Saturday, February 4, 2017

What is the difference between "my way or the highway" and religious fanaticism?

Executive orders pour forth from the Oval Office, banning Muslim immigrants from seven countries of largely Muslim populations, while the White House shouts, “This is not a ban against Islam!”

The botched raid in Yemen, in which an American was killed and others seriously injured is falsely blamed on a Deputies Meeting on January 6 which “easily approved the idea and sent it on up” (by the White House press Secretary) while a ‘deputy’ who attended that meeting says there was no discussion of the specific raid, leaving it to the next administration.

The House of Representatives, through a 97% Republican vote, this week agreed that mentally unstable persons should have better access to guns.

The North Dakota legislature voted this week to trash the ethics office for legislators, a measure already signed by the state’s governor.

The phone system in Washington was broken by a tidal wave of protest calls from constituents to Senators protesting the nomination of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education. Her family’s wealth, based largely on profits from Amway, is estimated at $5 billion by Forbes, and her efforts to champion vouchers for schools are, for many, a profound threat to the very existence and stability of public education. Her Christian Reformed faith adherence also is a red flag for those holding to the separation of church and state, again a model on which the public education system is based.

Judges in Brooklyn and Seattle have issued ‘stays’ on the Executive Order on immigration, while the White House has promised an immediate appeal to reinstate the order, as just and lawful.

Millions of normally silent and compliant ordinary citizens are marching in the streets in many cities against many of the flurry of “power orders” coming from the new American administration. While the Acting Attorney General is fired for refusing to enforce or defend the immigration ban, and is declared to be “weak on immigration” by the vengeful president.

The president’s choice as the next justice on the Supreme Court comes, albeit with platinum education credentials (Columbia, Harvard, Oxford), out of the same “culture vat” in which millions have been nurtured to favour corporate values over consumers, to favour the 1% over the other 99% and to reject the Obamacare mandate of providing contraception by employers. A clone and fierce fan of deceased Justice Antonin Scalia, Gorsuch would likely sustain the Trump legacy for decades, should he receive Senate confirmation.

The thirty-five year old son-in-law of the president, Jared Cushner, is now a ‘senior advisor’ with credentials that point only to an inheritance of real estate holdings and their management….his appointment testing the boundaries of “nepotism,”  credibility and confidence among the ordinary American citizen. Loyal perhaps he is, but deserving of the throne of power, hardly. He has been reported as being deputized to secure an agreement and peace between Israel and Palestine, as if sending a “boy” to do a job that generations of serious, and brilliant men and women have failed to complete is just another sign of the “miraculous” self-declared competence of the new chief executive.

(Maybe it is not that surprising if we consider that a new iteration of Peter Pan is now the occupant of the White House inviting Wendy (the American electorate and the world’s geopolitical community) to come to Neverland, where all enemies are vanquished, and Peter is permanently stuck in his own innocent (and very dangerous!) imagination. (Wendy, on the other hand, according to a later supplement to the original story, matures and returns to her real home in the real world.Peter does not!)

A growing pattern of Trump’s thumbing his nose, thereby dismissing all irritants from his universe, is developing:

·      Vanquishing all media reporters a the most dangerous liars on earth

·      Generalizing all protesters as paid thugs

·      And all existing trade agreements as “disasters”

·      And Obama administrators as weak and kind (reference to the Iranian nuclear deal)

·      And all women as “willing” to let ‘stars’ do “anything”

·      And all women who have abortions as deserving “punishment”

·      And all military generals as knowing far less that “I” do

·      Telling all civil servants who do not agree with the “program” to choose between submitting or leaving the federal government’s employ

·      Characterizing the New York Times as a ‘failing and dying” newspaper

·      Demoting the Joint Chief and the Secretary of Defense from the National Security Council and elevating Bannon to the inner circle

·      Telling Israel to stop announcing plans for new settlements in the West Bank

·      Threatening heavy new import taxes on autos manufactured outside the U.S.

·      Challenging the one China policy of the legacy of many U.S. administrations of both governing parties

·      Issuing clawless sanctions on Iran following their testing of a missile

·      Berating a refugee agreement with Australia, in a “meet-and-greet” phone call with the Australian Prime Minister, from which the president exits by hanging up barely half-way into the conversation

·      Announcing ‘we must keep ‘evil’ out of the United States, as if there were no ‘evil already within the country

These are signs obvious and available to anyone watching and listening. And, even the most inexperienced coach, counsellor, therapist or even serious and independent advisor would note the pattern of both self-sabotage and potential danger for the nation. When a single person presumes to be the “only solution” to the fake degradation of the country, and enough of the country buys the “pitch” it is not only in the Oval Office that Peter Pan resides; he has taken over the voting patterns of so many voters that the results of the election threaten us all.

Neverland is not a place the people in the street wanted to inhabit. Neverland is not a place they even dreamt they might like to visit, when they entered the voting booth.
Yet, Neverland is the place we are all now expected to willingly join or, just as the Islamic terrorists said to the Queen in Great Britain, “You have two choices, convert, or leave Buckingham Palace which we will convert to a mosque!” So too has Trump told the thousands of diligent and loyal Americans who have worked for presidents and administrations from both Republican and Democratic parties. So too has Trump told the main media outlets. So too has Trump, inferentially told the thousands of educators in public education: convert the schools to ‘christian’ models to grow the “kingdom” or leave (should DeVos be confirmed).

Whether one wants to characterize the developing tragedy as an incipient theocracy, autocracy, dictatorship, coup, or oligarchy….supply your own word…the early signs are all “warning signs” of things to come which do not have a scent, or a shade, or a hint of safety, security and competence.


Little boys who refuse to grow up were never envisioned or expected to be rewarded for their arrogant immaturity.

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