12/15/17: A New Rick Blog Podcast, The Brink; I Love You

A New Rick Blog Podcast, 12/15/17: The Brink; I Love You. Copyright 2017 Richard Thomas. Written and performed by Rick Thomas. Contact Rick Thomas at therickblogpodcast@gmail.com.

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The Brink; I Love You

patrick henry give me liberty

12/15/17

The Brink; I Love You

To state the obvious:

We are on the brink of the end of the rule of law in America, and with it our democracy. If the vile Republican Executive and Legislative branches end the Mueller investigation and prosecutions WE will have lost our freedom. The illegitimate coup which has attacked the last vestiges of our self-rule will have consolidated power. They are attempting to end our right to control the self-determination of the fate of our nation and our lives. We will be living under the yoke of control by rich gangsters from the United States and from Russia.

More obviousness:

The “tax” bill is an attack on the most vulnerable in our society —- children, the elderly, the sick. Obamacare comes first. Then they’ll end Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Any sense of the promise of security and prosperity will be stolen from us.

Elections will be propaganda events. Our voice through the ballot will be silenced entirely.

We are on the brink of living in an Orwellian world of lies, and speaking the truth will be an act of real courage —- beyond the boldness of merely offending people who resent being challenged by expressions of truth and decency. There will be punishments, often severe, for those who speak the truth.

We will fear the police.

We will work without dignity or rights.

Former friends will betray us, and support the oppression in order to survive or feel successful.

Our poor neighborhoods will become sites of military occupation.

Immigrants and African-Americans will be persecuted —- for starters. The rest of us will live in fear with the knowledge that the oppressors will eventually come for us.

What will we do if this dystopia comes to pass?

We have models.

The revolution that ended the rule of Communism in Eastern Europe is my favorite model. Read Vaclav Havel.

No government can maintain power without the consent of the governed.

Never give that consent.

For the moment, I am praying —- yes, I do that in my way.

We need God’s help (use whatever word you use for the divine).

I pray that miracles happen. I pray that Mueller is able to finish his work. I pray that the tax bill never becomes law.

But if a harder miracle is needed —- a revolution for the restoration of our freedom, our democracy and human decency, I am ready.

I love you.

I have had a great life. I hope that you have too.

We have lived in times, however imperfect, that have been relatively wonderful compared to the scope of history.

I, like you, have been very privileged compared to most men and women who have ever lived.

Our lives have been charmed. We benefited from the greatest social experiment in the history of the world, codified in our constitution and implemented by our national culture of freedom.

I really believe that American ideals are the finest ever created on earth. They were far from perfected before this fascist coup threatened them.

We have to fight for the right to keep perfecting them.

We must take a long view.

They can steal the government but they can’t steal the nation. They can’t steal our souls.

My earnest hope is that our system will hold against this cunning assault of fascist money.

But I would die to restore that system if it doesn’t.

It won’t be a loss. A life of subjugation under the heels of these villains is no life at all.

And I suspect that I won’t die but will live one day in renewed freedom.

Hopefully in won’t come to that, but it easily could.

I love you.

I love you.

I love you.

All in for True America.

Give me liberty or give me death.

That’s the commitment required to live in freedom —- learned from the patriots of the Revolution, the Civil War, the Civil Rights movement, World War II.

It may be our turn.

Copyright 2017 Richard Thomas

12/13-14/17: Willful Ignorance; and Education Trumps Fascism

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12/14/17

Education Trumps Fascism

Russia was reportedly active on social media in the recent special election in Alabama. Russian social media interference corrupted our 2016 general election (with the help of American criminals on their way to prosecution), as is well known.

Putin spent part of yesterday offering his opinions about American domestic politics. He said that Trump was blocked from reforming the health care system by an unreasonable opposition.

Putin has identified an American weakness and he is exploiting it. Many Americans are uneducated and vulnerable to thought control and manipulation.

Trump, of course, our great domestic enemy who usurped the Presidency by being the figurehead of a misinformation campaign conducted by Putin and wealthy American traitors, Robert Mercer and Steve Bannon, famously improvised the line, “We love our low-information voters.”

P.T. Barnum was wrong. Suckers aren’t born. They are made.

One necessary action that we must take in order to get ourselves out of this quagmire where our power to determine our own fates has been so threatened by rich gangsters, foreign and domestic, is to emphatically value and support EDUCATION.

