That Imperial Presidency

The vote is in……and the possibility of an Imperial Presidency is near complete.

An Imperial Presidency?

Yes, a U.S. presidency that is characterized by greater power than the Constitution allows.

Over the course of the 20th century, the presidency gradually supplanted Congress as the center of federal power. Presidential authority increased, presidential staffs grew in size, and the executive branch gradually acquired a dominant relationship over Congress.

Beginning with Theodore Roosevelt, the president, and not Congress, established the nation’s legislative agenda. Increasingly, Congress ceded its budget-making authority to the president. Presidents even found a way to make agreements with foreign nations without congressional approval. After World War II, presidents substituted executive agreements for treaties requiring approval of the Senate. Even more important, presidents gained the power to take military action, despite the fact that Congress is the sole branch of government empowered by the Constitution to declare war.

No president went further than Richard Nixon in concentrating powers in the presidency. He refused to spend funds that Congress had appropriated; he claimed executive privilege against disclosure of information on administration decisions; he refused to allow key decision makers to be questioned before congressional committees; he reorganized the executive branch and broadened the authority of new cabinet positions without congressional approval.

That is until there was a President Trump who has stepped on and wiped his feet on the idea of a Constitution.

The fear of the Founding Fathers has finally been realized.

Because they wanted a broad definition of their thoughts they allowed the Imperial Presidency to become a reality.

I am now waiting for the destruction of the 1st and 4th Amendments……….

The 1st and 4th Amendments have long been bugaboos to conservatives, and if any Amendments should be repealed, those are the two on top the far-right’s wish list.

The 1st Amendment, of course, grants free speech and allows no law establishing religion. Little galls the Far Right more unfettered speech that doesn’t follow the Daily Memo, but even more, the dream of getting the heathen to finally accept Jesus Christ as the one and only God of America, and truly make the United States a Christian Nation could be close at hand.

The 4th Amendment protects against unreasonable search and seizures. Sure, conservatives got part of that dropped when the Bush Administration eliminated warrants before wiretapping, and allowing the government to search emails. But imagine not having to read anyone their Miranda Rights. Oh, how much easier life would be.

The Imperial Presidency now has been voted on by the Senate….that is anything that the president does is legal and above the law unless he/she does it on camera.

Just want to remind conservs that there will be a president from that other party and it will be possible for them to do all that this president has done…there is a precedent for the legality of the Imperial President.

There is NO price that will be paid for this….regardless what the media wants you to believe…..

The presidency has been changed….and not for the better.

Closing note–this was written before the Covid-19 outbreak and some of the points are a bit moot…..but the thought is there and needs to be considered.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Middle East History

The week and I have little to say for I am working hard in the garden……so I leave you with a short history lesson…… As a student of Middle East studies I took many courses on the region from economics and religion and history….many Americans seem to want to believe that only war and bloodshed is the history of the Middle East…it is but no more so than any other part of the world.

To help understand the region there are some historical things that happened and needs to be covered for any conversation on the region. Let’s start with a story that we all are acquainted with…the flood myth….could it be the first bit of “fake news”?

The flood story you may be most familiar with is probably Noah’s Ark, but it’s far from the only tale of a great flood sent by a god to destroy a civilization. According to one early flood myth, the Babylonian god Ea sent a flood that wipes out all of humanity except for Uta–napishti (also known as Utnapishtimand his family, who safely stow away on an ark full of animals while everybody else drowns. Sounds familiar? It should do: The Babylonian story – etched on 3,000-year-old clay tablets forming part of the Epic of Gilgamesh – is thought to have inspired the Bible’s version. Where it differs, according to Dr Martin Worthington of the University of Cambridge in his new book Duplicity in the Gilgamesh Flood, is the way in which the ark was loaded. An Assyriologist who specializes in Babylonian, Assyrian and Sumerian grammar, literature and medicine, Dr Worthington analyzed the nine-line tale etched into the ancient tablets, and n his new research claims the Babylonian people were tricked into building the ark by the god Ea in what he’s calling the “earliest ever example of fake news”. Then there is the person of  Daher Al-Umar…a person that is trying to be written out of the story of the Middle East….

