Dear, Trump Supporters, Please Stop Being Such Whiney Little Snowflakes! 

trump-supportersOne month into the Trump era and I’m already hearing Republicans complaining about how unfair the world is being to poor Donald Trump… and my jaw is hitting the floor.

Back when he was “president-elect,” all I heard from his supporters was how great he was going to be for the country. He was described as an unstoppable force. A tough, common sense man who had all the right answers. And, frankly, I wasn’t surprised that his fans described him that way because that was exactly the way Trump described himself.

When he announced his run for the presidency he said: “I, Donald J. Trump, will be the greatest president in our country’s history!”

At the Republican convention last summer he said: “Nobody knows the system better than I, and only I can fix it!”

After winning the election he said: “I will unite the country and do a great job.”

And before his first week in office was up he said: “I’m going to fix this country. That’s what I do. I fix things.”

So it’s time for The Donald to put his considerable money where his huge mouth is.

It’s been a month, and I’m still not seeing any greatness. In fact, what I’ve seen is a circus, complete with wild animals and clowns running loose in the White House. Much to Trump’s astonishment, his travel ban was blocked by the courts. His National Security Advisor had to resign in disgrace. His first press conference was an unhinged display of incompetence, and I now he’s doing campaign rallies to boost his sagging ego.

And now the Trump supporters in my circles are gearing up for full excuse mode:

“The courts are too political. They have no right to stop the president.”

“Michale Flynn did nothing wrong. The Democrats just wanted to make it look worse than it was.” 

“The media is the real enemy. They are the ones who are making him look bad.”

“He misspoke, it wasn’t Sweden, it was Syria…or Norway…or Boling green. You know terrorism is real!”

Honestly, I don’t want to hear any of it. If Trump knows the system better than anybody, he should have known the courts check the president’s power. If he’s able to unite the country, getting the Democrats to cooperate with his administration should be easy…once he gets started. And if he would just shut up and start fixing things like he promised, I guarantee the media would become a lot friendlier.

In short, Trump got elected by claiming he was bulletproof and his supporters believed him. They believed in the great and powerful Trump who would be the most terrific president in our country’s history. If they were correct and he is such a man, no force on Earth will stop him from making us “great” again. But so far he’s proven to be anything but that man.

So, I don’t want to hear any of his supporters make excuses now that he’s riddled with holes and making an ass of himself. Instead, I would prefer that they honestly admit they got rooked by this con man…or just shut the hell up.

 

“By Clayton J. Callahan

 

Where Has All Our Money Gone?

