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

 

 

 

Midterm Elections: What Progressive Candidates Should Run On

These are my top ten issues for progressives to run on this cycle. 

candidate.jpgThere’s been a lot of talk about what progressive candidates should and should not run on for the midterm elections. This big question seems to be: regardless of the positive issues we may wish to run on “do we also run on impeachment?”. 

I frankly believe that Trump being in office can end up being the Democrats best friend in November, if they play their cards right! And let’s face it, in 2016 they could hardly have played their cards worse. There is gamesmanship to an election – and it has to be done right. 

One of my strongest suggestions is never to run Dem vs. Dem.  No infighting! The Hillary vs. Bernie division was really what sank the Dems in 2016. We can’t have that happening in the midterms this cycle. Instead, I would rather see run offs decided by two candidates joining at the hip, like a double entry in a horse race. First, it saves election costs. And if their is a complaint about salary, (and this is way more important than any politician’s salary) the saved election funds could be shared along with the allotted salary. That way two close competitors can share one position. Granted they get one vote in Congress. But imagine if Hillary had run with Bernie as a ticket rather than against him. It would have been a landslide. In 2020, if Biden runs, maybe he could run with Bernie as a ticket. Biden/Bernie will play well only if young blood does not take over the scene by then – and it might. We will see. But no infighting. Infighting means we don’t have a clear agenda. And that means, we don’t know what we are doing. And that means, people may decide to stay with what they know and have.  And we can’t have that.

These are my top ten issues for progressives to run on this cycle. 

#1 Medicare For All. There is nothing that unifies Americans more than our need for affordable healthcare. It will be easy to expose the hypocrisy of the GOP on this issue. It should be front and center of any progressive campaign.  But work out the math ahead of the campaign promises. Make it look achievable or you will be tagged as impractical dreamers. Show us where the money will come from. And yes, don’t be afraid to say we should tax billionaires the same or higher than workers are taxed. Remind us that this country worked best in the 50’s when the rich were taxed higher than the poor, which created a more level playing field for all Americans. 

#2 Reversing Trump’s GOP Tax Laws. This is tricky because Trump can say his new laws are the reason for the seeming economic boom. Is it really a boom? Maybe that has to be discussed. Because if we have set our expectations lower, a small increase in take home pay can seem like an improvement. But there are other ways to measure success rather than just pocket money. Trump and the GOP will rely on this argument that things are better. Dems will have to show Americans in black and white, how the increase in health-care costs, the lack of access to great education, and the failure to spend on infrastructure are other ways to measure the standard of living of a nation. Show us how everyday citizens are fare better and even live longer in countries like Germany, Sweden and Japan. And the states that tax heavily and invest in their own infrastructures, like Cali, Mass and NY, – they do not like the new limit on deducting state taxes and interest payments. So expose that strongly as well. 

#3 College and K-12 Investments. There is nothing that quashes the dreams of our children more than the ridiculous economic barriers to quality education. It starts at K. Our grade schools and high schools are short on books. How sad is that? I’m sorry but what differentiates a great country from a failed one is actually the education level of its citizens. It is way more important than levels of pocket money.  A society that is rich monetarily but stupid is ripe for takeover. Think Rome. Brains is what separates us from animals. And honestly, “stupid and spoiled” is sort of what Russians and even Islamic terrorists think of Americans. And frankly, they are not far off. No way we are the brightest minds on the planet any longer. We used to be – in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Somewhere around Regan, we began to slip. That’s also when big money took over the soul of our government. Today, teachers are clearly paid far less than other professionals with the same qualifications as teachers. And yet, teaching is the one profession that makes all other professions possible. So drive all of this home. It will resound in New York as well as Texas and West Virginia. 

#4 The EPA. Golly, I hope Scott Pruitt is still the head of the EPA in November. If he is, he won’t hold that post in December. The air we breathe, the water we drink, and our climates are valid ways to measure the success of a nation. So again, it’s not just pocket change. After all, its not what money you have, but what it can buy. And if your money can’t buy clean air and water, because companies are allowed to pollute, then you are poorer than you think. Expose as much of the EPA’s reversals to common sense legislation as you can this cycle. Remember, the GOP will paint Pruitt as a help to the economy. We need to answer back strongly. “We don’t want an economy that is driven by allowing corporations to pollute our greatest common asset, our environment. Lack of respect for mother earth by this administration should be fully exposed. Again, it will resound with Americans of all stripes, and in all 50 states. Americans want to be proud of America again. That’s really what Trump has done to us. So seize on that. Make America Proud Again? Well, not. We don’t want to sound like we ripped off anything from this charlatan. But the idea of restoring American pride is sound. 

