Iran

A Moment To Celebrate The 167th Anniversary Of The New York Times, America’s Leading Media Source, Helping To Keep Us Free And Informed!

In the midst of the sustained attack on freedom of the press going on in 2018, today is the 167th anniversary of America’s leading newspaper, the “newspaper of record”, the NEW YORK TIMES.

Since 1851, the New York Times has published and challenged the American government, foreign governments, and powerful economic forces, who have tried to limit the ability of that paper to report the truth of the news, and the paper has won 125 Pulitzer Prizes, more than any other newspaper. Its motto is “All the News That’s Fit to Print”. It has the notable New York Times Book Review, the New York Times Magazine, and the Sunday Review, all part of its Sunday edition.

The New York Times has not been perfect, anymore than any institution, as it failed to report accurately the Holocaust going on in Europe in World War II; the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the Middle East over the past number of decades; and has been accused of distortion about the Iraq War, and the US-Iran relationship. The newspaper also has been accused of engagement in plagiarism by certain journalists, and accusations of bias, and public perceptions of lack of credibility and accuracy, including attacks by Right Wing propaganda groups, and President Donald Trump, who talks about the “Failing” New York Times, which actually is in very good financial shape.

Any researcher in just about any field of knowledge uses the former NY Times Index, as this author has done, and now available in the TimesMachine, the Online Archive of every issue of the paper since 1851.

The New York Times was extremely significant in promotion of the truth, when it won the right to publish the Pentagon Papers in 1971, in the Supreme Court case of New York Times Company V. United States, winning over the attempt of President Richard Nixon to prevent publication of the documents that traced the US involvement in Vietnam after 1945 through the late 1960s.

So let us all applaud the courage and determination of the brilliant journalists of the New York Times, who are now, in 2018, doing their job exposing the corruption and illegal activities of Donald Trump and his Presidency, alongside the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and Wall Street Journal, along with other media sources, including cable news channels CNN and MSNBC, along with ABC, NBC, and CBS.

The truth shall set us free and protect American democracy and the Constitution!

The Urgent Democratic Platform For 2020: 30 Goals For The Next Decade

What MUST be part of the Democratic Party platform in 2020, no matter who is the Democratic Presidential nominee?

In no special order, it MUST include:

Medicare for all Americans of all ages
$15 minimum wage by 2022 everywhere in America and Paid Family Leave
Free public university and college tuition for the first two years or 60 credits of higher education
Wiping out of college debt which prevents many young people from marrying, having children, buying a home, having a future
Repeal of Citizens United, which has allowed corporations to be called people, and destroy political campaigns with large donations, and instead promote public financing of campaigns
Responsible Gun Control legislation
Protection of Women’s Rights, including abortion rights
Enforcement of gay and lesbian and transgender rights
A responsible immigration reform program, reversing the damage done by Donald Trump, Jeff Sessions, John Kelly, Kirstjen Nielsen, Stephen Miller and Thomas Homan
Revival of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties that have been curbed by Donald Trump
Protection of the Social Safety Net of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid
Labor Rights promoted, including prevention of “right to work” laws
Environmental regulations revived and strengthened
Consumer Rights revived and strengthened
Investment in infrastructure across America
Condemnation of violations of human rights in other nations, including Russia, China, Turkey, Egypt, the Philippines and elsewhere
Revival of NATO alliance and other alliances that have been weakened in the Trump Presidency
The end of protectionist tariffs, which undermine the American economy
Strengthening of relations with Cuba, and attempts to overcome strains and tensions with Iran, and revive the Iran Nuclear Deal
Promoting total separation of church and state, with religion not being promoted by government
Reenactment of responsible corporation and Wall Street reforms
Protection of Native American lands and properties
Criminal Justice Reforms for those not involved in violent Crimes
National restoration of Voting Rights to former convicts who have paid their debt to society
Decriminalizing Drug Use and Sales, so as to overcome the Opioid Crisis, and allow Medicinal Marijuana without penalty
Promoting funding for the Arts and Culture across America
Dealing with poverty and homelessness in America
Hurricane Relief for Puerto Rico and move toward statehood as the 51st state
Tax Reform to require a fair and equitable tax system for all, not just the wealthy
Reviving respect for Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press

Would all of these 30 “planks” be successfully accomplished in the term of the next Democratic President from 2021-2025? Most certainly, highly unlikely, but these must be the goals of the next Democratic administration, as we attempt to recover from the disaster and tragedy of the Donald Trump nightmare!

