What’s the Difference Between Russian Bots on Social Media and Fox News?

Almost no average Americans like the idea of Russian bots infiltrating our social media. There is overwhelming bilateral agreement on that – and for good reasons. 

First and foremost there is the idea that foreigners might not be loyal to the United States and their messages might be tainted and favor another nation-state. That’s why you have to be born here to be president. Granted that many foreigners respect the people and institutions of the US and I am sure there are many US citizens that don’t. Still there is something to be said for investigating the motives and influences of foreign contributors to the media stream. We can’t let ISIS run ads on our media. We all get that. So there should be standards for disseminating information. The new congress has work to do. 

There will be those who say freedom of speech is something that cannot be challenged in any way, under any circumstances. I remind them you can’t shout fire in a crowded theater if there is no fire. Why is that? Because it can hurt people! When freedom of speech can hurt the people or institutions of the US, it can and should be restricted, censored or edited – so it does no harm to the actual people that live here.

This may seem strange – but caring about outcomes for ordinary Americans was built into the constitution from its very first sentence! There is an enabling clause in the Declaration of Independence. ( bolded below) Let’s look it over. 

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

I guess they could have left out all those bolded words and it would just say “we the people … do establish this Constitution”. – But the founding fathers told us why they were doing this. And the whys are the largest part of their enabling clause. Let’s not lose sight of the six reasons they set forth to substantiate the creation of the USA. 

  1. in Order to form a more perfect Union – There was a loose union in 18th century America – and the founding fathers wanted to define that union more precisely. 
  2. Establish Justice – They knew justice needed to be defined and established. This was true then and it is true now. This also speaks to no man is above the law
  3. Insure Domestic Tranquility – And here we get to those media bots and Trump’s divisive messages. There is no way Trump cares about domestic tranquility. He had even said he would not surrender if he lost to Hillary. We’ve heard from him there would be a revolt from his base if he was impeached. Trump’s attitude is inconsistent with the spirit of the constitution and many see that attitude as a disqualify-er for the job of president. But I also see this as a reason to question the right of Fox News – which is not owned by an American – to hinder domestic tranquility with dis-information – just the way most think of the Russian bots. 
  4. Provide for the common defense – I don’t see how what Trump is doing with Russia, Saudi Arabia and North Korea as being helpful to our defense. I say leave this to the generals and the experts. Winning a popularity contest – which is what the 2016 election was – does not  qualify anyone as a military expert. 
  5. Promote the General Welfare – If there is one thing Trump has convinced people he has done right it is promoting welfare. My position is that he has allowed big companies to grab as much as they can through lower taxes and less regulation, and there will be a clean-up cost down the road. I see the phrase “general welfare” as more inclusive than favoring the rich or connected. General welfare was the 18th century way of saying “the 99%”. – Trump’s policies overly favor “the 1%”. People are beginning to catch on to that now – two years into his presidency, 
  6. Secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity – I’d like shine a light on that Posterity word. Caring about the next generation is built into the constitution. How thoughtful of the founders. And how thoughtless and unconstitutional it is to ignore the dangers we are leaving to our children. That word “posterity” in our constitution should inform our climate science policy. The founders had that vision – why have we lost it? Not smart. Not caring. Selfish. But very Trumpian. 

Fox News was created by Australian-born media mogul Rupert Murdoch in October of 1996. Fox News quickly grew to become a dominant subscription news network in the US. As of February 2015, approximately 95,000,000 US households (80% of them)  received Fox News. Murdoch is the current executive chairman of Fox News.

We are currently looking into ways make sure Russian bots don’t spread dis-information over the public airways and on social media. Why then do we allow a foreign-born person – Rupert Murdoch – to spread non-factual information over our airways to our American citizens? That is not consistent thinking. 

I remember when news used to be just news. But now there is something called spin. On the night before Charlottesville I recall Janine Pierrot rallying her listeners to go to Virginia and stand up to defend democracy. She had fire in her voice. The haters that went to Charlottesville felt they were called on a mission. Some said it was their duty to be there.  And Trump said ” I could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and my supporters would not leave me.” These are examples of dog whistling for haters to act out. This is shouting fire in a crowded theater. There must be standards. 

Reporters just go to the places where news happens – and with video and audio media they re-port ( literally re-carry) what they see and hear. However, if the news presented is not truthful or it’s spun to distort the truth, then how is that in keeping with what our founders wanted when they created the 6 reasons to form this beautiful country? 

Media is a big deal these days. It’s certainly bigger than it was in 1776 or even 1976. If we are trying to make sure our media are free of Russian bots, it’s because of the divisiveness they cause – not just because they are Russian or bots. And so, if Fox News is not reporting truth and their agenda is dividing or polarizing the country – which seems to be the case – why do they get the blessings of the FCC? There has to be standards for media. We’ve got  plenty of examples of how media can affect our every day lives. Plenty. 

fox-nowThere could be standards set for media before they can call a produced show “news”. There is precedent for that. Many supplements can’t be called vitamins and are sold with this disclaimer. This product is not intended to treat, cure, diagnose or prevent any disease. That’s there to protect the public from false expectations. It’s also consistent with the spirit of the Constitution.

So I can imagine a TV show – which is also a product or something that is produced – might also need a disclaimer. We don’t want people to have false expectations about the information they are about to receive. That’s also not how the founders wanted it. Media regulation should be part of the Green New Deal. Get on it. Thank You. 

……..

Joseph Aronesty is an e-commerce pioneer, author, songwriter, etymologist and father to five sons. He went to Penn on scholarship and was in a class with Donald Trump in 1967.  He has been writing about Trump since he entered the race.

