EHT BIZARRO World of Trump in America (& a bit on China & Russia too)

Heads up, this is not short… TL;DR   and is meant to be read in chunks (for those wish to read some throttled and seriously restrained comments on the, alleged, deranged and imbecilic president of America)…

(Yes, the title – ‘THE‘ is reversed…)

Part I  A Strange America

So. What is happening to America and to democracy around the world? What happened to leadership that is democratic (not talking about the democratic party here)?  What happened to civility between individuals of American? What happened to respect and equality?

It should be pretty darn clear there is one clearly obvious nexus point for a great deal of this. All you need to do is look at who is sitting, undeservedly, in the White House… And many of us can guarantee that if the Electoral College had to do it again, they would not vote this person into the White House again (especially when the American people decidedly voted for someone else other than Trump – I believe it was Hillary Clinton, right…).

 

We live in Bizarro land. Yes, that is correct, we live in a world where the opposite of everything is taking place. If you have been choking on your own bile, every morning, ever since the 2016 Presidential election, there is a good reason for it – the ‘MOST’ wrong person is sitting in the White House.

As a result of who is sitting in the White House, here is a short list of what has been making you choke and gag, every day (likely all day):

  • Illegal insider trading taking place on the White House grounds (corruption, right?) – and no concern from the president…
  • We have an American ambassador Pete Hoekstra (Trump’s choice), to the Netherlands disputing his own words (this bullet is about a lack of integrity and honor). Hoekstra had stated in a 2015 conference on terrorism hosted by the right-wing David Horowitz Freedom Center – “The Islamic movement has now gotten to a point where they have put Europe into chaos. Chaos in the Netherlands, there are cars being burnt, there are politicians that are being burnt … and yes there are no-go zones in the Netherlands.” But in a later interview (Dec 2017) with the Dutch current affairs programme Nieuwsuur, Hoekstra stated that content was fake news – even though Nieuwsuur happily rolled the clip from the 2015 interview on air for Hoekstra. And no concern from the president as to how this looks for America, its people and its leaders…
  • Firing of Inspector Generals for no valid reason, other than they were doing their jobs to stop/prevent illegalities, fraud and other behind the scenes shenanigans – it seems, allegedly, this president has no regard for law and order and the watchdogs looking to remove current and potential corruption and illegalities…
  • Members of Congress and the Senate who, before this current president was voted in by the Electoral College, called the president to be by various monikers and endlessly mocked the large bodied and clownish person. But ever since this person got into the White House, these same Congressmen and Senators are kowtowing to this president, licking his boots (not literally BUT BLOODY WELL CLOSE) and allowing corruption of the law to take place (such as the emoluments clause where many believe this president is guilty of)
  • This current inhabitant of the White House relentlessly lambasted Obama for going golfing but look at what is taking place. This occupant of 1600 is going golfing at something like 22% of his time in office (he has reportedly been on the grounds of his golf courses or played golf elsewhere 266 times since becoming President, and that’s as of May 24, 2020), at tax payer expense and at his own country clubs (NOTE: there was no legal divestiture for his business investments/control) – remember how he famously stated in 2016 “I’m not going to have time to go play golf.”
  • Installing a new State Department secretary gutting the State Dept of most of the seasoned, experience, knowledgeable and respected bureaucrats – then not filling many of those positions. Do you remember that individual, that new secretary was Rex Tillerson… the oil CEO? Tillerson’s focus was not on diplomacy…
  • The current White House occupant plays down, disregards or ignores calamities that have struck America – remember him throwing toilet paper to people who needed it (in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria) and he believed it to be some sort of game.
  • What about ensconcing his unqualified children into very senior White House roles – what did they bring to the White House – or rather, what have they achieved that is worthy of talking about (no, not getting licenses in China to sell products) – many labeled these moves as nepotism but were unable to gain any traction on the violation of nepotism laws (we will need a future unbiased federal court to rule on this but that will be a long time out)
  • Can we talk about the 2018 elimination of the NSC directorate for global health and security and bio-defense that would have handled the CoViD-19 problem in 2020 with speed and efficiency (it was eliminated, allegedly, because it was an Obama creation)
  • Sheesh, this could continue on for page after page but you get the idea – we really hope so.

 

We, America, have someone who is supposed to be a world leader, sitting in the White House. Yet, instead of being that leader this individual has instead usurped: leadership, decency, democracy, a global role model status for anyone who wants to grow and be respected and become a leader themselves. (Note: the United States is not used in this paper because we are not a united country – we are more divided than ever before.)

We have people who want to flaunt the old 2nd Amendment, the right to bear arms. The 2nd amendment was completely relevant for the militia at the time when the British were prevented from taking over the American colonies in the 1700’s.

Yet today, we have many contemporary individuals today who have gun stashes of upwards of 20, 30 and 50 different weapons (with thousands of rounds) and these folks are not weapons’ collectors. As a former Marine, I actually like weapons as well but I have no need to collect weapons for fear of an invasion. Although, in case our government ever turns dictatorial, arms collection here will become a different endeavor…

But. Who is going to invade America?

  • Has Russian been building up a secret army just off the coast of our country, but are so well camouflaged that we cannot locate or detect them?
  • Maybe it is the Chinese with their Communistic world view?
  • Or even worse, is it the poor hungry desperate immigrants without legal documentation invading America with their unseen deadly weapons?

Today, in 2020, we have a military, along with the National Guard. Neither of these entities were present back in the days of yore.

Do not get me wrong, as a former Marine, if this region I live in allowed weapons, I would buy a few as well – just not 20 – 50 of them or go storming some local state capital flaunting the weapons…

 

Part II             Logic, Strategy and Diplomacy

If decent, logical, serious individuals “STILL” have to continue to convince the American public of the wrong doings or ill-conceived ideas and just bad thought processes of the current president and it is not sinking in – something is wrong with a large percentage of Americans.

We have a president who is, allegedly, illiterate, indecent, corrupt, discriminatory (okay – racist) and who’s IQ, also allegedly, is not in a very decent range of intelligence. Besides lacking leadership skills, this individual also severely lacks any real degree of communication and diplomacy skill sets. If he did, America would not be seen in the light it is across the globe.

This individual cannot string together a sentence that makes any sense.  Well, hang on a moment. It may make sense if ‘you’ went to the same high school and college with this person and ‘you’ had the same classes with this person. We have no idea how well this individual did in school at any point.

So, you did not do so great in high school or college or grad school (wait, this person did not go beyond undergrad status) – so what? Grades reflect what one learns up to that point, with or without good teachers or a good educational system. What matters is if you continue to grow and do better after not doing so well at any level. What matters is if you continue to be better in your life.

Forbes magazine put out a story, as well as others, in Feb 28, 2019 where:

  • Michael Cohen testified to Congress that, under directions from Trump, he sent letters to Trump’s high schools, colleges and the College Board (creator of the SAT),threatening them with legal action and jail time if they ever released Trump’s academic records. Cohen provided a record of one such letter sent to the president of Fordham University, which Trump attended for two years before transferring to complete his undergraduate degree at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Trump’s high school has confirmed receiving an identical letter, while the University of Pennsylvania and the College Board declined to comment.

What is wrong is wrong…  That is not hard to see or to fathom.  If someone who is supposed to be a role model states: “Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.” – that is not someone you are supposed to look up to or follow.  That is, unless you yourself are amongst the callous, gross, indecent minded imbecilic Cretin of the gutters. There is supposed to be something called, respect for others, no matter who they are. Wait a moment – there’s more. There is also:

  • decency,
  • equality,
  • honesty,
  • compassion,
  • empathy,
  • integrity,
  • ethics and
  • non-discrimination and
  • diversity

Where has all of the above disappeared to from this current administration. It is as if the mass majority of individuals the current president selects and installs into a senior office turns out to be a dishonest, greedy, corrupt individual.

  • Who in their right mind, in the top role position of the EPA builds a SCIF (a secure office) in their own office, when there is already an existing one, one floor away? Or has him/her chauffeured around in an armored vehicle when the position does not rate such a vehicle. Scott Pruitt wanted a ‘secure’ ‘sound-proof’ phone booth… That position does not require that kind of security.
  • What about taking private jet rides around the country, at tax payer expense…
  • What about going shopping on a federal jet, at tax payer expense (this was, allegedly, Mnuchin and his wife back in 2017 – recall Louise Linton’s extravagant and glorious exit and pose from the plane with the bags of purchased goods).
  • There is so much more that could go here as well and if you did not live and breathe solely in a filter bubble, then you will know that there is more. But if you isolated yourself to a safe zone of like-minded individuals, none of whom dared to grow and venture forth to look at other possibilities, at other avenues – then it is likely you only know one silo or one tunnel vision cone of information. What you believe may be completely wrong. But due to being in that filter bubble, it is difficult to convince you to expand and do better.