A friend of mine passed this on to me. As a guy who wore the uniform, I can attest to the truth of this narrative. Just prior to my last deployment to Iraq, the US Army gave me a parka and set of snow pants that I had to schlep all the way to Bagdad and back. Why? Because the military has money to burn and somebody’s corruption just paid off.
ROBERT C. KOEHLER
For release 1/12/17
WAR CONSCIOUSNESS AND THE F-35
“The F-35 Lightning II Program (also known as the Joint Strike Fighter Program) is the Department of Defense’s focal point for defining affordable next generation strike aircraft weapon systems for the Navy, Air Force, Marines, and our allies. The F-35 will bring cutting-edge technologies to the battlespace of the future.”
Lurking behind this perky little PR blurb, from the F-35’s own website, is the void into which the soul of the human race has disappeared.
This is war consciousness: locked into place, awash in money. The deeply flawed F-35, the most expensive military weapons system in history, is ultimately projected to cost over $1 trillion, but no matter: “It will bring cutting-edge technologies to the battlespace of the future.”
What does that mean? It sounds like an ad for the next Star Trek movie, but it’s U.S. foreign policy — or, more accurately, the defining assumption of nationhood: We will always be at war with someone. It’s the quintessential self-fulfilling prophecy. When we spend trillions of dollars “preparing” for war, by God, we’ll find an enemy.
This is the consciousness we must transcend, and opposing Lockheed Martin’s way-over-budget, absolutely-unnecessary-for- national-security F-35 fighter jet, which is supposed to be ready to go by 2019, is certainly a good place to start.
“The F-35 is a weapon of offensive war, serving no defensive purpose,” reads the petition now in circulation, initiated by a dozen organizations. “It is planned to cost the U.S. $1.4 trillion over 50 years. Because starvation on earth could be ended for $30 billion and the lack of clean drinking water for $11 billion per year, it is first and foremost through the wasting of resources that this airplane will kill. . . .
“Wars are endangering the United States and other participants rather than protecting them. Nonviolent tools of law, diplomacy, aid, crisis prevention, and verifiable nuclear disarmament should be substituted for continuing counterproductive wars. Therefore, we, as signers of this petition, call for the immediate cancellation of the F-35 program as a whole, and the immediate cancellation of plans to base any such dangerous and noisy jets near populated areas.”
At the local end of this travesty, the F-35s, which would be based in Burlington, Vermont, and Fairbanks, Alaska, are so dangerous they could render nearby residential areas uninhabitable. The extreme noise level could cause cognitive impairment in children, according to a World Health Organization report; and the planes’ high risk of crashing, combined with highly toxic materials used in their construction, put local residents at an unacceptable risk.
But the absurdity of subjecting people to such risks is magnified exponentially by the needlessness to do so.
Roots Action, one of the organizations calling for the F-35’s cancellation, describes the fighter jet as “a first strike stealth weapon designed to penetrate air space undetected. It will be used for massive killing and destruction in more wars like Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Syria, and Vietnam in which millions of civilians have been killed and wounded and millions of refugees created.”
Yet these wars didn’t advance any rational agenda whatsoever. They didn’t make America safe, much less “great.” To confirm this point, the Roots Action site cuts to CIA director John Brennan, testifying before the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee last June:
“Unfortunately,” Brennan tells the committee, “despite all our progress against ISIL on the battlefield and in the financial realm, our efforts have not reduced the group’s terrorism capability and global reach.”
He goes on: “The resources needed for terrorism are very modest, and the group would have to suffer even heavier losses of territory, manpower, and money for its terrorist capacity to decline significantly.”
Let’s sit in silence with these words for a moment.
In the silence, the word “why” emerges with enormous force, more force, perhaps, than it’s possible to bear, at least when one begins adding up the costs of our ineffective efforts. Why are the weapons of war the only tools we choose to wield — the only tools we can imagine wielding — against the threat we call terrorism? Why are the multi-billion-dollar agencies of government trapped at such a feeble level of consciousness — war consciousness — that they are able to envision nothing but the wreaking of more destruction to “keep us safe,” when everything about this activity weakens us, endangers us, makes us ever less safe?
What if we began waging peace against terrorism? That is to say, what if we began to recognize that understanding the enemy is what’s crucial, while thinking we can destroy what we fear is an illusion of monstrous proportions?
Consider: “The Defense Department is designing robotic fighter jets that would fly into combat alongside manned aircraft,” the New York Timesreported in October. “It has tested missiles that can decide what to attack, and it has built ships that can hunt for enemy submarines, stalking those it finds over thousands of miles, without any help from humans. . . .
“Defense officials say the weapons are needed for the United States to maintain its military edge over China, Russia and other rivals, who are also pouring money into similar research (as are allies, such as Britain and Israel). The Pentagon’s latest budget outlined $18 billion to be spent over three years on technologies that included those needed for autonomous weapons.”
What a world we’re planning! I believe there’s still time to change directions, but the demand to do so must begin today.
Robert Koehler is an award-winning, Chicago-based journalist and nationally syndicated writer. His book, Courage Grows Strong at the Wound is available. Contact him at koehlercw@gmail.com or visit his website at commonwonders.com.
© 2017 TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, INC.

Me against the local GOP

Trump Nominating Gorsuch

Hello, below is a statement by Oregon GOP chairman Bill Courrier (the bald guy on the left) about Oregon Governor Kate Brown (on the right, duh).

His statement is followed by my e-mail response. Frankly, I am flabbergasted by the amount of self-delusion old Bill is indulging in these days. It’s as if Trump is just a moderate, run of the mill Republican, and the liberal reaction is some kind of massive hissy fit. Nothing could be further from the truth, however, and I intend to keep letting them know that by every means available (including this blog).

