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Memorial Day

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Military service was not a strong tradition in my family, as it is in so many others, where service to country has been measured in generations. My father did not serve in World War II because he was deferred due to working in a war-related factory. His only brother, my uncle, did serve, as a medical aide to Gen. MacArthur in the Pacific theatre, where his specialty was combatting venereal disease! Among my male cousins in the far-off Draft days of the 1960s, several served in Vietnam, and to this day bear the psychological scars of returning home to taunts and spit—although not from me. I, myself, was rejected by the Draft Board. They never explained to me the reason/s why, leaving me to conjecture. Because they knew I was gay? Or something else? Anyhow, I didn’t know, at the time, what I would do were I to be drafted. Escape to Canada was an option; so was going into the Army. In retrospect, I think it would have been good for me to have served, although that, of course, probably would have landed me in Vietnam. At any rate, I respect and admire the men and women back then who chose, and, in these non-draft days, choose to serve their country, although I have to admit I don’t think of them as morally superior to their brothers and sisters who have not chosen to serve.

One of my fondest childhood memories is of my older cousin (through marriage) Don, who did serve in the Army. I was particularly close to him—he was my first hero-worship. While a graduate student at Harvard’s School of Architecture, Don worked on his thesis, an analysis of conditions among soldiers at Fort Devens, outside Boston. In the summer of 1962, I think it was, I spent a month helping him with various features of his study. Many years later, Don had by then served in the second administration of Gov. Jerry Brown here in California, and had started a company producing below-market-rate housing in San Francisco. He was on a plane heading to Croatia, in 1966, because he’d been invited by U.S. Commerce Secretary (under Bill Clinton) Ron Brown, to rebuild housing destroyed in those awful Serbian wars of the 1990s. The plane, tragically, plowed into a mountainside; all were killed. Don was permitted to be buried in the Presidio National [military] Cemetery, in San Francisco, through a special Act of Congress proposed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein. From time to time, we visit his grave, high on a hill overlooking the beautiful Golden Gate, and we place little stones upon the headstone, in the ancient Jewish tradition.

I suppose it is due to the way I was raised that I respect the uniform, whether it be worn on soldiers, cops or firefighters. I do try to understand the point of view of those who view the uniform, and the men and women in it, as the enemy. Surely everybody has got to work towards reconciliation! But things are not helped by the attitude of the current president and his regime, who are hell-bent on appealing to anger and resentment, not on the things that bind us as Americans. Barack Obama tried that route, and did not do so well. I think History will praise him for his gentlemanly ways, and will condemn the current occupant of the White House as a catastrophic anomaly. I hope to live long enough to see a great majority of Americans unite in agreement that the 2016 election was an unqualified disaster, and I hope that the people who voted for Trump will have the scales fall from their eyes, and apologize to their children and grandchildren for the awful thing they did. But I don’t know that I will ever see that day.

Meanwhile, on this Memorial Day, I salute all the people who serve our country in uniform, and I pause to remember those service members who are no longer with us. Thank you for your protection and service!


The real reason Republicans don’t want Americans to be educated

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Education always has been central to the idea of America. Or first President, George Washington, said, “The best means of forming a manly, virtuous, and happy people will be found in the right education of youth.” Republicans, no less than Democrats, have stressed the virtues of education. “We’ll never be able to compete in the 21st century,” warned George W. Bush, “unless we have an education system that doesn’t quit on children.” The President Republicans love the most, Ronald Reagan, who could turn a phrase, noted, “Education is not the means of showing people how to get what they want. Education is an exercise by means of which enough men, it is hoped, will learn to want what is worth having.”

Every schoolchild knows the story of how Abe Lincoln walked many miles to school. Herbert Hoover overcame his natural tendency for under-achievement by studying hard and getting admitted to Stanford. Richard Nixon, born poor, finished second in his high school class, and became President of the U.S. The central message of American exceptionalism, it seems, has always pivoted on a solid foundation of education: the more, the better.

