Elements of Donald Trump’s Strategy to be Dictator

Elements of Donald Trump’s Strategy to be Dictator

Today over 300 newspapers across the US published editorials chiding President Trump for his attacks on the media. https://www.msn.com/en-us/video/watch/newspaper-editorials-across-us-rebuke-trump-for-attacks-on-press/vp-BBM0SGh Our local Newspaper, The Daily News of Longview Washington, was among them.
President Trump’s attack on the news media is an attempt to control what the public hears and believes. This attack is anti-democratic and authoritarian. It is one part of a multiple part strategy to obtain rule by one man instead of the current Rule by Law. Another part of his strategy to become the absolute ruler is secrecy. He has apparently required non-disclosure agreements for White House and Staff (and I assume others). He has held private meetings with foreign heads of government and not included others nor informed even member of his administration of the contents of those meetings and what he has promised, most notably with North Korea and Russia. The third step in his campaign to become the absolute ruler of the United States is his taking action that either circumvents existing procedures set down in law or have no basis in law. Stripping security clearance from a former CIA head unilaterally because the former CIA chief criticized him and the relevant agencies who do the reviews and recommendation for such action were never notice nor consulted. Separating Children from their parents at the border, wholesale, and making asylum seekers criminals and their children sufferer is a policy that is not an American Law. Indeed, it is un-American.
Without going into more parts of his strategy to become dictator of the US, simply read his tweets. He campaigned against political correctness. Reading his tweets, there may be elements of political corrects therein; however, on balance, he is not politically incorrect. No, he is rude, crude, impolite, boorish, and untruthful in those tweets.
While I well understand people being afraid and supporting a mirage of strength and defiance. What those fearful people should fear is Donald Trump. His tax policy, combined with his tariff wars will cause more economic upheaval than did the explosion following the subpar mortgage fiscal of ten years ago. His economic policies are designed to line his pockets (and others with money). They are short-term and short-sighted. Those policies are already beginning to eat away at the security of some of his staunchest supporters in the 2016 election: farmers.
So, are the editorials published today going to make a difference? They may, but in ways that need a follow-up. Trump will use this day of editorials to say, “See there is a Fake News conspiracy.” And the people will believe him. So, the media needs to adopt a long-term strategy. For instance only send one reporter and camera, a pool, to cover the man and his White House. Film everything and report only news and not his lies. The media needs to continue their push back against him on a daily basis. Take him to court, report on his violation of the emoluments clause on a daily basis—accounting details of what the government spends on his golf weekends at his golf resorts. But, the media will know much more than I how to go to war against the Fake President.
T. Edward Westen
August 16, 2018

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The Problem with Trade or Balance of Trade Deficits

The Problem with Trade or Balance of Trade Deficits
By T. Edward Westen

As someone who is forced to watch the public policy nonsense coming out of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for the past sixteen months (I have to, I am an American citizen), I have pondered the President’s fixation on the balance of trade between nations.

If this were August 14th, 1971 and the US had a trade deficit with another country, that country could demand we pay up in gold. Theoretically that would diminish the US’s net worth. However, on August 15th, 1971, then President Richard Nixon stopped honoring foreign debuts by paying in gold. Beginning, August 15th, 1971 we had only U.S. Dollars with which to make good on the imbalance of goods and services imported versus goods and services exported.
Somehow, the current President thinks paying for goods and services with U.S. dollars is a problem: “They will have all of our money.” Sorry, Mr. President, but someone should tell you that most of that money they will have exists as book keeping entities. Some will be paper currency, but still what is the paper currency worth? OK, so it is money. But it is only valuable because people think it is valuable and because the US Government insists those pieces of paper (or electronic representations of those pieces of paper) are “. . .legal tender for all debts public and private.”
So, at base, what does a trade deficit between the US and another country (or the world for that matter) involve? It means they give us goods and services and we give them pieces of paper (or electronic representations of the same) with the words on them that say, “this note is legal tender for all debts public and private.” You see, the only problem with trade deficits is that ‘deficit’ has negative connotations in the President’s mind. Someone needs to tell the President how these notes are created and let him in on the scam we are running against the rest of the world before he queers it for us.

