All posts by Ron Olsen

Dems Throw Al Franken Under The Bus

Is it safe to say anything remotely good about Al Franken?  Particularly if you happen to be a man and even with his record of support for women’s issues in Congress?

Is it safe to even suggest that he was abandoned by his party and apparently his base back in Minnesota, before being given a fair hearing before the Ethics Committee?

Is it safe to imagine that not each and every one of his accusers was credible, and seeing how the potential of what were mostly unproven accusations doesn’t come close to what’s been proven about the leadership on the Republican side, that his party and base should have withheld judgment until the Ethics Committee had been permitted to hold hearings on the matter, hearings Franken had requested?

Is it reasonable to even suggest that the Democrats have lost one of their best and brightest by their own hand, while the opposition continues to support and promote the very worst the Republican Party has to offer?

Perhaps Franken did some of what his accusers are saying.  Does that merit treating him like a rapist, with the loss of his career, not to mention a future of being labeled a groping masher for the rest of his life?   And there is no proof he groped anybody.  There’s just a photo showing him mimicking a grope during an entertainment tour.  Bad taste?  Yes?  But that’s all.  Why is he being treated like a child molester?   The woman making the charges is a right-winger, and she’s accepted his apology.  Come on Democrats, get over it.   There isn’t a man alive who hasn’t done something he doesn’t regret.  In both parties.

It’s okay to suggest that men need to respect women and that there is a process going forward that will hopefully make us all better at respecting one another, but isn’t it also possible that Al Franken may have been crushed by a rush to judgment?   Is it safe for Democrats who were so eager to abandon Franken to even discuss both sides of this issue while Republicans continue to say anything about anybody, no matter how outrageous, in their blind push to win?

Of course we need to listen to what women have to say, but we also have to try and determine whether some of those same women might be political operatives out to control the system by torpedoing careers.

You don’t win a political war by throwing one of your best fighters under the bus based upon a pack of mostly unproven allegations.

Is it okay for me to say I don’t feel so hot about being a Democrat right now?   In fact, I’d leave the party and go back to being an independent were it not for the antiquated closed primary system here in Maryland.

 

The Alternate Reality That Is America

Charlie Rose is fired for being sexually abusive to women while some Alabamians think it’s okay to elect a a man to Congress who pursued teenage girls at the local mall while serving as district attorney?

A Russian-loving  Donald Trump, elected as President of the United States and continuing to hold office while his family does business with unknown entities all over the world?

Russian bot-farms, doing all they can to rig American elections and set Americans against one-another, while much of the Congress has been bought off by the highest bidders with the American people having no clear idea of who they might be?

Nazis and Klan members marching with torches in the streets of Charlottesville, chanting “Jews will not replace us?”

Black Americans must fear being shot if they’re pulled over for a minor traffic violation while black athletes are condemned for “taking a knee” to show their opposition to the way African-Americans are singled out by law enforcement and the American justice system in general while the privitization of the prison system lines the pockets of wealthy investors?

Americans decry the explosive problem of opioid addiction and condemn anyone who promotes the idea of decriminalization even while the evidence points to treating addiction as a medical problem rather than a crime appears to be the closest thing we have to  a solution?

This is getting to be too damn much. We’re living in some bizarre alternate reality wherein rumor, disinformation and emotion are being placed above fact and critical thinking.  Most frightening of all are the millions of misinformed, disinformed and fearful Americans who make such easy targets for those who would permanently corrupt both our institutions and the American ideal.

No doubt about it, this is a test.

A Cure For Addiction Banned In The U.S.?

 

Thought I was pretty up to date on things, until today, when I first heard of the drug “Ibogaine.” Not a drug actually, but apparently a naturally occurring psychedelic substance that cures heroin and other opioid addictions?

I heard about it while watching “Law & Order, SVU.” Sounded too good to be true so I Googled it and found it to be a real substance, and for some, apparently a real cure for addiction.  I found a clinic in Mexico, that offers Ibogaine treatments ranging in price from  $9,000 to $30,000.

According to the tv show, and some of what I found on the Internet, Ibogaine is not legal in the U.S., because big-pharma makes more money from treating addiction than curing it.

If this is true, then it is one of the more outrageous aspects of the negligence exibited by our broken federal government.