Keep reading. Stay vocal.

Relevant prior posts:

Trump is One of Many Corrupt Rulers Who Launder Money Internationally

2020 Presidential Hopefuls Should Unite Into a Team: Team America

What If Trump and the Entire Executive Branch Has Been Suborned?

And if all else fails, we can use technology to replace politicians. 

The Way Back to Political Sanity Could Also Involve Facebook, Google, CNN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2020 Presidential Hopefuls Should Unite Into a Team: Team America

Written Jan 12 – updated 2/20/19

Winning an election is a game to Donald Trump and the GOP. There was nothing sacred about the 2016 election to them. Once they deemed they could not win by legitimate means, they tried to fix things. We have seen this many times – at state and national levels – both in 2016 and 2018.

Fixing elections is also central to the Russian investigations. Our country’s executive branch, and most likely many key members of Congress, may have been suborned by an enemy of the USA – Russia. There is little doubt in our minds about that now. We are witnessing an attempt at a slow- motion coupe d’etat – all to keep our cowardly president out of harm’s way for crimes committed to get elected. 

Meanwhile, our president is telling us to ignore the Mueller investigation. He calls it “fake news”. About 35% of Americans still buy the lies he is peddling – but even less believe the news is fake. Fake News is NOT a majority opinion. Thankfully.

I have said over and over again – Putin is directing this coupe. In an interview with a CBS reporter a few years back he practically said this. (link)

And so, though Dems did reasonable well in the 2018 election, we still have a sold-out Senate and executive branch. The resistance must do better in 2020. 

To understand the importance importance of unifying the candidates it is useful to take a step back and think on what the spectacle of 10 to 20 Democrat hopefuls running in 2020 will actually look like. 

I know some will say its great to see all the fresh energy out there. But most of this energy will be wasted when only one will be president. There will be serious heartbreak in many camps. So many lose for one to win. And it’s all very expensive too. So let’s really think about this 20 candidates thing. 

hopefulsbw
As of 2/20 there are 12 candidates and its likely going to 20 soon.

Can so many decent candidates really have substantially different messages? That answer is clearly negative. The overall Democratic message is one: a government for the people. There may be different approaches to fulfilling the goals of everyday Americans- but those goals and values are going to be the message no matter who is the final candidate.

As citizens in a democracy, we should collectively define those objectives and goals. And we are doing better at that lately. 

Think back to the spectacle of the 2016 GOP candidate’s race. There was about a dozen running. No one GOP candidate could really differentiate himself from the others without infighting cutting them down. Trump, not a politician, took advantage of that. He had no substantive message – just catch-all phrases, name calling ( low energy Jeb, little Marco, etc.) and fear mongering. – He stood out and won! 

Dems just can’t afford divided messages in 2020. They can’t afford the inevitable infighting as well. Not this cycle. 2024 will be fine for that. But there will be no 2024 for democracy if we don’t get rid of Trump in or before 2020. So Dem’s can’t afford to gamble or be stupid about anything. And Americans can’t afford personal egos to stand in the way of what this country really needs. 

So why on earth are so many Dem’s signing up to run for president? It feels like egos to me so far. The list of top 20 Democrat hopefuls for 2020 as of this post on 1/12/19.

Joe Biden, former vice president of the United States
Bernie Sanders (I), U.S. senator from Vermont                                                                    Michael Bloomberg, former mayor of New York City
Eric Swalwell, U.S. representative from California
Elizabeth Warren, U.S. senator from Massachusetts
Beto O’Rourke, U.S. representative from Texas
Cory Booker, U.S. senator from New Jersey
Jerry Brown, governor of California
Julian Castro, former U.S. secretary of housing
Bill de Blasio, mayor of New York, New York
Eric Garcetti, mayor of Los Angeles, California
Kirsten Gillibrand, U.S. senator from New York
Luis Gutierrez, U.S. representative from Illinois
Kamala Harris, U.S. senator from California
Eric Holder, former attorney general of the United States
Tim Kaine, U.S. senator from Virginia
John Kerry, former secretary of state of the United States
Amy Klobuchar, U.S. senator from Minnesota
Mitch Landrieu, former mayor of New Orleans, Louisiana
Terry McAuliffe, former governor of Virginia

If they all send out the same basic message of government working for the people, the only discussion is who is best qualified to do the job and who can actually win in 2020. All these hopefuls will have to differentiate themselves from their competitors like the GOP candidates had to in 2016.

And therein lies the real issue. There will be mixed messages and inevitably a sense of infighting will set in, just like we saw in the GOP 2016 election runoff. The infighting alone will look like the Dem’s are a bit crazed – all saying the same thing basically – but not quite on the same page. The message will become  “I can do this better” than the others. It will be easy for Trump or the GOP to relay that we don’t really know what we want or how to get it. 

We are in the process of losing sight of what is most important: defeating Donald Trump.  I have to get to this sad truth that we all know.  There is a substantial portion of Americans who will not vote for people of color for POTUS. Many of them are happy to see people of color in lower positions in the government – but not as POTUS. And the same is true about women running for POTUS. You can ask Hillary about that – she will confirm. Do we ignore this percentage of people – chalking them up as Trump votes like a handicap to overcome? I don’t think that is smart. We have too much to lose.

This much is certain. The entirety of this county is not on board with a woman or person of color as POTUS. When you automatically lose a substantial portion of the electorate to sex or color, you start the election behind. With 2020 being so important, it seems to me that being qualified to serve, though important, is not as crucial as being able to win easily. And I stress easily because we know the GOP will try to cheat and/or Gerrymander, which is just legal cheating.  

