New on the Shelves–The Fountain Featured on Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore

In case you missed this wonderful feature from Sally Cronin on her website, Smorgasbord–Variety is the spice of life, here’s a re-blog of what she said about The Fountain and my first book, Waiting for Westmoreland.

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves – The Fountain Short Story Collection by John Maberry

Welcome to John Maberry who is joining the authors on the shelves in the bookstore with two books.. One is his memoir Waiting for Westmoreland and the second, The Fountain, his recently released short story collection.

About Waiting for Westmoreland

Surviving poverty and the deaths of loved ones, the author remains hopeful as he exits childhood. then comes the draft that sends him to Vietnam. With innocence lost and illusions shattered, he seeks answers. College courses are intriguing but offer no solutions. Eventually, hope returns in the form of a life philosophy that comes from a chance encounter at a party. It’s all about cause and effect. Events happen not by chance but as a result of karma. Unseen connections have surprising consequences.

This knowledge comes in the nick of time, as he faces his most serious situation since the perils of Vietnam, the threat of death from a prospective father-in-law. He must take responsibility for the matter, despite being unaware of the underlying reason for it, reform himself and seek only her father’s happiness.

One of the reviews for the Paperback book

I’m apparently about the same age as the author and am always curious to hear someone else’s experience of the times I’ve lived in. In this case, Mr. Maberry and I couldn’t have lived more disparate lives if we’d tried. I don’t think I could have survived Mr. Maberry’s life and I appreciate his sharing the way his inner life as well as his circumstances have unfolded to this point. He survived things that have only scared me from a distance and he has achieved things I’ve only dreamt about from a distance. I’m so impressed with the way he has developed his life. I’m especially delighted to have read his account of his experience of the ’60s and ’70s, two decades I didn’t fit into very well.

Like Forrest Gump, Mr. Maberry made me re-evaluate that era in a more favorable light. In fact, this book made me re-evaluate a lot of things. Even if this were a big book, I would highly recommend it. It would be worth your time. But it’s a small book and reads very fast. No matter what your own experience in life, I think you will find this book interesting and impressive, and it may just lead to a whole new life for you, a new awakening.

A review for the Kindle version

Waiting for Westmoreland is an excellent memoir of John Maberry’s life as a kid growing up in the Midwest, Vietnam War vet, ant-war protestor, law student, pot smoker, and devout Buddhist. The author offers a poignant and eloquent account of the events that shaped his life leading to his enlightenment through Buddhism. I was particularly moved and educated by his observations about the politics involved in the unpopular, yet long-lasting Vietnam War.

The quality of the author’s writing is excellent – it is descriptive and clear. This independently-published work rivals the quality of work produced by the professional publishing houses. I found the story fascinating and it held my interest throughout.
NOTE: I’m posting this review on the Kindle edition because that is what I purchased although I noticed that the paperback has several other reviews.

Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/John-Maberry/e/B002BM82FU

Also by John Maberry released on 10th July

The Fountain and six more fantasy & Scifi stories.

Humor, twists and more in this collection of seven fantasy and sci-fi short stories. Karma can be painful in “The Fountain”–when a plunderer meets a long-dead shaman. A family adopts a retriever with special talents in “Lily, an Amazing Dog.” A vampire has a strange problem, in “Alfred’s Strange Blood Disorder.” A perennial favorite, dimensional travel, with a strange twist in “The Closet Door.” What could that column of fire be, rising from the Atlantic off the Outer Banks? Read “The Flame” to find out what it meant to troubled writer Carson. A wizard casts a spell that works well for a princess, but will it be as good for him? Check out “The Wizard.” Finally, “The Fribble” offers an alien encounter of an odd sort, to a pharmaceutical company rep searching for new drugs in the Amazon Rain forest.

One of the early reviews for the book

If you enjoy short stories in fantasy/sci-fi genres, and stories that make you think then look no further than Maberry’s tales which will engross you with stories about karma, greed, time travel, aliens and muses.

In this book you will read stories about: a dog with extra sensory perception, a writer battling his own sub-conscience, a wizard who wonders if the spells he casts for others will work for himself, a man who experiences 2 lifetimes by opening a closet door. These are just a few of the stories to stimulate your reading appetite.

Maberry is a prolific writer who knows how to keep a reader captivated till the end and finishes his stories with an unexpected twist. This book also offers an excerpt to the author’s next upcoming novel. As in true Maberry style, he leaves us hanging in anticipation with more to come. A great read!