Trump and his cabal of stooges for Putin, Mercer and a surprisingly small group of evil American multi-billionaires would have never gained power if more Americans were educated.

I am not only speaking of the necessity to have more government funding of public and higher education, although that is of course necessary.

Our education system itself needs to be reformed.

Education is too heavily emphasized today as a means to “get a good job.” Certainly preparing people for employment is an important goal of education.

But education should also prepare people to be human beings — and that sub-category of being human — citizenship — which is merely being human in relation to the body politic.

The liberal arts have been de-emphasized by many — “how you gonna make any money with an Art History degree?” This is a tragic mistake. Studies have shown that a background in liberal arts is actually quite helpful to people in technical fields, so there is an economic benefit to be educated in the humanities.

More importantly, the liberal arts deflate ego. I teach, and there are always several students in my classroom who begin the semester believing that they know all there is to know about a topic that isn’t particularly technical. They claim possession of “common sense.”

(I also see this defensiveness at times in social media posts.)

Engagement in doing the work of the arts: openly experiencing something without a preconceived notion, reflecting upon it, making observations about it and finally connecting it and applying it to one’s or the world’s reality — destroys ego and leads the student to exploration and discovery.

Intelligence is something that can be developed. People have different levels of innate intelligence, but everyone can get smarter.

Intelligence does not only brighten the mind. It opens the heart. Ignorance is more a question of poor character than lack of intellectual ability.

The skills needed to master the liberal arts are the skills required for good citizenship (and any decision-making and implementation tasks required of an earnest human being): observation, critical thinking (reason), logic, organization, discernment, empathy, intuition and creativity.

I make my students read. I make them write. I make them speak publicly. I make them improvise a little. I make them discuss things as a group and work in teams. I make them work alone. I make them work 15 hours per week at these skills and tasks — 3 in class and 12 on their own.

I give them assignments that they have to reflect upon and make choices as to the assignments’ meaning, and as to what is their best response.

In other words, I make them think — hard.

I give my students assignments in which they have to apply their knowledge and skills to their actual lives and the lives of the world. They have to learn that ivory towers are useless and the reason for learning is that it enhances life, and it gives tools for excellence in life.

Education doesn’t have to happen in an academic setting, but it has to happen. Meaningful life is not possible without education.

Ignorance has always infuriated me, so I find teaching to be a very gratifying occupation.

The stupidity and hard-heartedness of the minority of Americans who support the relatively recent fascist surge is infuriating.

It is also understandable. Putin and the rich American traitors employ propaganda that parrots uneducated people’s idiotic “common sense” about the nature of the world. Once the propagandists win the trust of the thick-headed and stone-hearted, they manipulate the mob dumbbells to do their bidding — even when it opposes the dumbells’ own interests, which they of course are too dim to understand.

There is a two-step solution to the rise of the dodocracy.

First, we can’t let them have any more influence on our lives. As I have said often, we can’t debate them. We can only defeat them. You can’t reason with a jackass, let alone millions of them.

Then we have to educate them and everyone else including ourselves. We have to make teaching a more respected profession — a frequent teachers’ complaint — but we also have to be sure our teachers are worthy of the respect.

Teachers, prosecutors, writers and artists are on the front lines of our war against the ignorance in America which has become so bad it threatens our nation’s very existence.

I happen to be a teacher, prosecutor, writer and artist and I am proud of it.

But those tasks are the tasks of all citizens and all humans:

To educate and be educated;

to stand against evil and bring it down with justice and decency;

to think — “Writing is thinking only better”, said the fine popular writer, David McCullough — we must work on how are minds mediate the world and not just wander with empty heads from one pleasant sensation to the next;

and to create — to innovate and come up with alternatives and not passively accept status quos that disserve us.

I will end here with a favorite quote from John Adams. Perhaps at long last, we can reach a moment in time when being an educated human citizen is not a revolutionary or radical act, but is simply the norm.

“Let us tenderly and kindly cherish therefore, the means of knowledge. Let us dare to read, think, speak and write.”

Copyright 2017 Richard Thomas

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Fascist Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio)

12/13/17

Willful Ignorance

I’m watching Republican Congressmen display a willful ignorance of the law in order to smear the Mueller investigation.

