My interests are somewhat eclectic and that is reflected in my posts. I have provided a drop-down lists of categories so you can zero in on things that might be interesting to you. In particular, you might enjoy my fiction pieces in the category Short Stories.
In the first two weeks of Donald Trump’s Presidency, he issued an Executive Order banning legal immigration and legal refugees from selected mostly-muslim countries. It was blocked by the federal courts, in part because it was badly written and badly implemented, and in part because of numerous problems with legality and constitutionality.
The President abandoned that one, and came back with a second Executive Order two weeks ago. This one was well written and well thought out, and left out some of the more egregious elements found in the first one. A federal judge has blocked this one as well. Here’s why.
Iowa Congressman Steve King recently tweeted a decidedly racist comment, and then doubled down on it in the face of the furor it caused. He could be ignored were his position not so startlingly reminiscent of the German Nazi’s position in the 1930’s, and were he not a United States Congressman.
The Trump administration has put out an RFP (Request for Proposal) for designs for the Wall. In an article about how some architects would like to find a way to make the Wall beautiful as well as effective, this stood out to me:
“Janet Napolitano, the former secretary of Homeland Security and governor of Arizona, once said, “You show me a 50-foot wall, and I’ll show you a 51-foot ladder at the border.” Yet we persist in not only maintaining that wall but expanding it. The border wall is a symbolic and real barrier. It aims to create a neat binary in a complex world. North vs. south. The United States vs. Mexico. Legal vs. illegal. Us vs. them. The polarizing effect is both insidious and intentional.”
At a cost of several tens of billions of dollars, the Wall will do little to stop the flow of illegal immigrants into the United States. But it will send a powerful message to the rest of the world about what kind of nation America has become. That America is a far cry from what our founders envisioned, a far cry from what the French envisioned when they gifted us with the Statue of Liberty, a far cry from Ronald Reagan’s shining city on a hill, and a far cry from what every modern President has championed right up till the current one, who has a very different vision of America. Donald Trump’s America is dark, divisive, and ugly place.
The President’s new travel ban from six specific mostly-muslim countries (Iraq was dropped from the list) is unlikely to pass muster with the courts. It is a much better thought-out order than the first, is more limited in scope, and avoids much that was especially objectionable in the first one. But it still contains the two fundamental problems that the courts called out for the original order.
I ran across a story today about President Trump having a secret psychological evaluation recently. This strikes me as a pretty serious story, one that raises all sorts of questions. Like, Why did he get it? Did he voluntarily seek the evaluation? Did his handlers force it on him? What were the results?
The results should be made public. It seems to me that the American people have a right to know whether their President is psychologically fit to conduct the responsibilities of his Office. So far, the White House has no comment, and I haven’t yet seen it in any news sources except the National Enquirer.
WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT THE RUSSIAN CONNECTION?
We know beyond any reasonable doubt that agents of the Russian government actively interfered in the 2016 Presidential election by (1) creating a team of internet trolls to bias google searches, (2) hacking into American servers and stealing private information, and (3) by carefully selected stolen information at critical points in the campaign … all with the intention of ensuring that Donald Trump would win the election. We know all this because every single intelligence agency in the federal government examined the data and agreed that these things are true.
Early Saturday morning the President of the United States of America launched another of his infamous twitter storms, and this one was especially bizarre.
In the middle of defending Jeff Sessions against the dark forces of the Democrats, he threw in a series of tweets accusing former President Barack Obama of wire tapping Trump tower before the election. Here’s the first tweet in the series:
Donald J. Trump
Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my “wires tapped” in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!
3:35 AM – 4 Mar 2017
President Donald Trump gave his first speech to a joint session of Congress. It was about an hour long. I did not watch the performance, which according to the Washington Post, “won high marks for his muscular but measured tone.” Others say he was as Presidential looking and sounding as they have ever seen him.
I offer a point-by-point replay of the speech, which is based on the transcript, along with my own commentary. I make no claim to objectivity here. You will find my own assessment of the speech as a whole at the end of the post.
During Jeff Session’s confirmation hearing for the position of Attorney General of the United States, making him the top law enforcement agent in the country, he was asked if he had knowledge about possible contacts between the Trump campaign and representatives of Russia. He was part of Trump’s campaign staff at that time. Sessions said he did not know of any such contacts. Apparently he forgot that he had had two private meetings with Russian representatives, and at the peak of the Russian cyber campaign to tilt the Presidential race toward Trump.
How does the rest of the world see the US turn against immigrants, especially Muslims? Three (among many) indicators are: (1) cancellations of planned trips to the US, along with an overall decline in the number of tourists planning to come to the US; (2) decisions by scientists to cancel plans to attend conferences in the US, forcing at least one large conference to cancel due to lack of presenters; (3) 150,000 Brits demanding that Trump’s planned state visit be cancelled.