The Trump Card

Donald Trump: The anti-American candidate

Donald Trump: The anti-American candidate

Why is Donald Trump running for President? This American version of Muammar Gaddafi or Saddam Hussein is making no attempt to appeal to intelligent voters, and acts as if he is running for President of the Student Council by being anti-school.

The answer is that he is probably not running for President; however, Trump is vital to the hopes of the Grand Ole Party (GOP,) that consists of a vocal white, ultra-religious, anti-American group, and a smaller group of intelligent traditional conservatives.

In the Spring of 2015, it was chaos in the Republican party. Every day another new candidate was announcing his or her run for the White House. Each of them desperately sought the favor of the anti-American faction that would give them the nomination. As each candidate carved out smaller and smaller slices of their party it began to look hopeless for Republicans. None of them could win the Presidency because winning anti-American support would be poison to them in November 2016. At the same time, the GOP candidates were dividing up the party, making reconciliation with a legitimate prospect almost impossible.

Enter Donald Trump. Trump’s role in the party is to be the Pied Piper. He is to gather up all the misfits of the anti-American movement in the GOP and gain their trust. He can be as outrageous as he wants because it will only serve to help him in his role of winning the loyalty of those who love to hate America.

As he solidifies the anti-American vote he will force other GOP candidates out of the race, and Jeb Bush will continue to chart out a more moderate course that will give him the best chance of winning a majority in the general election. Next summer Donald Trump and Jeb Bush will likely be the only two viable GOP nominees. It is at this point Trump will ask his supporters to “fall on their swords” for the party. He will explain that if they don’t vote for Jeb Bush, the Democrats will win…again.

Trump As Vice President?

3rd Place in Miss Alaska, attended five different colleges in four years (one of them twice,) and 1/2 term Governor of Alaska (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Sarah Palin:  3rd Place in Miss Alaska, attended five different colleges in four years (one of them twice,) and 1/2 term Governor of Alaska 

Paul Ryan, helped Mitt Romney lose in 2012

Paul Ryan, helped Mitt Romney lose in 2012

A fair question is whether Trump will be the Vice President candidate for the Republicans. That deal may already have been brokered with the Bush campaign, or it may still be a decision yet to be made. The problem is that Trump may bring too much baggage to the ticket. Attempts to use the Vice President as material to sew together a conservative coalition has failed in past elections (Sarah Palin in 2008, and Paul Ryan in 2012) as each made the Presidential candidate less appealing to moderates and intelligent voters. 

Regardless, Trump’s ego is overflowing with the attention he is currently receiving from supporters and detractors. It is likely that he would see political office beneath him, but he loves being the center of attention. This is a win-win opportunity for him.

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Republicans Deal With The Devil

Confederate flag

Republicans have a major problem. They are not the majority in the United States. They have managed to win congressional elections, and lesser political offices by convincing true conservatives and anti-Americans that they have the same goals. That strategy has worked because the anti-Americans originally were silent partners in the alliance and were easily led by true conservatives.

The problem is that the anti-Americans have managed use the Republican party to legitimize their 150 year effort to take over America and remake it in their image. That effort started when the white Southern Democrats were determined to make slavery the law of the new territories and they declared that if Abraham Lincoln (a Republican, ironically) were elected as President they would abandon the United States of America. The white, male, landowners of the South said they would disgrace our flag, country and Constitution by creating a new country where all men would not be equal all because their candidate lost the election.

What many Americans do not know is that the Confederacy lied. They were not content with stealing a handful of states and declaring themselves as a new country. Had that been their goal the Civil War would not have occurred. Lincoln was ready to let the six states abandon our country and be done with them.

However, after seceding, the Confederate States of America began attacking our country and sought to destroy the United States of America. Their intent was clearly to conquer us and put our citizens under their autocratic rule.

To defend our country, President Lincoln moved troops in to protect the capital but they were attacked in Baltimore by anti-Americans who attempted to disrupt the our military by operating inside our country. The result forced us into the Civil War.

The Confederate States of America incorrectly assumed that we would surrender rather than fight. That miscalculation not only caused them to lose the war, but also left them without a country. After the war the white, anti-Americans continued to behave as if they were not subjects to the United States of America, nor did they recognize African-Americans as equal despite laws that demand it.