America’s New Vulnerability

America’s New Vulnerability
By T. Edward Westen

President Trump has played fast and loose with treaties, agreements, trade, and relationships with allies, trade partners and international organizations around the world. He has asserted that treaties, agreements, trade, and relationships with allies, trade partners, and international organizations are “bad deals” made by predecessors in the White House. The empirical evidence and facts do not support his assertions. Regardless, his actions have negative consequences for Americans as well as those nations party to those treaties, trade arrangements, and international organizations with which he unilaterally terminated.

When President Trump assumed office, he did not sell his businesses and put his assets into a blind trust. This opened him to accepting money from his fellow Americans, the United States government, foreigners, foreign governments, and international organizations whenever staying in his properties. By returning monies to the U.S. Treasury for profits his accountants attribute to stays by U.S. government employees, President Trump is attempting to avoid prosecution and impeachment on the charge of violating the emoluments clauses in the U. S. Constitution (Art. I Section 9, Clause 8). But, he is also admitting that he profits when anyone stays in his properties.

Since President Trump is in a position to profit from his business, especially his properties, he is also in a position to incur losses from those properties. Also, since the properties are so dear to him, they represent a way to get President Trump’s attention. President Trump’s properties are America’s newest vulnerability.
I can think of at least a half-a-dozen, legal ways to exploit that vulnerability to get President Trump’s attention by focusing on his properties. But, I am relatively confident all those who have been impacted by his reneging on treaties, agreements and trade have better imaginations than I.

     If you are not an American, forward this to your foreign minister. President Trump’s weakness may not be visible to non-Americans. If you are American, get your creative juices flowing.

 

One day I would like to be a writer

One day I would like to be a writer. I am almost 74 years old so if it is going to be, it will have to be sooner rather than later for my ‘laters’ keep getting fewer with every passing day. In December of 2016, a blogging friend convinced me to write fiction. I quickly got into writing science fiction novellas-time travel. I wrote the novellas in episodes. My goal for each episode was 1,000 words. 1,000 words a day took between 90 minutes and 3 hours. The time variance was due to which platform I used to write: tablet or smartphone or computer. The computer was fastest. I may have missed writing as many as seven days in that time, never two consecutive ones until three weeks ago. Three weeks ago, I finished the draft of my 8th novella. Buried n the Park, https://www.amazon.com/Buried-Detectives-Batan-Philipson-Cases-ebook/dp/B07C6ZN9FX/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1523889455&sr=1-1&keywords=buried+in+the+park
and started to proofread and self-edit it I chose the 8th novella to proofread and edit because it is the easiest to put in a form to self-publish. The other seven have some idiosyncratic writing problems with which I need to deal and to polish (knock off some rough edges and sharp corners). I assumed the 8th would have the fewest rough edges and corens to knock off. The combination of proofreading and editing is the first thing that has interfered with what you might call my creative, productive, writing flow these sixteen months.
Proofreading and editing one’s own work is a bear. A large hungry, irritated, motherbear with two cubs. A Grizzly Bear with sharp teeth and claws. The first time through, I read it out loud. That slows me down enough, so I don’t get back into the story and forget what I am doing-proofing and editing. Reading what one writes out loud is more likely to show the author, me in this case, grammar, syntax and tone problems. It also allows me to catch some typos and innovative autocorrect substitutions. The second and third time through I used Grammarly, an app or software package that reminds me that the English language has two voices and I should be in the active one. It also ferrets out all those comma-based errors I have learned to make in my years of casual, non-reviewed, non-propofed and non-edited writing.
I do need to get back to daily writing. Not just any writing, but project writing—say another novella. I write to an old friend every day. Indeed, I use that as the basis for a blog to which I attach episodes of my novellas. But, daily letters to my friend and his wife don’t count in the writing part of my life—they are important but not done to write. Back in 2014 my friend was hospitalized and diagnosed with cancer. I live some 2,000 miles away and started daily letters to keep my spirits up and his chin up while he was down. That is a whole different category of using words than writing fiction. However, using my daily letters to him as a blog and appending my daily episodes to the blog resulted in my having four readers: my friend and three bloggers who read and comment on my episodes every day.
You have heard that writing is an isolated, lonely profession. It well may be. But, I have three readers who comment daily. If you write, you know what a boon that is. You know how that can lift your spirits. Someone is reading. Yes, 158 other people have signed on as followers of my blog. So technically I am writing for them too. And, on a good day, six to eight may like my post. But, the three who comment, are priceless. Occasionally, one will comment on something amiss in my writing. Many Thanks to them. They comment on the flow of the story, the prospects for one or more character in the story or tell me someone in the story did something of which they approve, disapprove or the like. The important thing is they read and comment. Having regular readers, as I have, has been one reason I have churned out somewhere around a half a million words and has been one of the main motivations for my continuing to churn out 1,000 or so words a day. So, if it is possible, get a reader or two who comment on the story. My readers never give me technical writing comments. Rather they tell me how they feel about characters. Accordingly, I have used the same characters in any story where appropriate. One of my characters, a woman of indeterminant age I once described as wearing tweed like Jane Marple, as portrayed by Margret Rutherford in films of Agatha Christie novels, has been in every one of my eight novellas and the eighth one is not science fiction!
35 years ago, I heard, “Know and write to an audience.” If someone is reading what you write and making comments, your job of writing to an audience is much easier. I got lucky as three readers became my audience.
I started writing by doing a short piece of fiction about a policeman seeing a four-year-old girl jump off a swing in park He took her and to police headquarters because she was an unaccompanied juvenile out after dark. That is story from the policeman’s point of view. I then wrote the story from the little girl’ point of view. Finally, I wrote it from the relevant adult in the little girl’s life’s point of view. Those three pieces required a novella to explain what happened. That became Amanda7, my first time-travel novella and the one I am now editing and proofing for self-publication.
My next six novellas were, to my mind logical places to take the stories of the characters developed in Amanda7, indeed, the epilogs to each of the third through the sixth novella led into the fourth through seventh novellas. You could say, the end of one novella leaves something unaddressed that requires more writing. A starting point for the next project. Indeed, since I write each novella in episodes of about 1,000 words, I make it a point to leave something that must be addressed tomorrow or later. My readers occasionally have commented on my leaving Pauline tied to the railroad tracks with a train coming full speed—cliffhangers or as I remember them from the 1950’s Saturday Morning Movies at the theatre, a stagecoach going off a cliff TO BE CONTINUED.

