Friday, February 24, 2017

My Birthday Wish in a Time of Crisis

I was born 75 years ago on this date. Two and a half months before my birth, on Dec. 8, 1941, the President of the United States declared war, and my father enlisted to fight in it

He became a flight surgeon on B-29s bombing Japanese targets is China.

Among his duties was salvaging the charred remains of his buddies after their battered “Super-Fortresses” crash landed on their home runways. He watched as the planes exploded, burned and consumed his friends.

Back in the States, I was a toddler, the approximate age of three of my four grandchildren today.

Many years later, my mother told me my father came home from war “a different man.” “Not the man I married,” she said. Only on rare occasions did I see the man I presume she fell in love with.

Today, the President of the United States has declared war on me, a journalist and a former teacher of journalism. He has declared me, my former students and my colleagues the “enemy of the American people.”

He has also, in effect, declared war on millions of others far more vulnerable than we are.

The battles in this war are already changing me … and you. We are already witnessing the flaming, hate-filled wreckage of his deeds.

My own engagement certainly is not and will not be as an “enemy of the American people.” I seek to be the “enemy” of no fellow human, but I will fervently oppose the nefarious deeds of this deranged president.

My father came home from war embittered and hardened. There are already days when I myself feel consumed by bitterness and even hatred. I must not surrender to these feelings if I am to help create a world of peace for my grandchildren.

Today these children know me as the old man who reads and sings to them, who pushes their swings in the park and holds their hands firmly as we cross the street.

I want to remain that man even as I fight to secure a future of promise for them, this nation and this planet.

I want these and other children to remember me — and us — for hope and change, for joy and love.

This is my birthday wish.

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Saturday, February 18, 2017

‘Enemy of the People’ wants to meet with Trump’s ‘finely tuned machine’

At his press conference on Thursday, President Trump made two assertions. I want to test both.

Assertion 1 was that my fellow journalists and I are “enemies of the people.”

Assertion 2 was that his administration is running like a “finely tuned machine.”

If the president believes that I am an enemy to the American people, I demand that his “finely tuned machine” immediately arrest me before I cause any irreparable damage to the my fellow Americans.

If I am not arrested, or at least questioned, in the next week, perhaps some representative in the president’s finely tuned machine can tell me were I can turn myself in so that “the people” will be safe again.

Mr. President, I look forward to talking with one of your representatives about my allegedly criminal behavior.

I will pack my toothbrush.

If nothing happens in the next week, I will assume that both assertions are lies, and that, accordingly, the real enemy of the people is you, Mr. President. In which case, I demand that you turn yourself in. Frankly, I'd settle for a simple resignation.

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Monday, February 13, 2017

Trump: Our Homework Assignment

You can credit the President Trump for one thing: He's put us back to work...fighting him.

If only we could bill the billionaire bilker and his plutocrat friends for our labors.

Unfortunately, we are paying taxes to him (He-who-does-not-pay)...and them. April 15 will be its own "Day of Infamy."

We should be sending the Trump and the plutocrats a bill in the form of steeply progressive taxes to correct the shameful inequality that is to blame for so many of our problems.

Here in our part of Portland, a rapidly growing volunteer group has set out to help maintain stability in our public schools. There, thousands of immigrant and minority students (and their families) are vulnerable to Federal arrest, possible deportation and/or worse.

I fear we are but one terrorist attack, or Bannon-inspired agent provocateur attack, away Armageddon.

Meanwhile, back in the world of the old "normalcy," these same students are expected to put fear aside and do their own work: Homework.

In the new Trumpian world, we have our own "homework" to do. Our "home" is a shambles. Frankly, it has been for years. We have been grossly neglectful.

A reminder: when were you ever paid for homework? The price you pay is for not doing it or doing it poorly.

And the payment for cleaning our house of Trump and his ilk, is called FREEDOM. The price, as always, is sacrifice.

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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Trump's delusions are non-partisan grounds for impeaching him.

Today I concluded that the only way we can avoid catastrophe here and abroad is to impeach Donald Trump on the grounds that he is unfit for the office of the presidency.

This is not a partisan issue. Forget Trump's conflicts of interests etc.

And forget your own worthy causes, even the ones Trump supports.

Trump's unfitness is caused by mental illness, plain and simple. He is, in a word, delusional (to say nothing of being a pathological narcissist, sexual predator and liar).

His delusions have spread to his enabling closest advisers, whose moral immune systems have been suppressed by their own lust for power.

I wish I could say this were a metaphor, but it is literally true, Alas, there are no Trumpian “alternative” truths. Ask any mental health professional.

Regardless of where we stand on the issues, we have a patriotic duty to be laser focused on impeaching a President dangerously unfit for office by virtue of his mental illness.

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