Read the reviews and buy the collection: https://www.amazon.com/Fountain-more-fantasy-sci-fi-stories-ebook/dp/B071KLTTJR

Read all the reviews and buy both bookshttps://www.amazon.com/John-Maberry/e/B002BM82FU

Follow John Maberry on Goodreadshttp://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1210538.John_Maberry

Continue reading New on the Shelves–The Fountain Featured on Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore

Reblog: Interviewed by fellow writer D.G. Kaye

I had the good fortune to be interviewed by fellow writer D.G. Kaye on her blog today.  Here’s some snippets from her post.

Today I’m thrilled to have over a dear friend and prolific writer, blogger, and author John Maberry, to talk about his writing and his newest book – The Fountain – Karma Can be Painful. Seven short stories in fantasy and Sci-Fi genres to captivate your imagination.

John is also the author of Waiting for Westmoreland, his memoir about growing up in poverty and surviving the Viet Nam war. I loved that book and you can read my review of it HERE. John refers to himself as a ‘lapsed lawyer’ and also formerly worked for the government.

I’ve read your captivating memoir, Waiting for Westmoreland. Could you please share with us what it was that spurred you to want to give up law after everything you survived in life and finally became a lawyer?

 

Lots of reasons. If you ever saw the movie the Paper Chase, you’d understand. Many lawyers, not all, are arrogant a**holes. I need not have been one, but that’s who I would have been associating with. The law firm I had clerked at did incredibly boring administrative law AND they didn’t offer me a job. I didn’t get even get an interview at some Federal agencies I would have happily worked for. While I easily passed the bar on the first try, the challenge of “hanging out a shingle” didn’t seem a financially sensible option. Besides the fiscal uncertainty, it seemed unlikely to offer the time to be a writer. There are few part-time lawyers.

I’ve read your new book, The Fountain. It was a wonderful read keeping me intrigued till the end of each story with your signature twisted endings. The stories, although fiction/fantasy, all had some element of human error such as greed, self-doubt or mystery of the unknown. What prompted the ideas of these stories? Was anything in these stories taken from your own life’s experience?

 

Some came from unknown resources of the mind. Others were influenced by places and events. I’ve always like twists and humor, so they play a part in several. I love George Carlin, Ray Bradbury and O’Henry among others.

Continue reading D.G. Kaye’s post.

A Milestone–40 Years of Buddhist Practice

The tagline of Views from Eagle Peak is “Seeing things as they really are, without the illusions or delusions.” That’s something that takes wisdom, which is something that comes from time and faith. Faith in something that works. Eagle Peak is an allegorical reference to a place where the Buddha lives and practices. In one sense it’s an actual place. More generally, anywhere one practices Buddhism is Eagle Peak. A place where one can see how and why things are the way they are. Cause and effect.

Today is the 40th anniversary of my commitment to practicing Buddhism. Looking for hope, a methodology and  a means to achieve my goals and dreams. I needed to overcome indecision and procrastination. Almost without noticing it, I did. All a part of what Soka Gakkai International (SGI) President Daisaku Ikeda calls “human revolution.” An inner transformation of character. One that enabled me to overcome so much and achieve so much.  I could go on for many pages describing the good fortune and joy this practice has brought me,  but I won’t. Instead, here’s a short list.

  • I am in a happy and successful marriage, now in its 36th year, after two failed ones. In so doing, my wife and I overcame the death threat of her father, who after just a couple years welcomed me into his home and later said, “just call me Dad.”
  • After a year in Vietnam which began ten years before I encountered Buddhism, my illusions were shattered about America’s virtues and my innocence was lost. My faith and practice couldn’t bring back the innocence but it gave me the means to make the world a better place by making myself a better person.
  • From a lazy person contemptuous of authority—something three years in the Army fostered, I became a trusted employee at a local government agency. Upon my retirement, the agency director (a retired full colonel from the US Army) said this, “Whenever I wanted something done right and on time, I gave it to John.”
  • Nearly ten years ago, I recounted the experiences which led me to Buddhism and the benefits that resulted from that human revolution in a memoir, Waiting for Westmoreland.
  • Now, I am finally on the way to writing fiction, my goal from childhood. A short story collection, The Fountain, went on sale July 10th on Amazon.
  • We live in a dream house, high atop a hill in southwestern New Mexico. A house I designed on a computer. A far cry from the home I grew up in, foreclosed on when I was 11. My mother could not pay the mortgage after my father died four years before. She died five years later.
  • From the poverty of my youth, my wife and I have taken many wonderful vacations with two children—now grown and on their own. We continue to travel, now more often on our own. In the Buddhism of Nichiren Daishonin, this financial security is called, “treasures of the storehouse.”
  • We have had a few health problems now and then, but by and large we are not inconvenienced greatly by them and have overcome them. Similarly, in our Buddhist faith, this is called “treasures of the body.”
  • Of the three treasures, “treasures of the heart” are the most valuable or important. These too, we have in abundance. The certainty that we can achieve anything, that we can overcome any adversity. That our happiness is absolute—not relative, like winning the lottery, a wonderful car or a wonderful home that could be destroyed by fire or flood.

