A Brief Word in Support of our Twitter in Chief

It is with Nixonian tactics that President Trump attacks the media, calling it “fake news.”  Frankly speaking, I do not support this kind of attack on the media. As the son of a celebrated journalist with a distinguished career, and also as the son-in-law of another great journalist, I must say in all honesty that the state of journalism today, both in the United States of America and abroad has fallen into a state of mediocrity, laziness and a desire among journalist to become superstars in the popular culture.  Two examples of this desire for superstar status that are easily identifiable are Rachel Maddow and Sean Hannity. Another example would be that bloated windbag Rush Limbaugh.These individuals, rather than presenting the news in a dispassionate, objective nature, choose to cater to a specific media market.

Okay. That being said. I would recommend that President Trump refrain from calling the news media, “fake news.’ It is not fake.  Rather, it a sort of demagoguery that without shame seeks to pander to specific market niches.  This is harmful to our democracy because the Fourth Estate (that is, the Press) is vouchsafed a place in our society to report dispassionately information that helps support our democracy. Most of today’s journalists are a cabal of self-serving, ambitious social-climbers.  It saddens me that for dispassionate news about the USA and abroad, as I must find it, for the most part in foreign news outlets.  For fear of reprisals, I will not name these sources, but I will tell you that they included entities who have sacrificed their very lives in an attempt to transmit to the world what is really going on in this country, Russia, the Middle East and Europe.

At this point, I will dispense from criticizing the new media and turn my ire on President Trump.  That this man, who is clearly  unqualified for the highest office of the land, a minority President with a less that half of the popular vote, should be sitting in the Oval Office, is to me, as an American a source of great shame.  Given the fact that he received intelligence from Russian security forces on Hillary Clinton’s campaign makes him the embodiment of America’s worst nightmare, that is, the Manchurian Candidate.  That he has no understanding of our Constitution, that he has allowed members of his own family to sit in positions of great power, that his own wife, the first foreign-born First Lady of the United States, that he is shattering alliances (NATO, for example) prove that he is unfit for office.  This very last point, his disavowal of NATO clearly indicates that he is in the hands of Russia and Putin.  Don’t be surprised when Russia invades the Baltic States and other former Republics of the Soviet Union.  It will be the fulfillment of Russian/Putin/Soviet desires to reclaim their old empire.

In summation, I share Trump’s dislike of the news media, but for different reasons.  He claims that (like Nixon) that they are “out to get him.” Honestly, I just think that they are a polarizing, self-serving cabal of lazy social-climbers. Some of them attack him because it caters to a segment of our society that hates him.  Others support him because, for the same reasons as the previously mentioned “journalists,” they simply seek accolades from the Right-wing.  My only hope, at this point, rests with Congress and the Supreme Court. Given our Constitution, that promises checks and balances, Trump will be a one-term President.

For more than that, I doubt if he will finish his first term. Why? Well, first of all, the office of President requires a great deal of work. Given the state of his predecessors who left office aged many years, I think it is more than likely that Trump will bail out of office because it is just too-hard work. Also, given the pile of scandalous material that is being gathered against him, I think he would rather bow out than face public scrutiny of his malfeasance. Why didn’t he release his tax records? Why is he meeting with high-level Russian diplomats (aka Security forces) in secret without the presence of the White House press corp? Why have so many people connected with his Administration been forced to resign and are now the target of inquiry by both Congress and our newly appointed Independent Prosecutor?

Get ready for President Pence. Doesn’t he look presidential?

 

 

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Grief- for my Country and the World

All is confusion. All is division.
A kind of madness reigns over our nation.
Friends cast friends aside over politics.
Instead of reality, the only thing that people see are tricks.

Not only are their minds polluted,
But so are the skies, oceans, river and land.

Every day some species of life is exterminated.
The humans rush about, animated
By falsity, a digital web.
Freedom, go to bed.
To live to see the world die
Is a river of curses that we must ply.
I write this on paper, for perhaps it may survive
The rust and rubble that will engulf our lives.

There is an inscription on an Egyptian tomb,
Four thousand years old it is.
A husband writes to his wife,
“…please come to me in my dreams.”

God grant that a fragment of what I write
Survives to to please some distant human’s sight.

-Russell Smith, 2017 A.D. or C.E.

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Obstruction of Justice, Traitor, Just a Plain Crook? Take your pick!

