This Planet Earth

IMG_0777

Watching the solar #eclipse today made me think about this planet Earth, our place in the universe, and how we, as some of the inhabitants of this planet, have affected it.

#Earth is but a tiny dot in a vast universe. Imagine how everything came together here to give us all the ingredients necessary for life. The right atmosphere to breathe, the water to drink, the soil in which to grow our food. Imagine how it is so unlikely that this could have happened. It makes me think that we cannot possibly be alone. Somewhere out there, there must be other life, although maybe not life like us.

What have we, as intelligent human beings, done to our precious atmosphere, water, and soil? We have polluted it beyond measure, almost to the point where it is not useful to us anymore. The Environmental Protection Agency was established in 1970. If not for the EPA, I’m not quite sure where planet Earth would be at this point in time. Would it be able to sustain our life? I think it’s doubtful. But it was created and it began to study the concept of pollution.

The EPA determined that the smoke pouring from steel mills and other manufacturing companies was polluting the air. They had to install scrubbers. Sure, it cut into their profits in the short-term. In the long run, it helped save our atmosphere, keep us healthy, and the share price of these corporations did not suffer in the long run. The same is true of the water in which manufacturers and coal companies poured sludge. This is only one of hundreds of examples of how the EPA has protected our environment since 1970. Protecting our environment is protecting us, our health, and our long-term survival on this planet.

There is one irrefutable truth. The EPA doesn’t know what to protect us from without scientific research. That is the backbone of the organization. Unfortunately, our current President does not understand this or does not care. He has slashed scientific research and EPA programs in his 2018 budget by 31%, a steeper cut than for any other governmental organization. Around 3,200 jobs will be lost, just from the EPA, many of them highly trained and valuable scientists. Is this really wise?

I could list the other cuts the President is making to EPA programs that will impact our ability to live on this planet. The Paris Climate Agreement which addresses rising seas levels. An order to expand off-shore drilling. Then, we have such things as dropping the agreement to protect sea turtles and whales from fishing nets. Do we want to live on a planet when the caretakers don’t care about such things?

We have another solar #eclipse in 2024. Unless the EPA is given its money back to protect us from air pollution, we may not be able to see that one for the pollution in the air. It’s good we all enjoyed the 2017 #eclipse.

Advertisements

The Return of Protest Music

IMG_0770

I grew up on a diet of protest music. It was the 1960s and 1970s. The Vietnam War. The civil rights movement. Profound social and cultural change in the United States. Kids my age had to decide how they felt about big issues very early in their lives. How do you decide how you feel about war, civil rights, changes in the norms and mores of society when you’re not even 18 years of age? We had to do that. Those events shaped us for the rest of our lives. The backdrop of the civil unrest were the protest songs. What’s rising again now are protest songs, in all forms, from folk music to hip-hop. America is not going to stand for neo-Nazis to march in our streets.  We are going to protest. Loud and proud. Peaceful. Skinheads are not welcome here. Neither is the Klan. Our fathers fought the Nazis. They didn’t do that, with many not coming home, for nothing.

The backdrop of the current civil unrest is protest songs – once again. I’m amused when the white supremacists, the neo-Nazis, the separatists are called “patriots.” Patriots? They are a group of people who are intolerant and they are exercising their First Amendment rights. I contend that those monsters who our fathers fought in World War II, the Nazis, should not have First Amendment rights. They should not be allowed any rights in the United States. They should be denied all rights like the Fascist pigs they are. If my father were alive, and he watched the Nazis kill his friends on the beaches of Normandy in World War II, he would be one of the counter-protestors. He would vehemently agree with me. The counter-protestors are the patriots.

Bob Dylan wrote some of the most famous of the protest songs in the 1960s. “Blowin’ in the Wind.” “The Times They Are A’Changin”. Those are only two of the most famous of his songs. Another famous protest song of the 1960s was “If I Had a Hammer,” performed by Peter, Paul, and Mary. Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young were famous for their song, “Ohio.” Bob Marley moved beyond folk music to reggae and his “Redemption Song.”

John Fogerty and Creedence Clearwater Revival did “Fortunate Son,” which was a classic working class protest song in the same vein as Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA.”

Many of today’s protest songs are hip-hop, but pop and folk are emerging. Music is powerful and influenced an entire generation in the 1960s and 1970s. It can influence today’s young people as well. The US has a rich tradition of protest music. It can be a powerful part of a counter-protest movement.