#5 Re-establishing Diplomacy. One of the reasons I am certain that the Russians have Trump suborned is the way our diplomatic core has been stripped under Trump’s Secretaries of State. Bring math to this argument. Show what has happened in stark black and white. Frankly, it borders on treason. And this is exactly what Russia wants. They are increasing their position on the world stage – as we are decreasing ours! If it feels coordinated, it probably is. 

#6 Border Security Done Right. Why is this so hard for us? Border security has nothing to do with hatred of others. We can have secure borders and love our neighbors. There should be check-points and it should be hard to illegally penetrate. I’m not sure we need “Trump’s Wall”. But we should agree to have secure borders, and to police those borders. But also, most Americans agree that the DACA kids are citizens. So we can run on Dreamers and border security simultaneously. Please do that this cycle. And if GOP candidates drift into that general area, welcome them. We need more welcoming of the other here in the USA, and that starts with “across the aisle”, when it is justified. There is a place where can agree with GOP voters on border security. Just strip away the hate of others and be kind to our Dreamer’s. I would fund any border upgrades from infrastructure spending. That is what it actually is. 

#7 The VA. Our veterans deserve the best care possible. Trump had a guy who was trying to do a decent job and he was fired. Rub this in his face forever. Veterans exist in all states. And its damn well embarrassing that he is trying to make veterans care a for profit industry and take his cut. 

#8 Infrastructure. There is no doubt that America has fallen far behind other first rate countries in infrastructure. Our roads, bridges and trains are sorely in need of serious investment. Something like what FDR did seems appropriate. But, we are not as collectively rich as we used to be in the 1950’s. Why is that? It’s because we have allowed our money to collect at the greedy top where it stagnates and gets funneled out of the country into off-shore bank accounts. There is no way to fund the projects we need without recapturing those lost funds. It’s not a pretty statement. I think of things like a billionaire’s tax. So here too, math has to be done to sell infrastructure investment. This is not a cycle where we can make promises that we cannot keep. It will be too easy for the GOP can say we can’t afford this now – that our national debt is already ballooning. But infrastructure is an investment that pays back! So focus on that when you get GOP push-back. Do your math. Cite history. People in all states want better infrastructure.

#9 Voter’s rights and an end to Gerrymandering. The GOP realizes full well that they advance the agendas of the super-rich – not the average American. They know they have no way to win an honest election. That is why Trump and the GOP welcomed Russian help in the election of 2016. They can’t possible win a fair fight with their agenda that favors the billionaire class. Assume the GOP will do anything to win. They will try to block the minority vote. They will play with election software. They will use social media campaigns to rile up hatred again. And Gerrymandering, though slowly being outlawed, still exists. All of this must be exposed. In red states, make it clear the GOP does this because they don’t want your vote to count. 

#10. Vetting our candidates better. This is the hardest to promote because so many sitting Congresspeople are not clean – and won’t support anything which makes vetting candidates a more thorough process. But let’s be real here this cycle. We got a criminal president because we allowed him to be a candidate without even showing his taxes. We vet Uber drivers better than we vet our president, so what should we expect? If there is a path to insane profits in government service, we will continue to get criminals seeking to “serve” in Congress and in other high end government positions. They see dollar signs and are drawn in. Jared Kushner could not even get security clearance, but neither could Trump if he had to.

If there is a full vetting of all candidate’s past financial history, we can at least be sure they are not criminals or money launderers before they take office. No one should be ever be allowed again to hold high office with undeclared foreign bank accounts. In with this line of thinking is “getting money out of politics” , “term limits”, and ending “Citizen’s United”, which really is “Billionaires United” and “no man is above the law”, which must be true in a real democracy. This won’t be popular with sitting representatives. But it has to be addressed or even a new administration won’t have the support in Congress to make the sweeping changes to policies and laws that will be needed to keep the United States strong, free and democratic.  

