Archive for the Playthell on politics Category

The Great Pretender Commits a Sacrilege!

Posted in On Donald Trump, Playthell on politics, Witnessing Against False Preachers on May 7, 2017 by playthell
 
A Souless Fraud

Somebody is Gonna Burn in Hell Over This Blasphemy

The world has just witnessed a shameless exhibition of hypocrisy, one that rises to the level of blasphemy, conducted by the shameless charlatan who by a grievous accident of history, made possibe by the triumph of the untutored white mob weilding ballots, now occupies the Oval Office of the American presidency.  Donald J. Trump – a serial philanderer, compulsive liar, vainglorious braggart, and avaricious money grubber – as ungodly a man as has ever ascended to this omnipotent office; which has sheltered thieves, slaveholders and mass murderers such as his idol Andrew Jackson – called a press conference on the White House lawn to announce his latest Executive Order, “Defending Religious Liberty.”

The monstrous dimensions of this sacrilegous fraud is clear to anyone who pays attention to American politics. Trump’s Executive Order is a transparent payoff to the religious right.  Especially the millions of fanatical white Evangelicals, like the legendary Evangelist Billy Graham’s son, who contributed grand theft dough to Trump’s campaign that played a vital role in his election to the presidency.

With no visible qualifications for this critically important and demanding job, the Christian Right supported this garish, empty, charlatan because  he promised to allow them to do whatever they wanted: The Constitution be damned.  Trump’s pandering to right wing Christians, smashing down the longstanding wall between church and state, will almost certainly be challenged in the federal courts, but given the composition of the Court anything can happen. Alas, the language of the Constitution is filled with ambiguity; which allows the sitting Supreme Court Justices to interpret its provisions as they damned well please. That’s why there is a no-holds barred fight over who sits on that august bench.

For instance, the First Amendment, which speaks directly to this question, is far from clear in its view of the government’s role regarding the practice of religion.  While it is virtually unanimous among historians that a principal motivation for the insertion of the Establishment Clause was to prevent the creation of a state sponsored church such as The Church of England – from whose tyranny some colonist had fled – other implications for the relationship of government to religious practice remains unclear.  And a simple reading of the text does not immediately resolve this uncertainty.  It states:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

If one is an “originalist,” such as the late Justice Antonin Scalia and his sidekick on the high court Uncle C. Thomas – and perhaps Justice Gorcish, who was recently appointed to the High Court by Trump – the text must be taken at face value; regardless of the fact that this is an 18th century document and the drafters of the Constitution were imperfect men filled with contradictions – like perpetually spouting the virtues of freedom while maintaining a system of slavery that represents the apex of tyranny.  Hence, while it has become conventional wisdom that the First Amendment proscribes the role of the Church in the affairs of state, the text of the First Amendment can be interpreted as solely limiting the power of the state over the affairs of the church.    

Consider how two of the “Founding fathers” viewed the “Establishment Clause” of the First Amendment, which addresses the religious question.  Dr. Benjamin Rush, a brillant polymath who was a leader of the American Enlightenment, signed the Declaration of Independence, led the Pennsylvania delegation that ratified the Federal Constitution, vigorously opposed slavery, supported the rights of women and promoted scientific research, also envisioned a prominent role for government in promoting religion.  A founder of the Pennsylvania Bible Society, Rush proposed that the US government provide a copy of the Bible for every American citizen at public expense, and the words The Son of Man Came into the World, Not To Destroy Men’s Lives, But To Save Them, should be emblazoned above all court houses and government buildings.

In his role as a leading advocate for the establishment of a public-school system, Dr. Rush proposed that the bible be used as a basic text in the curriculum.  He once observed: I do not believe that the Constitution was the offspring of inspiration, but I am as perfectly satisfied that the Union of the United States in its form and adoption is as much the work of a Divine Providence as any of the miracles recorded in the Old and New Testament” and he would argue in 1798, eleven years after the drafting of the Constitution: The only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be laid in Religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments.”

Hence those who argue against the intrusion of religion into the political sphere on constitutional grounds will find no support from this Founding Father.  However, reading the views of Thomas Jefferson, arguably the most thoughtful of the Founders and no religious zealot like Dr. Rush, in fact he was publicly accuse of being an “infidel” by his political enemies – does not offer much comfort either. In a letter to The Danbury Baptist, penned on New Year’s Day 1802, Jefferson said the following:

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.”

It is instructive that it was in this letter – which some historians have dismissed as political pandering because he consulted local elected officials before crafting it – that Jefferson’s oft quoted statement regarding a “wall of separation between church and state’ originates.  And it is usually referenced by those who argue that churches should play no partisan role in politics – a sentiment that is enshrined in the tax laws which give exemptions to religious institutions, particularly the much referenced “Johnson Act.”   However, when Jefferson’s statement is viewed in context one could credibly argue that it was intended to prevent the government from interfering in the affairs of the church rather than the other way around.

However ambiguous the text of the Constitution is on this question, there remains the Johnson Act – which is a statute that cannot be overturned by an Executive Order – and Trump’s open display of favoritism for Christianity and Judaism to a lesser degree over say, Islam, Buddhism and Orisha Voodoo which is expressly forbidden in the “Free Expression” clause of the First Amendment.  All of these factors mitigate against the legality of Trumps Executive Order “protecting religious freedom.’

However, being the pompous fool and opportunistic charlatan that he has revealed himself to be…none of these fine points of law mean a thing to “The Donald.”  This raises ethical questions about the integrity and credibility of the religious leaders who assembled in the White House Rose Garden, and enthusiastically applauded the transparently ungodly Trump in a Lips to posterior posture, even as he was violating the most basic charge of Jesus Christ to ‘heal the sick and feed the hungry,” to tend to the “least among us.  For as you do unto to them so have ye done unto me!”

The whole thing was the foulest blasphemy!  To venerate a self-confessed sinner, who claims to be a Christian yet says he has never felt the need to ask the lord for forgiveness, is a shame before man and a sin in the sight of God!  Nothing was sacred to these preachers with forked tongues. They called upon scripture, and even defamed the good name of Dr. Martin Luther King, associating the legacy of this modern day prophet, “drum major for justice,” and Apostle of Peace with their shameless genuflection before an obscene money changer and minister of mammon.  To associate God’s holy word and the memory of Dr. King with  this profane  scoundrel, whose evil deeds even offends a godless wretch like me, and Jesus Christ drove from the temple with violence, is brazen hypocrisy!

It is a betrayal of the commandments of the lord in order to appease the princes and powers that rule this modern-day Babylon!   I say to them beware: Check yourself before you wreck yourself.  For the Bible instructs us that no person can serve two masters; we must either serve God or the Devil. And I can think of no better personification of Lucifer in these dawning years of the 21st century, a time when one man has the ability to set the world on fire, than “The Donald.”   Therefore, if the beliefs about heaven and hell claimed by those impious preachers who gathered in the Rose Garden and sang hosannas to Trump prove to be true: SOMEBODY IS GONNA BURN IN HELL OVER THIS UNHOLY UNION OF CHURCH AND STATE!

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Click on Link to witness the Ceremony in Hypocrisy

 

Playthell G. Benjamin
Harlem, New York
May 5, 2017

The Most Dangerous Nation on Earth!

Posted in On Donald Trump, On Foreign Affairs, On Nuclear War, Playthell on politics with tags on April 17, 2017 by playthell
American Nuclear Armed  Fleet Steaming for Korea: An Invincible Armada?

How Trump’s Policies Can Lead to Human Extinction

Recently I had a conversation with a professor of physics in Berkley about climate change; from his pained facial expressions and the resignation in his body language, I could tell this was not his favorite subject.  As it turns out the warming of our planet is something he had thought about quite a lot, and I would soon learn that physicist of all schools everywhere in the world are thinking about it.   And it soon became clear that not nearly enough people outside of the scientific community are thinking about the crisis seriously.

