Archive for September, 2022

Are you ready

Author: admin

There’s a lot of cud-chewing going on in media and political circles these days about whether D.J. Trump should be charged with a crime. Any crime. Pick a crime.

One side of the argument is charging him – if evidence warrants – would bring violence in the streets and bloodshed. Militias, Proud Boys et al. would rise up and raise Holy Hell in the country. Maybe.

The other side of the conversation believes Trump deserves no better or no worse treatment and, if evidence is solid enough, he should face the music just as any other citizen would.

As citizens, we all “have a dog in this fight” which means we all need to pay attention. Based on my local itinerant conversations and eavesdropping, not everybody is. More folks should because, if there are actions in the streets, they’re gonna be involved, like it or not.

Nobody – even his supporters – can claim Trump has not done significant damage to this country already. The only discussion point can be just how much. It’s hard to imagine any part of civil society he’s not damaged in one way or the other. That’s just a fact.

Even if he soon “Exits, Stage Right,” it’ll take years to fix what’s broken and get things back to normal.

So the only real question on the table should be “Charge or not to charge?”

“We are a nation of laws,” the old saying goes. And, we’re told from birth, “no one is above the law.” I believe both statements. I’ve lived a life in accordance with those beliefs. So, it would seem, the answer is easy.

If the evidence is there – and I believe it is – charge him and try him. Let a jury of his peers sort it out.

Some people say “No American President has ever been charged with a crime.” That may be. It’s also NOT to say a couple of them shouldn’t have been, though they weren’t.

That argument doesn’t hold up. Yes, it would be precedent-setting. So what? Trump, himself, was a “precedent.” Guy with no elective office experience walks in off the street and BOOM – he’s a president.

Proponents of the “no charge” side of things also worry there’ll be violence in our streets if he’s arraigned. So?

This country has seen violence in our streets before. And, we’re still here. The union movement in the first half of the last century was filled with violence. And death. We also had soldiers in the streets and violence that brought them there during the Great Depression. Remember Pershing and the army charging through “Hooverville?”

I was wrapped up in violence in our streets during those anti-war demonstrations in Washington D.C. in the sixties. In similar, but smaller marches across the country, we had violence aplenty. National Guard killing unarmed students at Kent State. And, none of this speaks to those killed in Revolutionary times. Or our Civil War of the 1860’s.

Violence – even death – in our streets is nothing new. We can be certain it will happen again – with or without Trump.

It seems the larger crime would be not to charge if the evidence warrants. What, then, happens to those precepts of this nation being one of laws and no one is exempt? Do we let the guilty walk, while saying to ourselves, “Well, not this time – maybe next time?”

None of us should be “asking” for violence. But, none of us should look the other way if violence there be. We’ve got police, national guard and the military if things get that bad. No one really wants violence. But, we are as well prepared for it as can be. If a bunch of militia folks want to take on all of the professionals, I say “Have at it.”

There’s also this reality. Juries and other legal bodies are reviewing evidence of Trump-linked crimes in three states, the District of Columbia, Congress and DOJ. One of those institutions – maybe more than one – will most certainly hand down some indictments. The only questions are what charges and where? It’s gonna happen.

Again, those who haven’t given this much thought really should. It’s an issue of being a citizen of this country that’s new. And, a bit frightening. The trial – one place or another – of a former U.S. President. Possibly a criminal trial. If found guilty, the imprisonment of a former U.S. President.

From all indications, Trump’s realizing the likelihood. The rest of us should, too.

Ariel. Poor Ariel

Author: admin

For God’s sake!

Don’t we have our “worry closets” full to overflowing these days with serious, national issues – truly worrying and, in some cases, world-threatening issues – without worrying about the depicted skin color of a cartoon character?

Yet, the current national “dustup” cluttering the media landscape is the freaking out of the chattering classes over Disney Studio’s casting of the lead in the new “Mermaid” ‘live’ action movie as Black. A Black half-woman, half-fish creature of our imaginations. Seriously. Skin color! Of a fictitious fish! Er, woman. Or, something.

My God!

It’s a frigging cartoon character, ladies and gentlemen. Lighten up!

Would a white half-woman, half-fish, fictitious fish creature be more to your liking? Would we have peace on earth? Well, would we?

It’s a damn cartoon, folks. Deal with it!

I don’t praise or condemn the Disney fantasy factory for making the cartoon skin Black. Wouldn’t if it were White. Nor, I believe, should anyone else. Any more than when Snow White was White and the Wicked Witch Black. It’s, frankly, not worth the time or concern. Get a life!

We’ve lived with movie’s messing with skin color and whole nationalities all our lives. Remember Charleton Heston in Ben Hur? A White chariot-racing “Egyptian” contesting the outcome with an equally White “Egyptian” bad guy.