So here it is, Bill Courrier’s statement (in italics) and my response (also in italics):

Mr. Courrier says…

Wilsonville, OR – Oregon Republican Party Chairman Bill Currier issued a statement on Wednesday in response to media reports that Oregon Governor Kate Brown had formed a “Trump Resistance Team”. Currier said that Brown’s “social action team” threatens to further divide our nation, and suggested that the Governor prefers playing political games instead of devoting herself to solving pressing problems here in Oregon. Currier also raised questions about the motivation and funding of Brown’s new campaign.

“This kind of rhetoric by a sitting Oregon Governor is inflammatory, divisive, and unprecedented. We have enough problems coming together in America without elected officials wasting time fanning the flames. The voters have spoken, and public opinion polls show general approval of President Trump’s actions so far. Governor Brown risks being left on the fringes of our society, instead of being considered a bipartisan thought leader. With mounting long term debt, state spending ballooning out of control, transparency and corruption issues, pressing transportation needs, and economic development challenges, does Kate Brown really think Oregon voters elected her Governor to play political games?”

“You also have to wonder about the origin and funding of this campaign,” cautioned Chair Currier. “We’ve seen many recent examples of Governor Brown’s public policies and political motives being shaped and funded, in whole or in part, by out of state billionaires like Michael Bloomberg, Tom Steyer, and George Soros – along with in-state billionaire Win McCormack. It’s high time Oregon voters reject the extremist agenda of these hyper-rich cronies and leave the governing of Oregon to Oregonians.”

“I have to remark at the irony of this report,” added Currier. “Kate’s email to supporters reads, in part, ‘Now, more than ever, we must bring communities together to resist in a divided nation.’ Yet this call to action urges her progressive activist supporters to come together to divide people. Not exactly a “uniting” approach. Past elected officials have always tried to find a way to work with a President of the opposite party, even up through President Obama’s administration. It’s time for Democrat Leaders to stop whining, get to work, and find areas of common ground with President Trump, to accomplish the important business of our state and nation.”

Currier also took note of the hashtag games being played, saying, “The #teamkate hashtag is interesting, if a bit short sighted. A quick twitter search by a social media professional – or even an amateur – would have revealed that it has already been taken. Let’s hope Governor Brown does nothing more to revive the other hashtag she was known for – #korruptkate.”

The Oregon Republican Party is the state’s arm of the Republican National Committee. It’s Chairman and officers are dedicated to preserving and advancing Republican principles within the state of Oregon and to improving the lives and livelihoods of Oregon’s working families through economic freedom and equal protection under the law.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday 02/01/17–3:30 PM PDT
Contact: ORP Communications Director
communications.director@orgop.org(link sends e-mail) – (503) 902-4671

 
 And I replied to the Oregon GOP director of communication thusly:
In his statement, Mr. Courrier expresses the concern that Governor Brown’s actions are counter productive to the goal of uniting Americans. Quote, “We have enough problems coming together in America without elected officials wasting time fanning the flames.”

And I agree. However, her actions are also understandable in light of the President’s behavior. Perhaps you’ve noticed and perhaps you haven’t, but Donald Trump has continued to do all he can to divide us. In light of his travel ban, his cabinet picks and his behavior toward the press, most liberals Governor Brown’s response as reasonable.

You see, Republicans now have the exicutive, legislative and, soon to be, the judicial branches of our national government in your hands. And thanks to your efforts to defeat Mesure 97, Oregon’s state budget is in no position to give back what the federal government is soon to take in healthcare alone. In short, liberals have their backs to the wall and have everything to lose and nothing to gain.

Please understand that it is not for the man tied to the post, but the man holding the whip to be the magnanimous one. Republicans MUST hold out the olive branch first if there is to be any unifying of Americans at all because the liberals are in no position to do so.

Mr. Currier goes on to state that the governor should be focusing on “transparency and corruption issues.” Okay, tell me what those issues are specifically, and I will gladly join your chorus. Seriously, I personally despise corruption from the left or the right. Make me your ally! And while I campaign for your cause, perhaps you can get Mr. Trump to release his tax returns like he promised he would.

Incidentally, Mr. Currier’s assertion that “voters have spoken, and public opinion polls show general approval of President Trump’s actions so far.” is laughable. We all know Trump lost the popular vote, and his approval ratings are at historic lows according to Gallop. This assertion deflates credibility and if I were him I’d strike it out of the text.  

