Slavery Caused The American Civil War

“The War of Northern Aggression” was the fallacious title for America’s Civil War taught to southern American school children to describe the military conflict in which the American Federal Government defeated southern, slave-owning insurrectionist pseudo-states attempting to secede from the union.

History is ripe with fallacies – some spoken, some unspoken.

The smile on Leonardo’s Mona Lisa isn’t mysterious at all; s/he smiles with androgynous confidence. This could lead us into a discussion of just how ‘modern’ the debate over transsexuality, but that’s an essay for another day.

The NAZIS are thought of as Germany’s ruling government party just prior to and during World War 2, and although untrue (the NAZIS were never the official ruling party of Germany) given the havoc wrought by the NAZIs and sheer destruction of human life they caused, they may as well have been – for it mattered not to allied soldiers and less to holocaust victims what flag their murderers flew. While we’re on the subject, far too many believe Jews have succeeded in claiming the holocaust their own, and nothing could be further from the truth – the museum dedicated to the subject in Washington, D.C. is called The Holocaust Museum, and while to the best of my knowledge proctored by Jewish organizations, its exhibits render in horrific, must-see imagery and language that, although human beings of the Jewish faith made up the largest demographic murdered, Jews were far from the only ones.

Contemporary liberals (myself included until recently) remain convinced Karl Marx’ version of socialism non-violent; simply an alternative system of economics which gives precedence to the workers. I suppose most liberals (as I did, until recently) simply dismissed Marx’ clear call to arms. In Marx’s own words: “In depicting the most general phases of the development of the proletariat…the violent overthrow of the bourgeoisie lays the foundation for the sway of the proletariat.”1 Contemporary socialist thinkers are bringing socialism to new intellectual places – and indeed, all but the most stubbornly ignorant realize capitalism must remain the over-arching economic system in which smaller socialist systems can function.

None of these fallacies bother me as much as the following: The American civil war had nothing to do with slavery; it was fought over states’ rights.

The Mona Lisa will undoubtedly turn into an intellectual point of departure for transsexualism at some point; it’s a matter of time. I’m not sure where the Germans are at, culturally, in terms of their acceptance/rejection of NAZI-ism; their thinkers may be far more bothered by the fallacies concerning Hitler’s murderous movement. The contemporary left must, at some point, come to terms with the violence behind Marxist socialism if they’re to be taken seriously.

Perhaps, as an American thinker and writer in 2022, faced with the current polarization of race/politics, I’m bothered most by the Civil War / War of Northern Aggression for “state’s rights” fallacy. I’ll come back to this.

While authorial intent has been rendered less relevant in literary analysis, and completely and rightly removed from legal debate, it remains paramount in historical analysis. As such, the notion that the American Civil War wasn’t fought over slavery but instead states’ rights is so inaccurate it is a dangerous absurdity.

Each and every one of the seceding states cited, in writing, slavery as a reason for their secession.

Mississippi: Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery– the greatest material interest of the world.2

Texas: The servitude of the African race, as existing in these States, is mutually beneficial to both bond and free, and is abundantly authorized and justified by the experience of mankind, and the revealed will of the Almighty Creator, as recognized by all Christian nations. Not only were Texan insurrectionists fighting to keep slavery in place, but as made clear, they were using a constitutionally illegal establishment of religion to do so.2

South Carolina: Those [Union] States have assumed the right of deciding upon the propriety of our domestic institutions; and have denied the rights of property established in fifteen of the States and recognized by the Constitution; they have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery; they have permitted open establishment among them of societies, whose avowed object is to disturb the peace and to eloign the property of the citizens of other States. If this seems indirect, the “property” they referred to was the ownership of African human beings as slaves.

Georgia: The people of Georgia having dissolved their political connection with the Government of the United States of America, present to their confederates and the world the causes which have led to the separation. For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slave-holding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery. They have endeavored to weaken our security, to disturb our domestic peace and tranquility, and persistently refused to comply with their express constitutional obligations to us in reference to that property.2 Again, the property they reference is African human beings, as slaves.

Quotes by southern politicians defending slavery, and its main reason for the civil war, are too numerous to list. One of the more egregious and obvious is from CS Brigadier General Clement Stevens:  “If slavery is to be abolished then I take no more interest in our fight. The justification of slavery in the South is the inferiority of the negro.”3

An obvious explanation for dismissing the voluminous amount of written material attesting slavery as the American Civil War’s cause is time – people have simply forgotten. I do not accept this explanation – even if most people espousing the false “the civil war was fought over states’ rights, not slavery” haven’t read any of the articles of secession, or seen a single quote.

Rather, I think the unwritten and inaccurate argument more along these lines:

Prior to America’s abolition of slavery, the institution of slavery was accepted – no one even thought it possible to do away with it. We cannot judge 19th century thinkers by modern standards. They simply didn’t realize slavery was wrong. Therefore, it remains a matter of “states’ rights.” Certain states wished to keep slavery as an institution, and since they didn’t know it was wrong, it remains an issue over states’ rights – not the institution of slavery, which we know harmful only through the hindsight of history.

The American Declaration of Independence makes clear:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed”4

There’s simply no possible way all slave owners, who’d taught their African slaves how to speak, cook, care for horses, assist in the raising of their children, etc. could avoid seeing them as human beings. Indeed, the abolitionist movement began. When, finally, the intelligentsia of the time realized African humans were just that – they sought to end slavery. A debate raged, at the time, as to whether or not American slaves were “happy,” and countless pseudo-intellectuals on both sides of this false debate put forth countless anecdotal evidence to support African humans’ happiness/misery’ as slaves. Abraham Lincoln began this debate’s end when he pointed out it wasn’t for the slave owner to settle the question of the ‘slave’s happiness,’ but rather the responsibility of the person wrongfully enslaved to decide what to do with their lives, free from the bonds of slavery. In other words, these human beings also had unalienable rights.

Since the rights of a human being are unalienable, no state has the authority to remove these rights. Indeed, it is the state’s responsibility to ensure these rights, for everyone. Enslaving other human beings is illegal, and no state has a right to break the law.

The American Civil War was indeed fought over rights – human rights. States do not have the authority to take away human rights, as they are unalienable. Any attempt to do so is not only unethical and immoral, but plainly illegal.

The false argument holding The American Civil war fought over rights slave-owning states didn’t legally have holds intellectual capital, to this day. Perhaps American culture’s refusal to label it accurately, once and for all, partially fuels modern-day polarization when it comes to race.

As any contemporary thinker knows, the poles offered in today’s political climate are useless extremes. Modern “woke” liberals espouse a religion of anti-racism in which every non-white person suffers at the hands of ‘white privilege,’ regardless of the alleged victim’s socio-political status. Liberal cancel culture makes clear no opinions are tolerated outside this narrative.5 Contemporary American conservatives argue we need “return” to a policy of “America First,” contemptuously defines every liberal as a socialist and insists the only way forward an impossible return to a non-existent, overly simplistic ‘era’ which they seem to place sometime in the 1950’s. Neither side accepts debate, is willing to admit it’s wrong, or is even open to reality.

Perhaps our inability to see the present for what it is stems from our refusal to accept the past for what it was.

  1. Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto, page 29. Italics mine.
  2. https://www.battlefields.org/learn/articles/reasons-secession#:~:text=Every%20state%20in%20the%20Confederacy,decision%20to%20leave%20the%20Union.
  3. https://www.civilwarcauses.org/quotes.htm Italics mine.
  4. https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/declaration-transcript Italics mine.
  5. Sam Harris, Making Sense, Episode #265, The Religion of Anti-Racism

Proud American Ignoramus

I was enraged when I read the following, originally published on NextDoor, written by a private citizen after an affluent D.C. suburb unconstitutionally outlawed the “open carry” of firearms in city-owned public areas such as parks. The illegal move came after a cascade of paranoid, irrational reactions to a gun rights advocacy group’s lawfully open carrying rifles in exercise of both their 1st and 2nd Amendment rights.

For most of my life I’ve wondered what causes such closed-minded, paranoid reactions. A refusal to self-reflect, I’ve concluded, coupled with toxic denial. A refusal to be Free, in other words, whilst insisting one’s way of life the paragon of freedom.

“I think we’ve learned a lot.  The gun lobby can’t explain why their right to bear arms does not extend to Tanks, Armed fighter jets, rocket propelled grenades, or even powerful explosives.  When their endowment is challenged they respond in kind. If they were really above such comments they would most likely ignore them. Their vociferous defense is actually further evidence of the fact’s accuracy.  They have proven that they are exactly what we know them to be. Cowering beta-males who choose to deal with their own insecurities by buying fire arms that help feed their empty souls.  One would think that the endless buffet at the Golden Corral, cases of Moutain-Dew, and chocking on the smoke of their own de-filtered diesel trucks would help them find the solace they crave.  But none of this can make them feel as whole as wielding death in their hands.  They don’t care about the consequences of a society with hundreds of thousands of firearms, because they’re “special”. The consequences that come from their need to hold death in their hands are, to them, meaningless. They are, by definition, selfish.”

I think we’ve learned a lot.

Yes, we have learned a lot.

