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While We Still Have Time

In spite of the grimness of the times in which we live, there is still hope. If you feel, like I do, that the usual discourse about matters of critical concern tends to be superficial, misguided, and false, then you might find some solace and inspiration here. I will try to offer insight and a holistic perspective on events and issues, and hopefully serve as a catalyst for raising the level of dialogue on this planet.

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Location: Madison, Wisconsin, United States

I was born in 1945, shortly before atom bombs were dropped on Japan. I served in the U.S. Army from 1968 to 1971. I earned master's degrees in Economics and Educational Psychology, and certificates in Web Page Design and as a Teacher of English as a Second Language. I followed an Indian guru for eight years, which immersed me in meditative practices and an attitude of reaching a higher level of being. A blog post listing the meditative practices I have pursued can be seen here.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Illegitimate

By now it should be clear that the election of Donald J. Trump to the presidency is illegitimate. It is certain that his election campaign colluded with operatives of the Russian government, and it is extremely unlikely that he was not involved in this collusion. He behaves like a guilty man, trying to undercut the special counsel’s investigation of his campaign, and engages in various attempts to close it. These attempts have included felonious obstruction of justice, protestations of "fake news" and "witch hunt," claims that there is no evidence, and spreading of rumors about the investigators.

The Mueller investigation is closing in on Trump, and his attempts to end it are unlikely to keep him from facing indictment and/or impeachment. The country is turning against him, or more accurately, his base of support is slowly turning against him, joining the rest of the country in its revulsion of Trump.

Fine and grand. Trump will be gone before his four-year tem is up. Good riddance. But it’s not enough. What about the harm he has done? If his election is illegitimate, his actions as president are also illegitimate. His judicial appointments, especially his Supreme Court choice, are the appointments of an illegitimate president, and should be invalidated. His executive orders are invalid, and ought to be rescinded. The bills he signed are invalid, and also should be rescinded.

Of course, none of these things will happen. We have an almost thoroughly corrupt political system. The meme that justifies doing nothing about presidential criminality is that it would “tear the country apart.” It began when Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon for his crimes against democracy in the Watergate scandal. The imagined tearing the country apart is much worse, apparently, than actual enforcement of law and protection of democracy.

Another factor is that politicians, most of whom are corrupt in some way or another, don’t relish the idea of holding their colleagues responsible for their actions, setting a dangerous precedent. The long arm of the law that reaches for presidents might also reach for them.

So in this sense, Trump’s presidency has been a “success.” He has done all the harm he could in the time he has been in office. He intends to do more. I believe a good part of his motivation is revenge against all who do not support him. The danger in this is that as his popularity declines and the closer the Mueller investigation gets to him, the greater will be his motivation for revenge. This danger is reason enough to remove him from office before he does any more harm. He has already threatened fire and fury on North Korea "like the world has never seen." As indictment and/or impeachment get closer he may make good on his threat just for spite against Planet Earth.

Our corrupt Congress – both "parties" – is institutionally and psychologically incapable of dealing with this threat. Congress has become so inert that it is hard for them to do anything, so the idea of removing a mentally deranged and criminally dangerous president has a remote likelihood. U.S. intelligence agencies failed to coordinate, according to legend, missing the warnings in advance of the September 11, 2001 attacks. They likely now know the threat Trump poses, but Congress is the entity that has the responsibility of removing a criminal president from office.

Still, I am confident. Trump, who claims he is "like, really smart," is actually pretty stupid. He’s in over his head. He also is a narcissist, which among other things means any of his subordinates, when the going gets tough, will turn on him the minute their own freedom and fortune are in jeopardy. Though I have aspirationally created the hashtag #GoneByEaster, Trump likely won’t be in office much beyond that. Momentum is moving rapidly against him. So long, Donald. Don’t let the cell door hit you in the arse when it closes on you.

Now that it is clear that Donald Trump is the worst president in U.S. history, and the most clearly illegitimate president with his treasonous collusion with a foreign adversary, we might want to look back at some previous illegitimate presidents. In 1960 John F. Kennedy benefited from mobsters, who helped him win the primary election in West Virginia. He may actually have lost the general election in real votes. In 1968 Richard Nixon lied about having a secret plan to end the Vietnam war, and engaged in efforts to undermine the peace talks.  In 1980 Ronald Reagan secretly negotiated with the Iranian hostage takers, delaying the release of the hostages until after the election, a scheme known as the "October Surprise." In his second term in office he sold them weapons, using the proceeds to fund the “Contras” in Nicaragua. The plot became known as the Iran-Contra Scandal. George H.W. Bush has been implicated in both of these crimes. His son George W. Bush, of course, benefited in 2000 from massive vote fraud and suppression, and from having the vote recount stopped by the Supreme Court, most of whom were appointed by the previous illegitimate presidents Nixon, Reagan and Bush the elder. He also benefited from chicanery in counting votes – in both 2000 and 2004.