If 2020 is not going to be about people’s egos and childhood dreams to be president one day – but all about saving democracy – then we have to play our best game and run a white male with a heart, a good chance to beat Trump, and the experience to govern. Lack of experience in governing should be a non-starter in 2020 because we all can see how that is not working right now. No Oprah, etc. This is just math folks. Nothing personal. 2024 will be different. But there is no 2024 if we don’t win 2020. 

And I need to say that I love the fighting spirits of Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker – and the cool, steady hand of Amy Klobuchar. But we can’t start with 75% of the electorate. It’s just stupid. Why they can’t they all be part of TEAM AMERICA? Why is that not good enough for them? So then the long list whittles down to five well-known white males with experience and heart. 

Joe Biden, former vice president of the United States – the leading candidate

Bernie Sanders (I), U.S. senator from Vermont – he probably would have beat Trump 

  Michael Bloomberg – former mayor of NYC, rare elf-made billionaire with a heart   

 Eric Swalwell, U.S. representative from California – I also see him as a veep     

 John Kerry, former secretary of state of the United States – and he did lose before, so?

Beto O’Rourke was left off this list because he does not have much time in government. Charisma alone is not enough this cycle. 

Joe Biden: it may be that he just doesn’t have the energy or drive for this job. – So far we have not seen much energy from Joe. Why don’t we hear from him on our weekly Trump crises.  Joe, we can’t take much more waiting. My sense is that he has been quiet for a reason. He is not sure. And that to me is an issue. If Joe Biden does not announce by February 20th – I think is disqualifies him emotionally. He has not. He is on the fence.

Bernie Sanders: He has the heart and drive to be a great president, but is easy to attack on his socialistic policies. We need more socialism in the USA. But it’s not an easy sell. He is now an official candidate. He polls well with Trump voters! And he is off to a great start. Bernie vs. Trump would be the election that should have happened in 2016 – so there is a bit of karma in that alone. And all polls showed he destroyed Trump. So as of today, since Biden is unsure, Bernie is my favorite – but as the leader of Team America.

John Kerry: He has it all. But he lost before. That alone is suspect with Kerry.

Eric Swalwell: A fresh face who really looks presidential. He could do this  job just fine. He is now my number two choice.

Michael Bloomberg: I think he could be the smartest choice if he ran as a Democrat – but he may run as an independent. That sets up the Democrat Party to fight him. and that reminds me of the 2016 and Hillary fighting Bernie. Dems say be loyal to country not party. But will they still say that if a mega- billionaire like Bloomberg runs for president. Frankly I like the idea of the president not being in bed with either party – and I think the public will as well. If Bloomberg runs as a Dem – Trump has no shot. And he’s hard to fight except on one thing: he was born into Judaism. But that did not hurt Bernie.

In my opinion, all the hopefuls should get together in a room now and form committees and assign task lists and openly state they will work for the leading candidate regardless of who that candidate turns out to be. They should NAME the UNITY the way they names the GREEN NEW DEAL. Names and memes work. We all can remember the fallout when Bernie, who seemed to have more grassroots support than Hillary, was quashed by Hillary and the “party” insiders. So much lost energy. We all know that gave Trump a bump in 2016. – And that bump, coupled with Russian bots, tilted the math to elect a genuine psychopath as POTUS.  

a-teamDefining TEAM AMERICA:. No infighting. All candidates united with ONE cause – to take our country back and save representative democracy. We are going to have to coordinate to undo what Trump has done to the USA. We might as well start by projecting that coordination. it will be sensed by the public – just as our division will be sensed, if we don’t unite ahead of the election. 

And guess what? If we do this, the other side of America, Trump’s fan base, is going to notice something different – at last! If 2020 feels like 2016 all over again, it will all come off as same-old thing – and many people will vote in their habitual ways.

Also consider the reaction of the Democrat base, after they have put their hearts, wallets and energies into one candidate only to have them lose to another Democrat. Maybe they won’t vote at all if they can’t have their way! That happened in 2016 with many Bernie supporters. We can’t risk that. This is our last chance to save democracy. No egos. The way it was in WW2 – when people with egos were thought poorly of by so many. 

Elections are a game to Donald Trump. The resistance needs a winning strategy and a war room with a few real potential winners all coordinating and not caring about whom among them wins – just that TEAM AMERICA WINS!

We’ll have to be smarter in 2020. For all the reasons above,  I strongly suggest we run in 2020 as a team – united behind a white, male leader with a strong veep backup that can be female or POC. I know that sounds wrong. I hate writing it and attaching it to my legacy. But winning is everything to Trump and it should be to us as well.

Elections are math games. Numbers. Counting. Don’t fight the given math! There are plenty other things that have to go right for us to win in 2020. The competition will be cheating – count on that from now. I love Elizabeth Warren’s fighting spirit most among the female candidates. But we shouldn’t start this game with a 25% handicap. She could easily be VP on Team America or Secretary of the Treasury. Would that make her work less for Americans? I don’t think so. And I certainly hope not. And the same goes for any of these fine candidates.

It’s time to be team players. TEAM AMERICA is how we not only win, but rule effectively after we win. 

ARE WE DODO BIRDS?

EXTINCTION WORKS JUST LIKE THIS IN NATURE

The last widely accepted sighting of a dodo bird was in 1662. 
Like many animals that evolved in isolation from significant predators, the dodo was fearless of humans. Their fearlessness, coupled with its inability to fly, made the dodo easy prey for sailors.