They claim that many Mueller investigating attorneys are biased against Trump and Associates because the attorneys have made political contributions to Democrats.

The attorneys have a right to have political points of view like any other citizens. Having a political point of view is ZERO indication of bias.

I was a litigation counsel for a disciplinary commission. My prosecutions were based on charges of noncompliance with the Lawyer’s Code of Professional Conduct. The rules are complex and numerous. The Department of Justice has many rules itself which regulate its attorneys behavior. The DOJ has strict oversight of its attorneys behavior.

These attorneys are professionals. It is not in their interest to “rig” anything. They succeed by being knowledgeable, skilled and ethical. They aren’t politicians. The ethics rules protect against bias and other improper conduct in a myriad of ways. There are rules against malicious prosecutions and making frivolous claims. Attorneys can’t act with deceit.

If the Republicans wanted to make a claim regarding bias they would have to show evidence that one or more of those specific rules were broken.

They don’t have any such evidence so they recite political contributions that every American has a right to make.

Mueller’s team is the gold standard of American attorneys —- the best of the best —- particularly with regard to ethics.

The only bias being shown this morning is by the Congressional Republicans who are not fulfilling their Article II of the US Constitution responsibility to provide oversight of the President and Executive Branch. Beyond that, they are subverting their responsibility and are complicit with Trump and Associates misconduct.

This may seem quite dry and technical and in the weeds. It is. It is also an assault on the rule of law in America.

These evil hacks, doing the malicious bidding of their super-rich donors who would destroy our democracy and culture to steal this nation’s wealth and subjugate its citizenry.

The Republicans in Congress on TV this morning are evil. That last sentence ends my legal analysis.

This scum needs to be stopped forever. Roy Moore and Trump are obvious villains. These enemies are even more dangerous. They employ cunning and make specious arguments in seemingly professional tones. They don’t assert a point of view with logic and evidence. They manipulate.

To borrow from their lexicon, what they do is Satanic.

They can’t be merely debated. They must be defeated and punished and driven from the halls of power and influence.

They are an enemy within. Joe Biden said this morning that Republican Senators were decent people. No they are not. They advocate the destruction our country and our personal lives. Some may prove to be decent in time, but then they will be Republicans in Name Only.

Lincoln was a Republican in the 1860s. He would not be one now.

They are our enemy!

I am not being partisan. This is not political. I am not opposed to Republican policies and strategies. I’m disgusted by them.

And I know they are an existential threat to both our country and our personal lives.

We must fight them politically, legally and morally.

I don’t want these people to have any power in my country.

I can remember when they just crawled on their filthy bellies in the dark margins.

Copyright 2017 Richard Thomas

12/9/17: Near the Darkest Hour 2017

12/8/17

Near the Darkest Hour 2017

Obama is warning tonight that our democracy is in jeopardy. He warns us referencing how a highly developed German democracy descended into fascism. He says democracy can be lost quickly even in seemingly advanced and sophisticated societies. Obama cautions us to be aware and vote.

Obama’s warnings increase my apprehension that Mueller’s prosecutions are in jeopardy. If Obama felt our democratic institutions were secure —- and the justice system is first among those institutions, he wouldn’t feel the need to give us his words of caution.

The sliming of Mueller by Republicans in Congress and right wing media hacks like Sean Hannity is very significant. If the Republican Congress does not stand by Mueller —- using the lies of this smear campaign to discredit him —- it is the end of the rule of law in America and the end of our freedom.

It will be the end of any dream of removing Trump or halting the Republican Kill America agenda — the one-two fascist punch —- through the justice system and electoral politics.

Obama tells us to vote. Fine, but that’s not nearly enough. If Mueller is neutralized, we won’t have another free national election — our last was in 2014 —- for a very long time. Elections will be shows, media events, methods of propaganda like the 2016 election.

There has been a lot of talk speculating about when the Congressional Republicans will abandon Trump.

I think probably never.

Trump just more directly says what the right wing has said for years. Now they are about to make what they have been saying for years a concrete reality. Why would they abandon that opportunity?

Trump seems ominously confident lately. They are following a daring plan made bold by their sense of entitlement.

If Mueller is stymied by Trump and the Congress and the prosecution ends prematurely, the only check and balance will be a mass movement in the streets.

A demand for freedom.

Our last chance before years of fascist oppression.