I knew the feeling.  For over half a century I have been trying to warn my fellow citizens, anybody who would listen really, that we are living in the absurd situation where our entire civilization…and all life on this planet, could be extinguished in a ball of radioactive fire hotter than the sun within an hour from now by nuclear weapons.  To my knowledge, I am the only pundit who writes about the looming catastrophe of nuclear war on a regular basis.  Most either don’t understand it, or are too depressed about its consequences to ponder the problem; it is too ghastly to contemplate.

In an important regard the Physicist and I shared a similar burden: having an intimate and sure knowledge of how the extinction of our species could occur.  He as a result of his profession, me because of my service on a Strategic Air Command base stationed at the DEW – Distance Early Warning – line in Glasgow Montana, a remote location in the Great Plains near the Canadian border.

Our mission was the nuclear destruction of the Soviet Union.  The fact that I enjoyed a Top-Secret security clearance and was in a unit tasked with the security of the planes and their nuclear payloads, as well as the war fighting plans, provided me a birds eye view of the results of a nuclear war.  It was terrifying, but it is much more dangerous now! The physicist also understands the devastating affect of  nuclear weapons, but he has no idea of the probability of its use; the scenarios whereby such an unspeakable event could happen.

However, when it comes to climate change his great fear is not simply that it is happening, but that it may already too late for any human action to reverse this calamity, this ticking ecological time bomb set in motion by the sustained human assault on mother nature.  He told me the ice caps at Earth’s poles are melting, and this will make life nearly unbearable in many parts of the world that are at, or below, sea level. Islands in the pacific, as well as American cities like Miami and New Orleans will disappear, low lying sections in Manhattan and Brooklyn will also be under water.

The planet will also experience highly destructive weather events that will make the worst hurricanes we have seen look like relatively mundane events.  And they will occur with far greater frequency.  But that was not the worst of it; he also said that there are vast quantities of methane gas stored under the icecaps sufficient to poison the air and make it unbreathable!  By the time he was through painting a vivid portrait of the horrors looming over the future of our planet, the reason for his pessimism became palpable.

An Inconvient Truth….

Although Trump Denies it…The Ice Caps are Melting!

Alas, I could feel his pain.   For we must live with the horror of knowing that it is a man-made disaster, and that this disaster is the creation of a hand full of arrogant, cold-blooded, know-it-all politicians, scientist and militarist.  This is but a small fraction of humanity, and in a democratic political system they can be stopped if it is the will of the majority.

Our only hope is to come together in a concerted action to stop them.  That’s why I write essays like this and post them on the internet for free; getting the word out is far more important than money. The fate of the earth is at stake.  Never was the political axiom truer: “In a popular democracy the people eventually get the kind of government they deserve!”

As I put the finish touch on this essay it is Easter Sunday morning, and the famous presidential historian David McCullough is being interviewed on CBS Sunday Morning.  He is quoting a past president who said: “Only men who are honest and wise should occupy this office.”  The crux of our problem is that we now have a man in office who is anthesis of wisdom or honesty!

And despite the pro-Trump, rah! Rah! America blather, I am listening to from Joe Scarborough this monday morning – who is supposedly the “thinking man’s conservative” – and an expert from the prestigious journal Foreign Affairs, at present Trump is doing some dumb and dangerous things.  at present he has ordered the nuclear armed US Navy to cruise off the coast of North Korea, whose government has issued a warning that if they believe they are about to be attack they will launch a preemptive strike with all their might…including nuclear weapons.  When this warning is considered in light of an impulsive belligerent Donald Trump’s announcement that his approach to international crisis is to be “unpredictable,” we have the perfect scenario for a catastrophe!

Hence instead of worrying about the “irrational North Korean leader with the funny haircut,” as one American commentator pompously put the problem; I think we should be terrified of the irrational American leader with the funny hairdo!  For so long as The Donald – a vain, ignorant, pugnacious, megalomaniacal charlatan –  remains in the Oval office with the power to remove the US from the international climate control treaty, and launch nuclear weapons, THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA IS THE MOST DANGEROUS NATION ON EARTH!

God Gave Noah the Rainbow Sign….

……No more Water, the Fire Next Time!

 

The USS Vincet leads the Fleet Steamimg Toward Korean Waters
http://www.cnn.com/videos/world/2017/04/11/us-warships-north-korea-uss-carl-vinson-sje-orig.cnn
Playthell G. Benjamin
Harlem, New York
April 17th, 2017

Geezers Going Wild!

Posted in Playthell on politics with tags , on April 12, 2017 by playthell

John McCain and John Lindsay

On the Mad Mutterings of Murderous Old Men

True to his campaign promises, Donald Trump is proving “unpredictable” in foreign relations; especially in the deployment of US armed forces.  The covert movement of troops into the Mid-East region and the sudden attack on Syria, which contradicts other often stated positions by Trump decrying US military intervention in that country and the Middle-East generally, is the essence of unpredictability.

From the outset these actions seemed unconnected to any stated policy or discernable strategy.  Now we have been told by Donnie’s Son Eric that his father decided to bomb Syria after daddy’s girl  Ivanka expressed her outrage at Assad.   The fact that this attack may have been ordered up by a clueless Barbie from the rag trade is shocking!  It leaves no doubt that the attack on Syria was an impulsive action whose consequences were not thought through, and thus it could well turn out to be a fool’s errand.

Nevertheless, Trumps assault on Syria is being enthusiastically applauded on both sides of the aisle. The leading ladies of the Democratic Party – Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi – who normally find The Donald unfit for polite company, were dancing in the alise over Donnie’s demonstration of his manly prowess by going upside Assad’s head with a missile smack down.

Yet none of this hoopla has been more enthusiastic than the ringing endorsement from those two pillars of the Senate Republican establishment: John McCain and Lindsay Graham, both former military officers.  As the Senators from Arizona and South Carolina they represent gun totin constituencies for whom military conflict represents a kind of pornography that beguiles them the way sexual pornography bewitches the sex fiend.  These people seem bored with even the possibility of a protracted peace.

Right after the bombing of a Syrian airfield was made public the two Senators released a public statement clearly stating their support.  It begins with the declaration “We salute the skill and professionalism of the U.S. Armed Forces who carried out tonight’s strikes in Syria. Acting on the orders of their commander-in-chief, they have sent an important message the United States will no longer stand idly by as Assad, aided and abetted by Putin’s Russia, slaughters innocent Syrians with chemical weapons and barrel bombs”

To the careful observer there is much to be alarmed about in this paragraph, especially the passage praising Trump for sending “an important message” that “The United States will no longer stand idly by as Assad, aided and abetted by Putin’s Russia” slaughters the Syrian people. The obvious question is what do they mean by this? Is it all blow and no go; or does this signal a radical change of policy where the US will now take on an active military role in the Syrian Civil War?

While what Trump is thinking on the matter remains a deep mystery, since he has chosen to be unpredictable, the Senators are clear on what direction they think American policy in Syria should take.

“Unlike the previous administration, President Trump confronted a pivotal moment in Syria and took action. For that, he deserves the support of the American people. Building on tonight’s credible first step, we must finally learn the lessons of history and ensure that tactical success leads to strategic progress. That means following through with a new, comprehensive strategy in coordination with our allies and partners to end the conflict in Syria. The first measure in such a strategy must be to take Assad’s air force—which is responsible not just for the latest chemical weapons attack, but countless atrocities against the Syrian people—completely out of the fight.”

Reading this, the thoughtful observer of international relations and the laws that govern them, is forced to wonder by what rights does the US justify such acts of war against a nation that has committed no act of aggression against the US?  From all appearances one gets the impression that this would be a divinely ordained mission in which God has chosen America to set things aright.   This will be the second time a Republican President has decided to attack a Muslim country that has done us no harm, and there is abundant reason to believe that the conflict in Syria could turn out to be worse mess than Iraq, in terms of further inflaming and destabilizing the Middle-East by stimulating the militant jihadist movement.