You will notice I have not mentioned gun laws. I want to, of course. It is a huge national stigma that we do nothing to protect our children as they are mowed down month after month. But common sense gun law changes will not come from this GOP.  They are a sold-out party. The right idea is to vote out the sold-out GOP that have us under their thumbs. We can do so on the ten issues I have outlined above.  Banning semi-automatic weapons is probably fine to discuss, but it seems smarter to just not enroll Americans who will vote GOP for one single issue.

Finally, absolutely do not announce any presidential candidates until after November.  Any Democrat who does that should be shunned by the Democratic Party. Politicians and citizens can and should get out there and talk about what is good for the country. Biden should get off his horse immediately if he intends to run, or he runs the risk of seeming old, slow, out of touch. Same with Bernie. Trump will be running every week from here on in.  But no one should announce they are running in 2020. It exposes an “it’s all about me” philosophy, and in 2018 we need a fully coordinated team effort. Leave “it’s all about me” to Trump. He is so good at that anyway. 

If we succeed in this cycle, 2020 will take care of itself. If we don’t, I will be seriously eyeing getting out of here for my kids sake. I actually don’t want to be a citizen in Trump’s America. 

……. Joseph Aronesty

Joseph is an e-commerce pioneer, songwriter and etymologist. He was in a class with Donny Trump in 1967 at Wharton School and worked close to him in AC in the 1980’s. 

Joseph can be reached at josepharonesty@gmail.com

Joseph’s SoundCloud page: https://soundcloud.com/raiseourvoices

Joseph’s intuitive etymology page: https://englishcode.wordpress.com/clc-etymology/

 

 

It’s Time for World Leaders to Help the USA with its Trump Problem

When Donald Trump became president, it soon became clear that he is willing to lie to his own people on a daily basis, and with no remorse.

I asked myself this: If Trump is willing to lie to his own people to “win”, as he calls it, then how can he be trusted to keep his deals and former agreements with foreigners?   

The conclusion that I and most world leaders have now reached is that Donald Trump can not be trusted to be honorable.  The rulers of over 200 sovereign nations on this planet all know this now. 

mad-trump
This is an email-letter I wrote to Prime Minister Teresa May in November 2017,
Teresa May,
Please let me know you get this communication and if you feel it has some value to you and our world. Remember, when we did not stand up to Hitler, early in his regime, the entire world suffered. 
I am one of the majority of Americans who feel we are under a joint attack in the USA.  It is a cyber attack, launched by Russian Mafia players partnering with big money corporatism here in the USA.  Their goals are to hide financial crimes and steer an evolving modern world back in time, headed towards a neo-oligarchy where money rules to the detriment of everyday citizens.

The weapons in this war are words. – To be silent is to accept defeat.

 

I am a 69 year old US citizen. I happened to have known Donald Trump when we were young and foolish at U of P. He is still foolish. But he is also madman at the helm of the world – in essence he is an elected, mad king. 
 
Donald Trump is fully willing to set the world on a path to WW3 as long as he can keep his ill-got money and stay out of jail for his crimes over the years – ​as long as he can “win” , as he often says. And if he can’t win, he will blow the whole thing up trying. That is what we are witnessing right now, not only in world affairs, but in our domestic affairs as well. 
 ​
​This statement I am asking you to make today has the goal of ​taking the world off ​the path to WW3, which we are now fully on. I think we need to hear something like what I have written below.  There are now many here in the USA who want Trump out asap, even within the GOP. You and other world leaders can help in that effort with a statement you can fashion in your own words along these lines. 


To my citizens, American citizens and all global citizens on planet Earth:
 
After Donald Trump became president, it soon became clear to me​, as well as most sober people, that he was willing to lie to his own people, on a daily basis with no remorse.

I asked myself this: If Trump is willing to lie to his own people to “win”, as he calls it, then how can he be trusted to keep his deals and former agreements with foreigners?   

The conclusion that I, and most world leaders have now reached is that Donald Trump can not be trusted to be honorable.  The rulers of over 200 sovereign nations on this planet all know this down deep now.  This is not to say we don’t trust the good will of the American people. We do.