If we don’t stop them now, we will live years struggling to regain our dignity.

I hope to God that people will see the necessity to make that movement happen if the enemy successfully stops Mueller.

Things are very close to being a lot harder to deal with. Obama’s right. Things can get dire quickly.

If Mueller is unfairly discredited and the rule of law is about to be replaced by raw power, our last chance within the current system, a system that already has disenfranchised us and ignores our voices, is potential courage on the part of a few Republicans in Congress who might sacrifice their careers for their country, and refuse to go along with far right lies that subvert justice.

Not one Republican in Congress has shown that type courage yet — some like Flake have put on toothless displays of integrity, that’s all —- but miracles can happen, I guess. I wouldn’t count on it.

Short of a Republican miracle, the fate of the nation will fall to us.

We aren’t ready. Too few people fully understand what is going on. Too few people care. They are used to thinking that their fates are determined by luck and life is something that happens to them and not a thing that they create. Too many people seem to be running from the reality.

Or cowering in fear.

Or collapsing in frustrated exhaustion.

Or preoccupied with their own success when we live in a post-success moment when our collective survival is our highest need.

Or living in denial.

Or feeling too small, obscure and unimportant to make a difference.

Or thinking that they are not equal to the famous, rich and powerful.

Or wondering if Trump is right —- wondering if ethics, excellence are achievement are worth it when ruthless power and greed seem to win. This is a scary one. How many progressive people will turn into fascists when that becomes the way to belong socially?

I would feel better if more people seemed clear and strong, confident in their own sense of right and wrong, believing in their equality and fierce in their desire to freely determine their own futures, but I am not seeing it.

I don’t think most people know what a citizen is.

But that clarity and strength could emerge. That would be a miracle too.

I believe that miracles can happen if you work for them.

Unpromising people have done amazing things.

And unpromising people have bravely tried to do amazing things and failed.

Failure and defeat are better than capitulation.

That’s as hopeful as I can get tonight. We have to understand what’s happening and work to be free, and the odds are against us. Long shots win sometime, lose most times.

But what else can we do?

We have to fight.

Copyright 2017 Richard Thomas

What else can we do?

A New Rick Blog Podcast: TRBP 12/8/17 — Justice, Women, Fascism & More — Short pieces from the week of 12/4/17

 

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TRBP 12/8/17: Justice, Women, Fascism & More — Short pieces from the week of 12/4/17. Copyright 2017 Richard Thomas. Written and Performed by Rick Thomas. Contact Rick Thomas at therickblogpodcast@gmail.com.

12/8/17: Trump Paradox: Mob Boss and Patsy

Trump’s business organization was staffed by a handful of people. He was hands-on everything. Hands-on is Trump’s M.O. Rick Blog says Trump is personally up to his ass in every line of inquiry that Mueller is pursuing — the emails (he doesn’t email himself but I am sure he reads them and responds otherwise), the meetings (no meeting took place without his intense interest — not one), each and every discussion by any Trump associate with a Russian — he assigned the meetings and eagerly listened to reports about them, and every dollar that he, Kushner, Flynn and anyone else in the gang received from Russia.

Flynn is a like guy who joined the Mafia. Trump set him up in the gangster enterprise and fucked up Flynn’s life in the process. That is how Trump operated too. He never paid anybody. He set them up in business. He figured out ways that they could make money while he made money.

Any charge that any Trump associates get also applies to Trump. There will be evidence to show that he is guilty of every crime discussed in the investigations and prosecutions of others.

All roads lead to Trump.

His donors, Robert Mercer and Steve Bannon — Trump’s supervisor from the home office — may have been smart enough not to leave fingerprints. They financed Trump, but Trump the gangster and his cronies did the dirty work.

The Godfather is very powerful, but ultimately is controlled by the truly powerful who keep him at arm’s length.

Trump is a boss, and a puppet. A criminal chieftain and a fall guy.

The contradiction of Donald Trump.

Copyright 2017 Richard Thomas

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12/7/17: Send Out the Clones

Before Sen. Joseph McCarthy died he was cloned and replicated, and all the clones were cryogenically frozen. They have been thawed and now sit in Congress, and work for the right-wing media. The clones are smearing Robert Mueller, and could care less if they destroy the rule of law in America in the process.

Hope is not certainty. We have to do something to have the world we want. We —- millions of us are the only ones that can stop these traitors.

