Elections, politics, Uncategorized

Lift Me Higher

america-repairsimg_3978

In less than two weeks, the United States has bombed both Syria (59 Tomahawk Missiles) and Afghanistan (1 MOAB “Mother of All Bombs”).

Currently, a large part of the Pacific Fleet is moving within firing range of North Korea, to intercept any missiles or nuclear test missiles they may fire during their upcoming anniversary celebration.

If we, the United States, intercept anything lobbed by North Korea, I cannot say for certain we’ll be here next Saturday to enjoy sunshine and soccer games.

North Korea is a desperate country. A large part of their population lives in abject poverty and is unelectrified. Money, what there is of it, goes into the military infrastructure.

Kim Jong-Un, the current leader of North Korea, is only 33 years old, and largely untested. He has been brought up to be revered as a god, as were his father and grandfather before him. He has purged his circle of anyone who might be threat to him, including relatives.

What we here in the west don’t really understand is that if Kim feels that he is being backed into a corner, in order to not be shamed in front of his generals and population, he will destroy South Korea and as much of Japan as he can before he is destroyed. North Korea has nothing to lose.

Most of us here in the United States, because we are oceans away from Asia, really don’t understand the Asian cultures. We’ve never had to deal with anyone even on our own soil who has nothing to lose. Our military intelligence concerning North Korea is sketchy; we don’t know how much weaponry or what types they truly have — do we risk destroying half of Asia to stop them from showing off a test rocket?

We are a larger, wealthier nation and as such, it is up to us to, pardon the expression, be the bigger man.

Diplomacy is still a better course of action instead of belligerence. North Korea needs food. It needs medicine. It needs the things we can provide through diplomacy, but we have to invest in understanding the Korean culture, and allow for deviation from isolation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Democrats, politics, Uncategorized

Show Me the Money

The Chicago Tribune published an article about the estimated cost of protecting the President and his various family members. http://preview.tinyurl.com/hvkkt2w 

It is estimated that protecting Mrs. Trump costs New York City $500,000 per day. Half a million.

Now, as a you might know, I grew up in New York City, in Queens, and went to high school in Manhattan. The Atrium at Trump Tower opened in 1983, and I remember my friends and I hanging out there, drinking coffee and people watching amid the pink marble. The tower’s neighbors include Rockefeller Center, Saint Patrick’s Cathedral and the fabled Tiffany & Co. jewelry store.

I’m sure that the Secret Service and NYPD are feeling the stress of trying to protect a tower from other rooftops. And Fifth Avenue traffic, insane at the best of times, now has to be more tightly controlled and routed. I haven’t heard yet what kind of protests are occurring, but let’s add the cost of crowd control. If the Secret Service has to rent in the Tower, that could cost up to $1.5 million a year (which, of course, will go into the President’s coffers).

Mr. Trump, who has spent the last two weeks at his estate/club in Florida (and is on his way to a third consecutive weekend there, utilizing Air Force, of course), is racking up the bills as well.

The boys are traveling abroad, opening properties in Dubai (yes, one of the countries, whose immigrants were not banned from travel into the United States), the Dominican Republic, and Vancouver. Protection hotel bills for the boys’ Uruguay trip topped $100,000.

All of this, of course, is on our dime — yours and mine — via our taxes. Is this the best use of our taxes. I thought Republicans were the party of fiscal conservatism.

Should any of this money be funneling back into the President’s own pockets?

What’s interesting to me is the quiet from Capitol Hill. Since it’s a Republican President, and a Republican-controlled Congress, there’s no call for diversification from businesses, etc.

I suspect that the President’s days are numbered; that Congress is biding its time until they finish slashing and burning the programs they feel are entitling and wasteful, and fast-track whatever regressive bills require the President’s signature. Once his liabilities outweigh his usefulness, they will quickly impeach and convict him — I figure around March or April 2018, just before the mid-term elections. My guess is by then, if not before, Congressional Republicans will suddenly become aware of the President’s detrimental behavior and it will be a center-ring circus to showcase their collective horror and mea culpa to restore the nation’s dignity.

politics, Uncategorized

Look Out Below

The other day, at work, while worrying about deadlines and waiting lists and TANF letters, I had an epiphany of sorts.

Like many others across America, my nights have been restless; I wake in the morning wary about what I’ll read in the news. Updates through the day aren’t better: legislative bills to sell of public lands (i.e., national parks, etc.), confirmation hearings for people who have never worked in the sector they are being charged with; executive orders signed with no input as to the ramifications.

I voted in my first election when I was 18: Mario Cuomo was running for Lieutenant Governor of New York State. He had spoken at my eighth grade commencement at Immaculate Conception School in Jamaica, Queens, New York — the very same Jamaica, Queens, that our current President hails from. Mr. Cuomo’s children also attended ICS, so I was happy and proud to cast my vote for him, and I am just as happy and proud that his son, Andrew, was elected to the same office.

And now we are here, a million years from yesterday. To quote “The Godfather”: How did things ever get so far?

In one of my friends’ posts on Facebook, someone suggested that we are here now because the incentives to be President should change, and that got my hamster wheel brain turning. I realized that serving the people of this country, in whatever fashion possible, is its own incentive, and so I wrote in response:

“What more incentive does one need than to lead the nation forward while preserving and protecting the values outlined in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights? The Presidency, and Congress, are not offices to get rich from; they are the repositories of the peoples’ trust in you for their future and the future of their progeny.”

As a nation, what are our values?

I believe our values were clearly outlined for us in the three documents our Founding Fathers drafted for us to follow: Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This is the soul of our country. Each amendment to the Constitution and Bill of Rights that is ratified by 38 of 50 states (3/4) is an agreement that our culture has changed to a degree and is deserving of acknowledgement.

Elected officials who seek to curtail these rights inherently do not trust their constituents, but the rights this country were founded on has inspired others (“Liberté, égalité, fraternité”), and human nature will always strive for freedom and happiness.

This does not make us weaker.

It makes us stronger.

politics, Uncategorized

Swamp Thing, You Make My Heart Sting

My dear Mr. Trump:

Your administration leaks like a sieve.

But it leaks because the people who are leaking are true patriots — they value our Democratic Republic, as imperfect as it is, and recognize that Russia is not our friend. Russia may be *your* friend, but it is no friend to the United States.
People are leaking because your swamp — the one you vowed to drain — is now stocked with crooks and traitors.
Traitor is a strong word, a visceral word, but in this case, because Mr. Flynn, as a private citizen, allegedly tried to broker a deal with Russia before your Inauguration, the word fits. The only question that remains is if he did it at your behest.
Be under no illusion — you may be President, but you have no history with these people. They don’t owe you any allegiance, and will throw you under the bus in a New York minute.
You may have won votes with your talk of patriotism and making America great again. You may have convinced the Bible Belt and the Corn Belt that you know what patriotism is about, but you can’t fool me. Your behavior in the wake of all of this Russian garbage shows me you don’t understand patriotism, and, in all likelihood, don’t feel it.

Like it or not, you’re in over your head, my dear Mr. Trump.