Until now. The Republican Party has made the deliberate decision to appeal to the most uneducated segment of America. A recent article in the Atlantic, quoting statistics from Nate Silver, at 538.com, stated: “The 50 most educated counties in the nation surged to [Hillary] Clinton. In 2012, Obama had won them by a mere 17 percentage points; Clinton took them by 26 points. The 50 least educated counties moved in the opposite direction; whereas Obama had lost them by 19 points, Clinton lost them by 31. Majority-minority counties split the same way: The more educated moved toward Clinton, and the less educated toward Trump.”

We all should be appalled by this. The less educated that people are, the more likely they were to vote for Donald Trump. The more education they are, the more likely they were to vote for Hillary Clinton.

Now, I’m not saying that uneducated people are stupid or dumb. But they are, by definition, ignorant. And, as Dr. King observed, “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance…”. An ignorant person is at greatest risk of making the world a worse place: as the philosopher George Santayana observed, Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” We do not want to repeat the mistakes of the past: the slavery of Blacks, the near-slavery of women, violent repression of gay people, child labor, sweatshops, polluted rivers and air, back-alley abortions, rule by plutocrats, anti-Catholic sentiment, unnecessary wars.

Donald Trump tells his rural, white Protestant voters that the “facts” presented by Democrats are “fake” and “lies.” Let me quote another great writer, Aldous Huxley: “Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” As another American President, John Adams, said, “Facts are stubborn things.” It is a fact that Obama was born in Hawaii. It is a fact that Trump’s inauguration crowd was rather small. Republicans may wish these facts, and countless others concerning Trump, to go away, but they will not.

Among the facts that will not go away are all the things Donald Trump did to get elected, especially his collaboration with Russia and later attempts to obstruct Mueller’s investigation. These are indeed “stubborn things,” the kind that prosecutors fasten on, and juries listen to. I do not know if a sitting President can be indicted (as Giuliani claims). We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. But I do know that things are not looking good for Trump, in the sense of his liability in this case. We’re not talking about minor crimes, like jaywalking; we’re talking about major, massive criminal activity to influence our 2016 election on behalf of a hostile power, and subsequent attempts to thwart justice by trying to obstruct Mueller.

Educated people—those whose cognitive skills enable them to see through manipulations of facts—are willing to wait until Mueller has completed his investigation. They—we—want to read his report, listen to his arguments, and then decide where to go next. Uneducated people—in the most ignorant counties that voted for Trump—don’t want to hear new facts. Perhaps they don’t know how to interpret them. They’ve already discounted old facts; sadly, they’ve discounted the importance of facts themselves. They’ve chosen which side they’re on, and facts be damned. It’s a helluva situation we find ourselves in. The Republican Presidents I cited—Hoover, George W. Bush, Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan—would be horrified by this current administration, but the funny, sick thing is that, were Reagan still living and saying the kinds of things that Rex Tillerson said yesterday (warning that some leaders are seeking to conceal the truth), they would be denounced on Fox “News” as RINOS—Republican in Name Only. This is how political parties die, or commit suicide.

Have a wonderful weekend!


Trumpism after Trump

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In the cold Moscow winter of 1956, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev gave his now-famous “Secret Speech” to a closed session of the Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union—the nation’s highest legislative gathering, similar to a Joint Session of the American Congress.

In a multi-hour tirade, Khrushchev angrily denounced the policies and practices of his predecessor, Josef Stalin (who had died three years previously). Stalin had been, of course, the leader of the Soviet Union for thirty years, the “Stalin the Great” (in Churchill’s words) who led his nation to victory in World War II, and whose policies of “Stalinization” had transformed the Soviet Union into a totalitarian dictatorship.

Khrushchev “denounced Stalin’s ‘personality cult,’ the party purges of the 1930s” and other practices, and he “accused Stalin of negligence, incompetence, and deceit…Stalin and his regime were criminal.” This was the launching of the “De-Stalinization” movement in the Soviet Union.” It led, in the immediate aftermath, to the arrest (and execution) of many of Stalin’s enablers, the dismantling of Stalin’s arbitrary and incoherent policies and, in the long run, to the demise of the Soviet Union itself, in 1991.