Right from the start, I said that Trump would not complete his first term, but the basis of my argument wasn’t on “obstruction of justice,” or downright treason. It was based on the fact that being President of the United States of America is a very, very hard job and Trump is in essence a lazy person. He must be getting really tired of the whole thing already. I think if people just leave him alone, and don’t prod his enormous ego, he’ll probably step down after the mid-terms.

While Democrats are becoming unanimous in calling for impeachment, it doesn’t mean a damn thing. The Democratic Party is in the minority in both Houses of the Legislature. Until they get a majority in the House, they’ve no chance of impeachment, and unless they have a majority in the Senate, then they have no chance of conviction. While I think it is pretty much a done deal at this point that the Dems will take over the House in the mid-terms, the Senate will probably remain in Republican hands until the next general election, and even that is iffy. I have to say that some of the stuff I’m hearing from die-hard Trump supporters is starting to sound pretty scary. I’ll try to share one of these posts, if I can still find it on my Facebook “feed.” As I told the poster, he sounded very much like Adolf Hitler addressing the Jews. Ouch!

Oh, well. I think Facebook may have already have deleted the guy’s post. I’ll keep my eyes out for the next one. Stay tuned!

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Trump Presidency Implodes at Rapid Pace

 

Trump

It is my belief that the American people are starting to wake up and realize that Trump is a liar and a con-man. On top of that, he is a complete buffoon. On a daily basis, he disseminates lies about his perceived enemies and critics. During his first 100 days in office, he has gone on 14 golfing vacations, even more visits to his Mar-a-Lago sanctuary, costing tax-payers approximately 45 million dollars. He has signed 32 Executive Orders in a frenzied attempt to turn back all the things that Obama accomplished during his tenure as President. This use of Executive Orders was one of the points that Trump continually criticized Obama for employing. His walk-off from the interview with CBS exemplifies his intellectual weakness and inability to defend his own words. His baseless accusations against President Obama concerning alleged wire-tapping of his campaign HQ have made him a laughing stock. I really feel sorry for his personal aids and members of his administration who almost literally have to walk behind him with a broom and a mop to clean up his messes. All this is just 100 days into his administration.

He will do more to destroy the Republican Party from the inside than any Democrat could hope to do from the outside. He is a perfect example of the old adage: Give him enough rope and he will hang himself. I really don’t think he will complete his first term in office. That doesn’t make me happy. Who wants to see a Pence Presidency? Not me. Maybe he will go the same route as Nixon. First Pence will step down (like Spiro Agnew) and then after he appoints some innocuous nobody (like Gerald Ford) he will leave office under a cloud of suspicion of criminal activity and moral depravity.

My summary of Trump’s first 100 days comes from an article published by the Huffington Post. Since Trump prefers to give soft, cozy interviews with Fox News, I feel no embarrassment about referring to an article from the Huff Post.  At least they provide hard numbers, facts and figures, along with sources for their information. Over the past decade, I’ve grown extremely disenchanted with all of the major news outlets in the Unites States.  Networks like MSNBC and Fox News don’t even try to hide their partisanship.  That’s why I go to sources like BBC for reportage on the United States, which is often off-the-mark, but at least it isn’t partisan, or Al Jazeerah, which is surprisingly objective and non-partisan in their reporting. Small wonder that Bush II deliberately bombed Al Jazeerah’s headquarters in Baghdad and used snipers to kill two of their reporters.

Let’s face it.  The Republican Party represents the interests of the super-rich, and multi-national corporations. The Democratic Party represents the interests of the middle-class and the poor.  The best Presidents over the last century or so have been Democrats.  The last decent Republican President was Theodore Roosevelt.  The cult of the personality that follows Ronald Reagan never ceases to amaze me. Of course by today’s standards, Tea Party extremists would label him a RINO (Republican in Name Only) because under his auspices, things like a ban on assault rifles were pushed through Congress.  The worst-ever Presidents have all been Republican: Richard Nixon, Bush II, Donald Trump, while the best Presidents have been Democrats: Woodrow Wilson, FDR, Truman and Obama.  Others from both parties have been a mixed bag: Bill Clinton, who should be ashamed of his legacy of NAFTA and so-called welfare reform, not to mention his sordid personal life that brought the dignity of his office to an all-time low is the first example to come to mind. On the other hand, under his auspices, the USA entered an unprecedented era of economic expansion. Then we have Bush I, a WWII veteran and war hero who was labelled a “wimp” by the mainstream media, but who pursued an agenda of decreased funding to social programs and entities like FEMA.