Speaking only for myself it’s taken most of my life, several careers, a college education as well as a combination of both military and first response service to learn Proud American Ignoramus isn’t always pseudo-conservative. Archie Bunker’s status as the archetypal Proud American Ignoramus has been irrelevant as long as it has been outdated. Whereas Archie Bunker presented his World War II combat experience as a certificate of mass-exposure to all humanity has to offer, the person who penned the above – Contemporary Proud American Ignoramus – offers his ivory-league degree and socioeconomic status as the same certificate of mass-exposure to all humanity has to offer.

Though both certificates are fraudulent their bearers remain oblivious. In reality, PAI remains painfully under exposed, even if she is over-educated – the latter combination perhaps worse, as PAI’s diplomas lend her currency in politics.

Contemporary, pseudo-liberal PAI isn’t quite as recognizable, especially when she cloaks herself in the flag of liberalism and isn’t miserable. Misery may, in fact, be the difference in recognizability. Archie Bunker thought himself put upon; downtrodden, as he defended his misery from the comfort of his low-quality easy chair, convinced of his moral superiority. Contemporary, pseudo-liberal PAI (especially the Washingtonian version) takes for granted their Sunday brunch, over-priced suburban home and ridiculously sheltered way of life. Contemporary, liberal PAI fails to acknowledge the sacrifice and hard work which goes into the freedom they take for granted, demand, and insist is their birth right.

The gun lobby can’t explain why their right to bear arms does not extend to Tanks, Armed fighter jets, rocket propelled grenades, or even powerful explosives. 

While “the gun lobby” may not offer explanation as to why 2nd Amendment rights don’t extend to things such as armed fighter jets, “tanks” (I’ll assume here PAI refers to heavily armored, mobile artillery vehicles) explosives, et cetera, I can easily explain why I don’t own any of them.

Fighter jets – While I’d love to get in and target practice across the desert with an F/A-18 Hornet, at approximately $67,000,000 (sixty-seven million dollars) per unit, the vehicle’s cost lies decidedly outside the range of what I can afford. Additionally, even if I could somehow purchase the aircraft, I’d then need learn how to fly it – an endeavor which military personnel, while doing nothing else, take an average of 2 to 4 years to learn. We haven’t gone near storing the thing or fueling it. Additionally, its fully automatic machine guns are, in fact, illegal in all 50 states. So, PAI, while in legal theory my 2nd Amendment Rights may in fact extend to an F/A-18 Fighter/Attack jet (sans machine guns), my schedule and wallet decidedly don’t.

“Tanks” – Again, I’m assuming Proud American Ignoramus here refers to heavily armored mobile artillery vehicles, such as the U.S. Army’s M1 Abrams, start at about $4,000,000 (four million dollars). Decidedly less than the Hornet, though still outside my economic reach which means, once again, I can’t have it, whether or not I’m legally permitted ownership.

Rocket Propelled Grenades & Powerful Explosives – RPG’s and bricks of C4 aren’t economically foreboding. Legally, one can purchase C4 as long as it contains a tracking agent – even military and law enforcement organizations must abide by this law. There are lots of states which permit the ownership of RPG’s and their use in extremely controlled conditions. Speaking for myself, the well-regulated militia I deem necessary to maintain my state of freedom does not require either an RPG or C4. So you see, PAI, while permitted by law to own such things, I simply don’t need them.

If the preceding list reads as absurd to you, Proud American Ignoramus, such is the way your logical fallacy reads: “You ought not be permitted a rifle because you can’t explain why you can’t have a fighter jet.”

When their endowment is challenged they respond in kind. If they were really above such comments they would most likely ignore them. Their vociferous defense is actually further evidence of the fact’s accuracy.

I’m unclear here, what Proud American Ignoramus accuses gun owners of. The sentences, despite containing hundred-dollar words, simply don’t make sense. What endowment are gun owners vociferously defending, and what fact’s accuracy is this defense further evidence of?

Given the broad, sweeping generalizations PAI makes about gun owners, I’ll make the assumption he’s referring to gun owner’s ‘vociferous’ defense of their 2nd Amendment Rights.

One more time, this time for the box seats, the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America:

“A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

In the “District of Columbia v. Heller, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to keep and bear arms, unconnected with service in a militia.”[1]Although this decision left out the act of bearing arms and unconstitutionally limited gun ownership to storing firearms in one’s dwelling, the decision at least distinguished between military service and a well-regulated militia.

Now for a simple, easy concession I’m tired of making: Yes, the 2nd Amendment has been interpreted to grant people far more access to firearms than our forefathers ever intended. I’ll follow this with an easy concept I’m tired of voicing because no one’s grasping: All of the Amendments in The Bill of Rights were written to protect us against a tyrannical government, mainly because the authors just finished fighting a war against a tyrannical government.

We, the people, have access to “more” firearms the same as we have access to “more” forms of mass-communication, and freedom “from” religion, and women have absolute sovereignty over their own bodies, and police need search warrants to look through our phones. The founding fathers could no more have predicted computers and social media than they could have firearms capable of storing multiple rounds. The founding fathers intended none of this – yet here we are. Why? Because freedom means free.

Freedom costs, however. “Eternal vigilance,” wrote Thomas Jefferson, “is the cost of liberty.” Almost every state has unconstitutional restrictions on gun ownership. Ironically, the District of Columbia has the most unconstitutional, restrictive gun laws in the union. So, while Proud American Ignoramus enjoys the freedoms fought for by others while seeking simultaneously to restrict others’ freedoms, I see no other way to defend our freedoms against PAI than vigilantly. Or, if Proud American Ignoramus prefers, vociferously.

They have proven that they are exactly what we know them to be. Cowering beta-males who choose to deal with their own insecurities by buying fire arms that help feed their empty souls.

How have “they” proven so, Proud American Ignoramus? Most recently, in excess of 20,000 gun owners, wielding guns, showed up to Richmond, Virginia in protest of the state’s (unfortunately recently passed) incredibly unconstitutional anti firearm laws. “They” harmed not a single person, and even cleaned up their own trash. Furthermore, Proud American Ignoramus, you sexist jerk you, 38 % of gun owners are women.[2] These are people who stood up to a potentially tyrannical government for their own civil rights. I’d call that the opposite of cowering.

As far as empty souls are concerned, I’m not as confident in judging others’ souls as Proud American Ignoramus. I’m more of the mindset one is entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness – as long as one isn’t hurting others.

One would think that the endless buffet at the Golden Corral, cases of Moutain-Dew, and chocking on the smoke of their own de-filtered diesel trucks would help them find the solace they crave.

Yes, I suppose the access those of privilege have to the spoils of their own lifestyle should satisfy them. One would think, for example, Proud American Ignoramus satisfied by his multi-million dollar Olde Towne Home and every American corporation falling all over itself to advertise towards her. One would think Proud American Ignoramus satisfied by his gorging on gourmet meals at over-rated downtown restaurants and his weekly bitching at brunch servers enough for his own solace, but apparently not. No, Proud American Ignoramus needs feed his insecurities by infringing upon others’ freedoms – not a practice engaged in by gun owners.

But none of this can make them feel as whole as wielding death in their hands.  They don’t care about the consequences of a society with hundreds of thousands of firearms, because they’re “special”. They consequences that come from their need to hold death in their hands are, to them, meaningless.

The obvious presents no analytic challenge: what – exactly – are the consequences of a society with hundreds of thousands of firearms? If Proud American Ignoramus were to do some homework, she’d discover a far higher body count due to things like driving drunk, mis handling power tools, and even obesity – currently at about 300,000 deaths per year, obesity claims 10 x the number of lives in America than firearms claim.

Proud American Ignoramus’ phrasing, “hold death in their hands,” fascinates me. S/he could have said “own and carry firearms,” but instead chose to sensationalize firearms’ lethality. Yes, people who carry guns possess the ability to kill, in seconds. They don’t often find themselves victims of violent robberies, or burglaries. They have chosen – perhaps even if only in theory – not to be victims; not to let others dictate how their lives shall be run.

It’s here I’ve discovered a similarity, between conservative anti-choice folks (those supposedly ‘against abortion’) and liberal anti-gun folks (those supposedly in favor of strict gun control laws). Both groups operate on the delusion that morality can somehow be legislated. Both schools of moronic thought fool themselves into believing the human race will somehow better itself if freedoms are restricted.

For the newly formed human cells lost by a woman getting an abortion in private isn’t accessible to anyone but her, and her doctor. If America ever steps rolling back the 4th Amendment freedoms offered by Roe v. Wade and allows gynecological medical technology to advance, pregnant women may one day not need a doctor to abort their pregnancies. Naturally, Proud American Ignoramus doesn’t like the idea of half the population being in control of its destiny.

‘Tis people’s insistence on living freely, Proud American Ignoramus dislikes. The idea of doing what one wishes, with one’s own destiny – Freedom – is an idea which scares Proud American Ignoramus. She gets frightened, when half the population exercises its right to privacy, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The very sight of guns reminds Proud American Ignoramus he isn’t free; why, she’s afraid of her own shadow. He’s jealous, of those folks’ very ability and courage, to ‘carry death in their hands.’

“There’s a difference,” Jack Nicholson told us, “between being it [free] and saying it. But don’t get telling them they ain’t free, ‘cause then they gonna get real busy killin’ and maimin’ to prove to you that they is.”

Proud American Ignoramus needs not kill and maim – she simply needs present her degree from Harvard and ask for more restrictive laws. He just needs to keep insisting A, B, and C a ‘threat to us and our children!’ whether they are or not, for her voice and words to become the latest restriction on others’ freedom.