Donald Trump’s Destruction Of American Alliances With Our Long Term Allies, And His Total Lack Of Knowledge Of History

Donald Trump is totally ignorant of American and World History, and could not pass an exam for a high school diploma, let alone a college degree.

Trump yesterday brought up to the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, in a phone call, the so called “fact” that Canada burned the White House in the War of 1812, a total fabrication, as it was Great Britain, which controlled Canada as a colony, that did so in August 1814.

What is the point of bringing this up, even if it were true?

In wartime, harm is done by both sides, and we have plenty to be accountable for as a nation in our many wars we have waged and continue to wage.

Even to bring up the British is unseemly, as this is is history, but we and they have moved beyond this, and to have grudges over actions taken long ago, is a waste of time.

Both Canada and Great Britain, along with other nations Trump has insulted (Australia, France) have been great friends for a long time, and our closest allies in the world.

Also, add Germany, Japan, and South Korea to the list, with them being more recent allies since World War II and the Korean War, but reliable allies.

Donald Trump has destroyed any camaraderie with our long term allies, including the other nations in NATO, and is undermining any cooperation with the European Union, Canada, Mexico, and our Asian allies by his “Trade Wars”, that will only lead to greater tensions and suspicions, and likely worldwide economic depression as in the 1930s.

It only helps our rivals, our competitors including Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran.

The insanity of Donald Trump,and his total ignorance and stupidity on history, are harming long term interests of America, and must be combated in every way conceivable!

This situation even includes Trump’s condemnation of Football players taking a knee for the National Anthem, and Trump rescinding an invitation for the Philadelphia Eagles to come to the White House over it, even though no Eagles player actually took a knee, but at the same time not knowing the words of the National Anthem that he insists everyone stand for!

Growing Danger Of Two Future Wars: North Korea And Iran

After 16 months in office, an unhinged President is bringing America more likely to two future wars–against North Korea and Iran–which will undermine America, with the prospect of the sacrifice of thousands, if not tens of thousands of American military personnel, along with the massive loss of life of civilians in East Asia and the Middle East.

It now seems clear that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is NOT going to give up nuclear weapons completely, as he well knows what happened to Libya and Iraq, when their leaders gave up their nuclear programs.

Kim Jong Un is manipulating an unstable Donald Trump, and is a lot smarter than our President, and this reality means the likelihood of our President using nuclear weapons against North Korea has grown.

Even if not nuclear weapons, the dangers of a conventional war would be disastrous to South Korea, Americans living in South Korea along with our military forces, and possibly Japan as well.

Meanwhile, breaking the Iran agreement when it is working, and in alienating Great Britain, France and Germany, all signatories to the agreement and not willing to abandon it, only increases the chances of war with Iran, a nation much larger in territory and population than Iraq.

So we are in gloomy times, and must hope that such dangers are somehow overcome.

The Moment Of Reckoning Has Arrived: The Syria Crisis Enmeshed With Trump Domestic Crisis, Most Dangerous Moment Since Cuban Missile Crisis In 1962!

It is now almost 15 months since Donald Trump took the oath of office, and the nation has been fortunate that no major crisis had arisen.

But now, it has arrived, the Syria Crisis, enmeshed with Trump’s abuse of the Constitution, and the threat to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller and or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, with the raid on the offices, home, and hotel rooms of Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen.

The Republican Congress has been unwilling to pass legislation to prevent the firing of Mueller or Rosenstein. And Trump is threatening Russia and Iran over the Syrian use of chemical warfare, and Russia has interfered with American drones over Syria, so this is a massive crisis, which could lead to a major war in the Middle East with the US vs Russia.

Trump has made clear he will bomb Syria in a tweet this morning, after having said he would not give out military information before it occurs, and that has only ratcheted up the rhetoric and threats between Trump and Vladimir Putin’s government, and one wonders if it is just rhetoric, or whether direct conflict between the US and Russia is in the offing.