 

Part III           The World

What happened to America’s global role of leadership and statesmanship? Again, a certain specific individual is what happened. America has become a laughing stock of and to the world. Our allies are alienated because of this individual. Our leadership on the world stage has eroded horridly to lower levels. It is only through the guts and leadership of certain state governors and mayors and some business leaders and numerous American citizens doing all they can to keep our head and chin up in the world.

As we can see, there are numerous leaders in other countries who want to emulate Trump and the fake news hoopla. And they have been as well as gaining incredible autocratic and dictatorial powers where the citizens of those countries (Philippines, China, Russia, Hungary, Brazil, etc.) are simply screwed and cannot seem to get out of the rut they find themselves in because those leaders have the military to back up any areas that the dictators/autocrats desire.

 

Look at China

There is no freedom of speech, no freedom of choice there. China forcibly removes freedom at every avenue it can, in order to “preserve the safety of people within its borders and preventing threats to a stable society” in their country from other sources.  This is a complete sham and the Chinese citizens are not all aware of it – because of the Chinese leadership’s control of all media and avenues of travel.

You also have to take into consideration that the Chinese leader made himself, ahh, sorry, the Chinese National People’s Congress voted that there be no term limits on the current leader of China. How nice is that – Dictator for Life, sorry – what was meant was, President for life of a country with 1.3+ billion people. This outcome was determined as follows: Two delegates voted against the change and three abstained, out of 2,964 votes. Nice, eh…? Almost a clean sweep.

Remember the Hong Kong citizenry acting to retain its freedom in late 2019 and the Houston Rockets manager Daryl Morey tweeted an image that read “Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.” (By the by – EVERYONE should stand with Hong Kong as they lose their right to total freedom; loss of a free press, free speech, free movement, facial recognition surveillance {even more than what we have in America} and become a more communistic country – for those that choose to stay in Hong Kong – many will find some way out of that island country over the next several years – an exodus.) Before he deleted due to comments and stress from various avenues of contention. But – NBA Commissioner Adam Silver finally came around and supports Morey’s right to free speech. Of course, in return, China was appalled and had the gall to come back with:

  • The Chinese-run television network said it was “strongly dissatisfied” with Silver’s remarks.
  • “We oppose Silver’s claim to support Morey’s right of free expression. We believe that any speech that challenges national sovereignty and social stability is not within the scope of freedom of speech,” CCTV said in its statement in Chinese, which was translated by CNBC.

In reality, how in the heck can China, a Communistic society (but they really want to be Capitalistic, don’t they…) DARE to say that free expression that challenges ‘anything’ is not within the scope of freedom of speech???!!!!  Not when the Chinese government does not allow its own citizenry to any of it. China controls the media. China controls the countries internet access and continues to tweak their ‘Chinese Firewall’ in order to censor everything that travels over the air or via cables.

  • People are not allowed to talk about leaders in a bad light, as other countries do.
  • Any word that the Chinese government deems to worthy of censorship is blocked from the internet and not allowed on any media. Here is a fairly good article on “68 Things You Cannot Say on China’s Internethttps://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/24/world/asia/china-internet-censorship.html or this other article “In China, you can’t say these wordshttps://share.america.gov/in-china-you-cant-say-these-words/
  • Take the Uighur (or Uyghur) situation in the XinJiang region. The Chinese government deems them to be dangerous and has razed many of the Uighur towns to the ground and put the people who once lived there, into camps (imagine something, kind of like a concentration camp – just not as horrific). Yet the Chinese calls them re-education camps where the Uighurs are required to shave their beards, removing that identity aspect. All movement is controlled by surveillance cameras (everywhere in Uighur inhabited areas, not just the camps) and identities. Uighurs are not even allowed to have certain tools because they could be construed as weapons. The Chinese have even gone so far as to engrave certain cutting tools with the owner’s identities on the tool AND then are required to check it out and return it like a library book (complete control of those tools) – controlled by the police.
  • People of China face public shaming for spitting in the streets (it can be caught on camera and put up on a large billboard – live video) – but wait, it does not end there. The citizens can be assessed points in the Chinese “Social Point System”, which started in 2014. It is about regulating individual and group behavior for activities such as: bad driving, smoking in non-smoking areas, not paying bills on time, spending too much on video games. Now, if you acquire too many points, you can be: banned from flying or catching a train; banned from luxury options (like 1st class seats); throttling internet speeds; being banned from the best schools (including your children). Think about that kind of restriction in the western world.
  • China wants to own the SCS (South China Seas) instead of sharing, stating that territorial waters belongs to China and not shared amongst, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, South Korea, and says, basically that
    • there is no ‘freedom of navigation’ in that area to foreign military/navies
    • and going as far as building man-made islands and militarizing them to support the Chinese claim, even though the Hague is on the side of the Philippines as to the waterways is not owned by China

So, for a leader of one country to put their Big Brother restrictions on citizens of another country and expect other nations to kowtow “their own” draconian methods of “lack of freedom of speech” or “lack of freedom of action” – what does that does mean, hmmm…? 

How can the leader of a country with all these restrictions say they have a stable society when the society is controlled by the government and military?

The people:

  • do not have any true freedom
  • cannot congregate
  • cannot vote bad leaders out either (so it seems)

What do you believe, does China have a ‘stable society’ or that free speech threatens another country’s national sovereignty?

            Chinese citizens will never see this paper within the borders of China because of the content of this paper.

 

Russian president – Putin. What can you make of this other president for life? He basically owns Russia and the people are somewhat locked into a state of hopelessness and are unable to do anything. It is somewhat hard to figure out how the people just do not create a national up-rising force Putin out, so we will not see that happen.

But how does a country’s President become a billionaire? It has been reported by several sources, one of which is the CIA that Putin has anywhere from $70 – $200 billion stashed away – yes, BILLION. Reportedly, he is at the $22 Billion mark. How does that happen, legally?

And do not get your hopes up to run against Putin because competition against him appear to have bad josh, bad luck. They die. They get poisoned. They gain criminal charges and if you have criminal charges in Russia, you cannot run for top offices, so they say. And let’s not forget the military and the underworld henchmen who just might, out of their love for Putin (yeah, right) take out the competition and it then becomes complete deniability for Putin and his party.

 

There is just so much more to be said about Putin, Xi, Maduro (Venezuela), János Áder (Hungary), Duterte (Philippines) and even more about Trump.

But where do we go from here? How do we do it? Well, education is one of the first steps – educating everyone and allowing everyone to vote is a second step. Ensuring EQUALITY is flat out the foundation and cornerstone of EVERYTHING from henceforth!  We all have to do better, not just in America but around the globe.

At the same time, we have to prevent other countries from interfering our countries elections. We have to prevent fake news from gaining ground (yes, the real fake news where there is no basis in reality and notalternate facts’ as Kellyanne Conway stated it), while at the same time barring harmful and dangerous conspiracy individuals/groups.

 

All we can do is – TRY.

Be better than others and lift them up in turn. Stop stepping on the backs of others just so you can put your face in the spotlight. Just do the right thing. Most of all, it takes courage – courage to stand up and be counted and help make everyone accountable. Take U, she is a child and look at what she has accomplished and it was not out of wanting to be in the spotlight, it was due to making people aware that the world has to change regarding climate change.

But, individuals like the one in the White House, he has no courage whatsoever. He does not stand up for inequality. He does not stand up with empathy for those going through disastrous changes in their lives. He for sure does not have the courage to stand up and face America’s lack of true justice.

The American president does even have the backbone and courage to stand up and fight, internationally and collaboratively on CoViD-19 instead of finger-pointing. What individual in their right mind cuts out the World Health Organization and throttles the CDC…?

And not least, where is the courage to stand up against Police injustice in America, specifically against Brown, Yellow and Black people of this country…

But he does have an affinity, allegedly, for reneging on promises, greed and alleged corruption (*Ask the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York back back in 1979-1980 about Trump’s promise to give them the Bonwit Teller’s sculpture.)

We have to ensure respect, diversity, non-discrimination and equality are the bedrock of this country – maybe then we will actually be a United States.

 

*Bonwit Teller and the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Bonwit Teller closed its flagship store in 1979 and sold the property for $15 million to a Long Island real estate developer. Despite his plans to demolish the old Bonwit Teller building, the buyer promised to preserve the Deco grillwork and bas reliefs at the request of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The buyer was none other than Donald Trump. In 1980, Trump demolished Warren & Westmore’s elegant Art Deco emporium to make way for his $100 million Trump Tower. In what became a sadly typical turn of events, Trump cut corners everywhere he could and bullied those who stood in his way. To pour the foundations, Trump enlisted S&A Concrete, a known mob front for Paul Castellano and “Fat Tony” Salerno. He paid 200 illegal Polish immigrants as little as $4 an hour to work 12-hour days, 7 days a week. The so-called “Polish Brigade” worked without benefits, hard hats, and sometimes even homes – during the 1980 transit strike, many were forced to sleep at the construction site. Then there were the lawsuits. He sued the city for a tax abatement on the property. He sued one contractor for “total incompetence” and threatened to sue a labor lawyer for $100 million.