But North Korea and Iran are still sovereign countries​ and like all sovereign countries, they have a duty and right to defend themselves. If the USA wants foreign powers, including North Korea and Iran, to stop protecting themselves, ​that is something no sovereign country can rightly be asked to do without considerable and understandable resistance. ​

If the USA wants to negotiate about de-escalating tensions with foreign powers,  like North Korea, Iran and others, I now believe they ​first ​need to find a way to install a new president whose words can be fully trusted on the world stage. They do not have that now.

Only a fool would negotiate honestly with Donald Trump. He has proven that over and over again, first as a citizen and now as the US president.

Thank You my Dear American friends. We are here for you. 

Something like that needs to be heard from Teresa May, Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron – and other respected world leaders. That way it won’t seem like partisan politics. 

We are living in a world community now. ​ Words started this war. Words can end it. Silence can not.​

Trump counts on being the only one who is willing to make outrageous statements. ​
​Yes, I realize what I wrote seems a bit outrageous. But if one person plays dirty, and the others play according to Hoyle, the cheater will usually win. That’s all Trump has ever known – cheating to win. I learned that from his casino operations in the 1980’s. I was there. 
 
If you would say something sincere, along these lines, which I happen to believe is probably a fairly accurate portrayal of your stance on Trump, I do believe it will ​help us all on planet earth.​ We are mostly hoping he will soon be discharged of his duties.
We need some help from the world stage leaders, the way we helped 75​ years ago.

I will be sending emails like this to the heads of state in Germany, Australia and Iran as well. Listen to what is being said this week on the news here in the USA​.

I ask all global citizens to contact their presidents and senators. Let’s get this done. 
 
The timing will be perfect ​now. No time to lose.  We have a genuine mad maniac in charge here now. Hitler was such a maniac. ​He was elected as well, by a similar distraught electorate as well. 

Etymology teaches us: The MA in maniac is the same ma that is in drama. It means large – as in major, mad and magnify. The mad, maniacal drama we are witnessing since Trump took the helm is the exact opposite of the cool-handed leadership we sorely need right now. Trump is like a hot fuse in a room filled with nitroglycerin. A simple unintended accident now and the word goes boom. 

All it will take to win this war of words, is words. No bombs, no bullets, no troops. How nice, right? We need influential people to deliver some thoughtful heartfelt words to the world stage. GOP politicians here will soon realize they will mostly be voted out of power in 2018. And to the GOP I say, it’s not for “not repealing Obama-care that you will fall. It is because you stand with the mad king, Donald Trump, in spite of what you know to be true: Donald Trump is a dunce, a sell-out and a traitor. 

We can do this world. Thank you for your careful consideration to this plan and for circulating it. We are all global citizens. We all have a stake in peace. I am just trying to do what I can as a citizen. I hope that is appreciated. JA

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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

Trump To Go Fascist Soon – Why The Epsionage Act May Finally Apply

Trump’s team clearly enrolled election help from foreigners, which is illegal. And election tampering can be considered Espionage if you define the Russian meddling an act of war. What to do?

written August 2017 ~ updated 4/20/18

It’s getting increasingly likely that Donald Trump’s campaign managers, many of his appointed representatives, and Trump himself – may soon be caught for committing serious crimes against the United States. Since the Manafort raid, the guilty can sense that truth will eventually come out and it won’t set them free. The new Cohen raid only amplifies that trend.

approvalTrump has also lost the ability to govern or rule with moral authority.  His approval rate is about 35%. He has been caught in too many lies. The constant drone of sexual talk cannot help either. His base is slowly catching on as to who he really is.

But Trump knows of no other way of being. Most Americans now think he is simply not qualified, intellectually, morally or emotionally to be a proper US president. Trump’s team clearly enrolled election help from foreigners, which is illegal. And election tampering can be considered Espionage if you define the Russian meddling an act of war.  It was an attack on our democratic process. Why is that not an act of war? If Americans meddled in Russia’s recent elections or France’s – don’t you think they would brand them as attacking their country? You bet they would! But Trump does little to punish the aggressors, or stop them to do it again. 

Fact: No democracy can survive if it permits foreign actors to affect its elections.

KOREA IS A DANCE

Mueller is closing in on Trump, and the Trump machine is feeling the heat. Trump now believes that if he somehow can become a wartime president or get a seemingly heroic international peace treaty installed – by either route – he could possibly skirt being exposed for his crimes. We know Putin helped Korea get the bomb. This is basic stuff. Trump clearly has a back-channel to Putin now. So Putin is helping coordinate this dance with North Korea. The meddling continues. 