One doesn’t need to practice Buddhism to be successful in life—to have a happy marriage or a good job. One doesn’t need to practice Buddhism to be financially secure or able to overcome illness. But it certainly helps immeasurably. If it didn’t, if it hadn’t, I wouldn’t still be doing it 40 years later. I would be happy to share more of my own experiences with you about this practice or refer you to sources of information about it—should you be interested.  But today’s post is not a paean to draw you in, it’s a commemoration of my personal anniversary.

One more important note: the path to becoming a Buddha, an enlightened human being, runs through the world of the Bodhisattva. In other words, the practice of Buddhism entails practicing for others as well as oneself. It’s not a greedy, self-realizing endeavor that you keep to yourself. Oh no, it’s a practice that involves helping others find happiness, hope, courage and more through the compassion of a Bodhisattva. An essential element of the beneficial results I’ve obtained over my 40 years of practice stems from that commitment.

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It’s Fourth of July–with Trump in the White House

Fourth of July treats

Fireworks. A day at the beach or another family get together. Beer, hotdogs or burgers. Time to relax and celebrate America’s freedom. But there’s a pall over the festivities this year. At least for the majority of Americans who disapprove and worry about the man who would be king Tiberius Trump, rather than president.

Is our independence secure? One can’t be certain, perhaps even doubtful with the so-called president currently occupying the oval office. There have been  good presidents and bad presidents. But never one so oddly out-of-place and so dangerously unqualified. You know his faults, let’s not list them again. Let’s just consider a couple of events, one historical, one fictional which could threaten the survival of America as we know it. Then we’ll consider the current reality we’re facing–the scariest thing of all.

Were Trump alive during the American Revolution, would he have sided with King George against the Continental Congress? “A fine fellow,” Trump might say. One that instead of considering an enemy, he would prefer to establish a better relationship with. Much like Vladimir Putin.

What would Trump do if he were facing the aliens that threatened not just America but world annihilation in the movie Independence Day? Would he tweet, “FAKE news!” Or perhaps he’d claim it a plot by the Democrats, especially Hillary Clinton, to threaten his presidency. Most likely, he’d cower in the sub-basement of the White House or retreat to the bunker at Mount Weather. There he might call BFF Putin and implore him for advice. After all, Trump doesn’t trust any of his senior advisers—especially the intelligence agency heads nor the military.

What might Putin say to him? If I were as rude as Stephen Colbert, I might suggest that Putin would tell him, (assuming there were a video teleconference transmission):

“Get off your knees, Donald! This isn’t a stall in a Kremlin men’s room!”

But that would be crude, wouldn’t it. But I don’t have to worry about FCC complaints or sponsors objecting. I’m just a blogger who, while not seriously suggesting Trump’s sexual misadventures might include glory holes, doesn’t reject them out of hand as a possibility either.

So what then of America’s independence?  it’s well established that Russian agents, at the direction of Putin, meddled in America’s 2016 election. “Meddle,” of course, is a singularly understated word for what went on. They hacked into DNC servers and published stolen messages via WikiLeaks. They used bots and trolls to publish fake news disparaging the Clinton campaign. They hacked into voter registration records of at least 21 states (and possibly 39). So what is Trump’s response?  Denials that it even happened. It’s all a hoax—especially that anyone associated with his campaign had anything to do with making this happen. Other than that, nothingexcept for his voter fraud commission. NOTE: as of July 4th, 44 of 50 states have resisted the commission’s request for much of the information requested.

The commission was created in part to prove his ridiculous claim of millions of illegal votes that cost him the popular vote. It also would offer better tools for suppressing  undesirable votes from minorities and Democrats. Moreover, his administration offers no assistance or warnings to the election officials across America on how to harden their record keeping systems against intrusion in the upcoming 2018 election.  We’ll return to that in just a bit.

On Friday, July 7th, Trump will meet with Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit. What will they talk about? Syria? Iran? Or maybe lifting or at least lightening the sanctions imposed by former President Obama on Russia? Will there be an opportunity for them to meet alone (Trump is unlikely to speak Russian, but Putin does have some fluency in English!) Trump has dissed a substantial percentage of American allies. He has dissed American war heroes. He calls American media his enemy. But he has never ONCE said anything bad about Putin. He has also lavished praise on strong men throughout the world.

Trump, as we all know, wishes he were unencumbered by limitations on his power by the other two branches of government—Congress and the judiciary. He could also do without media scrutiny. He has had some success at curtailing the media; not so much the other branches of government. But what if he could get an even more compliant Congress? That’s where Putin, the voter fraud commission and the disinterest in protecting against Russian hacking of voter records—perhaps even voting machines themselves.