Cliffhangers not only keep the kids coming back to the Theater next week, and my readers coming back tomorrow, they keep me writing. I want to know what happens next too. Now since I write an episode and publish it before I write the next episode, I have written myself into many a corner. Using this approach turns writing into a challenge for an author. I neither recommend it nor would dissuade one from writing this way. I simply am telling you there are other ways to write than the experts tell you.
I read some posts and lots of the comments on those posts about writing, it seems to be a very popular blogging topic. I thought, writing is idiosyncratic. Here is what worked for me for 16 months. Check out deartedandjody in a few months from now and see if it is still working.
Now that Buried in the Park is available on Kindle, along with thousands of other ebooks, how do I let more readers know and entice them to at least sample it (Amazon provices for a taste of each book)?

I thought I would post the information about my book on Facebook and ask my friends to share it. I was surprised that two immediately shared and eight others liked but did not share and three bought the book. I wrote long emails to two friends who showed encouragement and tell me they plan to buy the book. I have a few more friends to write to, but this is not marketing. I suppose next I need to send a letter to the local news paper. However, this is still not a marketing plan. So, I need an inspiration for marketing that does not cost more than the royalties it will generate. At 33 cents a book that does not leave a big budget.
Any suggestions?

Warmest regards, Ed

 

Big Brother Wants to Keep Tabs on the Press and More

I heard an NPR report this morning that make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. I could not find it under NPR, but was able to find the same report at MSN https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/homeland-security-database-would-track-journalists-media-influencers-report/ar-AAvzXl3
Essentially, I conclude the worst when it comes to any branch of any government collecting information except to apportion the seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. The twit has declared war on the free press in this country with his casting the charge of fake news at any report he does not like. While the White House Press Office is in a contest with FOX opinion shows for originating the second most fake news stories in America today, the twit’s tweets are in first place, it is disturbing to see Homeland Security get into the data collection business of writers, editors and other purveyors of information in America. Homeland Security collecting data on “identifying ‘any and all media coverage related to the Department of Homeland Security or a particular event”’ smacks of Big Brother, or the KGB, or the Gestapo watching in their authoritarian contexts.

