GOP: Listen Up!

Last night, all eyes were on the Weather Channel as we watched Hurricane Harvey slowly spin its way through the Gulf of Mexico with the south shores of Texas clearly in its sights.  We closed our eyes and silently said a prayer for those who were being affected.

Meanwhile, back in D.C., our President had more pressing priorities – like pardoning the former Sheriff of Maricopa County (Arizona) who had violated a court order to stop employing racial profiling tactics within his department and, in so doing, he was found guilty of criminal contempt of court.  This is an 85-year-old man who had no boundaries, no respect for the oath he took to uphold the laws, and one that appeared to enjoy doling out suffering and humiliation wherever and whenever he could.  You know, the proverbial bully in the school yard.  Let me tell you a little more about him.

Let’s take a look at these on-point examples evidencing behavior by his staff that went unheeded and clearly, unpunished.

On one occasion, one of his officers stopped a five-month pregnant Latina woman as she pulled into her home driveway.  When she got out of the car, the officer asked her to sit on the hood.  When she refused, he pulled her arms behind her and slammed her (stomach first) into the side of the vehicle three times, then left her in the back of a patrol car for 30 minutes with no air conditioning.  He cited her for not having identification; a charge that was later changed to failure to provide proof of insurance – which she later provided in court.

On another occasion, during one of the Sheriff’s well-known early-morning raids in an effort to round up undocumented immigrants, Sheriff’s deputies burst into an adjacent home (not the target) which was occupied by a Latino family, and searched the premises without a warrant.  They zip-tied a father and 12-year-old son (both U.S. citizens) and made them sit curbside with other illegal immigrants for more than an hour – in spite of having committed no crime and having no connection to the targeted house.

Both of these examples came directly from the Justice Department’s civil rights complaint – paragraphs 62 and 67, respectively.

This is a Sheriff who looked the other way when a young man who had been taken into custody was strapped down in a chair, restrained at the wrists, and had a towel placed over his mouth for an undetermined amount of time – until he died of “positional asphyxiation.”  Imagine that family’s pain.

This is also the Sheriff who failed to investigate over 400 sex crimes (the majority of which involved children) due to his directive to prioritize low-level immigration offenses over the more serious sex crimes, resulting in unspeakable pain to innocent children while he simultaneously failed to meet his law enforcement responsibilities – to say the least.

And then, upon hearing of the questionable status of President Obama’s birth certificate, this is the man who, unsolicited, took it upon himself to personally investigate the matter.  His investigation turned up nothing – except a $10,000 expenditure for a Hawaiian trip for one of his deputies for which the taxpayers were handed the tab.  It has been estimated that former-Sheriff Arpaio’s actions have cost Maricopa County taxpayers more than $200 million dollars and that figure continues to be adjusted upwards as claims continue to be filed.

This is also the man who sat before Judge Snow in his original trial, sworn under oath, who was finally forced to admit that he had hired a private investigator to investigate the Judge’s wife with regard to an alleged comment she made by an undisclosed source.  We all recognized that for what it was – dirt-digging – with the hope of using the results to derail the legal proceedings.

“A fine patriot!” is what Trump calls him.  A “good man.”  Someone who had performed an “admirable job at law enforcement at the federal and local levels.”

Mr. President, either read the whole article or get another advisor.  This man swore to uphold the laws, not break them or bend them to fit his will.

This pardon was at the least, undeserved and at the most, amoral, unethical, shameful, appalling, unconscionable, and an affront to the entire American judicial system.

GOP:  Listen up.  Trump is going to bury you.  By sitting back and taking no action and allowing this Presidency to play itself out does nothing except make you look weak, ineffective, spineless and cowardly.

Be advised that we will continue to speak to the injustices your myopic viewpoints have enabled.

And we will speak out loudly.

With One Voice.

The Dragon Rears Its Ugly Head

 

I am shocked and I am saddened.  Most of all, I am sickened by the ugly, heartless and brutal actions that occurred in Charlottesville.

This isn’t some peaceful protest on a far-away continent that somehow went horribly wrong.

This was right here in our own backyard.

White supremacy, bigotry, hatred, violence, murder.  People dressed up in riot gear, faces covered lest they be identified – too chicken to stand unmasked for what they believe in – and with sheep mentalities – spoiling for a fight and beating on an innocent man because of the color of his skin.  You disgust me.  And let me tell you – you disgust a lot of America.  You are NOT who we are or who we have become.