Ironically, Khrushchev’s De-Stalinization speech caught pro-Stalinists by surprise, especially in Eastern Europe, the “Iron Curtain” countries that had been overrun by Soviet armies following the defeat of Nazi Germany. The then-leaders of Poland, East Germany, Hungary, Romania, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria and the Baltic countries were “more Stalin than Stalin,” and were caught completely off-guard by Moscow’s abrupt volte-face. Eventually, of course, most of these leaders lost their jobs, if not their lives; and most of their countries are now members of the European Union and NATO.

The concept of De-Stalinization suggests that even the most authoritarian and successful national leader can have the tables turned, as historical perceptions in the political court of public opinion shift. From this example, we can envision a scenario in which a De-Trumpization movement in the U.S. emerges from the wreckage of his administration. Such a movement would have to arise from within the Republican Party itself, just as De-Stalinization had to come from within the Communist Party.

The exact causes of De-Stalinization have long been debated, as have been Stalin’s excesses themselves. Was Stalin the inevitable product of a Communist Party ideology that was hopelessly warped and wrong-headed from the start? Or was he a megalomaniac who twisted the premises of a credible Marxist-Leninist political philosophy and turned it into a dysfunctional horror show? Whatever, few doubted that the machine known as Stalinism had become an evil that had to go. With its ahistorical aversion to fact, intolerance of dissent, and with Stalin’s own thin skin, paranoia and vengeful personality, Stalinism had become an anchor on the Soviet Union and its client states, not the progressive engine its backers claimed and hoped it to be. Smart Communists understood that they could salvage Communism itself only by overthrowing the chief Communist. It wasn’t that they wanted to embrace British- or American-style capitalism. Far from it. They wished to preserve the classic Marxist-Leninist tenets of Russia’s 1917 Revolution. But it needed to be done without the perversion of Stalin.

The modern Republican Party is in much the same position as was the Soviet Communist Party in the years immediately prior to Khrushchev’s secret speech. In the halls of the Republican caucuses in the Congress, as in the halls of the Kremlin in the early and mid-1950s, party members recognize the short-comings of their leader. They understand that he presents a danger to the country, and that the longer he remains in office—and the longer they keep their mouths shut and fail to restrain him—the greater that danger grows.

The problem for both groups of politicians—Russian Communists then and Republicans now—was how to put the brakes on their leader without him, in turn, putting the brakes on them; and when, and how, to explain what they had done to the rank-and-file—the “base”—which might not understand. After all, the base had been conditioned, through continuous propaganda, to view Stalin then (as Trump now) as the indispensable man, from whom all good things emerged, and who protected them from all bad things, both within and without.

As it turned out, Khrushchev skillfully manipulated his politics, and remained as Soviet Premier for eight more years. Following his overthrow, in 1964, it’s true that the Soviet Union went through a period of retrenchment, with a renewed, milder form of Stalinism re-emerging, especially during the Brezhnev era (1965-1982). But the die had been cast: Gorbachev famously completed the process of De-Stalinization, with his policies of perestroika and glasnost that brought greater openness and political freedom, less repression and more market capitalism to the Soviet Union. (There is today some debate among historians concerning whether Vladimir Putin represents a return to a repressive, “Stalinist” form of authoritarianism in Russia, but this is a question that can’t be answered at this stage of history.)

That Trump has Stalinesque tendencies is undeniable. I believe that he is causing intense damage to our nation. Some of his policies might be successful, just as some of any President’s policies may work; but Presidents cannot and should not be judged merely by whether or not some of their objective policies succeed. As important, if not more so, is the moral tone a President imparts to America and, as leader of the Free World, to the planet. In this sense, Khrushchev and the other anti-Stalinists understood the irreparable harm Stalin had caused their country—the Gulags, the disappearance of freedom of the press, the vindictive repression of minorities (especially political minorities), the aggressiveness of his foreign policy, the breakdown of effective democratic opposition, and the way Stalin had caused large parts of the world to hate and fear the Soviet Union. Stalin also, in their eyes, inflicted enormous damage upon Communism itself: the heart and soul of their ideology had been stained by the paranoia and megalomania of a single man.

