In The Beginning

What follows is not about the classic opening verse found in the Bible.  Much to the contrary, it is why Donald Trump is sweating like a whore in church. The indictments of Trump campaign officials Paul Manafort and Rick Gates by a federal grand jury have revealed Robert Mueller’s starting point for a legal process by which Trump will eventually resign the presidency of the United States so he can receive a pardon from Mike Pence.  Mueller will follow the money.

Manafort and Gates pleaded not guilty to 12 counts, including tax fraud, money laundering and conspiracy.  Even more damaging than these indictments, however, was the announcement that former Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulus had secretly pleaded guilty two weeks earlier to charges of lying to the F.B.I. about contacts with Russian intelligence operatives; he has been cooperating with authorities, and may have even been wired during his conversations with former colleagues. Clearly, the walls are closing in, and it appears that members of Trump’s immediate family are in Mueller’s crosshairs.

Now we can look back at Donald Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns and understand the reason why. There are too many leads for a good prosecutor to pursue. Furthermore, following a business loss of nearly one billion dollars, as referenced on his 1995 tax return, U.S. Bankers considered Trump an extremely poor risk. Trump had to resort to overseas financiers, and both of his sons have publicly admitted that most of those funds came from Russia. No wonder Trump would not say anything negative about Russia; this seeming failure to admit the obvious demonstrates how a debtor-creditor relationship remains amicable.

Donald Trump is a TRAITOR, as are many of those who worked in his presidential campaign.  These people make Benedict Arnold look like a choirboy. They turned our electoral process over to archenemy Russia, which, no matter how you cut it, is a conspiracy against the United States and its citizens.

The truly sad part of this sordid affair is that approximately 30 per cent of the population, knowing that treason has occurred, will continue to support Donald Trump. Among this group is found human waste,  like Richard Spencer and David Duke, a propaganda machine which calls itself Fox News, Trump apologists in Congress like Trey Gowdy (R-SC) and Peter King (R-NY),  and finally, those suffering the Dunning-Kruger Effect, which is the inability of stupid people to recognize their own stupidity.

Nevertheless, as Papadopoulus sings his heart out, we can take a lead from professionl singers, The Carpenters, and their hit song “We’ve Only Just Begun.”

The War Against Children

Imagine yourself as an American from Anywhere, U.S.A. It is 8:45 on a Saturday morning. You are running a bit late for your seven year-old son’s 9:00 soccer game.  Your wife has your nine year-old daughter in the family’s other car, headed for a soccer game at a different venue. You start the car, and immediately the radio blares out:  Men…YOU…WILL…BE…LARGER. All you have to do is take this little red pill, and you will immediately notice the difference in size. Your wife will be satisfied, and will thank you! You glance over at your son and see him giving you a quizzical look.

It was just last night at the dinner table that this family of four had a serious discussion about how children should deal with television ads touting Viagra and Cialis, or, whether children should even be subjected to such ads. This family unit decided that parents should carefully monitor programming and shield children from shotgun-style advertising directed at an adult audience.  Then comes this unprovoked assault on tender ears. But there is more.

Being impressionable, the seven and nine year-old children have seen the leader of our country on television and discovered that it is ok to lie; it is ok to mock the disabled; it is ok to degrade women;  it is ok to be a bigot; it is ok to be a bully; and it is ok to be offensive. And one should never apologize for violation of social niceties.

Youngsters everywhere have been exposed to a litany of grievous behavior by a 71 year-old man who makes no attempt at civility, and has never been held accountable. He is a con man; a mere carnival barker who migrated from reality television into the murky world of politics.

Trump is a failed investor. His 1995 tax returns revealed losses of nearly one billion dollars. He had to borrow money to cover his losses, but U.S. bankers denied him any credit as an extremely poor risk. He thus went overseas and obtained financing from shadowy money managers.

To tidy up his tattered reputation, Trump began sponsoring beauty pageants and hosting reality television. It appears that rubbing elbows with pretty women and the Hollywood elite gave Trump the courage to become a sexual predator. This he revealed in an Access Hollywood taped conversation with host Billy Bush. Trump indicated that he might start kissing a woman he was about to meet during filming, and then said:

“I don’t even wait.  And when you’re a star, they let you do it, you can do anything…grab them by the pussy.”

On the day that Donald Trump announced his candidacy for the office of President of the United States, he decided that since a handful of the migrant population out of the millions who crossed the border had committed crimes, that all Mexicans were “rapists and criminals.”  Later, he even referred to those so-called criminals as “murderers.”