Finally, Mr. Currier asks where Governor Brown finds the money for such a Trump Resistance Team. That may be a valid question, but my feeling is that the answer is more likely to be from donations than graft. Keep in mind, the ACLU raised 26 million dollars last weekend alone as reported by the Washington Post. The ACLU states that they typically take in only 4 million a year! It seems liberals are opening their wallets like never before.

These are extraordinary times, and they will call for extraordinary measures. From my perspective, I see a runaway Republican Party doing all it can to terrify liberals. For Mr. Courrier to complain when liberals push back is frankly assinine.

Like I said, it’s up to the GOP to extend the olive branch. If you do that, there is hope for uniting this nation. If you do not, we are lost.

 

Folks, we need to keep on speaking truth to power. This is especially true at the local level. Do not let falsehood stand! Do not let propaganda be legitimized. Always answer back because that is how we resist!

 

By Clayton J. Callahan

My Plee to The Man

I sent this letter to every big name I could think of in the GOP except Trump (As stupid as he is, what would be the point?). Perhaps someone will listen, but at least I can look ’em in the eye and say, “I told you so” when things go south.

Dear Prominent Republican

Do you want a civil war?

I am asking this as a real question for which I hope your answer is, “hell no!” But, I’ve got to say, as a student of history, that’s exactly where we are headed if the Republican Party continues to support an extremist agenda. Now, to be clear, I am not writing this letter to make any kind of threats. Like any patriot, I don’t want a civil war either. I am writing this letter because I believe we are on a collision course for just such a disaster, and I am doing all I can to avoid it.

Now, why would I suggest that something so extraordinary as a real probability?

Well first off, for the past six years I’ve noticed how the Republican Party did all it could to stop Obama’s liberal agenda. After all, that was your path back to power after the pounding the GOP took in the 2008 election, and I understood your desire to push back. However, the way the GOP did it caused some unexpected blowback that cannot be ignored.

A total refusal to cooperate or negotiate with President Obama was justified to the public by a campaign that painted him as some kind of far left socialist. This, in turn, inspired your base to concoct hundreds of conspiracy theories to support your position. The talk radio jocks took it far into left field and the Republican establishment did nothing to discourage them. Was Obama a socialist? Perhaps, but that didn’t sound provocative enough. Was he a Muslim? Oh, that sounded good! Was he secretly part of Al-Qaeda? Was he born outside the USA? Was he going to pull off a coup in Texas? And as the talk radio chatter spilled out over the internet, the GOP din nothing but smile on the sidelines, knowing that it would pay off in votes.

In all this while, the uneducated masses were lapping the propaganda up with a spoon. Fed a steady diet of suspicion, fear, and falsehood, they were primed and ready for a man like Trump who would “make America great again.” So far, I’m sure I’ve told you nothing new. Sure, you may have phrased the above paragraphs a little more gently, but you’d be lying to yourself to deny its true—and I’m depending on you to be an honest person. But now, I do have something new that you may not have been fully aware of; all this time the left was watching and getting mad.

The good news was that the anger of the left was put in check by their confidence in a Hillary Clinton victory. She was seen as a shoe-in and, with her in office, liberals could feel safe that the things they hold near and dear would be protected even if the congress stayed Republican—and when she didn’t win, the left lost its collective minds.

Now, I’d be unsurprised if that last sentence didn’t make you smile a bit. After all, November 8th, 2016 was a heck of a good night for you and your friends. The image of liberals crying in their beer is sure to give you some pleasure, and I will allow you that. However, what happened next should have caused you some concern. Possets rang out across the nation that sometimes devolved into outright riots. They lasted for days in some cities and posed a serious threat to public order.

Now, did the protests disturb your calm?

If they didn’t you’re frankly a fool. However, I’m assuming you’re not a fool or else this letter is a complete waste of time. So I’ll assume you were also disturbed by the inauguration day protests, the Women’s March, and the airport protests a week later. Congressional offices have been flooded with phone calls, letters, and postcards. The White House has been forced to shut down its comments line and even offices like yours are being so flooded with calls your mailboxes are always full.