(Now change a few words.)

The last widely accepted sighting of the American Democracy was in 2020.
Like many people that live ignorant of history, most Americans trusted their presidentsThis trust, coupled with the Americans’ inability to deal swiftly with their internal predatorsmade the American democracy easy prey for takeover.

Relevant prior posts:

How to Entice Trump to Step Down in 60 Days or Less

Trump is One of Many Corrupt Rulers Who Launder Money Internationally

What If Trump and the Entire Executive Branch Has Been Suborned?

And if all else fails, we can use technology to replace politicians.

The Way Back to Political Sanity Could Also Involve Facebook, Google, CNN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Entice Trump to Step Down in 60 Days or Less

whitacreWith DEMS taking the house in January, we believe there is a quick strategy to get Donald Trump to step down as POTUS.  Trump’s corruption is now a national emergency. We should think of it that way. 
Background: Trump hates governmental scrutiny. He always has – even in business. Trump should be approached like a criminal trying to escape indictment. He will understand that. That is mainly what he has always been – and down deep he knows he is a criminal on the run. 
Plan of action: 
Mueller has plenty on Trump and his family. Potus Trump can be cornered by that evidence and be made to realize choosing to step down may be his best option.
If Trump sees there is no hope of not being exposed for his many crimes – and his family’s crimes – and it becomes clear his taxes will be releasedhe will look seriously at a quiet, private, back-room deal – as long as we go a little easy on him and his family. It does not have to be a “no” cost deal. – Just less cost. He’s going to want to stay free. He’s going to want to feel smart. We’ll have to be the bigger man – so to speak. What is said to the public may have to be tamped down. Maybe we let him cite a medical excuse. It does not matter. We all know the truth.
We think Trump can’t wait for all this to be over. Its not fun for him any more. No rallies for 500 days. Just endless investigations. He sees the handwriting on the wall. For now, he will continue to fight back. Until he sees another way, what else can he really do but fight? 
But what if we offered Trump another path? He’s looking tired. If he senses that the GOP is done in 2020 (which is true ) and they won’t have the power or will to protect him, and it becomes clear the majority of the country is against him – or even that 70% of the USA wants to protect Mueller – Trump goes back into draft dodger mode again. “Serve no one but yourself.” It is part of his family ethos to keep a distance from government scrutiny – precisely because they are cheats. 
So why even bother with “impeachment” and long processes? This is a war and we need it to end ASAP. Right now we just need to make it crystal clear to Trump that he is not going to get away with this – and that the show is over in two months anyway.
That’s why we favor keeping public pressure up with Indivisible and the #ProtectMueller meme. We need that meme to go viral and stay that way.  Then when the Dems take the house in January we offer him “the art of the deal”. 
We know some want vengeance and Trump deserves it. Our parents generation just executed traitors. But, if we want this over fast for our own good and the good of the planet we can just give Trump a get out of jail free card and ask him to step down immediately in exchange for it.  It’s a peace deal with an internal enemy. Terms of surrender, etc. We take the house and give Trump one week to surrender and step down, or all bets for immunity are off. 
We hate letting him off and are sure many other will hate that too. And the immunity deal does not have to be Scott-free. But this crisis is going to go on and on if we dont short circuit it. The founders did not imagine Donald Trump as POTUS. How could  they? We can hardly do so today! Their impeachment process did not consider what to do if an election was coordinated with a foreign enemy. Afterall, its a fair election that endows the president his powers. If a fair election did not even occur, is Trump really entitled to presidential protection? If he coordinated with Russia to win, why is he not a traitor? What does at traitorous president deserve? 
Plus we have REAL PROBLEMS to deal with here in the USA – problems that are NOT about TrumpClimate change seems number one.  Addressing climate change can’t wait two years! Science says if we delay now the planet will shortly be in a death spiral. How ridiculous we will be to our kids when they realize we let this happen over internal bickering over one sick maniac.  There is Healthcare, Border Security, College Tuition, Gun Laws. etc. So we really can’t afford to wait two years. Trump has that much on his side. We think he knows this and is acting wildly so that we actually do ask him to step down and he can ask for immunity. 
Yes, if he takes a deal, we get Pence. But Pence only Pence is not also implicated.  If Pence is “in the know” or “involved”  – we can make him the same offer. 
And then we would get the Speaker of the House and this nightmare is  all over – in January or 2020. ( Pence has no real shot to win in 2020. Actually no GOP POTUS candidate should win in 2020.) 
The price is cheap enough. Trump will take it if it can be done. We think he is signaling that he wants out and a deal. We think that is why he is stepping up the attacks on the judiciary. He wants out. He is trolling us with extra bad behavior so we are disgusted by it all and ask him to step down for some degree of immunity.
ONE-TWO PUNCH STRATEGY
#1 We make sure Trump sees and believes the handwriting on the wall. 
The public can help with this with social media. Newscasters can help too. They have been great. Keep it up. There is real power in WORDS. Putin knew that much. We just use these new cyber methods to our benefit now. STAY VOCAL THROUGH THE CHRISTMAS HOLIDAYS. Do not be lulled into a feel-good haze. 
#2 We offer him a private back-room deal to step down in one week. He cant wait. He will even think he is smart for it. Fine. 
Then in January of ’19 or ’21 we can make sure this never happens again!
This is an old school practical solution to our Trump problem.
He is waiting for the offer.  Let’s get him in a room and offer it. 
Trump wants to see what Mueller has in him to negotiate that deal.  That is why Whitacre is there now. So maybe he should find out how hopeless it is for him.
Americans are not the only citizens that must RID THEMSELVES their CORRUPT RULERS for their own welfare. BUT IF WE FAIL TO DO SO HERE, THE DICTATORS WIN … EVERYWHERE! Giving Thanks for our collective resolve to save Democracy … and the planet.
As to why we have such a dictator problem on planet earth, this post explains a bit of it.