Again, if it is true, one wonders what other cures are possibly being withheld from an unsuspecting public because it is more profitable to treat disease than to cure it?   Additionally, if there are dangers associated with the clinical use of Ibogaine, what motivation does big-pharma have to develop its safe use, if it will mean a drop in profits?

A Brief Period Of Relief As Trump Leaves The Country

Sleep, blessed sleep.  It’s easy to forget how necessary it is to our well being until we are forced to go without it – an experience many of us have been suffering through since the election of this current Russian-aligned occupant of the White House.

Thanks to Robert Mueller and the FBI,  responsible and patriotic adults are once again asserting control over the federal government through the rule of law, and many of us can once again get a little sleep.   The kind of deep sleep your body needs.   The kind that helps you heal the wounds, both psychic and physical, that life regularly inflicts.  Particularly so, when there is no doubt that our government is under attack by a foreign power, determined to tear down our democratic institutions brick by brick.

This morning, as Donald Trump boarded Air Force One for a trip to Asia, I was reminded of Richard Nixon’s departure for Egypt in 1974, as the weight of accountability for the Watergate break-in and cover-up was approaching its inevitable conclusion.    Two months later, Nixon would resign.

Real or imagined, it just feels better when people like Nixon or Trump get on a plane and get out of the country.   And Trump will be gone for eleven days.   Like Nixon, he must have really needed to get away.

True, they can do a whole lot of damage overseas, but somehow it just feels better, not being on the same continent with those who stand in opposition to all that is pure and best about America.

Even now, while writing this, it occurs to me that it may be unfair, comparing Nixon to Trump, as Trump is so much worse than Richard Nixon ever was, simply by reason of Trump’s inability to be anything resembling “presidential,” or his obvious inclination to dance with the devil, in a constant waltz with Vladimir Putin and his fascist state.   I’m fairly certain Nixon, would never have gone there.  He simply couldn’t have.  The Republican base, at that time, simply was not gullible enough to fall for a Russian-loving commander in chief.

As with Richard Nixon, the truth will eventually prove to be Donald Trump’s nemesis, as the FBI investigation continues into this current Administration’s ties to Russia and their possible collusion with the Russian Government.   We will get to the truth, because we are a free people with a system that is stronger than any one person or party.    That is to say, we should be allowed to get to the truth.

Should any one person or party attempt to shut down the investigation, then that one person or party will be more than suspect.  That one person or party will be signaling that they are, in all likelihood, guilty of committing treason against the United States by their effort to cover up the Trump Administration’s ties to the Russians.  Ties that are becoming all the more apparent with the passage of time.

Certain parties are already suspect by their obvious and disgusting determination to stop congressional investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 election from moving forward.

Let’s hope the Mueller investigation is allowed to run its course.  That it is permitted to reveal the truth to the American people, and that Donald J. Trump doesn’t drag the nation into another war as the ultimate diversion, before Mr. Mueller and the FBI are able to complete the task before them.

Until then, we do at least have hope, and along with it, the ability to once again get a decent night’s sleep as Robert Mueller and the FBI, follow the money.    Adults dealing with what’s true and real as opposed to the alternative reality of Mr. Trump and his childlike supporters, who live in a world of disinformation, misinformation, delusion and denial.    A world increasingly influenced by Vladimir Putin and his oligarch friends, none of whom desire Democracy.

Somewhere, Putin Is Smiling

The uprising in Catalan may have a nexus with Russia.  Or, it may not.  Shouldn’t somebody be trying to figure it out?   The Spanish Government maybe?  Or the CIA?

Looking back on the way the Russian Government usurped the government of Ukraine,  followed by its criminal taking of Crimea through the use of military force,  one must conclude that Putin’s Russia has a well-laid plan for interfering in other countries businesses, territories and general well-being.   Well, of course they do.    They’ve been in the expansion through espionage business big-time since Nikita Khrushchev threatened to bury us while banging his size ten Soviet-made wingtip on the Russian ambassador’s desk at the UN.

The introduction of our current information age and the  technological highway of the Internet make it all the easier for Putin and his “bot farms” to interfere, be it turning Brits to favor the “Brexit” through disinformation or American voters to favor Donald Trump because of a whole lot of fabricated nonsense many of them were led to believe was true.