… a historical novel based on the life of Daher Al-Umar published in 2011 in Arabic, and in English in 2014, Nasrallah writes, “What saddens me now is that I didn’t come to know this great man earlier in my life.” The man to which he is referring is Daher Al-Umar Al-Zaidani, also known as The King of Galilee, whose remarkable life spanned from 1689 to 1775. Daher Al-Umar governed most of historic Palestine and shaped its economy and politics as well as the life of its inhabitants for the better part of the 18th century. He established ties – economic and political – with European empires and created a boost in the economy and lives of the people of Palestine that was unprecedented. Palestine, under Daher, was the closest thing to an independent state one could achieve in 18th century Levant. Do not let bigotry erase a person from history of the region. We all have heard the term “caliphate” thanks to those barbarous pigs in ISIS…but what is known beyond that?

Caliphate (“Khilafat” in Arabic) was a semi-religious political system of governance in Islam, in which the territories of the Islamic empire and the people within were ruled by a supreme leader called Caliph (“Khalifa” in Arabic – meaning successor). Caliphs were initially the sole sovereigns of the empire left behind by Prophet Muhammad and added vast territories of surrounding rival empires to it. They were initially selected by a group of senior members of a primitive parliament who kept in mind the will of the people. The first four caliphs, who were nominated in such a way, are referred to as the Rashidun (rightly guided) caliphs by mainstream Sunni Muslims; Shia Muslims consider only Ali, the fourth one, to be legitimate and discard the claims of the first three by branding them as usurpers. More…the Assassins…..a Muslim group that carried out targeted killings in the Middle East…..

The Assassins (aka Nizari Ismailis), were a heretical group of Shiite Muslims who were powerful in Persia and Syria from the 11th century CE until their defeat at the hands of the Mongols in the mid-13th century CE. Secure in their fortified hilltop castles, they became infamous for their strategy of singling out opposition figures and murdering them, usually in knife-wielding teams. The group was known as the Assassins by their enemies in reference to their use of hashish, ‘assassin’ being a corruption of the Arabic hasisi (‘hashish-eater’), and so the name has since come to be associated with their chief modus operandi, the act of murder for political or religious purposes. The Nizari Ismailis continue to exist as a branch of Islam today. Remember that Greek Phalanx used so effectively against the Persians…..more properly the phalanx was invented and used in Mesopotamia in 2500 BCE…that is about 2200 years before the Greeks crawled out of their caves. These are just a few of the common occurrences that have their foundation in the Middle East….. Learn Stuff! Class Dismissed! I Read, I Wrote, You Know “Lego Ergo Scribo”

Metaphysics Of Revolution

It is election time and we will hear a plethora of terms like change and revolution…..neither of which have any real meaning to the American voter.

But the election is a ways off…….this virus could help lead a political revolution……

As a die hard Leftist I believe the only true way to achieve the change so many are hoping for is with a political revolution.

A political requires political thought and that is all but dead…….as I wrote in a post several years ago……

Socrates was the first revolutionary. He opened up with a legendary oracular search the inner space from which the individual, as we understand him today, would eventually emerge. His “daemon” was that which spoke the necessary freedom and autonomy to become what we are. His was the first lesson. His student, Plato, brought on the second movement. He postulated the availability of an ideal world accessible and open to a properly trained, disciplined mind. Truth was intelligible and its sighting in a flash of insight or through life-long questioning could and should change both the individual and his society. There were no limits to human malleability according to what was both universally natural and thus comprehensively reasonable. Both the revolutionary chance for a radical human transformation and its totalitarian inversion as ideology in the hands of power was born. More on the term ‘revolution’…….