Where is this going? What will it take to eliminate this cancer? I am not certain. But whatever it is we should do it.

Citizens stopped the Confederacy, European fascism, and made great, if greatly unfinished, strides against bigotry. They spoke out, refused to stand down from their ideals, and of course sacrificed their lives under arms.

We are being called to make history.

Hope is degraded into mere optimism —- optimism, the useless fantasy, the Ouija Board life strategy —- if we don’t do it takes.

I believe in miracles if you DO them.

We have to be our highest selves.

We are looking at a future with a more just and righteous America than we imagined possible a few short years ago, or the end of the world.

No, noble hope is not optimism. It is a commitment to living from the source of our highest excellence —- and the understanding that we may achieve our highest values in concrete reality.

George Washington could have been executed as a traitor. His army —- us, long ago —- suffered many casualties.

We might not succeed. We might die or lose things we feel important.

Victims die in our wildfires and opioid epidemics. Many of us die as victims.

Instead of being victims, we must be heroes now.

I have never trusted heroism. But we are called to be heroes now. A true hero doesn’t go looking for a chance to be a hero. Someone who does that is a martyr.

Are you ready to be a hero? Are you ready to give your life —- and I wish you a long, happy, healthy and prosperous one —- for your country? She needs you now.

The fight, in and of itself, will make our values true and present.

No time for fear, naïveté or pettiness. No time for apathy or passivity. No time for Puritanism or lack of humor.

No time for personal ambition not in service to our country.

No time for thinking one’s life is too small.

Every act and word that is true and just and wise and compassionate and brave is needed now.

YOU, and we, are called to be nothing less than GREAT. We can’t think for a moment about personal acknowledgement.

The moments will come for each and every one of us.

We must be the alternative to the new McCarthyism. And an intolerant army who will give everything to destroy it everywhere we meet it. And each and everyone of us are called to a different place to confront it.

Our very lives and all of our words and deeds must be resounding yells —- HAVE YOU NO DECENCY, SIR? AT LONG LAST?

Copyright 2017 Richard Thomas

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12/7/17: The Madame Defarge Caucus

When considering sexual misconduct:

As a legal matter, one must proceed with due process of law.

As a matter of ethics, one must proceed with thorough investigation of the facts and meticulous critical thinking in a manner similar to due process of law.

As a human matter, one must rely on one’s sense of reality, observation of the facts and one’s highest discernment. For example, I do not have absolute legal proof that Roy Moore is a child molester, but I find his accusers highly credible and I discern him to be an inconsistent liar. I discern that his accusers are taking great risks for little personal gain, if any; and Moore has great incentive to lie.

As a political matter, one party stonewalls for a very apparent child molester, while the other party purges a groper, who made admissions and apologized.

Al Franken is expelled from the Senate without due process —- ethical or legal.

The Republicans are destroying our decency. The Democrats are destroying our tradition of due process and fairness.

Maybe even worse than that, the Democrats are destroying our ability to think with nuance and make decisions based on qualitative distinctions.

I don’t know the extent of Al Franken’s sins or crimes. But I know he is not being given a fair opportunity to admit his wrongs, repent and make amends, defend himself and/or be punished.

The revolution for a more conscious respect and justice for women is long overdue. Thousands of years overdue.

But the guillotines being erected in the public square won’t bring justice or harmony. The goal should be to reach full justice, opportunity and respect for women —- and still encourage the true loving connection between men and women that makes the world go round —- and has nothing to do with career or power at all.

A groper is shamed and banned. A child molester is on the cusp of the Senate. A rapist is in the White House.

It feels like we are in bigger trouble, less decent and dumber than we were yesterday.

It is a far, far better thing I do …

Copyright 2017 Richard Thomas

The Republicans are right. A child molester isn’t any worse than anyone who would vote for their tax bill.

12/5/17

The question isn’t whether the Trump gang colluded with the Russians. The question is what the Trump gang did to repay the Russians. The Deutschebank records are very important. And they are important going back years. Were Trump’s loans from Deutschebank really from Russia? Did Trump do favors for Russia in return for sweetheart loans? It is illegal to accept money from a foreign government during an American campaign. Has Trump been working for Russia for years? Did Putin cultivate Trump as a useful idiot? Was his candidacy a Russian plot? Did Trump launder money for the Russians?