Could Trump be the reincarnation of Benedict Arnold? Angered at what he perceived to be a lack of recognition and rewards (lack of promotions, etc.) Arnold conspired with the British during the Revolutionary War and gave his name as a simple synonym for traitor. Trump is particularly incensed at the opposition of the media and the lack of recognition of what he sees as his own virtues and successes (few and far between, and as minimal, as they are). So, will Trump succumb to flattery by Putin to make Russia Great Again? Perhaps he already has. Perhaps he has been corrupted financially or otherwise to do Putin’s bidding. One could easily assume so, given Trump’s behavior toward Putin and Russia. So, decades from now, we could be talking of Traitor Trump and Benedict Arnold might be a forgotten figure of history.

Let’s hope not. Now is the time for America to celebrate its independence—and resist surrendering it to Donald Trump and inferentially, Russia. Here’s what Eugene Robinson, Pulitzer Prize winning reporter had to say yesterday in Our #FakeHero president is an insult to our Founders .

The role of the citizenry — to express approval or disapproval at the ballot box — includes making sure that suffrage is not selectively and unfairly denied by restrictive voter-ID laws or partisan purges of the voter rolls.

Congress must assert its powers of oversight. . . Trump has deepened the swamp, not drained it; and Congress has a duty to sort through the muck.

Congress must also let Trump know, in no uncertain terms, . . . that firing Mueller would automatically be considered grounds for impeachment.

The Fourth of July is no day for despair. It’s a day to remember that our system, though vulnerable to a charlatan such as Trump, is robust and resilient. Eventually he will be tossed or voted out. And the star-spangled banner yet will wave.

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Acknowledgements: See link attribution to item by Eugen more...

The Fountain and six more short stories coming soon

A break from politics. About time, some might say! Yes, after a long delay John is finally getting something NEW published. The plan is to make that a more frequent occurrence–with novels out every year or two.  Working on one right now, in fact. But first a short story collection.

Check out the Fountain, in a Kindle edition only for the next 90 days, available on pre-order from Amazon now. It will be delivered July 10, 2017, for anyone ordering it now and thereafter for everyone. We’ll talk about free days and discounts later (can’t until after July 10.

The cover of The Fountain, a Kindle book

Humor, twists and more in this collection of seven fantasy and sci-fi short stories. Like what? Here’s what you will find:

  • Karma can be painful in “The Fountain”–when a plunderer meets a long-dead shaman.
  • A family adopts a retriever with special talents in “Lily, an Amazing Dog.”
  • A vampire has a strange problem, in “Alfred’s Strange Blood Disorder.”
  • A perennial favorite, dimensional travel, with a strange twist in “The Closet Door.”
  • What could that column of fire be, rising from the Atlantic off the Outer Banks? Read “The Flame” to find out what it meant to troubled writer Carson.
  • A wizard casts a spell that works well for a princess, but will it be as good for him? Check out “The Wizard.”
  • Finally, “The Fribble” offers an alien encounter of an odd sort, to a pharmaceutical company rep searching for new drugs in the Amazon Rain forest.
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Trump Meltdown–Coming Soon?

My shortest post ever. There’s really not much more to say than the text below  the photo that might be Donald Trump, America’s so-called President. AKA Putin’s Puppet. We’ll save that photo for another day.

Will Trump meltdown in rage Thursday or Friday–after Comey testifies?

Will he have a nervous breakdown?

He has been getting angrier and more erratic this past week. Day by day his tweets reveal his state of mind. The “Travel Ban” and the courts. London.

Now Comey is coming for him. This may be it. If not, there’s Jared, et al, on the horizon. President Pence may be here sooner than we think.

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The Greedy Old Plutocrats (AKA GOP) and Alan Dishwasher

Putingate never stops, does it? It’s kept me from the bulk of this post until now. I promise to catch up on Kushner, et al next time. For now, it’s mostly about the reverse Robin Hood policies of the GOP and Trump. But scroll to the end for a brief legal analysis of the potential senility of Alan Dershowitz, hereinafter Alan Dishwasher–his sophistry and that of all the Trump surrogates on CNN is what has vaulted MSNBC well past CNN in the cable news ratings.

Here’s the nutshell before the bullet points: The GOP could stand for the Greedy Old Plutocrats.    AKA Party of Scrooge, whose members are affectionately known generically as “Ebenezers.”

Mocking Paul Ryan's Scrooge-like cheapness

 

  • CBO score says 23 million will lose health coverage over 10 years
  • Young, healthy people will pay less
  • Older, sicker and disabled will pay more–LOTS more
  • Big savings ($836 BILLION) will come from cuts to Medicaid
  • Smaller savings ($276 BILLION) will come from cuts in premium subsidies
  • Wealthy/high income individuals/couples will get HUGE tax breaks (rob from the poor and give to the rich)

At a National Review interview with Rich Lowery, Paul Ryan recalled a college kegger Lowery put on. Here’s what Ryan said about Medicaid and other Federal programs for the poor.