Hence an expanding American military involvement in Syria could prove a bottomless sinkhole for American blood and treasure.  Yet despite their admonition that we should “learn from the lessons of history,” based on their policy proposals they appear to be ignoring them.  For instance, they propose that the US government “must also bolster support for the vetted Syrian opposition and establish safe zones to address the ongoing humanitarian crisis. As we do, we can and must continue the campaign to achieve ISIS’s lasting defeat.”

While this may sound good, these proposals are not supported by the lessons of US history in the Middle East.  Since John McCain has long advocated arming something called “The Free Syrian Army” – a motley collection of Syrians that oppose the Assad regime, and could well contain as many potential villains as heroes – we can reasonably assume that is what they are alluding to when they say we “must bolster support for the vetted Syrian opposition.”

Yet if there is any lasting lesson history teaches us about intervening in Middle-East conflicts, it is that there is no reliable method of “vetting” forces engaged in these armed conflicts.  And that is because we are interlopers widely despised by militants from all sides. Look at what happened in Afghanistan, where we armed and trained both the Taliban and Al Qaeda in their fight against Russia, only to end up with them using those weapons and training against us.  It was from this very country that the devastating 9/11 attack was organized and launched!

Furthermore, the attack was ordered by a Osama bin Laden, a rich Saudi Arabian civil engineer who was trained in terrorist tactics by the CIA, and carried out by citizens of Saudi Arabi and Egypt, America’s closest “allies” in the Arab world.  And the weapons that ISIS – which was created by the ill-fated and unnecessary American invasion of Iraq – uses to wreak havoc were originally given to “friendly forces” of the Iraqi government.  While these truths should be self-evident to any reasonably intelligent person who has been paying attention, it escapes members of Congress from both parties.

John Delaney, a democratic Congressman from Maryland, is a poignant example of this refusal to learn the lessons that history can teach us.  In an interview on MSNBC on Saturday morning he was asked about the statement by Tulsi Gabbard – a Congresswoman from Hawaii and former combat officer in Afghanistan – warning that expanded American military involvement in Syria could lead to a nuclear confrontation with Russia.  To my shock and dismay, Congressman Delaney argued that establishing American “leadership” in the Syrian quagmire is worth the risk of a military conflict with Russia.

Amaingly, this kind of jingoistic nonsense has been echoed throughout the broadcast press,with FOX “News” being the worst.  Listening to the fawning fiddle faddle of their commentators creaming in their jeans over Donnie’s derring-doo in Syria, I am reminded that the ranks of American journalism are to be found saints and charlatans. However my response is that either this Congressman is a madman obsessed with the dangerous delusion of “American Exceptionalism,” or an ignoramus with no real understanding of the danger a nuclear war with Russia poses to the survival of mankind.  Nothing that could happen in Syria would justify a war with Russia!

Since Delaney is balding, I suspect that he came of age at the apex of the American empire which after the fall of the Russian Communist Party, the dismantling of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pack – a military alliance among communist countries that served as a counter weight to NATO – resembled something akin to a Pax-America, where the US was the sole super power in a unipolar world.  This kind of thinking reflects a 21st century version of what the late Senator William Fulbright aptly called “The Arrogance of Power.”

It is a view of the world largely promulgated by deluded old heads like McCain, Lindsay and Trump: intellectually  pugnacious Geezers gone wild that could get us all killed as we follow their lead into a mass grave.  Which will be a short walk if Trump heeds Lindsay Graham’s advice to set up a no-fly one in Syria and if Russian planes fly into that space we should “shoot them down!”

Alas, giving a clueless, megalomaniacal, pugnacious, impulsive old man like Trump the idea that it is okay for him to attack other countries that have committed no offense against us, and pushing him to become more aggressive against a nuclear superpower like Russia, is the first step down that dangerous road to doomsday.

This is where we are headed….

……If we don’t change course

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Playthell G. Benjamin
Harlem, New York
April 8, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Public Enemy Number One!

Posted in On Donald Trump, Playthell on politics with tags on March 22, 2017 by playthell

A lying, delusional, megalomaniacal buffoon!

 Reality Check: If you Elect a Dick You Gonna get Fucked!

If ever there were prophetic words uttered from the mouth of a politician it is Thomas Jefferson’s observation about the relationship between education and a successful popular democracy.  In the debate around whether the new republic should establish a system of free and compulsory education, most people thought that the ability to “read, write and cipher” would justify such a policy.

However, Thomas Jefferson, a leading figure of the American Enlightenment and arguably the most thoughtful of the Founding Fathers offered this rationale for the promotion of education as a government policy: “A democracy cannot work with an ignorant electorate, because they will elect and return the worst people to power.” He also argued “There never was a people who were ignorant and free.  There never was and their never shall be.”

Jefferson’s love of learning was such that he celebrated the work of the black mathematician and astronomer Benjamin Banneker, although it contradicted his previous speculations about black intelligence, and founded the University of Virginia, one of the world’s great universities.

A reverence for learning was also personified by Benjamin Franklin, who founded the University of Pennsylvania, another world class University from which our mentally handicapped President holds a degree in Real Estate awarded by the business school.  And although he often refers to his degree, he missed out on the best that this great university had to offer.  Since he came to U-Penn as a junior, he did not get the benefit of the university’s excellent humanities courses where he might have gained a more expansive view of human possibility and emerged as something more than an uncultured money grubbing churl.

Alas, by quitting his education at the undergraduate level “The Donald” was also deprived of the splendid education he would have gotten in management and finance had he pursued the MBA, for which the Wharton School of Business and Finance is world famous.   Hence whereas he might have become the kind of enlightened businessman who uses his fortune to promote the general welfare of our society – Andrew Carnegie, Julius Rosenwald, Reginal Lewis, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Mark Zuckerberg, et al – we get a vulgar braggart with delusions of grandeur whom almost three thousand shrinks have diagnosed as suffering from “malignant Narcissism” and “paranoia.”

The shrinks, who took the name, “Citizen Therapists Against Trumpism, disregarded a prohibition by the American Psychiatric Association against rendering diagnosis of people they have not personally examined.  Known as the “Goldwater Rule,” this prohibition was instituted in 1964, after 1, 189 psychiatrists rendered their diagnosis of presidential candidate Barry Goldwater, a far right Republican, in Fact Magazine.  Goldwater, who spoke recklessly about the use of nuclear weapons, had written a book titled “The Conscience of a Conservative,” and in a mocking play on words Fact Magazine published a special issue titled “The Unconscious of a Conservative: A Special Issue on the Mind of Barry Goldwater.”  The hundreds of psychiatrists that rendered an opinion on Goldwater were agreed that he was “psychologically unfit to be President.”  Goldwater was defeated by Lyndon Johnson in a landslide.

The howls of invective and protests hurled against psychiatrist by Goldwater supporters prompted the America Psychiatric Association to issue a statement that it was “unethical” to offer a “professional opinion” on the mental health of a person the psychiatrist has not personally examined.  However, the Psychiatrists who have issued an opinion on Trump, feel that their patriotic duty to warn the American public about the dangers of a mentally ill president, greatly out weight the ethical questions raised by the Goldwater Rule. 

Their position is clearly stated in a Public Manifesto. “We cannot remain silent as we witness the rise of an American form of fascism.”  The Psychiatrists go on to clearly state the characteristics of a fascistic personality: Scapegoating …, degrading, ridiculing, and demeaning rivals and critics, fostering a cult of the Strong Man who appeals to fear and anger, promises to solve our problems if we just trust in him, reinvents history and has little concern for truth (and) sees no need for rational persuasion.”

I think they are right on the money, but since I have no qualifications that suits me to comment on the psychology of a fascist, I have written two essays on the political manifestations of the fascistic personality by conducting a comparative analysis of the political style and aspirations of Donald Trump and twentieth century Fascist such as Adolph Hitler and Benito Mussolini.  See: “Is Donald Trump a Uniquely American Fascist?” and “Herr Drumpf and Herr Hitler: Birds of a Feather?’  Both essays are published on this site.

