Election Integrity

To name Trump-Pence an elected US government misses salient aspects of that election, any one of which can be deemed as nullifying  the American birthright.

They are: criminal disenfranchisement of voters; use of illegal, inauditable and paperless electronic voting machines; determination of hacking with no official attempt to address the hacking in a remedial manner; President’s statement that the US can hack without discovery; the function of algorithms in a hacking war. 

Beyond the “elephant in the room” electronic interference is the issue directly particular to Trump-Pence: perjury regarding the inaugural oath to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States” when Donald Trump has publicly declared his intention to violate the Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.

The 20th Amendment provides that, when there is no qualified candidate, Congress select an interim president and provide the manner for determining a qualified candidate. Our own citizen input could be to demand a new, valid presidential election.

Right now, the fact that the “wizard behind the curtain” turns a blind eye to the matter of election integrity does not mean this issue should not be addressed.

Jean G. Braun
Euclid, Ohio

Trump Governing Without Consent of Governed

Mr. President, nnMany of us, Mexican Americans who are American citizens, want to recognize your presidency, but you are so engrossed in you own image, that of a billionaire that you are. You are not separating yourself from that image, and to grasp the fullness of your present position, being the President. That is what the American people wants of you. You now have the power, but that has been given to you from above. Remember what Jesus Christ answered to Pontius Pilot, “You have no power over me if not given to you from above.” (John 19:11).

Your perception as to what America should be is wonderful, but you are rushing to implement your ideas without the full consent of the American people.

Sir, remember that common sense is a strange virtue. Many lack the gift of it. I’m sure you do not want to be part of those people whose impatience robs them of this gift.

“Donald J. Trump will never be president” was heard throughout the nation during the last campaign. Now that you are president, you can be accepted by all Americans only if you prove to us, Americans, that you want to be president of all the people and not just a few.

One drop of honey attracts the bees, whereas a glass of vinegar will not. Remember you have stated you want to be president for the next 8 years. Pride and arrogance will keep you from achieving that goal.

Time can be your friend and can be your enemy. It depends on your attitude. We are counting on you to be wise as was Solomon in the Bible. Its up to you.

Raynaldo Yrlas Sr.
Corpus Christi, Texas

Immigration Doesn’t Cure Overpopulation

Juan Cole’s “Trump Can’t Make America Great Again Without Immigrants” [3/1/17 TPP] is good as far as it goes. (But don’t get me started with his dangerously clueless assertion that “demographics is still of great geopolitical significance.” Only until we work out the details of a robotic workforce!) He’s still only playing checkers with concerns of world population management and “sustainable politics.” Sure, those parts of the world that are closer to Zero Population Growth can better absorb excess from areas of unsustainable population growth (where the classic age pyramid is the demographic profile), but this is, at best, a short-term solution in a world of finite resources, increasing ecological degradation, and the Siamese twin powder keg of overpopulation: runaway climate change. How can he not grasp that “net carbon zero” is easier achieved with fewer people?

His bad faith argument that the US has to continue to grow demographically “to remain politically competitive with the big boys” is as fallacious as the corporate polluter claiming that he can’t remain competitive and also be a good steward of the land when everyone else pollutes. Analogous to the above short-sighted race-to-the-bottom where everyone is pressured to duck regulation, is Cole’s unfortunate more-of-the-same simplicity. Notice how we have to solve our growth “needs” on the backs of women of the Global South who don’t “have the sort of status where they can tell their husbands that no, they don’t want that fifth child”?

Cole should get that population experts don’t think in terms of black and white extremes. Obviously, the slow and humanely managed “greying” of world population is our only way out of the nightmare we are leaving for our grandchildren.

Melanie Hanson
Minneapolis, Minn.

Politician’s Politician

When the Senate was equally divided to reject Betsy DeVos as the next secretary of education, when the teacher unions all over the nation were clamoring for the Senate not to choose her as secretary of education, enter (from stage right) Mike Pence, the vice president, to cast his tie-breaking vote for her selection. The Senate Republicans are hoping that Betsy DeVos can introduce “Creationism” as a subject in the public school

system or, failing that, at least get charter schools involved.

V.P. Pence, who has called himself a Christian First, an American Second and a Republican Third could not miss this God-sent opportunity! If President Trump has said about Gen. Jim Mattis that “Mattis is a General’s General,” I would add that V.P. Pence is a “Christian’s Christian.