One hundred years after the Civil War the anti-Americans were confronted by citizens who would no longer tolerate their lack respect to our Constitution and the rule of law. They continued to defy and disgrace our country and we were once again required to send troops into the South to force their compliance.

Making violent threats is part of anti-Americanism

Making violent threats is part of anti-Americanism

Today they still maintain their defiance against America and our Constitution. They retain loyalty to the defeated Confederate flag, and seek to end American government. For the most part, our country has tolerated the anti-Americans and allowed them to use their right of free speech to disrespect our government and our country. 

But over the last four decades Republicans, defeated by scandals and failed leadership, have sought to lure the vote of anti-Americans by promoting white supremacist ideals. Among the concepts promoted by Republicans have been a hate for minorities, claiming a religious doctrine that enshrines white males as dominant, pushing for absolute gun ownership that puts military weapons in private hands, interpreting the Constitution to use militias as a means to overthrow America, and promoting an ultra-patriotism that ironically claims that people who seek to overthrow America are patriotic. By using these tactics the Republicans have been successful in capturing the loyalty of the anti-Americans and that has kept the party viable. 

Unfortunately, true conservatives have lost control of the Republican party to the anti-Americans. Now, a candidate has to practically pledge allegiance to the Confederate flag to be a viable candidate. Republican candidates must also pledge to bankrupt the government of the United States through no-taxes promises. 

The result has created chaos in the Republican party. Like a shark feeding frenzy, anti-American candidates are leaping into the political arena sensing that this is their moment to be the Jefferson Davis of the 21st century. 

Yet, America is still not ready to be overthrown. The last two Presidential elections have demonstrated that loyal American still have a majority, Now the Republican party is faced with two opposing facts. A true conservative cannot win the nomination as the Republican Presidential candidate, and an anti-American candidate cannot win the election. Republicans have to find a way to thin the frenzy, eliminate the anti-American candidates, and find someone who can appeal to moderate voters, conservatives, and anti-Americans.

Next:  The Trump Card 

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Panama’s Historical Struggle For Self-Determinism

_DSC0805Panamá has been the victim for most of its history. Because it is the narrowest land division between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea (and to the Atlantic Ocean,) Panamá was a strategic gateway for world commerce long before the great canal was built.

Panamá Under Foreign Control
When Spanish Explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa managed to cross from the northern Caribbean/Atlantic coast to the southern Pacific coast in 1513, the fate of Panamá was sealed. The Spanish instantly knew that this was the access to the Pacific side of the Americas and Panamá was the link that would make conquest possible.

Ruins of the Spanish fortifications in Portobelo, Panama

Ruins of the Spanish fortifications in Portobelo, Panamá

Spain’s official rule of the Americas began in 1538, and lasted almost 300 years, but Spain’s hold on Panamá would not go uncontested. Pirates and English backed privateers attempted to raid Spanish held ports in Panamá in hopes of stealing the wealth of cargo passing across the land. Eventually it would be the Spanish-American wars and rebellions across Latin America that would force Spain to retreat back to Europe.

When Panamá gained independence from Spain in 1821, it became a department of Columbia, but the citizens almost immediately sought to be free of all foreign control. Columbia refused to give Panamá independence, and its strategic value to world trade was probably one of the most significant reasons.

A Spanish Import:  The Catholic Church

A Spanish Import: The Catholic Church

New Outsiders
In the late 19th century a new European power was implanting itself on Panamanian soil. France had decided to take action on the Holy Grail of world trade, an ocean channel through Panamá that would end the need for unloading cargo from a ship, transporting goods across a tropical jungle, and reloading the cargo onto another ship. The French effort eventually killed over 20,000 people before the effort was finally abandon.

Soon after the French failed, the United States decided to insert itself into the effort of building a canal system in Panamá. It initially negotiated a deal with Columbia, but the Colombian Senate rejected the treaty/contract. As the citizens of Panamá had recently attempted to gain independence from Columbia in a 1,000 day war, the United States decided to bypass Columbia’s rejection and assist Panamá’s rebellion effort. The understanding was that the United States would be allowed to build, operate, and control the canal if Panamá was successful in gaining independence.