They are, by definition, selfish.

“They” don’t want to live as does Proud American Ignoramus. “They” want to preserve their freedom and maintain the ability to guide their own destinies. “They” tout not their limited experience as proof they’ve been exposed to all humanity has to offer, but rather insist, ‘I do not wish to live your way, I wish to live mine.’ Sometimes “they” can insist humbly. Other times, “they” must insist more forcefully – by carrying death in their hands.

Yes, they are selfish. Unlike Proud American Ignoramus, they’ve selves to protect.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/District_of_Columbia_v._Heller

[2] https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/06/29/how-male-and-female-gun-owners-in-the-u-s-compare/

#Thegunlobbycan’texplainwhytheirrighttobeararmsdoesnotextendtoTanks, Armedfighterjets,rocketpropelledgrenades,orevenpowerfulexplosives

The Climate Changes.

This many-rooted tree symbolized “eugenics” at three International Eugenics Conferences. First in London in 1912, followed by two in New York, 1921 and 1932. Each conference drew participants – PhD’s in medicine, anthropology, and more – along with ‘activists,’ politicians and leaders from industrialized nations. Eugenicists claimed: “The theory of eugenics postulated a crisis of the gene pool leading to the deterioration of the human race.”1 This crisis within our gene pool which would lead to the deterioration of the human race wasn’t a disease, mind you. Not a virus or a fungus or a pollutant – it was other humans. Blacks, Jews, Roma (gypsies), homosexuals, immigrants, degenerates, the unfit and many others were targeted and labelled “feeble minded” or worse. Margaret Sanger called them a “dead weight of human waste.”2 To say this crisis was recognized as valid by the majority of the industrialized world is like saying nuclear warheads are somewhat destructive. Eugenics was an imminent crisis whose results would be catastrophic if something wasn’t done right now (or about 1900-1950). In fact, it’s difficult to express just how widespread this ridiculous, damaging, hurtful pseudo-scientific movement was. It isn’t a chapter America would just as soon forget but rather one we’ve completely forgotten. It’s time we remember. A few well-known eugenicists: “Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Winston Churchill, Supreme Court Justices Oliver Wendell Holmes, Louis Brandeis, Alexander Graham Bell, Margaret Sanger, Luther Burbank, Leland Stanford (founder of Stanford University), H.G. Wells, George Bernard Shaw….”3 Entire facilities were built to “research” this imminent crisis in the human gene pool, specifically The Cold Springs Harbor Institute. Other Universities who “contributed” junk, pseudo-scientific garbage to this genocide included Johns Hopkins, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford,4 the Kaiser Willhelm Institute of Anthropology, and the Eugenics Record Office.5 The efforts to stem this crisis (stop blacks, gays, Roma, Jews, etc. from breeding at any cost) was backed by The American Medical Association and the National Academy of Sciences.6 The idea in part began with the speculations (not experiments, mind you, but off-hand speculations) of British scientist Francis Galton and adopted by ultra-modern, scientifically-minded Americans. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s ‘The Great Gatsby even gives a nod to it (yes, it’s in the movie, too) when one of the characters mentions the whites’ need to overtake the blacks (I guess slavery followed by near-poverty level serviette weren’t enough). “It’s scientific,” he keeps repeating. One gets the sense Fitzgerald didn’t buy a word of eugenics. Oddly enough, plenty of critics labelled Fitzgerald’s prose (especially The Great Gatsby) modern to the point of being ‘anti-intellectual.’ As it turns out, he was one of the few people actually thinking! “Those who opposed the theory,” Michael Crichton writes in one of the most important but poorly written pieces of contemporary American fiction – State of Fear, “were shouted down and called reactionary, blind to reality, or just plain ignorant. But in hindsight, what is surprising is that so few people objected.” Indeed. For sans objection, several United States began mandatory sterilization programs, starting with Indiana in 1907. Other states who followed included Virginia (in 1927, Buck vs. Bell, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the state of Virginia could sterilize those it thought unfit. The law was repealed in 1974.7 California boasted the most mandatory sterilizations. From 1907 to 1963 64,000 people were forcibly sterilized, under eugenic legislation, in the U.S.8 Paul Popenoe wrote book, reporting so favorably on the success of California’s eugenics-sterilization program it was used by German NAZIs as ‘evidence’ sterilization could be wide-reaching, and humane.9 “A 1937 Fortune magazine poll found that 2/3 of respondents supported eugenic sterilization of “mental defectives,” 63% supported sterilization of criminals, and only 15% opposed both.10 Except there wasn’t science behind this movement. No Ethics Review Boards, no real experimentation, nothing. Terms like “feeble minded” weren’t defined, scientifically or even textually. I’m obsessed with WWII history. After reading my fourth or fifth book on Adolf Hitler, I began having a strange epiphany. Contrary to popular belief, the man wasn’t an ‘evil genius,’ or a ‘criminal mastermind.’ Adolf Hitler was stupid, self-indulgent, and incompetent. There were people under his command with some criminal genius (and malicious intent the likes of which is only found in serial killers). The “mystery” as to how the NAZIS rose to such prominence and power isn’t mysterious at all; such is a lie of popular history. NAZIS (initially at least) had the world’s support behind them. As the NAZIS staged photos of the masses apparently happy in the streets and sent them round the world, there wasn’t a need to ask questions. Eugenics was working (it was working here in the good ‘ole U.S of A, wasn’t it?) and we ought just leave it alone. Now, we know differently. Now, we know that over 6 million human beings were sent to their deaths under Hitler’s command in Nazi-occupied Germany. Now, we know that tens of thousands underwent forced surgery (in legal terms this is malicious wounding, another version of attempted murder) for no reason whatsoever. Now, we know we were wrong. Some time ago, I was sitting with a biologist in a coffee shop. He ardently believed in Global Warming; the imminent catastrophic destruction of life on our planet as we know it because increased atmospheric carbon dioxide’s rise correlates with rising “global” temperatures. I mentioned Eugenics. He said he’d “Heard of it,” but didn’t see what one had to do with the other. “A majority of scientists,” I said, “once believed the human race faced a crisis that, if not fixed, would destroy the human race.” “No they didn’t,” was his answer, with a smile. Yes, they did. And until terms like “extreme weather” and “catastrophic environmental effects” are scientifically and operationally defined, they’re not science but sound bytes. And the “hockey stick graph” presented by environmentalists to “prove” global warming (while they fail to define global warming?!) isn’t dissimilar from the chart claiming similarity between the bone structure and facial features of criminals currently on display in the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. – both are coincidental, go back about a split second in geological/human history, and neither are worth the paper they’re printed on. ________________________________________________________________________________ 1. SOF p. 632 2. IBID, p. 633 3. IBID, p. 631 4. IBID, p. 632 5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugenics#History 6. SOF p. 632 7. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugenics_in_the_United_States#Compulsory_sterilization 8. IBID 9 IBID 10. IBID All facts for THIS small blurb have been taken from Michael Chrichton’s ‘State of Fear’,’ ‘The Holocaust Chronicle’ published by Legacy Publishing, and Wikipedia’s numerous pages on eugenics. The United States of a Masquerade, a book, will be out in the next few years, by Angelow Three. A look at American history from a lens of artificial controversy. Don’t take my word for it. Eugenics, global warming, and WWII history are fascinating topics. Go forth and explore, though I warn: the truth will appall and disgust you. But hey, at least you’ll know.eugenicstree

Live The Rainbow.

Rainbow1
On May 28, 1963 John Salter, Joan Trumpauer and Anne Moody sat at a Woolworth’s counter in America’s south and refused to leave when Moody was refused service because of her skin color. The professor and two students left the store hours later drenched in salt, pepper, water, etc. under police protection.
We now call what Moody and her friends experienced racism, expressed so physically no one would be surprised if it left permanent scars.
52 years (over half a century) ago, pro-segregationists called it “Separate but Equal.” A significant portion of the American voting population saw nothing wrong with treating human beings this way as many government officials (most of them southern) assured the existence of two separate cultures in the south: black, and white.
52 years (over half a century) later we know the truth: doubtfully as separate as segregationists would have liked to believe, and absolutely unequal, black Americans were treated – and this is an understatement – horribly.
Populist debate raged in typical American Newspaper Sensational fashion as to whether the federal government ought get involved, whether or not southern states had a right to separate blacks and whites, etc. and ad nauseum.
On June 1, 2015 there isn’t a state in the union without codified rules banning the discrimination of human beings based on the color of their skin, what god they do (or don’t) worship, or their gender. Although difficult to prove in some cases, violation of these law sections for the perpetrators can mean massive financial penalties and in many cases, criminal prosecution.
The overwhelming majority of us agree: Good.
 
So…why are we doing this again? Don’t look at me like I’m crazy – an Indiana couple in March was denied services by a bakery to make their wedding cake, and courts initially said it was ok – the bakery owners were simply expressing their ‘religious liberty’ when denying the couple services.
‘Yeah, but that’s…DIFFERENT.’
Yes, it sure is. In 1963 there was virtually no case law to disprove the “Separate but Equal” notion. In 1963 we were about 30 years post-eugenics movement and 20 years post WW2, in which people died by the MILLIONS fighting a mass genocide in Europe based on a misconception: Jews aren’t an ethnicity but a group of people sharing the same religion and even if they DID share an ‘ethnicity’ nothing that was going wrong in the world was anyone’s specific fault – except of course trying to kill an entire group of people who shared a religion. In 1963 we knew just a little bit about how detrimental segregation was to community well-being. In 1963, we weren’t as exposed to the 3rd-world religious/ethnic policies of the middle east and parts of under-developed europe. In 1963 Americans knew very little about homosexuality – indeed, videos warning teens against gays were show in our high schools.
 