It is certainly proper that the US react to the chemical warfare by Syria, but the way it is being done is alarming, and signals a crisis which may get out of control.

The true test of how disastrous Donald Trump can be is now in the offing, and we all need to pray, even if not religious, as this is a major test of American leadership, and the protection of American values!

Tariffs And Republican Depressions: Benjamin Harrison, Herbert Hoover, Now Donald Trump?

Protective tariffs made sense in the time of Alexander Hamilton and the time of Henry Clay.

But in the late 19th century, big business corporations were able to create higher tariffs that were detrimental to the American worker, consumer, and economy, with the assistance of the corrupt Republican Party of the period.

In 1890, under Republican President Benjamin Harrison, we saw the passage of the McKinley Tariff, named after the future President, and it undermined the economy and contributed to the disastrous Panic of 1893, which affected the nation until 1898.

In 1930, months after the Stock Market Crash, Republican President Herbert Hoover, ignoring the pleas of hundreds of economists, signed the Smoot-Hawley Tariff, which caused a great worsening of the developing Great Depression.

As the decades went by, most Republicans and intelligent Democrats realized that high tariffs were not good, and free trade agreements developed in the 1990s.

Some far left liberals and some far right conservatives joined forces to fight this, and now Donald Trump has declared the inception of “Tariff Wars”, which will bring down the American economy, harm consumers and farmers, and cause unemployment to rise.

Trump is alienating the whole world–including China, Canada, Mexico, the European Union, and more–and instead will destroy the economic lives of millions of his own supporters, if he is not stopped from his crazy, lunatic actions!

Assuming we cannot stop what he is doing, the Republicans will suffer a blood bath, that will put the Republican Party in the dustbin of history.

It is time for Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell and the Republicans in Congress to show some “cajones”, and turn against Trump before he totally destroys the nation economically, and takes unto World War III against North Korea, who would be helped by China, and Iran, who would be helped by Russia.

America In World Affairs Since First World War Entrance 101 Years Ago!

America has been actively engaged in world affairs now for a century, finally abandoning isolationism in the first week of April 1917, when President Woodrow Wilson delivered a war message to Congress on April 2, followed by four days of heated debate, and then a declaration of war on April 6.

While America reverted to isolationism in the 1920s and 1930s, it failed, and once we entered World War II, the die was cast that we would always play a major role in world affairs, but not without controversy.

Since World War II, America has engaged in five wars–Korea, Vietnam, Persian Gulf against Iraq, Afghanistan, and Iraq, with none of those wars leading to victory, although at least, the boundary line in the Korean War was restored by 1953.

But we lost in Vietnam, and have not accomplished our goals in Afghanistan and Iraq, although the brief Persian Gulf War was won in six weeks, but the problem of Saddam Hussein reared its ugly head a decade later.

We have also been involved in many invasions, unofficial interventions, and many cases where we had troops without the knowledge of the American people, and often even leaders of Congress.

Secret wars have gone on and are going on right now, and under Donald Trump, we might very well end up sending troops to North Asia to fight North Korea and to the Middle East to fight Iran.

We now have the most militaristic government without any controls under Donald Trump, with his top aides now being extremely militaristic and warlike.

And war will likely reinforce the Trump supporters, and could, conceivably, cause public opinion gains that could help the Republicans keep control of Congress, and keep the White House in Republican hands in 2020!

We are at a very delicate time, with instability of our nation’s relationship with our allies around the world, and his “bromance” with Russia and Vladimir Putin, along with Trump’s “tariff wars” likely to provoke one crisis after another.

This is our situation as the 101st anniversary of our engagement in World War I is upon us three days from now!

Marist Public Opinion Poll: 83 Percent Democrats, 76 Percent Independent, 57 Percent Republican–Let Mueller Investigation Move Forward

At a dangerous moment in the probe of Donald Trump by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, as Trump unravels more than ever before, and has fired so many people on his staff, greater than any President after one year in office, a Marist poll demonstrates that the American people want the Mueller investigation to move forward to completion.