New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski suffers from arthrogryposis, a congenital condition that appears arthritic and limits movement of the joints. Trump callously mocked Kovaleski’s disability during a campaign rally when he  grotesquely contorted his face and flailed his arms while saying, “Ahh, I don’t remember what I said! Ah, I don’t remember!” Sad, but true.

No one will soon forget Charlottesville, in the aftermath of which Trump referred to his racist and white nationalist supporters as “fine people.”

Donald Trump lives to insult and bully; anyone, any time, all to feed his own insecure ego. This man is clearly not well.

So, this is Trump, the man―a man who claims after a short tenure of months to be the greatest president, with the possible exception of Abraham Lincoln, who ever lived.

While the Trump candidacy attracted its fair share of  sycophants and humanity’s outliers like white nationalist Richard Spencer and former KKK leader David Duke, many of his supporters seemed almost normal; almost. There is a frightening validity to the Trump statement “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters.” These voters suffer from illusory superiority, a condition otherwise known as the Dunning-Kruger Effect. This is the inability of low-ability persons to recognize their own ineptitude, and thus defines the psychological architecture of apologists and a cult-like following.  There is nothing, absolutely nothing… in the factual universe that will pry these blissfully ignorant followers from their adopted leader.

The accepted meaning of the suffix phile is “one that loves, likes, or is attracted to.” Consequently, Trump supporters, including the vile, the disgusting, and the seemingly normal, may be joined into one group, which may legitimately be referred to as “trumpophiles.”

In the August 1, 2017 edition of Psychology Today, Thomas G. Plante, Ph.D., ABPP, gives some valuable pointers for parenting in the toxic world of the Trump era. In part, he stated:

Research in psychology highlighting social learning theory helps us to better understand that impressionable children (and others) will surely model behaviors that they see from important people such as parents, coaches, teachers, Hollywood celebrities, star athletes, and of course, well known politicians who are frequently in the news.

While we certainly can’t control the behavior of others or completely control what our children are exposed to via mass and social media we can make clear to them what our expectations are for behavior, ethics, and values and be sure to model the very behaviors and perspective that we endorse.

If we want to live in a world of honesty, integrity, respect, concern for others, and so forth then we have to push back hard to model and support these values and behaviors at every opportunity. Treating others as you wish to be treated is a really good rule of thumb regardless of one’s political points of view.

 

We incarcerate pedophiles like Jerry Sandusky for molesting the bodies of young people. Many of us believe that deviants who are aroused by the thought of sexual relations with children, and subsequently act on those emotions, should be castrated, executed or imprisoned for life. And yet, we stand dumbfounded and impotent while Donald Trump and an arrogant breed of trumpophiles ―Trump’s army of bigots, boot-lickers and apologist supporters―assault, ravage and destroy the minds of our most innocent population. Why?

Trumpohiles and pedophiles; two peas from the same pod.

Evangelism in America-Part II

It was previously established that a majority of evangelists continue to support Donald Trump. In doing so, they have violated the central tenets of Christian doctrine,  and by their own standard of judgment―as delivered by Jesus Christ during the Sermon on the Mount― are on the short track to hell.

If it were only false piety like that exposed by Sinclair Lewis in Elmer Gantry that mainstream America had to deal with, most people would just chuckle and walk away.  But this doctrine-ignoring breed of evangelist deals in the currency of pure, unbridled hate; hate for everyone, and everything, that is “different.”

Each year the so-called Values Voter Conference meets. The gathering attracts evangelists and the brightest stars in the constellation of extreme right wing activists; it is hailed as an event staged for the purest of the pure.

This year the meeting at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C provided a glimpse into the minds of the organizers, for the invitees included the likes of Donald Trump, Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka.  The trio presented their well-known spiels, much to applause and standing ovations from the conference attendees.  Journalist Sarah Jones covered the event for the magazine National Review. At the end of her report, she stated:

“At the heart of this drive for purity, and the overweening resentment it produces, is not Christian spirituality, but a fear of being eclipsed by people who are not like them―a fear of replacement. The underlying similarities with the white supremacists who marched in Charlottesville ―those who chanted, “You will not replace us”―are hard to ignore.”

In sum, this annual event is a gathering of white anarchist haters who despise liberals, prefer propaganda over a free press, and seem unconcerned that the White House has been turned into a branch office of the Kremlin. They have turned the word “values” on it head.  Indeed, their diseased campaign against diversity, and what they consider as values, is not anything decent people would teach to their children and grandchildren.