How Citizens Can Help Protect Mueller in a Cyber Age

Joseph Aronesty, chairman – the Manhattan Beach Political Thinktank

E-commerce pioneer, songwriter, etymologist, author, Trump classmate 1967. 

The Emperor’s New Clothes – The Classic Tale of a King’sVanity Exposed by a Child

As we witness a vain president attempting to pull the wool over our eyes, seeming to want nothing but praise from his subjects, the tale seems strangley apropos today. 

It’s June 2, 2018, my 70th birthday. I’ve written this as if I were speaking with David Hogg, Emma Gonzales and all the kids at Stoneman-Douglas:

I am sure you are aware of the Emperor’s New Clothes by Hans Christian Andersen. But did you know that the tale had its roots in oligarchical medieval days and may trace back as far as to Aesop?

As we witness a vain president attempting to pull the wool over our eyes, seeming to want nothing but praise from his subjects, this tale seems strangely apropos today.

The Emperor’s New Clothes

kingA vain emperor, who cares about nothing except being seen as handsome and beautiful, hires weavers who promise they will make him a magical suit of clothes. The weavers are con-men,  and they convince the stupid emperor they are using a fine fabric that is invisible to anyone who is stupid. The weavers only pretend to manufacture the clothes; they mime the actions, but there is no cloth at all being weaved. Thus, no one, not even the emperor nor his ministers can actually see the alleged “clothes”. But when the emperors declares that his new clothes are invisible to anyone that is stupid they all pretend they see the clothes for fear of appearing stupid.  The emperor also does the same of course, and it’s quite comical.

Finally, the weavers report that the suit is finished, they pretend to dress him in the suit, and the emperor marches in a royal before his subjects. The townsfolk go along with the pretense.  Not wanting to appear stupid, they marvel at how beautiful the king’s clothes are.  Suddenly, a child in the crowd, too young to understand the desirability of keeping up the pretense, blurts out that the emperor naked! Only then is the cry is taken up by the adults. The emperor realizes the crowd’s assertion is true, but he continues with the procession in total embarrassment as the crowd mocks him and the weavers escape with their payment.

Andersen’s tale is based on a 1335 story from the Libro de los ejemplos, a medieval Spanish collection of fifty-one cautionary tales with various sources such as Aesop and other classical writers and Persian folktales, by Juan Manuel, Prince of Villena (1282–1348).

This is a tale that had its origins when there were actual kings and subjects – oligarchical times for sure. And so in these neo-oligarchical times there is something to learn from this old tale. Notice that it’s a child that exposes the king. There is a reason for that.

As a child of the hippie generation, I can tell you we had big dreams and saw the hypocrisy in parts ( not all ) of our parent’s generation. That’s what 1968 was all about. Protests against Johnson and the Vietnam War was just part of our quasi-revolutionary mind set.  But after graduating college, and particularly after becoming parents, many of us got sucked up into the same system hooked our parents. There was so much opportunity back then compared to now, it was easy to get sucked into the same system that we were protesting against just a few years earlier. Weird, huh? But true.

This medieval tale informs us that this all has been going on for a very long time. And so children, whilst you are young and before you form the bonds marriages and have kids, you are in life’s special time-zone when you can see the hypocrisy in the systems in our society and are not yet afraid to expose it. And that reminds me that there is at least one big difference between 2018 and 1968.

In 1968, we protested against the hypocrisy of people, but ended up embracing the systems the systems they deployed. Today the young are protesting against the systems and laws as well as the people that hold on to what seems more and more to be a dysfunctional government and culture. I don’t differentiate much between culture and government. To me they are both just aggregates of people with the large power of a mob and a general credo.

Students of Stoneman-Douglas: This summer of 2018 compares to the summer of 1968. It’s super important that you not only continue attacking our broken systems ( which so many of us admire in you all ) but also call BS on the people who profit from and embrace these broken systems. That outcry must include the president, who is the standard-bearer for all these broken systems, including gun laws. We must insist that no man is above the law. We can’t devolve into a society that allows our rulers and their friends to buy their way out of criminal behavior. That’s not what America is all about. I am sure you now that.

Of course, our American vain emperor would love to experience nothing but praise from his subjects. From that protected authoritarian dais, he and his financial allies can continue to work behind the scenes, back-channel and profit from these broken systems at the expense of the general public.

And this is not only about smart gun laws any more. Stupid gun laws are a symptom the larger dysfunction. The refusal of the majority in congress, the GOP, to create laws that our citizens actually want and need will only wane when Trump and the GOP lose big time at the ballot box this November 2018. I want this to be a November to remember for the rest of your lives.

Stay vocal. The powers in control are going to try and fix the election again. This election is even more important to them that the last one. Why? Because if Trump had lost, they had Hillary who more or less embraced that same broken system the way Obama did. But if they lose this time, they could lose it all. Power could return to the people here in the USA. Unions will negotiate better wages and cut down the owner/worker pay ratio.  Real-healthcare, access to education and infrastructure improvement become doable options. What a mess for the industrialists in control of this broken machine, right?

I just purchased RussianTrollSites.com. Let’s crowd source a site that runs a script that finds political troll sites and ads, publishes them, and forwards the list to Facebook, Google and the media. Contact me.