Republican conservatives, I think, are coming around to a similar understanding concerning Trump. They may like the tax cuts and the elimination of environmental protections. They may like his muscular foreign policy. They will certainly praise him to the skies after North Korea de-nuclearizes (assuming it does). At the same time, in their own “secret sessions,” they decry the pathological lying, the sexual gluttony, the bullying and insults, the vulgarization of the American Presidency, the discarding of facts, the attacks on his own State Department and Justice Department, and on his intelligence community, and the way Trump seems to want to acquire all power in his own hands to institutionalize one-man rule. Around their water coolers, in the privacy of their cloakrooms, Republicans in Congress—like the Communist officials 65 years ago—look for a way to bring about De-Trumpization, without necessarily harming Trump-style conservatism. Whether they determine that this can, or cannot, be done, will form the basis of what they do when, and if, the issue of the continuation of Trump’s presidency arises, as it most surely will.


Leaked! Internal NRA communication

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CONFIDENTIAL MEMORANDUM

from the desk of

 WAYNE LAPIERRE

 To: NRA Executive Committee

Many of you have expressed concern about the recent widespread student demonstrations across the country to enact further restrictive measures against the lawful sale, purchase and enjoyment of firearms, which is protected by our beloved Second Amendment.

Along those lines, I want to share with you our views. Our first and best strategy is to let this wildfire burn itself out, as indeed it will. The spoiled brats who call themselves “activists” will soon become bored. A new girlfriend or boyfriend – a new rap star – a new video game – a new mall or movie – will attract their immature minds, and they will quickly tire of this ridiculous infatuation. So all we have to do is stick it out.

The N.R.A. has withstood these external pressures before. I would remind you that, after the Newtown (“Sandy Hook”) incident, our organization came under similar pressure from radicals of the Nancy Pelosi-Dianne Feinstein type. We resisted that pressure, and we succeeded. The pressure subsided, and, in the end, nothing harmful was enacted by the Congress. I would remind you, too, that we functionally own the Republican Party. There may be a few Republican Congressmen or Senators who could be re-elected without our support, but there are none who could be re-elected with our active opposition. Indeed, they know this, which is why our longterm strategic position remains solid.

Our public posture on firearms should remain the following:

  1. We will permit no incursions upon the Second Amendment.
  2. We are in support of public and private research into the causes of violence, as long as this research does not result in a limitation on the public’s right to bear arms.
  3. We believe in God, and He supports the public’s right to bear arms.
  4. Punishing law-abiding gun owners is not the answer.
  5. Limiting so-called “assault weapons” does not result in reduced violence.
  6. The Democrat Party is pro-communist, pro-Islamic terrorist, pro-criminal and pro-abortion. Your N.R.A. stands opposed to all these evils.
  7. The media is biased, except for Fox News and certain other commentators who support the Second Amendment, such as Alex Jones.
  8. Our slogan: “If you ban one, they ban them all.” If you are asked to explain by a leftwing reporter, accuse them of being an ultra-liberal, and move on to the next question.

In addition to messaging, we must do a better job of utilizing social media to counter anti-NRA lies. In particular, you should post damaging accusations about enemies such as Feinstein, Pelosi, Daniel Malloy, Kamala Harris, Richard Blumenthal and other Jewish/radical haters of America. Your NRA’s Communications Department can suggest talking points.

We gun owners face a determined, radical enemy. The children who are calling for increased restrictions on guns don’t realize that they are the pawns of America’s enemies. Their brains are not yet developed enough to respect our Constitutional rights. In your public responses to these demonstrations, we urge you to respect the children. Do not insult them, regardless of how you really feel about them. Keep in mind that your every word will be recorded and repeated endlessly. I know that this is hard: these children are entitled morons, who are being radicalized by the libtard media, especially MSNBC and the New York Times. When we accumulate more power, as we will after President Trump is re-elected, we shall take steps against them. In the meanwhile, I encourage you to stockpile and protect your weapons – load up on ammunition – be ready for an extended period of self-survival – and teach your children that Democrats are the enemy of Jesus.