Remember Jeff Chandler – the leading man in the movie “Cochise?” White and Yiddish from birth.

Remember Amos and Andy from radio days? Freeman Gossden and Charles Correll played the leads. Both White. Many of the “Black” radio characters, too.

Arts and artists have played with our mental proclivities for literally centuries. Remember Shakespeare? Many of his female characters were played by men. How about “Over The Rainbow” when one of the witches was White and the other green?

And, radio’s “Green Hornet?” Kato, the Hornet’s driver, was said to be Japanese. Then, Philippine by birth. But, when the movie was made, ol’ Kato was Korean.

Whether radio, TV, movies or extra long cartoons, it’s all meant to create fictional characters, nationalities and – yes – people of different skin colors. In our minds! Our minds! Heston’s being Caucasian by birth detracted little from his role as a faux “Egyptian.”

Ariel is supposed to be a mermaid. A mythological sea character with roots going back as long as people have sailed the world’s oceans. We’ve all grown up with one or more make-believe mermaid children’s stories in our lives. Until now, largely unnoticed, as just another fantasy.

But, these days, when radio talk shows aren’t ripping/praising Donald Trump, the talk turns to Ariel and whether she’s Black or White. And vast social significance is placed on her skin color by people with half-vast “outrage.”

The “conventional wisdom” is Ariel is supposed to be a White, mythical character. Which is being challenged by the other conventional “wisdom” that “it’s about time Disney recognized Black people in the marketplace.”

For my money, both “conventional wisdoms” are B.S.. Let it go.

We still call baseball “America’s pastime.” Fact is, the majority of players are Black, Hispanic, Japanese, etc.. It’s a game.

We see commercial after commercial on TV each night with one or more – or all – Black actors. Nobody makes anything of it.

The last interaction I had with a Black American was probably 20 or more years ago. But, it makes no difference to me if the Buick division of General Motors wants to sell me a new car driven by a Black or White character. It’s the car, damn it! It’s the car.

And, so it is with Ariel. She’s a made-up character – a fiction. She can be anything your mind says she is. Black. White. Blue. Ten feet tall. With horns. Or, long blond hair. Or, red hair. Or, yellow. It’s your Ariel. See her as you see her – not as I do. That’s the beauty – that’s the wonder – of fantasy. It’s yours. And, no one else’s.

So, give it a break. Ariel would want it that way.

A contemptible bunch

Author: admin

I’m stumped for a word.

A single word that describes those involved in across-the-board attacks on nearly all public boards, commissions and other quasi-governmental bodies we’ve relied on all our lives. The multi-layered civic bureaucracies of citizen-service that have been the underpinnings of our communities.

I tried “Trumpers.” Although many of the miscreants do follow that chemically-coiffed, vastly damaged human being, not all do so. So that wouldn’t work. “Nut cases.” No, not serious enough. “Aginners.” No, spell check refused..

Like bugs scurrying from under a decaying piece of wood, they’ve crept into our culture with their loony conspiracy theories. They often wave their Trump flags and lists of hundreds of books they want banned from our school and public libraries. Even if not a single book exists. But, not always.

Often we don’t tumble to their threatening idiocy and they sneak in. They like to wrap themselves in “motherhood” and “apple pie” until the voting’s over. But, not always.

Sometimes they’re really clever in deceiving voters until the last minute when you discover some nutcase, right-wing citizen outfit has endorsed one of them. Excellent warning sign, that.

Boise had a school board election a week ago. Several of these cretins snuck into the contest. But, voters got wise to them, re-electing incumbents while adding an 18-year-old student to the board, beating one of their number. All the creepy-crawlies lost.

But, they managed to chase out a North Idaho librarian with their threatening tactics. Quit before her first-year anniversary. Public badgering, threats, causing a ruckus outside her home, screwing up some library board meetings. Good citizens they ain’t.

Often, they’re so far-off base it’s almost comical. But, what they’re up to is far from funny. Their “my-way-or-the-highway” blusters – often devoid of truth or fact – should be taken damned seriously.

Their underhanded attempts to gain power over something – anything – are nationwide in scope. They’ve got I-Net communication links with their own conspiracy-filled publications. They monitor each other’s activities – wins and losses – as it were. They have organization. Frail and amateurish it may be. But, it works.

Whether it’s a school board election, city council, county commission or a mayor’s race, these people are to be avoided like the plague they are. A lot of them look to Trump for “educational” sustenance and continued encouragement. He gives them both in full measure. Like having his own people count the votes, he’s happy to egg them on.

Their presence means it’s even more important than usual for voters to dig around in whatever candidate information or biographies there may be before filling out that ballot. Some “scrub” their websites after a primary win so they look more conventional than they really are. This year, we all need to be even more prepared and forewarned about candidate backgrounds and related info. These nutcases represent a real threat to the body politic.