It’s important to remember the role played by Paul Manafort in Ukraine and then in the U.S. election.   In 2005, Manafort acted as an adviser to Ukranian billionaire, Rinat Akhmetov, an ally of Vladimir Putin.   Manafort, who is said to be a protege of Russian billionaire Oleg Deripraska,  eventually became a principle adviser to Ukraine’s former President,  Russian-backed Viktor Yanukovych (another ally of Vladimir Putin), who escaped to (guess where?) Russia, following the Orange Revolution.    With Manafort, there appears to be another Russian billionaire with ties to the Kremlin around every corner.

So when Donald Trump needed someone to run his presidential campaign, who appeared like magic from out of nowhere?  Paul Manafort, who slipped effortlessly into the role of Trump’s campaign manager, even while many were scratching their heads wondering who the hell he was.

Even now, Donald Trump steadfastly refuses to say anything negative about Putin or the Russians and is currently stalling on levying sanctions against the Russians for interfering with American elections.  Really?  And there are those among us who still haven’t been able to connect the dots?

When fake news is real, and real news is fake, who ya gonna believe?  Very clever, these Russians.

There’s an interesting piece in today’s Guardian, entitled, “Our pain for their gain’:  The American activists manipulated by Russian trolls.”   The piece points out that what Russia has been up to goes far beyond simply placing phony ads on Facebook or creating fake news.    According to the newspaper, “This week, a Moscow-based news outlet called RBC uncovered the work of a troll factory that infiltrated US social networks, with Russians posing as Americans and making payments to legitimate activists in the US, directly funding protest movements. The revelations suggest that the Russian operation went beyond spamming online comment sections and spreading false news – and that a sophisticated interference campaign manipulated, controlled and created real-world events.”

So we’re up to that.   Putin and his people are now using disinformation, misinformation and cash funding to create “real-world events.”  And the victims don’t even know they are being victimized.   Possibly like what happened to the Brits with their Brexit and maybe even the uprising in Catalonia?   Oh sure, the Catalans have had a beef with Spain for decades, but why such a big blowout right now, with Brexit, Korea, Venezuela, Iraq and Iran all in the international mix?  Might not Russia be a least partially responsible?

The United States would normally be taking the lead in trying to ferret out precisely what the Russians are up to.  To what degree they influenced our last election and are now attempting to throw the world’s democracies into chaos, but that doesn’t seem to be happening.  Not to the degree to which it should.

Alarm bells should be going off all over Capitol Hill, and in the White House.  And they would be, were it not for our Putin-loving president who looks more and more Manchurian as the days and months roll agonizingly by and much of America remains in denial about it all, either because they have been mesmerized by Donald Trump and an endless stream of Russian propaganda or they simply can’t begin to grasp what’s happening because it is just too complicated.

Somewhere within the bowels of the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin is undoubtedly smiling that snarky little smile of his, as he contemplates the international chaos he has created.

Shouldn’t somebody be trying to figure it out?   How much of the current chaos is Russian based?   To what degree are we all being played for suckers by Vladimir Putin?    How far will Trump go to cover this charade?   Will he take the nation to war?   Who will stop him?

Robert Muller and his investigation could be the only thing standing between the United States and a Russian threat some don’t want to believe is real.   We can only hope there are those who can still feel the fire of patriotism.  Those with the strength of what America truly is, to force the Muller investigation forward to a legitimate conclusion.   If not, our great American experiment could be finished.  A thought too terrible for many to even consider, making it all the more important for all of us to get our heads up out of the sand and demand the truth.

Questions For The Journalists Among Us

-It’s being reported that the four Americans ambushed (apparently) by ISIS in Niger, had only small arms, but were up against fighters with machine guns and rocket launchers.  Where was American intelligence?  Why were American soldiers sent out to walk into a meat grinder the U.S. military should have been aware of?  It’s also reported that French jets that flew in to assist American troops were not allowed by the Government of Niger to open fire on the ISIS fighters, so they had to make low-level flights, “buzzing” the ISIS fighters in an effort to disperse them. Why? Whose side is Niger on?  Where is Trey Gowdy, now that he’s actually needed?   Trey needs to invest just a fraction of the time and money he and his Republican colleagues wasted on the non-existent Benghazi question in trying to determine why American special forces were allowed to be ambushed in Niger and then had no air support once it happened.   But that won’t happen, will it?   Because Benghazi was all about politics and determining what went wrong in Niger might embarrass the Trump White House, even though an investigation might save American lives in the future.   Come on, Trey.  You can do it.   Put country ahead of your party and personal campaign funds.    Determine the degree to which the Russians may have contributed to the Benghazi controversy in their march to disrupt our democracy.   Or what’s left of it. 