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The Panamá Canal has guided Panamá’s fate for over 100 years

A day after U.S. warships created a blockade to stop Columbia from sending troops into Panamá, it declared independence from Columbia on November 3, 1903. Three days later the treaty to give the United States the right-of-way for the canal and a zone extending five miles to each side of the canal.

Though there was no bloodshed in 1903, between Panamá, the United States, and Columbia, the actions taken by the United States, and its motives for assisting Panamá created diplomatic issues with Columbia. Many citizens of Panamá were also unhappy with the cost of independence. Almost two decades later the United States reached an agreement and monetary settlement with Columbia over the events of 1903, but many Panamanians still felt that the United States occupation was only a slight revision of past foreign domination.

20th Century Political Oddity
Under the terms of the treaty of 1903, Panamá was placed in an odd position. The government of Panamá finally governed over the people of Panamá, but not the Panamá Canal. It received annual royalties from the United States, but in return Panamá could not do anything that might threaten use of the canal. The best jobs in Panamá were related to operation and maintenance of the canal, but the United States instituted a system of institutionalized racism in Panamá by selective employment and a preferential pay structure. United States citizens were offered administrative positions and were paid in gold currency (gold roll.) The Hispanic and African-American Panamanians were hired for worker positions and were paid in silver currency (silver roll.)

Housing for U.S. personnel assigned to the canal is now owned and maintained by Panamá

The Panamá government found itself as the liaison between the United States and the Panamanian people. That role led to cycles of odd leadership styles and often corrupt and/or dictator-like political control of the country. The United States military was an oppressive reminder to all Panamanians of who held the power in their country, and yet. the citizens of Panamá found that the presence of the United States military did not keep their leadership from being corrupt or cruel, and attempts by the U.S. to address the corruption and criminality of the government of Panamá failed to resolve the problems.

By the early 1970’s it was apparent that the United States was exacerbating the internal issues in Panamá and negotiations for transferring the ownership and operation of the Panamá Canal to Panamá began. That resulted in a new treaty signed by President Jimmy Carter. Based on the treaty signed in 1977, the control of the Panamá Canal was to be turned over to the Panamanian government on December 31, 1999. 

_DSC1074 (2)Panamá:  Required to Run Before It Walks
In 500 years of world attention, Panamá never had the opportunity to develop its internal government without interference or influence of a foreign power. During the last fifteen years Panamá has faced the task of trying to restructure and address its internal issues in order to map out a sustainable future for its diverse population.

The occupational governments of the Spanish, French, Columbia, and the United States, rarely offered a positive model of good government for Panamá as each foreign power had an agenda for the country that had little, if anything, to do with improving the standard of living for the citizens.

Panamá’s future rests largely on the ability of government to create an ethical environment that protects citizens and limits the potential for corruption. A significant aspect of that environment will be infrastructure that provides access to all people to opportunities currently reserved for the wealthy and powerful.

A Panamanian girl in traditional dress

A Panamanian girl in traditional dress

Education:  The Foundation of Panamá’s Future
Education will play an important role for the future of Panamanian citizens. Basic skills, (mathematics, reading, science, history, etc.,) and more advanced subjects, (multiple languages, music, art, speech, etc.) will create citizens who are better prepared for job opportunities of the 21st century. In addition, education provides a path to overcome corruption. Ethical behavior is a learned function that requires the ability to see a bigger picture of society. Uneducated people tend to gravitate to a, “what’s-in-it-for-me,” mindset that sacrifices the future for a short-term gain.

Simon Bolivar, a key figure in forcing Spain to give up the Americas

Simón Bolivar, a key figure in forcing Spain to give up the Americas

Epilogue For A Country Reborn
Panamá has never been given a chance to develop its own identity. It has three dates that could be called “Independence Days.” Independence from Spain on November 28, 1821; independence from Columbia on November 3, 1903, and independence from United States control of the canal on December 31, 1999. The irony is that while Panamá celebrates the two former days of ‘independence,” it is really the latter date that gave the country true independence of foreign meddling.