“We’ve been dreaming of this [capping Medicaid] since I’ve been around—since you and I were drinking at a keg,”

[W]hen asked by Chuck Todd whether he believed health care is “a right or a privilege”, Ryan said no. “Not from the government,” he responded. “So if you say that health care is a government-granted right, then we as citizens are giving the government too much power over our lives.”

What then of the Trump budget, released in more detail Wednesday? It cuts MANY Federal “safety net” programs. Including making even larger cuts to Medicaid. It also double counts a $2 trillion savings and posits an extraordinarily unlikely 3% growth rate (the GDP). It’s much worse than the AHCA. So much so that no less than John McCain and Lindsey Graham say it’s “dead on arrival.”   Other Republicans, as well as Democrats, had similar reactions. Too much bad to even bullet here. Instead, let’s just consider more reasons why “compassionate conservatism” is an oxymoron and the GOP is no longer the Grand Old Party but is really the “Greedy Old Plutocrats.” Paul Ryan, unlike Trump and his progeny is only worth a few million–but others have far more.  Here’s what Mick Mulvaney, OMB Director said about some of Trump’s draconian budget cuts. This comes from the same Vanity Fair piece above.

“We can’t spend money on programs just because they sound good,” in cutting Meals on Wheels (food delivered to homebound seniors) funding. Rather than being hard-hearted, he said, “I think it’s probably one of the most compassionate things we can do.” He was referring, of course, to the compassion showed to taxpayers who pay for the program.

Then there’s Ben Carson (aren’t you glad neither you, nor any friend or family member ever had surgery performed by him? That could have been disastrous given all the nutty things he’s said in the past two years!). Wednesday, Carson said in response to questions about the $6 billion cut in housing aid (he’s the HUD Director):

“[P]overty to a large extent is also a state of mind.”

 Ryan, Trump and many of the GOP are in agreement. Let me digress to mention my own childhood. Like many, I didn’t realize how poor we were until much later. My father died of cancer, after a long illness, when I was seven. My mother initially worked at a school cafeteria–with her 8th grade education (this was in the 50s). She had to stop due to crippling rheumatoid arthritis in her hands. Thereafter, she and I lived on Social Security spousal and dependent benefits–which were far from generous. Neither Medicare nor Medicaid existed then; they began in 1965. We had no health insurance. Doctors who formerly treated asthma and other problems stopped when the money stopped. Hospitals were required to offer treatment, but it was subpar. Things were tight enough that scavenging for bottles to return for deposit was a means that I undertook to supplement the meager money. Fortunately for me, by older brother and his wife took me in when my mother died around my 16th birthday.

So no, Ben, our poverty was NOT a state of mind you f—ing idiot. Nor is it for many others. Others who would suffer or simply die–without any number of Federal programs that the Greedy Old Plutocrats would like to cut for the benefit of the Trumps, the Kochs, the Adelson clan and other uber rich. 

On to Alan Dishwasher (what he’s now, possibly, best suited for). A couple nights ago, he opined on CNN that Jared Kushner’s lawyer should demand to know what crime it is that Special Counsel Robert Mueller wanted to question him about. Otherwise, such inquiries could violate Kushner’s civil liberties. Let’s be clear, neither the media’s reference to Kushner being a “person of interest” or a “focus of investigation” are legal terms. They’re popular on crime procedurals on TV and on news media. In legal terms, the focus is on one of three categories–witness, subject of investigation or target. Since it’s been stated (up until yesterday’s news) that Kushner is neither a subject nor a target, that leaves him as a witness. If there’s a crime, it’s somebody else’s. It’s not a violation of anyone’s rights for law enforcement, for example, to ask about a traffic accident, a burglary or an assault they witnessed.

Dishwasher also asserted that Mueller’s only focus is on prosecuting crime. Not so. Before anyone is charged with an offense, an investigation must be conducted. Only after an investigation determines a crime has been committed, will a prosecution potentially occur. Mueller is directing an investigation by the FBI–both into financial crimes and into espionage-related crimes by the FBI’s counterintelligence division. He has a broad mandate, because all the facts are NOT known as yet. There’s is plenty of suspicious activity–as former CIA Director John Brennan said in referring such things to the FBI before he left office.