-That man who is now under arrest for allegedly killing three people at a granite store in Edgewood, Maryland and wounding three others in Edgewood and Wilmington, Delaware on the 18th, 37 year old Radee Prince, has a lengthy police record. Most troubling, is why, after spending years in prison for multiple counts of burglary (CNN reports 42 arrests including 15 felony convictions), and then being detained by police in Cecil County, Maryland, in 2015 after he was found to be a felon in possession of a firearm and having a firearm in his vehicle, the State’s Attorney in Cecil County decided not to file any charges? They let him walk?  Seriously?   Would charges being filed in 2015 have prevented the slaughter in Edgewood, in 2017?

-The Daily Beast reports that members of the Trump Campaign including Kellyanne Conway, Donald Trump, Jr. and the director of Trump’s digital campaign effort, re-tweeted lies that were being produced by a Russian bot farm. It appears one of these disinformation campaigns may have swung the vote for Trump in Florida.   Really?   When will spineless Republicans in Congress stop betraying the nation and begin impeachment proceedings?  How much more can they possibly need?  When will their denial come to an end?

The History Making March That Never Was

My wife got up this morning asking whether I knew about the march in New York over the weekend.   “No,” I said, I did not, even though I read everything I can get my hands on and watch a broad variety of tv news programs, both foreign and domestic.

The march, according to my wife’s network of progressive to moderate Facebook friends, took place on Saturday.   More than one-hundred psychiatrists, psychologists and other mental health professionals were marching to call attention to their concern about the mental health of Donald J. Trump.  This was, to the best of my knowledge, a historical first for the United States, and maybe the world.  This alone, makes the event not just newsworthy, but highly newsworthy.

We’re not talking about some goofy leftover Hippies here, or twenty-first century saboteurs throwing stink bombs and spraying graffiti.   No, these were educated and credentialed mental health professionals.  Presumably some of the best minds our society has produced.

I’m sure someone must have done some reporting on it, although I recall scanning the papers over the weekend and turning on the network news Saturday night, only to find it had been bumped by football.  A nation and its networks must have priorities, and we do love our football, don’t we?  And all those lovely advertising dollars?  So what’s a little news, more or less?   Or an informed public?

A group of twenty-seven mental health professionals, presumably some of the same psychiatrists and psychologists that were marching in New York on Saturday, have also written a book entitled,  “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump.”   If you missed the march, you can always read the book.  Chances are you didn’t hear about it on the network news.   They also have a “Duty To Warn” website.   You probably won’t hear about that on the news, either.

A New Low, Even For Trump

The man who currently occupies the White House has a problem of needing to not just refute the assertions of those who disagree with him, but to do all he can to destroy them.   In what appears to be a new low, even for someone who has castigated a gold star family and repeatedly lied to the American people,  he is now issuing forth on a path of verbal destruction against those poor souls who have already been visited by destruction in Puerto Rico.   Americans who are literally begging for help from America.

We are long past the point of needing to care about  whether he understands what he is doing or why.    The fact, is that he has  repeatedly done and said things that threaten and hurt the nation, from supporting white nationalist tactics designed to reboot the Civil War to bringing the world to the doorstep of nuclear war on the Korean Peninsula.   He is childlike in his reactions, dividing rather than joining.  He wounds rather than heals, lashing out with all the power at his command from the greatest bully-pulpit in the world.

Be it from picking at open wounds of racial hatred and fear to pitting football fans one against the other under the guise of patriotism, he is tearing us apart.    Assisted by Russian bots, he sews clouds of chaos, confusion and division, and then hides behind his evil creation while dreaming up his next diversion to deflect from the truth of his actions.

He has repeatedly shown an ignorance of both history and contemporary reality.  Now, he openly attacks injured and suffering Americans.  Donald J. Trump, must be impeached.  Those who continue to support this madness will be forever complicit in the damage he continues to inflict, both here on the mainland and on the island of Puerto Rico, which, as he has so vacuously put it,  remains surrounded by “big water, ocean water.”

God, help us.  It appears the cowards in Congress certainly won’t.

To Journalists: Thank You For Your Service

Watching  reporters putting themselves in harm’s way to cover Harvey and now Irma, makes me think of the 115 journalists who died doing their jobs in 2016, nine of whom died on U.S. soil.