 

#weeklysmile 85

IMG_0764

It’s an easy #weeklysmile this week, my friends! I’m writing my first novel. Writing a debut novel is rather like having a baby, I think. It’s wonderful and painful all at the same time. I had a lot written, but then I consulted with a good friend and former colleague, who is also a writer. He did not like the style. It’s a psychological thriller and he had an excellent suggestion for a change in style. So, what did I do? I started over! That was painful, but necessary, because I completely agreed with him.

That was weeks ago. This past week, I finished the first part of my novel and gave it to my friend for editing and his comments on style. He liked it very much and did some editing. I asked another friend to read it as well. She also approved of the style. So I am very gratified and it’s on to Part 2 of the novel and I am already well into it.

This is a big #weeklysmile for me!

Jiffy

IMG_0761

Jiffy How funny. When I went to the Daily Post to see what the “word of the day” was, this was a word I never expected to see. The word “jiffy” means a moment, even a second. Like “just give me a moment.”

When I saw the word “jiffy” this morning, I had an immediate flashback of my mother. My mother has been gone for almost 17 years. But, when I saw the word “jiffy,” I could see her standing at her kitchen sink, her back to me, and saying something like, “Supper will be ready in just a jiffy.” My mom is the only person I can ever remember using the word “jiffy” and it’s a good memory for me of her. It was nice, on this Sunday morning, to have a good picture of my mom in my head. That doesn’t happen often enough.

Interesting to me is that this is the colloquial use of the word jiffy. It is an actual unit of measurement in physics, computing, and electronics. It is a measurement of a unit of time in all three disciplines, this word that is very much used in the vernacular in the English language. Who knew?

 

A Fake Friend: An Essay

Not so long ago, a woman that I called one of my best friends lived in a city I had always wanted to visit. I’ll call her Maggie. She and her husband only lived there during the summer. All three of us were college professors and we taught the other nine months of the year. To my delight, Maggie invited me to spend a week with her one summer. I could manage five days away and took her up on her offer. We made our plans.

Maggie and I had met each other more than 15 years earlier when we were both students in a doctoral program at a major university. We were in training to teach on a university level and do original research in our respective fields. It didn’t take long for us to become friends. Maggie was a little hard to get to know, but over time, I thought we became good friends. We had a lot in common due to our careers and much that we enjoyed discussing. Maggie had some issues, both personal and family, that were unfamiliar to me. There were serious mental health issues in her family. She suffered from depression. That’s all I knew at the time and for years afterward.

When I went to visit, Maggie and her husband, Ron, picked me up at the nearby airport and we made our way to their home. Maggie was driving. I had seldom been with her when she didn’t drive. She was a self-proclaimed control freak about some things and driving was one of them. She seldom even let her husband drive. As we drove, Maggie complained about the big vehicles on the road. I don’t mean the very large trucks. I mean normal-sized SUVs. She said she didn’t like them and talked about their energy inefficiency, how their drivers were bullies, how they took up the entire road, and more. There I was, in the back seat of her van, the proud owner of a SUV. Something Maggie knew. I didn’t know quite what to think.

I didn’t understand why Maggie was difficult when we were at home. She talked very little to me. She shut herself off in her bedroom for hours on end with the door closed. Picked fights with Ron. If I tried to start a conversation with this woman with whom I usually talked so easily, she didn’t seem to want to participate. Ron was very quiet and only talked with me when Maggie did. I found myself wondering why I was there.

Before I took a shower on the third morning of my stay, Maggie asked me to please not wear cologne or use any shower gel or soap that had any scent. She said that all scents caused her to have headaches. I had been with Maggie hundreds of times. That was the first time she had ever mentioned this to me. She had stayed at my home. We had carpooled together and shopped together. Never had there been mention of this problem. I was baffled.

On that third night of my stay, one of Maggie’s neighbors was giving a cocktail party for Maggie and Ron and she asked me to join them. Of course, I said that I would. If it hadn’t been for the upcoming cocktail party, I was going to ask Maggie what was bothering her. Had I done something I hadn’t realized to upset her? Since we were going to the party, I didn’t say anything.

