Saturday, November 12, 2016

Silence is Not An Option

Like everyone else, the election wore me out. I couldn’t wait for it to be over. I was sick and tired of hearing the conflicting polls, vitriolic speeches and media distortions. After the shocking result, I was ready to say screw it, never again. I was angry, shocked, disappointed and a little bewildered. I couldn’t understand how so many voters could vote for Trump given everything that happened during the course of the campaign. For the first few days, I stayed quiet and resisted responding to the smug and trite Facebook posts from Trump supporters. I was ready to just say to hell with it and not be involved at all.

In thinking about it though, as tough a loss as this was and the incredible potential for bad things to happen with a fool like Trump in the White House it is important to remember the old adage “those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” 
Staying silent is not an option. One only needs to look at Germany in the 1930’s to recognize the peril of silence. Millions of Germans stood silent while a man with very similar views as Trump espousing the same kind of hatred exploited nationalism and promised to make Germany great again. He harnessed the anger of the underclass and moved a nation to a war footing and ultimately plundered Europe, killing millions and savagely suppressing any opposition. His white Aryan nation of followers, devoid of a moral compass, enabled atrocities that no one ever thought could or would happen. What I have heard from Trump has many parallels to Adolph Hitler. While many will scoff at that notion, I believe it is real enough to demand action. Passively standing on the sidelines is a perilous place.

I have vowed not to be one who stays silent in the face of an abuser who is followed by those who share his racist and sexist views. Who knows where this will all go? I for one will go to my grave knowing that I didn’t just stand by and watch. I will resist in every way I can. Even if it is only to sound the alarm bells or something more, it is what I will do. As is often said, “the only way evil can triumph is when good people do nothing.” In a normal election year, you can expect differences of opinion about political issues and respect that others may have a different view than yours. With Trump, it is different. It is a fundamental clash of basic values. It is hard to respect someone’s opinion when they either subscribe to or are willing to accept blatant racism, sexism, documented lies and distortions and total lack of qualifications to do the most important job in the world. To remain silent is to accept it. I don’t and won’t.

The Political FBI - Isn't That What the KGB Does?

The FBI’s shield is forever tarnished. James Comey’s handling of the whole Clinton email affair wreaks of partisan political abuse of authority and certainly raises questions about his integrity and judgment.  From his original convoluted press conference in July where he made unprecedented comments about the results of an investigation to his final pronouncement there was nothing relevant to the additional emails they reviewed on the Friday before the election is dismaying. I believe his attempts to try to please everyone ended up pleasing no one and compromised a national presidential election.   His original press conference tried to pander to Republicans in Congress who hung their hat on criminal behavior in the email controversy. He found no criminal intent on Hillary Clinton’s part but then went on to convict her in the court of public opinion in a rambling, contradictory oratory.  

 With just 11 days to go before the election he created huge controversy by needlessly sending a letter to Congress in violation of Justice Department protocols and gave Donald Trump everything he needed to skewer Clinton while early voting went on for nine days while the FBI conducted its review. Who knows how much damage was done by way of changing votes of people who may have believed a criminal indictment was imminent.   Comeys's stonewalling and thumbing his nose at the world while the election drew closer and closer without any answers was unacceptable and a pretty good indicator of what his true motives were. 

Comey's lack of commitment to basic principles of fundamental fairness raises serious questions about whether he should be at the helm of the bureau.  We must guard against the FBI becoming a rogue agency spinning out of control and dangerous to our democracy. News reports of "conservatives" in the bureau who were upset that the Clinton Foundation wasn't investigated is an eye opener. Conservatism, liberalism or any other political bent has no place in the FBI. The FBI has to be apolitical to be fair and impartial to anyone who is investigated. Anything less puts it in the same mode of the KGB. It is a sign of the poisonous political climate that exists in Washington DC.

