Category: Politics

America is going over a precipice from which there will be no return.

What amazes me when chatting with people who support Trump is that they seem to proudly proclaim that they do not like politics, economics, or international affairs, and seldom pay any attention to such things day to day, but in the next breath claim that they like Trump because he has done so much for the country. Which begs the question, how the hell would they know?

They may claim to love the Constitution but few can even recite 50% of its preamble which contains our national goals and of course they have never taken the time to even read the balance. Actually many can not tell whether a quotation is from the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence. So when they are told that some activity of an official is a violation of the Emoluments clause, it is like speaking Swahili to a Chinese person but they are sure that there was no violation by that certain official.
(I may be assuming that there are few Chinese well versed in Swahili and probably even fewer Swahili speakers who ever heard of Wade-Giles romanization. If I am wrong, I apologize. ” …. Binadamu wote wamezaliwa huru na sawa kwa hadhi na haki ….”).

Somewhat annoying is that many of these disinterested voters seem to think ignorance of what is going on in the country is a badge of honor and certifies their political purity. It does neither.

They should be ashamed to admit their lack of knowledge in the affairs of government, Federal, State, or Local, unless they have some valid reason, such as having been vacationing of the far side of the moon where newspapers are only delivered three times a year.

While I am at the written press, no democracy can long exist without a vibrant press and the ability of its citizens to communicate freely. Anyone who promotes that our independent press corps, printed, or broadcast are the enemy of the people is challenging the ability of its citizens to acquire the knowledge needed to cast an informed, free ballot. By independent press, I am specifically meaning, both sources that cater to one’s personal ideas and biases as well as sources that are diametrically opposed to those firmly held ideas and biases.

It is up to each citizen reader or broadcast viewer (listener) to hear different views and to determine which seems to make the most sense as well as be the most likely to be true. And you cannot exercise that freedom unless the press is free to report, not just all the news ‘fit to print,’ but even what that citizen disagrees with so strongly that they would rather not see it presented. Censorship is the enemy of Democracy.

Democracy also depends for its lifeblood the willing attention to the rule of law, not just laws that are convenient, but laws that put your patriotism, your honesty, your willingness to the test.

Growing up in America I could not imagine this nation coming apart at its seams, but today I see it happening as people with little or no sense of truth and decent behavior seem to have acquired power far in excess of any control, men and women who have no respect for either written laws or long held customs. I see the country approaching a point of no return and I marvel at the foresight of the man who wrote “We have met the enemy and it is us.”

I am very afraid that by allowing the voting power to be exercised by, at times, about one third of the potential voters, and the reins of government to be grasped by a demented incompetent poseur we, this America, are going over a precipice from which there will be no return.

On the slim possibility that there is yet one chance I hope that the populace awakens and begins to take back what was rightfully theirs.

Charlie Jensen

Copyright 2020, Foc’sle Chatter, All Rights Reserved

Screaming Liberals and Compliant MAGA’s cannot have fair and balanced discussions

As usual, people with partisan convictions, either way, can’t make the fine distinctions needed for a fair and balanced discussion.  Screaming Liberals will scream and compliant MAGA hats will cheer mindlessly.  For the rest of society, some judgement is required.

As to Trumps actions in unilaterally terminating a known killer and national enemy, there are risks taken and benefits gained, with several distinct considerations:

  1. By failing to consult the eight members of Congress who are chosen to be told of the alleged emergency need for action before going off this way, or immediately thereafter, another impeachable offense has been committed.
  2. As a professional liar, why anyone would put store in anything trump utters is a mystery, so whatever justifications are offered by him are, ipso facto, questionable.
  3. This action has been committed without any consideration of the long-term consequences, including the well-being and safety of any, and perhaps all Americans traveling or working around the world.
  4. It would have been stupid not to inform or consult with our allies if, in fact, trump had not pissed off just about all our usually loyal allies.
  5. Anyone who does not see that trump’s whole purpose is to distract attention from the coming impeachment trial, and the continually unfolding evidence of even further ongoing criminal activities in and around his administration is fooling him, or herself.
  6. And now, we have trump’s greatest achievement, fulfilling one of his campaign promises of bringing people together, unfortunately in one fell swoop it is what was the largely segmented and disjointed Muslim community, from Morocco to Malaysia, and points elsewhere into one mass of anti-American protesters at best, or terrorists at worst. (Congratulations for that clever singular achievement.)
  7. He has also given many non-Muslim communities to join against trump’s unilateral action. Three cheers for the step toward becoming global pariahs.
  8. And for those who a good dose of irony, we now have a minority president who has spent the last two years decrying the opinions and factual analyses of our eight or nine intelligence communities, trying to twist their findings to support his rash political malfeasance. Well I guess that works well if you suspend judgement.