The reasoning:

John Baron, a spokesman for the Trump Organization—who, the New York Daily News discovered, turned out to be Donald Trump himself in disguisetold the Times that “the merit of these stones was not great enough to justify the effort to save them.” He said it would have cost $32,000 to remove the sculptures and cited appraisals by three independent appraisers that found them to be “without artistic merit” and worth less than $9,000. Their removal, he said, would also have delayed demolition work by at least a week and a half. (Trump, as himself, later estimated the cost of preserving the panels at $500,000.)

 

America & Allies Are Screwed = Trump

Well America, Allies and Friends, welcome to our current global state of affairs – “We are all screwed!”

However – If you are a follower of the “Fake News” phenomenon, it is best you stop here and go elsewhere…

 

As many Americans already knew, Trump was not the person who should have won the White House nor should he continue to be the person sitting in the White house. It is still not 100% clear why so many of Trump’s base continue to support him.  But it does appear that more people now recognize that they should not have supported him, after they have suffered economically under the stewardship of this current president.

Is this Trump support borne out of ignorance, lack of intelligence, poor ethics, bad integrity, willingness to suppress other people just so they could be (or appear) superior….?  Some combination of those items?  All of those choices?

Why is it that with all of the content out there in the public spaces that so many people who “should” know better, do not know better…?  We have people like McConnell in the senate refusing to do the right thing, which is, removing the clear and present danger of a leader who wants to undertake illegal activities to ensure his own power. Then we have people like Giuliani who was kind of a hero when 9/11 happened – but look at him now, he ‘appears’ to be broken in so many ways and ethics seem to no longer matter to him.

If you, the reader, need to have a fact checking session here, it means you are not up to date with what is going on over the past several years or refuse to face reality with what is going on. Nothing so onerous as a bad leader (leader is purported in this case) can be ignored by a leader who constantly:

  • lies on every topic,
  • chooses to favor political friends instead of what is better and the right thing to do for the majority of people,
  • chooses to favor authoritarian and dictatorial leaders of other countries (China, Russia, Philippines, Turkey, N. Korea – enough?) over leaders of democratic and progressive countries and the people of countries who are or trying to be democratic and progressive,
  • makes outlandish claims to secure favor with many (talking about Trump’s base here) who are not thinking (or refuses to think) clearly or logically or unselfishly – and never follows through with those claims (think factories, think coal plants),
  • uses foul language in public discourse,
  • (we will not discuss nepotism here, okay?),
  • tears down decades old trust between global allies,
  • due to lack of action (or refusing to recognize it) on his part against hate crime, white supremacists and racism – allowing the hate to grow and fester and grow further,
  • allows illegal activities to take place under their purview without saying a word or lifting a finger (well, okay Trump did say, “Oh this or that person did do a bad thing – I feel sorry for them and wish them well”) to put a stop to it and setting precedents for the next person who wants to attempt doing illegal activities

How does one gain or hold trust with a leader who has all of these characteristics?

How does one begin to trust a leader once someone becomes aware of those characteristics?

How does anyone want to follow a leader who should be a role model when that leader (Trump) is seen on international television shoving the Montenegro Prime Minister out of the way so he could be at the front of the crowd?

So, in going back to “being screwed”. With this current American president in place, we now have decades of global growth set back on its heels. And we appear to have opened the gates further for foreign governments doing heinous activities in multiple regions, setting the groundwork for ‘more’ nationalism and more dictatorial growth to happen.

Look at Russia’s continued attempted growth, such as setting up bases in the Arctic Circle and repression of choice and political parties (where opponents are arrested or killed). Look at China creating man-made islands in the South China Sea in order to grow their hegemony and sphere of influence and the disappearing act of Uighur villages/towns. Look at N. Koreas’ continued missile development and testing near Japan.

But what is America doing while all of this is going on? Not a bloody thing!!!!

This American president wants Turkey to be a favored friend because of Trump property in Turkey while Turkey invades Syria. Is genocide under way now in Syria – you tell us…

Trump wants Putin to best buds while Russia continues to make inroads in Ukraine and continues to with a death grip on oil into Ukraine and Europe.

Trump wants to be BFF with Mohammed bin Salman for buying weapons (and whatever else is going on between them), while bin Salman has this perpetual cloud hanging over him with the death of Jamal Khashoggi’s murder.

 

We could go on and on belaboring the following regarding Trump’s ‘lack of’:

  • mental fitness,
  • global awareness,
  • strategic thinking capabilities,
  • fiscal policy making,
  • political acumen (unless it illegal then he gets an A+),
  • logical thinking capabilities,
  • empathy (such as with Heather Heyer, poverty in America, discrimination that is ongoing every day, genocide of Uighurs in Western China, genocide that is appearing to take place in Syria, inequality, well, the list can keep going),
  • equality (alleged racist views),
  • etc.,
  • etc., etc…..

this list is endless but we have already lost a lot of readers already by this point.

The bottom line is, the American President (yes, a capital ‘P’ is used here because it is NOT talking about Trump) is SUPPOSED to be a global role model, someone that anyone and everyone is willing to follow and WANTS to follow. How does anyone in their right mind want to follow a person who talks about and revels in “grabbing a woman by the _ _ _ _ Y”!!!???? NO-ONE-SHOULD-BE-FOLLOWING-THAT-KIND-OF-PERSON at any time for any sane or moral reason. And all women (and most men) should have been appalled by that alone and put the person who said it on the trash heap without a second thought.

The only kind of person that follows a ‘leader’ like that is if that person already has a decrepit sense of self, with poor moral compasses and where lying, self-aggrandizement, selfishness and corruption are already the person’s bed rock foundation. To top that off, the person who is following that kind of leader may be highly educated as well, who should know better – yet they continue to follow that kind of leader out of a poor sense of direction, by becoming lost somewhere along the lines of their lives.

Because of this current president, in the past few years, how much time and money have we as a country spent trying to prove illegalities and uncover cover ups?

 

America, Allies and Friends – WE ARE SCREWED allowing leaders like Trump to remain in place. We are doomed to going backwards, reversing DECADES of hard-fought victories against racism and sexism and equality and growth.

We are screwed in lost opportunities of building better and even stronger alliances with partners around the world. Yet MONEY is becoming the driving force with leaders in position who care less about their people and more with lining their own pockets with GOLD.  Look at Erdogan, Putin and Xi – how does a country’s leader become that insanely rich in any legal and logical fashion?

We are screwed in lifting up people from the bottom rungs of society and helping to make them better and crucial members of society but we cannot seem to make health care an affordable staple of their lives – OH, WAIT. We “DID” have that but certain members of our government parties (national to state level) want to continue to whittle away at it until it too is gone.

 

So, how much longer are people of America going to continue to side with people that only want to have power for themselves and their ‘buds’ while the majority of America continues to suffer with, well, everything…?

This is where you, fellow Americans have to raise your eyes in looking to the future and your voice to bring everyone along for the growth we should have already continued with after 2016.

Now is the time to put a stop to all of the illegal nonsense taking place in America’s government, bring back America’s allies, block and stop the growth of dictators and authoritarian leaders and invest in America’s future (infrastructure, education, the poor, the sickly, the folks of America’s mid-west who feel left out).  We, America, could have infrastructure projects like the old Tennessee Valley Authority to put people to work – roads, bridges, schools, society – if we come together with the same purpose and goal of growing EVERYBODY!!!

 

Otherwise, well, WE-ARE-SCREWED as a society if we continue to allow individuals like Trump, McConnell (he is added here due to his willingness to block anything and not speak up for what is right), Putin, Xi, Erdogan, Kim Jong Un, and on and on… That is, unless you are one of the “Fake News” followers (or purveyors).

    

July 4th – Tanks & planes & lions, oh my!!!! The Nerve

Tanks and planes and lions, oh my!!!! 

The Nerve of the current American president to usurp the position he obtained illegitimately (sure, the electoral college voted him in but the people did not). As many Americans who use their brain and their logic, they know by this point that this person primarily got into that office due to illegal Russian interference, on facebook and other sites, along with the significant number of internet botnets…

Well. It seems the 4th of July is going to be perverted this year because of one person and one person alone. For those who are against this “parade of America’s might” – show your protest in a way that would really matter:

  • Go to the original location for the fireworks, you will still be able to see the works in the sky –  or
  • Simply do not go

Simple as that, two choices.

Do not go to the area where he is “holding court” for this July 4th festivities for the people. What could be more annoying and aggravating than most of the people ‘not’ appearing at the location of where he is…

We are not celebrating a return of our fellow Americans who went overseas to fight for us.  Turn this trump’s 4th of July into a non-event…

We are not China! We are not Russia! And we are certainly not France having a Bastille Day celebration!!!

(added July 4th to help clarify the above for some individuals who appeared to be incapable of thinking for themselves)

It turns out, I needed to add a bit more content to help some folks out there.

