Category Archives: Keeping track

Protest as Proof – The American Ayatollah

When thousands of Iranians demonstrated in their streets recently, Mr. Trump seized on it as proof that their nation’s leaders and system of government were broken, a failed system.

“Big protests in Iran,” Trump tweeted on New Year’s Eve. “The people are finally getting wise as to how their money and wealth is being stolen and squandered on terrorism. Looks like they will not take it any longer. 

His UN Ambassador, Nicki Haley echoed that sentiment, saying “This is the precise picture of a long-oppressed people rising up against their dictators.”

Frankly, I’d agree with them there.

For the sake of honesty and consistency though, will our Dear Leader agree that when millions of Americans demonstrated to protest his election and the policies he had promised to promote – and did so again a year later – logic dictates that also be regarded as proof that his leadership and administration are fundamentally broken, and represent a failure of democratic principles?

Of course not.  For this is a man who recognizes no logic except his own survival and prospering, no rules except the rule of his own gratification.

Our very own American Ayatollah.






Who’s in Charge Here?

Mr. Trump, in regard to questions about his possibly-upcoming interview under oath with the FBI, stated “I’m looking forward to it, actually…” “I would love to do that… I’d like to do it as soon as possible.”

This man, famous for his independence and confidence, then uttered weasel words to the effect that he would do so “…subject to my lawyers, and all of that.”


Mr. Trump, if you are the man you claim to be, you will do the interview regardless of what your attorneys say. Who’s in charge here anyway? Your entire campaign was – and your incumbency is – based on the claim that you and only you have what it takes save the U S of A from decadence and decline – and now you cannot decide for yourself whether to take an interview?


Put Up or Shut Up, Mr. Trump. Take the interview.


In a recent tweet about immigration, our President stated that those who do not agree to his preferred measures aimed at controlling illegal immigration become, by their disagreement, complicit in any future murders committed by illegal immigrants.

There are certainly many grounds upon which to disagree with that claim, but an intriguing alternative response might be to take it at face value.  For if the logic is valid – that taking a position on a political issue makes one morally complicit in any negative instances that might possibly occur relative to that position (regardless of the balancing positive effects) – then the following is also and equally true.

All those who advocate for gun ownership, gun rights, in fact the enter Second Amendment debate, are complicit in every murder or wounding committed with a legally-owned firearm.

And yes, Virginia, that is a far larger number, every year, than the number of murders committed by illegal immigrants.

But we will not hear that from our President,






Fair Is Fair

In the news today, US auto sales fell 1.8% in 2017.

So, the next time our current President claims credit for some suggestion of economic growth (such as the rise in the stock market, which is clearly the continuation of a long-term trend that began long before he took office), will he also accept credit for this development, which ended seven years of growth?

Let’s watch and see….

He Said What?

Following the Sutherland Springs shootings, our President opined that, if two townspeople had not pulled out their own guns and shot the perpetrator, he would have “.. had hundreds more dead…”

Considering what this deranged shooter was able to do inside that crowded church (horrible, terrible, indefensible, but not “hundreds”), or what the Las Vegas shooter did with an enormous crowed, time and multiple pseudo-automatic weapons (again, horrible, terrible, indefensible, but not “hundreds”), it is simply not credible that the TX shooter could have killed “hundreds” while speeding away with police in pursuit.

Once again, our President cannot help himself exaggerating to the point of obvious falsehood.   We deserve better.

It’s Put Up time

Put Up” – two words that can cut two ways, depending on which old saw one has in hand.

For those who hoped the election of 2016 would turn out differently – it’s past time to Put Up With It; to get over your frustration, disbelief or whatever else you may be feeling, and accept the result and work as best you can to forward your goals, under the new administration.

For those who are happy about how 2016 turned out, it is also Put-Up time – as in Put-Up or Shut Up.  Time for our new President to deliver on his plethora of promises, and for all his colleagues and supporters to show they can actually solve real-world problems, not just invent slogans that simplify the issues beyond recognition.

With that in mind, my first challenge to Mr. Trump is this:  you said you were the only man who could help ordinary Americans, the ones who feel they have limited jobs, limited opportunities, limited wealth, limited prospects.  If you’re so good, by summer of 2020 (when the next election season is roiling like a creek in springtime), we should clearly see a statistically-significant reversal of the trend for wealth to accumulate in the top few percent of households.

And before anyone  hauls out that old line about liberals wanting to re-distribute income or wealth, it won’t wash.  The re-distribution has been happening for decades, damn it!  Redistributing from wage and salary workers to the top tier of business, real estate and securities owners.  That’s the real social engineering that’s been going on, partly due to trends beyond our control – technology, a populace more enamored of entertainment than education, other nations maturing into real competitors instead of farm teams – but also due largely due to a tax code which favors those who already have wealth over those who are trying to accumulate it.  (Yes, Virginia, the less you tax home purchases, business profits, capital gains, hedge fund fees and inheritance, the greater will be the relative tax burden on wages and salaries – the only vehicles most working folks have to improve their position).

I admit I’m skeptical, seeing as how you’ve turned over the reigns of the economy and policy to Goldman Sachs and the rest of the investment banks, to mega-corporation CEO’s and lobbyists; but maybe trickle-down economics will work out differently this time around…

The point is, if three years after your election the proportion of wealth held by those in the top tiers has not decreased, then you will not have delivered and the people should be the ones snarling ‘You’re Fired!’.

Yeah, its Put-Up time, for  all of us.

“Stronger and More Powerful”

From his country club in New Jersey in August 2017, our President stated that, as a result of his “first order as president” the nation’s nuclear arsenal has been renovated and modernized and is now “stronger and more powerful than ever before…” As reported by many, the review of nuclear posture which he ordered was nowhere near his first order and had no effect on the renovation, modernization or strength of nuclear capability, it is just a review (though, of course, it may lead to some action in future, which when and if worked out in full detail, approved, funded and executed, might someday affect the capability, in some as yet undemonstrated way).

As so many times before and since, the strong and powerful message of our leader’s words is that they are meaningless, except in the damage they do to his and our nation’s credibility, and what they tell us about his character .