Lock and load! Thank you for your support, and God bless America!

Wayne


From the personal diary of DONALD J. TRUMP

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Diary, you want to know why I’m so cranky? Because I can’t get laid!

I mean, ever since I was sworn in, it’s like living in Celibacy City. I can’t just bring a hot girl back with me that I picked up at some bar or party. Every move I make, a thousand people know it. I’m surrounded all the time by Secret Service, staff, the lying media. I heard JFK smuggled girls into the White House. How the hell did he do it?

I was always able to have all the women I wanted, Dear Diary. When I was younger I was pretty good-looking, plus I was rich. In New York, that’s the winning ticket! As I got older, I have to admit I got less attractive, but money made up the difference: I was Donald Fucking Trump, the King of Manhattan, the star of Page Six, the biggest celebrity in town! The babes lined up and, like I told that Access Hollywood moron, I could do anything I wanted. Sure, I needed a wife to breed my children, run my houses and be my official hostess. But all my wives, including Melania, understood that being Mrs. Trump came at a cost. They had to look the other way.

I didn’t think I’d be elected, so I never made contingency plans for getting laid once I was President. Early on—around the end of February, 2017, when I hadn’t had sex for more than a month—I was talking to the head of my Secret Service detail, and I asked him how the Service had gotten girls to Kennedy. He smiled and said, “Mr. President, back then, it was easy. The press didn’t know or care. It was ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’”

“And now?” I asked.

“Times have changed, Mr. President. We would never be a party to that sort of thing. The press would find out. Heads would roll. Careers would be ruined.” We sat there for a little while in silence. I guess he knew what I was looking for, and, in his own way, he was giving me the answer.

Believe it or not, Dear Diary, I haven’t had a girl in the White House, Mar-a-Lago, Trump Tower or Bedminster since I became President. Even when I’m traveling, it’s almost impossible, although I’ve managed to do it once or twice. When I was in Jerusalem, last May, Bibi set me up with this really hot chick. He said she was Mossad. But other than that, zilch! Me, the world’s most powerful guy, and I can’t get laid.

And it’s driving me crazy. You know how they’re saying I levied those tariffs because I was pissed off by all the bad news? Only partially true. I did it because I was horny and in a bad mood! I mean, I can watch all the porn I want—that Tumblr website is hot. But I’ve never been a “rosy palm” man. I need the real thing! The smell of a woman’s body. The heat of her skin. The taste of her lips. Her fingers squeezing my ass. That’s the real deal, not doing myself!

And Melania won’t come near me—the last time we had sex was years ago. How’s a red-blooded, normal man supposed to go through life without sex? I’d ask my predecessors, Clinton, Obama and George W., if they ever fooled around, but they won’t talk to me, won’t even return my phone calls. I can’t really blame ‘em, after all my smack talk. Then again, George W. and Obama are such goody two-shoes, I doubt if they ever had sex with anyone except their wives. Now Bill, that’s a different story! But, like I said, he won’t talk to me.

It’s tough, Dear Diary. Like, I was down at Mar-a-Lago last week, at that fundraiser, and there was this gal, a lobbyist, who was with her date, a wealthy guy from Miami. I was working the receiving line and when she popped up, my eyes practically fell out of my skull. I mean, she was such a babe. Tall, great rack, long blonde hair, killer lips, about 32, really pretty, just the way I like ‘em. (Actually, she reminded me of Stormy Daniels.) And the way she was looking at me, I knew she was down for a thing. Now, if this had been two years ago, I guarantee you we woulda been in the sack, or at least in the bathroom, for a quickie. But now that I’m POTUS, it’s not gonna happen. Nobody told me it would be like this, Diary, and I sometimes wonder, if I’d known, would I have run anyway?

Well, I’m the most famous man in the world, and after this Korea breakthrough, I wouldn’t be surprised to win the Nobel Peace Prize, which I deserve a lot more than Kenya Obama! Guess I’ll just have to wait to resume my old lifestyle. But when I’m free from this joint, look out! I will make up for lost time.


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