Off we went to the neighbor’s cocktail party. I met many of Maggie’s neighbors, all of whom seemed genuinely fond of Maggie and Ron. A man sat down beside me and struck up a conversation. Shortly after that, Maggie came over to me and asked to speak with me. Laughing, she said that she had been interested in that particular man. After that, I tried to stay away from him, but it felt like everywhere in the room I went, he appeared.

Soon, the party was drawing to a close. As Maggie, Ron, and I started to leave, the hostess asked me if I was Dr. Carlson like Maggie and Ron were both Dr. Smith. I saw Maggie’s face turn white. I told her just to call me Rosemary. I realized why Maggie looked so startled. Even though we went through the doctoral program together, she didn’t finish her degree. She had left the impression with her neighbors that she had and she was afraid I would blow her cover. Of course, I would never do that.

After that, we walked back to Maggie’s home and she was extremely angry with me about talking with the man she wanted to talk with. I knew that most of the problem was her fear that I would tell someone she had not finished her degree.

The night ended with Maggie and Ron going into their bedroom and not coming out. It was clear to me that I was not welcome there and I didn’t want to make Maggie uncomfortable. I got my things together, called a taxi, and left for the airport.   It took eighteen hours to get on a standby flight.

When I got home, there was an email waiting for me from Maggie. She told me that she had no desire to continue our friendship and she gave me a list of my “sins.” I wrote her back and got a nastier email in return. It was like talking to a stranger.

I still don’t know why Maggie was upset with me. She issued the invitation and then, clearly, she didn’t want me there. Our so-called friendship ended. I was left feeling like we were never friends at all. I’ve never heard from Maggie again. My contention is that this experience was a function of Maggie’s depression. Unfortunately, I’ll never know.

Fake President

IMG_0704

I’m tired of hearing the term “fake news” from the big, fat mouth of Donald Trump. Particularly since he has shown himself to be a fake President. He uses the term “fake news” simply to fire up his base. His latest tweets slam Hillary Clinton again regarding her emails. What does that have to do with Trump’s issues of today, such as the Russian investigation and his utter incompetency as President of the United States? I’m not sure he remembers that he is no longer campaigning but is actually in the Office of President of the United States.

Trump’s latest exhibition of incompetency happened today when he turned down the NAACP’s invitation to speak before their 2017 convention. This smacks of racism along with incompetency. He’s worried about Clinton’s emails? A woman who is out of politics for the rest of her life? I think he has bigger problems than that.

This past week, the Election Commission even reported that the results of the entire 2016 election results are suspect. Perhaps he worried that he will be ousted from the office. He may be ousted, but it won’t be because there is a “do-over.”

The most shocking development is that Trump is suddenly, as of today, supportive of new sanctions being placed on Russia. Since Trump and Putin of Russia are such big buddies, all this says to me is that our fake President is scared. He is thinking if he acts supportive of the sanctions against Russia now, it will somehow save him.

We don’t have the findings of Robert Mueller or the House and Senate Committees about the Russian investigation or anything else yet. If Trump can manage it with his money and perceived power, we never will. What has prompted this article today is the fact that the Committee’s are not requiring Donald Trump, Jr. and Paul Manafort to appear in front of them in either a closed or open session. They are simply asking for documents. EXCUSE ME? Trump, Jr. gave them documents in the form of emails. They already know he is guilty of collusion with Russia. They don’t want to question him under oath? Trump wins again. They are requiring Jared Kushner to appear before them in a closed session. Why not an open session so the American people can learn the truth? Don’t we deserve that?

So what’s going on here? For starters, we have a Republican House of Representative and a Republican Senate. Trump is still polling at about 36% popularity. He could bomb Seattle and his base wouldn’t move, in my opinion, though rumor has it that his base is starting to erode..

A man who has admitted guilt cannot save himself and yes, Donald Trump has, indeed admitted guilt. We don’t yet know what he is guilty of, but if a man is questioning if he can pardon HIMSELF, you can bet that man is guilty. Why else would you ask that question? Not only is he guilty, but he knows members of his staff and family are guilty as well, since he has been trying to find out his power to pardon them as well. Can someone tell me why Congress has not drafted Articles of Impeachment at this point? Actually, I think I can answer my own question.

Trump still has about a 36 percent approval rate in the U.S. If Congress impeaches him, many of them will lose their next election. That means the senators and representatives are trying to hang on for their own self-interest. They aren’t representing us. They are representing themselves.