Some doctors were so alarmed by their diagnosis they felt compelled to warn the nation in a public statement that having a mentally impaired person in the Oval office presents a clear and present danger to America and the world – especially when we consider the fact that this deeply flawed person has the codes and “football” that empowers him to launch our doomsday nuclear arsenal that would destroy the world!  In view of this reality the doctors have called upon the vice-president and the cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove him from office on the grounds that he is unfit to carry out the duties of his office.

Although he has been in office for little over a month it is clear to everyone with a rudimentary education – who is not blinded by ideology, racist delusions or head up the ass syndrome – that the election of Donald J. Trump is an unmitigated disaster!  Yet from all appearances the worst is yet to come.  And it is a sad fact that many of the disastrous policies that Trump will sign into law are actually standard Republican approaches to governing, which they have repeatedly demonstrated cannot work.

However with a knowledgeable president possessed of a humane vision – such as Barack Obama – the most destructive impulses of right wing Republican ideologues can be checkmated.  In Donald J. Trump we have the opposite of Obama, a pugnacious ignoramus who does not appear to have ever contemplated the state of the human condition and how it might be made better.   Indeed, try as I might, I can find no evidence that Trump has ever been committed to any cause that does not involve self-enrichment and boosting his brand.

Upon close examination everything about The Donald that those who voted to elect him is revealed as false, the result of PR hyperbole, which is just a fancy way of saying it’s all bullshit!  In his seminal treatise on the subject “On Bullshit,” Dr. Harry G. Franks, a Professor of philosopher at Princeton, explains the phenomenon:

The realms of advertising and of public relations, and the nowadays closely related realm of politics, are replete with instances of bullshit so unmitigated that they can serve among the most indisputable and classic paradigms of the concept. And in these realms there are exquisitely sophisticated craftsmen who with the help of advanced and demanding techniques of market research, of public opinion polling, of psychological testing, and so forth dedicate themselves tirelessly to getting every word and image they produce exactly right. Yet there is something more to be said about this. However studiously and conscientiously the bullshitter proceeds, it remains true that he is also trying to get away with something.”

It would be difficult indeed to find anybody who has employed the techniques of bullshitting and lying more advantageously than the present occupant of the Oval Office.  While there is an embarrassment of riches to choose from, a virtual treasure trove, a couple of critical examples will suffice.  Donald Trump was largely elected on the basis of his claims as a great businessman and his image as a “blue collar billionaire who cares deeply about the working class and is devoted to advancing their interests.

The great Daily News columnist Jimmy Breslin, who passed on as I write, was a true tribune of the people who declared that his purpose was to “afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted.”  And he had the reputation of being so adept at detecting bullshit that he could see it coming before it left the bull’s ass!  Hence he was a master at unmasking charlatans, deflating the pompous and exposing frauds.  One of his favorite targets was Donald J. Trump, whose antics and narcissistic personality was sharply criticized in Breslin’s columns over the years.  Like Jimmy, The Donald was a Queens guy; although they hailed from different neighborhoods.

Breslin was from the same kind working class Irish neighborhood as Pete Hamill – another working class Irish writer from Brooklyn – who was an excellent observer of life in New York City.  In recounting a recent conversation with Breslin from his retirement home, Hamill tells us: Watching Trump in the White House left Breslin “a bit sour with what’s going on in our country. Mainly because (Trump was) the kind of guy that in my neighborhood in Brooklyn and (Breslin’s) in Queens we despisedThe bullshit tough guy. The guy is all mouth and couldn’t fight his way out of an empty lot.”   Well, there you have it straight from the mouths of two legendary New York Bullshit detectors, who observed Trump up close for decades!

If Trump’s “blue collar billionaire,” hype is classic bullshit the claim that he is a great businessman is a carefully concocted lie!  Trump’s reputation as a businessman rests on his past success as a builder and a brilliant deal maker.  The latter claim is based largely on the bestselling book “The Art of the Deal,” which Trump has repeatedly and shamelessly bragged about writing, declaring the only book more widely read is “the Bible.”  However, we now know that Trump didn’t write the book and his contribution to its contents was minimal.

We learned this when the real author of the book came forward and exposed Trump as a fraud, because he was horrified at the possibility that this shallow megalomaniacal charlatan might actually be elected President of the United States, and feared that he might have played a part in it.  Hence, as is recounted in The New Yorker, when Trump faced a crowd in front of Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue and said “We need a leader that wrote The Art of the Deal” Tony Schwartz, the real author, issued this statement: “Many thanks Donald Trump for suggesting I run for President, based on the fact that I wrote The Art of the Deal.”  According to Schwartz it was he, not trump, that coined the catchy title.

Schwartz felt so strongly that the nation was courting disaster by electing Trump to the presidency that he braved The Donald’s legendary litigious personality and risked a massive lawsuit in order to warn us.  He told us that Trump was a spiritually impoverished intellectual light-weight who did not read and could only concentrate on any subject for about 18 minutes before becoming bored and restless.  He described Trump as the kind of deluded personality who was born of third base but thought he hit a triple.  The person he described was the kind of narcissist who is incapable of truly empathizing with the problems of others, and is contemptuous of the truth unless it served his purpose; an unprincipled man devoid of moral gravitas.

The accuracy of this profile of the American president was verified by those who have dealt with him in business as well as his adversaries in the Republican presidential primary races.  The fact that he has been sued 4,000 times by business associates, and has filed four bankruptcies involving hundreds of millions of dollars, is a powerful statement on the way he does business.  Michel Bloomberg, founder of the Bloomberg LP, one of the most authoritative sources on American business, and is estimated to be worth 40 billion dollars, offered this assessment: “The founder of Bloomberg LP, who is worth an estimated $40 billion, criticized Trump’s business skills, saying, “Trump says he wants to run the nation like he’s running his business? God help us… Truth be told, the richest thing about Donald Trump is his hypocrisy.”

Mitt Romney, who runs an equity company whose business is evaluating the competence of corporate management, says of Trump: “A business genius he is not!”  This was echoed by Warren Buffett, the world’s most successful investor. In 1995 when Trump listed his Trump hotels and casino resorts on the New York Stock Exchange,” says Buffett, “he said the company lost money every year for the next decade. A monkey would have outperformed Trump’s company…if a monkey had thrown a dart at the stock page, the monkey on average would have made 150 percent.”

Paul Singer, the billionaire founder of the hedge fund Elliott Management Corp., said of Trump’s economic nationalist rhetoric during the 2016 Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado: “I think if he actually stuck to those policies and gets elected president, it’s close to a guarantee of a global depression,” Alas, it appears that most people who think Donald Trump is a great businessman are the people least able to evaluate his abilities: Such as the poor working class white dupes that naively voted for him en masse.

And after competing with him on the campaign trail, where his debasement of political discourse sank to levels never witnessed before in 20th century presidential politics, the common theme in the descriptions of his adversaries was that Trump is a man with “no moral center,” or “core beliefs.”  A con-man who will say or do anything to win.  He was viewed as such an odious character by some long-standing members of the Republican establishment that they developed a “Never Trump” movement and some even openly endorsed Hillary, actively recruiting other Republicans to vote for her against their party’s candidate.

Now that Trump is in the Oval office we see that everything they said about him during the campaign is true.  He is a petulant, pugnacious, ignoramus who tells outrageous lies without conscience and apparently without forethought either, given how easily they are disproven.  It is symptomatic of his Narcissism and delusion that he thinks he can get away with it.  In any case, despite the lies and smokescreens, each day it becomes more obvious that Trump is not qualified for the job of governing a complex and diverse nation.