So tell me. Who do you think were the best and worst Presidents of the past century or so? You don’t even have to tell why you have these opinion about our past (and current) Presidents.  Just say, “So-and-so was the best and So-and-so was the worst.” Thank you for taking the time to read this.  Also, do you think I am off the mark when I predict that Trump  will not complete his first term? Best wishes to you all, whatever side of the aisle from which you  hail.  My next post will detail why I think Parliamentary Democracy is the best and most perfect form of government.

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How Horrible is Trump?

  1. donald-trump

Below is a list of countries that take in the most refugees from Syria, according to CNN, which I think is a fairly reliable source of information. First I will give you a quote from CNN, then I will give my own thoughts. “A staggering share of them are children and teens: More than half are under age 17, according to U.N. figures.”

First I’d like to point out the nations that are absent from this list: Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait, who pride themselves on being conservative Sunni Muslims, who pride themselves on giving sanctuary to those in need, like Idi Amin, the Butcher of Uganda. Now let’s take a look at the European countries that have taken in so many Syrian refugees. Please note that Sweden and Germany have taken in tens of thousands, yet their countries have not been victims of any major terrorist attacks. Now look at France. My homeland was victimized by a number of terrorist attacks in 2016. Guess how many of the perpetrators of these acts were from Syria? The answer is zero. With the exception of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, most acts of terrorism that have occurred in the USA have been done by people from the USA who were militarized/brainwashed by Jihadist propaganda. Also, the majority of the people responsible for the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001 were from our wonderful ally, Saudi Arabia. Was Saudi Arabia included in Trump’s executive order? No, of course not! Did his Executive Order make us safer as a country? No! Of course not!

Oh, and by the way, where did Timothy McVeigh come from? Trump is a demagogue, marginalizing people in order to score political points. To me this sounds vaguely familiar to Adolf Hitler. It amuses me that a recent poll said that 40% of the public think Trump should be impeached, up from 35% last week. The poll was conducted by the Center for Public Policy, hardly a left-wing stronghold. So all you people who voted for Trump, I hope you’re happy. You’ve put a psychopathic, narcissistic, misogynist in the White House. Good job!

Lebanon: 1.1 million.
Jordan: 629,000.
Iraq: 249,000.
Egypt: 132,000.
Germany: 98,700.
Sweden: 64,700.
France: 6,700.
United Kingdom: 7,000.

In closing, here is a link to an excellent article about Trump’s racist, divisive and ill-conceived executive order from the New York Times.

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Bunnyman, Goatman, Crybaby Bridge

While I was born in France, and it is a country rife with folk lore and legends, I want to devote this post to the United States where I have spent the majority of my life. From the Volga River to the Atlantic Coast, and from North Africa to the Arctic Circle, there are a myriad of stories, which are mostly well-documented of every sort of ghost, goblin, fairy, troll, witch and spirit, while the stories of the New World seem to be less well-documented. So I would like to devote this post to a couple of stories that were part of the collective minds of a special region in the New World that I called home when my family finally repatriated from France to the United States of America in 1964.

Prince George’s County, Maryland was founded in the late Seventeenth Century and named after the Prince Consort of the United Kingdom’s Queen Anne. As my own arrowhead collection attests, there was an abundant population of native Americans who lived and prospered in this region before the advent of the Age of Exploration. After returning to the United States, my family settled in an area of Prince George’s County called Oxon Hill. It was there among my classmates that I heard the first story that I am about to relate. It is both farcical and horrible.

The Bunnyman

A couple married. They were young and in love. The wedding was well-attended. After the nuptial ceremony, as they approached their car, from the crowd emerged a man in a bunny suit. He was wielding an ax. He chopped the bride and groom to death, and just as quickly as he emerged, he vanished into the crowd. He was never apprehended. In fact, he may not have been human at all, but some strange cross-breed of human and rabbit, or he may actually have been a demon from Hell. He lurks still, ready to pounce on any unsuspecting newlyweds with his hatchet in hand.

