New News in Book Five: Working Through the Maze 2018

  • Dec. 14, 2018, 10:45 a.m.
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Oh… the News. I think one of the reasons why Weekends are so rejuvenating for me is that I don’t watch the news or read the news at all. That’s what makes the weekends so restful.

Immediately Local Crime News: In three weeks, I’ve had 9 victims under the age of 13 involved in sexual abuse cases. Perps are 21, 34, and 68. Three people fundamentally changing the lives of 13 girls in ways that are unforgivable. And difficult to prosecute, sadly.

Local News: Waukee, Marshalltown, and my own County getting pinched hard during State Audits. Misappropriation of funds, Neglect of Duty, Embezzlement. Millions of dollars of local money either missing or traced to personal expenditures not authorized. Greed and Corruption.

US News: The absolute certainty that everything I said about then Candidate Trump is coming true. He’s a man who never pays the people he owes, throws tantrums when he doesn’t get his way, keeps his staffing “chaotic” so as to reveal his crimes to as few people as possible, demands personal loyalty while showing none, micromanages despite having no acumen for most of what his business does… and on and on. He was a Criminal before he got into office but he was a Rich Celebrity Criminal, so we let him get away with it. He didn’t expect to be President. We try not to let our Presidents get away with “lower” crimes… like Treason and Money Laundering and Campaign Finance Violations and petty thugism. Considering President Trump’s long list of falsehoods, lies, fabrications, and proven bullshit… the fact that people STILL believe President Trump over the people who knew him, worked for him, and were his friends for 10, 20 years is… appalling and disgusting. I cannot understand a world in which a large number of people are willing to believe ONE MAN over hard evidence, testimony, the Intelligence Community Reports, and their own EYES. I simply honestly cannot understand that world. If a President I supported shot a man on 5th Avenue in broad daylight… I would demand justice. But there really are people who, if the President shot a man on 5th Avenue in broad daylight… would instantly start performing mental back flips to prove that (1) Trump wasn’t on 5th Avenue; (2) and if he was he didn’t have a gun; (3) but if he did, he didn’t shoot it; (4) but if he did, he didn’t mean to hit anybody; (5) but if he did, it wasn’t a crime; (6) but if it was a crime, he didn’t know. Frustrating. GUYS… when Bill Clinton broke the lie by lying under oath? I WENT THE FUCK AFTER HIM. Do you value partisan politics… or the law? Do you value the United States… or one man?

Entertainment News: Okay, so now people are hating on Eliza Dushku because of a story that came out that all parties wanted kept quiet. Eliza Dushku, who was raised Mormon and was sexually assaulted on the set of True Lies, has been very protective of her body, her image, and her sexuality in her adult years. She explicitly told Joss Whedon while on Buffy that she would not do nude scenes, even if it was “Cable TV Nude.” She was cast and signed a contract for X number of episodes for the CBS show “Bull.” In front of the cast and crew, Mr. Weatherly remarked on her appearance, and made a rape joke and a comment about a threesome. Shortly after Ms. Dushku confronted the star about his behavior, she was written off the show. She felt that she had been unfairly dismissed and, in mediation with CBS, was awarded the full amount promised her in her contract. That should be the end of it. But now that the story has been made public… I’m seeing comment after comment after comment after comment saying that this is, “just a woman using MeToo to get paid without having to work.” And I’m disgusted. Pretend your close friend had been sexually assaulted at the age of 13. She is now 38 and working in an office job when her Supervisor makes a rape joke and asks her for a threesome. She speaks with him about how upset she was and how those comments made her very uncomfortable. SHE IS THEN FIRED. As a friend, do you think that termination is okay? Are you going to sit there saying, “Yeah, she deserved it.” Or are you going to be mad that her Supervisor could create an uncomfortable work environment and then fire her when she told him it made her uncomfortable?! But… that is the world we live in, now. Where even fans of Ms. Dushku on the Buffy Forums are saying things like, “Way to end your career, Hyper Sensitive” or “Pathetic money grab” or shit like that. Frustrating and aggravating.