Whereas in 2015, things are different. We now know humans across the board share over 99.9% of the same DNA. We have seen our nation, in hindsight, nearly become like our middle eastern enemies: bitter and backwards and full of hate towards our neighbor because of her gender or religion, and seen how impossible such a thing is to fight, either with gun or culture or both. In 2015, we know homosexuals (like blacks, or women, or Hispanics or people with tattoos or people who think differently than we do) have always been here, aren’t hurting anyone and aren’t going anywhere because, whether we like it or not, human life thrives on diversity, in every way shape and form.
Yes, it’s VERY different. There’s simply no excuse now.
 
Save your breath, Libertarians and pseudo-conservatives about a Big Brother government intervening in ‘trivial’ matters. Really, your wedding and its details were trivial? Didn’t think so, and neither was that couples.’
 
I, for one, don’t want to do this again. I don’t want police following orders to ask homosexuals to leave businesses because their owners “Reserve The Right To Refuse Service” to anyone. I’d really rather not see gays rioting because a society wrongly but lawfully denies them civil rights.
 
The bakery was being asked to make a cake. Not to marry them, not to have sex with them, not to vote differently. Just to make a cake.
 
Your rights end at the next person’s nose – and denying people services/goods/ceremonies/etc. because of their skin color, artificial coloring, sexual orientation, gender, ideology, color of their hat, occupation or anything ELSE about their personhood isn’t an expression of “Religious Freedom” but rather one of religious oppression and that, friends and neighbors, is illegal. And should be.
 
So hush. Remember what intolerance looks and feels like.
 
And let them eat cake.

Make Nancy Kerrigan Skate Again

IMG_3340

In an episode of Netflix’ Dark, a German character picks up a smartphone – in 1921. Via expert acting we get to see the object through the eyes of someone 100 years ago: a relatively girthy slab of glass and metal with strange protrusions. When, suddenly, colors appear on the glass and the entire object vibrates, the man is startled and quickly puts the thing down.

I mention this scene to illustrate: on the one hand, I get it. I truly do. In my lifetime, we’ve gone from inevitable, graphic-less, text-induced dysentery on The Oregon Trail, to scaled 400+ square miles of vividly colored rainforest in Just Cause:4 through which Rico can fly helicopters, military jets, drive cars, and parachute with accompanying action-movie soundtrack. I used to help my dad adjust the timing screws on his 1982 Dodge Ram pickup in our Madison, New Jersey driveway; now my 2015 Jeep Wrangler’s engine cannot be worked on without an accompanying diagnostic computer.

For a little over a century now, technology and culture have advanced so rapidly the present keeps becoming the future feared by those of lesser minds: the slab of metal and dark glass becomes the iPhone, bearing no resemblance whatever to the clunky rotary dial telephone which sat on one’s desk in a perfectly remembered yesteryear.

The idea, simply stated: “Things” are changing for the worse, but we only need revive the past and embrace our good ‘ole fashioned values for everything to be perfect again.

The idea takes many forms. Things were better back in the day. Life was so much simpler when _____ . My personal favorite, Society is in decline.

It’s an idea as old as time and as useless as seances to raise the dead, but like a virus remains pervasive, often voiced by some of society’s most brilliant as they age.

Albert Einstein: “I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.”

The quote often appears in memes depicting multiple kids using smartphones.

While most of us probably think we could be on our phones a lot less, smart phones have revolutionized the way we communicate. They’ve also saved the lives of lost folk, aided in our daily workouts, allowed us better control over our finances and given us real-time navigation almost anywhere on the planet, not to mention the ability to have telephone conversations anywhere. Contemporary life might not be possible without them. Aside from smart phones, technological evolution has enabled advances in just about every industry, including medicine. Einstein was simply wrong.

While we’re on the subject of medical technology, yes we can use a human fetus for medical research – it’s called stem cell research, and the resulting medical advances are as phenomenal as they are quiet given researchers’ fear of offending the Huberian Proletariat. I’m pretty much done with the Pro-Life/Pro-Choice debate – there isn’t one. There are not two sides. There’s a woman’s sovereignty over her own body vs. junk pseudo-science claiming fetuses can ‘feel pain.’ And while we’re on the subject, yes we can use animals in medical research, though the rules far more stringent now than they once were.

“The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.” Aristotle said so, sometime in the 3rd or 4th century, B.C. Aristotle’s words don’t read much differently from Huber’s “parenting has been replaced with Ritalin.” Really, has it? Like Aristotle, Huber presents nothing – no statistics on the number of Ritalin prescriptions nor the frequency with which children misbehave in schools, nothing. Merely that we’ve replaced parenting with Ritalin.

As long as were pontificating sans evidence, I’ll postulate about 10% of parents raise their children within industrialized societies. Again, without evidence, I think that’s way up from less than 1 % in pre-industrialized societies.

The majority of Huber’s drivel lacks the density for analysis. To whit, members of congress seeking re-election vs. congressional hearings; racism re-directed to fictional individuals and their 1st Amendment rights (?!); the fairy tale of prison reform and its economic cost as well as criminals being re-branded as sick people; social welfare’s fictional cost to working folk vs. America’s blind acceptance of corporate welfare.

Huber’s thoughts on communism echo a different bygone era. “We got rid of the communist and socialist threat by renaming them progressives.” Once again, as long as we’re speaking without evidence, I’ll remind Huber the cold war ended quite a while ago, and call into question whether or not there was ever a communist threat. I’ll go a step further and argue Americans don’t understand socialism, precisely because those who control our corporate socialist economy don’t want them to. If we suddenly woke up and observed American capital’s incessant re-distribution from almost everyone back to the wealthiest .1% of the population, capitalists might pose the very threat to the current status quo morons like Huber believe socialists do.

Huber misunderstands the parallel between pornography on the internet and a nativity scene in a public park. Probably because he doesn’t understand the internet, the 1st Amendment, or religion. The internet is a free market viewed privately, public parks tax-money supported public venues. You’re more than welcome to put a nativity scene on your front lawn, though your living room widescreen displaying porn through an open window would be stopped. Why? Because despite what idiots like Huber believe, both religion and pornography are highly personal matters neither of which are appropriate for public spaces. Huber’s complaint re-phrased: “I’m offended by material I have to search for on the internet, but can’t I – at the very least – impose my religion on others?” No, Huber, you can’t.

I happen to believe it’s necessary to teach children about homosexuality, as long as the approximate 11% of the population which is homosexual has the highest suicide rate. This kind of hate to me reads no differently than speaking badly of specific ethnic or religious groups. It’s pure, stupid, malicious, intentional ignorance.

A popular brand of stupid, malicious, intentional ignorance though, to say the least. Why, The Orange One knew these ideas – popular hatred, populist anger and a yearning for a non-existent past – so pervasive he was able to employ them, at least in part, in his con into the White House. You know, “Make America Great Again.” As though a return to a bygone era were both possible and he of all people could turn the clock back.

Huber hasn’t guts, despite how many people think like him. His words merely resonate with others’ indigestion about a future they fear.

There’s no going back. The only way forward is forward.

The Orange One attempts to dismantle entire scientific agencies, like the Environmental Protection Agency. The state of Georgia all but destroys American women’s bodily sovereignty. The U.S. government operates detainment camps which, at best, violate human rights and at worst are in fact concentration camps in order to appease an ignorant, racist base.

In a culture partially convinced we’ve wrenched the clock back and God help anyone who disagrees, brave are those who oppose the Hubers. Brave are those who stand up to the asinine, toxic idea (We Must Bring Back the Past) in order to preserve the homes, of the free.

 

#AmericanCulture  #DonaldTrump  #Trumpsucks  #FuckTrump  #conservative  #BringBackThePast #KenHuber

 

Smart, television – smart.

Last Christmas, sitting in an opulent Alexandria, Virginia Hilton’s lobby, my parents and younger brother (a former Disney actor) having just seen Vice, commented on the coming attractions. “All of it’s Mavel, Marvel, Marvel,” my mother complained.

While only 8 of the 98 movies released (or slated to be released) in 2019 are based on or related to comics, Avengers: Endgame generated almost $724 million in theaters, the highest-grossing movie all year. Avengers likely would have been advertised at Vice’s beginning, along with Hellboy and Captain Marvel, thus rendering Marvel’s appearing to saturate the silver screen.

Hollywood’s 2019 offerings are certainly lots more of the same, including Pokemon Detective Pikachu, obviously for children, John Wick: Chapter 3- Parabellum, a re-boot of the 2000 Charlie’s Angels which was itself a television remake, What Men Want, Rambo V and How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. One senses a lack of ideas, or at the least, a lack of originality.

Meanwhile, on television of all places, HBO’s Game of Thrones series helped HBO add 50 million subscribers – the series surpassed HBO’s last massive hit, The Sopranos. I came late to the Game Of Thrones. I finished watching S1 Episodes 1-3 and then watched the most recent episode on TV. The episode stood on its own; I was riveted.

