Archive for the 'Democracy?' Category

“Much worse”

Saturday, May 13th, 2017

Laurence Tribe, Harvard constitutional law professor

“Speaking Thursday to MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell, Harvard constitutional law professor Laurence Tribe said that Trump directly asking Comey if he was under investigation, as the president indicated to NBC’s Lester Holt during a ‘kryptonite’ interview, ‘is much worse than just a conflict of interest.’

‘You’re essentially dangling in front of the person who’s supposed to be investigating the chaos swirling around you, and perhaps you, you’re basically saying, “If you will assure me that I’m not going to be under investigation, then maybe I’ll keep you on. We’ll see what happens.” It’s essentially the language of bribery. It’s the language of the underworld, of racketeering, not the language of a president who is supposed to be enforcing the rule of law,’ he said.

‘It’s staggering—for all the bizarre things that have happened in these 112 or 113 days, this is really like the 13th chime of a clock,’ Tribe continued.”

When a Harvard constitutional law professor says this, it cannot be ignored.  We badly need to see Trump impeached and removed from office as swiftly as possible.  I am writing once again to my congressional representatives with a request for impeachment proceedings.

WILL CONGRESS BE ALLOWED TO CONTINUE ITS INVESTIGATION?

Saturday, May 13th, 2017

 Rob Rosenstein

Donald Trump fired FBI director James B. Comey.  Comey was leading a counterintelligence investigation to find out if Trump’s associates had worked with Russia to interfere with last year’s presidential election.

This obviously impacts the investigation and Democrats were concerned and “immediately demanded a Special Prosecutor to continue investigations,” according to Jefferson Morley on AlterNet, which reports that a career Justice Department official, Rod Rosenstien, is now in charge of the criminal investigation of Trump and his organization’s ties with Russian state officials.

Trump had already dismissed three U.S. officials who were responsible for investigating Russia’s role in the 2016 election. Will Mr. Rosenstein actually be able to investigate Trump and his ties with Russia or will he, too, be fired?

What Congress needs to do is begin impeachment proceedings against Trump.

Government Secrecy

Thursday, May 4th, 2017

James Comey                             Julian Assange

Should a government have secrets?  I don’t think so.  We citizens pay for government agencies and services with our tax money and deserve to know how every penny is spent.

I read in the media today that:

” FBI Director James Comey lashed out at WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange, calling the anti-secrecy organization a hostile intelligence service and suggesting that Assange would have been taken into custody if he had not taken sanctuary in the Ecuadorian embassy in London nearly five years ago.

‘They [American journalists, continues Comey] will almost always call us before they publish classified information and say, is there anything about this that’s going to put lives in danger, that’s going to jeopardize government people, military people or— innocent civilians anywhere in the world. And then work with us to try and accomplish their important First Amendment goals while safeguarding those interests. This activity I’m talking about, WikiLeaks, involves no such considerations whatsoever.’

“The final statement amounts to a damning description of the collaboration of the so-called mainstream—i.e., corporate-controlled—media in the United States with the intelligence apparatus. WikiLeaks and Assange have proceeded in the tradition of actual journalism: collect facts and publish them, regardless of whose ox is gored. The ‘American journalists’ praised by Comey are accomplices and stenographers of the military-intelligence apparatus. If, as Comey says, they ‘almost always call us before they publish,’ it is because they, too, serve the interests of American imperialism.”

Above from WSWS, 4 May 2017

US BOMBS AFGHANISTAN

Thursday, April 20th, 2017

In an article on Common Dreams on Thursday, 20 April 2017, you can read the following:

“Despite the lack of information from the Pentagon about President Donald Trump’s deployment on April 13 of the ‘Mother of All Bombs’ in Afghanistan—or its aftermath—close to 70 percent of American voters say they ‘strongly’ or ‘somewhat’ support the bombing, according to a new poll.” Read about that here.

Children ride by debris from US bombings in Afghanistan

I want to go on record as being an American who strongly disapproves of that bombing.

Congress did empower the president to pursue al-Qaida in Afghanistan in 2001 in an effort against those who were said to have attacked the US on September 11 of that year. [There is still uncertainty about who did attack the World Trade Center at that time.] Unlike Trump’s bombing in Syria however, it might be claimed that there was congressional approval for bombing in Afghanistan.

Still, that authorization was very long ago and hardly seems appropriate today. If Afghanistan ever did attack the US (which is certainly not clear), it has not done harm to this country in many years. It is rather the US that has done massive harm to Afghanistan, a small and poor state.

As a US citizen, I do not want our tax dollars to pay for aggression on Afghanistan. There was a call from three Afghans, Seelai Popal, Ali A. Olomi, and Laila Rashidie “for people of conscience in the U.S. to step forward and demand an end to the murder of the Afghan people and the poisoning of our land. The terrorism waged by the U.S. and its allies in the name of the ‘war on terror’ far outstrips the violence of those they claim to fight. It is time for the global community to demand that all militaries stop using our people and our lands as testing grounds for war and weaponry.”

I am responding to that call; I am demanding the end of the murder of the Afghan people and the poisoning of their land by the United States. I demand that the US stop using the Afghan people and their land as testing ground for war and weaponry.