M. Askarian
New York, N.Y.

Why Not a Black Muslim DNC Chair?

This pertains to Garrison Keillor’s column in the 1/1-15/17 issue, “So Much Damage 80,000 Can Do.” He writes, “A lackluster black Muslim congressman from Minneapolis is a leading candidate for chair of the Democratic National Committee, the person who will need to connect with disaffected workers in Youngstown and Pittsburgh. Why not a ballet dancer or a Buddhist monk?”

Keillor insults those workers. In effect, he is saying that they are closed-minded and may even be bigoted because they can’t relate to a black Muslim. Keith Ellison is not lackluster. He is bright and progressive.

Would Keillor’s assessment hold true for the Youngstown and Pittsburgh disaffected workers who voted for the black President Obama? Would Keillor want to turn back the clock to make religion and skin color determinants for who gets to be elected to hold office or who gets to chair the Democratic National Committee?

Charles McCarthy
Highland, N.Y.

[Editor’s Note: We received this letter well before the DNC election, in which Tom Perez, former labor secretary under President Obama, defeated Ellison for DNC chairman. We’re sorry it was overlooked until now.]

Presidential Tweets

Until now, there was no occasion to make a joke or a bumper sticker like this: “A TWEETING PRESIDENT IS FOR THE BIRDS.”

But before we make light of it, we should pause and consider how important this new method of communication is to this man in the White House. We must try to understand, empathetically, why he needs it. Let’s be frank: He isn’t very articulate. With this bit of technology, he can put out to millions whatever little thought arises in his seething head, and it’s immediately at large in the universe, free of editing, bypassing fact-checkers or the “lying” media. It saves much time and reflection for such a busy person.

He doesn’t have to stop watching TV to do it. And he can Tweet at his own convenience and impulse. That is why it’s so important to him. He recognized the Tweet ‘s value when it solved a huge problem for him. It overcame his last barrier to total solipsism. His problem was: How could he keep the world’s attention upon himself in those moments when there are no billionaires or generals or tabloid reporters or TV cameramen or Kellyanne Conways or Sean Spicers in the room focusing on him?

How could he be the center of world attention when he was alone in the bathroom? He couldn’t stand that attention gap, which let’s just call the “toilet hole.”

Solved by technology! Now that needful narcissist can command our attention around the clock. His words have escaped the lonely bathroom walls. He Tweets on golden toilet seats. It must be pure bliss, if you need that kind of thing.

James Alexander Thom
Bloomington, Ind.

Is There a Nobel for Trump and Putin?

Although President Donald Trump was voted by Time magazine as the 2016 Person of the Year, your publication has frequently been critical of the President. I have not noticed any article in your publication speculating about his place in presidential history. President Theodore Roosevelt won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1906, President Woodrow Wilson won the Peace Prize in 1919, President Jimmy Carter was awarded the Peace Prize in 2002, and President Barack Obama won the Peace Prize in 2009. I wonder whether the Las Vegas odds of President Trump and/or Vladimir Putin winning the Nobel Peace Prize are higher or lower than the odds of winning the PowerBall lottery.

Edward L. Koven
Highland Park, Ill.

[Editor’s Note: The actual odds of winning PowerBall is one in 292 million, while the Irish betting firm Paddy Power put the odds of Trump and Putin winning a joint Nobel Peace Prize at 66 to 1. But the chance that your $2 bet on the Trump/Putin prize will get you $132 is probably about the same as your $2 bet on PowerBall winning the $51 million cash jackpot (3/8/17).]

Donald Trump the Con Artist and Fraudster

Any time you see Donald Trump use phrases like “believe me”, “trust me,” “you can count on that,” “Nobody believes that (fill in the blank) more than me,” you can be nearly 100% certain that he KNOWs that he is blatantly lying. That’s how he became such a successful con artist/fraudster throughout his career. It is amazing that those highly dishonest propaganda tactics are still apparently successfully fooling many millions of Americans in spite of the fact that such lies have been thoroughly debunked by many of our news agencies.

Chris Currie
Pascoag, R.I.

Pants on Fire

On and on Trump rants and raves! nn
Never finds the praise he craves! nnHates the jeers, at reporters leers,
He loves his base, loves their cheers!
But a scary day could be near,
The day that he should really fear,
When base and more might wilt and tire,
Of The Donald’s lying pants on fire! 

Rolland Amos
Severn, Md.

From The Progressive Populist, April 1, 2017


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