Collusion with Russia in a campaign isn’t illegal. Doing Russia’s bidding against the interests of the US is huge.

Documentary evidence like bank records is the strongest evidence. Don Jr. said the Trump Organization did a disproportionate amount of business with Russians. Russia is an oligarchy. If a Russian has a lot of money, he is connected to Putin.

This is a MAJOR development in the Trump and Related Scum case.

The Rick Blog said months ago that there will be many charges in this case —- obstruction of justice is the least of them. Many of those charges will come from these bank records.

I think that this adds up to Treason. This is standard treason for money. But I am not sure Mueller will charge it. It might be viewed as political and would be hard to get a conviction because of the serious nature of the charge and the fantastical if true evidence.

And Mueller will have many lesser if plenty serious charges that he can nail Trump and the other bastards on.

As big a day or bigger than the Flynn flip.

Copyright 2017 Richard Thomas

12/5/17

Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao says she has been a victim of sexual harassment and the predator is “still around.” She says she will defend all other women, but she sees no reason to revisit “a negative moment from her past.”

I am not a woman, and I have no right to judge a woman.

But I can point out a logical fallacy.

If the man is “still around” and she says she commits to be a defender of women, doesn’t she have a logical obligation to call the man out to protect other women who might be, or have also been, victimized by this man?

I’m still waiting for a member of the Trump Administration to utter one sentence that makes any fucking sense about any fucking thing.

Maybe Trump did when he said he was wrong to say that President Obama wasn’t born in the United States.

But he took that back.

Copyright 2017 Richard Thomas

12/5/17

Ask your Republican friends —- those against Trump —- how do they keep self-identifying with that party? The party backed Trump and now Roy Moore. It’s too bad Charles Manson died. He was a perfect prospect to be a Republican candidate.

I’m an independent. I’m not a Democrat. I know there have been many lousy Democratic candidates and office holders. But there is no equivalency. Corrupt politicians and even improper sexual actors are not as bad as perverts like Moore and gangsters like Trump.

I know it’s an imperfect world and that party affiliation doesn’t mean that you endorse the character of every person in your party.

But your friends’ party put big bucks and effort behind Trump and Moore. How do your friends stand with that?

Whatever they think their party believes in, it seems to me it believes in government by felons and child molestation.

Actions louder than words.

Copyright 2017 Richard Thomas

12/5/17

It is unlikely that a SITTING President can be tried in criminal court for obstruction of justice or anything else. Paula Jones sued sitting President Bill Clinton in civil court.

As to criminal charges, it seems that impeachment is the first step. He —- there’s never been a she —- has to be out of office before he is prosecuted and goes to jail. That makes sense. A criminal defendant couldn’t handle the Presidency. We have that de facto situation right now.

A former President can be subject to criminal liability. If this wasn’t so, Ford wouldn’t have seen it necessary to pardon Nixon.

There is no legal precedent that says a President is above the law who walks around with a permanent get-out-of-jail-free card.

Trump’s lawyer and Alan Dershowitz’s arguments that a President can’t obstruct justice are ridiculous.

The idea that a former President can’t be tried for a crime is only a political point of view. It has no basis in law.

Nixon said anything that a President does is lawful. Nixon resigned in disgrace. His word is a shit political precedent and far from a legal one.

Trump’s lawyers —- and Dershowitz, have stopped arguing that Trump obstructed justice. You could make a winning argument for that out of facts published in the newspapers.

Obstruction of justice is the least of Trump’s criminal law problems.

If he isn’t impeached and subsequently sent to jail, we will truly be living somewhere different to where we lived before November 2016.

Copyright 2017 Richard Thomas

12/5/17 Another Rick Blog observation about fascism:

Fascists are nihilists. Their endgame is to destroy a nation, or in some cases the world (see Hitler) for what they reckon is their own material gain, but is actually their own personal death wish. So Trump tries to destroy (in no particular order): the Department of Justice, the FBI, law enforcement in general, the courts, the State Department and diplomacy in general, the Free Press, common decency and the social contract itself, separation of powers and checks and balances, the environment, the education system, the health care system, Puerto Rico, the rights of workers and consumers, the lives of the poor, the financial security of the middle class, a sense of national security and protection from nuclear war, long standing alliances with foreign partners, a national sense of truth and reality, agreed upon morality, compassion and empathy, respect for the equality of all people, the Constitution, precedent and regard for lessons of history, professionalism, reason, and all human dignity. I’m sure I missed more than a few things that Trump is trying to murder.

