Sunday, July 22, 2018

Connecting The Dots Or Seeing Stars: Election Redux - Living In The Matrix

With the mid-terms in easy reach, it sure seems like we are seeing familiar patterns emerge. It's as if we are programmed to repeat 2016.
The trolls are swarming on social media. Crazy emails are back in vogue. Viruses and malware are back as well. The Republicans are blocking attempts to prevent election interference from happening again. Donny is publicly dating Vlad. In fact, they are having a sleep over in D.C. this Fall.
Bernie Sanders is again on the campaign trail. Yeah, Bernie was in Kansas, Florida and Missouri stumping for socialist friendly candidates in Democratic primaries just this week. It's like a USO tour with socialist heartthrob Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez beside him.
So why is a not Democrat from Vermont touring with a young Hispanic woman from the Bronx in the mid-West and South? Can it be a repeat attempt to divide the Democratic Party? If so, and if it is successful, the Republicans will maintain control of both the House and Senate. Donald Trump will continue to have a "Get Our Of Jail Free" card
In 2013, Edward Snowden was embraced as a brave whistleblower by people who conveniently ignored the fact that he committed treason by stealing NSA records and fleeing to Russia where he remains under the protection of Vladimir Putin.
Edward Snowden was not a whistleblower. Whistleblowers stay in place and face the music. They hold their ground and become the leading spokespeople for what it is they are alerting us to. They do not divulge classified information. They are first and foremost law abiding. Their whole argument is based upon exposing those who break the law.
Frank Serpico was a whistleblower. He exposed corruption in the NYC Police Department and testified prominently before the Knapp Commission in 1971. He put it all on the line and even took a bullet in the process.
A lot of prominent people and newspaper reporters saw Snowden as a whistleblower and came to his defense while he remained in Russia away from the fray. Snowden became a cause célèbre among political dilettantes. A lot of that had to do with naiveté and ignorance. Snowden is a dot.
Another dot is Julian Assange. Julian is WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks released stolen files to the press during the 2016 elections. The files were stolen by Russian cyber warriors working under orders from Putin. Julian was another darling of political dilettantes.
Assange's supporters cover a wide spectrum. Sean Hannity did extensive interviews with Assange. Yeah, Sean is a dot too.
There are so many dots, but the one I am focusing on is Bernie Sanders. Bernie was the biggest dot to infiltrate the Democratic Party coming into the 2016 elections - no small feat considering he wasn't even a Democrat.
Yes, Bernie challenged Hillary Clinton in the primaries and in the process, he managed to divide the Democratic Party voters. That worked well for Donald Trump.
So, among the dots I've collected are a man who turned over classified information to the Russians during Obama's second term; a man who published information stolen by Russian cyber warriors during the 2016 campaign that targeted the Democratic Party candidate; and a man who infiltrated the Democratic Party and managed to divide it to the detriment of the Democratic Party candidate.
Our Republic is most vulnerable during elections. If people lose faith in our government and fall prey to false news and propaganda, they can easily be misled. They can do more harm with their votes than a foreign adversary can do with a full scale military assault on us.
There has been so much confusion, distrust and chaos let loose upon us. There are those among us who would bend our government to their will and those outside our country who wish to weaken and destroy us. It's hard to know who is who.
When I see a dot not Democrat on the 2018 Democratic campaign trail - a man who is not running for any office - a man who chose to trust dot Edward Snowden - a man who was supported by dot Julian Assange, I have reason to pause. When he takes a young woman who won in a primary running as a socialist, I have more reason to pause. I start connecting dots.
I know one person who I absolutely do not trust. I know one who I absolutely do trust.
I trust Robert Mueller. Robert Mueller indicted 12 Russians on July 13th for interfering with our elections. Mueller's 37 page indictment covered a lot of territory. Apparently, Russia was not only trying to help Donald Trump, it was also contributing to the campaigns of Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein.
So who is Bernie Sanders? Darned if I know. I know who he isn't. He isn't a Democrat. So what is he doing getting involved in Democratic Party politics? If 2016 was any indication, he's creating chaos and division.
Holy Moly!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Class Warfare With The Dunce As Valedictorian

I am only into Chapter One of "Dark Money" by Jane Mayer. I say only because the Preface and Introduction were so powerful, I thought that the rest of the book would be anticlimactic. And then I got into Chapter One.
When the "House On Haunted Hill" first hit movie theaters, there was a TV advertising campaign that had a "doctor" cautioning you not to see this movie if you had "heart" problems. I remember talk of signing "medical releases" in the theater before being allowed to take a seat.
Of course that was all hype. It was over-the-top camp advertising. It is not over-the-top to say that "Dark Money" is terrifying to anyone who cares about freedom and democracy. It is terrifying because in it there are countless details about events which have actually taken place. Events which do not bode well for our country.
In "House On Haunted Hill" there were scary things lurking behind your back, around corners and in closets. In the first 42 pages of  "Dark Money" there are scary things on every page. We are taken deep into the Koch family's closets.
Apparently daddy Koch made his fortune selling technology to first Stalin and then Hitler. He was selling high octane fuel refining capability. High octane fuel kept the NAZI war machine going. It literally fueled the Reich.