I understand how folks feel about the ending, and the show’s having jumped the shark. Er – got burned by the dragon. Still, GOT was unbelievable. Both its quality, and its popularity, defied belief. Except for the last two episodes, nothing about GOT was less than superb – costumes, writing, acting, cinematography, all of it.  GOT’s episodes stood on their own because its plot was elegantly simple – if you can force yourself through half a season of Days of Our Lives or any prime-time soap, you’ll see what I mean. This is a compliment, not an insult, to  GOT – there’s a reason one is compelled to binge watch it vs. having to force one’s self through a season of a typical soap opera. GOT just grabs – why?

A few reasons. Most basically, perhaps, because sex and violence, especially when experienced by characters we love and hate, is fun to watch. GOT delivered far more explicit examples of both than television shows or movies which have traditionally and inaccurately been labelled as ‘sexually explicit;’ see Black Snack Moan or Miami Vice or either Bad Boys movie. Game of Thrones, again in my not remotely humble opinion, actually delivered an uber-sexualized, incredibly violent visual experience we’re constantly and falsely told infests movies and prime-time television.

Game of Thrones best exemplifies the switch occurring between TV and movies which started, for me, with Breaking Bad. Watching the series’ very first episode in which a father, high school chemistry teacher/car wash employee and cancer patient eagerly cooks crystal meth in an effort to make fast cash not for himself but his family told me this wasn’t going to be anything like The X Files, The A-Team, Knight Rider, Miami Vice or any of the other TV series I’d watched and enjoyed. Breaking Bad even explored the very outer fringes of sexual power play when Walter tried taking his frustrations out on Skyler – she willingly participated once and then drew a line which her truly devoted, giant-hearted husband both respected and adhered to; merchant of Crystal meth he may have been, abusive he was not. Gone were the digital, either/or representations of Good vs. Evil or Cop vs. Robber.

Both Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad could not view more antithetical to television shows made not so long ago whose producers pumped out family-friendly product for prime time written to its’ audience’s lowest common denominator, trying to avoid offending while appealing to the largest number of viewers possible.

What few movies mainstream television did play were reduced in running time and censored so badly in most instances (Pulp Fiction, A Few Good Men, Flashdance), you really weren’t watching the same movie.

Some time during the tectonic cultural shift of the late 90’s and early 00’s the internet became. Once dial-up modems were replaced by cable and fiberoptic modems we all started streaming things on our phones and computers. With the advent of so-called “Smart televisions” and their access to the internet, the game changed.

Netflix began as Blockbuster video’s nemesis. You got your DVD’s in the mail and sent them back when you were done – no late fees. Quickly, Netflix offered movies to stream. Next, Netflix started making movies.

They were followed by HULU, HBO Go and others. The Streamers.

The streamers differ from traditional television in three important ways. First, they depend on subscriptions instead of advertising for their revenue. No particular piece, movie or series needs appeal to a mass-audience, as long as it appeals to AN audience. In fact, the streamers seem to have discovered the more diverse an array of product they offer, the larger their subscription base – the exact opposite method used by traditional TV, which tried to create a single product which appealed to everyone.

Second, they’re not bound by time constraints – a series can run as long as it has the energy to do so, and each episode needn’t fit into a tidy time block.

Third, the streamers are accountable only to the law in terms of the 1st Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America. While they cannot proverbially scream “fire!” in a crowded movie theater (incite riots, participate in blackmail, etc.) they needn’t worry about censors the way old-school TV producers did – they don’t have to worry about not offending people, in other words. In short, streamers have discovered a large market for things which are edgy, violent and yes, “may be offensive to some viewers.”

Hence, a thesis I spouted impotently in the 1990’s has been proven and capitalized upon by the streamers: there are untapped markets for edgy, quality visual productions. I was vehemently argued down, told edginess would never been seen on TV.

They were wrong, and I was right.

Streamers’ products view, paradoxically, both more targeted to a specific audience and more ‘out of the box’ than current (and in some cases previous) Hollywood films. Streamers’ products have also surpassed current movies on all fronts – acting skill, writing and cinematography.

I love the original Star Wars, please don’t get me wrong. I loved the plastic models blown up by firecrackers and the costumes and the film’s cinematography. While the original Star Wars made appearance in my freshman year’s World History book given its innovation and painstaking attention to detail, it lacks the mind-blowing thought provocation in Westworld. Star Wars was marketed to a certain demographic, as were its sequels and more recently its mediocre prequels.

For the sake of argument, I’ll concede Westworld’s having been marketed to a demographic, also: Namely hardcore sci-fi nerds. Whether creatively inspired or researched for this demographic audience, the skeleton playing the player piano remains genius – the small handful of people who appreciate this visually executed philosophical version of infinite mirrors were apparently enough to make the series some serious cash.

Meanwhile, in Hollywood, The Girl in the Spider’s Web was the latest let-down in the series, produced by different people than the other films in the franchise. Unrealistic and uninteresting, a 1.5 hour commercial, in part for Ducati motorcycles. Don’t get me wrong, I like Ducatis – I didn’t like the movie. Contrast this film with Hulu’s Elementary, a new version of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. The series is refreshing, with a female Watson and a Sherlock so intelligent he really doesn’t need to fight.

Briefly back in Hollywood, Wonder Woman was discernibly packaged for an audience which doesn’t read, isn’t familiar with comic books and likes happy endings. Never mind Jenkins and Heinberg’s blatant avoidance of the comics’ latent BDSM theme, an obvious threat to any 2 hour long commercial. Contrasted with Amazon Prime’s Jessica Jones, there’s simply no match – the Jones series outdoes Wonder Woman in the first episode with characters far more human and a plot which isn’t just interesting but unpredictable – and asks the question, ‘if a female superhero had a sexuality, what might it be like in a world both sexist and not open to people who are different?’

Hollywood, it would appear, remains convinced as was television until the dawn of the internet – its audiences will not accept edgy, intelligent, controversial material.

“Once you commit to a television format, you’re a TV movie,” declared Hollywood mogul Steven Spielberg.  “You certainly, if it’s a good show, deserve an Emmy, but not an Oscar,” he went on, and has taken up a crusade to ensure a Netflix movie cannot ever win another Oscar. Such comes off as the act of a person mired in the past.

In other American industries, like oil or banking or social media, industry leaders can lobby for laws which promote the very monopolies we all agreed would be illegal after the depression. Hollywood hasn’t done so yet – maybe it can’t.

Cyberspace just might keep this playing field level. Perhaps Spielberg ought to stop impotently protesting well-deserved awards which his recent 2 hour commercials (Transformers, Bumblebee) can’t touch, go out and do some work.

If Hollywood wants to keep making blockbusters and avoid becoming the next Blockbuster they’ll need get creative, and capitalize on a few simple facts. People still want to go out and watch movies – one’s apartment/house/etc gets tiring. Couples with kids still need a Date Night. Hologram movies, choose-your-own-adventure movies controlled by X-Box/Playstation style controllers, the ability to watch a movie from different perspectives/angles, the possibilities are endless.

Hollywood might wish to adapt, in other words.

Perhaps most importantly, people still pay for movies – like the streamers, this format’s audience pays for the experience up-front. Age restrictions, rating systems and the like are every bit as useful (or not) as age restrictions on the internet. Put simply, Spielberg and his colleagues would do well to stop worrying about making a single product which appeals to everyone but offends no one and instead start creating a diverse array of products which appeal to an array of people. Like the 17.4 million people who watch Game of Thrones.

Like I said, there are untapped markets for edgy, quality visual productions.

Extra, Extra! Reading Nothing About It!

The Trump administration has banned Jim Acosta. These are the facts, as presented by CNN here: https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/13/media/cnn-sues-trump/index.html.

Though not true, CNN has claimed Acosta’s credentials as a journalist revoked by Donald Trump during live broadcasts.

CNN is currently suing The White House.

An American public which demands bleeding headlines lead its 6 o’clock news can not handle the complex, often boring truth which would bankrupt its outlets (FOX, CNN, MSNBC, etc) were such presented as the product Americans mislabel and misperceive as “news.”

Save your email; I wish not brook your complaints of a “news media’s unfair treatment of Donald Trump” nor do I wish hear about the 1st Amendment, as I know it by heart and you likely don’t. Liberal news outlets and news casters have been distorting, hiding and ignoring the truth for your benefit since America’s revolutionary war.

Such was the cynical landscape of the collected American consciousness when Donald J Trump took office: Americans were simultaneously ready to believe anything and nothing.

In fact, as Michelle Wolf so aptly pointed out, the mess known as The Trump Administration would not have been possible, were it not for the lies and misinformation dispensed by Cable News Networks and FOXy pundits alike.

So I don’t want to hear any of it, I truly don’t.

What none of us are ready for is the sort of police states which followed the likes of Adolf Hitler’s Germany whose political climate was disturbingly similar to pre-Trump’s America. The level of the people’s delusion differentiated the two in a way few of you see.

For you see, while your salary in pre WWII Germany may have been wheel-barrelled to you in raw currency in the late 1920’s in Germany for fear the paper’s value would drop – drastically – between your AM coffee and quitting time, Americans have no idea how good they have it. While the NAZIS brainwashed a population into believing Jewry an ethnicity and then blamed it and them- Jewish people, human beings – for everything prior to killing 6 million people to solve the world’s problems, America continues to extend civil rights to groups of humans (most recently homosexuals); we indeed dance a fine line between a championed I Am Victim Hear Me Complain and the eternal vigilance necessary for freedom.