This is TL;DR for many impatient, narrow focused, selfish individuals out there. BLUF (bottom line up front) – no good country needs to put their military might on display that is, if it is a strong country.

Currently, we have too many individuals in America who are not looking at the future, they are stuck looking at right here, right now and being selfish. This is because they are either stuck in navel gazing mode or head is stuck in the sand OR they long for the past where people of a certain race were supreme and whatever they said was the law of the land. People of other colors were suppressed – in jobs, education and freedom. And do not forget about women, women were also second-class citizens in not being equal to men – there was no freedom for the vast majority of women and women for bloody sure were not allowed the opportunities of getting into leading roles or powerful positions (glass ceiling, which we still have).

We need more people using their brain and using them to extrapolate out into the future of society and of humanity.

We need people using their brain to think, to think long and hard about what is happening, not just here but around the world. We now have FAR more world leaders trying to emulate other leaders. Normally that is a good thing but when you have AUTHORITARIAN leaders emulating other Authoritarian leaders of today and those from the past, it is a bad thing. When you have leaders talking about ‘showing off’ their country’s military might (and expressing joy in doing so) – then we have a problem.

It should not be about military might. The use of military might is a very, very slippery slope. Look at China, they are using their military might to suppress (and obliterate) things such as free and open speech – there is no dissent allowed in China. Ask the Uighurs (or Uyghurs for some) – they are losing their past as Chinese leadership continues on the path of destroying entire Uighur neighborhoods (and towns). In China, you cannot express discontent – you cannot share your discontent with other like-minded souls across China – you cannot talk negatively about political leaders – you cannot even jaywalk. Because if you do things “Chinese leaders” believe are contrary to Chinese leaders, that Chinese citizen can be barred from flying anywhere or have his/her freedoms curtailed. In China, they want to control power and continue to make the people – workers, workers of the Communist system even as China wants to be a Capitalistic powerhouse. By using military might and police to force people to kowtow to the political party line – not individual freedom.

In Russia, journalists are being killed (or disappeared) for being vocal or expressing true stories about their political leaders. In Russia, they, no – scratch that, he (Putin) wants to control and contain power and exert it across the Slavic countries in order to TRY to make Russia a Soviet Union again, while keeping the people as controlled pawns of the Communist system even as Russia attempts to be a Capitalistic powerhouse again… By using military might to expand the sphere of Russian influence (do “you” recall the Crimean takeover and take away???).

In Brazil, they now have a hard, far right President – Jair Bolsonaro. Keep an eye on that leader and that country and how extreme the daily life of its citizens is going to become.

In America, yes, this country – we have an appalling lack of leadership across all spectrum’s of government. But we have a president WHO WANTS TO SHOW OFF AMERICA’S MILITARY MIGHT! Now, why does any sane and competent leader need to show off its military might – if you have it, you do not need to show it off – military might should be the last thing any good governing country.

Why do we still have so many people in America wanting to Make America Great Again when it was already great (even if WE STILL HAVE WORK TO DO in areas of equality and freedom AND diplomacy). We have too many people today, not willing to sacrifice in the here and now in order to improve the entire country and the lives of all Americans.

We have too many ‘Americans’ who want to use force to make things in America bend to their way of life. Let me give a few examples of those individuals: Militia Groups, Sovereign Citizens, neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups and I really dislike even thinking about it – we have some members of the various police forces around the country, some members (actually a very high number as we are discovering) of the American DHS (CBP) who want to use force to control people who are of a different race than their own (even if, a large number of these people at this point in time, have mixed genes in their own bloodlines).

The only way to make America GREATER is to all come together and do things that benefit everyone, not just for a select portion of society. We should not have portions of America rejoicing in things like companies now being allowed to dump toxic waste into rivers again or to let other companies pollute the air with reduced restrictions on what they pump into the air. There is no joy in more people becoming gravely ill due to dirty air or dirty water.

It really is up to you, if you want to go down the dark and negative path of a chaotic government who wants to do the militaristic display bit (fyi – I am a Vietnam era Marine) OR if you want to pursue a path that of growth that will help and benefit all Americans… Think about it, do you want to be one of the people calling everything you do not believe (because you do not know) fake news or do you want to be one who thinks for him or herself to dig and search for answers and broadening your own sphere of knowledge in the process…

And if you got to this point – I commend you and thank you for having an open mind and willing to be a thinker.

Authoritarian Leadership, Quest for Power & Discrimination – China, Russia, Turkey (America?)

This is a food for thought article that will be TL;DR for many out there…

The world of leaders, today – 2019!

Russia, China, Turkey – these are countries that want to and are actively banning dissenting voices. These countries want to control their societies so there are no threats to the government’s strong arm of control over their citizens.

This is when you know leaders of various countries are in trouble. The government starts implementing more control over the press. These governments start controlling what their citizens can say, when they can say it and where they can say anything.

There had been a point in time when I wanted to go visit these countries but that was prior to these control over citizens being put in place. Now, no real desire to do so any longer.

For example, Russia – I’ve written about this in the past, outside of my previous intelligence and cybersecurity work (complete separation between previous work and personal discussions). SORM, its full name is ‘System for Operative Investigative Activities’ and is basically interception of voice and data through all the various networks. It is something Russia implemented in the mid-90s, originating from the FSB (formerly the KGB). This set of regulations under SORM covers everything from credit card transactions, telephone calls, internet activity, etc. And to make it worse, the FSB and the government has been expanding this ever since. If you are an ISP (internet provider), you have to have an FSB compliant box “on your site” that all of your data goes through. Guess what else. All that data goes through an FSB entity in order to archive, cherry pick whatever is needed and to filter what is “not good” for the government, err, Russia. If businesses did not comply and install the device, they were blocked from doing business. Now we have Russia upping the ante and starting to actually block VPNs (virtual private network) who do not agree to censor traffic across/through their VPN system. There are numerous outlets to read up on this, no matter your political stance.

And China, everyone by now is aware of the Great China Firewall.  No matter where you stood in China, everything, everywhere was being filtered AND acted upon to impart the ‘great’ communist party loyalty that everyone must comply with.  Sure, China wants to be capitalistic and make money and be a power house on the world stage. But! China also STILL wants to be a communistic system and FORCE everyone to kowtow to the party line. Look at the Uighurs (Uyghurs or one of the several other ways it is being spelled) – they are being wiped out, systematically. And some would say that they are being wiped out – genocidally. Entire communities of Uighurs have been razed to the ground and replaced with more modern high rises, with many of those Uighurs being placed in “Education” camps, to, ahem, “improve the economic and education levels” of those members. You can also do your own research (which I very highly recommend you do) to find material on what is happening in those Uighur areas – there are also a lot of Uighur refugees in America and other countries. China is becoming like the movie GATTACA where you are tracked at all times and the government knows everything about you…

Turkey, what I can about Erdogan? He is a dictator, clear and through. He is making the country more religious every week. He is trying to still further strengthen his power base and be President for life, outside of the previous term limits. He too is looking to control his people.

The bottom line is that these three countries and others as well, i.e.:

  • Brunei and their new Sharia laws – where gays and adulterers ‘can legally’ be stoned to death
  • Malaysia and their Sharia laws – the government is looking to get tougher on gays there as well and it is already brutal

I happened to latch on to the gay topic above because this is a pet peeve of mine. There are many of us who are very tolerant of people enjoying the lifestyle they believe they want. It is not up to us to control someone else’s personal life – it is none of our business and should be none of yours. It is not harmful to you and please do not insult the rest of us by saying that it creates emotional and mental turmoil and distress – that will not fly. We are grownups (right?) and can handle keeping our noses out of someone else’s personal lifestyle.

But, controlling the people of a country… This has always been a disturbing path to follow. No one wants to engage with or partner with or visit a country where the citizens are dictated to as to:

  • who they in turn can associate with (check out China’s ‘social credit system’) – you can be docked points for the bad people you associate with (or jay walk or spit on the streets or use too much toilet paper) and with enough docked points, you cannot take plane flights anywhere among other things
  • what they can say about their leaders or their government – dissenting voices are knocked down, publicly – in Russia, people are ‘accidentally’ shot down by mysterious forces… or the dissenters can have chemicals thrown into their faces or somehow be ‘legally’ sentenced for tax fraud…
  • where they can go and how many can get together at one time in one area – yeah, Russia and China put size limits and area restrictions on this for their people – and it is worse than the regulations we Americans have to deal with
  • what the people can write, in books, magazines or newspapers – it has to all be glowing lies or B.S. (errr – dang it, sorry, personal content) commentary that those government figures/entities can smile about

No one in the free world wants to part of a society where the leaders only want to gain power, gain more power over time and grab more power – solidifying their choke hold on and over the people of the country. And it goes on. Yet the police and military forces that the leaders control just stand by. There have been instances where the military would step in wrest control from authoritarian leaders and then let the people vote for new leadership AND actually relinquish control to those democratically elected officials.  Now. Now that does not seem to be happening, it is as if the military leaders have become brain dead and, pardon the technical term, stupefied – unless these military leaders have been bought and paid for and these military leaders have no spine or morals or ethic foundation to lead from. It kind of happened in Turkey in 1980 where the military lead the country for several years.