Trump also knows how silencing the press and martial law can be used to keep the public in the dark. This is why we feel down deep that we are on the brink of some sort of war.  Would Trump have 10 million Koreans die to save his empire? Nuclear war? He has a jet. He does not care about people. Never has. I went to school with him – Penn. I could share some college stories. Trump is a lonely unloved psychopath who craves attention to fill the void and lives in an imaginary world. He is running from justice and he has nuclear weapon codes. This is just crazy. 

HOW FASCISM TAKES ROOT IN A DEMOCRACY

Germany had arguably the most Democratic government on the planet when Hitler turned that democracy into a fascist state. Realistically, Trump probably did not step into the political ring with the premeditated intent of becoming an authoritarian fascist. But corrupt, greedy businessmen can devolve into dictators without that having been their initial goal. In the pressure cooker of crime and punishment, criminals who somehow become rulers can feel compelled to go fascist to skirt justice. That’s also sort of what happened to Bassar al-Ashad. He was a successful, wealthy businessman doctor. He got into power because his brother was killed and he figured he needed to become a dictator to survive in Syria.  This is sort of what’s going on with the Trumps’ right now. Trump needs to become authoritarian to cover up his family’s crimes.

Hear this citizens – on all sides of the political spectrum! We just can’t let that happen here in the USA, can we? This is not a banana republic. I hope we are all on the same side of that aisle. We have way too much to lose here.  I know I feel that way. Don’t you?

But if we are not smart about our situation right now, and we don’t take immediate actions to hold the criminals who stole our democracy from us, and reject all corrupt officials and work to vote in new representatives in 2018 – reps who are sincerely dedicated to the public good – fascism can happen here in 2018. We are not immune to fascism. America is a nation, like any other. Fascism sets into a democracy step by step. Downwards. We are potentially witnessing that descent, right now. 

There is a way out of this mess. But we have to insist on justice being served. 

#1 Given Trump is under investigation for serious crimes, Trump cannot retain the power to pardon anyone in this criminal investigation. That is just ridiculous in this situation and someone in Congress needs to bring this up ASAP. Trump must surrender his right to pardon anyone connected with the Russian investigation. That’s like allowing Capone to pardon his generals. It just makes no sense and sets a ridiculous precedent. 

The election investigation must go on. We need to know the truth, even if it means we can’t punish some of the players. I have said all along, “Trump would rather step down than show his taxes”.  Maybe that’s the avenue for Mueller. Maybe that’s all anyone needs to press for and he is gone. 

#2. Trump should show his taxes to Mueller immediately as part of the investigation. And if Mueller has them, he should state so. The line about “under audit” is a glaring lie. And even if he were under audit, that is no reason for an honest player to conceal tax filings in the wake of the Russian meddling. Trump would be above the law if we don’t insist on that. And no one can be allowed to be above the law in the USA, or all our laws are not valid. That’s fine in Putin’s Russia, but not here. The USA is supposed to be a democracy held together by laws. No public servant should be allowed to have undeclared bank accounts. I don’t think a citizen is allowed to have one, why should a senator or president be allowed. That is something we need to fix going forward. It invites criminals into our government – which is part of what we are witnessing now.

History teaches us that criminals who rise to political power will attempt to go fascist in order to escape the crimes they have committed. It simultaneously becomes their only avenue to escape justice and the people’s largest nightmare.

incompetentTrump may be a big dummy, but about crime he is not dumb. At crime, Trump may be a genius. Sometimes I think about asking Trump to step down for incompetence … not espionage. It is easy to find a few reasons why Trump is not qualified to be a US president. Waiting for a full trial and an impeachment is just taking too long. He passed his unjust tax bill because we did not close him down in time. He’s making good use of the extra innings our slow justice system is affording him to line his pockets. 

Current world events are such that we seriously need a president with moral authority on the world stage. Trump will never have moral authority here in the USA. He’s been given a 18 months to learn how to behave like a president. He has not done that. Enough!

We simply can’t have people who worked with foreign powers to sway a US election running our government. 