Finally, Dishwasher said “collusion is not a crime.” BULLS**T! Being generous, we could call this sophistry. Yes, there is probably no statutory offense listed in the US Criminal Code (Title 18) titled “collusion.” Nonetheless, colluding with others to do a “pump and dump” stock scheme is a crime. Conspiring (colluding) with others to rob a bank, commit a terrorist act, etc., is a crime. With knowledge of an upcoming theft, colluding with the thieves to accept stolen merchandise is a crime.  Being an accessory after the fact is a crime. Aiding and abetting is a crime. Any or all of which can result from “collusion.” Hence, BULLS**T.  CNN should drop Dishwasher from their “expert” or analyst list–whatever legal reasoning he might once have possessed is not being demonstrated today.

To be clear–with respect to the Russian meddling with the US election of 2016, the “collusion” in question most certainly could entail any number of crimes. Just a few: conspiracy, accessory, espionage, treason, etc. All of which requires investigation to prove. Which brings back the “fairytale,” “FAKE NEWS” and other surrogate apologist protests about the investigation into the Trump campaign. There is “no evidence” of collusion BECAUSE the investigation is NOT OVER! Only the Red Queen of Lewis Carroll’s Alice adventures concludes guilt or innocence before hand. 

Again, MSNBC is cleaning CNN’s ratings clock because in their effort to provide balance by putting up Trump apologists, they are viewed as fools.

 

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Trump’s Downward Spiral–Updated

According to a report in the New York Times, it was Israel that provided the intel that our so-called President shared with his Russian comrades.

Will the chickens finally come to home to roost, i.e., will Republicans begin to place country over party? Maybe now, after Trump spills “code-word” top-secret intel to the Russians. Maybe, but don’t hold your breath. For the GOP to abandon him, Trump might have to go running down Pennsylvania nude, waving a Russian flag and shouting his everlasting love for Vladimir Putin. Don’t laugh, it could happen! All it would take is a nervous breakdown.

Trump and Sergey Lavrov in Oval Office

There are a few explanations for this most recent intelligence snafu, in which Trump revealed information that could compromise a foreign intelligence source that shared it with the US under the condition of keeping it secure–

  • The briefers forgot to put the PDB on yellow paper (Trump knows stuff is classified if it comes in the Yellow Pages).
  • He’s bragging about how much he knows re: ISIS
  • He’s obliged, by his agreement with Putin, to supply such info
  • All of the above

Now for some truth. Foreign Policy magazine is reporting that NATO has made plans to “dumb down” their organization meeting for Trump. With Trump’s short attention span and dislike of details, heads of state have been instructed to limit their talks to two to four minutes! This is a meeting of leaders from all 28 countries.  There will also be no formal wrap up document, chiefly because if Trump did read it, he might not agree with it. Here’s what one participant had to say:

“It’s kind of ridiculous how they are preparing to deal with Trump,” said one source briefed extensively on the meeting’s preparations. “It’s like they’re preparing to deal with a child — someone with a short attention span and mood who has no knowledge of NATO, no interest in in-depth policy issues, nothing,” said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “They’re freaking out.”

Read full article here.

So if you take that in context with the Lavrov/Kislyak foreign intelligence debacle, things could get real ugly on Trump’s nine-day trip. In addition to the NATO summit in Brussels and a G7 meeting in Sicily, Trump will visit:

  • Israel (Jerusalem)
  • Saudi Arabia (Riyadh)
  • Rome (the Vatican)

There will be protestors. The Secret Service will be severely challenged. No parties, no hookers on this trip! Instead, we must worry whether the source of the  about the effect on America’s intelligence sharing relationship with Israel, since they provided the foreign intel given the Russians came from the services of Israel or Saudi Arabia–oh what fun in those meetings. What will “Bibi” have to say about this. Or maybe from Erdogan, another strong man fave of which Trump is a fanboy. What careless, stupid or insulting things will Trump say or do? Count on some substantial blowback from the World’s most clueless leader.

Back to the future (watch for the segue).  Once Trump is out of office, will it be Thomas F. Wilson (who adeptly portrayed Biff–a character SO much like Trump, in the three-part movie of the 80s) who plays Trump or will it be Alec Baldwin? The current favorite has to be Baldwin, but would he do it?

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When Will Trump Resign

August, 2017, will mark 43 years since Richard Milhous Nixon resigned. I had expected Trump would resign, in face of certain impeachment, no later than mid-2018 as Congressional elections approached. Now, I’m not certain he’ll last that long. It’s time for the Trumpistan rats to jump off the sinking ship of state. Their future prospects have diminished, but the longer they stay, the more potential they might wind up like one of the 40 Nixon staffers who went to jail.

Shirt with Trump behind bars, with caption Lock Him Up!

The FBI investigations are accelerating  while the House and Senate Intelligence Committees are plodding along–but eventually will produce results. Subpoenas are coming from grand juries. Now comes the firing of FBI Director Comey and Trump’s contradictions of his own staff (citing advice from the AG) and instead admitting that he had planned to fire Comey anyway. Today we have Trump threatening Comey in a tweet,

“James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press.”