For the first time in 500 years Panamá has the opportunity to make choices about its destiny. This freedom comes with a bigger challenge. The leadership of Panamá must establish a new long-term vision for the country that will involve significant projects and programs to develop the infrastructure that the country must have to succeed. Yet, the people of Panamá will justifiably be suspicious their government based upon a long history of great plans and promises that were lies of corrupt officials who pocketed money and didn’t deliver. Winning back the trust of the citizens will be the first task of an independent Panamá.

The Panamá Canal will play a significant role in an independent Panamá. World economics affect world trade, and world trade affects the Panamá canal; however, the country has the opportunity to re-position itself as more than just a conduit of trade. If Panamá can minimize corruption, improve transportation infrastructure, and increase the education level of its citizens, it will have an environment that will continue to grow Panamá’s role as a center of commerce and industry as well as a ocean-to-ocean conduit for cargo passing through the country.

Panamá no longer is a victim of foreign interference. Panamá now has the opportunity, and the burden, of determining its own future.

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Bashing “Respect For Others” By Calling It “Politically Correctness”

2014 May (17)I grew up in a small town. Mrs. Wick was the cranky old lady that lived next door. Mr. Valdez lived down the street and was a law enforcement officer.

It would have been easy to make fun of Mrs. Wick, but my mother would not allow us to do that, and in fact, we were taught to offer to help her whenever she needed it.

It would have been easy to disrespect Mr. Valdez in our small, almost-all-white town because he was Hispanic, but I would have never thought to do that, and his son was one of my best friends in elementary school.

Basic respect for the people in our town was how I was raised. It wasn’t being ‘politically correct,’ because it was part of being a decent person. Sure there were times when people failed to be decent, but the rodeo was only in town once a year and city people who pretend to be cowboys are idiots.

Today, our neighborhood is much larger. A Facebook post reaches around the world. Our community is no longer bound by city limits, county or state lines, nor national boundaries. What we say and do is part of a recorded history that will exist for hundreds, or possibly thousands of years.

It is not easy to be respectful of other people, but it is required. There should never be a question of whether or not to fly a confederate flag. It is always wrong to wave a symbol of traitors and racists in the face of our brothers and sisters around the world.

It is never appropriate to malign a group of honorable people who often risk their lives to have a better life in the United States by characterizing them as drug dealers and rapists. We have a responsibility to speak and act with respect to others. It is not a matter of being ‘political correct,’ it is a matter of personal honor and decency. That value has been the foundation of the strength of our country. It is why, when America faces a real threat, we drop everything and respond as one.

It is why Hitler failed, and Putin hates us. The test of a true American is the ability to respect others who are different in race, gender, religion, who they love, and where they are from.

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Gay Marriage Legitimizes Marriage

gay_marriage_81102178Today’s Supreme Court ruling acknowledges that the United States of America is legitimizing marriage, and it is about time.

Historically, marriage was created to establish a legal bond or contract of property ownership. Sometimes the property was just the woman, but typically marriage included the transfer of land, animals, money, or other material items. A woman was not a party in the contract, but the subject of the contract, meaning she was irrelevant in taking part of the terms of the contract.  The woman’s opinion or love was not needed, nor wanted in most marriages.

As a society we have moved away from the marriage-as-a-contract concept; however, even today we still have men and women in the United States who cling to the misogynistic idea that a woman is property to serve and bear a man children. These men and their Stepford spouses cite the historical aspect of marriage as the justification for demeaning a human being (or allowing themselves to be demeaned.) 

Gay marriage has only one purpose, the expression of love between two people. There is no property exchange and no issue of who is the master and who is subservient, (unless both parties agree to a 50 Shades of Gay-type relationship.) You can’t attach outdated expectations of a gender-based owner/property understanding to a marriage between two people who are of the same gender.

Perhaps now heterosexuals shed the mantle of the woman as property and confirm marriage a legitimate expression of love.

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Science Versus Stupidity

climatecartoon2

Earth: Victim of Stupidity

“Science doesn’t have all the answers.”

It’s hard to know where to start when someone makes a statement like the one above. ‘Science’ isn’t an entity, so it can’t possess anything, but beyond the poor grammar is the issue of motivation and failed logic.