The crowd in the Emperor’s New Clothes only changes its position when a child exposes the obvious truth. That is the teachable part of this old tale. Your parents want to believe in you. This is not new. They will even take this battle cry up with you if you stay loud and determined. And this summer of 2018 we must.

We have a president and a congress that is trying to put themselves above the law, keep their ill-gotten gains, and expand upon the broken system licenses cars but not guns. The system is not broken for them. It’s broken for us! And we all will continue to pay if they stay in power.

Trump, as the system’s figurehead,  will try and sell you that the economy is doing better. I say what?! Are the people doing better? Not really. We have fallen behind all the first world countries is vital stats like life-expectancy and education.  Select economical stats are not the be-all-end-all of a society. The German economy got better under Hitler too – for a while.

I still believe your sheriff’s VOTE THEM OUT is the best battle cry for this summer. It resounds on both sides of the aisle and seems to unconsciously say “vote the swamp out” without partisanship. It’s a message that we all can identify with these days, and that’s really all we need.

Stay vocal this summer!

sent with love,

Joseph Aronesty

@EnglishCodeWord

josepharonesty@gmail.com

button-white750

 

 

 

Foreigners and the Danger of Regarding “Others” as Enemies

The word foreigner is in the news these days more than it should be. Our fallen soldiers fought for freedom and the rule of law. They would be turning over in their graves if they knew what Donald Trump was doing.

The word foreigner is in the news these days more than it should be. When Donald Trump called president Obama a foreigner, it aroused a sense of fear inside a decent percentage of Americans, a feeling that maybe foreigners were taking over our government. Trump’s fear-mongering expanded to include Mexicans and people of Islamic faith. But where is the fear of others in Trump supporters when it comes to Russia? 

Most US citizens consider Russia as a hostile foreign power, and its very suspicious that Russians are not touted as foreigners by Donald Trump. It seems, if Trump can make a buck with a foreigner he thinks they should be OK with all of us. I don’t get that. Most don’t get it. But so far, Trump supporters, including his GOP stooges, seem mostly okay if Russia influences our elections, policies and decisions here. And frankly, our fallen soldiers fought for freedom and the rule of law. They would be turning over in their graves if they knew what Donald Trump was doing – and so would our founding fathers. foreign

I like to use word history (etymology) to see if it can inform us in our daily lives. So today I ask, what was the first meaning of the word foreign?  

The way I figure foreign out is by dissecting foreign into its two basic parts. (fo+reign) The word reign should jump out of you. Reign is a regal/ruler kind of word.  That leaves fo- as a prefix syllable, which refers to foe.  Enemy of the king is clearly what a foreigner first described. Foreign was not a geographical word but a political word! Interesting right there. 

Notice how foreigner does not describe a foe of the people, but an enemy of the king or ruler, the one who reigns. And this is what is so dangerous about this word foreigner. There are now over 200 countries on planet earth. If rulers continue to sell the idea that folks from other countries are enemies, we could have 200 countries with 7 billion people who consider the vast majority of the people on earth outside of their own nation, to be their enemies. Couple that with the kind of weapons we have today, and you have a recipe for the end of civilization as we know it.

This is particularly sad because before 911, the world was trending towards a spirit of tolerance and understanding of others. The global celebration at Y2K certainly allowed a sense of global citizenry to peek its way onto the stage of the foreseeable future. But it was a false Messiah. The unity never really happened and then the banking crisis of 2008 exaggerated the general income gap between rich and poor. And that felt nothing like a brotherhood of man. Corporate greed was and is still in control on planet earth. 

Comparing the distrust level between nations in the WW2 era to 2001, there is no doubt that we had been trending towards more trust between peoples of “foreign” nations. That became more apparent during the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street movements. And yes, Obama shut that down. 

But Donald Trump has already set much of the progress towards brotherhood back in time, and he aims to continue that reversal because if he loses in 2018, he knows he may end up behind bars. He knows can only unify a base with hate. He started with hate, he cannot switch trains. But nationalism, coupled with an impulsive ruler who is also a life-long criminal looking for a way to skirt justice for his crimes, is a downright irresponsible recipe for disaster, a speedy train on a path towards Armageddon.

Shame on his supporters. Granted, many of them just don’t know better. Like Trump said,“We love the poorly educated”. But much more shame on the GOP establishment. They are not poorly educated. They are in it for themselves – for personal greed.

We may all be foreigners to those who were born in other nations. But we are born naked and innocent. We must learn or be taught to be enemies to others. The smarter path is one towards brotherhood, not otherhood.  We certainly don’t need rulers here or anywhere else that actively promote lack of respect and empathy for others. No country can claim the sole right to nationalism – so this can spread, as it did during the 30’s and 40’s. 

The Danger of the Foreigner Meme

I am no longer religious, but one story from the Bible which I find very informative is the Tower of Babel tale. The lesson of Babel is that if we can’t communicate openly with each other, if we consider others to be our enemies, then we can not build our proverbial towers, which is a metaphor for progress. And there is so much progress we will need to make if we are to survive. Is that not challenge enough people? Do you really have anything better to do? A sense that other people are enemies was bad before we had nuclear and biological weapons; but it’s much more dangerous now.

People who live in different countries are not our born enemies. They are trained to be our enemies of course. And Trump is doing his best to just do that. The word foreigner was created by the ruling class, for the ruling class and its enforcement arm the militia to lure citizens into battle. Hitler said it about Jews. Foreigner. It decodes as “enemy of the king”. – And it is the kings, prime ministers, presidents, and dictators of the world that still promote that hateful concept.  It’s time for the global citizens of the world to rise up and lose the meme that others are enemies. It only serves the weapon makers, industrialists and undertakers. 