Fascists have a psychology of negation. They want to see everything burn. They hate life. They are ultimately suicidal.

Hitler ended with cyanide and the bunker. Mussolini swung from a meat hook. Saddam Hussein was hauled out of a hole in the ground.

They all hated themselves from the beginning of their ascent of power. They run all the time — their manic drive for destructive power is ultimately an attempt to escape themselves.

They can run but they can’t hide. Fascists die in shame, exposed as cowards. They kill themselves after they have killed everything else that they could. It is a process of elimination — a negative journey of self-discovery. They destroy themselves at the moment the rest of us force them to see that they were the problem all along. Many other
— innocent — people and positive ideas and things suffer and die in the process.

Fascists have a similar psychology to mass murderers who shoot many people on a campus or church or movie house, only to turn the gun on themselves in order to fire their final round.

A fascist is a natural disaster. He cuts a swath of destruction and then the people rebuild. Like a hurricane, a fascist brings people together in a sense of renewed community. People are inspired to protect each other and restore what is most important in their collective lives.

The victims of a fascist embrace life with renewed enthusiasm that surpasses the frantic energy of the fascist’s march to death.

Trump will come to a pathetic end. And we will thrive while honoring our dead, rebuilding our culture and ministering to our scores of injured friends.

Copyright 2017 Richard Thomas

12/4/17

It is not settled law that a President cannot be prosecuted for obstruction of justice. Special Prosecutor Leon Jaworski decided not to prosecute Nixon, the unindicted co-conspirator. Special Prosecutor Kenneth Starr argued that Clinton should be prosecuted.

As a Congressional and not judicial matter, obstruction of justice was a count in the impeachment of Clinton, and in the counts of impeachment against Nixon that were drafted before he resigned.

It is often said that the cover-up, obstruction of justice, is worse than the crime. Mark my words that won’t be the situation for Trump.

Trump was involved in a criminal conspiracy of cooperation with a foreign adversary, Russia, that attacked the United States—- a cyber attack. Whether or not Mueller uses treason as an actual charge, treason, in effect is Trump’s highest criminal liability.

America has a wise tradition of not criminally charging our Presidents. If we criminalize our politics we will lose all democratic stability.

But we’ve already lost that stability. Trump is a criminal. His Presidency is illegitimate. In this situation he should be prosecuted and sent to jail.

Trump is not the legitimate President of the United States. It is obvious that this is where the prosecution is headed.

Trump was a failure in business and he maintained a veneer of success through criminal activity in conspiracy with his lieutenants and Russian gangsters. Russia is a gangster nation —- by, for and of gangsters. Many serious laws have been broken.

Lock them up — after all due process is given them in court —- not Trump justice that just wants to put people away.

Impeach him in Congress. Convict him and send him to jail. Do the same for every other felon in this gang.

We won’t have a free country if these assholes aren’t punished.

Social disruptions by Trump’s vicious and indecent base will have to be dealt with. And when those ignorant shit kickers act up, they should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

We continue to debate criminals at our own peril. They need to be disciplined not coddled or compromised with.

Trump and his minions are destroying American knowledge, decency and critical thinking skills.

If we are to regain our morality and reason we have to punish their lies and crimes in a most official way.

This is not a time for leniency. These felons have to be bought low, so that future gangsters will know their fate if they contemplate destroying our social contract again.

We must legally prove their obvious guilt and give them just punishment.

Try them and

LOCK THEM UP !

Copyright 2017 Richard Thomas

12/4/17

Trump spins bullshit, sells. Mueller ACTS. His words are worked on and mean something. America was created by lawyers and writers —- not businessmen who know nothing other than how to manipulate the system for personal gain. The idea that people who live their lives committed to self-interest should govern is stupid. Whatever is good in America was motivated by love and service not profits and competition. Business is a necessary aspect of everything. You have to know how to pay for worthwhile actions and things. But business is a secondary thing. Whenever it leads, catastrophe follows. If the primary focus is the enrichment of some, it naturally leads to the oppression of others.

The wrong people get the highest respect in America, and that was true long before Trump.