TRUMP BRANDS TO BOYCOTT

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

27 Trump brands to boycott

  1. Trump Hotels
  2. The Apprentice and “the Celebrity Apprentice”
  3. Miss Universe
  4. Fox News
  5. Dr. Pepper and 7-Up
  6. Omaha Steaks
  7. On-Star
  8. Australian Gold
  9. Camping World
  10. Enterprise Rent a Car
  11. The Clorox Company
  12. Sprint
  13. Bristol Myers Squibb
  14. The Walt Disney Co
  15. Groupon
  16. NBC
  17. Sentient Jet
  18. Trump International Realty
  19. The Donald J Trump Foundation, Inc
  20. Trump Casinos
  21. Trump Books LLC
  22. Trump Canadian Services, Inc
  23. Trump University
  24. The Trump Follies LLC
  25. Trump Ice (bottled water)
  26. Trump Wine
  27. Ivanka’s Fashion Line and stores that carry it

IS TRUMP LIKE HITLER?

Wednesday, April 5th, 2017

I have read at least two articles today that liken things in the Trump USA to those in Hitler’s Germany.  Scary. The most recent contains this:

“Depriving vulnerable people of health care [as a result of the proposed Republican health care plan] is disturbingly reminiscent of the Nazi-era “Lebensunwertes Leben”—Life Unworthy Of Life, based on certain groups being a drain on resources and thus disposable to the people in power. It’s a harsh interpretation of a troubled time in America. But it’s an apt description of reality. Health care is a human right, not just a privilege for those with money. The merciless attacks on low-income health care programs effectively condemn thousands of people to an early death.”

The above from the article here.

The author is Paul Buchheit, an advocate for social and economic justice, who wrote “Disposable Americans” which was published this year.

DR. KING TOLD US DECADES AGO

Tuesday, April 4th, 2017

                                    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom. “

Martin Luther King warned us decades ago of the dangers of spending our national resources on the military.  The resulting effects on education and healthcare, especially compared to other developed countries is striking.  Some education in the United States is among the best in the world, but many people here suffer from the low level of education available to them.  Some people, especially those who have  large financial resources, receive the best health care; large numbers of people in the United States have none.

The money the government spends on the military would make a vast difference and would put the US on a par with other developed countries in these regards.  Instead of a lifetime of college debt, our young people could, as I did in France, pay $25.00 a year for university.  No one would be bankrupted by a medical emergency or condition.  I spent two months in the hospital in France where one of the best surgeons on the planet took care of me.  The total cost for two surgical interventions and all other expenses including meals for my sister was $6,000.00, about the cost of a weekend in the hospital in the US at the time.

Things do not have to be this way in the United States. We can, even at this late date, heed Dr. King’s warning.

IMPEACHMENT

Thursday, March 30th, 2017

An article today by William Boardman suggests that Trump has committed impeachable offenses by violating the Constitution’s emolument’s clause.  You can read Boardman’s article here.

I alerted my Senators to this, though they are surely well aware of it, and asked that they work for impeachment.  I also contacted the congressional representative from my district and asked that he begin proceedings in the House of Representatives.

I well remember the impeachment process that had begun against Nixon, who resigned before he could be impeached.  Maybe we will see something similar now.

BERNIE SANDERS CALLS FOR UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE

Monday, March 27th, 2017

Bernie Sanders has called for healthcare for all in the United States, saying that “We have got to end the international disgrace of being the only major country on earth not to guarantee healthcare to all people as a right not a privilege.” Read about his speech here.

I have written several times on this blog, including the post just before this one, about the benefits of such healthcare in France which I have experienced personally.  Indeed, other people in many countries in the world have such care and we lag far behind in this matter.

Hooray to Bernie for standing up and speaking out on this.  I urge everyone to support him in this effort.  It is to our benefit to do so and to have universal healthcare here.

US HEALTH CARE

Friday, March 24th, 2017

France has universal health care paid for with tax money.  They also have what is regarded as the best health care in the world (the country of Louis Pasteur and Marie Curie is carrying on the tradition).  As many of you know, I had personal experience of that system a few years ago when a medical emergency sent me to the hospital there.  I had two surgical operations and was in the hospital in Tours for two months.  I can assure you French medicine is both excellent and costs magnitudes less than in the US where some people have excellent medical care and many have none. My two months in the hospital in France cost my health insurance the equivalent of $6000.00, which would have paid for a weekend in the hospital in the United States at the time.  This also included three meals a day for my sister who came each day to be with me.

By contrast, the title of an article I just read was “US health care debate: A bipartisan drive to lower life expectancy.”

I read in the article:

“According to the Congressional Budget Office report released Monday, 21 million Americans will lose [health care] coverage by 2020, and 24 million by 2026. How many of these people will die as a consequence?

“Under the Republican House plan, a 64-year-old worker earning $26,500 will see his or her premium increase from $1,700 to $14,600 by 2026 due to the disproportionate cuts in tax credits for older consumers. A 21-year-old earning the same amount would see his or her premium drop from $1,700 to $1,450.

“In so far as overall premiums drop, this is because older workers—whose health care costs are higher—will simply leave the market because they can no longer pay for insurance. The result will be a sharp increase in mortality and fall in life expectancy, which is already on the decline in the US due to the rise in suicides, drug abuse and other social ills.”

Read the complete article here.

This is not the description of medical care in a developed country.  The US could have health care like that of other first world countries, but it will require a revolution in thinking and in practice.