 22 different agencies including law enforcement, transportation security, and the Coast Guard.

If you are wondering how good of a job he will do, you are not alone.  I share your concerns.  Back in 2002 Retired Adm. James Loy was named by George W. Bush to head up the TSA.  I was very involved in security management at the time and was a member of ASIS International.  That group along with others offered suggestions as to how to best handle security at airports.

Unfortunately for all of us, we weren’t listened to very much.  Adm. Loy was a fine Coast Guard Officer, but unfortunately, I don’t think he did a very good job at TSA.

The problem comes from one simple fact.  Running a military organization is totally different from running a civilian organization.  In the military we sort of live in our own world.  We have our own criminal justice system.  We have our own rules.  We even have less “freedoms” than our civilian counterparts.

When a military leader attempts to head up a civilian organization, the military way just doesn’t work very well.  I believe that was the biggest hinderance to Adm. Loy succeeding better at TSA.

Should our SIC decide to start rounding up “illegals” and deporting them,  Kelly is the one who will be responsible to do so.  If our SIC orders that stupid wall of his to be build, it will be Kelly who will have to do it.

Problem is that he already stated that the wall probably won’t work.  And, he knows little to nothing about the legal implications of rounding millions of people for deportation.

I cannot remember a time in my lifetime when so many Generals were being selected to head up important cabinet posts.  Even President Eisenhower didn’t have as many Generals on his payroll as our SIC is going to have.

Then again, no one worried about Eisenhower establishing a militarized government either.  We cannot say that about our SIC.  If you want to militarize the government the best way is to put military people in top positions.  Especially if you believe the military would follow them even if they were breaking the law.

Our SIC has made some god-awful choices for filling out his cabinet.  I cannot say that Mattis and Kelly fall into that category.  Only time will tell.

It is going to be interesting though watching the infighting after our SIC takes office.  I wonder if our SIC knows that when appointing so many retired Generals, rank does matter to these people.  Flynn who will have the closest spot to our SIC’s ear is the junior officer of the three.

That could make for some interesting fights.  It will be interesting if the other two “pull rank” on Flynn when it comes to final decisions.  I bet Flynn comes up with some wild conspiracy theory about how Mattis and Kelly will be “out to get me”.

This could all be comical if it wasn’t so serious.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t trust our SIC.  Nor am I thrilled with his choices for his cabinet so far.  As a veteran, I really do fear for the future of our country under this clown.  I hope I am wrong for all of our sake.

 

Read Full Post »

Since Trump pulled off his election victory, there have been at least a hundred reasons being given by the so-called pundits.  They are all hanging on the theory that the white working class elected Donald Trump because they feel left behind.  That is partially true.  However, that is not the real reason Trump actually won.

It is my stand that Trump won because he took advantage of the ugly triumvirate that the Republican Party has been putting together for decades.  He was able to tap into the hate, discontent, and pure bigotry of this triumvirate.

This triumvirate took years to put together and it has finally reached its full potential.  That was proven when Trump actually won the election.  His picks for his cabinet so far have shown this triumvirate will actually govern, which is really disturbing.

The first spoke in this triumvirate is what is called “conservative Christians”.  The second spoke is authoritarians who believe that the constitution is nothing but a “suggestion” when it comes to civil rights.  The third is what is now called the “alt-right” which is really nothing more than the KKK without all of the Halloween costumes.

The pure bitter hate the reeks out of every pore of these three groups is the reason that Trump campaigned on hate issues.  He understood, unlike his Republican opponents, that if you put together a coalition you need to use it properly.  He did by hitting all of the hot buttons they hold dear.

The so-called alt-right is a white supremacist group of bigots who believe that the U.S. should be a white only country.  They want all immigration stopped immediately, though they are willing to have “special” cases for Europeans.  They hate African-Americans, Jews, Mexicans and other Latinos, Muslims, Chinese, Japanese, and any other group that is not “white”.

The white supremacists are overjoyed with the election of Trump.  He is the “savior” that they have been waiting for to come out of the sewers and spew forth their venom in the light of day.  They believe that the days of a white only U.S. is just around the corner.  And, with Steve Bannon sitting right next to Trump whispering in his ear, they may be close to correct.

The authoritarians are led by Trump himself.  Trump does not really care for democracy or a free press.  He hates anyone who might even think of saying something negative about him.  He has called on changing the laws so he can sue the press if anyone dares to write an article he doesn’t like.

During his campaign he ridiculed the press at every rally.  He treated the press that was there to follow his campaign and report on it as the enemy who was only there to make him look bad.  If the press dared to quote the candidate, they were liars because Trump never said what he said on tape.