In light of the marked heterogeneity of the ways in which thinkers such as Thomas Paine (1737-1809), J.A.N. de Condorcet (1743-1794), Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), G.W.F. Hegel (1770-1831), Mikhail Bakunin (1814-1876), Karl Marx (1818-1883), Hannah Arendt (1906-1975), and Michel Foucault (1926-1984) reflect on the possibilities and conditions of radically transforming political and social structures, this article concentrates on a set of key questions confronted by all these theories of revolution. Most notably, these questions pertain to the problems of the new, of violence, of freedom, of the revolutionary subject, the revolutionary object or target, and of the temporal and spatial extension of revolution. In covering these problems in turn, it is the goal of this article to outline substantial arguments, analyses, and aporias that shape modern and contemporary debates and, thereby, to indicate important conceptual and normative issues concerning revolution.

Political Revolution

As you see there are many definitions of the term ‘revolution’…..but for change (that much desired outcome) will take a sort of revolution….a political revolution to achieve the desired end. Remember one thing….”If voting changed anything they would make it illegal”

Seems no one wants a revolution…….well that is what I am being told by the moderates…….but do they want change?

NOTHING changes without a revolution… if we do not have that political revolution we cannot expect anything to change.

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

"I Am America!"

I read on some Right wing mental midgets’ sites that the Dems are destroying our republic….I agree that the Dems are doing very little to build on our democracy but I do not see them destroying it.

However I cannot be so kind to Trump and the GOP….

First, our so-called president makes everything about him…..not so much the country…..

Allow us to highlight a thing King Trump said to reporters in India, when he wasn’t busy shit-tweeting Supreme Court justices for failing to lick his butt the way he likes. He was asked about the purge happening back in Washington DC, the little rampage he’s been on ever since he was falsely “acquitted” in the Senate impeachment trial, in which he’s summarily eliminating all employees he and his devotees believe aren’t sufficiently loyal to him.

He thinks that his interests and America’s interests are one and the same. He thinks on his PERFECT CALL READ THE TRANSDVJAWSITJUPISDT! with the president of Ukraine, that because he was extorting Volodymyr Zelenskyy for investigations into his own political rivals, that he was acting in the national interest. That’s why it makes sense to him to say “I would like you to do us a favor, though,” and argue that he was doing this for America. After all, according to his dumbshit broken leaking megalomaniacal brain, what better thing for America could there be than four more years of Trump, or maybe even more years than that, even if he has to steal elections and break the Constitution to do it?

I am truly sorry….but I think that Trump is corrupt and is tearing this country apart at the seams…..

Delusionary, dictatorial Donald Trump is drunk on power. Trump’s monarchical and lawless actions are a clear and present subversion of our Republic and its Constitution. As soon as the impeachment trial ended and Trump was acquitted by the Senate’s supine Republican courtiers (except for Senator Mitt Romney), vengeance flooded Trump’s fevered mind.

Ignoring warnings from his advisors, Trump is lashing out in all directions, unleashing torrents of foul-mouthed tweets. Note with alarm how this American Fuhrer is consolidating control and using his presidential power to smash all opposition. Remember that last July Trump declared “I have an Article II, where I have the right to do whatever I want as President.” He wasn’t kidding, America.

We ain’t seen nothing yet….when it comes to Trump…..

There have been some lawless times in US history. The Wild West comes to mind, the Prohibition era, and, most recently, the first three years of the Trump presidency. All of them will seem like a church choir outing compared to what’s going to happen in 248 days — not necessarily because of the nature of the crimes but rather because they will be committed in plain sight at the highest level.

Win or lose, on the day after the election, the world is going to see the real Donald Trump. Not that we don’t have a good idea already who this president is, but he is going to take it all to another level — the corruption, the lying, the self-dealing. Right now, even though it often doesn’t seem that way, there is still some level of restraint. Trump knows that he cannot do all of the things he would like to do.

American Outlaw: Get Ready for Donald Trump at His Worst

All this and an election as well……we need to rid ourselves of this authoritarian windbag……..but first we need to fight this damn virus!