Charlie Jensen

Copyright 2020, Foc’sle Chatter, All Rights Reserved

What should Trump do in order to force China to abide by the international laws they agreed to?

A correspondent recently wrote an essay asking several questions, ” … Okay, I am going to educate. It’s not a position. Its just facts. China has been crushing entire industries in the US through unfair trade practices. Every single time they do this entire work forces are put on the street. This has been going on for a very long time. What do you propose to change this behavior? Why was it not a shame when the Chinese put out of business the entire solar panel production industry in the US by paying Chinese companies money so they could sell the panels at a steep discount and loss, bankrupting the entire rest of the worlds industry? Why did you not call our past President an a-hole every time China reversed engineered a patented technology and flooded the market with the knockoffs? Why are you not concerned about the large scale poisoning of our medicinal remedies due to counterfeit pills? Again, I will ask you…what should Trump do in order to force China to abide by the international laws they agreed to?….”

Perhaps in a sarcastic mood, I first wrote, “Does Dropping dead count ?” I know that that reply was a cheap shot, that I should erase, but trying to discuss issues rationally with most die hard trump supporters has turned out to be a waste of time.

Donald trump was known to people living in New York to be a pompous ass long before he got the grandiose idea that he could be anyone’s president. Yes, I was born there a year or so earlier and only about ten miles away from his birthplace. I knew that he had a solid reputation for mendacity, serial adultery, general incompetence in his business dealings and the conscience of a dog in heat. Not only did he run valid businesses into the ground (think casinos) but created and looted several bogus enterprises that he started and usually bore his name.

What surprises me is that good solid people from the mid-west, people usually suspicious of Eastern “city slickers” selling snake oil, when most must have known in their heart of hearts that he was at best a TV character in a somewhat successful TV series accepted his perfidy as a breath of fresh air, but they did and some still do stand in line for another taste of the poison kool-aide.

I keep hoping that enough voters will have realized how badly they have been hoodwinked to stay home next November either from personal shame or to choose a different candidate to vote for. There is hope as I see so many erstwhile solid Republicans deciding to not run for re-election in 2020.

Now as for the allegation that the Obama administration did nothing to counter the reasonably valid list of abusive behaviors that China’s social mores accepts as normal, perhaps you might consider the Asia-Pacific Trade agreement that the Obama people had been working on for quite some time. Ignoring trumps bluster and deceit for a moment, that agreement was designed to isolate China from the rest of the Far Eastern trading nations. If it had finally been consummated it would have brought pressure on China to amend its ways, without destroying our national industries quietly and without excessive bombast, which has only succeeded in now making China dig in its heels and create local laws that have successfully had a deleterious effect on the very businesses Obama’s merry men (and women) sought to protect.

It seems that the only reason that trump withdrew from the negotiations was his irritation to have been proved demonstrably wrong about Obama’s birthplace. Perhaps there was, and still is, some residual anger at being compared unfavorably to a well-educated, compassionate Afro-American. Spiteful petty revenge at having been proved totally wrong in public is no way to run a railroad, or a federal government. It will take the next president years of hard work and a healthy dollop of the wisdom of Solomon to repair the international harm that trump and his toadies have accomplished, that is, provided that we do hold honest elections and actually do have a lawful president.

Try to consider the attempts to abandon NATO and SEATO, NAFTA and the absolutely necessary Climate Accords, betray allies and even worse, sharing a bed with dictators, will have on future international relations. What sane foreign leader will agree easily to send his or her nations youth to fight and possibly as an ally of the USA again.