I can well understand the desire to protect Americans from influence from foreign nationals in elections. However, given the position that twit has taken on ‘no collusion’ and his anti-Muller Investigation, this effort by Homeland Security cannot be viewed as an effort to protect American voters from false influence, but rather an opportunity for the right wings in the administration to attempt to stifle the free exchange of ideas and reporting by making those using free speech and press look over their shoulders to see who is watching. With information comes more opportunities to threaten, intimidate and suppress. Are we returning to McCarthy Era attempts to control others by accusation and black balling? This data base and the specifications for the “contractor do no remove my fears that we are not.

Respect for the National Anthem and Flag

I am somewhat amused at the current fervor for standing for the National Anthem that the pestilence and his core base are focusing their “we are better than you are because we don’t kneel for the National Anthem” attention.  The fact is that the pestilence himself has sat through the National Anthem countless times (probably 1009 times for every time he stood for its playing). And those of his core base supporters who watch ball games on television or their devices or listen on the radio routinely sit and feed their fat faces and sip their beers when it is played at the beginning of games as they relax in easy chairs to watch the game. If the player’s show of respect is so important why do the pestilence and his core base sit, lie, or even sit on the john when the National Anthem is played through their television, radio or device speaker?

As for professional ballplayers protests being disrespectful, I see them quietly kneeling, a sign of respect for an injured player. I see them saying our country is broken in the “all men are created equal” department. They kneel for that injury. That it is characterized as a protest by the pestilence and his core base supporters. I see it as a sign of respect for the country despite the injuries done to segments of the body politic who are not treated equally, indeed are still in this century systematically treated unequally. What is one protesting sitting on one’s rear end while the National Anthem is played on the television, device or radio?

I also heard the pestilence call into question the mothers of protesting players. To the extent that the crowd roared in approval and those in his core base who were not there signaled their approval does highlight the full meaning of the term “base” when it comes to pestilence and his supporters. It would seem they have mistaken politeness and common courtesy for political correctness that they so love to breach. I will not call the pestilence a name that reflects upon his mother in the off chance he can provide a birth certificate that says he is a human being. To be brutally clear, I am not asking to see his birth certificate, I am asking for proof of his species.

To his core base, I am looking forward to your learning to stand every time you hear the National Anthem played unless you go to your knee in respect for the injuries to your fellow Americans that occur every hour. Then I will cease to be amused at your ignorance; and, you can then point a finger without being a hypocrite.

What I do not understand about the DACA debate.

What I do not understand about the DACA debate.

T. Edward Westen, Ph.D. and Professor Emeritus, Central Michigan University.

September 5, 2017

As I listen to the talking heads on television, voices on the radio and stories in the print media I hear about the undocumented alien, children who only know the US, and the rule of law, and a whole bunch of other “stuff” that the utter seems to think applies and makes sense. This is not to mention the assertion that if we can’t control our borders . . .

The people in the DACA program were brought here illegally as children by their parents. They were in fact kidnapped from their native countries, even it if was for a good reason. DACA participants are victims of a crime—they are kidnap victims. Unlike kidnap victims in domestic kidnapping cases, they have no family that we can return them to unless we want to give them back to their kidnappers.

Now, we do not punish rape, burglary, robbery, assault, domestic victims of kidnapping and other victims of crimes. We do not give those who committed the rape, burglary, robbery, assault or domestic victims of kidnapping back to the criminals who raped, burgled, robbed, assaulted, kidnapped or other wish harmed someone criminally so why do we insist on treating the DACA participants differently?

Now to what I don’t understand. How is it we completely fail to recognize that the DACA participants are victims of a crime? Are we going to rewrite our laws so victims of rape are punished for being a victim of a rapist? Are we going to rewrite our laws so victims of a burglary are punished? If you think my question is absurd I must have grown up in the wrong America.

 

I grant permission for anyone to reblog, post or publish this in any forum, unedited, of course.