75 Years ago (May, 1945) the United States, Great Britton, The USSR, and Allies emerged victorious over Fascism in Europe; Nazi Germany surrendered. While the price was high (hundreds-of-thousands of American soldiers dead, tens-of-millions more around the world), no one can rationally argue that the sacrifice was not needed. This was, after all, a Just War; one of the few which lacked any moral ambiguity. We were on the side of right, engaged in a historic battle against evil incarnate. Fascism had to be crushed if we were to not enter a new dark age of barbarism equipped with ledgers and death camps. The drum beat of war had to be answered as no other response was capable of overcoming this existential threat to liberty.
Coming out of the Great Depression, my Grandfathers and Great Uncles, like countless others, served in the U.S. Army during the war. The Greatest Generation did their part and are owed a debt that can never be repaid. With victory we won a reprieve from the horrors of Fascism for generations to come. But the ghosts of Nazism were never completely exorcized from our consciousness – this hatred, born out of social alienation, fear, and economic pressures, still persists. Charlottesville reminds us that the twisted vision of Nazism still lurks in dark places, waiting to emerge if our collective will grows weak and if not beaten back through physical force. The xenophobia proclaimed, at times, from the White House, and the camps on our southern border, where even children are caged, also gives form to real concerns that Fascism can again infest the highest halls of state power (and will grow if left unchecked).
COVID-19 has brought on an economic crisis not seen in the US since the Great Depression. And as with all historic financial disasters, it is far from inevitable that the working class-left will emerge from the chaos with a progressive agenda moving forward. Another competing force is the far right. Such reactionaries will use the crisis to seek to implement privatizations, cuts to social services, elimination of environmental regulations, and even more tax cuts for the rich. There will also be those on the extreme right who will use the crisis to argue for a neo-fascist re-ordering of society.
We, the Labor Movement, must recognize the opportunities and dangers the crisis presents. We must also be sober in our analysis that the future is unwritten, and the outcome undecided. And here, we shall only emerge as the victors and we shall only have the ability to move a progressive program forward if we are able to build the power required to overcome the other. And right now, the battle over the United States Postal Service is the front that has been opened by the Trump Administration, and therefore constitutes one of the major fights we must engage in.
The national Democratic party machine has once again managed to set up its circular firing squad as the bullets started flying. Instead of developing a comprehensive strategy to use the presidential primary as a way to unify Democrats, they have created chaos while allowing Trump to set the agenda for just about everything they do.
The grand obsession is to focus almost all of their messaging and energy on their anointed candidate who they believe has the best chance of beating Trump in November. Debate over the issues important to voters has been tainted by the obsession.
Before the 2018 midterm elections, President Trump cited reports of a migrant caravan traveling to the U.S. from Central America to claim that the southern border was facing a national-security crisis.
Trump warned of a coming “invasion” and claimed that the caravan had been infiltrated by gang members.
Every so often we need to be reminded that the power brokers of the world are capable of
horrendous atrocities. The road to those atrocities is paved with unrestrained egotism, racism, misogyny, xenophobia and a disregard for the value of human life. World leaders become intoxicated with their power and as it goes unchecked they begin to believe that they can justify anything they do. Modern day examples are not hard to find.
As the U.S. impeachment process plays out it is important to realize that the current president has headed down a road that has led to the justification of the marginalization and torture of people not to his liking. This is the same road that was traveled by Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini and many others.
While there may be many items currently on the federal legislative agenda, there is nothing more important than impeachment that results in removing Trump from office. It should be clear, to what I believe is a majority of Americans and world citizens, that the U.S. president is displaying an escalating level of mental health instability putting this country and the world at risk for catastrophic consequences. The erratic swings in the U.S. stock market often reflect the damage Trump causes by his impulsive actions.
The anti-war and anti-US-meddling wings of all parties should be very happy today. John Bolton, the evil warmonger who has been Donald Trump’s National Security Advisor for the past year and a half has just exited the White House, stage right. Trump fired him, says Trump. I quit, says Bolton. Who cares? He’s gone and the world feels slightly less scary as a result.