Now don’t get me wrong, America has some kind of leadership issues of our own that is simply baffling to understand. We have our own moral and political compass to correct and our ship really, really needs to be up-righted…

Note: I do not use the term United States any longer due to the fact that we have too much division throughout the country where a sizeable number of people just do not want to see other people in this country gain more power and more equality – those people being discriminated; non-whites, women, immigrants and gays.

This is where it is baffling to me. Instead of coming together as a whole nation and working on solving issues of (small list here):

  • droughts,
  • small towns dying due to young people and others leaving for better opportunities,
  • loss of manufacturing & mining jobs due to technological advances,
  • improving education (as long as the effort does not involve Betsy DeVos – bad choice for that role),
  • improving workplace equality – many, many people know this is wrong and that if a man and a woman are doing the same job and they have the same educational/work experience – it should be a no-brainer that they should be paid equally (however, if one of them is an under-performer, man or woman – that person should be the low earner)
  • having better leaders – this country does NOT need more leaders that only want to have a “good ole boys” club and exclude others (see the discriminated list above) or leaders who want to line their own pockets with ill-gotten gains (ask the congressman who was doing insider trading ON White House property) for themselves and their family and friends

So, where are we headed as a race of humans? Are we headed into a disappointingly dark future of one where leaders continue to gain power and control and lord it over others? Or those leaders who “want” to attempt to gain such power (America – Trump)… Ask:

  • Venezuela’s Maduro if he gets enough to eat or if his people were/are starving during these bleak times there).
  • Russia’s Putin how much money he continues to rake in as possibly the wealthiest ‘voted in’ leader in the world – how does a president become a billionaire (unless they win a huge lottery)? And how much physical force he is going to continue to exert just to remain in power (same goes for Turkey’s Erdogan)?
  • China’s Xi JinPing and his attempts to reach around the eastern hemisphere and gain more power and influence, such as creating man-made islands in the South China Sea (SCS).
  • Or, not to forget – the murder of Khashoggi allegedly under the direction of Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, who, again, allegedly to silence Khashoggi…

We simply have too many people in multiple countries around the world who are somehow blinded (or fooled) by their current leader as to how really beneficial that leader is, for everyone…

What kind of future do you want to see? One where medical care is available to everyone, regardless of their social economical stance in society? One where children can go to public schools with decent and up to date system to enhance learning (books that do not have whitewashed history and technological tools) or colleges where students of all levels can get in without bribery? One where needed medicine costs a paycheck?

I am not talking about a Utopian society, just one that makes sense – where people treat each other with civility and common courtesy rather than those full of greed and low moral compasses who want to step on the backs of everyone else, just to gain a 3 second advantage at any cost. Look at the current president of America, where that individual believes that others should abide by the law, yet, yet – he should be excluded from such plebeian exercises…

We should be building upon progressive and liberal platforms that were starting to take root, platforms that also had some conservatism in them. Platforms that were and are socialist as well, which many people seem to forget and just take for granted; socialist programs such as fire departments – they help everyone. Same as with police departments and school systems and hospitals – do people really want to return to the dark days of when they were not? We live in a new time, not the old days of the pathetic class system of race, gender and money – we live in a time that should be about inclusion and growth.

Leaders have to help people and help people grow together – not be authoritarian leaders who want to control every aspect of your life; from the people you associate with, to the religion you practice (for those who believe in that higher power), to even what kind of music you can hear and what kind of movie you can watch (these leaders want to protect your soul and moral compass, right….). What is wrong with helping others to grow? Absolutely nothing at all, it should be an enriching event for everyone.

Go and check out Eli Pariser’s book – The Filter Bubble. You don’t have to read the entire book, just the first few chapters and you will have a better understanding of the filter bubble so many people find themselves. If only we could get more people out of their highly restricting personal filter bubbles and expand their enclosed ‘worldscape’, we might grow better and faster as a global community.

 

 

The Voices of Women – Meaningless? And the Erosion of Democracy…

Apologies to the length of this writing (this is TL;DR for some) but Trump, Kavanaugh, McConnell, Flake, Collins, Hatch, Graham, Manchin and injustice is making life, well, Topsy-turvy to be polite…

Well. It appears that the voices of women mean nothing where it is most important – in sexual assaults (and in every day life to be fair). Even if an event happened 30+ years ago, the voice and statements of a woman are still important.

As of today, Saturday – Oct 6, 2018, America has voted onto the Supreme Court an individual with more divisiveness; with a more controversial background than Clarence Thomas had.

I’m a guy and what women say IS important, always!

That is, until it is proven it is not true. But, where it is ambiguous and no concrete evidence can be found, many of us will side with the woman – not just give lip service and say ‘we believe her’ as certain members of Congress have done (so the congressional members can retain their positions of power in their home state/district). What a woman says can make a difference. In many of the sexual assaults it is primarily a crime not witnessed by others and that is why the victim does not come forth and the guy gets away with it. (Sometimes, sometimes, yes indeed – there are women who also commit sexual assaults, it is just not that many.) And Trump – making an outlandish tweet that young men should be scared is ridiculous. No young men should be assaulting women in the first place (that goes for older men as well).

In America, or rather parts of America – certain Americans have decided that a man with a blemished background and temperament can be put into a position of significant influence and power. Certain Americans have placed an individual with what appears to be a highly tainted past onto the highest court, a court which now will be looked at for every decision it makes for the next 30 years with a jaundiced eye.

All because an individual who was put into the White House due to many electoral college members deciding that this person was the best choice for America in 2016. Trump.

If this Supreme Court vote turned your stomach, you had best “get your butt off the couch and go vote” in the NEXT SEVERAL voting turnouts, for the next couple of decades! The mid-terms, primaries, all of them. This will be the only way to restore some semblance of sanity to America.

Because if you do not, we, America, will be doomed and damned!  Are you one of the people looking to return to the ‘Dark Days’ of yesterday when only the males of one race had the power to lord over everyone else of a different color and all women? Do you really want to return to the days of suppression and repression…?

More and more pieces of democracy (not talking about the democratic party here, just democracy) will be chipped away as they are being done today. More “socialist” programs will be lost for years, if not decades until we can return to the path of growth and equality that we were on until Trump was put into the White House. And what I mean by socialist programs are:

  • fire departments (think you don’t need this socialist program when your home catches fire)
  • libraries (not everyone has high speed internet or even computers at home)
  • police departments (what happens when your local police department is gone and you need law enforcement)
  • schools (everyone needs to seriously consider removing Betsy D. from the dept of education…)
  • hospitals
  • social security (what are you going to do when you are older and have no money to rely on)
  • should I go on….?

Socialist programs, today, in 2018, are meant to help everyone, not just the poor and downtrodden – the programs are meant to make the lives of everyone easier,  better and safer.

This is how Hitler grew into power. Think about that – think long and hard – do your ‘own’ thinking. Over several years, Hitler and the people around him whittled away at more and more programs until they gained power – a vise grip on EVERYTHING! (There are some who say this erosion actually started right before Hitler came into the picture – but we all know for fact, Hitler destroyed democracy in Germany.) And what was the result of that, guess! Extermination of massive numbers of the Jewish race, in multiple countries (Poland, Germany, France, Austria and more). The Holocaust was the ultimate disgrace to democracy. Things started out small in Germany and many of the Germanic race were happy and fine that Hitler was looking out for them. Hitler was going to “Make Germany Great Again!But then when it was too late to do anything, such as removing Hitler, Himmler, Goering and others of the SS and the Nazi party – it was far, far too late.

Now, this is not saying Trump is a Nazi but – he is providing a helping hand in the destruction of the American way of life and all of its democracies. Trump has enabled the worse of the worst to come forth (recall the nighttime ‘Tiki Torch’ parade). Trump has unleashed the hounds of hell, to put it mildly, to come out of the wood-works and raise pure hell. Look at:

  • early February 2017 where the House and Senate voted to repeal the so-called “stream protection rule”- Coal companies now have a freer hand in dumping mining pollutants into streams
  • the white nationalist rally incident in Charlottesville, VA where Heather Heyer was killed
  • Chris Collins and his insider trading on the lawn of the White House – how brazen was that?
  • Many of the cabinet members Trump installed and the self-aggrandizement these individuals did while in power – sound-proof phone booth in his office (guess who that was);
  • Expensive furniture, what was it, ~$31,000 for his office – you know who this was, the man qualified to run HUD because he grew up in the projects (I grew up in the projects too)…
  • Zinke of the Interior Department and his sell off of federal lands
  • The black protestor who was sucker-punched by a white man in the stands at a Trump rally in Fayetteville (and trump said he would pay the legal fees for the puncher)
  • we could go on and on with this list…

The point is, if Americans do not come to their senses and stop this extreme political partisanship, we will continue going down the rabbit hole of more:

  • hate crimes – racially & religiously motivated
  • individuals like Michael Gerard Grimm, former congressman & former FBI, who threatened to throw a reporter off the balcony – a reporter who was doing his job (after his prison term for that, Grimm had the audacity to try running again for public office)
  • corruption – how can people follow the law when the law makers and peace keepers are the ones causing this corruption and excess to continue – so they can feel powerful and make money in many cases for doing so
  • erosion of public lands for corporate revenue – oil exploitation, so that oil companies can continue to make large pools of revenue before the clean energy wave really kicks in and fossil fuel use will be a money pit
  • inequalities – women and racial – women and those of different skin colors doing the same job as men of a certain color “SHOULD BE PAID EQUALLY” for doing the same job
  • anti-discrimination against new immigrants to America – and we all know this is how America started
  • to name a few….