THEN we get to further US News/International News: A 7 year old girl trying to seek asylum with her family died of Dehydration and Shock in U.S. Custody. The violence, poverty, and abuse this family was receiving in their home country was so brutal that they walked by foot to reach the United States to request asylum which is legal. Defensive Asylum is a popular LEGAL FORM of seeking Asylum that says, “The hardships in my country are too terrible to bare. I will submit myself to U.S. Border Patrol and request asylum.” That is LEGAL under the United States Laws and International Laws. But not under Trump Policy. The family starved and had no water and fled to the U.S. where the Border Patrol did not do what they are required to do… instead following through with the Zero Tolerance Trump Policy. Thus resulting in the little girl’s death. Border Patrol’s response was to say the trip was too hard on the little girl (which is true) and the parents are to blame (not entirely true) for trying to enter the country illegally (not true at all). For those who dispute this: While my brother was in the Navy, his job was to board hostile foreign vessels that could be shipping contraband. These are ships in the middle of the Persian Gulf, miles away from U.S. Sovereign Shores. But if a member of a crew requested Asylum from the US Navy on board… there were very specific, very detailed orders on what to do. Isolate the individual so that his comrades don’t discover his “betrayal.” Do a quick interview to determine the sincerity of the Asylum Request. Do a Criminal Interview to discover if there is any helpful information that can be gleaned from the Asylum Requester. Take the Requester onto the Navy Ship regardless of arrests of other Crew Members. Order transportation of the Requester to the nearest U.S. Sovereignty (Military Base, etc). Begin the process for Defensive Asylum Petition. If our Navy… in foreign countries… doing Criminal Search and Seizure work… are required to honor the law of Defensive Asylum.... why is our Border Patrol… on our soil… with no Criminal Investigation Authority… not required to honor the law of Defensive Asylum?

Meanwhile, more and more American Tax Dollars are going to supporting the Trump Businesses. Not merely content with the millions being funneled into Mar-a-Lago and other properties when the Trump President Entourage visits, we also have Ivanka Trump… who has an Official if loosely defined White House Job… still running her company while being a Government Official. Not necessarily horrible in itself. But.... are taxpayer dollars being used to promote her business? Hell yes. Every time she travels, it is on Tax Payer dime.
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In other news, I was confused as to why people even give a damn about Melania Trump’s approval ratings. Then I did some research on prior first ladies. These are women who, without official position or salary, can work miracles. Mamie Eisenhower, Lady Bird Johnson, Nancy Reagan, Barbra Bush… with a phone call, they could change lives… fighting Cancer, Heart Defects, reuniting children with parents… all sorts of wonderful things. Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama, too, made significant impact on policy. So I understand how First Lady can be an important position. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like Mrs. Trump understands. In every interview this year, it has been about her. About how unfairly she’s treated, about how the media isn’t kind to her, about being The Most Bullied Person, about “The hardest part of my life as first lady is all the attention,” said the model. And so I get why her approval rating matters. The opportunity to be First Lady is an opportunity to demonstrate values not shown by your husband. This isn’t me being a dick. This is me pointing out how Shinzo Abe has done things so well. President Abe was able to appeal to conservative hardliners by promising them Traditional Japanese Values! Meanwhile, Mrs. Abe was giving speeches to women’s groups about their power in society and politics, stirring them to engage in social issues and issues that mattered to them. In other words the Abe Method was “President speaks to One Impassioned Group, Wife speaks to Other; both support Abe”. However in the Spheres of Trump, only The Self matters. In discussing Cyber Bullying… Mrs. Trump could have won a PR victory for her husband by mentioning teenaged girls killing themselves over cyber bullying or developing eating disorders that will hurt them for the rest of her life. Instead, she made herself the focus. In discussing the hardest part about being First Lady… Mrs. Trump could have highlighted her trip to Africa or one of the foreign nations where poverty, disease, and death affect a majority of the children. Instead, she made herself the focus. At least we can say that she is very well matched to her husband!