His audience lapped up the insults and even turned on the press.  There were several times when members of the press, especially his favorite target Katie Tur, had to be escorted out of the rally when it ended by the Secret Service for their safety.  He blacklisted several media outlets from his campaign.

Now he is acting like he isn’t going to be any more available to the press after his win.  As a matter of fact, he has been even less available and is still railing against them.  You cannot establish an authoritarian government if you allow freedom of the press.

Additionally, Trump has made promises that are quite frankly unconstitutional.  When the election was over, he only doubled down on those promises.  Like stopping Muslims from Immigrating.  Or like having a registry for all Muslims.

His picks for his cabinet so far all mirror these beliefs as well.  He has to have backers behind him if he is going to ignore the constitution.  The very idea that he is willing to place an open racist in the position of Attorney General is appalling.  Sessions has fought against voting rights, hate crimes, crimes against women, and other civil rights all of his life.  Now, we are expected to believe he will actually enforce these laws he hates?

Like Trump, his CIA pick is in love with the idea of torture.  Even though it is against the laws of the U.S., against the laws of the U.S. Military, and against the Geneva Convention, they believe we can ignore all of those laws just because we are us.  Blatant disregard for the law is also blatant disregard for our form of government which is supposed to be based on law.

Then we have the so-called “conservative Christians” as the final piece of the jigsaw.  As I have written before, the term conservative Christian is an oxymoron.  As a matter of fact, I find the term as the worst example of contradictions we can have.

Conservative Christians all claim to be “Christian” first.  However, their policies and beliefs are anything but Christian.  They fall much better under the authoritarian definition than the Christian definition.

Conservative Christians are all about running everyone else’s lives.  They want to be the ones who determine what civil rights people can have.  They want to determine what “morality” is that you must follow.  They want to determine every minute aspect of your life from your education to your work environment to your bedroom.

Since Trump was elected, there have been over 400 bills being prepared to be introduced in state legislatures in January.  All of them have something to do with voter suppression, anti-abortion, or anti-LGBT issues.

They feel justified in these laws because of Trump.  He is the one who nominated Mike Pence as his Vice President.  Pence is the most vocal and most anti-civil rights politician around.  He firmly believes that LGBT are that way by choice and should be forced to undergo “therapy” to make them “normal” again.

He was the one who got his state to pass the most anti-LGBT law in the country.  Then because of the backlash, he modified it to make it more acceptable.  However, it is still horrible and has far-reaching consequences.  There is a case right now in Indiana where a mother is using this “law” as her defense for brutally abusing her children.  She claims her “religious beliefs” make it defensible because she was saving her children from “Satan” by beating the hell out of them.

As I said before, I grew up in a very Catholic family.  I went to Catholic schools and learned all about Christianity.  I never once heard or read anything in the “New Testament” where Jesus said we have the right to hate anyone because they are different.  Rather he said we must “love” our enemies and those that are different.

Sorry, but don’t tell me you are a Christian when you hate LGBT people and are willing to legally discriminate against them simply because they are LGBT.  Don’t tell me you are Christian when you despise every other religion on the planet.  Don’t tell me you are Christian when you are willing to turn your back on women and children seeking refuge just because they come from an area of the country that is Muslim and not Christian.

In its beginning, Christianity was a revolutionary religion.  It was a religion that fought against the status quo of the Jewish hierarchy.  It was a religion that rebelled against all of the rules and hatreds of the past.  It was a religion that was based on love, harmony, and peace on earth.

Hating your neighbor just because they are different is not Christian.  It is authoritarian.  Forcing your beliefs on others is not Christian, it is authoritarian.  And, that is exactly what today’s “conservative Christians” are.  Authoritarian.

This is the ugly triumvirate that swept Donald Trump to victory.  These groups have power in just enough states to have put him over the top, even though he has lost the popular vote by over 1.5 million votes, so far.

Hate crimes have spiked since the election.  Yes, there have been hate crimes on both sides, but the vast majority have been from Trump supporters.  Some of these are such heroes they leave a restaurant and then quickly return to punch a woman in the face then run away again.  This happened in Texas and is just one example of these hate crimes.

The swastika has replaced the stars and stripes in graffiti by Trump supporters.  Churches are being burned again.  Mosques are being defaced and burned.  Synagogues are being defaced again.

This is the result of the triumvirate being empowered by Trump’s election.  They feel free to spread their hate with impunity.  President Obama has said we should “wait and see” what a Trump Presidency will bring.  I believe we have already seen what a Trump Presidency will bring.  And, it won’t be pretty.

The 2016 election has unleashed an unholy triumvirate upon our country.  We need to be ready to fight it from the beginning or we will lose all of our freedoms.  And, that is exactly what the unholy triumvirate wants.  Total control over our lives.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »