The “Dictator Trump” Conspiracy

February 22, 2020

dictator          Okay, I am officially now a conspiracy theorist.

I have firmly decided that Agent Orange (AO, aka, Donald Trump) wants to make himself into a dictator. However, this is really difficult in America, so there had to be a long-range strategy in place to accomplish it. On the other hand, it may be that the man who can’t seem to plan more than five minutes ahead has – just because of his impetuous desires to bully and manipulate others in order to further his own power and his childish delight in generally creating chaos – inadvertently stumbled into the right formula, sort of like a deadly virus that mindlessly mutates to fight off all vaccines. Or what the actual Agent Orange does to plant and animal life alike.

It can’t possibly happen here? That’s what the Romans said just before Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon.

What, exactly, has he done and is he doing to bring about this end? Here is my Dirty Dozen list.

  • Usurping the Constitution

The Constitution separated power into three branches and established checks and balances to guard against abuse of those powers. In particular they knew that a tyrant with unlimited access to We the People’s money would be too powerful, so only the Legislature could determine budget. Therefore, AO’s use of taxpayer money to build the Great Wall of Dump violates the constitution after a largely GOP Congress refused to fund it. With no lawful way to get the money, AO declared a “national emergency” and started building the wall from military funds. As he had declared the problem of unlawful immigration “long-standing,” how could it suddenly become an emergency, especially as he admitted that he “could do the wall over a longer period of time” and “didn’t need to do this”? If AO can simply commandeer funds that Congress refused to appropriate, why couldn’t he decide to build prisons for his political enemies, a nuclear aircraft carrier to travel around in, or anything else he wants?

But declaring a bogus ‘emergency’ created yet another Constitutional crisis. When Chicago homicides rose in 2017, Trump tweeted that it must “fix the horrible ‘carnage’” or he would “send in the Feds!” There are laws that allow the president to deploy federal troops (each governor must deploy the National Guard) inside the country to resist serious domestic strife, but only in dire emergencies. Well, AO has already dispatched thousands of active-duty soldiers to the southern border to save us from an oncoming caravan of desperate Central American migrants, which was neither an emergency nor even on domestic soil. But what if he declared an emergency so he could send troops to any city he wanted? For example, he might label San Francisco as a “conspiracy city” for refusing to provide assistance to immigration-enforcement officials and order the military in to enforce immigration laws. He has already announced plans to end the constitutional guarantee (14th amendment) of birthright citizenship laws, so why not invade ‘sanction cities’? More to the point, what if he dispatches U.S. troops to suppress “liberal mobs” allegedly rioting during anti-Trump protests? He seems to be building up to this. (https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/01/presidential-emergency-powers/576418/)

  • Enabling Racial, Sexual and Religious Hatred

He certainly did not invent these prejudices, but he clearly encourages his fanatics to express their previously suppressed feelings. From mocking people of different lifestyles, having known white supremacist advisors, and calling detractors demeaning names (especially female politicians) to openly advocating violence against anyone who stands against him, AO has from the first encouraged the ‘purist’ WASPs to attack various minorities, especially migrants. Trump made himself the face of the so-called birther movement, which targeted all people with dark skins, not just Obama. The AO administration admitted there were errors in a misleading Justice Department report attempting to link terrorism to immigration, but refused to correct or retract the report. So, outright lies as well as misinformation. Now, not only do white supremacists openly attack minorities, but Christian bigots have also attacked the LGBT community as well as Muslim Americans. This creates a tension that divides the citizenry, much as Hitler used the tactic to further the rise of his Nazi party.

  • Creating a Violent, Armed Following

Clearly, this starts with supporting the NRA and its rabid members. But who can forget his promise to pay legal fees for anyone attacking protestors at his rallies (“Knock the crap out of them”) or his support for white supremacists in Charlottesville? At a rally in Panama City Beach, Florida, AO lamented the fact that the U.S. can’t stop asylum-seekers from coming into the country by just shooting them like “other countries do”. In his words: “I can tell you I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of the Bikers for Trump. I have the tough people, but they don’t play it tough—until they go to a certain point, and then it would be very bad, very bad.” Is that MAGA hat his equivalent of the Nazi armbands? Civil War, anyone?