When a person makes this statement their motivation is often in defense of religion. The idea seems to be that if science doesn’t have all the answers, then religious and mythological beliefs are valid. Using this logic one could say that because nitrogen doesn’t make up all of the Earth’s atmosphere, (air is 78% nitrogen,) then the air we breathe is all fairy dust.

No intelligent person would say that science has all the answers. We are just scratching the surface of understanding the mechanisms by which our universe operates. Even after science has shown us how one system works, scientists may discover that there are other factors that affect that system. We are on a path of discovery and we have a long way to travel.

However, there are no shortcuts. Just because science hasn’t fully explained everything doesn’t give anyone license to invent an explanation that is based on opinion or agenda. This includes explanations that were created over a thousand years ago by people who didn’t even understand that urination and defecation are the end process of digestion.

All science begins with asking a question. Why? How? What? In the process of answering those questions, the scientific process rules some things out. By narrowing down what isn’t a cause or a factor the scientist begins to clarify the important causes or factors. Religion ignores this process and immediately jumps to an answer that lacks any support other than, “Because I say so!”

I have no problem with anyone’s mythological beliefs…until the believer wants the rest of society to abide by those beliefs. Public policies, laws, education and regulations that exist or are governed by someone’s mythological beliefs is pure stupidity, even if a majority believe in the mythology.

Those that don’t ‘believe’ in evolution, global warming, vaccinations, or any other scientifically based fact are stupid. I’m not calling anyone names, I’m saying they lack intelligence and logical thinking. They are incapable of making good decisions. They are, by definition, stupid.

Believe in God? Fine. But, giving credibility to religious beliefs over scientific fact defines one as being stupid. Making religious beliefs part of societal laws is mass stupidity.

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The Day the World Will Stop: Changing of the English Throne

Queen_Elizabeth_II_March_2015

Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II

In 114 days (as of May 9, 2015,) Queen Elizabeth II’s legend will take one step further into history. On September 9th of this year she will become the longest-serving royal (63 years, 217 days) to ever grace the English throne. If you are younger than 65 years old you will not have known anyone other than Queen Elizabeth as the leader of England.

It is said she will not abdicate her throne, but will reign until her death. That is the expected choice, but possibly not the wisest.

It is likely her Majesty does not understand the impact her death will have on the world. Humans cling to the idea that some things do not change, and there are few people in the civilized world who don’t have a mental and/or emotional attachment to her and her place in our world. She is the constant that we all rely on to know that some things do not change.

Royal_Coat_of_Arms_of_the_United_Kingdom.svg

The Queen’s Royal Coat of Arms (UK)

During her reign as Queen we have had twelve Presidents in the United States (Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush (41,) Clinton, Bush (43,) and Obama.) We have seen movie stars, rock stars, athletes all come and go, but Queen Elizabeth has always been there.

In a world of instant communication, her death will affect more people than anyone in the history of the world. People will remember where they were and what they were doing the moment the news is announced. If her death coincides with a change in royal leadership, it will magnify the impact on the world.

Queen Elizabeth 1953

Queen Elizabeth II in 1953

The event of her death and the passing of the English crown will be seen by some as the perfect opportunity to take advantage of an emotional situation. The majority of the world will pull closer together in grief, but those who seek radical changes in politics, government, the economy, or just seek to hurt the Western world, will use the chaotic feelings of the loss as a way of creating more chaos.

The royal family will be dealing with the loss, and the matters of royal duty at the same time. The coronation of the new King may not happen for a year or more; however, the details of transitioning power from Her Majesty to the His Majesty will involve changes in staff, new protocols, and a thousand other items that have not been done for over six decades. All this will happen at a time when few will be able to focus on anything beyond the loss of woman and icon that has been an unflickering beacon of the Western World.

However, if she reached this milestone in four months and then decided to abdicate sometime in the next year, a calm, undramatic transition would preserve the stability of the royal role the hearts and minds of the world. As the former queen with over sixty years of experience, she would become the most valuable and trusted counsel for the new King.

Her eventual passing will still devastate the emotional state of the world, but with a new King already on the throne, the world will know that England’s royal, non-political leadership will live on.

God Save the Queen.

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