Please understand my purpose not necessarily to criticize but to point out: Americans’ long held delusion as to the world’s hell-bound descent in a hand basket a strong proponent of its ill-grounded cynicism and deluded demand for fiction masquerading as news helped Donald J Trump’s rise to Presidency, as well as ensured our collective hatred of dishonest news outlets from whom we demanded dishonesty.

Trump supporters fail to foresee the horrid possibility of their own success – a world in which reporters are censored and “treat presidents fairly.”

If CNN is lying, and Acosta did something wrong (which I find highly unlikely, beyond being a creator of fiction masquerading as a journalist), it will become impossible for them to magically forget a story they created should a judge in a court of law see through their deception and rule accordingly.

If CNN is being honest and Acosta’s ban was a 1st Amendment violation (as certainly appears the case; The White House did revoke Acosta’s access to it, this is an undisputed fact) there exists a possibility an overtly racist, misogynistic, self-avowed Nationalist Presidential Administration will have one (just 1) less place to hide. Sara Sanders won’t have anywhere to hide, in fact.

While I’m too optimistic to think folks might learn the difference between news and fiction masquerading as it, or the possibility of Trump’s America coming to fruition (see above references to a homicidal WWII dictator), I’m sure the outcome will lie somewhere in the middle. CNN will get paid, spin some other fiction about the outcome and call it news, and The White House won’t have to admit to having directly violated the 1st Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America.

You read it here first: this changes nothing.

 

#JimAcosta

#cencosrhip

#WhiteHouseBansJournalist

#TrumpIsWorthless

Making America Great Again?

I wrote this before Donald J. Trump was elected president. The events in Charlottesville, VA – and President Trump’s reaction to them – frighten me.

 

I read Elie Wiesel’s Night at the age of 14 in the boys’ locker room during recess in 7th grade. Grabbed off my father’s bookshelf, the simple title intrigued – and fooled – me. I’d been feeding myself a regular literary diet of 19th century horror, consisting mostly of Edgar Allen Poe and Night with its dark moonscape cover seemed more of the same.

I skipped past the Introduction, the analysis and all the goobledygook my English teachers drug us through when we read books in class. To this day, I do the same thing even if it’s an old piece – if it can’t stand on its own it isn’t timeless but rather rehearsed as timeless.

Night is timeless. Even at the age of 14, I couldn’t put it down.

I hadn’t asked permission to read it though the rule on the bookshelf wasn’t clear. There were places off-limits; desk drawers and cabinets I wasn’t allowed in for one reason or another. I stayed away from these places not for fear I’d be punished but rather because my parents, unlike many of my contemporaries,’ made an effort to respect my privacy.

I finished Night in about two weeks and made sure to replace the small paperback on a weeknight while my father sat in the rocking chair, toggling between The New York Times and the news. “Lookin’ for something to read?” he asked.

“Actually, Dad, I read it already…” and handed it to him. “Dad, what’s it about?” His eyes widened as he took the paperback from me. He muted Dan Rather. I swallowed; an audible click over the fireplace’s loud crackle-snap. “Am I in trouble?”

“No,” he said instantly, “of course not. You can read anything on that shelf you want, you know that.”

Well, I didn’t say, I know that now. “It’s not…” I stammered, “it’s not fiction, is it?”

Dan Rather got turned off. “No,” he said, “it’s not fiction.”

A two hour discussion ensued.

My father went to summer school to graduate from high school, and worked as a blue collar laborer all his life. He could have gotten at least a Master’s, based on raw knowledge alone, of any of a number of historical incidents: The life and assassination of Abraham Lincoln, the JFK assassination, The Cuban Missile Crisis, The Cold War, The works of William Shakespeare, The works of Edgar Allen Poe; I could go on. The man reads voraciously.

Less versed on WW2, he told me what he did know: World War 1 resulted in The Treaty of Versailles which was really more a paper-executed act of warfare against Germany which caused the German economy to tank. Uneducated, angry and looking for a scapegoat, the German people embraced Adolf Hitler who in turn blamed the Jewish people for literally everything and tried to kill all of them, either through forced labor or gas chambers or both, in prison camps. Elie Wiesel survived one of those prison camps, and wrote Night based on his experience.

At the age of 14, I wasn’t sure what I was more impressed with: Wiesel’s ability to survive such a thing or the strength it took to write it down. I became obsessed with World War 2 History, and particularly the Nazis and their impossible, odds-defying rise to power. The Nazis remind me, on a global scale, of high school bullies… They’re Superstars because they say they’re Superstars, and god help anyone who disagrees.

 

Fast forward 24 years, to the Police Academy. I’m older than most of my colleagues (nothing new; I was older than my senior drill instructor in Marine Corps boot camp). Near the end of a 20-week cycle, we’re all headed to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC. I’ve spent days in this museum, wandering on my own. Today we’re getting a guided tour.

I loved the guided tour. The photos and the exhibits came to life with the guides’ explanations; I saw the meanings of photos I’d stared at a hundred times before. Like this one, in which Hitler bows before Chancellor Hindenburg.

Hitler&Chancellor

Why is he bowing?! Why is this arrogant sociopathic monster who thinks he’s god’s gift to humanity bowing before someone?

He’s bowing because he’s an arrogant sociopathic monster. He’s bowing to try and earn the trust of those who didn’t support him. He’s bowing to allay the fears of opponents who saw him as an arrogant, sociopathic monster: It’s all right, Countrymen, I respect Your Power; I only want for you what you want for yourselves.

 

One of the tour guides indulged me for about ten minutes over a disagreement on the influence of the pseudo-science ‘Eugenics’ on the holocaust. Eugenics might be world history’s most forgotten – and dangerous – movement. The idea that you can predict a human being’s value based on their skin color, ancestry, religion, etc. Yes, it was once thought ‘science’ and entire U.S. States started mandatory sterilization programs. Frightening, to say the least. And then the tour guide moved on.

 

All of the police recruits were brought into the same room after the tour. Time on deck was about 1330, hours before our day usually ended. I’d like to think everyone who likes to think, enjoyed the tour.

“I’m going to ask you,” began one of the museum’s employees, “a single question. Answer it collectively and you can go home.”

My buddies poked at me. Whispers of, ‘dude, you got this! Take us home!’ flooded my ears. Yeah, I got this. 1350, ladies and gentlemen, you mark my words, we’ll be up out this piece. A head full of World War 2 history, an obsession with the collection of human monstrosity that was the Nazi party. I wouldn’t even have to think that hard.

 

The museum worker put a photo similar to this one on the wall with a projector:

SW

Then she asked us what it depicted, which was easy. They were searching a house and probably seizing property at the same time. Then she asked, simply,

 

“What separates you from the Nazis?” And as history is my witness everyone heard a cell phone ring in the building’s basement, about three minutes after she asked the question.

 

“We have to get search warrants first,” said one recruit. Wrong, I didn’t say, the Nazis were meticulous in their documentation. They could be accused of over-documenting, in fact. It helped them keep track of how much they stole, and more importantly to them, how much ‘lesser races’ had been ‘hoarding.’ The curator said something similar, I don’t remember what.

 

“We have to get written permission from a Magistrate first,” said another recruit. Wrong, I didn’t say. Contemporary Warrants, whether search, arrest or simple subpoenas, while approved by Magistrates and/or judges, are written Orders to police officers to search the premise/arrest the person/glean records from, the place/person/entity listed on them. Police officers – members of the government – are almost always the requestors; the only difference might be the agent of intelligence, but even in Nazi-occupied Germany SS Agents probably handed the Nazi officers who issued warrants most of their information. There were probably Confidential Informants who were cut breaks, as there are today. So no, that’s not different, either. The curator said something similar, I don’t remember what.

 

I couldn’t take my eyes off the photo. Three Nazis, meticulously going through a house’s belongings, searching for stuff. Same thing I’d recently done on a practical test. I’m sure my friends were staring at me. I was thinking, and hard. All that reading, my obsessive distaste for the Nazis and sympathy for the millions of human lives, not to mention families and entire communities, they destroyed were netting me nothing. Nothing. It was on the tip of my tongue to mention we’re required to give back that which we confiscate, but that’s not true, either. We don’t give back drugs or cars or houses or boats or planes that are confiscated when the property in question was used to commit the crime in question. We aid in their systematic absorption. Just like the Nazis.

Still, there’s a difference… what we search for and why couldn’t be more fundamentally different. I sat there and let some more answers get floated, and shot down.

 

All right, I thought, I suspect John Smith of being the DMV Axe Grinder. Axe Grinder has killed forty citizens in the DMV area, and now I’ve intelligence suggesting he’s really John Smith, who lives at 4 Main Street in the city where I work. I go to a magistrate after having written a search warrant. I’m looking for axes, or saws, and especially axes and saws with blood on them. I put my hand in the air. “Yes?” Curator asked.

“What we look for,” I started, “is…different.” Pause.

“How?” I’m thinking.

“We’re looking for evidence of crimes, or property gleaned as a result of illicit profit from crimes. We’re not looking for evidence of religious beliefs.”