Copyright 2017 Richard Thomas

12/4/17

The Republicans are destroying you financially because we blow all of our money going to the movies. You brought this upon yourselves. Poverty and early Death is good for you, you popcorn munching maggots. One thing about Republican morality, they always make money off it. And it is this with which the Democrats try to find common ground.

This is an illegitimate government which has already radically changed our lives. There should be a general strike that shuts this fucking country down and gets rid of this filth.

But who am I? I’m just citizen who is affected by this and I count for shit. Just a powerless nothing ranting on Facebook. Everybody else is more important to me.

Because in America if you’ve tried to be a decent person and actually have been concerned about being good at something, you count for nothing.

How did all that resistance work out for you? They got all that you’ve been against in that tax bill.

Write your congressman and other jerkoffs.

How about the Republicans you admired —- Flake, Collins etc? They just robbed you blind.

We need a revolution —- Political, Economic, Cultural, Spiritual. But I’m a nobody writing on Facebook.

If you aren’t listening or rolling your eyes, it’s your fucking problem.

These are the conditions that led to the fall of Communism. But the American people are too conservative by nature. You move too slowly.

We should shut down this country. Like a union pushing an unjust boss.

But we’ll keep sending letters of protest to people who don’t give a shit about us.

Remember those health care town halls that stopped Trumpcare and that we celebrated as a big win. THEY won. They got what they wanted.

Don’t you get it? There is no democracy left.

You going to affect change through the system? You aren’t even in the system. They don’t give a shit about you.

OK, enough rant. Go to work and let the boss humiliate you and steal your labor.

Where’s Lech Walesa when you need him?

Copyright 2017 Richard Thomas

12/4/17: I drove through Utah this summer. It was one of the most beautiful places that I had ever been. The experience was spiritual. Hours of driving, solitary — not another car in sight — just grand large rock formations rising out of expansive pink desert. Trump is announcing the deregulation of federal lands there.

I teach many lovely students of limited economic means. The Republicans are making it tougher for them to finance their college education.

My students. My livelihood.

This is personal to me.

Please spare me the hand-wringing about Trump supporting “friends”. They are doing what they have done for years — attack me and everyone and thing that is important to me.

Stop hoping the Republicans are going to stop these assholes.

3 groups are working against what’s going on: the Law, the Press and the People.

Fuck Trump, Fuck Trump supporters and fuck the Republicans in Congress and THEIR supporters. Fuck Jeff Flake, Fuck Susan Collins, Fuck John McCain. And fuck McMaster and Kelly and Mattis.

Fuck Democrats who talk about “bi-partisanship.”

STOP GOING AFTER MY MONEY, RUINING THE ENVIRONMENT AND HURTING VULNERABLE PEOPLE WHO ARE IMPORTANT TO ME.

Enough with moderation and reasonableness.

THIS IS A WAR. THEY HATE ME AND YOU.

Suckers act like these people give a shit about us.

I am not prepared to tolerate as much as a condescending glance from these mother fuckers.

If you aren’t enraged you are clueless.

WAR!

COPYRIGHT 2017 Richard Thomas

 

Thank You

Death of a Nation Photo 12:1:17Thank You!

Great thanks to everyone who came to see “The Death of a Nation” last Friday night, December 1, 2017. It was an audience of friends, and friends of friends. Their support and attention has helped us continue to develop this project, and it keeps growing bit by bit. Props of course to my great director Tom Gianas, and the hard work and great positive vibes of our stage manager, Kevin Johnson.

And it is a good moment to thank everyone who reads the blog and listens to the podcast. The blog and the podcast are like my improv set —- they are where I try things out that are eventually reworked for the show. Truly, it may seem like a small thing to you, but your attention to my work has helped me tremendously.

Of course, an artist is always asking for something. “The Death of a Nation” needs a home. We’ve developed the show to a point where it can really use a permanent stage on a regular basis so we can add more theatrical elements than my writing and performance. We made great leaps working in what is essentially a converted janitor’s apartment. Any suggestions or help in this regard will be very helpful.

The single biggest comment that I heard from Friday’s audience is what’s next? It was very encouraging. The show is ready for a next step.

So I turn to you who have helped this project get this far to help again.

I know you do it because you love and support art, and you hate much of what is going on in this country.

And many of you do it because you are my friends, and I am very lucky to have you.

Rick