Let the Sunshine In

The new Congress assembled today in DC, and the Republicans already showed their devious hand meeting in secret to dump the Office of Congressional Ethics.  But if you think about it, their meeting could be construed as unethical, and I don’t know how they can assemble as a very large group of elected officials without some form of sunshine.  The don’t want to cast light on their shenanigans. They don’t want to “let the  sunshine in.”

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On Moral Politics

Originally posted on George Lakoff:  This is an important book by Dr. Lakoff. I highly recommend it. You will many articles in my blog that reference George Lakoff’s work, and in the age of The Authoritarian, it critical to share Lakoff’s views with many.

George Lakoff writes:

Two decades ago, in 1996, I published a book explaining how the various views of conservatives hung together. For example: What being against abortion has to do with owning guns, being against environmental regulation, being for the flat tax, etc. I did the corresponding analysis of liberal positions, showing that both have to do with opposite moral theories arising from opposite models of family life.

The third edition of “Moral Politics” has now been published by the University of Chicago Press, and the 2016 election has resulted in brisk sales. The reason is that it explains the logic behind all of Trump’s policies — and his cabinet appointments.

If you want to see the plan behind what Trump is doing, why people with certain moral values voted for him despite the lies, and how his views differ from yours, go to Amazon, Powell’s, or Diesel, and order Moral Politics, Third…

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Now is the Time For All Republican Electors to Read Federalist Paper 68

There now is clear evidence agreed to by the NSA, CIA and the FBI that Russia*, with directives directly from President Putin, waged a cybercrime by interfering with the US Presidential election. The DNC and the RNC were hacked and millions of documents stolen and then given to others, including Wikileaks.  Emails of Hillary Clinton and John Podesta were released as retaliation by Putin against Clinton and to promote the candidacy of the Republican nominee.

The Federalist Papers are often used to interpret the constitution and provide judges and scholars insights into the founders thinking.

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A Clear and Present Danger—How the New Administration Endangers Us All

A Clear and Present Danger–How the New Administration Endangers Us All

There is little doubt that the incoming Republican administration presents a Clear and Present Danger to all citizens in the U.S., and the rest of the world. Never has such an inexperienced, corrupt and autocratic administration been given the reigns to the American democracy. The new administration has already shown its hand in terms of comments made on the campaign trail, who was selected for cabinet positions, and White House executive positions.  This coupled with a Congress that is in denial of policies for science, health, the environment, and education based on research in these fields.

Why do I think the White House presents a Clear and Present Danger?

First, we have possibly the worst president-elect in history. For one, he did not secure the votes of the majority. He lost the election by more than 2 million votes, and there is some suspicion that the votes tallied in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania may be contested. If the results in these three states swing to Clinton, she would win the election. Jill Stein, the Green Party presidential candidate has raised more than $2 million to fund this, and has requested recalls in these three states. Wisconsin has indicated it will begin a recall now. The Clinton campaign has joined in the effort.  The Authoritarian is calling foul and is reeling.  Too bad.

The words and actions The Authoritarian used and put on display during the primary and presidential campaign describe his beliefs and understandings, which resonated with many, but were repulsive to many more.

Saying Mexicans are criminals, rapists, and drug dealers and calling a judge Mexican because his surname is Hispanic, and claiming he would be biased against him in his University fraud case, even though he was born and raised in Indiana.

Name calling of women (“Look at that face,” saying that Megan Kelly “had blood coming out of her whatever), and using phrases such “lying Ted Cruz,” “crooked Hillary,” or “little Marco,” are part of his lexicon which he will carry to the White House, perhaps in a disguised form.

He thinks of people as either winners or losers, and is quick to give his opinion. In one interview he was asked about Senator John McCain’s ordeal as a prisoner of war for seven years.  He said, “He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”

Perhaps most incendiary are his racist plans to round-up “bad hombres”, and create a registry for Muslims, and one of his allies even brought up the disgraced idea of internment camps!

The Authoritarian is also inept when it comes to literature, history and science. In a Tweet in 2012, he said “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”

The new administration is a Clear and Present Danger.  In addition to his racism, sexism, misogyny, sexual assaults, and corruption, there are other concerns that are alarming.

National Security

The Washington Post has reported that The Authoritarian has only had 2 intelligence briefing, turning away these daily.  It’s reported that he is participating in less briefings than previous president-elects. During the election campaign he claimed to know more about ISIS and how to defeat it than U.S. Army Generals. He also said he wanted to be unpredictable and not say what he is thinking. Many experts on National Security are deeply concerned about his lack of preparation and knowledge about security.


He had little to no respect for public education and of course he picked as Secretary of Education a person holding similar beliefs, Betsy DeVos, (see Mercedes Schneider’s blog post on her) a billionaire philanthropist from Michigan with zero experience with public schools and a predominate advocate for vouchers and charters.  His choice of DeVos is a miscarriage of justice for public education. For thirty years or more republicans have been dismantling public education one voucher or charter at a time. And DeVos has been central in this attempt. It’s no surprise this person of privilege would be given this post. Add another billionaire to the cabinet.

The New York Times journalist, Kate Zernike said this about DeVos:

But Ms. DeVos’s efforts to expand educational opportunity in her home state of Michigan and across the country have focused little on existing public schools, and almost entirely on establishing newer, more entrepreneurial models to compete with traditional schools for students and money. Her donations and advocacy go almost entirely toward groups seeking to move students and money away from what The Authoritarian calls “failing government schools.”