He has appointed a Director of the Environmental Protection Agency – a critically important job for the preservation of our planet since the US is a top polluter – who does not accept the basic scientific consensus on global warming and announced that Carbon emissions into the atmosphere has NOTHING to do with it!  Yet global warming is the second most dangerous threat to human existence next to nuclear war.  And his Secretary of Energy didn’t even know that the Department of Energy has the responsibility of managing our nuclear weapons arsenal!

He has appointed a Secretary of Health and Human Services who is a shill for the health care industry and engaged in corrupt insider trading as a member of Congress.  In fact, it is now being alleged that Trump’s decision to fire the Federal Attorney for the Southern District of New York, after having previously asked him to stay on, was prompted by that Attorney’s decision to investigate Secretary Price’s investment history.  If the probe had been further on Trump’s action could have been construed as “Obstruction of Justice,” a serious crime that brought Dick Nixon down.

His choice for Secretary of Education has no experience with public education except to try and destroy it. He has chosen a Secretary of State who has no experience in government or foreign affairs except as the CEO of a multi-national oil corporation with a 500 billion-dollar deal pending in Russia, that is presently blocked by the sanctions imposed by President Obama as a penalty for Russian intervention in our Presidential election.  His choice for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development – a critical agency that is responsible for managing housing for millions of city dwellers, is a surgeon with no experience in government, housing policy or managing a giant bureaucracy.  In other words, most of his appointments are unqualified amateurs just like him!

Aside from these horrendous appointments, Donald Trump has openly called for the US to commit war crimes such as seizing the natural resources of other nations by force of arms; torturing people suspected of engaging in terrorist acts or belonging to organizations that engage in terrorism, and murdering the families of terrorists.  He has clearly chosen belligerence over diplomacy as the main instrument of American foreign relations, returning the power to kill people with drones to CIA field officers.

President Obama had restricted the power to make “kills” by the CIA due to the number of civilian casualties.  Alas, saving the lives of innocent Arabs is of no concern to a racist President determined to use every bit of American military power, civilians be damned!   Trump’s priorities are reflected in his allocation of monies: proposing an additional 54 billion dollars to an already obscenely bloated and wasteful military budget, while cutting 37% of the State Department’s budget.  This means there will be an expansion of military power and a decrease in diplomacy and other “soft power” initiatives.   Already Trump has introduced American troops into Syria, a transparent fool’s errand that we shall surely come to regret, and now he is facing an unfolding crisis on the Korean peninsula that could result in catastrophe.

Spoiling for a fight abroad and launching an assault on the public interest at home, Trump is threating to sign a bill that takes away the health care of up to 24 million people according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.   And they are attempting to justify this atrocity by obscuring the truth about funding cuts behind a veil of lies.  They have proposed a bill, the America Healthcare Act, which contains one of the biggest tax giveaways to the rich in American history – hundreds of billions of dollars – while literally putting the poor and the elderly at risk of literally dying in the streets.

And they are attempting to justifying this crime against humanity by reciting bogus talking points about Obamacare being in eminent danger of collapse and thus they are actually engaging in “an act of mercy,” in the words of Lyin Paul Ryan, Republican speaker of the House.  Yet the American Actuarial Society, who are the foremost experts on this issue, says it ain’t so!  It is hard to imagine a worse image for the Republicans than billionaires taking away the health care of the poor while the get hundreds of billions in tax giveaways!   But, arrogant and full of themselves, they are marching happily down that road.  Let’s see if all the po whites who put Trump in office will make the GOP – Grand Obstructionist Party – pay at the polls come election day.

The Republican assault on the public interests knows no bounds.  They are enacting policies that could result in polluting our water supplies; just like in Flint Michigan, where a Republican businessman with no experience in government was elected governor and enacted policies that led to the poisoning the water with lead.  It was such a callous act that the people directly responsible for implementing the policy are being charged with felonies.

The GOP’s approach to supporting important cultural institutions face the same level of destruction if they carry through with plans to defund the National Endowment for the Arts, and slash the budget for the Public Broadcasting System.  These are national treasures that enrich the cultural and spiritual life of the nation, something a shallow philistine like Trump does not began to understand. We hear Trump’s Director of OBM –Office of Management and Budget – offer up absurd arguments to justify these backward policies like, “We can’t continue to ask single mothers and coal miners in West Virginia to continue to pay for Public Broadcasting.”

The tragic irony of this is that these are the people who need PBS the most, because this is the only shot that their children have to come in contact with high culture. These parents can’t take their children out to the Ballet, or Opera, or a concert by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, or see great plays or art movies, etc.  And the tax burden on them is less than $2.00 a year!  It is the best deal they will ever get in this life.  The fact that Trump does not understand or care about this issue is a reflection of the fact that he is a vulgar materialist, an uncultured philistine who is indifferent to art and culture.  There is not a single cultural institution that he has endowed in his home town, the cultural capital of the world.

He is betraying all of the urban working class and poor rural whites that voted for him at every turn.  It is not enough that he is taking away their medical care and a valuable cultural resource, he is adopting polices that will diminish resources to the public schools upon which they depend for the education of their children, but he is even taking away “Meals on Wheels,” a program that feeds the elderly poor upon which 500,000 military veterans depend!

Asid from his cold-blooded betrayal of his working class base, Trump’s assault on the basic institutions of American democracy reveals the mind-set of a dictator.  He has blatantly attacked the independence of the Judiciary, and he has launched a sustained assault against the free press, constantly denouncing working reporters with scurrilous attacks at public gatherings and on Twitter.   He is obnoxious martinet who cannot distinguish between the dictatorial of a corporate CEO and the limited powers of the presidency.  This an obvious consequence of the fact that he has no experience in public service.

Thomas Jefferson said if he had a choice between a government and no free press, or a free press and no government, “I’ll take the free newspapers and no government!”  Trump says the fee press “is the enemy of the American people!”  Yet in all these atrocities and more, Donald J. Trump is daily demonstrating that he is the most dangerous threat to the public interest.  And that makes him Public Enemy Number One!!!

 **********************

 Click to see a Compilation of Trump’s Lies and Contradictions!

https://youtu.be/5wrEQhuzRDE

 

Drumfp and Hitler: Birds of a Feather?

Posted in On Donald Trump, Playthell on politics, You Tube Classics with tags , on January 27, 2017 by playthell
donald-trump-giving-fascist-saluteHe says his Success is due to his Superior German Blood

 What Does the Evidence Suggest?

After meeting him Truman Smith remarked: “This is a marvelous demagogue who can really inspire people.” And Paul Von Wiegard, a foreign correspondent for the Hearst newspapers marveled at his ability to whip crowds into a frenzy during his speeches at political rallies. This is as succinct an assessment of Donald Trump as I could imagine; a poignant unvarnished portrait.  The problem for Americans is that the man they were describing is Adolph Hitler!

We learn these cautionary facts from a revealing article, titled “Early Warnings: How American Journalist Reported the Rise of Hitler, published in the venerable Atlantic Magazine, by Jennie Rothenberg Gritz, an editor  there.  The book under review is Hitlerland: American Eyewitnesses to the Nazi Rise to Power, by Andrew Nargorsky.

I was drawn to this essay because of its title, thinking that it might offer some insight on the rise of Donald Trump to the US presidency.  I have already noted some striking similarities in the political style of Trump and Hitler in an article I published several months ago during the heat of the election campaign titled “Is Donald Trump a Uniquely American Fascist?”

Not only did this essay offer some unique insights, it was pregnant with useful revelations.  For instance, we learn:

“After the Great Depression hit, suddenly the Nazi Party became a major contender for power. Yet you had Americans meeting Hitler and saying, “This guy is a clown. He’s like a caricature of himself.” And a lot of them went through this whole litany about how even if Hitler got into a position of power, other German politicians would somehow be able to control him. A lot of German politicians believed this themselves.”