What do we need to do people? You all have to use your head and think!!!!

You have to perform research and think and talk about your actions before you do them! You cannot just listen to unqualified individuals who spout hate and conspiracy theories. You must do your own thinking, it is what makes you “you”!

So, what are you thinking? Are you thinking things in the political environment are going in the right direction?

Are you thinking Trump is making America great – when he raises tariffs, the ultimate cost is on you, the American citizen because you will be the one paying more for the products with the tariffs. 

Do you think the tax cut he instituted was wonderful? Well – continue thinking about that when your local services (any or all of them) are cut or eliminated due to your city budget does not have enough revenue – ‘because of that tax cut’.

What about clean air and clean water? Think your kids are going to be able to run around as you did years ago but now the air and water are more polluted (remember, the coal mine dumping above and the Trump administrations’ attempt to relax car emissions letting car makers off the hook…)

Use your brains. Think about the future. You cannot just think about yourself because you do not like gays or dark skinned people. You cannot say “hey, my religion is the foremost important thing in the world” when other people believe in a different religion. Do not make a mistake, as an American and a global citizen – I. DO. NOT. WANT Sharia Law anywhere near America.

Ultimately, what is being stated here is that Americans need to be better.

  • Give women their voices – it is hard enough to come forward publicly as it is
  • Think about unity, amongst all Americans (i.e. why do we still have Sundown towns in parts of America? Why do we still have so many skinhead/white nationalist/white supremacist groups around the country?)

Because America has to come together again and be a “United States” and grow stronger and be better as a country for itself. As well as in the face of rising problems with:

  • Russia’s Putin doing the meddling he is doing globally and
  • China doing what they are doing – attempting to force people / countries to kowtow to them; giving China hemispheric power to do what they wish, such as build man-made islands in the South China Seas and claim more of the region as belonging to them (we could discuss the Uighurs and the police state they are living under as well as the great firewall of China as well as internet and public censorship so the Chinese citizens have no voice and are unable to vote politicians out of power – these are big stories on their own…)

We are losing the luster of being a world leader because we do not have any serious diplomatic power. Who do we have that is a shining star in the world of diplomacy? Our ‘leader’ in the White House is not one who has great powers of diplomacy. He is continually causing America to devolve into a laughing stock of the world every time he utters a sentence or disseminates a tweet.

We are a country where it is now up to the states to institute clean air and clean water and equality for all. That is, those states with a forward looking mindset for the next 10 – 30 years…

 

 

Trump and his Reality Show Love Affairs with Dictators, errr, Leaders

NOTE: Remember, do your own due diligent research and deep critical thinking – think for yourself after hearing commentary from other sources who may or may not be qualified to provide you with the necessary and relevant material/analysis.

Hmmmm, still finding it very, VERY difficult to understand why the people who voted for our American president still want him as the president.

We have a problem in America. We have a president who seems to be on a roll with himself and other heads of states, the wrong kinds of heads of state.

  • Trump: Hey, didja see me with Kim Jong Un?   Done. Check.
  • Trump: Hey, didja see me with Putin in Helsinki? NAILED IT!!! Check.

So, what is next with Trump – maybe Erdogan?

  • Trump: Hey didja see me with Turkey’s dictator, sorry, president (for life) – HEYYY, that is a magnificent mansion you live in… maybe I should have one like that too, paid for by my base (and even those unenlightened people who ‘did not’ vote for me…).

Then too, could Syria’s Assad be in Trump’s sight-line as well, maybe?

  • Trump: Hey didja see me with Assad? He has quite the way of putting down civil disturbances. Why, he even has Putin on his side to help him out…

Trump appears to have no idea as to the magnitude of what he is doing to America; its economics, its educational system, its welfare system, its environment, its, well – I could go on but it is as if the people who need to wake up (Trump’s base and a fairly large number of politicians which is an even larger oddity in itself), they just do not get it. They still want Trump in office when the man should be removed as soon as possible.

It’s likely that Putin is laughing his butt off right now after his ‘summit’ with Trump. (It is also likely that Kim Jong Un is still laughing his little body hard as well, especially after Kim, ahem, theatrically blew up his nuclear reactor site. Many of us know that if the intent was to truly blow up that site, the explosive/kinetic force would have been exponentially much larger than, what was that – blowing up the entry way into the site. Folks, just go back and look at it again through the eyes of a diligent observer and equate the size of the blast with the area that was to be destroyed)

Trump, as it has been stated multiple times today, has basically dismissed the intelligence community’s assessment of Russia. And then had the audacity to say that “we’ve all been foolish about our relationship with Russia.” Has Trump not read ANYTHING over the past 2 decades about Putin and Russia???? One has to wonder if Trump even knows that Putin is a former career KGB officer…

What do we have to do is to get “MORE” people {somehow} to wake up and push a movement to impeach Trump before he causes even more damage to America and the global alliance of allies…

UPDATE: Trump came back and stated, 36 hours later that he ‘did’ agree with our American IC (intel community, of which I was a part of for a while). Interesting….

Using your Intelligence for Beneficial (NOT Evil) & Successful Influence

UPFRONT      

Influence, as to what many of us expect, should be used for ‘good enablement’ and not ‘evil manipulations’ for all people. Thus, this paper is for ‘good.’ And not the dastardly, horrific things we see in other parts of the world.

We have far too many entities worldwide using influence to suppress people and most of what their people hear and see in everyday life. To wit:

  • State run media in Russia, China, Turkey and other closed societies
  • Religious control by so-called religious groups such as Boko Haram, Al-Qaeda, ISIS (or ISIL or IL) but are nothing more than fanatical, brainwashed thugs with its seemingly sole purpose of controlling women, girls, education, prohibition of any western influence (no pun intended) and oh yes, possibly religion as well.

And no, this does not excuse some of the practices in the U.S. and/or the western world, where men of some religions suppress women or attempt to suppress them. And yes, we still have covert racism in this country – this is one arena of the most evil influence machinations in this country or the world.

We can do without racial and religious influences which are meant to suppress anyone.

 

Beneficial Influence

This paper is to discuss the excellent benefits of gaining and using influence with some modicum of ‘wise’ and ‘thoughtful’ intelligence.

Wielding influence can be a highly powerful and valuable tool and, yes, you can read up on this topic in many, many books. You probably should too because there is a plethora, a great deal, of information and large bodies of knowledge on the topic.

Unfortunately, influence can also be wielded powerfully for malicious means as well – more on this later.

Primarily, this paper on influence is meant to spring from good, meaningful and even altruistic intentions. Influence used with any small measures of intelligence is a wonderful thing. What is meant by that statement is that when you use influence in a good fashion, to help others (individuals, businesses and non-profits) – you can have lasting, powerful impacts and ripple-like effects on AND for those around you as well as well on AND in the work you do.

Now, when it comes to influencing others around you, you do so – not in any pronounced or inflated fashion but in a manner where others willingly want to emulate you and do as you do. You should be going about your work and activities as you normally do, all the while thinking in a positive vein of what good can come out of your efforts and what you ‘can’ pass on to others.

You want to do things that have influence on others by you being you.

One little effort you can make is to help others to see things that they would not ordinarily see simply by helping them look at a situation or problem from a different perspective. Look at the forest of trees, not just at that single tree. And then extrapolate on it, by thinking – “What if?”

If you want to be a brilliant influencer, you should be one of those who are very willing to impart the things you’ve learned in your past, your career, your education, your travels and/or your upbringing.

Being a brilliant influencer means you look beyond the:

  • Looks
  • Race
  • Age
  • Religion
  • Physical (and maybe even mental) handicap and last but certainly not least
  • Gender

of the other(s). You are ONLY concerned about helping, enabling others to be better and show them the road to being better.

None of this means you have to be a full-fledged mentor or even someone with the svelte tongue of a perfect orator. You just need to be ‘YOU,’ while continuing to do the great job you always do. You should just be honest and open with the clearly delineated intentions of sharing.

And yeah, this could even be interpreted as being altruistic – but there you have it, the interpretation is totally up to you.