Lighter Side: Have you read about the Miss USA issue? Typical Nebraska which is where Miss USA is from. Thinking that she is offering a compliment by saying, “Miss Vietnam H’Hen Nie is ‘so cute and she pretends to know so much English and then you ask her a question after having a whole conversation with her and she (nods and smiles)” And then doubled down on it by sharing her sympathies for Miss Cambodia because “she doesn’t speak English and nobody speaks her language.” NOW… don’t get your panties in a twist. Miss Vietnam and Miss Cambodia have both come out to say the contest is about love and understanding and there’s no reason to be mean to the Lil Cornhusker but… it is VERY “all white midwest unsophisticated” of Miss USA to take a “Oh, bless your heart you no-English creature” approach. Especially when the Miss Universe Competition itself is being held in Thailand… not exactly famous for their English Scholars and Fluent English Proficiency.

For no reason at all here are some Federal Statutes to throw into the ether
18 U.S.C. § 201(b)(2)(B)
18 U.S.C. § 371
RICO Charges

In other focus: I have often used Senator Orrin Hatch as a prime example of what is broken in American Politics. He was on the Senate Judiciary Committee for over a Decade. He has been in office for 42 YEARS. In short… he is the example of “when everyone hates congress, they won’t change their representative because they want their state to be represented on Federal Committees.” LUCKILY… Hatch announced that he was retiring soon. UNLUCKILY… well… we’ve all had jobs where we could literally see the moment a Co-Worker stopped caring because they knew they were leaving. I would argue that we saw that moment for Senator Hatch on Tuesday night. Asked if he had any concerns that Trump was implicated, Hatch told CNN: “The Democrats will do anything to hurt this President.” Informed it was alleged by federal prosecutors in New York, Hatch said: “OK, but I don’t care, all I can say is he’s doing a good job as President.” Though, Iowa is no better. Senator Grassley stated basically that since Cohen was convicted of lying, nothing he says can be trusted. To which I would say… oooookay, Mr. Senator, but the guy you’re supporting has been proven to be a massive liar, too, but you seem to believe what he says. What is your standard? If it is a Republican President it is okay to lie and break the law? The thing about that line of thinking is that it’s a slippery slope coated with grease. If breaking the law is acceptable as long as the end result is one that pleases you, then you can justify literally anything. This is all made even MORE frustrating when you look at how Orrin Hatch dealt with the Clinton impeachment. Senator Hatch stated, “This great nation can tolerate a President who makes mistakes. But it cannot tolerate one who makes a mistake and then breaks the law to cover it up.” Unless of course… it seems… Senator Hatch agrees politically with the President in question.

Ultimately… friends, readers, foes, and detractors… why does this matter? Why does the United States matter? It is a question that should rile all Americans. Trump Supporters would be quick to say “Because we’re the greatest country on earth!” but… you didn’t believe that during Obama’s administration. Is the nation really only as strong or great as whoever is in charge? I’d say hell no. I would say the importance of America, to paraphrase from Ronald Reagan and other Presidents, is our ability to be a City on a Hill. The United States was “The Great Ally of Democracy.” Why did al-Qaeda attack us when it was angry at “the west and Democracy?” Especially when there were more convenient targets of democracy in Europe? Because the United States was the City on the Hill. We talked up democracy, we fought for democracy, we supported democracy, and if one of our democratic allies was being picked on or pushed around, we ran to their support. And THAT is why I’m so worried these days. Because the Americans who are shouting most loudly that they are “Patriots” and “Proud Americans” are the ones who are supporting strongly the destruction of what made us matter. President Trump attacks our Democratic Allies and supports and lifts up our Dictator Enemies. If the world sees the United States beating up on Justin Trudeau while trying to make excuses for Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud; the world sees one of the great Democratic Nations failing to support Democracy. Which makes it easier in France, Britain, Germany, Italy, and other Democratic nations to fall to fascism, totalitarianism, and anti-democracy sentiment. Whatever happens in 2019… the United States needs to stop treating our Democratic Allies like assholes. And we damned sure need to stop treating our Dictator Enemies like friends.

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