Anyone who is paying attention to the American political scene just now will have heard shockingly similar conversations regarding President Trump.  The careful listener can even discern some of the same descriptive language.  For instance, the insightful journalist Matt Taibbi has written a book based on his coverage of the Trump presidential campaign titled “Insane Clown President: Dispatches from the 2016 Circus.” In a recent interview on the Seth Meyers Show, Taibbi said of Trump’s rise to power: “On the one hand, it’s the funniest thing that’s ever happened to this country.  On the other hand it’s potentially the end of civilization.“

Taibbi’s troubling observations bring several critical issues immediately to mind.  First I am reminded of why brilliant men of humane vision like Drs. Albert Einstein, Robert Oppenheimer, and the swing dancing George Kwiatkowski agreed to work on a horrendous weapon like the Atomic Bomb.  Although they later expressed regret for bringing this doomsday weapon into the world; they did it because they were terrified that Hitler might get it first…and they had no doubt that he would use it.  The scientists’ concerns about Hitler are echoed in the Bill now being put forth by US Congressmen Ted W, Lieu and Senator Edward Markey, to restrain the danger of a bombastic, thin skinned, socio-path like President Trump launching a nuclear attack on some nation during a temper tantrum.

Upon introducing the “Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017” H.R. 669 and S. 200, Congressman Lieu, a Democrat from California, was clear on the danger the world faces from the fact that Donald Trump – a delusional megalomaniac whose mental stability has been called into question by several psychiatrist analyzing his public behavior – now has the Nuclear football and the Launch Codes that gives him the power to destroy the world!   :

“It is a frightening reality that the US now has a Commander-in-Chief who has demonstrated ignorance of the nuclear triad, stated his desire to be ‘unpredictable’ with nuclear weapons, and as president-elect was making sweeping statements about US nuclear policy over Twitter.  Congress must act to preserve global stability by restricting the circumstances under which the US would be the first nation to use a nuclear weapon.  Our Founders created a system of checks and balances, and it is essential for that standard to be applied to the potentially civilization-ending threat of nuclear war.” 

Even the Five Blind Boys can see that these legislators clearly do not trust temperament or judgement of the pugnacious martinet that presently commands America’s doomsday nuclear arsenal.

Far too few Americans understand how the Nuclear Triad works.  Reduced to its simplest terms, it is enough to say that the US Strategic Command cab launch thousands of hydrogen bombs anywhere on the globe with pin point accuracy in less than an hour from three different platforms: Land based Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles; dropped from Strato-bombers of the US Strategic Air Command, and naval vessels steaming on the ocean’s surface or beneath the sea.  As things presently stands, this awesome power resides completely in the hands of Donald Trump, who alone can give the command to launch without consulting ANYONE!!!!!!   That’s why the Lieu-Markey Bill is the most important piece of legislation in history.

Herr Hitler!

hitler

He also believes his German blood was “superior”

As I have shown elsewhere, Trump, like Hitler, views the fate of the nation and his personal fate as one.  You could easily see this based on his response to the Mexican president’s cancellation of a state visit to Washington to meet with Trump.  The new President was quick to label the Mexican President’s snub of him with disrespect for the United States.  Trump’s feeling that he personifies the nation arises from the source as Hitler’s, he won the election base on his pesonality, which transcended the Republican party.  An insightful article in the distinguished German newspaper Der Spiegal, explains the role of  the personality cult in Hitler’s Rise to the pinnacle of political power:

” …there were one or two tantalizing hints that Hitler’s personal appeal outstripped that of the Nazi regime itself, and even more so of the Party. “For Adolf Hitler yes, but a thousand times no to the brown big-wigs” was scribbled on one ballot-paper in Potsdam. The same sentiment could be heard elsewhere.”

And just as Hitler used the Versailles Treaty, as evidence of other nation’s taking advantage of a weak Germany, Trump has used trade agreements like NAFTRA North American Free Trade Agreement, and the proposed TPP – Trans Pacific Partnership – which Trump recently scrapped with an Executive Order – to label the negotiators at best as “incompetent political hacks” or “stupid” and economic traitors at worst – enemies of the America people.  And just like Hitler, he uses these treaties to whip up the anger of impassioned mobs untutored in the vagaries of political subterfuge or the complexities of international trade.

Also like Hitler, many people fail to recognize how dangerously unstable Trump’s mental state is.   Listening to him argue ad nauseam with reporters about the size of the crowd that turned out to witness what he evidently thinks was his coronation, even inviting them to compare aerial photographs of the crowds that attended his and Barack Obama’s swearing in Ceremony made by the Park Service, we have to seriously worry about whether this guy is all there.

This is crazy stuff, especially when you look at the pictures. Anybody with good eyesight can see that it’s not even close; Barack’s crowd dwarfs Trump’s.   His servile staff, who he probably views as the Kings courtiers whose proper posture is lips to his posterior, dare not tell him the unpleasant truth.    They remind me of the court in “The Emperor’s New Clothes.”

This obsession with size – which earlier manifested itself when he felt in necessary to explain that his small hands didn’t mean that he also suffered from pant worm…this clarification was so important to him that he issued a plea for understanding from the podium during his presidential campaign – is a sign that the New US president is something of an extreme narcissist; a mythomaniac who suffers from delusions of grandeur. Just like Adolph!

Trump’s insecurity about size is also revealed in his constant talk of building up the American military, although the US has the largest, best funded, destructive military forces in the world.  As President Obama said: “It ain’t even close!”  Obsession with building military might was also a defining characteristic of Hitler’s Nazi regime.

Also like Hitler, Trump benefitted from a split on the left, where some voted for third parties and others stayed home, certain that an obviously incompetent clown like “The Donald” could not possibly win the presidency.  It reminds me of the comments from the great Hollywood film maker Frank Capra, who explained the difficulty of making anti-fascist propaganda films from the war department during the Second World War, because Hitler and Mussolini looked like clowns and it was hard to get people to feel hostile or scared watching their antics.  The main impulse of viewers was to bust out laughing!

Alas, notwithstanding the ludicrous buffoon Trump reveals himself to be on a daily basis, he is no laughing matter!  Speaking of Hitler’s position in German politics a year after he became Chancellor, Ian Kershaw writes the following in the same Der Spiegal article, titled “The Fuerer Myth:”

“Today Hitler Is All of Germany.” The newspaper headline on Aug. 4, 1934 reflected the vital shift in power that had just taken place. Two days earlier, on the death of Reich President Paul von Hindenburg, Hitler had lost no time in abolishing the Reich Presidency and having the army swear a personal oath of unconditional obedience to him as “the Führer of the German Reich and People.”

He was now head of state and supreme commander of the armed forces, as well as head of government and of the monopoly party, the NSDAP. Hitler had total power in Germany, unrestricted by any constitutional constraints. The headline implied even more, however, than the major change in the constellation of power. It suggested an identity of Hitler and the country he ruled, signifying a complete bond between the German people and Hitler”

To recognize the gravitas of the crisis in contemporary American politics, it is quite enough to acknowledge that all the powers that Hitler had in 1934 Germany Trump has now, with one exception. Trump is checked by “constitutional restraints,” but they are not worth the parchment they are written on if the members of his party refuse to stand up to him.  And thus far, possibly intimidated by his twitter attacks, they are behaving like a school of spineless Jelly fish.

Although at different Times and Places

fascist-salute-at-hitler-rally

A Hysterical Woman at a Hitler Rally

donald-trumps-fascist-supporter

It’s the Same Class of Phenomenon whether in Germany or the US

Like all authoritarian leaders and wannabe tyrants, both Adolph Hitler and Donald Trump, brothers of the blood, despise the free press. Hitler destroyed the free press in Nazi Germany, and I have no doubt that Trump would do the same in the US if he could. Restrained by the First Amendment to our constitution, Herr Drumpf has resorted to a campaign of vicious slanders and invective against the press in general – his acolytes shouting the old Nazi epithet “lougen presser!” – lying press – at the reporters covering his rallies.