It is now ten months since Mueller was appointed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to investigate the firing of FBI Head James Comey, and it is clear that evidence has been gathered leading to convictions and indictments already, that show widespread corruption in the Trump Presidency.

Republicans in Congress have been unwilling to pass legislation to insure that the investigation will move forward, believing Donald Trump will not fire Mueller, but the feeling is that any day, that could happen.

Based on the Marist Poll–83 percent Democrats, 76 percent Independent, 57 percent Republican–it seems as if there would be a storm fire if Trump went ahead and fired Mueller, similar to what happened when Richard Nixon fired Archibald Cox in 1973. One would think there would be a movement, even by many Republicans, towards impeachment.

The problem is that even impeachment support by Republicans would take time, and an unhinged Donald Trump, with a crazy National Security Adviser, John Bolton, advocating “regime change” on North Korea and Iran, could take us into one or two massive wars that could cause tremendous loss of life, and possible nuclear war. Also, the “tariff wars” Trump is promoting could cause a world wide Great Depression or Great Recession at the least.

So public opinion is on the side of backing Mueller over Trump, but no matter how one looks at it, America and the world at large is in the midst of a constitutional crisis, which seems much more severe than Richard Nixon and Watergate 45 years ago!

The War Cabinet Emerges: Larry Kudlow, Mike Pompeo, And John Bolton: Great Depression And Aggressive War Against North Korea And Iran On The Horizon!

Donald Trump has now forced out Gary Cohn, Rex Tillerson, and H. R. Mc Master, and replaced them with Larry Kudlow, Mike Pompeo, and John Bolton, and this turnover after only 14 months in the White House is a danger sign of trouble ahead.

Trump’s “Tariff Wars”, discouraged by Cohn, now will move forward, and Tillerson and Mc Master, both strong in their criticism of Trump oriented foreign policy of “America First”, upending traditional foreign policy for 70 years, now will move into a phase of aggressiveness in foreign policy that is likely to lead to warfare.

One can now expect that we might end up in a Great Depression, or at least a Great Recession, as we are going down the road of protectionism, which was pursued by Benjamin Harrison in 1890 with the McKinley Tariff, which led to the Panic of 1893; and also pursued by Herbert Hoover in 1930 with the Smoot Hawley Tariff, which made the already begun Great Depression much more deeper.

And we can expect that with Mike Pompeo and particularly, John Bolton, two hawks in foreign policy, the first being a Tea Party activist elected to the House of Representatives, and the second, unable to be confirmed by a Republican Senate to be United Nations Ambassador, and only there for less than a year as a recess appointment under George W. Bush, and very much advocating “regime change” regarding North Korea and Iran, we can expect two wars before the year 2018 is over.

Trump may be thinking that getting engaged in two wars will cause “patriots” to rally around the flag, and help the Republicans to retain their control of both houses of Congress, and one must recall that in Presidential years, anytime there there has been a war, the President running for reelection has always won.

So Trump might be planning to use war as a way to a second term in office, which history must make every sane person be alarmed over such prospect!

Trump’s “Congratulations” To Putin A Danger Sign To National Security Long Term, And Demonstrates How Unhinged And Dangerous He Is!

Donald Trump was told by his National Security Adviser, H. R. Mc Master, and his Chief of Staff, John Kelly, NOT to ‘congratulate” Vladimir Putin for his phony election victory in Russia.

He ignored both of them, a clear danger to national security of the nation, and now Mc Master is out, and crazy lunatic war hawk, John Bolton, who still believes the Iraq War was justified; who was unable to become UN Ambassador under President George W. Bush, and was only a recess appointment for less than a year; and who has advocated openly on Fox News Channel the idea of “regime change” in both Iran and North Korea, has replaced him.

This is an alarming development, and it is believed Kelly is on his way out, and might not be replaced as Donald Trump may believe he does not need a Chief of Staff, that he can handle everything on his own, with the help of Bolton, who will have greater access as National Security Adviser daily than anyone else.

It is now clear that Donald Trump is more unhinged and dangerous than we ever imagined, and if the military leaders John Kelly, and maybe even Secretary of Defense James Mattis leave, there will be no control on Donald Trump’s military actions.

So war may be in the offing soon!