It’s almost as if thousands of people feel very strongly about something and refuse to be ignored.

Trump, I must say, hasn’t a clue. Even a casual examination of the man reveals him to be a child in a man’s body who’s enthralled by the speckle of adoring crowds that may or may not actually exist. Perhaps you don’t agree with my assessment of Trump? Fair enough, I will not belabor the point. However, I will point out that all his decisions so far seem to completely discount the mood of half of our nation. He selects the most extreme appointees, bans immigration from Muslim countries, threatens the media and alienates our southern neighbor with abandon. At the same time, GOP congressmen like Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) are jumping in with radical “Right to Work” legislation.

 And frankly, to a liberal like me, it’s looking as if all our worst fears are completely justified.

So, what happens next?

That is the $100,000.00 question now, isn’t it? Thus far, the protests have been completely ignored by the Republicans in congress and one wonders when the left will realize that no one is listening. What would you do in such a situation? Would you move to Canada? Would you just swallow your rage and take it like a good boy? Or would you…how do Republicans phrase this…turn to some kind of “Second Amendment remedy?”

As your President Trump once said, “…there’s nothing you can do, people, there’s nothing you can do. But I don’t know. Maybe the Second Amendment people. Maybe?”

Now, do you honestly think that it’s only conservatives who think this way?

As our President Kennedy once said, “Those who do not make peaceful revolution possible make violent revolution inevitable.” Was Kennedy right? When liberals are forced to swallow loss after loss with no concessions of any kind, will some of them get crazy enough to start a real fight? Would people actually die?

Like I said earlier, I am a student of history. My Bachelor’s is in history from Miami of Ohio. In circumstances exactly like what I have described above, arms have been taken up and people have actually died. Have you ever heard of the Weather Underground of the 1960s or the Symbionese Liberation Army of the 1970s? How about the Irish Republican Army of the 1980s, do you know how many people died in that war?  To me (and I hope to you) such a conflict is a nightmare scenario, but it’s a very likely scenario if Republicans remain committed to their current course. But the reasons behind all this fear are actually quite simple to articulate.

To quote Cool Hand Luke, “What we have here is a failure to communicate. Some men you just can’t reach…I don’t want it any more than you do.” Are you one of those people I just can’t reach, or are you a person of insight who will listen to another point of view? I pray the latter.

This letter is my desperate attempt to un-fail that American communication. Please listen to it because the salvation I’m about to propose is simple to obtain. Are you listening? Good.

The solution is to throw the Democrats a concession or two and to do it now. As I stated earlier, the Trump administration is following the most extreme right wing policies imaginable and the Republicans in Congress are going right along with him. This is obviously not the way forward because if you back any animal up against the wall it will bite you. If however, you give a dog an occasional bone you can get him to do backflips.

Okay, so I grant backflips may be too much to ask.

But would it be too much to ask you guys to encourage Trump to nominate Eric Garland to the Supreme Court? Face it, a lot of Republicans thought he was a good choice in the first place, and it would go a long way to pacifying a large swath of liberals. Or how about some social security legislation that improves the lives of old people. Face it, the elderly are a big part of the Republican base, and grandma’ just might return the favor to you in 2018. I could go on and on, but my point is that the Republican Party has to stop enabling its most extreme fringe, restrain the president’s worst inclinations and do some tangible things in congress that will make liberal America less terrified and desperate as a whole.

Is that so hard?

No, not really. In fact, it’s a return to that good old Ronald Regan/Tip O’Neil era when government actually worked, and Americans weren’t at each other’s throats. As a prominent Republican and a decent human being, it is your duty to act. Passively standing by while conservative extremist terrify radical liberals into a bloody frenzy is not a moral option.

So, please, leave the extremists agenda behind and travel down a more moderate road. Encourage Trump to follow his better angles (Remember Lincoln?). Give the other side the occasional concessions and make some good old fashioned deals. Right now, Republicans have the executive branch, the legislative branch and most of the governorships wrapped up in a neat little bow. Times surely seem good to you. But if you don’t reach across that aisle and soon you may not only lose all that, but you and I together could lose our whole damn country to bloody strife.

And you do love your country, right?

 

Staff Sergeant (SA) US Army (Retired) Clayton J. Callahan