Not every evangelist is a bible-thumping hate-monger. Take former president Jimmy Carter, for example. Carter wore his religion on his sleeve, but he lived it also. He was and is a major influence on the Habitat for Humanity project―a housing development plan for low-income, diverse populations.  In 2002, Carter was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work with the Carter Center, which focused on advancing human rights throughout the world. Unlike Carter, the current evangelist majority seeks to take rights away from anyone who is different.

The most famous evangelist of them all, the Reverend Billy Graham,―if he were young and healthy again―would never stand by idly while his brethren support a mentally ill man, or join in the lies and hypocrisy that are so evident in the evangelist movement nowadays. For it was Graham who repudiated segregation and created the former view held by evangelicals; which was to appreciate and tolerate the differences in diverse populations.  And what was the tribute by modern evangelists to Graham’s life of exemplary service to God and humankind?  Again, HATE.

Then there is evangelist Jim Bakker. Bakker used his PTL (Praise The Lord) enterprise and a sappy, tear-jerking television ministry to encourage donations from people who could ill afford to part with money.  It was estimated that he was pulling in one million dollars per week. His empire crumbled after he was accused of rape by his secretary. The ensuing investigation revealed that he was running two sets of books, and he was ultimately convicted of mail fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy. He was sentenced to 45 years in prison by an irate judge, and fined $500,000.00. The 45 years and fine were reduced to eight years in 1991 by a federal appeals court. This evangelist was not so different from the current wave of evangelists… Bakker admitted that the first time he actually read the Bible all the way through was while he was in prison. So there you have it―an ignorant evangelist using lies to defraud octogenarian widows of their last dollar so he could install gold fixtures in the bathroom of his mansion, and likewise ignorant Trump evangelists spewing hate in an attempt to deprive “different” people of their legal rights.

On the scale of humanity, these evangelists rank alongside pedophiles ―although pedophiles might be a bit embarrassed at being associated with hate-mongers who masquerade as Christians.

Compared with evangelist hero Donald Trump, Attila the Hun would be a candidate for sainthood. Nevertheless, these evangelicals have a constitutional right to support the vilest person they can latch unto; in this instance, a thrice-married sexual predator.  However, they do not have a right to use their tax-exempt status for political ends, which, strictly construed, is exactly what is happening. If evangelists continue to commingle politics with what they refer to as “religion,” then it is high time for them to pay taxes on the tainted proceeds they receive from tithing.

MAGGOT

It was English philosopher John Locke who inspired Thomas Jefferson’s use of the words “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” in the Declaration of Independence.

The most coveted aspects of liberty entail not only freedom of thought, but also the right to give public expression to thoughts. There is likewise a freedom of behavior―however bizarre or antithetical to public norms ―and a right to associate with others of the same ideation. These freedoms are codified in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

These so-called “unalienable rights”  have allowed America to flourish, but they have also come at a very high cost. Without interference from government, citizens can be racist, misogynist, communist, or neo-fascist, and are allowed to admire and support hate-mongers, so long as they do not advocate violent overthrow of the government. They can even join subversive associations or white supremacist hate groups like the Ku Klux Klan.  Thus is exposed the decidedly evil and decaying underbelly of a free society, and now, it can be stated that no leader in the history of the United States has gorged more on the rotted flesh of democracy than Donald Trump. Look to the source of the stench emanating from the Beltway these days, and you will find a maggot thriving in its life-sustaining cycle.

Unless you have been living under a rock, it is obvious that any person who has been requested  to work in the Trump administration must first deliver a boot-licking pledge of loyalty…not to country, as the oath of office requires,  but to Donald Trump. Trump was never a politician of any stripe. He was, and is, simply a grifter and carnival barker who migrated from reality television into the political arena.  While Trump claims to be a member of the Republican Party, most of his political donations were made to democrats.

It was genetic code and environmental experience that gifted Trump with his impoverished persona, and an ever-present psychotic impulse which drives his bizarre and unpredictable behavior. Trump’s racist lineage is legendary.

Trump’s father, Fred Trump, who died in 1999, was arrested at a KKK rally in New York City in 1927.  Donald Trump proved that he inherited his father’s racist tendencies when he publicly prosecuted a group which would come to be known as the “Central Park Five.”

They were five young black and Hispanic men ranging in age from fifteen to eighteen years old who were arrested and convicted in the 1989 beating and rape of a 28-year-old jogger in New York City’s Central Park. Trump took out full-page ads in four New York newspapers demanding the death penalty for the convicted offenders. In 2002, a new investigation revealed beyond all reasonable doubt that serial rapist Matias Reyes alone had committed the crime.  All five of the convicted offenders were exonerated and freed after serving between six and thirteen years in prison. The city of New York paid the wrongly convicted five a total of 40 million dollars. Out of racially motivated hatred, Trump refused to apologize for the ads, or to even admit that the teenagers had been wrongfully convicted. Instead, he doubled down, and continued to press the “alternate fact” that the five were guilty, and should have been executed.