I prefer to latch onto the more salient of the biblical teachings. You know, the ones that are about the brotherhood of man. 

JA

Note: Post-writing, I found The OED finds that FOREIGN may have been related to old words for door, the OR referring to light, because there is light outdoors. It also says : 

English spelling altered 17c., perhaps by influence of reign, sovereign. Sense of “alien to one’s nature, not connected with, extraneous” attested late 14c. Meaning “pertaining to another country” (as in foreign policy) is from 1610s.

I’m sticking with that 17th century meaning, but accenting the foe part of the word.

JA

This November We Must Vote Out All Who Will Not Legislate For the Common Good

A good barometer of the viability of a society is its system of values. When values erode, the society either falls apart or is overtaken. This is exactly what happened in Rome. It’s not that “it can happen here”. It is happening here, right now.

We like the idea of limiting the firepower of the lunatic in North Korea, but we are giving lunatics in our homeland access to killing machines. This makes no sense.

#1 There’s plenty we can do to make our country safer without hurting hunters’ rights.  Automatic weapons are not, and should not be used to hunt animals. What kind of hunting sport is that? And yet we allow automatic weapons to get into the hands of people who kill people for sport. This is crazy America! A recent certified national poll shows that 70% of Americans favor an assault weapons ban.  Representatives who will not publicly state they are in favor of an assault weapons ban, must be voted out. Rubio – Trump – that means you – and plenty of others.

It’s now clear that there is a group of politicians who will even stoop to cheating at the polls with foreign bots posing as Americans. Our president will do nothing to change this. It is how and why he got there and he is compromised by his life of crime. So our numbers must be overwhelming this November.

Gun violence is also very expensive. The costs are 230 billion dollars a year – over $700,000,000 per day!   And it is surprising how few Americans would be negatively affected by an assault weapons ban. Besides Smith and Wesson there are about six other companies that make assault weapons. And then there is a small group of gun collectors who would have to surrender or sell their assault weapons to the police or armed forces. Weight that against $700 million a day and the loss of life and this is a no brainer.  

These businesses can not be valued more than the lives of our kids and citizens. We must now legislate for the common good and vote out all who stand in our way. A good barometer of the viability of a society is its system of values. When its values erode, the society either falls apart or is overtaken. This is exactly what happened in Rome. It’s not that “it can happen here”, it is happening here … right now.

POSSESSION of automatic weapons, NOT the PURCHASE of them, is what needs to be regulated or licensed, like we do for automobiles. Automobiles can be weapons, but guns are weapons and an assault rifle’s sole purpose is to kill mass numbers of people. Why does any civilian really need an automatic weapon? They don’t! 

Even if we had Minority Report pre-crime detection bots and took the Parkland shooter out ahead of the crime, it would not change the fact the we have a systemic disease here in the USA. And like a cancer, it’s going to grow and kill the host body if we don’t start the healing now. The medicine is voting out greedy politicians who won’t legislate what their constituents want. And 70% of Americans want an assault weapons ban. 

And gun maker’s profit protection is just one place our national body has disease. We also see its symptoms in the way our reps undermine healthcare for our citizens in exchange for kickbacks from insurance companies. GOP healthcare, if ever fully implemented, would kill far more people than 911. 

We hear its symptoms reflected in the words of our heartless president who offered lukewarm support for Puerto Ricans with memes like “you are messing with our budget” or “there are a lot of business-people who support the Jones Act”. I hear it is gangsta rap, where the lyrics often refer to being rich as being as the be all end all goal in life. I see it in the way people adore big stars, and then ignore the stars in their own communities. 

The underlying disease is all one: greed. This cancer, is now metastatic. It’s everywhere. Cutting out one infected organ will not cure us.

GREED starts with GR because, like many words that start with GR, it refers to GROWTH.(GARDEN, GRASS, GREAT, GRAND, etc.) Within greedy souls, GREED is a GROWTH that is out of control  – which is exactly what a cancer is. 

And yes, greed will always exist. It’s been witnessed and documented for over 5000 years.  Smart societies put checks and balances into law so that greed does not overrun their governments.  It’s popular to say “get the money out of politics”, but Citizen’s United gives money a larger voice than the actual citizens of our country.  Citizen’s United gives greed a platform to operate and grow here.  That’s neither right nor democratic. Citizen’s United must also go.

And we can do all this in November because it’s easy to spot the greedy politicians now. They are the same one’s who won’t publicly announce they are in favor of an assault weapons ban. They side with the NRA for personal greed, and they do the same on all issues. It’s who they are – and they can’t fool us now. 

It’s a strange irony that the word AMERICA contains two word-parts, AMORE and RICH.  America literally means “loves riches”: Ame-rica. Maybe it’s a self-perpetuating meme. Pardon my linguistic digression, but before Trump became POTUS this was my focus. 

So, I am not that interested in this single-cell Las Vegas or Parkland sicko. We should strive to cure our sickness the same way we fight a systemic cancer. It starts with diagnosis: recognizing the nature of our actual disease: we permit politicians’ greed to shape our lives and laws to the detriment of our citizens.

Donald Trump is a brand that symbolizes greed disease. His first campaign words were “of course you love me, I’m rich”. He learned most people have some level of greed disease from his casino-owner days. And as the gap between the wealthy and the poor grows here, there and everywhere, there will be more and more bad cells acting out – out of desperation. It’s sort of like a negative lottery. Given time, it’s bound to happen again and again. And it’s going to keep happening until we get money out politics or we succumb. 