Crybaby Bridge and the Goatman

maryland-goatman-photo

On Tucker Road there is a bridge. If one approaches from Saint Barnabas Road from the north, one will go down a country road that crosses Henson Creek. It was at the bridge that crosses the creek that a woman was involved in a car accident. A creature, half-man, half-goat, jumped in front of her car. Sadly for the woman, this was before the age of mandatory car seats, and her new born baby, who was in the car with her, was killed when she veered off the road to avoid hitting this strange creature. Now, on every full moon, if one ventures down to the bridge on Tucker Road that crosses Henson Creek, one can hear the cries of this baby. As for the goat-man, he has never been accused of killing anybody, but he has been seen. He lives under the bridge. In the dead of night, if one approaches Cry Baby Bridge, if you disturb him, he will show himself. His appearance is so ghastly that once seen, the interloper will be struck mad.

Wikipedia has an entry on the Goatman that is completely spurious and should be discounted. It says the Goatman comes from Beltsville of all places. No, the Goatman comes from Oxon Hill and he is still there. Don’t disturb him. Don’t go looking for him. I’ve had friends who saw him from a distance, and they are all dead now. One was run over by a car on Indian Head Highway, dragged a mile by a car until his body was a mash of pulp. Another was a girl who fell into a bad crowd, got pregnant by an abusive man, and was last seen walking down Route 301 South, in a daze. Nobody knows what happened to her. Her baby was left in the care of its paternal grandparents, and its father died of an overdose.

Notes:

  1. Proceedings of the Council of Maryland, 1696/7:1698, Volume 23, Page 23.
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HRH The Duchess of Cambridge

Kate

There was a time when I had nothing but contempt for the woman once known as Kate Middleton. She was the most common of commoners, in my former opinion- the spoiled daughter of nouveau riche parents. I thought that she was a man-eating, calculating scold who had set her cap on the third-in-line to the British throne. I saw her as woman who was hungry for advancement and social status.

It is with pleasure that I report that my opinion of her has done a 180 degree change. Time and again, she has shown herself to be worthy of the title Her Royal Highness through duty and attention that seems to be more of the clothe of her grandmother-in-law, HRH Queen Elizabeth, than that of Diana Spencer. Although I know it is not good to speak ill of the dead, Princess Diana, time has proven, was mentally unstable, spoiled and self-serving. She did everything she could to tear down the monarchy which had so richly rewarded her. While the media portrayed her as a saint and a doting mother, the truth is that she was in fact the self-entitled, calculating social climber, whose misjudgment was the cause of her own death.

That being said, it is funny how the tabloids over the past year have been proclaiming that Kate Middleton is pregnant again! Hooray! Well, I just saw a recent photograph of her on the Telegraph and she by no means looked pregnant.  Given the difficulties she experienced with her first two pregnancies; that is, morning sickness so severe that she had to be hospitalized, I think she would be quite mad to get pregnant so soon after the birth of Princess Charlotte. (I think that they should have made her first name Elizabeth, but I have nieces and nephews with names that are beyond the pale. Parents name their children whatever suits them.)  This media fascination with the Duchess of Cambridge feeds an urgent need among the public to have a young, beautiful woman who represents virtue, duty and an almost god-like status akin to an Earth Mother.

Despite my misgivings about Kate, I woke up at the crack of dawn here on the East Coast of the United States in order to watch her wedding. I love English pageantry. They’ve got it down pat. When I was a young man, I did the same thing when Princess Anne got married, and I’ve never missed a royal wedding to save my life. I love to watch the Queen at the Trooping of the Guards. I saw firsthand when that nut-job fired a starter pistol at her, and she handled her horse with expertise, all the while maintaining her calm. While I was less than impressed by the parade of celebrities who were given access to the wedding of Kate Middleton to Prince William, I thought that the ceremony was beautiful and poignant. I remember how sad Prince Andrew looked, divorced, alone, with two ugly daughters who are clearly no comfort to him in his advancing years.

At any rate, the Duchess of Cambridge has proven herself time and again to be worthy of the role of Queen Consort one day. I’ve seen her standing in the rain, in high heals, out to here pregnant, in order to fulfill her role as a royal. Not a hint of scandal has disgrace her marriage so far. Already at this point in the marriage of Prince Charles and Lady Diana, there were rumors floating about regarding infidelity on both their sides. One has only to look at Prince Harry to wonder, “Who’s that baby’s daddy?” There will be no such questions asked of Kate’s progeny. She carries herself with a regal grace as though born for the job. She dresses tastefully and doesn’t waste her money on silly fads. (Remember Princess Diana’s aromatherapy bill?) She dresses tastefully without ostentation. She lets her own natural beauty shine through. The above picture is from Vogue magazine, courtesy of Getty Images, and I think it proves my point. Good show, Your Grace!

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