  • Sabre-Rattling and Use of Military Power

AO once said that military power was about instilling fear. AO is all about instilling fear. He escalated tensions with Iran for no apparent reason even though he called Bush’s decision to go into the Middle East “The worst single mistake ever made in the history of our country.” As a military force, Iran is essentially useless. Killing Soleimani not only violated international law, he wasn’t even considered a “terrorist threat” by the CIA. The senate warned AO not to intervene in Iran again without their approval. AO also threatened to “totally destroy North Korea” after courting Kim. Korea is definitely a bigger threat, but why antagonize Kim when he is not threatening the U.S.? And why use cyber space attacks, which the U.S. had been reluctant to do? Because his followers want a powerful bully who will ‘stand up’ to our perceived enemies. It’s all about appealing to his fanatics. Fear-mongering is a tactic Hitler used extensively. Well, isn’t Russia the biggest threat? And don’t we want allies in case we actually get into the war that AO seems to want to provoke?

  • Alienating Traditional Allies

On the airplane after leaving early from the Group of 7 meeting, he reversed America’s position on climate change and Iran, and refused to ease steel and aluminum tariffs he just imposed on Europe and Canada. He has created an adversarial relationship with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and insulted French President Emmanuel Macron, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. They have all retaliated in kind. AO has repeatedly slammed Mexico on trade, but mostly accused it of abetting illegal immigration, claiming Mexico has “invaded” the U.S. with “Drug Dealers, Cartels, Human Traffickers, Terrorists.” (Customs and Border Protection’s data does not support the claim about terrorists). AO blasted the alliance between Washington and Japan, and even canceled a meeting with Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen for ridiculing his desire for the U.S. to buy Greenland. Although Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been one his few remaining allies abroad, AO has been ‘banned’ from London and reviled by most British diplomats and citizens. While AO may have reduced our contribution to NATO, how much has he weakened it? As François Heisbourg stated, Europe is afraid that another four years of Agent Orange “would undermine the reality of American democracy” and destroy our relationship with Europe.

  • Eliminating Public Services and Benefits

It’s not enough that AO instituted massive tax cuts that largely benefit the obscenely rich, while greatly reducing the food stamp program and disability benefits as well as housing and family assistance. He also reduced other programs that provide help and work programs for families with children, such as the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant, and eliminated altogether the related TANF Contingency Fund. He is certainly trying to eliminate the general healthcare system, so-called ‘Obamacare’. But, in spite of his campaign promises, AO is also going after Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and even public education. He recently said tackling ‘entitlement spending’ is “the easiest of all things.” Just because he doesn’t pay taxes and doesn’t need Social Security, it is NOT an entitlement. He proposes to pare as much as $1.5 trillion from Medicaid, wants to raise the full retirement age for Social Security to 70, and has proposed cutting $26 billion from the program over a 10-year period. Sickeningly, he appointed Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education, a billionaire who has backed privatized charter schools and openly tried to ruin the public education system. Her efforts would regress American education back into the 18th century, when the wealthy could afford it and most poor people entered a low-paid profession, often as children. This is a consistent pattern of making the rich richer and the poor poorer, while greatly diminishing the middle class.

  • Courting Other Dictators

It’s well known that AO openly admires Vladimir Putin, and has been very lax with Russia on their aggressive policies, especially in Ukraine, Syria and Crimea. AO met with Putin behind closed doors without records of the meeting, even from interpreter notes, and has demanded Russia be reinstated to the G-7. AO also flew to Singapore right after the G-7 meeting for a friendly meeting with a nuclear-armed American enemy, Kim Jong-un of North Korea. “He’s smart, loves his people, he loves his country,” AO declared of Kim. Why does he play nice with enemies when alienating allies?