The brothers have done daddy one better. They don't just want to fuel a government, they want to control one - they want to control our government. They have been hosting meetings with other like minded billionaires for years. They opposed Obama at every level. The money they raise buys unprecedented influence at every level. It is used to shape national debate.
Apparently the billionaire boys are all big on Libertarianism and ascribe to the philosophy of Ayn Rand. Ayn is pretty scary. She is not someone you want to find lurking behind the formation of United States' economic policy.
The Koch brothers' version of the "He Man Women Haters Club" is nothing like what Spanky had in mind. "Their Gang" is not "Our Gang". These boys want whatever they want whenever they want it. They believe they have the right to buy political influence much like you might buy a pacifier or a blankie or a teddy bear.
Our lives are very real. We are not toys. We are not disposable. We are human beings. We come in all shapes and sizes and we represent all manner of ideas and beliefs. When the economy tanked in 2008, our lives were at risk. Billionaires' fortunes were at risk.
If I lose my home or job or ability to pay for healthcare, I could die. If a billionaire loses a few billion, it's not quite the same. Koch's billionaires opposed the government stepping in to save the financial industry in 2008, as did the Kochs. The Kochs, Libertarians at heart, opposed it too until they realized they would lose a lot in the stock market and then they didn't oppose it.
2016 was to be the culmination of the takeover of our political process that the Koch boys and their friends had been working so hard to bring about. It was to be the year their candidate entered the White House. And then along came Vlad.
Vladimir Putin has his own plans for controlling the United States and they proved to be more affective. Vladimir is a bona fide dictator. He runs a kleptocracy which the MSM quaintly refers to as Russia. He has people who get in his way killed.
Putin has been grooming and funding Trump for decades. Vladimir hired a tech army and they literally contaminated every aspect of the 2016 elections. They stole the election from the Kochs. They put Vlad's boy in the White House.
So we've been living through real "class warfare" for decades. The one tenth of one percent of people who own the majority of things in this country vs. us - vs. the U.S. We lose to them and they lose to Putin. The class clown, the dunce is now head of the class.
The Kochs are pragmatic ideologues. They flipped when it came to bailing out the economy. They flipped after the election results were in. They know Trump is a fool and a puppet. They don't care. They still own all the politicians they got elected to Congress. They still control the legislative process and they got a big return on their investments when Congress passed tax reform legislation which gave them everything while taking substantially from the rest of us.
In the meantime, the Dunce, l'asino, has been left to destroy the government and wreak havoc on the world stage. The destruction of the EPA was right in line with the Koch agenda. Environmental regulations were getting in the way of profits. The same can be said for most government regulations and oversight.
So far the Dunce has been destroying our relationships with our allies, destroying our trade agreements and trashing vital alliances like NATO. He is embracing dictators and criticizing the leaders of the world's democracies. This month he is going to address NATO. Then he is going to Russia to meet with Putin - godfather Putin.

Class warfare and Russian interference have resulted in Donald Trump being our spokesman to NATO and the world at large. In a very real sense he is the United States' Valedictorian. He is appearing on one world stage after another speaking in our name.
Remember during the campaign when Trump asked. "What have you got to lose?" The correct answer was and still is "everything".
Holy Moly!

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Sliding Doors - November 6th, 2018 - A National Day Of Reckoning

Dateline November 6th, 2018 - American voters have spoken decisively. In an unparalleled showing of disapproval of Trump and the Republican congress, Democrats have taken back majority control of both the House and Senate.
Exit interviews show that voters expect the new Congress to put an end to what they regard as a criminal, treasonous administration.
Dateline November 6th, 2018 - American voters have spoken decisively. In an unparalleled showing of approval for Trump and both his domestic and foreign policies, Republicans have maintained control of both the House and Senate.
Exit interviews show voters are less concerned with civil liberties than they are with protecting our borders and preserving American exceptionalism.
Dateline January 3rd, 2019 - The House has voted to impeach both Trump and Pence on a broad range of charges ranging from obstruction of justice to conspiring against the United States.
For the first time in our history, the House has voted to simultaneously impeach both the President and Vice President.
Dateline January 3rd, 2019 - The first order of business in the newly seated House of Representatives was a vote to repeal the Constitution's 22nd Amendment.
Trump's new campaign logo is released. MAGF - Make America Great Forever.
Dateline July 4th, 2022: - The United States is celebrating what has been called the Second Renaissance of American Independence. The leaders of many of our historic allies, have come to Washington to join in the celebration.
The President's Cabinet has worked hard to restore the vital functioning of agencies that were decimated under Trump. The social safety net is once again sound. International alliances and trade treaties have been fully restored.
Dateline July 4th, 2022: - Vladimir Putin is President Trump's honored guest at this year's celebrations. The new MDT, Mutual Defense Treaty, that was put into place with Russia and China will be placed alongside the Declaration of Independence in our nation's Capitol Building.
After withdrawing from NATO, Trump lost no time in establishing what is being called a new world order. Democracies all over the world are in chaos. The Second Renaissance of European Nationalism has resulted in the dissolution of the EU, European nations are once again headed to war with each other.
121 days till the mid-terms.
There is precious little time left to save both our country and our way of life. We won't get a second chance.
Holy Moly!