Every police officer who dies on the job in the United States is memorialized, called a hero, and rightfully so.  Sixty four officers died in the U.S. in 2016.   Most were honored with parades and days of public mourning.   When a journalist is killed there’s no parade and generally no big public display of sympathy.

There are obvious differences between cops and reporters.  One, is that the potential for being shot and killed is a very real possibility for anyone who takes the oath to become a police officer.  That’s why they’re allowed to carry guns and go out on the streets under the color of authority.  I doubt any cub reporter expects to die out on a story.

When public officials talk about first responders, journalists are almost never mentioned.   Perhaps it’s time to afford a bit more appreciation to those legitimate journalists who bring us our news, as opposed to all the politically motivated non-stop complaining.

Every few months some police organization calls asking for money.   When was the last time a journalist called asking you to contribute to defend and protect the First Amendment or the Freedom of Information Act?

Currently, the Newseum in Washington, D.C. is underfunded and threatened by closure, even though it stands as a monument to American journalism, including its memorial to journalists who died while on the job.

Is the service of journalists any less important to the country than the service of our police?   Is it even possible to hang a price tag on the value of freedom, something that cannot survive without an unhindered press?

Careful what you take for granted.   It just might go away.

Finding Salvation In Baseball

 

Generally, pretending a problem doesn’t exist only makes it worse. This may not be the case with Donald Trump.   I no longer need to hear his voice.  It takes only his image popping up on a video screen to make me mildly nauseous.

I considered watching Trump’s address in Phoenix last night but decided against it.   In all likelihood, it would be just one more largely nonsensical rave, filled with falsehoods and general negativity, containing nothing good at all.  For anybody.   Just more fodder for his base, who, filled with the joy of madness,  have already taken leave of their senses.  He probably wouldn’t even say anything about the sailors we lost in the collision of the USS John S. McCain.   So I watched a baseball game instead.

Turned out that I made the right move.

After the game, one of the pundits told me that Trump’s campaign-type rally, only seven months into his first term, was in fact just one more negative, nonsensical rave, filled with falsehoods.   There was nothing good for anybody.   No real content about anything, including his much heralded plan for going forward in Afghanistan.  I was also informed that he ignored our sailors recently lost at sea.

Like any small child whose only goal is to irritate the hell out of you, the only sensible course of action with Trump is to ignore him, while continuing to demand that the Republicans, who hold the reigns of power in D.C., do what they were elected to do, putting the best interests of the country ahead of their own selfish best interests.

They need to either impeach the Donald or use the 25th Amendment to get rid of him as quickly as possible.   Why?  Because he appears to be trying to re-boot the Civil War, a position which is quite simply, nuts.

While we wait around to see what happens,  I am pretty much resigned to believing the only way to survive Trump, will be to watch more baseball.  Completely ignoring the crazy man in the White House until the miserable, cowardly Republicans lose their majority in the House and Senate in 2018, or even better, Trump loses the election in 2020.

Until the inevitable happens, whatever that turns out to be,  I offer the simple hypothesis that watching baseball is a viable alternative. It is at least, a way to stay sane, as Donald Trump appears to be an exception to the rule that ignoring a problem will only make it worse.

Has The Donald Gone Bye-Bye?

The question must be asked.  Has the President of the United States gone completely loco?   His reckless and seemingly mentally unbalanced statements appear to be getting worse.

Within the past couple of days, Donald J. Trump, has taken the world to the brink of a nuclear confrontation, threatening millions of lives by taunting the boy-man leader in North Korea.  From the safety and comfort of his country club in New Jersey, he has called the Governor of little Guam, our island territory in Kim’s nuclear crosshairs, assuring him “We’re behind you one-thousand percent!”   Really?   Never would have guessed.  Thing is, it was totally avoidable.

So was his idiotic statement thanking Russian President Vladimir Putin, a man who can do no wrong in Trump’s eyes, for expelling more than seven-hundred American diplomats from Russia.   Trump said that was just fine with him because expelling all those diplomats would save the U.S. a pile of money.

The Americans who have been expelled from Russia are career diplomats, who will be reassigned and not fired, so there’s no money to be saved.   Beyond that, our President has just praised a foreign adversary for kicking the United States in the teeth.   He can come back later and say he didn’t mean it but the fact is he said it and he’s the President, and his words carry weight.   Beyond that, it’s one more example of Putin being able to do no wrong in the eyes of Donald Trump.