I am not so sure that Trump is the person to fight this disease…..his news conferences are about him taking a victory lap for nothing done and patting himself on the back….nothing about saving the citizens of this nation.

We may be watching Trump destroy his own re-election effort.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

A New Foreign Policy

This country needs a new foreign policy…..the old Cold War mentality does not translate well in the 21st century…..this country should be the prime cheerleader of a peaceful world….instead we spend more on our endless wars that about 15 countries combined.

But most people ask…how can negotiations bring about peace?

How Can Negotiations Bring Wars to an End?

There are attempts….and all should be pursued as doggedly as we pursue war.

Global Peacebuilding Act: Authorizes a transfer of $5 billion from the Pentagon’s Overseas Contingency Operations budget to the State Department to create a new, multi-lateral Global Peacebuilding Fund.

Stop Arming Human Rights Abusers Act: Establishes red lines based on internationally recognized gross violations of international human rights and international humanitarian law. Once a country crosses those lines, it automatically triggers a prohibition on security aid of any kind, arms sales including those controlled by the Commerce Dept. (tear gas, etc.), and exchanges with U.S. law enforcement. Read the billPDF iconhere.

Global Migration Agreement Act: Instructs the State Department and U.S. Ambassador to the UN to take the lead on creating a binding international agreement on global migration. Read the billPDF iconhere.

Congressional Oversight of Sanctions Act: Requires a joint resolution of Congress to approve sanctions issued under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) within 60 days of being back in session after the sanctions are announced, and requires Congressional approval to renew existing sanctions. Read the bill PDF iconhere.

YouthBuild International Act: Replicates the highly successful domestic YouthBuild program – which helps disadvantaged youth obtain the education and employment skills they need to achieve economic self-sufficiency. Read the billPDF iconhere.

Resolution on the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child: The United States is the only country in the world not to have ratified the UNCRC. Protecting the rights of children is fundamental, and we should be a world leader on this issue, which we can’t be unless we’re a state party to the Convention. Read the bill here.

Resolution on the Rome Statute, and the International Criminal Court: The United States has been a leader on international criminal justice since Nuremberg, and our hostility towards the ICC has always been at odds with our commitment to the rule of law, accountability, and to the principle that no one is above the law. we need to send a strong message in support of international criminal justice. Read the billPDF iconhere.

You can read more on the Pathway to PEACEPDF iconhere.

Yes I am an antiwar wonk and would do all I can to bring the topic to the forefront….

It is probably too late to search for peace……why?  Profits!

Peace will be possible when peace is as profit making as armed conflict……and those days are a ways off sadly.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Americans And War

American students are seldom taught about the war as they are being fought…..only ones that can teach a historic perspective…..we need to teach about conflict as our citizens are fighting and dying…..

“I don’t know…I mean I want to be one of those people…you know who do things, who create change I guess…this was inspiring…it made me want to create change…but I guess I don’t know how.” Three students and I were sitting in a small room gathered near a round table in the corner of the social studies office. The students had just completed a three-week instructional unit focused on two essential questions: What is a just war? How do we end war? Their teacher and I had co-created the unit both interested in whether focusing on critique of and resistance to war would bulster students’ sense of agency, help them develop a more critical perspective of war and help students understand that war can be stopped by active and engaged citizens. By the end of the unit, the students weren’t so sure.

“I’m always surprised by how schools in America teach. I mean there’s wars all around us and the teachers here act like they don’t exist and then don’t directly teach the wars they do teach.” The other students in the discussion agreed. “Yeah, it’s like they teach that war is bad…but we already know that…we never teach in depth. I mean I know 1939 and Eisenhower and all that…I got an A but I feel like I know it skin deep. We never really talk about anything.” Another student agreed providing an example of when they did go in depth. “When we studied the Atomic Bombs being dropped on Japan we had a two-day seminar examining documents but it wasn’t really anything different from what was in our textbooks. I mean we all know that atomic bombs are bad, but didn’t anyone speak out against them besides like Einstein? I didn’t know there was like an anti-war movement for like always until this unit.”