The curator paused, paced. Thought. A dent! “How do you know,” she asked, “they’re not searching for evidence of the crime of treason? How many attempts were made on Adolf Hitler’s life?”

Six were documented, Valkyrie probably being the most famous. Evidence abounds suggesting dozens. Many of the women who worked as prostitutes for high-ranking SS officials were spies. “Lots,” I answer. Laughter.

“Yes,” she said, “lots. There were five documented,” she says, looking me in the eye, probably to see if I’ll correct her or ask if she forgot Valkyrie but I don’t. I made her stop, and pause and am unwilling to play my cards. I’m gonna get this.

 

I sneak a look at my Invicta, worn for the first time since I started academy: 1445. I then let go of rescuing the entire class to an early day and consider the question at hand. To this day, whenever I’ve a tough case to crack or am unsure of my next move or am feeling just plain lazy because it’s close to quitting time or I’m sick of a case already, I turn my watch over and force myself to switch gears: Stop trying to go home, and do your job.

Forget the search or its origins, I decided. Forget the documentation involved, or the justifications for it, or the results of it, or the ‘crimes’ which may have led to it. I remembered a lesson learned during my 5 years in the Marine Corps: rather than define yourself in opposition to your enemy, think like your enemy.

I asked myself an incredibly backwards question which will shock you:

How are modern police officers similar to Nazis?

  • We both wear uniforms complete with rank insignias and equipment which depicts the division for whom we work, whether patrol, K9, Crime Scene Investigation, or Command Staff.
  • We both operate on written orders and have massive amounts of paper dictating what we can (and can’t) do.
  • By virtue of our profession, we’ve the power to detain, arrest, and use violence – as long as we can articulate, both verbally and in writing, why it was or is necessary to do so.
  • Sworn Oaths. We both swore oaths. Us to uphold the U.S. Constitution, the Nazis to their Furher, Adolf Hitler…

Wait a second. We’ve sworn oaths to uphold the U.S. Constitution. I’ll never forget that day in legal class, which started with a question not dissimilar: What is the U.S. Constitution? Crickets. Yeah. It’s the document which gives the U.S. Government its power, and specifically limits it through the U.S. citizenry; its people. Of the people, by the people, for the people. The amendments, which came later: 1st: The People must remain free to criticize their government verbally in writing, peaceably protest against it, an official religion will not be established, 2: Because they’ve a right to maintain a state of security, people have a right to keep and bear arms, 3: The government doesn’t house soldiers in private homes without permission of the homeowner and the 4th Amendment, the one in which police officers live:  Everyone has a right to privacy; free from unreasonable search & seizure.

The Nazis, I was pretty sure, swore an Oath to Adolf Hitler himself. I couldn’t tell you a single word from that ‘oath,’ but I do remember solemnly swearing to uphold The U.S. Constitution. My agency’s primary directive is the preservation of human life, above everything else.

 

“It’s what we’ve sworn,” I said, rudely interrupting someone trying to illustrate our Chain of Command as a difference, which it clearly isn’t.

“Care to expand on that?” asks Curator.

“Let’s take,” I say, “an extreme example. Jeffrey Dahmer. The cops who executed the arrest warrant on Dahmer weren’t doing so for the Sherriff in whatever jurisdiction he got arrested in, although that Sheriff’s name was on the warrant, or for the Magistrate who granted the warrant, although their name was on it, too. The detective or patrol officer who made the arrest signed the warrant, too, and even though I’m sure it helped their career that’s not why they made the arrest, either.” Chuckles. Good. “Dahmer was accused and found guilty of multiple counts of capital murder, a law agreed upon by the U.S. population and voted into code by representatives, who were voted into office through a democratic process.”

“So what’s the difference?” asks Curator.

“I just said it,” I say, “what we’ve sworn to uphold. Everyone in this room swore an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution, which is really an oath to uphold Freedom as that document defines it through a complex but still elegant system of democracy. We don’t swear an oath to our chiefs, or the President, or a party. We swear an oath to the very people we protect, and in a strange way, indirectly, we’re even working for the people we arrest, who have a right to a trial by a jury and are innocent of the crime for which they’ve been arrested until proven guilty in a court of law. That’s the difference: not how we go to work or that we go to work or the uniforms we wear or that we’re sometimes forced to use violence, but why. We are, in theory, protecting people. The Nazis weren’t protecting anything. They were advancing a political agenda. We work for the citizens, the Nazis worked for Hitler.”

 

Military institutions have a slight caveat; their oaths include a promise to follow all lawful orders through their chains as well as those which come from The Commander in Chief, but even then the emphasis is on the word lawful. The Marine Corps spent a lot of time teaching us not to follow orders we find unlawful. Lots of Nazis were denied acquittals during war crime trials; “I was following orders” just doesn’t cut it; you’re human and ought have known better.

 

Silence. Time on deck: 1515. No one cared. A single sound byte came back to me from a speech of Hitler’s the museum has on a loop in which Hitler declares, “People often ask me what the difference is between me and the party. No, gentlemen, no: I am the party and the party is me!” Arrogant, sociopathic monster.

Our badges mean nothing without public trust. The only power a police officer has derives through a commitment to honesty which borders on dogmatic: I’ve had multiple arrest and search warrants denied, because Magistrates told me there wasn’t sufficient probable cause. I just didn’t, as we say in the business, ‘have enough.’ This is as it should be. I look forward to the next time one of my warrants is denied, because it will force me to go back and do a better a job, or drop the thread altogether.

 

The people who make laws – Senators, Congress, etc. – haven’t the power to enforce them. The people who enforce them – FBI Agents, Secret Service Agents and street cops – haven’t the power to make laws. Checks and balances all over the place. This is what makes America great. It is the ONLY thing, which makes America great.

 

Which begs the question why I seem the only person scared to my foundations by a recent statement made by Donald Trump, during the recent debate between himself and Hillary Clinton:

TRUMP: “If I win, I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation because there has never been so many lies, so much deception. We’re going to have a special prosecutor.”

CLINTON: “It’s just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country,” Hilary answered.

TRUMP: “Because you’d be in jail.”

Trump fans loved it. He’s just telling it like it is, he’s finally holding her accountable for her criminal behavior, she deserves to be in jail, and on and on and on.

 

Forget Trump’s own foray into the world of criminal acts, starting with his having made money off charity events, or the women he’s sexually harassed at best and assaulted at worst. Yes, Bill Clinton wronged his share of women, also. Didn’t see democrats (especially feminists) complaining much about it at the time, although Bill did get disbarred. Have we forgotten Ronald Reagan’s misappropriation of government funds to middle-eastern rebels without Congressional approval? Treason, last time I checked. How about Joseph McCarthy’s rampant abuse of the CIA? Nixon made the mistake of getting caught. How about Abraham Lincoln’s direct, blatant defiance of Congress?

Are we really naïve enough to think these people are subject to the laws in the same way the rest of the population is? Or would we prefer a more communist approach? Sanders can still be voted for…

 

Let me first make clear: I am not a Hillary supporter. Whether she genuinely let security become lax or simply took responsibility for it in reference to the 2012 Benghazi attack doesn’t concern me; it’s her fault whether she wants it or not. I seriously dislike her jumping on the “Black Lives Matter” bandwagon, especially since she understands but fails to express the complexities of policing far better than her “law and order” counterpart does; and I know she understands the consistent threat which racism still poses in America, far better than she expresses.

 

“If I win, I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor,” Trump said. Note: if he wins, he’ll instruct his attorney general to get a special prosecutor. The Attorney General, though appointed by the President, isn’t an extension of him but rather the top Judicial office of the United States of America. A government of, by, and for the people.

Adolf Hitler, however, was able to use his cabinet however he saw fit. Including to jail dissenters and opponents, which the Nazis did routinely.

 

“It’s just awfully good,” Hillary said, “that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country.” An extraordinary, elegant, uncharacteristically brilliant response on her part. No one person is in charge of the law in our country, she certainly implied.

“Because,” Trump countered, “you’d be in jail.”

I hope it isn’t true. I hope even if Dante’s 5th level does freeze over and he wins the election, the checks and balances which Make America Great remain in place. I seriously hope an economic tyrant hasn’t the ability to alter our systems. Lest we forget, the current director of the FBI, James Comey, a dyed-in-the-wool Republican, investigated HRC’s handling of the now famous 30,000 emails and found no criminal intent. He didn’t have enough to prosecute. I would hope Trump wouldn’t try to bypass the decision of such a person. I would hope.

 

Trump, as a private citizen, had ‘the right’ to ban entire newspapers from his rallies. Wrong move, for a presidential candidate, whether he can legally do so or not. Trump, as a private citizen, has a right to threaten an attempt to re-examine the legality of HRC’s actions. Wrong move, for a presidential candidate.

 

Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton isn’t the most qualified person for the position of President of the United States of America, in my opinion. There are others far more qualified. However, she is qualified, and isn’t threatening to undermine the very checks and balances which define our government’s legal mechanisms and Constitution.

 

I’ve often warned corporations and their leaders the new threat to American freedom and democracy. Corporations have grown entirely too large; money has gained entirely too much power.

 

I’m not convinced Trump supporters realize what they’re cheering for, when they support Trump’s statements to jail HRC. They’re not supporting holding her accountable (Trump hasn’t the authority or power to do so) but rather supporting an erosion of our Constitution under the guise of “Making America Great Again.”