 This is not something new resulting from the Directors deliberate and malicious influence of the outcome of the presidential election. The FBI has always acted with contempt toward any effort to reign it in. The FBI should have been rolled into the Department of Homeland Security along with other law enforcement agencies when DHS was created following 9/11 in my opinion. The FBI Director should have been made answerable to the Secretary of Homeland Security to ensure clear lines of authority and accountability and to break the culture of secrecy, lack of interagency cooperation and political manipulation. Unchecked power in democracy is malignant and needs to be removed. The FBI Director has proven that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Espionage and Theft? What Espionage and Theft?

The election is over but one big question remains to be answered. Is espionage against the United States of America acceptable if it accomplishes your political or media ratings goals?  

 It is undisputed that a hostile foreign actor committed espionage against our nation with the expressed purpose of influencing the outcome of the election. It did just that with Donald Trump being elected. This is not a Democrat or Republican issue. This is an American issue that goes to the core of free and fair elections in a democratic society.  While it was Hillary Clinton and the Democrats who were the target this time, next time it may be just the opposite if it suits our enemies purpose. Yet, I see no outrage or even minimal level of concern for what happened. The silence is deafening.  

In addition to the Russian government, a known criminal and sanctimonius Julian Assange of Wikileaks, engaged in wholesale theft of private records which he had no right to by illegally hacking into a private server of the Democratic National Committee and then selectively leaked emails daily to influence the outcome of the election and ensure Hillary Clinton was defeated. The authenticity or context of the content could not be verified but that did not matter to those who saw advantage in using it to their advantage. To be clear, these were private records, not public records.

The Russians and Assange had willing, anxious partners to aid and abet these criminal acts of theft and espionage with the mainstream media who cherry picked bits and pieces of stolen emails to create the news “bombshell” of the day. The media knew full well they were complicate in carrying out an act of espionage against this country but choose to be an active partner because it was good for ratings. They betrayed Americas trust and demonstrated a total lack of integrity by being the messenger for the criminals. Their credibility is compromised in my opinion because truth is not what drives their profession anymore. They were willfully used to commit acts that undermine our democracy and they rationalize, defend and justify it so they don’t have to accept any responsibility or accountability.

 Perhaps they should review the Journalist creed written by Walter Williams, the first Dean of the School of Journalism at the University of Missouri over a century ago.

  •  I believe that the public journal is a public trust; that all connected with it are, to the full measure of their responsibility, trustees for the public; that acceptance of a lesser service than the public service is betrayal of this trust.
  • I believe that clear thinking and clear statement, accuracy and fairness are fundamental to good journalism.
  • I believe that a journalist should write only what he holds in his heart to be true.

Those guiding principles have obviously been lost in today’s world of Journalism. The current state of Journalism and the absurd influence social media has that can be totally devoid of truth is frightening. The medias role in this whole debacle can lead a reasonable person to conclude our enemies will be able to defeat us without ever firing a shot. America suffers from Pogo Syndrome, “We have met the enemy and he is us!”

Not My President!

I am embarrassed and ashamed to be an American today. It is a dark time when hateful, gullible voters manage to elect Donald Trump to be President of the United States by virtue of an antiquated Electoral College system even though he lost the popular vote by nearly 400,000 votes.

 Trump is without question the most petty, vindictive, spiteful, malicious, arrogant, egomaniac to ever seek the Presidency. He is a well-documented pathological liar and demagogue who is phony as a $3 bill. He lives in a moral and ethical abyss.

 This election moved beyond Republican versus Democrat. It became the litmus test for the level of basic decency and the core values Americans hold. The test is finished and the results sickening.

Donald Trump is a cancer that has infected the body of our once great land. Like cancer, he is destructive and spread rapidly destroying the very fabric of this nation. This cancer will eventually kill our democracy. Never has such an unqualified, unprepared charlatan been handed the reins of government. One thing is apparent, there are two different Americas today. One that the Trump supporters exist in with their cynical and distorted view of the country and one that the rest of us live in. I want no part of the Trump America. An American Flag will not fly in front of this house as long as Donald Trump is President. It will be relegated to the same scrap heap as the racists, bigots, sexists, pseudo patriots and shameless hypocritical Evangelical Christians that elected Trump. He is your President, not mine!