It was not always that way, here in the USA. After WW11 the rich were taxed at a much higher rate than the poor so that stored capital naturally flowed into infrastructure and education, helping us all and making us naturally proud to be Americans – or US citizens. 

We must start our healing process now. And while kindness and prayers are fine for moral support, if they do not lead to actions they function like placebos.  We need thoughtful, caring legislation ASAP. The vast majority of Americans see no reason why anyone should be allowed to own an automatic weapon, or more than a few firearms to defend themselves. We are not against the second amendment. The vast majority of Americans see no reason Russian bots should be allowed on Facebook. But as long as greed governs in America,  the country that loves richesnothing will change.

Let’s focus on voting out the greedy in government in 2018.  The best thing we have here in the USA is national elections every two years. The next one is November 2018. We can’t afford to get distracted. We have no time to waste either. I sincerely believe 2018 is our last chance to save the ailing American society.

If for no other reason than to send out the messages that US citizens will no longer be governed by greed and that we realize greed in government is our national disease here in America, we must vote out infected ruling party members – at every level. 

vote-all-out

We can do this. The citizens who voted for Donald Trump wanted to vote out a broken system. They just were so blinded by their desire for change that they did not see that Trump was a charlatan. I have forgiven them. They mostly know they made a mistake by now. So those same voters can be enrolled to do that same thing again – to vote out a diseased system. 

We must assure that greed has no place in our government. When Citizen’s United falls apart under a new regime, it will begin to turn the tide of our systemic greed disease. 

And then maybe, slowly, the way you kill a cancer, we can return to the kind America I remember as a child. It was not perfect. No society is. But it was much more inclusive than what we have now. We had a visible path to a good life here, and many of us seized that path and have enjoyed that good life. I was lucky that way.

Now, our kids don’t even see the on-ramp to that path. We have let them down terribly. I am not a big D Democrat. Don’t paint me with that broad brush. I don’t care about parties. I care about the actual people who we elect. I wish there were no parties at all. Parties are part of the greed disease problem. I am a global citizen living in America. My homeland that I love is now governed by greed. It is killing us all and we all know it down deep. All I want is better for my kids. I’d like to the healing begin in my lifetime. 

A spiritual disease is being transmitted to Americans by man a who has been infected all his life. It’s very contagious. 2018 may be the last chance to save us from greed/envy disease. It is usually fatal to societies. 

These are the only two laws we need to keep our schools, churches and streets safe.

#1 LICENSE GUNS beyond the basic two. OWNING ( not buying ) unlicensed guns will be a serious federal crime. And yes, law enforcement agents will have the right to seize unlicensed guns. The loss of one’s gun can be the prime punishment. No sense attaching a huge dollar amount to it and scare people. Assault weapons do not belong in the hands of unlicensed people. That is the goal.

#2 ELIMINATE THE GUN SHOW LOOPHOLE.

Less words. More Actions.

I wrote Song For Healing when I was on chemo. It helped me a lot. My way of praying I guess. It’s not all I did however. Have a listen: 

Joseph Aronesty is an e-commerce pioneer, songwriter, author, linguist and father to five sons living in Los Angeles. He was a classmate to Trump in Wharton in 1967. He is a also tireless activist working to reset America to be the more inclusive place it was when he was child. josepharonesty@gmail.com

 

Trump Is Weak On _________.

Trump likes to call his opponents weak. Using only his own words as tools, and in less that a year in office, Donald Trump has effectively lost the moral authority needed to govern effectively as an American president. Circulate this meme today: Trump is weak on __________ .

3minutesringRTrump likes to call his opponents weak. It’s getting old, especially from such a weak man.
Using only his own words as tools, and in less that a year in office, Donald Trump has effectively lost the moral authority needed to govern effectively as an American president. Circulate this meme today: Trump is weak on __________ .

Trump is weak on honesty. He lies more than once a day. It’s been proven.
Trump is weak on caring for others. A billionaire who rarely gives to charity.
Trump is weak on brains. His own Secretary of State called him a moron.
Trump is weak on national security. His words provide fuel for our enemies.
Trump is weak on leadership. He does not have the personal qualities to be a leader. We don’t want our kids to grow up to be like Trump and neither do they.
Trump is weak on patriotism. He has a fortune stashed foreign bank accounts. 
Trump is weak on morality. He “grabs them by the p…y” because he is a star.
Trump is weak on respecting others. He said “How stupid are the people of Iowa?”
Trump is weak on education for our kids. His Betsy Devos appointee tells us that.
Trump is weak on faithfulness. He used his wives and friends as pawns in his game. When they are no longer useful, he drops them.
Trump is weak on healthcare. He is trying to sink the ACA, by any means possible.
Trump is weak on the environment. The USA and Syria are the only two countries out of the Paris accord.
Trump is weak on women’s rights. He is accused of sexual assaulting over 12 women.
Trump is weak on security.  We all feel less secure with him in the White House.              Trump is weak on fiscal responsibility. We are spending a fortune guarding his many homes, and golf courses and paying for investigations.                                                                Trump is weak on infra-structure. With all the nonsense we are witnessing, we are not getting down to doing the important things we should be doing to make America a better place to live for us all. 

Trump is a weakling. The USA can’t afford to have a weakling in office.

To vote Trump out of office, vote his GOP associates out of office at every level. They will catch on – and show him the exit door.

vote-out-trump