Comey has leaked nothing nor even spoken to the press since his firing. It’s his former associates that have offered defenses of Comey, including denying Trump’s version of conversations or events. They also reported that Comey had said Trump was “crazy” for claiming he had been wiretapped by Obama.

Let’s consider the possible explanations for Trump’s behavior:

  • He IS crazy, as Comey suspected–that Trump’s narcissistic personality disorder progressed to dementia or other mental problems well before the election.
  • He’s accustomed to being the boss of a privately held corporation–no board of directors, no shareholders, etc. He expects to be able to do what he wants, hire and fire with impunity and to demand loyalty. Doesn’t work that way as President.
  • He is simply stupidTrump, it’s fair to say, knows nearly nothing about almost anything. Consider this piece from David Cay Johnston in the Guardian, who says “Donald Trump’s ignorance is becoming more evident with each passing day.” He may well have been socially promoted through elementary school before cheating his way through high school and college.
  • He has been compromised by Putin and other Russians–most likely through financial entanglements such as loans. Middle income people with bad credit may go to loan sharks. Those who have been rich may go to Putin-associated banks and oligarchs who don’t break legs–they coerce them to do stuff for them.
  • All of the abovewhich is the most likely of the options.

Tapes were, of course, Nixon’s downfall–the nail in his presidential coffin. Does Trump have tapes? Probably not, but then he’s undoubtedly stupid enough to have such a system, given his lack of historical knowledge.

Why would Trump resign? He might get forced out by the threat of impeachment (not likely YET). He might get removed under the 25th Amendment for being unable to fulfill the duties of the office (really unlikely–YET).

The biggest reason Trump might quit? He can’t stand much more of this. While he never wants to be a loser,  he is getting white-hot angry with every newscast focusing on the Russia investigation and his own incompetence. Just read the tweets. The more he rants, the worse it gets–a vicious circle of self inflicted misery. That’s been notable after the Comey firing fiasco.

Eventually, Trump might face impeachment due to:

  • Collusion with the Russians during the campaign or since (see the satirical bit about the Lavrov and Kislyak visit below).
  • Emoluments clause violations. See suits such as this one.
  • Other financial offenses (like money laundering for the Russians). See requests/referrals by the Senate Intelligence Committee, to FinCEN, the financial crimes enforcement unit of the Treasury Department to investigate Trump and associates dealings.

Impeachment calls started with California Congresswoman Maxine Waters. They are spreading among Democrats but haven’t reached Republicans–YET. If Trump keeps on tweeting recklessly and/or results begin coming from the FBI subpoenas, intelligence committee hearings or leaks from the White House or former associates, the Republicans will jump on the bandwagon. The most serious event will be people flipping on him to save themselves.  People like Michael Flynn or Paul Manafort.

The GOP may still hold out hope for legislation, but that will dim. They will soon be faced with the rock and hard place choice of cutting their losses by throwing Trump under the bus NOW or losing control of at least the House, if not the Senate, in 2018. No later than January 2019, when the next Congress takes office, impeachment will be a certainty.

At Vladimir Putin’s request, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak met with Trump in the oval office the day after Comey’s firingwhich Lavrov laughed about. For those of you who are keeping score at home, Kislyak is the guy that all the Trump associates lied about meeting and is known as a Russian asset recruiter. The Russians  plastered this photo across social media. Why did Trump look like a child who’d just received a wonderful gift?

Trump welcoming Sergey Lavrov and Sergey Kislyak to White House

Here’s why, relayed in this fictional dialogue [AKA fake news–not ASSUMED or claimed to be true]

“Comrade Trump, we have great news for you,” said Lavrov. “Your good work for us has been rewarded. You have been accepted into the Strong Man’s Club.”

“Wow, fantastic! I’m so looking forward to visiting with Vladimir again–and meeting Erdogan, Duterte, Mugabe and the others.”

“There were those who thought you weren’t ready and that you’d never be able to overcome the restraints on American presidents to be a true authoritarian,” said Kislyak. “But your offer of complimentary memberships to Mar-a-Lago for ten of President Putin’s closest friends–as well as the members of the club, got you in.”

“Wonderful, wonderful!”

“Here’s a memento of the occasion,” said Lavrov, handing an envelope to Trump. “Also some instructions from President Putin. Please read them carefully and follow them to the letter.”

“Oh, of course,” Trump said. “And you will have that dacha for me if I am forced to exit America in a hurry someday?”

“Ah yes, have no worries, my friend,” said Kislyak.

 

Soon after leaving the White House, Lavrov had this to say to Kislyak. “Damn, that guy is dumber than borscht!”