What nation’s agricultural or industrial minister will join us in another attempt to build a peaceful trade wall around China or any other violator of international trade or patent norms. “Can’t trust those Americans, they might just find another trump to insert a knife in our backs,” will cross the mind of every minister of any country that entertains siding with the USA in war or peace, in trade or any complex negotiations. And that ignores the work of restructuring our laws to protect human rights, establish justice for both the rich as well as the often abused poor, undo the effects of global climate change, as well as try to secure the blessings of equality, liberty and perhaps fraternity on ourselves and our posterity.

Charlie Jensen

Copyright 2020, Foc’sle Chatter, All Rights Reserved

The Donald Lies?

The Donald lies?

Yes, the Donald lies, a lot.

The Donald lies about big things,

And also about the smallest stings.

The Donald lies in the mornings,

And in the evenings too.

He lies about the colors,

Claiming up is down and red is blue.

He lies about his money,

He lies about his debt.

If the Donald’s lips are moving,

He’s lying, you can bet.

The Donald goes to sleep at night,

In his lonely three post bed.

The bottom wide enough for two fat feet,

The top to fit his swollen head.

He dreams a lonely little dream,

About the words he said,

And the people he’s misled.

He fashions even bigger lies,

About the day ahead.

When the Donald gets caught lying,

And there’s proof that he has lied,

The Donald lies, about his lying,

And blames another by his side.

The Donald’s an inveterate liar,

And such he always was.

He can’t recall all of his tales,

When questioned, his memory fails .

Then cornered, he shakes and quakes,

And, of course, prevaricates.

He never takes the blame,

Believe him and you risk your name,

Because the Donald has no shame.

For Donald, lying is a way of life,

He lied while cheating on his trusting wives.

Friends pretend to believe his newest lies,

Who wants to tell a bully what is true,.

Expose their back to his verbal knife,

And bring  on endless personal strife.

“Of course I trust you Donnie,” they reply,

“You wouldn’t stoop to harm a helpless fly,”

“Or sully your good name with such a lie.”

Sure Donnie, “Sans toi, que je serais?”

Charlie Jensen

Copyright 2019, Foc’sle Chatter, All Rights Reserved

Our Political System, As I See It

As I see it, our political system has been clunking along for many years with some broken parts, like an old beat up and frequently patched sailboat still floating but barely able to beat to windward. Trump is a symptom of this malfunction. A significant minority has felt left behind and locked out so that listening to Trump’s political Elmer Gantry routine of promises allowed them to think he could do something (Drain the Swamp ) ignoring the calls from the NYC metro area Easterners who have been long aware that Trump has been one of the slitheriest swamp dwellers ever to come along.

They, mostly middle Americans, have long been suspicious of New Yorkers with their fast talk and brisk manners, so they paid no heed to reports of the people who knew Trump for what he was and still is. They decided to give him a chance. After voting him in and being called ignorant hillbillies and flatland Okies they feel they have to stick by him or risk the shame of admitting that they made one of the greatest mistakes in the history of Democracy. I am hoping that once in the privacy of the ballot booth they may vote their conscience and we will be free of this deranged megalomaniac.

Another group is the Evangelicals who have sold their souls to the devil in a Faustian compact, twisting the simple meaning of the basic Christian theology that is from the famous sermon on the mount, which I am sure most can recite from end to end and must haunt some of them at night when they are alone with their true deity.

“Our destruction, if it come at all, will be from…the inattention of the people to the concerns of their government, from their carelessness and negligence.”

Daniel Webster – 1782-1852, One of the greatest orators of American history, he served as a U.S. Congressman, Senator, and as Secretary of State for three Presidents

I cannot believe that these otherwise decent people, having seen Trump’s policies in action against the hungry, the injured, the helpless and often the nearly naked survivors of a daunting trek across the length of Mexico to knock on our door, will be able to sleep in peace. Again pride and possibly a sense of shame and guilt may prevent them from public disclosure of their misgivings, but in the ballot booth which may be secret from mankind but in their thinking is not from their God, many may hope that they can make amends before it is too late.

Charlie Jensen

Copyright 2019, Foc’sle Chatter, All Rights Reserved