THE CYBER ATTACK & ESPIONAGE

I want to hear more talk about the Espionage Act of 1929. We’ve not heard much about that, even from politicians who vehemently oppose Trump.  I originally advanced the idea that Trump violated the Espionage act when he said “Russia, if you are listening” as a candidate. What I was told back then was that we would have to have been at war for the Espionage Act to apply. 

We can now say we were indeed attacked in retrospect.  Hence we were indeed on the receiving end of war. We just did not know that when the crimes were committed. We now know our elections were attacked. A war is just an attack with a goal to harm another sovereign nation. So it was a cyber attack, but an attack nonetheless. Should that matter? If the cyber attack of 2016 is a war, the Espionage Act laws and its punishments apply after all.

The Trump Organization engaged in espionage to win the election. Come on. We all feel that is the elephant in the room. So let’s call it espionage, and proceed to prosecute for it. And yes, Trump’s inner circle people are all in on the crimes. He is smart enough to keep good boy scouts away from the processes and secrets.  Sessions, McConnell, Ross, Kushner, Banner, Manafort, Cohen are all suborned – or they would not be there. The good Republicans are stepping away. 

Then everything we see Trump’s associates and family members doing are violations of the Espionage Act after all. Even Don Jr.’s “if its what you say it is, I love it” is espionage if its seen as part of an attack on the USA. 

I am putting this out there for our best lawyers to investigate. And maybe that’s why Trump won’t call the Russian election sabotage a war. Maybe somebody in his quarter figured this out already. 

 Please spread the message in this blog.  Together, we can save our democracy.

 There is NO CLEAN WAY out for Donald Trump. He can shut this down fascist style or pay the price. Democracy hangs in the balance. 

https://englishcode.wordpress.com/2017/11/17/trumps-raiders/                                                How self-dealing will bankrupt the USA. 

https://englishcode.wordpress.com/2017/11/09/devious-gop-tax-plan/                                  Tax Break? The GOP Is Coming for Our Homes – Again!  

reach me at josepharonesty@gmail.com  or text to 818 423 1533

I am here to help in any way I can.

 

 

 

 

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

 

Two Easy Fixes to Revive Our Dying Democracy

The biggest issue facing the USA today is the ability of elected representatives to get kickbacks through lobbying and potentially hide the money trail via undisclosed foreign bank accounts. So is the real war folks! It’s an internal war. It’s “we the people” vs. “our sold-out representatives” in national government. We have the technology to fix this right now. 

Published March 2017 – updated December 2017

If you watch a town hall meeting you can literally see and hear that many of our representatives have no problem lying to our faces. For example, there are countless instances of representatives telling constituents, ” Yes, i agree with you. We should not repeal before we replace”, etc. But then, when you follow their vote, you find they actually voted for repeal. Knowingly saying one thing and doing another is a textbook definition for lying.

And yet, lying to the press or to constituents does not violate any US lawn and maybe it should. These people do swear oaths. Today, these oaths apparently mean nothing. Let’s face it. Our government was formed in the 1700’s.  Words had meanings that were more sacrosanct back then. So let’s get basic on words. I do so love words. 

REPRESENTATIVE. Why did the founders use that word and not a word like “Duke”?

An elected “representative” RE-PRESENTS an idea or bill. That means the original idea or bill is not necessarily theirs to create. That task could rightly belong to the constituency – which is all of us – which is what a real democracy should insist on. But to do that, citizens need to be engaged, not so much in government, but in the actual issues!represent

And what actually happens after candidates get elected to office and show up in Washington DC? They quickly discover there is a pre-existing and deeply entrenched system of big business paying big dollars to sitting representatives to get the goals of their big businesses done – and not the goals of their constituents!

Hence, we see the GOP advancing the idea of repealing healthcare, or lowering taxes on big businesses – so they can get their kickbacks – even though these bills are not popular with Americans. It’s clear they don’t care at all about the people they allegedly serve.  And yes, to be fair, there are Democrats that have their kickback issues as well. The human flaw of greed and sexual harassment is not limited to one party. 

The biggest issue facing the USA today is the ability of elected representatives to get kickbacks through lobbying and the potential to hide the money in undisclosed foreign bank accounts. Without these kickbacks or graft, as it’s called sometimes, a president like Trump could never have happened.

And unfortunately, the current US president is not only sold out to big business, but also to Russian interests. Why does he not show his taxes? Why does he fight to end the investigation for the FBI? A fish rots from the head. Selling out is rampant and it’s not just the president! It’s our congresspeople and many that work with or for them. 