“You’re right about that, Sergey,” Kislyak laughed. “If he gets busted, he’s on his own!”

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Trump Says the Darnedest Things

It’s not just Trump, of course, it’s his cabinet officials and others from the administration who say wacky stuff. But it’s mainly him. I think I’ll turn this into a book later. But enough foreplay, let’s get to the funny stuff. Most of these are actual quotes from our so-called President. If we’ve added some fake news, we’ll let you know.

“Who knew health care was so complicated.”

“I loved my previous life, I loved my previous life. I had so many things going. [T]his is more work than my previous life. I thought it would be easier.”

“I think we’ve done more than perhaps any president in the first 100 days.”

“Democrats are using that faux — or fake — Russia story in order to make themselves feel better for losing an election that’s very hard for a Democrat to lose.”

In the biggest oxymoron in American history, President Trump wants Americans to celebrate May 1 as Loyalty Day. He is now calling on the nation to observe the holiday to express loyalty to “individual liberties, to limited government, and to the inherent dignity of every human being,” according to a statement sent out by the White House. “The United States stands as the world’s leader in upholding the ideals of freedom, equality, and justice.

FAKE news follows [Accordingly, Trump will fire Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller, Sebastian Gorka and Jeff Sessions. Then he himself will resign–that’s the only way to ensure the success of those values.]

“Rigorous science is critical to my administration’s efforts to achieve the twin goals of economic growth and environmental protection.”

That statement came on Earth Day! FAKE news follows: Anonymous sources from the White House say Trump has tasked NASA to explore the best means to mine the green cheese covering the Earth’s moon. “It will create jobs in mining, transportation and the restaurant industry–great for the economy, trust me!” 

On April 29th, people who share the widespread belief in climate change, protested in Washington, DC. “Climate change is a hoax,” Trump has said. He wants America to burn more coal. Trump also proposes cutting the EPA budget by 1/3. That will sure protect the environment! Rigorous science too!

EPA has removed pages regarding greenhouse gas emissions and climate change to reflect the ignorance of its new leader, Scott Pewwwit—who formerly raised a stink in Oklahoma. Here’s what the EPA flunky (er, spokesperson) J.P. Freire, had to say about it:   “We want to eliminate confusion by removing outdated language first and making room to discuss how we’re protecting the environment and human health by partnering with states and working within the law.”  That includes changes prompted by Trump to allow dumping of toxic waste into streams. Also the elimination of regulations to limit stack emissions from coal-fired power plant. Doesn’t sound much like protecting the environment OR human health, does it?

Recently, in an interview by John Dickerson on Face the nation, Trump regaled the host about his knowledge of the Civil War and admiration for seventh President, Andrew Jackson.

“Why was there the Civil War? Why could that one not have been worked out?”

“I mean, had Andrew Jackson been a little bit later, you wouldn’t have had the Civil War. He was a very tough person, but he had a big heart. And he was really angry that he saw what was happening, with regard to the Civil War. He said, there’s no reason for this.”

We can assume Trump was absent during his American history classes in school–or perhaps it’s just another example of “alternative facts.” Consider what Chelsea Clinton (Bill and Hillary’s daughter had to say about it.

1 word answer: Slavery. Longer: When Andrew Jackson died in 1845 (16 yrs before the Civil War began), he owned 150 men, women and children. https://t.co/Icg6puG2JZ

— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) May 1, 2017

Jackson, of course, also pushed the forced removal of 17,000 members of the Cherokee Nation from the east coast to Oklahoma—along what is known as the Trail of Tears. Great guy, huh? For more on Jackson, including how ignored Chief Justice John Marshall’s ruling that the law permitting the removal of the Cherokee was illegal, go here.

More FAKE news follows; [only bracketed text should be considered true]:

Trump has upped the ante for the wall. Given the medieval nature of a wall (think of the Great Wall of China), Trump now says he wants a moat as well—possibly with gators in many places. Beyond that, he is in discussion with designers for the use of burning oil for high crossing areas. He says of this option, “it will pass constitutional muster, believe me.” He has his success with the travel ban executive order to confirm his “legal opinion.”

[Trump is considering hiring Milwaukee Sheriff, David Clarke, for a Homeland Security Post.] Sources say Clarke will be responsible for ensuring that temperature controls in immigrant detention cells don’t work. Troublesome detainees will be denied medical care and in extreme cases, food or water.

Trump is touting his record number golf rounds played during his first 100 days in office as a major accomplishment. According to Trump, “No other President has played this many rounds in their first 100 days. Most didn’t play this many rounds during their first year—some during their entire term. Trust me, the balls in my bag have really had a workout.”

 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2017 John Maberry
Acknowledgements: See attribution links

Seeing things as they really are, without the illusions or delusions

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