After almost two decades and only a few bloggers/journalists are questioning the wars we fight……[after Hollywood gets finished with the subject we then have become war addicts…..

My first question is simple enough: After 18-plus years of our forever wars, where are all the questions?

Almost two decades of failing American wars across a startlingly large part of the planet and I’d like to know, for instance, who’s been fired for them? Who’s been impeached? Who’s even paying attention?

I mean, if another great power had been so fruitlessly fighting a largely undeclared set of conflicts under the label of “the war on terror” for so long, if it had wasted trillions of taxpayer dollars with no end in sight and next to no one in that land was spending much time debating or discussing the matter, what would you think? If nothing else, you’d have a few questions about that, right?

War Addicts, Inc.

In other words this nation has become conditioned to the reality of war………..

As tensions escalated with Iran last week, it seemed bewildering to many that the United States could once again be on the brink of war. We like to think of ourselves as a peaceful people and our country as a benevolent force in the world—so why is military conflict a constant presence in American life?

Despite our self-image, we have been conditioned for war all of our lives. Through a combination of cultural forces, some overt and others subtle, Americans are taught from a young age to accept their country’s militarism without question. This conditioning has numerous ingredients. Themes of nationalism and militarism are frequently injected into public life through the media and other institutions, for example, as is a sense of righteousness, a rarely challenged belief that the country is almost always a force for good.

It is time to find candidates that do not want war or the ones we are fighting to continue…..but sadly the media will make sure that the foreign policy especially our war footing ever sees the light of day.

Look at all the Dem debates….very little foreign policy or conflict management has made the stage… is as if all are afraid to voice an opinion on war without being labelled a traitor or naive or any other insult they can think of…..

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!


I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Why Are Americans So Angry?

It seems that if you tour other blogs and sites that we Americans are angry about everything…..why is that?

I blame social media that gives an audience to hateful words and thoughts….but that is just me…..

Back in 2014, Martin Gurri, an unknown global media analyst for the CIA, wrote a book called The Revolt of the Public. It was published by a small press with very little fanfare. In his book, Gurri argues that the digital revolution would, by transforming the information space, enable the public to participate more and more in politics. He also makes the case that this would create a perpetual impulse to revolt against the dominant institutions of society — government, media, the academy — and the elites who run them.

Gurri’s book reads like prophecy. If every American had read it, the country might look very different today. Gurri, now a private geopolitical analyst, is our guest on this week’s WhoWhatWhy podcast.

Some of the topics he talks about include:

    • The American public’s relentless desire to destroy the established order without any clue about what comes next
    • How the rising tsunami of information is tied directly to increasing levels of social and political turbulence
    • How the 20th century was comfortable with structure and why the 21st century is not
    • How Industrial Age democracy was not all that democratic

We have information at the touch of a finger….then we need to ask….do you trust what you read or hear?

Some of the reasons for this apparent disconnect are discussed in this week’s WhoWhatWhy podcast. They include:

    • How news has become simply a form of entertainment.
    • How time has become the biggest single factor in news consumption.
    • Why consumers think that reliable news takes too long to consume.
    • How some people get all their news only in 280-character bites.
    • How political news is consumed vs. every other kind of news.
    • How today’s news outlets exploit emotion to generate consumer demand — and profits.

Do You Trust What You’re Reading?

I have read several bloggers that ask the same question…..who do I trust when it comes to the news and information…..

All I can do is give my readers a couple to posts from the past…..

Makes me think of the old Ben Franklin cartoon….

"JOIN, or DIE." attributed to Benjamin Franklin was to encourage the former colonies to unite against British rule

Without unity of the citizens we have NOTHING as a society…..

We need to replace the popular belief these days “Me The Person” with “We The People”….return to the days when this country was a united country,,,for united there is little we cannot do….but divided as we are today and we can watch the republic slowly die.

“lego ergo scribo”