What does Putin have on Trump?   Is Trump being blackmailed by the Russians?   Is it possible that Trump’s creeping authoritarianism, now challenging even his own party, could be guided by a foreign power?   Can he claim he’s just delivering on his promise to “drain the swamp?”  At times it feels like there’s an evil brilliance behind Donald’s actions that exceeds his abilities.

And now comes the creme de la creme of bizarro statements with Donald’s threat to invade the sovereign nation of Venezuela.    When I first heard it I laughed.  I stopped laughing as the frightening realization hit me that Trump might finally have gone completely off his nut.   What next?   Sending the 101st Airborne into the woods around Chappaqa, in search of Hillary’s emails?

Whatever Mr. Trump’s problem is, it appears to be getting worse.  It no longer matters whether Trump is acting to create a diversion or if he’s truly delusional.  Neither is acceptable.   The Republicans must act now to put a stop to this madness.

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LATE ADD – HE’S DONE IT AGAIN – The piece above was written before the Neo-Nazi / White Nationalist automobile attack on counter protesters in Charlottesville, VA, which Trump tried to explain away by saying, “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides.”    Unacceptable rubbish.

When it comes to Nazis, there are only two sides, fascism and freedom.  Many of us lost loved ones who fought to keep the world free of Nazis in World War II.  Trump is obviously trying to pacify those in his base who are white, racist, Nazi or KKK.     Unpresidential, Un-American and totally unacceptable.

His Next Tantrum Could Kill Millions

We bounce merrily along,  ignoring the fact that what we’ve done in the past has failed to work, even when presented with our latest crises, the terrible “Opioid Epidemic” and the nuclear threat posed by North Korea.   Many of our alleged leaders react with nonsense, or fail to react at all, hiding behind the marble columns in DC, doing nothing and hoping no one will notice.

How much worse can Opioids be than the tons of Cocaine that were poured into our inner cities in the eighties to circumvent the Congress and provide funding to the Contras?  Were she alive, would cute and perky little Nancy Reagan again be telling us all to “just say no?”

Or is this a different sort of problem, because so many white people are impacted along with poor blacks in the inner-cities, where the war on drugs was an abject failure, turning our streets into free-fire zones while the potential for a real solution, decriminalizing drugs and treating it as a medical rather than a legal problem, continued to be all but ignored.   It’s just so much easier albeit more costly, to keep throwing people in jail.

As for North Korea, an armistace was signed in July of 1953.   A pause in the fighting, and that’s where it’s been for more than sixty years.  Now, suddenly, we’re all supposed to lose sleep because the boy-man Donald Trump has decided to pin Kim Jong-un’s ears to the wall?

Diplomacy was working.  At the UN, we finally had both China and Russia in our corner, which might have led to a real solution with Kim and North Korea.   It would have taken some time, but we might actually have reached a point where, like China, North Korea could have been included rather than excluded from the economic ties that bind our family of nations.

Instead of taking the opportunity the UN provided, Trump slammed the door shut on a peaceful resolution by pushing Kim to the brink of nuclear war.   It’s difficult to determine whose judgment is more flawed, Kim or Donald, who now, apparently, is being mostly advised by military men, whose training leans toward fighting and winning wars, not the fine art of diplomacy.

Trump is also, apparently, influenced by his base, made up largely of white, non-college educated and aging white men, who feel angry for being left behind and seem to only understand someone who is one of their own.   Another aging angry white guy, who wants to kick somebody’s ass.   I often thought Barack Obama, acted too much like a debate team captain, but hey, threatening nuclear war against a frightened kid with a really bad haircut and nukes is no answer either.

Beyond that, it’s doubtful Donald Trump has the strength or courage to actually kick anyone’s ass.  But he puts on a good show for his base.  Problem is that this time the show,  featuring Trump’s big mouth, could get millions of people killed.

Kim, is like a child holding a roomful of adults hostage with a loaded shotgun.  The last thing you should do is enrage the child to the point that he throws a fit and pulls the trigger.   Trump can’t seem to understand this.   Maybe he doesn’t know there are 300-thousand Americans in South Korea.  Perhaps he doesn’t understand that he’s playing with their lives and the lives of more than 50-million South Koreans as well?  Maybe it just doesn’t register?