Trump does not involve himself in the legislative process. Some say the Senate Health Care Bill might have passed had he taken more of an interest. He has recently been out of the country more than he’s been here. Due to his narcissistic, volatile personality, it is worrisome to me what might happen if Trump starts to feel cornered. I think it may be happening now. He is talking about firing Robert Mueller, Special Counsel, which takes me right back to 1973 and the impeachment of Richard Nixon. Nixon fired his Special Counsel, Archibald Cox, and that set up Nixon’s eventual resignation.

Nixon went relatively quietly. Do you think Trump will do the same? I don’t.

 

Congress Does Not Represent the People of the United States

IMG_0729

The U.S. Congress, the legislative branch of the government, has become corrupted. This is the branch, of the three branches of government, set down by the Founders, that is supposed to represent the people of the United States. Do you think that we are fairly represented by the U.S. Congress? I am here to contend that we are not.

We only have to look as far as the current Senate Health Care Bill and the debate surrounding that bill. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is the primary senator pushing the bill. He is doing so became he is being pushed by the President, but that is not the only reason. Since 1989 and to date, five of the top industries contributing to McConnell are: Health Professionals, Insurance, Hospitals and Nursing Homes, Pharmaceuticals and Health Products, and Health Services and HMOs. Can McConnell truly be unbiased?

Mitch McConnell represents the state of Kentucky as a senator. He is supposed to represent the people of that state. Kentucky is a poor state. A high percentage of the population, particularly in the Appalachian region of the state, use the Medicaid program. For example, in Kentucky, children represent 19 percent of all Medicaid spending but 43 percent of its enrollees. The Senate Heath Care Bill, pushed by Senator McConnell, would take away these benefits for many or most of these children who are not even the driving force of the Medicaid expenditures.

I ask you. Is Mitch McConnell representing his Kentucky constituency? Perhaps he is, instead, representing those five health care industries that contribute to his campaign funds? He is lobbying to take away the Medicaid benefits from his constituency.

The McConnell example is only one example of a senator who is not serving his constituency. Congress is supposed to serve as the voice of the people and the states to the federal government. Do you really think it is currently, or has in the recent past, been fulfilling that function?

Congress is also supposed to serve as an oversight body on the Executive Branch of government; in other words, the President of the United States. That, to me, is laughable at this point in time. Yes, there are committees in place to investigate the dealings of the Trump administration and I fervently hope they are doing their jobs. I count on the Special Counsel, Robert Mueller, to oversee those committees at this point in time. The Senators and the Representatives are too worried about losing their own jobs to really serve as oversight on the President.

Congress now, instead of representing the people, represents money. The money they can make from the lobbyists of corporations like health care corporations if they follow their agendas. There is only one way to solve this problem. Term limits. Limit the terms of the Senators and Representatives so they don’t have time to become millionaires through lobbyists and on the backs of their constituencies, the taxpayers. Only then will we have something approaching a representative Congress again.

Independence Day in America

IMG_0710
I started to write this blog post about what Independence Day, the Fourth of July, meant to me. But, I changed my mind. Independence Day only means one thing and it should mean the same thing to all of us. This day, the Fourth of July, Independence Day, marks the birth of the United State of America. Our independence from Great Britain in 1776.

When the Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence, written by Thomas Jefferson, in Philadelphia, they knew that Great Britain would certainly take issue with the American colonies breaking away from their mother country. They knew they were effectively declaring war. They knew that the American colonies did not have the numbers of people or weapons to fight off the British. They had faith that they would, somehow, prevail.

Four days later, the real celebration began. The Continental Congress was still meeting. The Declaration of Independence was read. The Liberty Bell rang. The coat of arms of the King of England was taken down and the celebration began. The United States of America came to life.

What followed was the American Revolutionary War between the 13 colonies and the British Crown. It lasted through approximately 1783 and was a bitter and bloody battle. The French entered the war in 1778 and assisted the Americans. By 1781, the Americans had basically won their freedom. On September 3, 1783, in France, the British recognized that the Americans had won their freedom in the Treaty of Paris.

The British set sail for America. Our freedom was hard won by hard scrabble colonists against professional British soldiers more than 200 years ago. We became a republic, a democracy, then, and have been a shining example of hard-won freedom since. We’re reminded on this day, the Fourth of July, how hard those colonists fought and under what terrible circumstances. Many of us in America have ancestors that fought in that war, myself included. We have a stake in America’s freedom. We should celebrate this day and be sure that America beats the standard that democracies usually don’t last more than 200 years.

