26 September 2023

Call them out with their leader's own words!

Democrats need to call out Republicans on every level as to whether they support the dangerous fascist who is the de facto leader of their party. This article is a good place to start: 27 things Il Trumpo has said he will try to do if, all that is good in the universe forfend, he is ever elected president again. 

22 September 2023

Dogs honored in Edinburgh

Traveling in UK for a short vacation, and visited this touching curiosity in Edinburgh Castle. It's a (mostly) military canine cemetery. Dogs who served their nation well were sometimes buried with full military honors. 

12 September 2023

Biden Impeachment Travesty

In the two Trump impeachments, the Nixon near-impeachment, and even the Clinton impeachment, there was actual, verifiable evidence of an actual crime, committed by the accused while in office. I think in the case of Clinton the refusal of the Senate to convict was the right decision. Not so in Trump's two indictments. He was guilty as hell in both cases of serious corruption, fraud and actions inimical to constitutional democracy, and should have been convicted, removed from office, and disabled from ever running again. 

In pure retaliation, with no evidence whatsoever of any crime or serious misconduct either before or during his current term of office, the Right Wing-dominated House is poised to launch an inquiry likely to result in the presentation of Articles of Impeachment against Biden, on so-far unspecified charges. This is a sham and makes a mockery of the Constitution and its plain meaning. Despite months and months of "Congressional investigation," zero credible evidence of significant wrongdoing on Biden's part has emerged. Zero. The Republicans behind this kangaroo court are not patriots; they harm our country by almost everything they do. And this, in particular, is a travesty. I hope they at least nominally redeem themselves by failing to pass any trumped-up (pun intended) Articles. There are at least some hints that a few more Republicans in the House than the very narrow majority margin may end up refusing to support an impeachment that just isn't based on any meaningful evidence of any wrongdoing. (It's a foregone conclusion that the Senate will never convict, but that's another story). 

10 September 2023

Huge Contrast

What a contrast between the pronouncements of the whiny, self-absorbed-beyond-all-reason criminal who is our most recent former president, and what President Biden just said in New Delhi. 

"One Earth, One Family, One Future," Biden told a meeting of the [just announced] Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGI). He called for "building sustainable, resilient infrastructure; making quality infrastructure investments; and creating a better future [that] represents greater opportunity, dignity, and prosperity for everyone."

And, still, something like 30% or more of America's voting population wants to give the former guy the nuclear codes. Again.

Vietnam, America's new "Critical Partner" in the Indo-Pacific

As very much a child of the Vietnam War era, I cannot help but muse over the "critical partner" move on the part of both the current Vietnamese government and the US to "counter" Chinese hegemony in the region. (China being Vietnam's historical enemy No. 1). President Biden went to Hanoi, the first American president to do so. 

What I'm reminded of is how Ho Chi Minh famously admired George Washington and the American Revolution, and fully expected (naively, as it turned out) for post WWII America to support his Anti-Colonial insurgency. 1950s and 60s America, in a very real sense, drove the Vietnamese into alliance with the Soviets and onto the other side of the Cold War, by, in effect, inheriting the colonialist mantle from the French. So convinced we were of the all-encompassing danger of Communism, when what the Vietnamese insurgency was all about, first and foremost, was nationalism... the desire of the Vietnamese people for self-determination after centuries of first Chinese then French domination. We see this now, with the Vietnamese regime, the direct peaceful successor to the North Vietnamese regime then, being most plausibly seen as a moderately authoritarian neoCapitalist government, which seems quite happy to align with India and the US with the IndoPacific "counterbalance" to China. 

None of this is sweetness and light all around, and no doubt there is an abundance of hypocrisy and double dealing involved in all quarters (as is pretty much always the case in international power politics). Still, it's hard not to think the US could fairly readily have handled affairs so that a long, debilitating and very deadly war in Indochina could have been avoided, and we would've been where we are now with Vietnam a long, long time ago. I suppose that would have required historically improbable vision, although there were plenty of people in the US as early as the late 1950s who didn't buy the concept of the "Domino" theory, or see Vietnam as any kind of threat to the US or its long term interests. And now? Lessons learned, one hopes, but perhaps doesn't quite believe. 

03 September 2023

The seeming improbability of a Trump

In any past relatively normal period of American politics, say, at any time between 1876 and 2015, the mere fact that a colorable argument for disqualification to run for the presidency under Pt. 3 of the 14th amendment could be made would make a politician's candidacy for the nomination of a major political party completely nonviable. Add to that said politician had been indicted for 91 counts of serious crimes (and counting) and would likely be tied up in trials and other legal proceedings for much of the campaign, and the very idea that such a person should be a party's nominee, still less that they might have any chance at all of actually winning the presidency, would seem utterly preposterous. 

But this is the time we are living in, and this is what is happening.