Furthermore, Trump’s senior advisor Steve Bannon rivals Dr. Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda, on employing the principle of the “Big Lie.”  This strategy is based on the idea that if you repeat a lie to a mass audience often enough, even if it is outrageous, a certain number of them will believe it.  That’s how hitler won the hearts and minds of the most educated ppulace on earth and convinced them to murder six million of their neighbors!

Bannon is well schooled in this practice having run Brietart, a far right wing propaganda blog spinning “alternative” facts infested with neo-Nazi views, before moving into the White House.  In a show of hostility and contempt for the major media heretofore unseen in a top advisor to an American President, Brannon, whom rumor has it is “Trump’s brain,” just called the newspapers of record – New York Times, Washington Post, et al – the “opposition party” and told them to “shut up!”

Trump’s open hostility to the working press, well trained professional journalist trying to inform the American people about the critical issues and the policies elected officials, whom we employ, are promoting. Thomas Jefferson, the wisest of the American Founding Fathers, held the free press in such high esteem he once said “If I had a choice between a government and no free press, or a free press and no government, I would take the free press and no government.”

If Jefferson’s position reveals a deep commitment to democratic government, Trump’s attitude toward the press exposes an authoritarian personality with fundamentally anti-democratic instincts. One obvious source of this difference in their approach to the exercise of power is that Thomas Jefferson was a widely read intellectual and statesman who devoted his life to public service; trying to build a great nation was the motivating force in his life.

Trump has spent his adult life as the CEO of a private corporation devoted to no higher goal than making money and personal enrichment for ostentatious display. The power structure of a corporation is by nature a pure dictatorship; you carry out the CEO’s commands or you get fired!   Just like on Trump’s reality TV show “The Apprentice.”

In the most generous and flattering interpretation of Donald Trump, I’d say he aspires to be a benevolent dictator!  Trump’s aggressive nationalism, like that of Hitler, imperils the peace and security of the world.  Where Hitler and Trump are most unlike, is the fact that Hitler was a fanatic deeply committed to an ideology he believed would build a “Thousand Year Reich” that would rule the world ….and as near as anybody can tell Trump believes in nothing beyond “winning.

Furthermore Hitler also fought bravely in combat for his country in World War I, whereas Donald Trump is a draft dodger who shriked his duty while other young  men his age marched off to war in Vietnam!  Although he loves to brag about his “militaristic” nature, Trump is all blow and no go!  His sole experience with military matters is a stint he spent in an expensive military high school; yet he is such a shameless braggart that he actually cited his highschool eperience as evidence of his having served in the military.  Which is further evidence that he simply cannot control his compulsion to lie!

Another great difference between the the two men is that Hitler was determined to conquer Russia, and launched an attack with genocidal intent!   The sole political virtue of President Trump, that I can clearly identify, is his refusal to be stampeded into promoting the growing anti-Russian hysteria that has been embracd by Democrats and Republicans with varying degrees of passion.   Let us hope that Trump holds his course on US-Russian relations.   For if there was ever a situation where his pigheadness could be a positive asset it is his attitude toward US-Russian relations.  Yet given all the forces at work to undermine it alas, who knows what the future will hold.

Given Trump’s bellicose approach to foreign relations, which is already antagonizing a nuclear armed China, should we get into a conflict with Russia it is anybody’s guess how Trump will react. Perhaps the most telling sign of the danger Trump’s presidency poses is that the Bulletin of Atomic Scientist just moved the hands on their “DOOMSDAY CLOCK,” which warns us how close the world is to nuclear destruction, CLOSER TO MIDNIGHT!

a-terryfying-nuclear-explosion

A Clear and Present Danger!

Ten Scary Facts about Nuclear War!

HOW DOOMSDAY WILL HAPPEN!

This is why Congress Must Pass the Lieu-Markey Bill

Mankind must Destroy the Bombs or the Bombs will Destroy Us!

********************

Playthell G. Benjamin

Harlem, New York

Janurary 27, 2017 of the End Times?

The Inauguration of Donald J. Trump

Posted in On Donald Trump, Playthell on politics with tags on January 20, 2017 by playthell
.trumps-inaugaration
Herr Drumpf takes the Oath
A DAY THAT WILL LIVE IN INFAMY, IF CIVILIZATION SURVIVES!

Today Donald J. Trump will take the oath of office, in which he will pledge to “defend the US constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic.” The problem is that the greatest danger to the Constitution may well be the new President himself. According to Lawrence Tribe, Professor of Constitutional Law at Harvard, Donald Trump will be in violation of the Emoluments Clause due to his failure to divest his sprawling business holdings by placing them into a blind trust to be liquidated by an anonymous trustee. Indeed, Professor Tribe, who is widely regarded as our most authoritative voice on the evolution and intent of the clauses in the Constitution, has laid out five constitutional violations that will make Trump eligible for Impeachment the moment he takes office in a few hours.

Of course this will not happen immeditely, because impeachment proceedings must begin in the House of Representatives, which is controlled by fanatical ideologues who have placed the interest of the Republican Party – the Grand Obstructionist Party – above the national interest, and privilege a thirst for power over their love for the Constitution – despite the endless lip service they give to its sacred place in American life. However, I predict that just like Richard Nixon with the Watergate affair, Trump’s business interests, and perhaps the relationship of his campaign and subsequent election to Russian intrusion in our presidential election could eventually result in the impeachment of Donald Trump.

The fact that the new President’s commitment to conventional Republican ideological dogma is suspect by party stalwarts, who would much prefer Vice-President Mike Pence in their heart of hearts, makes Trump’s removal from office a real possibility. There is a precedent for this in the history of the Republican Party. Party ideologues – i.e. the leadership and most of the Congress – view this election as a transformative moment in US political history akin to the period following the Civil War.

They see this as a chance to make sweeping fundamental changes in the character of American society, just like the “Radical Republican” Congress that shaped Reconstruction policy. Although the Republican Party had complete control of the government, they had an uncooperative President who was at odds with their agenda. This circumstance was a consequence of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln which propelled Vice -President Andrew Johnson into the Oval Office.

Johnson had been picked by Lincoln as a gesture of conciliation toward the defeated states of the southern confederacy because he was a pro-union southerner; the only southern senator who refused to leave the union when his state seceded. Johnson’s selection was a concrete expression of President Lincoln’s promise in his second inaugural address, when he held out an olive branch to the defeated south with the promise that he would proceed “with malice toward none and charity for all we will bind up the wounds of our nation.”

However despite his pro-union loyalty, Johnson was a racist southern reactionary who did not share the vision of the Radical Republican Congress, and thus he opposed their agenda. And when they had had enough of his obstructionism they found grounds to impeach his contrary ass.
The validity of these charges yet remains a subject of controversy among American historians. However, given Trump’s opposition to conventional Republican wisdom on such fundamental issues as “Free Trade,” fiscal conservatism, and Russian policy, they could decide to remove him in favor of the ideologically pure Pence. And given the sloppy state of President Trump’s business affairs they will have little trouble finding valid grounds for impeachment.But all of this is only gross speculation that must be filed under the category of “what if.”

As it stands in a few hours Donald J. Trump is being sworn in as the 45 President of the United States of America, in an orderly transfer of power that has proceeded unimpeded for two centuries. It is a process that remains the marvel of the world and something in which all Americans can take pride. After all, he was elected, so far as we know, in a free and fair election.

However, there are two investigations underway – conducted by a Senate committee and by the FBI – that may yet reveal that the election was not fair; that the outcome was manipulated by a foreign adversary intent upon destroying the campaign of Hillary Clinton, who was clearly the most qualified candidate for the presidency in American history, in favor of Donald J. Trump who from all appearances is the least qualified candidate in US history!

One need only compare the hostile attitude toward Russia held by Hillary Clinton, with the warm fuzzy bromance between Trump and Putin to fathom why the Russians prefer Donnie. In my view this is modern tragedy, because cultivating better relations with Russia – a nuclear armed nation with the capacity to obliterate every city and town in America in a half hour from now – is one of the most critical problems facing our nation’s survival.