Happy Fourth of July to all of you in the United States of America!

Freedom of the Press, the U.S. Democracy, and Donald Trump

I sat down at my desk just now to work on a book I’m writing. I started thinking about Donald Trump’s attacks on the free press in the United States and the relationship between our free press and our democracy and I found myself pulling up my blog to write this article because this is important. Once again, a disclaimer. Don’t read this if you are thin-skinned, if you can’t see both sides of an issue. Only read it if you are disturbed by the video that Trump tweeted today that shows violence toward one of the news networks, CNN. Only read this if you think that this was patently wrong and illustrated the President of the United States advocating violence. Thinking more about it, maybe you should read it anyway. Feel free to say whatever you wish in the comments.

The comment was made earlier in the week that Donald Trump denigrated the Office of the President of the United States by his low-blow attacks on the co-hosts of the show “Morning Joe” on the cable news network MSNBC. He didn’t just do it once, but a number of times. My questions about his attacks are two-fold: Doesn’t he have anything better to do with his time than watch Cable News, like work on U.S. policy or prepare for the G-20 summit and his meeting with the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin? and second, Is Donald Trump ignorant to the fact that the existence of a free press is necessary if a country is to have a democracy? I was under the impression he had advanced degrees from some pretty good schools. That begs the question of whether Trump has yet another agenda. We’ll get to that later.

A couple of days after he first trashed the Office of the President with his big, nasty mouth, Trump posted his video on Twitter that was particularly violent regarding CNN. This is where Congress should draw the line. Where is Congress? Having a nice Fourth of July weekend? Really? The anniversary of our Independence? One would think that the members of Congress would realize that our way of life and our form of government is at risk because of this man who is taking up space in the White House. I stated earlier that it is necessary to have a free press in order to have a democratic form of government? Perhaps Trump is interested in an authoritarian form of government where he is the “end-all, be-all” dictator? He is so insecure and has such a low sense of self-esteem that he keeps having to have even his Cabinet praise him and he constantly refers to the fact that “he won” the election (like we don’t know that).

He has set up his inner circle like a dictator (or a king) with his family at the core and a member of the disgusting publication, Breitbart, an alt-right, white supremacist publication as his right hand. That is extremely similar to what a dictator would do since he would be unwilling to trust others. Steve Bannon, of Breitbart, obviously has a great deal of influence over Trump.

Trump first trashed the judges who first stopped his travel ban. He ordered the Senate Majority Leader to use the nuclear option to get his Supreme Court nominee confirmed. Now, he has ordered the 50 states to turn over the voter records and confidential voter information to a commission he created. The last time I heard, 29 out of 50 states had refused. He doesn’t use Congress as a legislative body. He uses Executive Orders. All of these actions, and more, are hallmarks of an authoritarian President. Then there is the fact he has shut down White House daily briefings, for the most part.

Why does he fear the press? Because they expose these actions to the American people. He fears the press because he is afraid the American people will become wise to his actions. Without the press, there is no democracy. Look at Russia and other authoritarian governments. They have no free press.

Does Donald Trump have an agenda concerning the press besides whining about his image? I’ll let you be the judge. My answer to that question is an unqualified yes and it is to fundamentally change our form of government.

 

 

 

Donald Trump, Health Insurance, and A Big, Ugly Mouth

IMG_0704

Fair warning, friends, readers. I’m pulling no punches, holding nothing back in this blog post. You can do the same if you post a comment. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. If you can’t take the heat, hear the truth, stay out of this particular kitchen. Trump has finally gone too far and, by the time he meets with Vladimir Putin of Russia this week, those among you who still support him, may even agree with me.

I have tried for six months to find something redeeming about Donald Trump. Some reason why he got the majority of the electoral college votes for President of the United States. Some legitimate rationale. I have determined there was no legitimate rationale. Some people bought his rhetoric, bought what he was selling. He can be pretty convincing. It sounds good when someone totally different from a previous administration says they are going to step in and fix everything. It sounded good that he was a businessman and was going to run the government like a business. But, the government is not a business. Running the huge machine that is the federal government is not very much like running Trump’s real estate businesses. For one thing, we just try to balance the budget. We do not seek to necessarily make a profit. Not that Donald has made a profit many times. He’s taken bankruptcy several times. So the profit-seeking motive is still eluding him. His billions (if they are billions) came primarily from investing his father’s money. Do you know the last President that balanced the federal budget and, actually, had a surplus? Bill Clinton.