The Network for Public Education is calling on U.S. Senators to turn her down for cabinet secretary. Here is what the Network for Public Education had to say about her nomination:

DeVos believes that the market solves all problems, and she and her husband’s foundation spent nearly 1.5 million dollars to persuade the Michigan legislature to kill a bill to regulate charter schools in the state.

Thanks to her efforts, 80% of the charters in Michigan operate for profit, without accountability or transparency.

Send a clear message to the Senate that Betsy DeVos should not be confirmed as U.S. Secretary of Education. Her hostility towards public schools disqualifies her. Send your letter today. We make it easy.

More than 20,000 letters have been sent as of today.

Climate Change

He thinks climate change is a political issue and he falls in line with most republicans who are in denial of climate change science.

This is a Clear and Present Danger to humankind. The hottest temperatures recorded since record keeping began have occurred in the past ten years, yet the president-elect of U.S. says more research is needed.

And most republicans in Congress deny climate change and the related scientific research that overwhelmingly asserts the realness of climate change. And not because of natural rhythms, but because humans have been so good at burning fossil fuels.

Denying climate change is the tip of the iceberg (no pun intended). To deny science in this case leads to a populace that is steeped in ignorance and is sliding off a flat earth.

Ironically, in our public schools climate change is taught as part of the curriculum, whether it’s Common Core or not. So the children of republican deniers are coming home with ideas that are counter to their parents.

The organization, Science Debate has for the last three presidential elections, invited the candidates to answer a series of questions on a range of science related topics.

The Authoritarian was the only candidate not to accept that climate change is real. Here is what The Authoritarian said in response to this Science Debate question on Climate Science.

Climate science question: The Earth’s climate is changing and political discussion has become divided over both the science and the best response. What are your views on climate change, and how would your administration act on those views?

There is still much that needs to be investigated in the field of “climate change.” (Emphasis, mine: Shows he does not accept the world’s scientific findings on climate change) Perhaps the best use of our limited financial resources should be in dealing with making sure that every person in the world has clean water. Perhaps we should focus on eliminating lingering diseases around the world like malaria. Perhaps we should focus on efforts to increase food production to keep pace with an ever-growing world population. Perhaps we should be focused on developing energy sources and power production that alleviates the need for dependence on fossil fuels. We must decide on how best to proceed so that we can make lives better, safer and more prosperous.

And finally, we should recognize that the Supreme Court adopted a doctrine of “clear and present danger,” as a rationale for the limitation of free speech on U.S. Citizens.  Although violence should not be tolerated, civil disobedience is a nonviolent and collective way of forcing the government to change policies.

The danger that appears to be unfolding by The Authoritarian must be met with speech, action and nonviolent protest.

Why I’ve Named Him, The Authoritarian

The Authoritarian

On this blog, I refer to the next POTUS as The Authoritarian.  My choice for using this term to name him is based on the research done by George Lakoff.  Lakoff’s theory maps moral world views by using the metaphor of Nation as Family.  Two types of families are mapped.

An idealized nurturant family is expressed in terms of progressive values: empathy, caring, support for each other, public resources for all.

An idealized strict father family is expressed in terms of power and authority, which rests with the head of the family (father), or the head of the nation–authoritarian values.

Lakoff makes it clear that the head of the strict father cannot be a loser, corrupt, and not a betrayer of trust. Father knows best.   But, here is what Layoff says characterizes the president-elect:

  • Loser: To the American majority, he is a Loser, a minority president. It needs to be said and repeated.
  • Betrayer of Trust: Above all, he is a Betrayer of Trust. He is acting like a dictator, and is even supporting Putin’s anti-American policies.
  • Corrupt: He is betraying trust in a direct way, by refusing to put his business interests in a blind trust. By doing so, and by insisting on his children both running the business and getting classified information, he is using the presidency to make himself incredibly wealthy — just as Putin has.  This is Corruption of the highest and most blatant level. (@georgelakoff. “A Minority President: Why the Polls Failed, And What the Majority Can Do.” George Lakoff. 2016. Accessed November 24, 2016. https://georgelakoff.com/2016/11/22/a-minority-president-why-the-polls-failed-and-what-the-majority-can-do/.)

In Lakoff’s analysis, the President-elect is interested only in absolute authority, money, power, and celebrity.

These are not the characteristics of a president in a democratic society, but let’s face it, this is what we have.  As Lakoff points out, we have to create a powerful network of communication, and call out The Authoritarian, and make sure that he knows that he’s not only being watched, but that there are moral imperatives on the opposite end of his, and that they are rooted in the principles of democracy, which have had to be fought for by the great majority of people living in this country.  He and his administration present a Clear and Present danger.

As a result, I don’t want to use his name, but instead call him for what he is, an authoritarian.  In this case he will be called The Authoritarian.

Here are some of behaviors that are most associated with The Authoritarian:

  • autocratic
  • dictatorial
  • imperious
  • totalitarian
  • tyrannical
  • dogmatic
  • harsh
  • severe
  • unyielding
  • despotic
  • oppressive

His attitude toward the press sends chills down my spine, and further undermines the free exchange of ideas. We should know what the president is up to. His ideas should be known and should be subject to criticism.  We should be able to question The Authoritarian.

The problem is the next POTUS doesn’t want anyone questioning what he thinks or does.  If you do, he’ll call you out, or worse.