 

Successful Influence

So, successful influence means:

  • Enabling/helping others/business become better and in turn – successful
  • Your being a great role model, whether intentionally or subconsciously
  • Being an enabler for significant and deep collaboration in all endeavors, with another, others or businesses

Where does intelligence come into play for all of this? It means using your great and wonderful, ever growing brain (you are continuing to stretch it – correct?) in being smart in how you engage and interact with others.

It means being judicious in how you influence others. You want to use your stockpile of accumulated and ever growing knowledge in how you successfully respond to and with others, with those who could benefit from that vast pool of knowledge of yours.

 

Criminal Influence

Now then, there is also the flip side of “good” and intelligent influence and none of it is good.

Crime

Criminals use influence to their benefit in taking advantage of the weaker, slower and less educated of our fellow citizens. And at times, even the smartest and most educated fall victim to the criminal element, so in essence we all have a bone to pick in this fight in preventing, finding and stopping the criminal element in all its myriad forms, wherever we can find this perniciously evil group of miscreant thugs and silver-tongued devils.

Criminal influence, well, with greed and desire for power, we will need to always be on the lookout for malicious use of influence so we do not wind becoming victims of some smooth manipulator.

State Sponsored

We have state sponsored elements that use their influence and manipulate those under their purview and citizens who are powerless in stopping their mates from being victims of evil influences.

Take for example, China and its great firewall, where everything that passes through the nation’s communication network and internet is prone to censorship – blocked communication, deleted content, websites’ being shut down – without any hesitation, even if the site is for good, for education or to help others in the country just be better.

How do you have free and open dialogue when a government wants to muzzle you and/or its people? How do you have free reign to explore and connect with disparate people around the world without being spied on by your governmental leaders who tell you who it is okay to talk to or to seek out new and more accurate information?

Then we have Russia, with all of its voice, data and internet traffic being “required” to flow through government equipment. There is nothing secret here, do a search on the ‘Net for SORM I, II and III.

For example, you can go to one of the following sites and check out info on SORM:

          www.fas.org

          http://csis.org

Again, as I noted, this is not secret, classified info, it is publically available at multiple sources. But when you do seek it out on other sources, use multiple sites and then collate it so you can then think on what you have found. THEN – you can make your own informed decisions as to what you can risk saying in Russia without becoming a target of any Russian government agencies.

 

Both, Russia and China, as the two preeminent examples, attempt to control their people by restricting communication – visual and audio – so the people cannot grow and become aware and knowledgeable of what is true around the world. Russia and China control the media so the leaders in power can remain in power and control all outcomes.

Both countries, especially China, revert to saying that they do so because they do not want western influences creeping in and subverting their way of life. The leadership does not want to see the current way of life being lost, so, they control what people see and say.

 

These various kinds of state sponsored influence is just flat out wrong – let’s hope we can keep chipping away at that kind of wrong and evil influence and eventually manage to shine a light on equality and openness on what is happening in society.

 

Good and not Evil influence

Look, the bottom line is that, whatever you do right (or even in making an honest mistake here and there), might just become something that another wants to do.

There are many out there who want to do a great job in whatever they do, and if this makes them an excellent role model, so be it. And if there are those who want to follow in the footsteps of those excellent role models, those role models should do whatever they can, overtly and even surreptitiously (in a good manner), to enable others to grow, intelligently and successfully.

And yes, this paper could have gone on much longer – but you get the gist of it by now.

 

Ukraine, Putin, Russia, UN, NATO, Diplomacy & Military, Supreme Dictator = Impending Disaster?

 

Ukraine and bad, BAD boy Putin

So what do we have at this point in time in regards to the state of mind of Putin – psychotic break with reality? Yearnings of one man to be the Supreme (Dictatorial) leader of a country, to return to a time past that is long gone?

What the heck is going on in that man’s head, does anyone really know?

Yes, Putin may be smart but he appears to be very far over the line as a leader of a modern large country. You will notice that the previous sentence did not state ‘super power’ and it was deliberately left that way.

Do we have a crazy man as head of a large country? Or one who is becoming unhinged…? 

Diplomacy and communication does not appear to be working with Putin.

It is time for the developed countries and developing countries to band together and show some very serious solidarity against what Putin and Russia are doing.

Aiding and abetting rebels in “ANOTHER” country is not alright and it should never be! Putin and Lavrov are not fooling anyone in the civilized world by playing stupid – “What, what are we doing? It is not us; it is the rebels in Ukrainia doing all the fighting.

 SANCTIONS

Firstly, the U.S., along with Germany and France must take the lead and insist on even more crippling sanctions because Putin thinks that the sanctions will let up soon and he can go about his business. Yes, it will harm the citizens of Russia but if they are affected, they will vociferously and adamantly act out against Putin – maybe physically remove him from office (and I’m sure some of the suffering military will join in).

Yes, this may affect Europe because of Russia cutting off the flow of oil/gas but some little sacrifice must be done now, while there is time. The rest of the world can help make up some of the oil shortfall to Europe.

United Nations

The leading countries of the world need to stand up NOW and band together and grant the UN some teeth, even if Russia vetoes any vote in the Security Council. The UN needs to join in on piling on more diplomatic sanctions against Russia – WITHIN the week via an emergency session.

Okay, now, if that does not work, then authorize UN Peace Keepers to go into harms’ way, into eastern Ukraine. This is what the UN Peace Keepers are for, to stop this kind of activity. And yes, they have been ineffectual in the past but it is time to change all that.

 European Union

Next, the EU (European Union) will need to accelerate the timetable and bring Ukraine into the fold. This will cause more turmoil and bring the rabid dog (Putin) to a full-fledged tantrum BUT IT NEEDS TO BE DONE! Unless we show Putin more solidarity, he will continue to do what he is doing.

   Yes, I did call Putin a rabid dog and I really did not want to but this is just getting out of hand as to what is happening to the INNOCENT civilians who are indiscriminately being killed in the various bombings and shootings.

 NATO

The next step, or in conjunction, NATO will also need to accelerate the timetable of brining Ukraine into the NATO umbrella. And yes again, this will cause no little consternation on Putin’s part. NATO troops will need to be expeditiously brought into Ukraine – IT CANNOT BE HALF-ASSED, there is too much to at stake to do a slow buildup, allowing for a simmering situation.

And yes, the U.S. and western allies will need to supply Ukraine with advanced weaponry and detection capabilities to find and destroy the weaponry of the “rebels” so the Ukrainian soldiers at least have a fighting chance.

 China???

You will also note that China was not mentioned in any of this. China, while they purport to be spending money around the world, to build up infrastructures and build mines and other industries – they are not willing to have democracy in the world. They are sure not making it known if they are. I mean, c’mon, the Chinese government controls the media and the Internet, trapping their people into a bubble of brainwashing content.

Scientists, Academicians, students, journalists and the curious are all becoming completely unable to search the ‘Net and learn new things or to see the truth of what is actually happening in other corners of the globe.

The Chinese government still wants to manipulate their citizens with, well, mind control as to what the average citizen can say, read and talk about. It is completely stifling.

China would not be of any assistance in joining efforts from democratic countries that want to prevent another country from performing land grabs (Crimea and really, eastern Ukraine). Why? Because China also wants to do their own land grab in the South/East China seas, stating “these disputed lands/islands have always historically belonged to China.”

How do you fight that? So no, China was not mentioned as joining in because they are not yet a democratic country – A FULLY DEMOCRATIC COUNTRY. Do not just listen to the ramblings of just one person (me), do your own research. DO A BROAD AND DEEP LEVEL OF RESEARCH! There is PLENTY of data out there in all kinds of medium (‘Net, magazines, YouTube, Netflix, newspapers, other blogs). Go to democratic, conservative and independent organizations, then cobble it all together and actually think on that content. Then, MAKE YOUR OWN INFORMED decision.

 

At any rate, the world has to come together and stop any country from annexing parts of other countries. That time is long gone, at least I hope it is and we not on the cusp of reverting to the dark ages.

 

Putin – Russia and acts of a desperate man

Warning – Dangerous times ahead!

Okay, we do not know that for a fact yet but Putin is a somewhat unpredictable individual and I do not believe anyone can say with certainty that they “do” know what he will do next. The man is, or appears to be, a smart cookie – after all, he has been in a major position of power for a very long time since he left the KGB years ago. And if anyone believes Medvedev was in charge while being President of Russia, they should re-think that…

Putin may well be moving into a state of desperation what with the way the Ruble is falling, or maybe I should say it is falling more precipitously than oil at this time (Dec 16, 2014).

Not to cast aspersions on Japan of today but if anyone happens to recall – Japan became a desperate nation prior to World War II because of oil (one of the major reasons) and look at what happened on December 7, 1941.

I do not claim to know what the man, Putin, is doing, let alone thinking – no one can claim that but he is in a position where his country could very likely lash out at the world in no certain measures. To bring back Russian hegemony for that side of the world… or attempt to do so.