  • The Russian Connection

Many campaign advisors and some officials in his administration, past and present, have or had ties to Putin and Russia. That especially includes Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn. In addition to his infamous 2013 Miss Universe Pageant visit to Moscow, AO has extensive business relations with Russia, particularly through the Trump Organization. Since we cannot get sight of his tax information, it cannot be proven that much of the bailout money for his several past bankruptcies are ‘loans’ from various Russian institutions. We do know, however, about his connections with Felix Sater and Alfa Bank. We also know Junior, Ivanka and Jared have many direct connections with Russia. Should I mention that Hitler used his close relationship with Russia to train and equip his army before turning on his ally during WWII? And, recently, US intelligence officials have submitted reports that Russia is interfering with our upcoming election with the intent of getting AO re-elected. Mysterious.

  • Manipulating the Press (and Social Media)

Mostly, this is in the form of ‘disinformation’, much better known as AO’s countless lies. It’s about making certain he is the headline 24 hours a day, whether he is being praised on conservative media or condemned on liberal media. It’s always about him: What he has done, what he has said, and what will come next. Trump is a master of the soundbite: Make American Great Again! Lock her up! Send them back! The advertising industry made the quick interjection of subliminal messages illegal because it was unethical; AO has perfected the modern equivalent. He uses Twitter more than any child, and his simplistic language (some would say stupid) is perfect for the average American to latch onto. And the Democrats have fallen for this tactic by always being reactive, defending themselves from his attacks and justifying their positions more than they dwell on positive plans and reasoned discussion. Much of the liberal media has fallen into the same trap. Where Hitler forcibly controlled the media, AO has made it his puppet, and with a similar result: He has made the liberal media into the enemy of “We the People” (at least, his people) to the point where they do not even want to hear any opposing viewpoints to their Führer.

  • Subverting the Legal System

Every president has the right to nominate judges to the Supreme and federal courts (although McConnell boasts of how he denied Obama that right during his last year to give another one to AO). But AO has appointed conservative judges even the state law organizations have stated are not qualified to be a judge (including one who had never conducted a trial). He’s openly commented about “Second Amendment people” preventing the appointment of liberal judges. Right after the Justice Dept. speculated about a sentence for Roger Stone, he intervened. He intervened with the Senate to prevent witnesses at his trial, even though they had already said they would find him ‘not guilty’ regardless of evidence. After pardoning a number of convicted ‘white-collar’ criminals simply because they had personal connections or appealed to him via Fox News, he referred to himself as the nation’s “chief law enforcement officer,” a title typically reserved for the attorney general.

  • Undermining the Long-term Economy

This effort has taken several avenues. First, of course, he has created a trade war. While making his followers feel ‘tough’ and empowered, our exports are gradually falling behind imports, and many businesses are suffering. This looks like it will only get worse. Forcing the Fed to keep interest rates low makes him look good in the short run, but all objective economic analysts predict this will eventually lead to a massive depression. Boosting fossil fuel industries over encouraging green industries not only helps to destroy our ecology, but is another short-term economic policy that will lead to eventual disaster. Furthermore, while certain other countries are developing green technology (especially in Scandinavia), the U.S. will fall further behind in our ability to market our own advances.

Conclusion

So how could all of his above actions possibly make him a dictator? History tell us that the greatest ally of a dictator is not a powerful army (which he is trying to build), but a weak, ignorant, poor citizenship who are easily controlled by the Church as well as the government. Agent Orange is using every trick in Adolph Hitler’s book to bamboozle the Americans who are sick of the political establishment and will do anything to get rid of it, and is building a cult that has given every indication it will literally go to war for him when his position as president is threatened. Even if he is elected for a second term, who knows what AO will do with this personal power base after leaving the White House?

So, to sum it all up, Agent Orange is trying to Make America Great for Donald Trump, not for the average citizen. If that benefits all of the other billionaires in the country, well, just like the king making all of the dukes and barons beholding to him, that’s alright with Dictator Donald. He still will hold the greatest share of the power.

Do I really think he planned all of this? No, he’s not that intelligent. But remember that comment about a lethal virus . .  or the original Agent Orange.