We fought this fight before – in the violence of the South that was prevalent in the 1950’s – and again – in the 1960’s when three civil rights activists in Mississippi were murdered and a prominent NAACP leader died in a fire bombing.

We did not rest until we avenged those deaths and brought those responsible, forward to face the consequences of their actions – and we will do so again.

And what do we say about Mr. Trump who cannot call it for what it is?  Did anyone hear the words “white supremacy” in his comments?

No, I didn’t think so.  And you may wonder why that is.

Are there people of power who really believe that this is a country only for white men?  Of course there are.  Look around.  They aren’t hard to find.  The real question is whether The Donald is one of them. What was it that Scare-A-Moochi said?  Oh, yeah … A fish sinks – from the head down.

The defense rests, Your Honor.

 

Chinese Laundry

 

In the early morning hours of July 4, 2017, US military and intelligence personnel watched as North Korean’s leader, Kim Jong Un, walked around the launch site of a ICBM missile – and they watched him for more than an hour.  Why not take the shot and end the drama?

First, we need to know what fuels Kim Jong Un’s hatred of the US.  It is a deep-seated and deeply-ingrained belief that everything evil — is the US.  Let’s take a look back.

At the end of WWII, US Col. Dean Rusk drew a line across Korea at the 38th parallel – a division across a disputed region that Russia agreed upon.  The Russians backed the North and installed Kim Il Sung to govern it, while the US backed the South.  In 1950, Sung invaded the South in an effort to “unify” Korea, only to eventually be pushed back by the arrival of Gen. Douglas MacArthur.  The Chinese became involved and pushed MacArthur back to roughly the 38th parallel.  It was a conflict that lasted three years, 1 month and 2 days during which time the US Air Force dropped 635,000 tons of explosives and 32,000 tons of napalm on North Korea.  When military targets waned, the military targeted hydroelectric plants and irrigation dams, flooding fields and ruining crops.  In the end, North Korea had 1.3 million civilian and military casualties; South Korea had a combined total of 3 million casualties; China lost 600,000 men; and the US lost 33,000 military personnel.  An armistice was signed on July 27, 1953 – signaling a truce between the North and the South.

North Korea never forgot that attempt of annihilation and vowed to begin a struggle against US Imperialism that starts as early as 5 years of age for North Korean children who are taught that above all else, they should grow to prevail over the clear certainty of an invasion from US forces.  This mandate is even more effective today because of Kim Jong Un’s tight control on outside forces.  There is no access to the Internet; communications are measured to reinforce the principles of self-reliance – to the extent that even today, many North Koreans have never seen an American, let alone be witness to the discrepancies between their teachings and reality.

While he attended Kim Il Sung Military University, it is likely that Kim Jong Un was made aware of other failed nuclear stands such as that of Muammar Gaddafi (former Prime Minister of Libya) who surrendered his nuclear weapons program in response to Western demands in 2003, only to be beaten to death 8 years later.

It appears that Kim Jong Un has a different vision for North Korea – one that will continue his country’s philosophy of “juche” – self-reliance and independence.  And the quickest and most effective way to communicate that to the world is through a display of nuclear prowess.  He has the fuel (the long-standing indoctrination against Western beliefs) and the weapon (ICBMs).

So, here we are – not willing to take a shot that could be heard around the world.

Frustrated, the Trump administration has turned to other methods of disarming Jong Un such as asking China to put trade sanctions in place for North Korea.  China (as I mentioned in an earlier blog) has absolutely no motivation to do so.

First of all, its sights and priorities lie elsewhere – in the South China Sea where rich deposits of oil and gas are reputed to be.   And strategically, the South China Sea can be seen as a military stronghold with its arms tightly around $3 trillion in shipping annually.  Currently, China has managed to reach agreements with the Philippines (after Duterte reversed his hard-lined stance against China in favor of better relations with Beijing), Indonesia and Malaysia – all who are regionally affected by activities in the South China Sea.

The administration has also asked China to put in place trade embargos that would freeze out Jong Un, when in reality, good trade relations with North Korea ensure regional stability for China.

In addition to that, any intervention that would result in a US victory would also put the US squarely at the front door of China and may also lead to throngs of immigrants from North Korean into China – something they do not want to see happen.

In short, America will have to find another solution to the growing concerns surrounding Kim Jong Un and the people of North Korea because as I see it, the sign says …

Chinese Laundry – Closed.