During the presidential election campaign, Trump touted himself as a successful businessman.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Trump is a failed real estate investor who used a variation of the Ponzi scheme to cover his failures; he simply borrowed more money to cover his massive losses and bankruptcies, and when U.S. bankers denied him credit as a toxic risk, he went overseas to foreign money managers. Obviously, some of those bankers were connected to individuals who demand quid-pro-quo as a condition for releasing funds.

The infamous and well-traveled Access Hollywood tape exposed Trump as a misogynist and predator.  On the tape, Trump indicated that he might start kissing a woman he was about to meet during filming, and then said:

“I don’t even wait.  And when you’re a star, they let you do it, you can do anything…grab them by the pussy.”

Following release of the Access Hollywood tape, the New York Times on October 16, 2016 published an article detailing how Trump had degraded and marginalized women over a period of four decades.

Trump is a con man without a conscience. His so-called “institution of higher learning,” Trump University, was brought to court on two class action lawsuits originating in California, and was sued by New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman for fraud, and running a “phony university.” In November 2016, Trump settled the cases for 25 million dollars, with an additional one million dollars in penalties to the state of New York for violating state education laws.  Quoting Eric Schneiderman:  “Today’s $25 million settlement agreement is a stunning reversal by Donald Trump and a major victory for the over 6000 victims of his fraudulent university.”

In August 2017, white supremacists held a torch-lit rally in Charlottesville, Virginia to protest the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue. Inspired by white nationalist Richard Spencer, the rally touched off 24 hours of racial hatred, violent clashes, and ultimately, the death of a counter-protester. Donald Trump drew praise from hate-mongers when he referred to the “blood and soil” chanters as “fine people.” However, he incurred the wrath of decent people everywhere.

In late September, Trump used a campaign rally in Huntsville, Alabama to attack NFL players and Arizona Senator John McCain. Ostensibly, Trump was there to urge support for Republican senate candidate Luther Strange, but a typical Trump sideshow emerged.

Former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick began protesting over the shooting of unarmed blacks by police about a year ago by kneeling during the national anthem. Kaepernick has often stated that he never meant any disrespect to people who died defending the principles of freedom. Nevertheless, Trump seized the occasion to conflate the issue and fire up his core supporters with a racist taunt:

“Wouldn’t  you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he’s fired.”

The NFL is primarily a league comprised of black athletes. Thus, in the foregoing statement there is no distinction to be made between “son of a bitch” and the n-word.

John McCain is fighting for his life; he has been diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer. Nevertheless, Trump ridiculed McCain during the rally for his vote against a draconian health care proposal by senate Republicans, and on cue, Trump’s admiring supporters soundly booed McCain.

MSNBC host Joe Scarborough called out these rally-goers as something less than humane.  Scarborough explained that he was raised in the same Southern region, went to the same public schools, went to the same Baptist church and the same public colleges. Then he asked: “Who raised these people?  Who have they become that they would boo a man who is fighting for his very life?” He closed with:

“If you still go to church, you need to pray for yourself this Sunday morning in church. And then, when you get your head screwed on right, and you start putting humanity ahead of politics, against stupidity, against the tribalism that is destroying this country, go home and tell your children the story of John McCain.”

Thank you, Joe.

Donald Trump is the very last person in this country who should be complaining about what some might perceive as an insult to the individuals who died while serving honorably and faithfully under the American flag. Those of us who wrote a blank check to the government by voluntarily serving in the military during the Vietnam era had to suffer the indignity of fellow citizens spitting on our uniforms as we passed through airports, while the cowardly Trump enjoyed numerous deferments orchestrated by his rich father. Furthermore, standing before a national audience, Trump invited foreigners to interfere in our last election, and following their successful intervention on his behalf, attempted to sell our government to the Russians. Only a vigilant Congress foiled his treasonous plans. Thus, as a former soldier, it is an incredibly galling experience to watch this traitor offer a hand-salute to current members of the military.

Those who continue to support Trump―excluding Russians, of course―do not think right, and probably never did. These purveyors of hate and division are not in any sense true Americans. Such individuals seem more like the inbred offspring of incestuous relations: emulate the leader you adore. Indeed, during an interview with radio personality Howard Stern, Donald Trump agreed to a description of his own daughter as “a piece of ass.”

This is the most powerful man on the planet; it would be difficult to imagine a more revolting specimen of humanity.