Here, look at what has happened in recent history, because of Putin:

Crimea – illegally taken because Putin believes Crimea belongs to Russia and Khrushchev had no authority over a half century ago, in 1954, to give up the country Putin primarily wants Crimea because of the naval base there and access to the ocean from that part of the world.

Ukraine – Russian troops in the eastern portion of Ukraine – there are a lot of natural resources located there that Russia could sorely use… and not actually looking out for any Russian citizens living in Ukraine

Military buildup – Putin is doing a great deal of military buildup, in troops, ships, planes, etc – why?  Is there something Russia is afraid of, like China invading Russia, in the 21st century – for sure no other country is going to nor has a desire to do so.

   Are we going back to an arms race again? (Look at China, their latest stealth fighter that was built from stolen U.S.A. R & D defense contractors – sorry, built solely from the creative and innovative minds of the Chinese engineers there – Bloomberg ran a story that states that the new Chinese jet can defeat the American F-35 in a fight.) Maybe China is going to invade Russia for its resources.

   Maybe China and Russia are going to team up and take over the world, no one knows the answers.

Gays – Putin, instead of helping all Russians, has let the super-conservative go out and beat up (and kill) gays living in Russia. A supposed super-power would want to allow their people to live their lives they desire, instead of being told who they can love or make love to… (maybe Putin is afraid of homosexuals?)

Censorship – Many Americans are just not aware of the massive invasion of privacy and snooping and censorship that occurs in mother Russia. People think the Great Firewall of China is something;  little do they know how pervasive Russia’s wiretapping is (all the forms of the Russian SORM laws).

Malaysia Airliner – Then there is the shoot down of the Malaysia air liner, for whom many point to Russia being party to that horrific incident (no rebel could obtain that kind of missile in Ukraine)

 

Russia has massive mineral resources in their own region to work with. The country could work much better with the international community with open arms and the will to be an open country. But no, Putin and some of the other leaders (many of them who are more corrupt than is expected – and again yes, we, in the U.S., also have corrupt leaders but not on the scale of Russia’s leaders) – they seem to want to continue to have a massively concentrated government that removes all personal liberties from the private citizen.

And the criminal element, we are not quite sure how bad it really is because from what we see, some of the Russian leadership (as far as we know and is alleged) are in bed with those criminal elements. And the government is going to put a positive spin on anything that goes over the air waves, until it is a story about the evil and untrustworthy U.S.

How does a Russian political figure become rich as they are (far richer than American political figures become while in and after leaving office). There is no way in Hades Russian political figures can get that rich on a government salary – surely not as many as has become wealthy over the past several decades.

But let’s ask Putin, a man who is reported to have up to $50 billion squirrelled away in some bank(s) somewhere…

So, with:

  • The Ruble crashing
  • Oil revenues eroding
  • Unrest growing amongst the Russian population
  • Being snubbed and having the 2014 G8 summit taking place outside of Russia that Putin was looking forward to having in his own country
  • International sanctions taking more and more of a bite out of Russia, all because of Mr. Putin

what does Putin do next?

What should we expect next out of this man who pictures himself as the greatest egomaniac, sorry, leader in Russian history?

This is someone who can get people killed, using Polonium, for just speaking up – ask Alexander Litvinenko (dead) and the journalist Yuri Petrovich Shchekochikhin (dead) and Viktor Yushchenko (who is still alive but suffered from TCDD poisoning).

 

No one wants to invade Russia. 

The civilized world only wants Russia to pick itself up by its boot straps and become the power they continually claim they are.

If Russia (Putin) wants Russia to be on the world stage, it should start acting like a leader, not a despot, and start the painful (and expensive) task of getting:

  • Its people a better education
  • Better health care
  • A better economy
  • Getting its act together on the business front and have better collaborative engagements with all other countries
  • Start leading as great leaders do – and yes, the U.S. does have its own share of leadership problems but at least the U.S. is acting on it in the open, as much as possible with as many cloak and dagger behind the scenes Machiavellian schemes being uncovered – there are no police or military crackdowns for people speaking their mind, as long as they do it peacefully that is.

Even China is starting to slowly come around to being better leaders, at least as far as we can see from what Xi JinPing is doing in China on their slow, laborious path (or multi-year plan) to root out corruption and bring China up to a better economic platform…

Many people of the civilized (as it is), democratic and developed world only want to see Russia give its people freedom of choice and freedom from invasion of privacy that people in other parts of the world enjoys…

 

What do we expect a rational leader to do in a desperate national situation? The key phrase there is a rational leader. The Russian people are not as aware as they believe they are of what is going in the rest of the world, let alone their own country – not when the national media is controlled by the national government editing and removing content (censorship).

We need to keep a very close eye on all the activities that Putin is undertaking, everything from: military actions (buildup’s and movements), political forays and crackdowns, economic indicators (ruble and oil slides and significant interest rate hikes), the rich moving money out of Russia, media content (the scrubbed and un-scrubbed, if we can get it), agricultural successes and failures across the country, rise in poor health due to failing medical system (due to lack of supplies), diplomatic overtures and on and on and on…

For one, I am frightened as to the next steps that Putin may engage in with the rest of the developed world (and the developing world for that matter) as he gropes for answers or power.

**** Remember, Putin ‘did’ remind the world, over the summer that they have nuclear weapons… ****  here is one link –> http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/08/31/putin-threatens-nuclear-war-over-ukraine.html

 

Putin = Hitler… Is Appeasement Next?

 

Okay, Putin. Is anyone else out there equating Putin to Hitler yet?

The reason for the question is, is that he is acting like Hitler did back in the ‘30s. Putin seems to be making a pretense at or game of diplomacy, much like Hitler did. Saying one thing but in actuality doing another such as, talking about not invading Czechoslovakia but in March 1939 Hitler moves his forces into Czechoslovakia…

Putin is doing nearly the same thing. Putin: “No, no, there are no Russian troops and equipment in Ukraine or near the border.”

It is highly surprising that Medvedev, Russian Prime Minister, is not being vocal against this invasive move. Unless that is, Medvedev is attempting to save his own skin? Because we know what happens to people with large voices speak up against anything Russian – i.e. two individuals who died from Polonium-210, former KGB/FSB and then journalist Alexander Litvinenko (Nov 2006) and Kremlin critic Anna Politkovskaya (Oct 2006)… 

The rest of the Western, Asian AND developing world needs to wake up and come together in stopping a country from doing what Putin is doing – invading another country for territory, allegedly to help protect Russian citizens in eastern Ukraine. Land grab is not the way to grow in the 21st century.

Remember, Ukraine is a sovereign country and the rebel separatists in eastern Ukraine ARE in Ukraine… These same rebels were content to be proud Ukrainians when there was a Russian leaning Ukrainian President. Next, the majority of the Ukrainian people voted to become part of the E.U. And remember, the Ukrainian government was and is not out to harm innocent law-abiding Russians living in eastern Ukraine. No one was being harmed until the rebel separatists starting protesting and shooting government forces.

Sooo, how does this justify a leader of one country forcefully (military and financial support) interfering with another country’s political affairs?

 

When I indicated other countries, Western and Asian, should rise up to stop this type of advancement, I was specifically not including China. China has no interest in being party to a land grab or invasion by another country, especially when it does not affect them. At least they are not showing anything either way, for or against. China appears to be standoffish and isolationist, much as America was during the early part of The Great War.

Japan, S. Korea, India, countries of Southeast Asia, mid-eastern countries and Scandinavian countries – all of these countries need to join in on sanctions against Russia. Sanctions could include items such as; denying overflights out of Russia over their country, sanctions against Russian products, financial sanctions, etc. 

Now, yes, sanctions are going to be painful for a lot of countries and their people. Prices are likely to rise around the world for some things. Some of us cannot afford additional price hikes for certain staples, but this might be the price to pay for democracy and freedom around the world.

We must consolidate democracy and freedom, not see it slip away piecemeal, a slice at a time. Putin is currently attempting to make a play at getting statehood for eastern Ukraine, a ploy at creating a land bridge to a territory he illegally took as well as gaining the minerals in eastern Ukraine. 

Does the world allow for the appeasement of Putin as Chamberlain did with Hitler (Munich Agreement)? Hitler conned Neville Chamberlain into believing that Germany had limited intentions regarding the Germans living in Czechoslovakia in 1938… [1]

 

Here are two strong moves that may make Putin sit up and take notice. The E.U. and NATO bilaterally allow Ukraine to join both, NATO and the E.U. if they wish – as long as Ukraine, in the next year or two meets all E.U. and NATO member requirements.

 

Diplomacy has to be the answer, not military force – no one wants a regional or global war again. In addition to this diplomacy, vigorous finance and trade sanctions must be instituted against Russia. The rest of the free world will need to figure out a way to make up for the energy and other shortfalls that E.U. and other affected countries will face.

It appears that being tough is all that Putin understands…

 

 

 

 

References

1 – Chamberlain and Hitler 1938, http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/education/resources/chamberlain-and-hitler/, retrieved 10 Sept 2014