 

The checks and balances in our government are what Make America Great, and continue to Make America Great. America needn’t be Made Great Again, as long as our current form of democracy remains intact.

 

Which it won’t, if politicians are allowed to jail those with whom they disagree.

 

I took a survey following a visit to the Holocaust museum and apparently whomever received my answers liked them so much they asked if they could contact me in the future. Naturally I said yes, and about two years later, they did. I talked the woman’s ear off. One question she asked struck me then, as now:

“Do you think a party like the Nazis could ever gain so much control again?”

“Yeah,” I said, “It would take even less time given the rampant dissemination of information.” She asked me for an example, and I floundered with the Westboro Baptist Church, Scientologists, etc; none of whom really haven’t such designs.

 

Donald Trump hadn’t yet run for President of the United States.

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1 https://www.fbi.gov/news/pressrel/press-releases/statement-by-fbi-director-james-b-comey-on-the-investigation-of-secretary-hillary-clinton2019s-use-of-a-personal-e-mail-system

2 http://www.nationalreview.com/article/432826/donald-trump-scandals-business-failures-roundup (The National Review both identifies and markets itself as a conservative publication.)

3 IBID

4 IBID

5 http://www.usconstitution.net/constfaq_q41.html A. The Attorney General is authorized in the U.S. Code, 28 USC Sec 503 (or Title 28, Part 2, Chapter 31, section 503 for us mortals). Specifically:

The President shall appoint, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, an Attorney General of the United States. The Attorney General is the head of the Department of Justice.The duties of the AG are those of the Department of Justice, as set out in

A Return To The Trailer Park

I can’t remember – I’m hoping for some help from you folks – was it a specific republican politician or the grand old party in general (perhaps en masse) who consistently criticized President Barrack Obama for, and I quote, “ruling by executive order?”

After selling himself as a moderate democrat, Obama in short order revealed his true, radically left colors. Consistently showing the nation’s police disrespect, having to be told to put the White House’s flag at half mast after U.S. Marines were killed and creating the retrospectively catastrophic economic sequestration (and liberals thought Reagan’s policies were vodoo?!) President Obama lost those of us who control U.S. elections: the middle, undecided voters.

However, lest we forget, and these aren’t open for debate so please don’t bother, President Obama did:

  • Save the U.S. economy from another depression via extended unemployment insurance (save your email; I know he was in bed with the banks, the bailouts being the least offense perpetrated by the Obama-Bankster Mafia)
  • Get passed The Affordable Care Act, a near carbon copy of a bill proposed by President Ronald Reagan rejected by liberals at the time for ‘not doing enough.’

Events in Ferguson, MO misunderstood by the public due to blatant misrepresentation by the news media (FPD suffered from serious procedural problems as well as consistent, sustained complaints of racially biased policing but yes, D.W. was defending himself – that time.), followed by an increase in violent and major crimes across the country due to what the Washington Post’s Heather Mac Donald called the ” The Ferguson Effect ” didn’t help Hillary Clinton’s chances, especially after she, at least on newsprint paper, jumped onto the anti-police bandwagon. In reality, I think she understands both policing and racial tension much better than Barrack Obama, but was unable to articulate such to a polarized and intentionally ignorant voting populace.

Hillary’s apparently “atrocious” handling of Benghazi wasn’t any help, either. While I understand the criticism, this situation wasn’t simple, and disagreeing with her decision regarding the use of U.S. military assets in the area ought remain just that – a disagreement. I disagreed with the overwhelming majority Barrack Obama’s decisions, though a competent politician and hard worker he was.

“The emails” hurt Hillary Clinton, too, though shouldn’t have. “The emails” are often brought up by folks who simply don’t understand the situation. HRC quite simply used devices – both a hand-held Blackberry and a server in a private home – to view Top Secret information for her own convenience, which she shouldn’t have. Careless, definitely, but nothing close to criminal, as said more than once by FBI Director Comey. Comey, by the way, could be accused of attempting to hurt HRC’s chances of getting elected, though he consistently stated her behavior wasn’t criminal. Yep – figure that one out and get back to me.

If you didn’t vote for him, and see Donald Trump for the incompetent blow-hard he is, it’s hard to wrap one’s head around his victory. If you voted for him you’re likely not reading this, and if you are you’re probably relatively close to me, so please know: I’m not judging you and truly don’t think less of you.

But it’s my blog, so this is my opinion. You’re welcome to stop reading anytime.

I voted for Hillary Rodham Clinton. I don’t particularly like her politics, but admire her work ethic. I was quite confident she’d win, too, and was cynically curious as to how misogynistic middle eastern leaders were going to respond, not just to a female Commander-in-Chief, but a crafty snake-in-the-grass Clinton (this is a compliment) who takes shit from no one and understands why the world’s most powerful capitalist democracy possesses the world’s most powerful military. That would have been sit-back-in-the-easy chair-with-hot-sauce-laced-popcorn-and-watch worthy, to say the least.

Economics? Please. You, me, we both live in a country where .01 % of the population controls 99% of the nation’s capital, and Capitol. This is nothing new, it likely won’t change, and this incessant, complex ballet we watch, between politicians and the Chief Executive Officers of massive corporations both dazzles and numbs. Every so often we, the audience, get larger or smaller crumbs. Ensuring our crumbs large enough remains the challenge for the wealthy and political elite; a challenge to which Obama rose quite admirably, and I’m certain Hillary would have done the same.

I’m not really sure Trump can rise to the Make The Crumbs Large Enough Challenge. I’m not really sure Trump is who he says he is, and I mean this in a much more dangerous, frightening sense than Obama’s selling himself as a moderate but ending up being a radical, politician, for a competent moderate politician and a competent radically liberal politician aren’t dissimilar animals.

Trump is a different animal altogether. It’s the competency, which I question. Since the 1970’s ’tis fashionable and acceptable to refer to politicians as morons; to call their competency into question based on one’s own politics. Republicans are permitted refer to every Democrat as an incompetent communist and despise them accordingly; Democrats the same for ‘fascist’ Republicans. In reality, the overwhelming majority of our Presidents have been extremely intelligent, hyper competent people whose workload and hours would have most of us in tears, if not hospitalized.

George W. Bush was one exception, James Carter possibly another, though Carter did get a lot done in office and wasn’t really anyone else’s puppet. He was just a bit too liberal and idealistic for the job.

Trump is another exception.

Of course you disagree, you voted for him and hate both Barrack Obama and Hillary Clinton  because they’re despicable democrats. That’s fine, go back to to Hating and let those of who didn’t vote for Trump (the popular majority) talk for a minute? Thanks.

Trump might not be as wealthy as he purports. While Trump consistently claims a net worth of about $10 billion, “Forbes recently reduced its estimate of Donald Trump’s net worth to $3.7 billion, down from $4.5 billion earlier this year,” according to Investopedia, whose author goes on to cite global market phenomenon for the decreased estimate.

Consistently stiffing contractors for their work, mortgaging his own properties and refusing to make public his tax returns, evidence abounds calling into question Trump’s worth based on his own business practices. Entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs ($10.2 billion), and Bill Gates ($85.7 billion) are far wealthier. Richard Branson ($4 billion) may have put it best when he expressed enthusiasm for an entrepreneurial candidate for the office of U.S. President, though “not this one.”

Trump isn’t a good public speaker. HRC, a poetic master of topic shifting, a classic speaking technique used by politicians, bested Trump in all of their debates. Commanding a far better understanding of the issues at hand, Trump really didn’t present any competition.

Nor was Trump able to evade, in any way shape or form, Anderson Cooper’s pointed question with regard to Trump’s now famous leaked ‘grab ’em by the pussy’ boast, in which he directly asked Trump if he understood his bragging a public admission of sexual assault. “It was locker room talk,” was all Trump could muster, a contradiction in terms pointed out rather brashly by Trevor Noah whose mimicked ghetto street talk ending with “Yo, you gonna let me smash that ass? And she said no, and I was like, okay, no pussy for me,” may be one of the most under-rated Trump-related sound bytes.

How, then, did this lying misogynist became president of the United States? I ask this question simultaneously hoping the CIA and/or FBI come up with some kind of proof criminal Russian elements did in fact hack American democracy itself and assuming Trump got elected fair and square.

A certain portion of Americans thought they were looking for an alternative. An alternative to the ‘fascist’ Republicans and ‘communist’ democrats; an alternative to those gosh darned lying politicians. Lots of Americans thought Trump could, somehow, ‘return us to a simpler time,’ a blind and deluded hope Trump could, simply, “Make American great again.”

Trump was sought by the old men ‘talking politics’ over their styrofoam cups of coffee in the barber shops on the Main streets of towns they never left. Trump’s proposed policies are the pitifully stupid, pseudo-idealistic ideas of those who believe the solutions to a democratic society’s incredibly complicated problems like immigration, poverty, welfare and criminal violence are simple. Too many illegal immigrants? ‘You know what they oughta do, Bubba? They oughta build a gosh dang wall right on the border of Mexico. Make the Mexicans pay for it, too.’

We’re now nearly four month’s into Trump’s presidency. Trump couldn’t pass his own healthcare bill with a Republican-controlled Congress. A judge appointed by Bush blocked one of Trump’s immigration bans.

Not so simple, is it?