Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Personal Announcement

Dear Readers:

This is to let everyone know that new entries in Brave Gnu Whirled may be sparse for awhile. My wife Joan and I are preparing our home in Visalia for sale. We are retiring and plan to move to our condominium in Rancho Bernardo (San Diego area) permanently once Joan finishes her school year on June 9. Much of our furniture is being moved out today to ready the house for staging. Our target date to put the house on the market is March 2. I am so grateful for your readership and support. In the mean time, don't forget that now is the time to get involved and make a difference. Several of the new administration's plutocratic and reactionary initiatives have already been derailed or curtailed by the concerted efforts of an aroused citizenry. The U.S. Senate, for instance, reports public contact running five times higher than normal!

The disappointment at Trump's election, nauseating cabinet nominations and first actions as president has been lessened to some extent by the consequent rise of the Resistance movement to oppose his half-baked, inhumane, impractical, unamerican and unconstitutional agenda. The liberal/progressive majority has awakened and its resolve is a heartening thing to behold. We haven't seen this level of commitment and enthusiasm since the Obama candidacy in 2008. I encourage you to act locally to support this movement. Call your representatives, join a march, write letters to your local newspaper, speak out in the public comment segment at your city council and school board meetings, talk to your friends, join an organization, and most of all, vote. Here's a link to a piece on how to effectively get your message across to the office of an elected official. 

Peace to you and yours!

Friday, February 3, 2017

Trump's Strataegy of Divide and Rule

Does Donald Trump have a strategy as president, or is he a loose cannon? His approval rating among Americans is the lowest of any chief executive this early in his presidency, with only 44% approving and 53% disapproving of his performance in a CNN/ORC survey. Trump is the only chief executive underwater in the polls in his first month since such polls began, which go all the way back to Eisenhower. So, is he blowing it big time?

No, his actions are, I believe, intentional and politically calculated. Trump is 90% popular with Republicans, the survey showed. That's what he's after. If, for example, his executive order banning anyone from entering the country from seven Muslim nations continues to get shot down by the courts, this will serve only to rile up his Republican base all the more. This is also why political strategist Steve Bannon was appointed to a permanent position on the National Security Council (NSC) while the Chairman of the Armed Forces Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Director of National Intelligence were removed from the list of NSC principals. Another gambit is talk of ending the separation of church and state mandated by the Bill of Rights. Every move he is making is for political effect; the national interest is virtually irrelevant. Trump, Bannon, Kellyann Conway and the entire team will continue to do all they can to gin up reactionaries including the GOP base. They are willing to risk also activating the liberals, which they certainly are doing as well. My appearance at the Pacific Beach Democratic Club in San Diego last night showed me just how incensed and energized liberals are to oppose the Trump agenda. Trump's calculation is that red meat to the right will beat the effect of red meat to the left. To oppositely paraphrase Bush 43, DJT is a divider, not a uniter, and by design. We'll see if or how long this works, and whether the nation can maintain its cohesion in the interim.