The nation needs to take a collective breath, step back and think, rather then just recoiling in fear at Trump’s next outrageous, insane utterance about Kim or Opioids.   We need to ask ourselves what we as a people can actually do to fix these problems and then demand that our leaders get it done.

There are solutions.   Federal and state governments can come up with a workable plan to treat drug abuse like the medical problem it is.   The money saved from housing people in private jails on non-violent drug charges should more than pay for the effort.

For their part, the Republicans, and I know this will be difficult, but the Republicans must begin impeachment proceedings against Mr. Trump.   Or they can continue wondering just how unhinged his mind actually is, while they wait for the bombs to fall.  If not in North Korea, then somewhere else.  If nuclear war is the result and millions are killed, it will be on their heads.  The Republican Party.

“Just say no,” doesn’t work.  It never did.   Many of the problems resulting from that failed policy are still with us.  The war on drugs failed miserably.  Sending out a potentially demented president to conduct a war of words with a nuclear armed lunatic boy-man, is equally flawed.  Real solutions are out there,  but our leaders must have the courage to act.  Sliding one way and then the other to protect their own selfish best interest as they continue to ignore the real needs and security of the nation is not acceptable.

The childish cry of “Just say no,” doesn’t work.  Never did.  It’s time to think like adults and come up with some workable solutions.

A Clueless Trump – A Leaderless Nation

It’s so reassuring to be repeatedly told by the Trump Administration that they’re “keeping all their options open” and that “nothing is off the table.” What a load.  Still, far better to hear that than some White House wonk telling us, “We have no policies because we have no real idea of what the hell we’re doing from one day to the next.”

Knowing the State Departments is rejecting funding to combat Russian propaganda (that would be actual fake news), because it might upset the Russians, and that  some are probably laying bets on how long General Kelly will last as Donald’s alleged Chief of Staff, does nothing to quiet the storm.

What a big, bright, beautiful vision for the future. This can’t continue.  The Republicans are gonna have to stop it.  Stop the Russians and their golden boy in the Oval Office, that is,  if there are any Republican patriots left.   Oh wait, did I really write that?  Silly me.   They have already repeatedly proven themselves to be beyond any ability whatsoever to put country ahead of party and personal aggrandizement – with the possible exception of this last vote on the Affordable Care Act.    Whether the vote was a McCain inspired aberration or a new beginning remains to be seen.

FOP Needs To Do Right By Its Members

Now that Donald Trump has tried to poison the minds of Boy Scouts at their Jamboree and in another instance openly encouraged police to use excessive force, isn’t it time for the Fraternal Order of Police, the “FOP” to withdraw their endorsement of Mr. Trump?

Donald Trump has opened the door for FOP leadership to do the right thing by getting in line with other law enforcement leaders who are speaking out against the President’s appeal for police officers to get “rough” with those taken into custody.

The FOP’s leadership made a mistake and it’s time for them to deal with it. Their more than 300,000 members deserve nothing less.   There are a lot of good cops out on the streets trying to do their jobs as best they can from one day to the next.  It’s just plain wrong to paint them all with the same broad brush of Trumpist extremism. With its support for Donald Trump the FOP is not only making its membership look bad, it is also potentially creating ill-will with the community at large.  Police work is difficult enough without mixed-signals.

Mr. Trump, Leave The Boy Scouts Alone

Following Trump’s asinine and dangerous rant at the Boy Scout Jamboree, a thought popped into my head. The simple truth is that the United States is like one great big store. We live in the store. We own it. It’s like we live in an apartment above our great big store. The people we hired to manage our store are doing an unacceptable job. Simply put, it is time to bring in new managers who can get our business back on track.

Our Chief Executive should not be on the campaign trail six months after his inauguration filling our Boy Scouts full of self-serving, nonsensical political propaganda. What other figure on the world stage has ever sunk so low as to demand not loyalty to the country but personal loyalty to him from the nation’s youth?  Anybody come to mind?  My disgust for Donald J. Trump has hit a new low.

As with all potentially sociopathic personalities, we have reached a point where it no longer matters whether Mr. Trump does what he does intentionally or whether he might be delusional.   The Congress must do its duty, fulfill its obligation to the people, and begin impeachment proceedings immediately.  Anything less will be negligence and will land directly on the Republican Party, which currently controls both houses of the Congress.

Ron Olsen
Former Member
Boy Scouts of America