You may have read that courts ruled that Trump, using a Twitter account for official, open government purposes, cannot block people based on the views they express. This applies to all public officials, not just Trump. It’s a first amendment issue.
Members of the Selectboard and elected Representative Town Meeting reps should take notice and proceed with caution.
President Donald Trump is now focusing all his attention on the Middle East, and this is causing the rest of the world to look there too. It’s also causing Middle Eastern nations to look at themselves and take sides. Since there are at least two major factions, led by the Saudis and the Iranians respectively, one would expect that a US invasion of Iran would lead other Middle Eastern countries to get involved on one side or the other. As a spokesman for Iran said last night, one bullet could set the whole region ablaze and US interests with it.
If it seems as though the US President is the boss of the whole world, it’s because in many ways, he is. Presidential powers for modern presidents are prodigious. With the power to impose sanctions and tariffs, control the government through executive orders, and order military action, a determined president can create a lot of geopolitical mayhem.
The most remarkable tool to that end is the economic sanction which is a form of punishment designed to destabilize countries America has strategic interest in by crippling their economies. Most sanctions bind American companies from doing business in the target nation. But recently, there has been a new form of sanction, called a secondary sanction, that aims to prevent any country or individual in the world from doing business with our declared enemy.
In 2005, Justin Frank, M.D., a psychiatrist , wrote a book “Bush on the Couch” in which he provided keen insights into the president’s mode of thinking-or not thinking.
Commenting on “W”, Dr. Frank noted we are “dealing with a potentially cornered man [who] could lash out, and it is possible that the best way would be to bomb Iran…. Whatever the root causes of Bush’s pathology, we have a dangerous man running things…grandiose and unchecked.”
As an American, as a Vermonter, and as a Labor leader I have marched many times against US lead wars. However, I do not oppose wars and US military action because I assert war as always unjust and always unnecessary. I am not philosophically a Kantian; this is not a moral imperative for me. I am also no liberal. If truth be told it was only through war and armed conflict that Vermont and the United States became republics free from the British Empire.
Remember “W”? Ten years ago he was the worst president we’ve ever had.
He started two wars he couldn’t win in Iraq and Afghanistan which destabilized the Middle East and left it in a state of civil wars. While he was doing that, he pursued economic policies that led to a worldwide financial implosion. He lied about “weapons of mass destruction” and the connections between al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein, etc., etc.
A motion of no-confidence, alternatively vote of no confidence is a statement or vote which states that a person(s) in a position of responsibility (government, managerial, etc.) is no longer deemed fit to hold that position, perhaps because they are inadequate in some respect, are failing to carry out obligations, or are making decisions that are otherwise detrimental.
As a parliamentary motion, it demonstrates to the head of state that the elected parliament no longer has confidence in (one or more members of) the appointed government.
Donald Trump is the smartest man in the world (just ask him!).
And his goal is to become Emperor of Earth (because he’s the only one smart enough to do it).
The bad news is that he’s well on his way.
On Friday, May 11, 2018 @7:00 pm the Windham World Affairs Council is presenting “Revisiting the Nuclear Agreement between Iran and the US, the JCPOA,” a major talk at a decisive moment for our country, The talk, which is free and open to the public, will be held in the Sanctuary of the Centre Congregational Church, 193 Main St, Brattleboro, which has a large capacity and is handicapped-accessible.
WWAC announces this major talk at a decisive moment for our country as President Trump is getting ready to tell the world whether or not he will honor the agreement made by his predecessor with Iran and five other world powers and is also preparing for direct talks on denuclearization with North Korean leader Kim Jung-un.
NOBODY IS ABOVE THE LAW
MUELLER FIRING RAPID RESPONSE
Donald Trump could be preparing to put himself above the law.
Trump could create a constitutional crisis if he fires special counsel Robert Mueller or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who oversees Mueller, or attempts to compromise the investigation by other means.
Our response in the hours following a potential power grab will dictate what happens next—whether Congress will stand up to Trump or allow him to move our democracy toward authoritarianism.