And so, the real goals of the US citizens get totally overlooked. We couldn’t even get gun laws changed after Sandy Hook! What does that say about the people in charge? 

Senseless political bickering continues because this is what big business wants. A divided country allows big business to continue doing its thing, taking from the poor, giving to the rich. Big business wants bottom line profit only. They don’t want the common man to get ahead or even to get an education. Stupid consumers are good for big business. So un-christian. So greedy.  And yet, there they sit in Washington, doing their own business, not the people’s business.

And that’s where we are today – and have been here since the 1970’s. Our president embodies the swamp creature that selling out is. But at least, we can at least see the monster clearly now. It’s on TV every day. 

This cannot continue. It has to end and end soon. On this, even the Tea Party and I are in lockstep.  Business knows what will happen if consumers get organized. Incomes will get spread around more evenly, and people will be empowered financially and spiritually to strive for more. That’s not the ideal of Wall Street or K-street, so they pit us against each other. FOX vs. MSNBC , etc. It’s getting old. 

“Make America Great Again” will only happen when we share more – not less. It’s the spirit of sharing that always made America great. Where has that gone? The biggest lie Trump and the GOP are perpetuating is that by handing funds to the greedy we will all be better off. What a crock. Who believes that anyway?

So the real war we have in the USA is an internal war. It’s “we the people” vs. “our sold-out representatives” in government. So many have to go in 2018.  And yes, they are not all sold out. We can tell who they are by the way they vote. Don’t listen to what they say, watch how they vote. You can Google that on any representative.  

But there are the two easy fixes that can save the US democracy. First, we need place to find our common ground.  It exists. I am willing to listen to the opinions of other citizens much more that the opinions of representatives. But where can I have this discussion? Twitter? Facebook? Not the way they are today. We need a real place to have civil discussions and then decide what the majority wants via monthly mock voting on the issues, not on the representatives. In a functioning democracy, reps should just be bots for the majority opinion.  

#1 A Perpetual Town Hall. We need an online mock government site for citizens where the issues that need attention are posted. There are spaces for expert opinions, stats, chat rooms, legit advertising (no bot ads) and mock voting on the first Tuesday of every month. This can easily be done by the folks at Google or Facebook.   (That’s a link to my letter to Google. Please check it out too.) But they will need to create sites reserved just for civil political discussions and mock voting. 

Once we have our minds made up on the issues, we tell the representative, sworn under oath, to do exactly what we ask them to. If they don’t do what we have chosen, they are breaking their oath and can be fired. This is not hard to do. 

#2 We have to end the ability of an elected national representative to have undeclared foreign bank accounts! This is how so many, Trump, Maniford, Wilbur Ross – et. al. find a way to hide their illegal payoffs. How dumb is it that we allow this? Very stupid folks. It has allowed criminals and even spies to get inside our government. It has to end!

This is the only kind of representative governmental system that will actually work in these digital times. All else is doomed to fail owing to the essential greed of human nature. Politicians are human beings and a system must be put in place to curtail their natural human greed.

It will be our fault, not the politician’s fault – if we don’t fix this flaw in the machine we call the US government.

These two simple ideas, once implemented, cannot fail . And it can’t possibly make things worse than what we have now, which is  – “Say what you need to get elected, then do what you want for yourself and friends once elected”.

What are we waiting for? 2018 is coming soon. We have the technology to do this right now.  Will someone with programming skills please set this up ASAP? It feels like a one day job by one smart guy. This would change everything. MockDemocracy.US is available. DemocracyLivesHere.com even better.   TownHall247.com is fine too.

This is a link to another blog on this perpetual town hall idea. If you know someone up the chain at Facebook or Google, please pass the link on.

 https://englishcode.wordpress.com/2017/11/29/facebook-russia-2/

josepharonesty@gmail.com Get me here. I’ll support this idea with dollars too.

P.S. There is already a political faction called The Pirate Party that advocates for something like this. Google it. Bad name. But they also believe politicians should be bots for our collective desires. After all, the USA is supposed to be a democratic republic. This is exactly what “a government of the people, for the people, by the people” – means.  Think outside the box people! That’s what the founders did. We have to do it again. And we have the technology to do it right now.