Trump apparently has an attention-deficit problem. He does not read. He spends his time tweeting and watching Cable News. He was great screaming out all of the things he was going to do at his famous rallies. But, sitting down and reading his briefings and his foreign policy reports is something he does not do. He doesn’t even have anyone in the White House that can talk to him about the contents of the briefings verbally. No one there has any experience. They are either his family or his own appointees who are as inexperienced as he is. Even the Secretary of State, a deeply experienced man, has been reported to be screaming in the White House that he can do nothing because he finishes second to Trump’s son-in-law.

I cannot say this strongly enough. Donald Trump does not know what he is doing. Not with regard to domestic policy nor foreign policy.

Health care insurance. Everyone is upset about health care insurance. Do you know what the problem is? YOU elected him. YOU elected a man who is going to take away Medicaid and, eventually, Medicare and probably some Social Security benefits. You thought that Obamacare was so bad? Well, parts of it are, indeed, terrible and way too expensive. Was that a reason to elect a toddler to serve as President of the United States? If you voted for Trump, YOU caused this horrendous situation in which we find ourselves. Your health care insurance may be going away? Really? TOUGH. You did it. You voted for him. Why didn’t you nominate a Republican candidate for President that was experienced and wasn’t a con artist and grifter who would rather bash the Morning Joe program than help figure out health care? Don’t even mention Hillary Clinton. There were sixteen other Republican candidates to choose from. Obamacare could be fixed if Congress had support by this so-called President to fix it.

Speaking of health care, now we have a situation where Mitch McConnell, the senior senator from MY state (a fact of which I am deeply ashamed) running things with regard to developing a new health care bill. We have millions of people in our state, a poor state, who voted for both Trump and McConnell because they are low-information voters who were taken advantage of. I am not giving them a pass. Educate yourselves, people. Do not vote for the person who just SOUNDS good. Now whatever is passed will likely scale Medicaid way back as well as Medicare benefits. That will decimate Appalachia. Half of my family comes from Appalachia. This saddens me more than I can say. But, the Appalachian people can educate themselves just like anyone else. I am sad, but I do not feel sorry for them. We had enough choices in the primary election that we could have elected someone head and shoulders better than the gross, disgusting man that sits in the White House. Mitch McConnell is one of the senators highest paid by the lobbyists. Do you suppose that might be a reason that he is sucking up to the drug and insurance companies? OPEN YOUR EYES AND FOLLOW THE MONEY. Mitch McConnell is not representing his constituency.

Let’s talk about Trump’s disgusting tweets about Joe and Mika, particularly Mika, of the Morning Joe show on MSNBC. Mika is a consummate professional and the daughter of a brilliant politician and expert in foreign policy. Trump has been tweeting, for two days now, disgusting tweets about Mika’s appearance and sanity and has been doing the same toward Joe. So he is the President? SO WHAT? If I were Mika, I would hire a lawyer and do whatever is necessary to stop him from tweeting one more time anything about me. He is a disgusting pig for doing what he is doing. He is not morally or ethically fit to serve as President of the United States and, instead of being on recess, Congress should be in session determining how to remove him from office due to the fact he has proven himself not “fit to serve.”

Trump’s tweets are nothing but a distraction and he thinks that we, the people, are too stupid to know it. He is trying to distract us from the real issues, the fact that he can’t pass any legislation being one of them.

This is what happens when we let emotion rule our important decisions. People did not like President Obama and I contend part of the reason was because he was half black. I am horrified to have to say that in the United States of America. I’m sure that is not true for everyone, but it is true for some. So many let their emotions rule them when they voted for Trump and this is what has happened. Our democracy is literally at stake and our government is on the verge of authoritarianism. This is not something we want. Imagine Trump as all-powerful leader.

This week, we have to be embarrassed by Trump’s meeting with the Russian leader, Vladimir Putin, who will likely have him for lunch. Just remember. YOU voted for him. Those of us who did not vote for him are horrified at his activities. I want to believe that America, the shining city on the hill (a characterization by Ronald Reagan) does not have a society that has deteriorated to the point that we can accept a classless thug as a President.