Yet, alas, as Dr. Stephen Cohen – our most learned Russian scholar – has argued, the suspicion that President Trump may be Moscow’s candidate has cast a cloud of suspicion over the Trump presidency before he even takes office and could arrest any progress that he might wish to make in a rapprochement with Russia.

The tragedy lies in the fact that Trump’s refusal to be seduced or coerced into promoting the growing anti-Russian hysteria – fueled by loose talk from politicians and the mindless blather spouted by many in the mass media – is his sole virtue….at least as far as I can see, and I’m watching him like a hawk spying on a chicken. We will have to pay close attention to the investigations and await their verdict before we know for sure if our presidential election was free or fair.

What we do know for sure is that Donald Trump will be our next president, and if he does what he has promised to do, it will be a giant step backward for our nation. If he expands the military budget – which already exceeds those of Russia, China, England and Japan combined – it will add nothing to our safety because we already have the capacity to kill every living thing in the world several times over.

But it is certain to spark a new arms race that will endanger everybody’s security, including ours. And if he succeeds, in league with a compliant congress, in carrying out the tax cuts that he has promised, it has been estimated by neutral experts that it would result in a ten trillion dollar budget deficit within ten years!

If President Trump signs the bill already passed by the Republican Congress to repeal Obamacare it has been estimated by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Offic that 18 million American citizens will immediately lose their health care coverage – many of them the very people who voted him into the Oval Office! It will indeed be a bitter pill to swollow to watch billionaires take away the medical care of the poor.  And if he carries out his pledge to defund the National Endowment on the Arts, he will greatly impoverish the cultural life of the nation, injure our spiritual life, deny the nation’s youth of the opportunity to experience the wonder of artistic creativity, and thus diminish our humanity.

If President Trump also carries out his threat to slap a 45% tariff on goods coming from China, he will throw many Americans out of work – because even products manufactured in the US depend upon critical parts produced in China – and dramatically raise the price of goods working class Americans rely on. It will put Walmart as well as your local hardware store out of business! And if he continues with the folly of reinstituting a “two China” policy we could well end up in a war with China, which we have no chance of winning by conventional means, and would thus place us in a nuclear confrontation – which the Chinese believe will result in the extinction of Americans, who only number some 300 million souls, but some of the billion and a half Chinese will survive.

This is why the handing over of the nuclear “football” and the codes to fire our doomsday weapons to Donald Trump – a clueless ignoramus who has cavalierly talked about employing the nuclear option even in Europe – is so terrifying to those of us who recognize their destructive capacity. These doomsday weapons can literally destroy our planet! This is what we now face as a conquence of electing Donald J. Trump to the presidency of the US. It is hard to envision a scenario that will not end badly.

Our only hope for a brighter outcome alas, is that President Trump will experience something akin to the “Beckett Syndrome,” where Thomas Beckett, a flunky for the king of England, was elevated by the King to the Arch-Bishop of Canterbury, the powerful head of the Church of England, in the belief that he would do the King’s bidding. But once in office Beckett looked at his reflection in the mirror, decked out in the Arch-Bishop’s robes and went through a conversion where he swore to God that he would do all within his power to serve the best interest of the church….the king be dammed!

As I write this morning, the skies are grey and the birds are not singing. Talking to a friend in California I am told that the rains are pouring there, and it’s threatening to rain on the presidential parade in Washington. If I were the sort who believed in the pre-scientific concept of God, I would think that the gods were crying over the catastrophe we face….one of our own making……on this this day that will live in infamy….if we survive!

Donald Trump now has this Power!

a-nuclear-explosion

All he has to do is give the Word!

Witness the Inauguration Ceremony

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Playthell G. Benjamin
Harlem, New York
January 20, 2016

No Longer at Ease….

Posted in On the 2016 Presidential Election, Playthell on politics with tags , , on December 22, 2016 by playthell
hangin-in-new-york-summer-2013-237A once peaceful Place is now a Top Terror Target

On Life in the Time of Terrorism and Trump

Yesterday I was strolling in Columbus Circle, the busy juncture where Broadway and Central Park West meet and subway lines converge.  It is a beautiful area of mid-Manhattan with ornate statuary commemorating America’s past wars in Grand Army Plaza, and the entrance to Central Park – a natural jewel in Manhattan’s concrete crown – on one side of the busy intersection – and the Jazz at Lincoln center complex on the other, America’s newest cultural icon.  Usually I am exhilarated when I am in this public space, abuzz with the marvelous mosaic of human diversity who have journeyed from all over the world, where a glance southward affords one a birds eye view of the magnificent skyscrapers that shape the world famous New York Skyline….but when I am there now I am no longer at ease

The magnificent silver globe mounted on a pedestal that towers above the subway entrance once intrigued me as a striking new addition to long standing land marks in Columbus Circle, which is why I photographed it, but now when I look at it I feel a sense of dread, danger and impending doom.

That’s because this globe serves as an Icon for the Trump Hotel that now sits just a few feet away.  Which means that it has become a prime target of terrorists because America’s President Elect, Donald Trump, is too greedy and arrogant to divest himself of these properties the way other Presidents have done.  Jimmy Carter sold his little peanut farm in Georgia when he became President, but as with everything else “The Donald” – a megalomaniacal New York real estate hustler with the business ethics of a pirate – is doing it his way.

The Entrance to Central Park
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People of all Nation’s Congregate Here
Jazz at Lincoln Center

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A New Cultural Icon

From all appearances Donald Trump’s policies will greatly enrich the ranks of Islamic Jihadists and increase the attempts at terrorist attacks, and anything which bears the Trump name will be prime targets, the destruction of which will bring glory to the name of the Jihadists who carry out these attacks against the treasures of the “Great Satin” and win them and, their 70 virgins, a special place in the Gardens of Allah.

All of the learned experts on the Jihadist movement have concluded that Trump’s approach to dealing with the Islamic world will provide recruiting materials for the Modern Jihad that is far better than the best television advertising that money could buy.  Malcolm Nance, author of the book “How to Defeat Isis,” and one of the brightest scholars on the Jihadist movement warns:

“Good God, they’re probably cutting videos of this right now.  Donald Trump is validating the cartoonish view that they tell their operatives…that America is a racist nation, xenophobic, anti-Muslim, and that that’s why you must carry out terrorist attacks against them…It’s irresponsible and it needs to stop.”

It is obvious from the moves he’s making and the thoughtless belligerent drivel that flows from his mouth, that Donald does not understand this.  And General Flynn, his National Security Advisor appears to be just as clueless.  Both of them seem to be intent on waging Samuel Huntington’s “war of civilizations.”

The problem with this approach to the modern Islam Jihad, which was largely inspired by the transgressions Christian warriors of the West in Muslim lands, is that they are going to turn what is now a war with certain forces in the Middle-East into a war with the billion believers in the entire Muslim world.

This is the point that Malcolm Nance is making when he points out that “Trump’s position is just what Osama Bin Ladin preached.”  George Bush was so aware of the danger that could result from such thinking that right after the devastating 9/11 attack on the US by Al Qaeda militants that he visited a Mosque and declared that the US was not at war with Islam, and even accused the attackers of being apostates who were misrepresenting Islam!

Looking at the situation we now find ourselves in regarding the US presidency, George Bush is suddenly beginning to look like a leader of Solomonic wisdom.  This is due in large part because he had some foreign policy pros around him, and he listened to their advice.  Trump is surrounded by right-wing ideologues with no actual experience with either politics or diplomacy.   Hence in the President Elect we have the political equivalent of a rudderless ship adrift at sea; anything can happen.  However, based on what we know about mass transformative movements, Trumps actions will prove to be like throwing gasoline on a smoldering fire!

The Downtown View from Columbus Circle
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New Yorkers who lived through 9/11 can easily imagine them crumbling

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Playthell G. Benjamin
Harlem, New York
Decembar 22, 2016