So every Supreme Court decision since at least the Reagan presidency is illegitimate, since the presidents who appointed most of its members were illegitimate. This includes former Chief Justice William Rehnquist (a former voter suppressor), Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas (sexual harasser, perjurer), current Chief Justice John Roberts (Also a voter suppressor. He was legal counsel for the Bush II effort to stop the Florida recount in 2000.), Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy, Sandra Day O’Connor, and now Trump's nominee Neil Gorsuch. If Nixon, Reagan, and Bush I had been held criminally responsible for their law-breaking there would not have been a Bush II. If none of these criminals had been "elected" there would be no Al Qaeda, no 911 attacks, no invasions of Grenada, Panama, Afghanistan and Iraq (both 1991 and 2003), no Guantanamo, no torture,  no ISIS, no economic meltdown in 2007-2008, and no lowering of standards that enabled the candidacy and fake presidency of Donald J. Trump. It could be convincingly argued that the lowering of standards began with Reagan (or Nixon), but they took a nosedive with the Bush II presidency. He paved the way for Trump.

Worthy of mention is that our corrupt U.S. Senate blocked the Supreme Court nomination of the legitimately elected Barack Obama. They had little hesitation confirming some of the worst justices in our history, but wouldn’t allow hearings to consider Merrick Garland, Obama’s nominee.

Unfortunately for many millions on this planet, we can’t undo history. We’re stuck with the consequences of these terrible, illegitimate presidents. Maybe we can learn something from this. I’m not sure there is a lesson that can be learned. We don’t just have corrupt institutions and leaders. We have a corrupt society. These criminal presidents were acceptable to enough people in this country to keep them in office. Their wars, invasions, kidnapping, torture, false imprisonment, subversion of democracy and various other crimes wouldn’t be possible without public support. We aren’t prisoners of our institutions (except actual prisoners). As a people, until we rise to a higher level, we will continue to descend to further depths of degradation. Nothing stays static. It’s either up or down. We have a choice, but not much time to choose.
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Here's a song. Here's another. And another. Jimi HendrixThe Byrds. More from the Byrds. Donovan. More Donovan. Even more Donovan. Season of the Witch. The Beatles. More Beatles. Even more Beatles. Still more Beatles. The Beatles again. Tied for my favorite Beatles song. One last Beatles song. The DoorsThe Waterboys. John Prine. More John Prine. The Rolling Stones. The Moody Blues. Pink FloydThe Grateful Dead. More Grateful Dead. The Who. Another Who song. One more from the Who. Neil Young. Richard Nixon. Phil Ochs. Brewer and Shipley. Gil Scott-Heron. More Gil Scott-Heron. Even more Gil Scott-Heron. Another Gil Scott-Heron. One more Gil Scott-Heron. Don't Put it Down. Air. Bob Dylan. Another Dylan song. More Dylan. Van Morrison. Talking Heads. More Talking Heads. Steely Dan. The Who. Jackson Browne. Another Jackson Browne. Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris, Neil Young. Original version by Bruce Springsteen. Bob Marley. Marvin Gaye. The Temptations. The O'Jays. The Youngbloods. The Grateful DeadThe Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.

Randy Newman.

This is Drumpf's new theme song, but it doesn't replace this one. Here's a theme song for any street where there is a Trump Tower. Alternate version. This is another name for streets that have a Trump Tower.

Here's a song for removing Drumpf from office in lieu of our omni-corrupt Congress doing nothing. Here's another. And, of course, this.

Here's a view of what Trump might do if he feels cornered.

The long arm of the law is reaching for Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, another aspect of the Mueller investigation.

Here's some news on the Stormy Daniels front.

Bill Clinton also was an illegitimate president, with his history of sex crimes. He wasn't a particularly good president either, but he appointed two of the most stalwart defenders of freedom and democracy in recent decades to the Supreme Court - Ruth Bader-Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer.

We can trust the "Democrats" to choose politics over principle - if not every time, nearly every time. Here's a perfect example. When they win a majority in both houses of Congress this November, can we trust them to impeach Trump? Not likely. They will actually have more political advantage with him still in office. Trump, demented, mentally deranged, dangerous, sociopathic, will only depart for health reasons or because the "Republicans" see him as a liability they can no longer abide.

Roger Bannister at the finish line when he was the first person to run a mile under four minutes, May 6, 1954R.I.P. Roger Bannister. He was my inspiration in my youth. I ran the mile in high school track, but was no Roger Bannister.

R.I.P. Barry Crimmins. I used to read his work in Smirking Chimp during the Bush II years. He was wickedly funny, very insightful.

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