John Oliver on Brexit and Trump — and which is the greater disaster?

February 18, 2019

In case you don’t know of John Oliver, he’s a Brit who emigrated to the U.S. and performs on the more sophisticated version of SNL called “Last Week Tonight”. Although very funny, his scenes are much more based on research and deep thought. In this interview with “The Guardian”, Oliver gives his considered opinion concerning the repercussions of Brexit, Trump’s presidency, and the future of Mo Salah and Liverpool FC. This is TV worth watching.

John Oliver at HBO headquarters for his show Last Week Tonight

https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2019/feb/10/john-oliver-maybe-brexit-is-a-great-idea-theres-absolutely-nothing-to-suggest-that

 

How to redeem a gifted Audible Book direct from the author

November 30, 2018

If you are interested in historical fiction about strong female leaders, try this!

via How to redeem a gifted Audible Book direct from the author

A Salute to C.S. Lewis

November 30, 2018

lewis via A Salute to C.S. Lewis

 

How to Write a First Draft

November 28, 2018

via How to Write a First Draft

Don’t Blog. Write!

November 25, 2018

Some great thoughts about becoming a ‘writer’, when so many people believe they can’t.

via Don’t Blog. Write!

Obama’s 2011 Thanksgiving Address

November 22, 2018

Read the rest of this entry »

Getting Your Book Translated Into Other Languages

March 21, 2018

Many writers have thought about getting their books translated, but are worried about the expense. This is certainly an issue, as it is both good for visibility (‘platform’) and adjunct sales.

 

I have tried to use BabelCube, with no success. I had a couple of offers to translate one of my books, but the deal never got done. I think most of the people they connect you with are amateurs looking for something easy. Furthermore, you sacrifice a lot in using that service. If I remember correctly, the translator gets something like 85% of the profits, which leaves you more like you would from a publishing company. Fair enough, I suppose, but you also lose some control over the product, as you only get a short period to approve the translation. If you have only one book and are not concerned with money, but simply in getting your book out there in different languages, that’s probably a reasonable way to go. All in all, I chose not to pursue that route any longer.

 

As an alternative to employing both a professional translator and then an editor, I have devised a less expensive way, especially as I currently have half a dozen books. First, use a translating software. Then employ a good editor for quality and accuracy.

 

If you want to use a professional software, I found several. For example, there is Systran Professional Translator – Spanish Language $249. I don’t know how good it is, but it is more oriented to business documents.  If you have several books, it might be worth the cost.

 

However, there are several pretty good free versions you can download. They include Google Translator, Microsoft Translate, and the one I tried, Babylon. I tested it on the prologue of “The Grindstone”. I’m not fluent in Spanish, but good enough to know it was a very good translation. On the positive side, it kept the paragraph formatting and phrases I had in Italics, and punctuated the sentences well. On the downside, it did not translate colloquialisms (e.g., ain’t) and some contractions, as well as words it did not have in its dictionary, such as ‘bastard’. Some of those I could correct, others could just be left for the editor. You can probably increase the dictionary, although I did not check.

 

With the free software, you have to do the manuscript in chunks (such as chapters), and spend your own time checking for the non-translated portions. But then you get to hand a pretty close translation to a professional editor of that language who would be charged with making those corrections anyhow, as well as ensuring the quality of the translation. This gives you complete control of the final product, and gets that first big step done at little or no monetary cost.

 

If you are a serious writer, having translations of your work is a powerful tool. If you spend the time, you can greatly reduce the costs while maintaining control of your work. Good luck!

 

Thus Spake the NRA … and their Minion, Trump

November 8, 2017

Slide1

“Fools and Mortals” by Bernard Cornwell

November 8, 2017

via Book Corner: Fools and Mortals by Bernard Cornwell

I’m a huge fan of Cornwell (currently reading his “Last Kingdom” series), and my WIP (work in progress) is called “The Shakespeares and the Crown”, so I am very excited to read his version of Will’s story. Cornwell’s a great storyteller, and I hope to glean a couple of lessons from his work.