National races deserve more than the usual preparation before voting. So do those closer to home i.e. county commissions, city council/mayor, school boards and any other public service openings in need of filling. These dangers to democracy are everywhere.

Be careful out there!

In another story about fraudsters, check out Ol’ James Risch in Idaho.

He’s joined dozens of other lowlife Republican members of Congress taking bows from constituents for passage of President Biden’s infrastructure bill. They’re all over the place, crowing about new highways and bridges and other public projects made possible by that new law.

Problem is, with Jimmy, his sidekick Mike Crapo and many of the others, they were “NO” votes when they had the chance to stand up and be counted. Yep, the two of ‘em are out in the Idaho hustings patting themselves on the back, knowing full well they’re lying.

Biden has taken note of these hypocrites in several recent public appearances.

Says the Prez, “I love ‘em, man. They ain’t got no shame.”

Try him already

Author: admin

You can hear it in coffee shop conversations. In bar talk. In grocery checkout lines. Most particularly, in the offices of government prosecutors and among many politicians over their bourbon-and-branch water.

The topic: Indict/try Donald Trump. Or not.

Spoiler alert: DO IT!

God knows, he’s going to be found guilty of something. Probably by that Georgia grand jury hearing evidence of his attempts to change the outcome of the 2020 presidential election in that state. That venue will likely be first – among many other such closed-door hearings – to hand prosecutors paperwork they need to file one or more charges.
But will they? Should they? And what will Trump’s reaction be?

My take is “Yes.” “Yes.” And “Who the hell cares” about his reaction if the evidence is found strong enough to put before a jury of his peers? Twelve Georgians.

There’s a sizable group of legal folks expressing great timidity – even fear – if Trump is indicted. Some scared politicians, too. They believe his followers will take to the streets – armed in the streets – in retaliation. Well, anyway, senatorial hand puppet Lindsay Graham is, warning we may see armed violence again if Trump is charged with one crime or another.

Former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirshner believes Trump won’t have to give a direct order to cause such a dangerous situation. He notes Trump doesn’t give such directions when he wants something done. Kirshner says it’s more like a mob henchman in conversation with a small business owner: “Nice grocery store you have here, Sir. Be a shame if it burned to the ground.”

But, just as you have some pros fearful of Trump acting like Don Corleone, there are also those who believe Trump is now “Citizen Trump,” without his former protections of the Office of President. As such, he’s just like the rest of us: just another American with no more – and no less – responsibilities and no more or less protections.

The issue is, plainly and simply put, if there’s enough evidence of wrongdoing in any of the current dozen or so probes, he should be charged and brought to justice.

Trump is dirty. No, he hasn’t been charged with anything. But, he is. The feds know it. The National Republican Party knows it. Several state prosecutors know it. Trump knows it. And, given the current probing of significant violations of several federal statutes in the handling of some of this country’s most highly classified documents, another set of federal lawyers knows it.

It’s pretty well accepted there could be violence. We’ve got many hundreds of folks playing “para-military” every weekend. Yes, they’re armed. Yes, many of them are dangerous. And, a good number of them would likely try to start a small civil war at Trump’s calling.

But, last month in Michigan, two “militia wannabe’s were tried and found guilty of plotting to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer. The proceedings were preceded by rumblings of expected violence. There was none.

That’s not to say there aren’t some Trumpers with AK-47’s and 15’s who might not take some sort of action. That’s why we have a police force. And, if necessary, the National Guard.

These folks have been around for decades. There may – or may not – be more of them around currently. They may be armed. They may be better trained in some cases. But, they’ve been there, just below the surface, spoiling to do something. They’ve been an open sore on the body politic for a long, long time.

If all it takes is for a disgraced former president – a millionaire tax cheat – an acknowledged serial adulterer – a guy who used to brag about his Mafia connections in the construction business – an idiot who would take and hide top secret federal documents and lie about it – if that’s the fuse to set some of these nutcases off, let’s get it on!

Let’s lance that “boil” on the body politic and have it out. We’ve had the threat(s) of those people hanging around for 50/60-years. We’ve seen them on videos. We’ve watched them skulking around in our forests. We watched some of their number January 6th. We watched the crowd mentality in action. We know they’re in nationwide conversation about all sorts of “military” things.

If Trump is their catalyst, let’s “shake the tree” and see who falls out. Let’s see if he can declare a call to action from inside a prison cell. Nothing like adding some federal charges of inciting to riot to whatever else he’s guilty of.

We’ve been living with a sort of militaristic blackmail for decades. If Trump releases the bad guys , he may do us a favor.

The time has come to “fish or cut bait.”